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Latinos and the California Dream: Mike Madrid

in Local Roundup

For Latinos, the California Dream is becoming an unattainable fantasy.

The dream that inspired generations to come West and find success as defined by the individual has all but vanished for the state’s largest ethnic group. The days when workers flocked to the state for employment in everything from the storied Gold Rush to the Hollywood back lots to today’s Silicon Valley have vanished. It’s not just workers who are finding it impossible to climb the economic ladder; small business owners, who have historically been viewed as the base for a community’s economic growth, are flailing.

For context: California is the fifth largest economy in the world, Latinos are the largest ethnic group in the state and have attained an unprecedented amount of power in state government. Latino policy makers have never wielded so much power over public policy than at this moment in our state’s history. But even as Latino entrepreneurship in California has exploded in recent years, a deep dive into data provided in a recently released report by the California Latino Economic Institute tells a different tale.

Continue Reading on The Orange County Register

Inland California cities boom as costs of living rises on coast

in Local Roundup

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - For this pass-through city, long a favorite target for jokes from late-night comedians, the small stuff turns out not to be small at all.

Highway 99 races through almond groves and oil fields here, then bend north toward Fresno and the flat croplands of the Central Valley. This high-speed vantage provides the blurry view of bobbing derricks, fuel storage tanks and fast-food billboards that have defined the city for Californians and tourists traveling between the sunny coast and the Sierra.

There's a relatively new side-of-the-highway sign that now notifies drivers that maybe, just maybe, there is something more here than the freeway vista offers. It reads, "Bakersfield - Next 13 Exits," a kind of invitation to a large and growing city once shorthand for a place to avoid.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

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