Heidi Dietrich
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UN Conference

One month anniversary: how have things changed?



Heidi Dietrich
Beat Memo

I plan to cover race and ethnic issues in the south bay area this quarter. I chose this topic in part because I’d like to utilize my Spanish, and because I know that a large Hispanic population resides in this area. Also, I’ve always found social issues interesting, and the topic should allow for a good deal of creativity and variety.

Possible story ideas:

I’ve 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, I’d like to focus on Hispanic issues. I’ve 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? I’d 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, I’d 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, I’d like to speak with Hispanic students at Stanford. Did they have to overcome many obstacles (in language or economic status) to reach a prestigious university?

Possible sources:

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 health care)

Migrant farms - hmmm, not sure about this one - any ideas?

Local Hispanic businesses (El Mercadito Latino, El Paisano Carniceria y Mercado)

Census data