Voices in My Head
My New America: Voices From Washington, D.C. to Southern California
My New America is the latest Palaciomagazine.com project with the Political Science classes of Professor Som Chounlamountry at California State University, Long Beach. This is the third partnership with the Professor and his students.
In My New America, we’re interested in discovering the many voices that are anxious to be heard during a tumultuous time. My New America is setting out to explore how the new policies coming out of the President Donald Trump administration in the White House and the Republican Congress will impact us here in southern California. My New America begins with the premise that deep changes are coming to the America we’ve seen for the past eight years.
Seventeen students have joined the three-month long project. They’ve been divided into four teams:
- Team A: Affordable Care Act
- Team B: Immigration
- Team C: economy and Jobs
- The Podcast
The My New America Mission
The first three teams in My New America are being challenged to identify at least one policy coming out of Washington and to track it all the way back here. We want to know how that policy is going to impact everyone from local elected officials to institutions, organizations, and you.
Equally important is our curiosity over how those same people and institutions will respond. We’ve already seen some of it in demonstrations against the now defunct Muslim Travel Ban as well as the increased efforts to apprehend and deport undocumented individuals. It was also evident in the town hall meetings during the congressional recess.
Voters are anxious about the chaotic noise coming from Washington, D.C. The promises of jobs, an improved economy and increased homeland security are being pitched against a backdrop of intended cuts to domestic programs, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and reduced regulatory oversight.
Add to that anxiety talk of cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security and you have a very nervous electorate; one that is prepared to do more than demonstrate. #Resistance is being replaced by the need to #Organize educational workshops and forums, register voters, write your Congressional representative, and getting out the vote in 2018 and 2020.
The My New America project team members are going to reach out to affected people and document those stories through their voices. The final results will be text stories on PalacioMagazine.com after the project ends at the end of April.
The fourth team will take all those recorded video/audio stories and compile them into a series of hosted Podcasts to begin airing in May on PalacioMagazine.com.
Stay tuned for more updates.
My New America Team Members
MY NEW AMERICA TEAM A: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Isidro Morales is Team Leader and a senior at Cal State Long Beach majoring in political science. He’s originally from San Diego and hopes to move back after grad school. Morales plans on becoming a history teacher, but he’s still open to the idea of working in media. He began his education career studying broadcast journalism and has interned for news organizations. Morales would like to explore the production side of journalism and mainly focus on storytelling.
Victoria Duffy is a Political Science and English literature major at CSULB. She hopes to continue her education to a law degrees and practice insurance law. Duffy aspires to one run for office and in order to make our country a safer, more accepting place to live.
Nathen Cruz is a political science major. His goals are to serve as an elected official in the long term and work in policy analysis in the short term. The My New America project is his opportunity to better understand the people he will one day serve in office. Simultaneously, it allows him the opportunity to how policy affects everyday people. On a more personal level, this project will allow him to connect to his Hispanic roots and learn more about that part of himself.
Brianna Meloche is a junior at CSULB majoring in Political Science. She hopes to continue on to her Masters. In the future, she sees herself working on campaigns and potentially holding office. Meloche wants to use her influence and knowledge to elect more women and minorities into office and fight for people who don’t have a voice.
David Garibay hopes to graduate college with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. After college, he intends continue onto law school. Garibay wants to help the poor who cannot afford proper representation and been have been wrongfully convicted. Another goal is to become a businessman to generate the money that he can use to support his social justice efforts.
MY NEW AMERICA TEAM B: IMMIGRATION
Ivan Hernandez is Team Leader and a senior majoring in Political Science at CSULB. A first-generation college student, he’s the first person in his family to attend college. His parents and mentors in school are the reason he’s pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a career in politics.
Cintia Martinez is a Junior at CSULB. She’s am currently pursuing a degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Law, Politics, and Policy. In her spare time, she loves to read and tutor students at her local high school.
Adam Greene is also a Junior at CSULB. His greatest passion in life is educating others and empowering his community through access to better information. Greene is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Political Science with the goal to earn a Master’s degree. He looks forward to the day that he can represent the best interests of his community members and fight for them in the highest levels of government.
Misael Molina is a senior at CSULB studying political science. He has an interest in working in campaigns and possibly law school. Molina’s family is from El Salvador and he’s currently work at Bank of America.
Marlon Martinez is a 3rd year transfer at CSULB and proud to be a first generation Mexican-American student. A Communication Studies student, his goal is to be a comedy writer and work for Conan O’Brien.
MY NEW AMERICA TEAM C: ECONOMY AND JOBS
Team C leader Peter Duran is a senior at CSULB. Born and raised in Long Beach, he’s interested in political science and how it affects people. Duran has changed his major a few times but found that political science feels more real and personal than other majors that he’s tried. He’s interested in working with the magazine and a group of people to help the community.
Lisbet Gomez is a twenty-three year old Chicanx from Los Angeles and a senior at CSULB majoring in Political Science. After graduation, she plans on travelling and teaching throughout various regions in Latin America. While travelling, she hopes to learn more about herself and her culture. Then, it’s off to a journey that is law school.
Erik Oehrstroem, a senior at CSULB, is double-majoring in Journalism and Political science with a concentration on global politics. Learning and gaining insight about other cultures became a great interest of his when he completed the International Baccalaureate Program back home in Stockholm, Sweden. It taught him that there are other nations in the world in much greater need for socio-economic development. That’s why he wanted to go abroad and study journalism in the U.S. Addressing the concerns of different local ethnic groups in the diverse society of Long Beach and investigating how government policy affects the infrastructure of the city has been an exciting topic for him to write about since transferring to CSULB. In the future, Oehrstroem hopes to be able to continue advocating for marginalized groups.
Alexia Porron is a senior in CSULB majoring in Political Science and minoring in Sociology. Her career aspiration is becoming a lawyer with a focus of Civil Rights or Public Law. She enjoys reading and loves to travel to capture the world of others and understand their experiences and customs.
Kristine is currently a Senior at CSULB majoring in Political Science. She plan sto go on to law school and pursue a career in Family law to help with families in difficult times. She’s a first generation Chicanx and the first in her family to receive a college degree. Having grown up in Southern California her entire life, Guerrero always been fascinated with multicultural elements and how they play out in our communities.
MY NEW AMERICA: TEAM PODCAST
Mark Morettini is a graduating senior at CSULB from the Political Science Department. He is also the creator and co-host of the Divided We Fall podcast. Morettini’s life goal is to make a drastic change in American politics by getting elected to Congress to, as he describes it, “restoring the power to the citizens of America.” In the meantime, his current goal is to create unity in America through his podcast.
Kyari Cail is also a graduating senior at CSULB majoring in political science with a minor in communication studies. She’s also employed in the Educational Opportunity Program on campus as Student Assistant/Student Coordinator. Cail plans to attend graduate school in a Higher Ed program, then law school. Lastly, outside of school, she spends her time as a YouTuber.