Fierce

Los Angeles Made History After Nury Martinez Became The First Latina City Council President

There was some history made this past Tuesday as Nury Martinez was unanimously elected as the first Latina president in the 110-year history of the Los Angeles City Council. With a unanimous 14-0 vote, albeit Councilman Gil Cedillo was absent, the council chose to put Martinez at the head of one of the most important positions in the city. 

With the historic vote, the San Fernando Valley Councilwoman will be succeeding outgoing Council President Herb Wesson, the first African-American to head the council. Martinez will become just the second woman ever elected to serve as LA city council president. Before Martinez, Councilwoman Pat Russell was the first and only woman elected back in 1983. 

As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, who worked as a dishwasher and a factory worker, Martinez took time to credit and thank them during a speech on Tuesday.

Her humble beginnings growing up in Pacoima, a predominantly Latino working-class community in the San Fernando Valley, taught her the importance of hard work. Martinez saw her mom and dad work tirelessly for her family so she could have a chance at success one day. That day came on Tuesday. 

“As the daughter of immigrants, as a daughter of a dishwasher and factory worker, it is incredibly, incredibly personal for me to ensure that children and families in this city become a priority for all of us, to ensure our children have a safe way to walk home every day … to ensure that our families feel safe,” Martinez said on Tuesday. “And first and foremost, to ensure that children living in motels, children that are facing homelessness, finally become a priority of our city, to ensure that we … find them permanent housing for them to grow up.”

Martinez is the product of public schools and became the first in her family to graduate from college. She began her career serving her own community as part of the City of San Fernando Council from 2003-2009 then followed that as a member of the L.A. Unified School Board from 2009-2013. 

It was her upset victory in 2013 beating out well-known Democrat Cindy Montañez, a former state assemblywoman, for a seat on the city council that put her on the LA political map. Despite trailing 19 points after the primary city election, Martinez would win in the general election by 969 votes. 

“To think, six years ago, I wasn’t even supposed to be here. I worked so hard and I was able to turn it around,” Martinez told the LA Times. “It’s not only an honor, but I really and truly feel blessed. And I just want to make everyone proud.”

Martinez has previously taken on issues like ending homelessness, installing rent control laws and supporting low-income families. She hopes to continue fighting for this and similar issues as president of the city council. 

As part of the city council, Martinez worked on behalf of the many families in the San Fernando Valley taking on issues like housing projects, rent control, and paid family leave. These issues will continue to be part of her agenda as president of the city council as well as advocating for children and families. 

“It’s monumental. She looks like the face of L.A. and she’s been elected to the highest position possible,” Jaime Regalado, professor emeritus with California State University, Los Angeles, told LAist.  “Usually people consider city council president to be a stepping stone to elsewhere — and we’ll see what the future holds.”

The significant moment wasn’t lost on many who congratulated Martinez for this historic stepping stone for Latinas everywhere. 

Another trailblazer, Gloria Molina, who was first Latina ever elected to the City Council, told the LA Times that Martinez has an incredible opportunity in front of her to bring real change and representation to the position. 

“She has a real opportunity to bring so much change,” Molina said. “She has an opportunity to create a balance. Martinez’s election is “a very significant accomplishment, not just as a Latina but as a woman. It’s still a men’s game there.”

As the council vote was officially confirmed and the motion to elect Martinez passed, there was a loud eruption of applause from those in the council chamber. The significance of the moment wasn’t lost on Martinez who said that she will use the opportunity to highlight the best that Latinos can offer. 

“I think it’s important to continue to show the rest of the country what this community is made of,” she said. “The Latinos are ready to lead and we’re very grateful to be part of this wonderful country called America.”

READ: Julian Castro Says Kamala Harris Dropped Out Because Of An Unfair Media That Covers People Of Color Differently

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Gov. Newsom And California Lawmakers Unveil Stimulus Checks, Relief For Undocumented Residents

Things That Matter

Gov. Newsom And California Lawmakers Unveil Stimulus Checks, Relief For Undocumented Residents

Americans are still waiting for the $1,400 check from the federal government to make good on the $2,000 promise In the meantime, some Californians will get extra help from the state government. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $9.6 billion stimulus package for state residents and undocumented people.

Low-income Californians will be eligible for a $600 stimulus check from the state government.

Gov. Newsom and California lawmakers have agreed on a $9.6 billion relief package for the Golden State. The relief package is offering much needed relief to businesses, individuals, and students. The relief will come to Californians in different ways.

