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tv   Beyond the Headlines  ABC  October 11, 2015 4:30pm-5:01pm PDT

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>> abc7 presents "beyond the headlines" with cheryl jennings. >> welcome to "beyond the headlines." i'm cheryl jennings. we have a special round table edition today celebrating our hispanic community. the united states census reports that hispanics make up more than 54 million people in the country, or about 17%. california has the largest overall population of 14.7 million, or nearly 40%, and since 2000, births in the united states have been the primary driving force for the increase. abc7's lyanne melendez is here now with some local leaders to talk about some of the current issues in our bay area's hispanic communities. >> and thank you, cheryl. gracias. before we begin our discussion today, let's learn a little bit about a recent big shift in california's population. it's now official. latino residents have surpassed
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whites as california's largest racial or ethnic groups. now, demographers had expected the shift for decades. abc7 news reporter chris nguyen took a look at the shift throughout the state when the numbers were released in july. >> at the dia de pesca restaurant in san jose, xavier sanchez savors the chance to share his passion for food. >> i call it the path of the heart. you follow the path of the heart, and you know when you're doing right. you feel good in your heart. >> sanchez was born in whittier, but moved to san jose at the age of 4. he would eventually graduate from san jose state, go on to serve in the army, and later become one of san jose's first latino firefighters. he's proud of his heritage and was inspired to open his restaurant after growing up in his father's cantina. >> my father, i learned to work hard and to be honest. >> sanchez is one of the many who have contributed to the cultural fabric of the south bay. in fact, according to the most recent data available, the state now has approximately 14.99 million latinos compared
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to about 14.92 million non-hispanic whites. together the two groups make up nearly 80% of california's population. ron gonzales, the first hispanic to serve as mayor of san jose since statehood says it's all about perspective. >> just having sheer numbers doesn't matter if we're not engaged in all aspects of our society -- whether it's jobs, housing, politics, or civic engagement in general. >> gonzales is now president and c.e.o. of the hispanic foundation of silicon valley. he says latinos are a committed community, one that's worth investing in. >> there's a lot of needs within the hispanic community, but we have a lot of strengths, too. >> and regardless of what the numbers say... >> we're all americans now, and we should all help each other, and you don't necessarily have to have blue eyes to be an american. >> a reminder that the u.s. is a nation of immigrants. in san jose, chris nguyen, abc7 news. >> and joining me in the studio today are adriana lopez, the manager of programming, development, and community outreach at the mexican museum. rolando bonilla, principal
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partner of the public relations firm ford & bonilla, and stephanie bravo is the founder of studentmentor.org and is now the vice president of programs for strive for college. bienvenidos. >> gracias. >> thank you. >> well, you heard the report by our colleague, chris nguyen. let me ask you what the implications are. "we're already here. whoa! we made it." what are those implications? anybody want to start? rolando? >> i think this is a great political opportunity for the latino community because it gives us the understanding that although we're here in numbers, we still have to have a presence on the political front. yes, it's true the california latino legislative caucus is a very influential wing of our government within the legislature. yes, it's true that we have a lot more city council members throughout the state, but we also have to make sure that our voice is heard at the ballot box. just like our voices are now being heard at the consumer point of sale reference, on the political front, we have to make sure we have a presence at the ballot box, and on that
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front, although we've made tremendous strides, we still have a long ways to go before that really becomes a presence that's here long-term. >> so why aren't we voting in higher numbers? >> well, i think one of the reasons -- and feel free to jump in. one of the reasons that i see that as a political scientist is, candidly, we're working. not that everyone else isn't working, but the immigrant thinking and concept of getting to this country and getting the two, three jobs to sustain your family is such an overarching theme that anything that competes with that just doesn't have a chance of getting in. >> so, do we feel that we're not represented? >> i think so. i mean, just in terms of college completion and getting into college, we're some of the lowest minority groups that have attainment, and so i think we need to also make sure that not only are we working, but we're also in school, and so taking time out of classes, taking time away from our day to days is difficult for us to actually do, but we're making significant strides and significant jumps in getting
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a lot of our latino children not only out of high school and into college, but also getting through college, as well. >> so once we get into college, though, why are so many hispanics dropping out? >> well, a lot of it has to do with social support, and that's one of the reasons i founded an organization all around mentoring and am currently leading an organization all around virtual mentoring, as well, is social support is a huge need within our community, and those who are mentors as professionals or even college students themselves can go back and take up the next generation to really show them that it's possible to make it to college and to make it through college. >> well, how about financial support? are we not getting the financial support that we need? >> i was going to say i think it's also financial, and i think that there's wonderful organizations like the chicana latina foundation here in the bay area that are helping young latina students get through college, and i think more of us need to work towards that, as well, in our creation of nonprofits and foundations
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and start helping our latino students. >> what else is holding us back? >> i think at times the -- and this is again more from the political front -- at times, we are competing with so many socioeconomic issues that, from my own personal experience, there's so many socioeconomic issues getting in the way, that unless we as a community do a better job of coming together and providing resources, providing mentorship, it's very easy to sometimes see folks along the way who don't necessarily feel that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. you know, i used to joke around that my first exposure to lawyers was in the neighborhood. my first exposure to doctors was in the e.r. >> right. >> but there's a lot of truth to that -- not just for me, but for a lot of latinos. right? so how do you make those folks realistic and tangible? that's what changed my perspective in my life.
