I plan to cover race and ethnic issues in the south bay area this
quarter. I chose this topic in part because Id like to utilize
my Spanish, and because I know that a large Hispanic population resides
in this area. Also, Ive always found social issues interesting,
and the topic should allow for a good deal of creativity and variety.
Possible story ideas:
Ive come up with several angles to approach this topic. An
article on Muslims in the area would be appropriate, and could lead
to a longer article about the terrorist attacks. I am also interested
in seeing what develops with the suggestion to limit student visas.
As I noted above, however, Id like to focus on Hispanic issues.
Ive noticed certain businesses in Palo Alto that appear to be
entirely staffed by Latino workers (car washes, for example) and might
want to do a business profile. This could address how difficult it
is for Hispanic immigrants to enter better paying jobs in this area.
I am curious about where these workers live, since rent in this area
seems ridiculous. What draws Latinos to this area? I would also like
to find out about non-Mexican Latinos who have moved here. Has the
Hispanic population diversified significantly in recent years? Census
data would prove useful in this kind of inquiry. As the young south
bay population has become more heavily Hispanic, have area teachers
changed their curriculum to adjust? Id also be interested in
finding out what kind of heath care minorities, and particularly Latinos,
are receiving in the south bay area. For example, how many doctors
can speak Spanish? Or are special clinics set up that cater to Spanish-speaking
clients? I wonder about migrant workers - are migrant camps located
around the south bay area? What kind of conditions exist in these
camps, and where do the workers go during the winters? As a contrast
to migrant life, Id be interested in writing an article which
focused on Latino success stories - both immigrants and second generation
Latinos. How did they climb the career ladder and achieve success
in the south bay area? Branching off from that idea, Id like
to speak with Hispanic students at Stanford. Did they have to overcome
many obstacles (in language or economic status) to reach a prestigious
El Centro Chicano at Stanford: Information - 3-2089, Director - 3-2088
(for information on events on and off Stanford campus relating to
Latinos, also possible source for other Hispanic groups in the area)
Local elementary schools (find out which have large Hispanic populations)
Stanford health services (a place to start to find out about Spanish-oriented
Migrant farms - hmmm, not sure about this one - any ideas?
Local Hispanic businesses (El Mercadito Latino, El Paisano Carniceria