Upcoming book signing at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC)



Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 – 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Location: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC)

UCLA CSRC Library – 144 Haines Hall




To protect and defend

To protect and defend

Events involving minority arrests show police need more civilian control

By Randy Jurado Ertll 10/30/2013

Like it? Tweet it! SHARE IT!

Pasadena is well known for its many citizen boards, making it difficult to understand why certain officials would resist establishing an independent police commission, one that would help represent the views and concerns of all of the city’s residents.
Along with many other police agencies across the country, the Los Angeles Police Department, which for many years was seen as an occupying force in that city’s poor, minority communities, especially in the 1980s, has a police commission, one comprised of well-known and competent members.
Under the heading “The Function and Role of the Board of Police Commissioners,” the LAPD Web site states: “The Board of Police Commissioners serves as the head of the Los Angeles Police Department, functioning like a corporate board of directors, setting policies for the department and overseeing its operations. The board works in conjunction with the chief of police who acts as a chief executive officer and reports to the board. There are five civilian members who make up the Board of Police Commissioners.”
Why is the city of Pasadena so far behind on this issue, especially if there is really nothing to hide or fear with regard to the conduct of its police officers? Why do city officials object to this idea, especially now, when there is so much for people to be alarmed about?
A shocking report recently published by the Pasadena Star-News demonstrates why such a commission is needed. The story states that primarily Latino and African-American youth accounted for more than 90 percent of all arrests and citations. The city of Pasadena has requested this data to be further analyzed. But what really needs to occur are changes in policies regarding community policing and procedures involved with the racial profiling of minority drivers, especially young people. These and many other issues, including procedures used in investigating police shootings of minorities, need to be addressed.
Some elected officials have said they provide independent voices on the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, and that the job the committee does in overseeing police behavior is good enough. But many disagree. The current committee members include Council members Jacque Robinson, who serves as chair, John Kennedy, Steve Madison and Gene Masuda. Almost half of the population in the city of Pasadena is Latino, but not one Public Safety Committee member is Latino or Latina. What a shame.
Some people have said that if residents are allowed to be part of a police commission, they would then be thugs, or they would at least be representing thugs. That is a racially biased mentality, with people inferring that all minorities are potential gang members themselves, or have gang ties.
Then there are those who erroneously believe that people with accents would not be competent enough to serve on such a commission. That is discriminatory, racist and just plain ignorant. Being bilingual is a plus in our society. Having an accent should not be perceived as a negative. If anything, being able to habla español should be viewed as an asset.
We have many upstanding people who could be part of a city police commission. Of course, they would need to be representative of our community in terms of diversity.
Just as Pasadena prides itself on hosting Caltech, the Rose Bowl, the Rose Parade and many other outstanding institutions, the mayor and City Council should look into adding a Pasadena Police Commission to its list of community treasures. Such a move would show to the world that Pasadena is a city of intellect and political transparency, one that supports and protects the civil and human rights of its residents.
The NAACP Pasadena Branch, the ACLU, the Flintridge Center, El Centro de Accion Social, All Saints Church and other key community groups need to join forces and start demanding real change.
The blatant targeting of minority youth can no longer be tolerated. This is not a Third World country, a dictatorship or some authoritarian regime. This is the United States of America, where all of our constitutional rights must be protected by any means necessary. A good joint effort at protecting our rights would be the formation of a city police commission.
Randy Jurado Ertll is the author of “The Life of an Activist: In the Frontlines 24/7.” Visit randyjuradoertll.com.

Pasadena Star-News


Pasadena activist writes guide on community organizing

Randy Jurado Ertll of Pasadena recently wrote the book “The Life of an Activist: In the Frontlines 24/7.” (Staff file photo) 

By Sarah Favot, sarah.favot@langnews.com@sarahfavot on Twitter


PASADENA >> It was more than a two-hour trip, but the 40-year-old activist wanted to get a “reality check” about the struggles that some people face on a daily basis by riding the bus and walking home.

