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Morning Briefing: The Radio DJ Reaching California’s Farmworkers

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Maria, an undocumented strawberry picker, looks over a field of strawberries growing in Oxnard, Ca. (Chava Sanchez/Laist)
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Since the lockdown began, farmworkers in the Central Valley are among those who don’t have the option of staying home and sheltering in place. Instead, they’ve been in the fields daily, and are largely responsible for the surrounding areas having fresh food to eat.

Pepe Reyes, a radio DJ in Bakersfield whose show reaches many such communities, is committed to making sure his listeners receive the critical information they need to stay safe and healthy. Speaking to LAist’s Erick Galindo, Reyes said that he’s been using his platform to communicate updates about masks, social distancing and closures.

And it’s helping.

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“I think [it’s] one of the reasons our death rates have been relatively low,” Reyes said, “considering how a large part of our people have been out there working this whole time.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Money Matters: California gained about 140,000 jobs in July and its unemployment rate fell to 13.3%, although the state is slowing down compared with gains made earlier this summer. L.A. County taxpayers are on the hook for another $1.35 million dollars to settle legal complaints about a recent campaign to fund a homelessness measure.

L.A. Kids: If the USDA doesn't renew a waiver from spring, schools may have to change up how they hand out free meals to students.

Bong Row: A downtown L.A. fire and explosion has resulted in more than 300 criminal charges against the owner of the buildings on “Bong Row.”

First Person: A Bakersfield radio DJ has become a hero to the farm workers’ community during the pandemic. Contributor Yoán Moreno explores the contrast between race relations in L.A. and Miami.

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Weekend Reads

There's a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard enough to keep up with our day-to-day lives without also trying to stay current on the news. But if you have some time this weekend, these articles provide some much-needed insight into the current moment in L.A., as well as some news you may have missed:

Graffiti artists in Highland Park are reclaiming the area from gentrifiers. (LA Taco)

The granddaughter of a member of the lowrider community photographs summer cruises in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights. (Boyle Heights Beat)

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“For the Love of LA” is The Music Center’s newly launched online gallery for local artists to show their love of the city. (The Eastsider)

Emada Tingrides, the newly appointed chief of LAPD’s expanded Community Safety Partnership, sat down for an interview. (LA Wave Publications)

Distance learning has proven challenging for many students – including the nearly 18,000 unhoused children enrolled at LAUSD. (San Fernando Sun)

A girl under the age of 18 who had underlying health conditions has died of coronavirus in Orange County – where many schools have successfully petitioned to reopen. (Deadline)

Compton residents asking for sidewalk repairs say they’re being ignored by city officials. (2 Urban Girls)

The city of San Gabriel will create a new commission focused on social justice, racial justice, diversity and equity. (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)


Photo Of The Day

A mariachi band performs during a protest to cancel rent and avoid evictions.

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(Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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