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at age 18, i was able to work at the city's health department -- >> and see people like yourself. it's what chief justice -- supreme court justice sonia sotomayor said about going to -- when she would go to the island of puerto rico, she would see people like her. she would see the lawyers, the doctors that she wouldn't see in the bronx. >> exactly. >> so how important is that -- to have those mentors, to see people like you? >> well, i was fortunate enough to spend my life going to venezuela very often, so i did get to see this incredible culture, professionals. my cousins were taking incredible classes and doing so well in the universities, and the art of venezuela i owe so much to seeing what latinos can achieve in the arts. so for me, that was really instrumental in pushing me forward. >> and it's a beautiful country. >> it is. >> and so how do we get people to understand that we have to invest in these kids now for
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the future of california? 15 seconds. >> sure. i think economics. giving a child an opportunity will not only change that child's future, it will change that family's economic forecast, period, and by extension, that community's forecast. so by extension, some of the sacrifices that have to be made through education will provide the long-term goal of economic strength for those families and those communities. >> let's awaken everybody out there. >> that's it. >> well, we need to take a short break. we'll be back, and we'll learn more about the important work that our guests are doing around the bay area. come back. ♪
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don francisco presented his last show this year after 53 years on the air -- the longest-running television variety show in the history. wow. here's how it all started. >> [speaking spanish] don francisco! >> my real name is mario kreutzberger blumenfeld, and i used to work in a jewish club doing an impression of a huge guy that couldn't speak well the language in spanish. the name of this guy was don francisco. >> and so the name don francisco stuck. for the past 53 years, it has been a household name in just about every community in the united states and in the rest of latin america. he was born in chile. his father was a concentration camp survivor who fled from germany. in 1962, he started a tv show in his native chile so popular that, at times, 80% of the country tuned in. years later, the show was moved
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to miami and broadcasted on the spanish language network univision. the show's name? "sábado gigante" -- spanish for "giant saturday." it's often described as an entertainment, interview, and human-interest show three hours long. >> okay! >> he maintained the pride in our culture, and one of the things that was so important, and the reason why people loved him so much is that he was always very positive. >> at la palma mexica-tessen in san francisco's mission district, employees told us the 74-year-old don francisco has long been an icon in this community. >> lo admire y lo quiero. >> sara gomez says, "i admire him and love him" >> el carismo, los consejos que daba al public. >> ramiro quintana says he liked his charisma and the advice he offered viewers. >> i'm very honored and very proud of what we did these 53 years. we're closing that cycle. we're opening another one. >> don francisco has said
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he wants to leave with dignity. >> my parents loved him -- loved him. anyway, were any of you guys don francisco fans? >> mm-hmm. >> every weekend. >> yeah. >> every saturday night. >> could i just say what i loved about him? he would always say, "no matter" -- or i guess the message he conveyed -- "no matter what's going on, whatever they tell you, always be proud of who you are." is that not the message we have to send our kids? >> yeah. i think that's really important. i grew up in san jose. i'm born and bred in the bay area and my grandfather actually owned the taqueria that was down the road, so we grew up with this community of mentors, as well as being able to really bask in our heritage and understand that our roots were very important to us. and so that's what i brought forward when i went as a first-generation college student, and that's what i took with me. >> it also reminds me of like the univision presenter jorge ramos. he has been going head-to-head with donald trump on all these