“I thought, ‘This is so exhausting,’” said Randy Jurado Ertll. “It was sort of like a little adventure, but it reminded me of when I used to take the bus all the time. It’s such a struggle. I think we forget. We have to keep reminding ourselves that other people need help and we should do something to help them.”

Ertll, former executive director of El Centro de Accion Social in Pasadena, hopes his new book, “The Life of an Activist: In the Frontlines 24/7,” will inspire young people to fight inequities.

“A lot of times people become comfortable with their jobs and their lifestyle, that’s why people don’t get involved,” he said. “We need to get young people to see the need to get involved.”

The book offers a glimpse into his experience as an activist and community organizer, especially as a Latino.

“A lot of times there’s a negative stigmatization to it,” Ertll said of activists. “They’re perceived as troublemakers, rabble-rousers, angry, protesting with signs and burning stuff. What my book tries to do is give it a realistic picture and trying to make them human.”

In his book, Ertll writes about well-known activists like Malcolm X, but also about his own experience. He has spent the last 20 years participating in different movements and campaigns spanning environmental, human rights and education issues.

He gives advice for budding activists, like how to raise money, write newspaper columns, organize fundraisers and deal with boards of directors and bureaucracies.

Ertll said he got the “activist bug” while he was a student at Occidental College and in seeing and reading about social inequities.

Over the years, he said, he has sometimes become a target.

“It can happen eventually because you become a thorn to certain people,” he said. “I think that sometimes it’s not even intended to be negative, but it’s perceived to be negative.”

Ertll’s book is dedicated to Jesus Christ. Ertll called Jesus “a powerful activist who revolutionized our hearts and minds.”

One fight that Ertll has been fighting in Pasadena is the distribution of wealth in the city where the priority has been on development and not on services for the poor.

Ertll doesn’t envision himself running for any kind of political office, which is the course many activists take.

“That’s perceived as making it, but I think we have to teach our young people that that’s not the only way to make a change,” he said. “We have to teach young people that you don’t have to be in elected office to make a difference or be important.”

Visit randyjuradoertll.com for information on Ertll’s book.

La Opinion newspaper


Activistas no logran avance de reforma migratoria

Aunque bien organizadas, las marchas y eventos por la reforma migratoria carecen de arrastre masivo y ocurren en el peor de los momentos.

Manifestantes a favor de la reforma migratoria bloquean la Calle Primera en frente del Congreso en Washington.

Manifestantes a favor de la reforma migratoria bloquean la Calle Primera en frente del Congreso en Washington.


Foto: EFE

Pilar Marrero/pilar.marrero@laopinion.com

PUBLICADO: OCT, 9, 2013 1:49 AM EST print article increase font size decrease font size

Los activistas se han esforzado: el pasado sábado hubo casi 200 eventos en todo el país para darle al Congreso un “ultimátum” sobre la reforma migratoria y ayer, tras una festiva reunión y concierto con populares grupos y cantantes en el “National Mall”, varios congresistas demócratas participaron en una desobediencia civil, dejándose arrestar para protestar por la falta de acción sobre la reforma migratoria.


Sin embargo, dentro del Congreso, donde debe solucionarse este problema, la conversación no gira en torno a la reforma migratoria, sino el cierre del Gobierno, la lucha pendiente sobre el tope de la deuda y la polarización política que tiene a demócratas y republicanos en pie de guerra y más divididos que nunca.


Las manifestaciones populares en pro de una reforma migratoria, aunque numerosas y bien organizadas, no han tenido el arrastre masivo de las que se vieron en el año 2006, cuando cientos de miles de personas se echaron a la calle para protestar una ley punitiva contra los indocumentados. A lo sumo, la manifestación de ayer en Washington alcanzó unos 20 mil participantes y las del sábado, en conjunto, no llegaron a 50 mil. ¿Qué pasó?


Algunos observadores creen que el público inmigrante está cansado de años de lucha o que simplemente muchos son presa de la apatía o falta de conciencia política.