According to a statement, the package is making good on the promise to help low-income Californians, increase small business aid, and waive license renewal fees for businesses impacted by the pandemic. In addition, the package “provides tax relief for businesses, commits additional resources for critical child care services and funds emergency financial aid for community college students.”

The relief package is aimed at helping those who are hardest hit by the pandemic.

“As we continue to fight the pandemic and recover, I’m grateful for the Legislature’s partnership to provide urgent relief and support for California families and small businesses where it’s needed most,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “From child care, relief for small business owners, direct cash support to individuals, financial aid for community college students and more, these actions are critical for millions of Californians who embody the resilience of the California spirit.”

The package will quadruple the assistance to restaurants and small businesses in California. Small businesses and restaurants will be eligible for $25,000 in grants from a $2 billion fund.

Undocumented Californians will also receive a boost from the state government.

Low-income Californians will receive a one-time payment of $600 while undocumented people will be given a $600 boost. The money will be sent to tax-paying undocumented people in California.

According to the California Budget & Policy Center, undocumented people in California pay $3 billion a year in local and state taxes. Despite paying taxes, the undocumented community has not been ineligible for relief payments from the federal government. These payments will give needed relief to a community overlooked throughout the pandemic.

“We’re nearly a year into this pandemic, and millions of Californians continue to feel the impact on their wallets and bottom lines. Businesses are struggling. People are having a hard time making ends meet. This agreement builds on Governor Newsom’s proposal and in many ways, enhances it so that we can provide the kind of immediate emergency relief that families and small businesses desperately need right now,” Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins said in a statement. “People are hungry and hurting, and businesses our communities have loved for decades are at risk of closing their doors. We are at a critical moment, and I’m proud we were able to come together to get Californians some needed relief.”

Learn more about the relief package by clicking here.

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The Man Who Charmed The World With His Dog Chiquilina Says She’s The Greatest Love Of His Life

Culture

The Man Who Charmed The World With His Dog Chiquilina Says She’s The Greatest Love Of His Life

Thanks to TikTok, the world is getting to know a bit more about Guillermo Hernandez and his pup, Chiquilina. The pair went viral on TikTok (and across the Internet) for their video outside a California carniceria: the terrier happily wagging its tail as it rides a rocking, coin-operated horse while its owner does a little dance to the backdrop of The Ronettes song, “Be My Baby.”

The video became an instant hit as it made its rounds around the Internet, racking up more than 8 million views and 2 million likes on TikTok alone. Now, Hernandez – the proud pup papi – is speaking out about his new found viral fame and giving us faith in humanity once again.

Guillermo Hernandez and his perrita, Chiquilina, have captured the heart of the Internet in new viral video.

A viral video has caused a sensation on TikTok and other social networks for showing a dog wagging her tail happily while riding a mechanical horse, while her owner watches on proudly.

The video was captured by TikTok user @frenchielife805, who saw the pair by chance when she was waiting in her car for the traffic light to change at a nearby intersection. “I go crazy for animals. I have two dogs that are like my babies,” confessed this mother and proud owner of two French bulldog dogs in an interview with the Santa Maria Times.

The video is truly what we all needed right now: pure amor.

Within hours of being posted online, the video blew up and the world came to know Guillermo Hernandez, 53, and Chiquilina, his 10-year-old Terrier cross dog that he has had since she was a puppy.

“I love her more than my life,” Hernandez told the Santa Maria Times, an emotion that many pet owners can identify with. “She is my doctor, my baby, my therapist,” he added.

A native of Michoacán, Mexico, Hernandez moved to the city of Santa Maria in 1985 and worked throughout the state of California in the construction industry for a long time until he was declared disabled by law and unable to continue performing such intense work. Now, he spends his days biking with his Chiquilina up on his head or hanging out with his friends outside the spot where they went viral.

The pair are well known in the area for their loving relationship.

Consuelo Valle, the owner of the shop where they were filmed, told the Santa Maria Times that “he loves his dog very much, he considers her as his family. She is always riding on his shoulder or being carried in his basket. He buys her popsicles, treats and ice cream. He talks to her and asks her what flavor of lollipop she wants.”

Both the TikToker who filmed their loving relationship and Valle said that the man’s incredible relationship with his dog raised their spirits and encouraged them to take better care of their own pets.

“The way in which he is happy with his dog, teaches us that we can all be happy in many different ways,” remarked Valle. While the TikToker @frenchielife805 said although has no idea why their video became went so viral, what she is sure of is that so far in the pandemic, people are always looking for any reason to smile.

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