At Philly.com: These Latinas are the real heroes of the fight against heroin (and to build community) in Philly

“I kept asking [the organizers of the cleanup at Second and Indiana], ‘Where, where is the place that is going to take these individuals?’”

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Jessie Alejandro-Cruz (right) hugs Erica, a 33-year-old who lives at the underpass at Emerald Street. Photo courtesy of David Cruz

Everyone from Dr. Oz to the BBC has now done a piece on the heroin camp in Kensington. Some of the pieces have been good, others are simply poverty and addiction porn. All of them have come from outside the community most impacted by both the existence of the camp and its cleanup. To get beyond one-shot sensationalism, what we need now is coverage that centers the voices of people like Jessie Alejandro-Cruz and Charito Morales — who have been grappling with not only the implications but the actuality of this for decades.

Read my full commentary here.

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Meet the New Class of Latinx Political Leadership

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The next wave of Latinx politicos in Philly is in the wings, laying the groundwork for the future.

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times for wonkish Latinx folks like me.

With the Democratic National Convention just two weeks away, there’s a certain amount of exhilaration at the prospect of the Party’s P-A-R-T-Y in Philly.

But it’s also depressing. No, I’m not talking possible SEPTA nightmares (though there is that). It’s just that, as a Latina, I’m unlikely to be seeing more than a handful of mi gente among the ranks of the party’s top pols.

The sad reality is that I’d have a better chance of that at the Republican National Convention. Chew on that for a while (especially given the GOP’s not-so-friendly-to-Latinxs policies). From rising star governors Susana Martinez and Brian Sandoval to former presidential contenders Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, the GOP has cultivated a deeper Latinx bench — where top pols are concerned — than the Dems.

Oh, sure, cabinet members Thomas Perez and Julian Castro and Congressman Xavier Becerra have been named as potential VP picks for Hillary Clinton, but nobody — not even representation-starved Latinxs — are betting that any of them will actually be selected for the number two post.

[But a] new Latinx political class is still in the wings, laying the groundwork for the future from within the party, behind the scenes, and at the grassroots.

Read the rest of this column at Philly Mag.

And so … I leave AL DÍA News

After four years as the managing editor of AL DÍA, I’ve decided to move on.

One of the best aspects of the job has been covering the amazing Latinx and PoC communities locally and nationally. The wonderful people I’ve met during my years here, coworkers, sources, colleagues, friends and community have made all of it worthwhile.

I, of course, plan to continue to write, edit, comment, and tell our Philadelphia stories — in English and Spanish — as enthusiastically and expansively as a freelancer as I have under the aegis of AL DÍA.

Let’s do coffee and talk about the stories that need writing in our city and nation!

Read Philly Mag’s article about my departure here.