“Hoy pensaba en esto: cuando hay un partido deportivo de importancia se llenan los estadios con 50 mil personas que tienen que pagar boletos, estacionamiento y comidas. Muchas de esas personas son inmigrantes”, dijo Randy Jurado Ertll, activista de temas sociales y director del Centro de Acción Social en Pasadena. “Pero cuando se trata de justicia social, como que se le hace aburrido a la gente”.


En las manifestaciones populares de los últimos días se han movilizado iglesias, activistas, campesinos convocados por el Sindicato de Trabajadores del Campo (UFW) y dreamers,cuyo movimiento cuenta con un alto nivel de organizaciónPero estos terminan siendo la mayoría de los participantes y su convocatoria tiene un límite.


“Hay una cierta indiferencia del pueblo indocumentado”, dijo Ricardo Moreno, activista activo en las comunidades de fé. “Yo calculo que la mitad de la gente en las iglesias latinas hoy en día son indocumentadas, tanto en las evangélicas como en las católicas y otras. Perocuando es hora de las marchas, participa un 10%. La gente nuestra, con excepción de los dreamers, no están concienciados o quizá simplemente no pueden porque tienen que asistir a dos o tres trabajos”.


Usualmente, los inmigrantes que participan en estas convocatorias son personas que han sido afectadas por una deportación, están ellos mismos en proceso de deportación y están siendo ayudados o presentados por organizaciones activistas como ejemplo de la problemática que se vive y para obtener cobertura mediática.


Lo cierto es que de los 11 millones de indocumentados y de tantos otros millones de latinos y otros que se solidarizan con ellos, la participación en la calle no es substancial.


Jerald Podair, profesor de historia de Lawrence University en Wisconsin, dijo que en los movimientos sociales el “momento” lo es todo y este es, posiblemente, el peor de los momentos. “Estas marchas estaban organizadas desde hace tiempo, pero justo ahora en Washington y en los medios en inglés no se habla de otra cosa que no sea el cierre del Gobierno”.


También es cierto, indicó Podair, que no parece haber una presencia masiva de pueblo en las calles, más allá de varios miles de activistas. “Para que la gente común y corriente salga a la calle hace falta que haya un gancho, un evento motivador y puntual que los motive”, apunta. “No parece que este sea el caso”.


En 2006, cuando se dieron las marchas masivas, el “gancho” fue la ley Sensenbrenner y la criminalización de los inmigrantes. Los activistas ven una crisis en la falta de reforma migratoria y las deportaciones, pero el tema viene arrastrándose desde hace tanto tiempo que hay un punto de cansancio.


“Este es un problema con el que llevamos casi dos décadas luchando”, dijo Jurado Ertell. “Yo creo que la gente ya está cansada de estar marchando, creo que dicen para qué, ya ni nos escuchan”.

See you at the Duarte Book Festival this Saturday Oct. 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Duarte Book Festival to take place this Saturday Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This grand event takes place on the first Saturday of October beginning at 10 a.m. at Westminster Gardens Memorial Park, 1420 Santo Domingo Ave, in Duarte. The beautiful outdoor, tree-shaded setting is a favorite venue of authors and visitors alike.

The celebration brings together over 50 authors from all over Southern California and beyond. Authors participate in talks, panel discussions and books signings. They offer books that appeal to a variety of interests.

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Travel
  • Suspense
  • History
  • Children’s Literature

The Festival also offers a Kids’ Corner with engaging Children’s author presentations and fun literary activities throughout the day.

Food and refreshments are available. Admission and parking are free.


Book Signing at Mexican American Opportunity Foundation – MAOF


book signing at maof

Book Signing at MAOF on Thurs. Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m.


Book Signing & Discussion at Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF)

Date: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. 

Location: 401 N. Garfield Ave., Montebello, CA 90640 

Save the Montebello Hills:

Montebello, CA - Save the Montebello Hills

« Previous Entries Next Entries »