Missing Movements?

Posted by: kkelsey on 10/16/2013

The caption under this front-page photo in Friday's Los Angeles Times read: "Gov. Jerry Brown, center, is surrounded by cheering officials, from left, state Sen. Kevin de Leon, L.A City Councilman Gil Cedillo, Senate President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti."


Missing from that list is the smiling woman right behind Brown. That's Angelica Salas, executive director of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a key leader of the immigrant rights movement in California and nationwide and a major force behind passage of the bill that Brown was signing. Salas is also missing from the news story that accompanied the photo. The article quoted politicians and law enforcement officials, but none of the activists whose years of work resulted in this new law as well as several other recent legislative victories, including a domestic workers bill of rights and an increase in the state minimum wage to $10 an hour.

Missing entirely from the photo in the Los Angeles Times, but shown in the photo below, is Maria Elena Durazo (on the right, holding the camera), the elected leader of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Durazo has been a key force in bringing the national labor movement around to become a major advocate for immigrant rights. (The photo was published in La Opinion, the Spanish-language paper that devotes significant space to the immigrant rights movement).


Gov. Brown clearly understands how important Salas and Durazo and their constituencies were to the drivers license law and other legislation, which is why he invited them to stand so close to him during the signing ceremony. And it was no accident that Brown chose to sign the bills during a weekend when activists were in the streets marching and voicing their concerns.

The caption in the Los Angeles Times, however, is typical of how the mainstream media often ignores movements.

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