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immigration issues. anybody care to comment about that? >> i think that's what has to happen. someone has to create that hard line and say, "enough is enough. we have a voice. we're not going to allow anyone to speak about our community that way," and i think that's the value of a jorge ramos. you look at the value of a don francisco beyond the show. let's talk about what he did every single saturday night. he brought families together. >> right. >> he allowed for the culture to transfer from one generation to another through a variety show every single saturday night. that was my memory. my grandmother, my parents, my siblings -- everything was happening together. that's what makes us strong. >> and of course honoring our traditions -- and let me talk a little bit about that with you, adriana. the mexican museum -- tell us a little bit about that. 40 years in the bay area. >> talk about pride. [ chuckles ] >> amen. >> i think one of the most beautiful ways to show a culture's pride is through
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the visual arts, and i think that that is exactly what the mexican museum has been doing for 40 years, and not just showing mexican arts, but the best of the best and what beauty can really -- and diversity and depth and richness. latino culture overall has -- i think the way that latinos are sometimes portrayed in television or in books, sometimes in the united states, they don't really portray latinos in that full way that we should be and have that more diverse view of our culture. >> we can be artists. we can be great. >> yes. >> tell us a little bit about the museum 'cause you're moving to a different location. well, you're building. >> exactly. i think that's what happens, you know, when your family starts to grow. you run out of room and you have to move somewhere bigger, and that's been the museum's goal for now 20 years, and it's finally happening, and i'm
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pretty young, but i see the love in the community's eyes and how excited they are for this move, and it makes me so proud, to use that word again, and it is such an exciting moment for the museum. we also are trying to pick up our outreach programs so that we can help teachers develop their curriculum and bring latino arts into the classroom and make sure that kids know the joys of rufino tamayo and gunther gerzso at an early age, and, you know, i was fortunate enough to see that. >> tell us about the director, 'cause he's been very influential in the hispanic community. >> sure. so, that's peter rodriguez, our founder, and i absolutely love that image of him. >> i love that picture. >> yeah. >> [ chuckles ] >> he is still painting at 89 years old, which is so incredible and we are so proud to be hosting an exhibition of his work opening on
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the 40th birthday of the museum. november 19th will be the grand opening of the exhibition, and peter has this very playful style where he will combine popular forms with a very abstract expressionist style. so you have these very traditional mexican themes in his work, but also presented in this completely new way. so that's sort of what the mexican museum tries to do overall with its mission. >> and can't wait to go again. now it's time for another break. next we'll talk about rolando bonilla's experiences -- i'm gonna put you on the spot -- in public service and as an entrepreneur when we return. ♪
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>> and welcome back to "beyond the headlines" with cheryl jennings. i'm lyanne melendez sitting in for cheryl as we celebrate hispanic heritage month with a round table discussion with local community leaders. in honor of hispanic heritage month, coca-cola released an ad to celebrate the many hispanic family names. i'm melendez. the ad has been playing extensively on social media and now it's getting criticism from some in the hispanic community who call the marketing campaign -- listen to this -- "hispandering." >> garcia's my family name, and there's a legacy and heritage that comes with a name. >> i love the name rodriguez. when i consider my name, i think of my father. >> coca-cola made this short film to highlight a few hispanic families and the pride they
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share towards their last names. then a bright red coca-cola truck comes into the neighborhood handing out coke cans, each one displaying a hispanic last name. >> yeah, we call it "hispandering." >> hispanic groups like the online blog latino rebels say coke goes too far, linking pride to a soft drink during hispanic heritage month. >> more and more, it's turning into some extended cinco de mayo marketing free-for-all, and, you know, people see through that. >> ha ha! reyes! >> these particular coke cans used only in this ad also come with a temporary tattoo to be displayed anywhere on the body. >> i think it's kind of stereotypical to put the neck tattoo type of thing. >> years ago, tattoos on the neck were associated with gang members. coca-cola based out of atlanta didn't address the controversy, but said...
