Thursday, March 28, 2013

Word is Bond

Word is bond has been advice I’ve received in different variations and meanings at various points in my life. Each time I’m reminded of this basic concept and practice, the concept continues to grow and develop. Not only that, but like anything else, my interpretation of what this means and how it’s to be practice continue to change, and grow.

At it’s current interpretation, word is bond has meant keeping things to myself and holding back immensely in numerous shapes and forms. Having unfiltered thoughts stream directly means that balance and control are aspects of myself that I’m continuously working on. But nonetheless, I’ve been caught up in moments where I find caution being thrown into the wind and I wont’ feel good with myself unless I say what I need to say, right or wrong.

It’s from those lessons that I’ve been learning balance and control in my words and intentions, which are extensions of deeper concepts and ideals that are continuously shifting as well. But if there’s one thing that will never change is that no matter what gibberish comes outta my mouth, I stand behind everything I say and do, wrong or right.

It can be taxing to remind myself of what spaces I’m in and how much of myself I can truly share, and thus far, there’s never been a place in which I can truly be myself. I’m realizing that it’s up to me to create that kind of space in which the amalgam that makes me can be truly comfortable.

No man is an island entire to himself. Each part s a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as a manor thine own or thine friends were. Each man diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What I Think About Immigration Reform

It was the aftermath that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals brought on that showed me what I already knew, but still needed to go through in order to fully grasp it. Along with compiling and submitting my application. The flood of questions individuals had about the application process about what paper work was required, would they be able to travel abroad, how much it was going to cost, what if they had a criminal record etc.

DACA reminded me of how things are outside of the organizing/social justice bubble. I’ve been in it for a few years now, and while it may only take a moment to dig up the feelings of the days before I was even aware of social justice, I see myself doing the same as others, just getting mine and not worrying about any else.

The different manifestations of barriers individuals face when applying became apparent. Whether it was language, meeting requirements, or even making sure you fit within the specific qualifications, it showed how desperate people can be when the opportunity to move forward presents itself.

Monday, March 11, 2013

LA to the Valley Unity Ride 2013

Continuing to build and foster relationships with groups and communities in the Southern California area, the 2013 LA to the Valley Unity ride aims to strengthen the bonds and ties between LA and San Fernando Valley.

Just as we have done in the last two rides with Orange County, this bike ride is intended to connect folks from different communities together through cycling. Seeing our cities from a different perspective and appreciating our diversity, making the ride a growing experience.

This year’s ride will be on Sunday April 28th at 9 am. It will start from the Los Angele Angeles Historic park and end at Tia Chuchas. The route will take us through the LA River bike trail and the San Fernando Valley.

Registration is $20 and it covers lunch, dinner, snacks, and bike mechanic support throughout the entire ride. If you would like to pay for registration online, send us an email at and we will send you the pay pal link.

If you do not have access to online payment, let us know in the space provided in the registration form and we will coordinate with each individual as they sign up.

You must register in order to participate in the ride. If you are under 18, email us so we can send you the form your parent/guardian will need to sign and bring the day of the ride.

Registration will close on April 17th. After that, there will be a three day grace period in which registration will go up to $25. If you do not register for the event by April 19th, you will not be allowed to participate in the ride and will not receive any kind of support or food.

As in previous years, we are also going to need the support of volunteers to make this event happen. If you are going to be available the day of the ride, please get in contact with us at

We are going to need volunteers in the following areas:

Ride Marshalls
Bike Mechanics
Setting up lunch
Setting up dinner

If you have any questions regarding the ride, participation or volunteering, contact us at UNITYRIDE2013@GMAIL.COM

Los Angeles Contact: Erick Huerta 323 638-9043 (text or call)
San Fernando Valley Contact: Salvador (818) 626-2271 (text or call)

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Personal Space

It's funny how as soon as I moved into my own apartment, a friend was bewildered as to why I didn't immediately write about it in this blog. I got a good laugh outta it. Not that it should be surprising, but folks that know me can set their clocks to some of my habits.

Initially, I wasn't gonna write about moving into my own apartment. I felt it was to obvious and predictable, but after talking to a few folks about the experience and transition, I felt compelled to share my thoughts now. It was talking it out with folks that I started seeing things from another angle that is unseen to me.

So the gist of it is that I have my own apartment. It comes with crazy loud neighbors who scream and get into fights at all hours of the night. Roaches that seem to come out of thin air and decor that could be suitable for a straight to DVD horror movie. But it's all mine. I'm no longer crashing on someones couch, sleeping on their floor, sharing a room with three or more individuals, over staying my welcome, taking quick showers, taking up space or any of the stuff I've experienced all these years.

Not to mention the fact that never in my life have I ever really had my own space. I've always shared it with family, friends or room mates. The fact that I'm the only person staying in the little room seems like a foreign concept at times, but it's a big step forward for me.

Through the stable job that I currently have, I'm able to be more independent that I've ever been in the past. And I'm truly enjoying the experience. For the last few days I've been going through my stuff and cleaning things out and rediscovering others. I finally have chance to hang all of the art work I've been keeping in storage for years.

At the same time though, I have countless friends who've supported me and helped me get where I am right now. At on point or another, they offered their couch, rooms and floor for me to crash on for days,  weeks and months. They've been there when it counted the most and because of that support, it makes my place that much more meaningful.

Even today, I had help running some errands and picking up a fridge from a second hand store. I guess when I stop to think about things and how much I've been able to grow in the last couple of years, I'm glad that I'm still moving forward and making progress. No matter how hard things get, as long as I can continue moving forward, everything will come into place sooner or later.