Former domestic worker fights for labor rights

Angela Alvarez - a former domestic worker who now a lead organizer for the domestic workers movement at IDEPSCA

Angela Alvarez  is a former domestic worker who is now a lead organizer for the domestic workers movement at IDEPSCA | Sinduja Rangarajan

As a former live-in housekeeper, Angela Alvarez quietly worked 15- to 18-hour days. She ate her employer’s throwaway food. She stayed up late after parties to clean up the mess.

It was Alvarez’s first job in the United States and she thought the long hours were normal.

Once, Alvarez took a day off for being sick and her employer penalized her by paying 25 percent less for the entire week. Alvarez quit her job.

That was injustice, Alvarez said. “They never gave me money for taking care of their grandson; they never gave me money for cleaning their daughter’s house.” [Read more…]

Suspect named in South LA 99 Cent store clerk murder

The Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Homicide Division has named 31-year-old Eric Atkinson as the suspect in the robbery and murder of discount store clerk  Martha Sanchez, according to a press release issued by Ninth District Councilman Curren Price’s office.

Sanchez was working as a store clerk at a local Happy Bargain 99 Cents Store on the 7400 block of South Broadway around at 8:50 p.m. on Sept.17 when the robbery and shooting happened. [Read more…]

South LA neighborhood in the aftermath of the Martha Sanchez shooting

Photo courtesy: Sinduja Rangarajan

Photo Credit: Sinduja Rangarajan

Brenda Ramirez and her husband had finished work and were driving home when they saw police and a crowd gathered around a South Los Angeles discount store a block away from their upholstery shop.

Enrique Espino, a high school student, was sitting on his couch watching TV when he heard his neighbors run out of their homes. Eva Alvarez, who was working in her bail bond store, saw an ambulance on her store’s surveillance camera and sprinted towards the shop across the street.

Their neighbor, Martha Sanchez, had been shot. [Read more…]

Theater review: ‘Tears of Sweet Water’ at the 24th Street Theatre

This article was first published in

“Lagrimas de Agua Dulce,” or “Tears of Sweet Water” fully utilizes what theater as an art form uniquely offers—the ability to interact with its audience. “Tears of Sweet Water” is a play for the young andTears of sweet water old alike, with components to keep both parts of the audience engaged.

The play begins with a woman (played by Ana Zavala)  in a traditional Mexican attire—skirt, apron, braided hair and a blouse with puffed sleeves—introducing herself to the viewers as an old woman who talks to herself to keep loneliness at bay.

She then goes on to tell the story of her granddaughter Sofia, by introducing puppets of Sofia and her friend Filipe. Zavala plays out a scene between Sofia and Filipe where Sofia confesses that when she cries, she cries buckets and her tears are sweet. Zavala gives life to her puppets by depicting their humanistic characteristics and mimicking their childlike voices. Within seconds, we forget Ana and start following the puppets. [Read more…]