Que pasa? : PEOPLE AND EVENTS
* Anita Perez Ferguson, the first Latina to run for Congress from California, has taken a stand in support of abortion rights and a strong environmental position in her uphill campaign to unseat eight-term Rep. Robert Lagomarsino (R-Ventura). A former aide to state Sen. Gary Hart (D-Santa Barbara), Perez Ferguson says that her abortion rights position is supported by a majority in the district and has not caused a backlash in the Latino community. “The choices we need in order to plan and provide for our families include reproductive freedom,” said Perez Ferguson, who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Montebello. “When each family thinks about it in those terms, it becomes an issue Hispanics can relate to.”
* Natividad (Nati) Cano’s lifelong effort has been to bring dignity to the mariachi music he has loved and performed since the age of 6 in his native Ahuisculo, Jalisco, in Mexico. “I am trying to bring respect to the music” and to the musicians, who perform their repertoire from memory, said Cano, owner of La Fonda restaurant. Cano, 57, directs Mariachi Los Camperos and recently received a $5,000 National Heritage Fellowship, awarded to master folk artists and artisans. He has organized a mariachi festival as part of the Los Angeles Festival on Sept. 2, hoping more people will appreciate Mexico’s traditional songs.