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we went around san francisco's mission district asking people to watch the ad and give us their opinion. >> as a latina, you know, there is a lot of sense of pride like i saw in the commercial, and why not? >> an excuse, a ploy to exploit. >> at the tail end of the ad, the company has a link for you to order bottles of coke with any hispanic last name for $5 each. >> i almost bought the melendez one. >> i get it. >> i'm joined again by adriana lopez from the mexican museum, rolando bonilla of the public relations firm ford & bonilla, and stephanie bravo from strive for college. so, bad move? good move? >> i think, although not necessarily the right message, definitely a move in the right direction. we recall that recently the ads that portrayed our community were extremely negative, weren't in any way attempting to show us
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in a positive light. what this tells me is that folks understand that the latino community's a very important consumer, and whether folks want to accept it or not, a major fabric of our community. but at the more micro level, what it tells me is that in that marketing room, we didn't have latinos in the room... >> right. >> ...right, to have that discussion, and that's where you see the disparity. we're great consumers, we're great voter blocks when we do get organized, but when it comes to the decision-making component of things, that's where we really have to fight to get in through those doors. >> right. >> stephanie, that's what i wanted to ask you. don't they have consultants? >> they should. >> didn't hire me. [ laughter ] >> exactly -- didn't hire him. i would think they would because, i mean, that was kind of, you know, not really something i would want to do. i mean, i love my last name. i would wear it anywhere. >> on the neck? >> but, yeah, probably not on my neck. i know my cousin has a big tat on his back with our last name, but at the same time, it was just not representative of who we are as a community, and i think they should hire
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consultants that are hispanic that could speak to the community and can actually talk about these issues. >> let's move on, rolando, as somebody who is in the business of public relations and the importance of being part of the community, of doing public service. >> mm-hmm. i think for me, it's always been -- my career started in public service, evolved into business when i left public service, but everything i do is driven with the understanding of understanding where i come from, having a strong pulse in terms of not only my community, but it's important to say other communities. we expect communities to learn about us, to be a part of our fabric. equally, we have to do the same to become a part of a larger fabric where we don't lose our sense of identity, but we share a sense of identity or are equally receptive. for me, that's been tremendously advantageous because it allows for me to go into any setting, any socioeconomic group, whether it's a c.e.o. of a major publicly traded company or someone in the neighborhood like the one i grew up in,
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and i can connect just fine. but that's a competitive advantage. my children all speak spanish. they're 3, 2 and 2. i think my boys are speaking spanish or making spanish-sounding noises, but the understanding being, we have to stay competitive by being true to ourselves and receptive to everyone else's point of view, as well, to make us stronger as we move forward. >> i can't let you go before asking you this. the pope was in town... >> he was. >> ...as we all know. please, if you will, fill in the blanks. the pope was meaningful to hispanics in which way? each one of you. adriana. >> i think just going back to that sense of feeling like we are together and important in knowing that we're everywhere and seeing latinos rise up is incredible -- been incredible for me to watch. >> positive towards hispanics? >> yes, i would say so. >> okay. rolando? >> absolutely positive towards hispanics, positive from a leadership point of view, and positive from a faith, and understanding how important
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faith is. >> i would say absolutely positive, and he's also one of the most progressive popes of our time, so i think he's leading the charge and has a new kind of agenda. >> and i feel like people feel a lot more connected to him. >> yes. definitely. >> we speak the same language. >> yeah. and he also goes out on the streets and he washes homeless people's feet. i mean, it's just something that he's very proud of, of that service to the community. >> forgives us in two languages. not a bad deal. >> that's right. [ laughter ] okay, well, we're out of time. thank you very much for joining us. i had a great time. >> thank you. >> thank you all for being here today and back to you, cheryl. >> thank you, lyanne. for more information about today's special program, just go to our website, abc7news.com/community. we're also on facebook at abc7communityaffairs. and follow me on twitter -- cherylabc7. i'm cheryl jennings. have a great week. ♪
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breaking news right now in san francisco. a portion of market street is shut down after a muni bus struck and killed a bicyclist. good afternoon. let's get right to the breaking news. market street? san francisco, closed at sutter. investigators are looking into awe oh a muni bus crash killed the bicyclist. sergio, what is going on? >> reporter: at the moment invest

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