J.T. Salutes You,

Digang Yuzhuang,
Digang Village, 南浔区 Huzhou, Zhejiang, China

At more than 5,500 miles from home, with fervor in my veins pushing as ever before to unlock the best of myself for the rest of the world to know.

Let’s make it happen, Los Angeles. From Huzhou to Shanghai, let’s give these Cuentos what they need, something more to believe in.

J.T.

Our 1st Newsletter is now LIVE. Did you get it?

Enter the Newsletter; October 18th, 2019

They say it’s better late than never, and we’re big fans of that mantra. So don’t worry if you’re not subscribed yet, but SIGN UP now to receive your copy of a very special announcement by yours truly! I assure you’re gonna enjoy it, Los Angeles.

J.T.

Picking Life Back up in East Hollywood, Rising Once Again

KL for Who Is Your Neighborhood, LACC; October 12, 2019

Arriving to the Los Angeles City College campus this past weekend was no simple task after a range of emotions in the wake of another tragic loss for the Virgil Village community, this one even closer to home.

But as our communities have done for generations atop the barren concrete of Los Angeles, we pulled our spirits up from within to will one foot in front of the other, and to travail through just enough distance to reach the college’s brilliant quad.

What we saw then was nothing less than reaffirming of this mission. Underneath a quilt of loving daylight the quad bustled with life, filled by people from all over Los Angeles and throughout the world who like us, were also seeking to make the most of their time in the environment around them as they made their way to our table, and to the next, and on, it all rushed back into clarity again:

Despite a world that will continue turning with or without our efforts, we’ve got to continue pushing for stronger communities in our neighborhood, for better youth and education programs here, for holistic support of the most vulnerable among us instead of their out-casting, and more. Because the future yearns for it. Because we want that future. And because we know we deserve the opportunity to create it for ourselves as much as anyone else.

J.T.

Virgil Village Loses Anthony ‘Lil Sleepy’ Ruiz

Anthony Ruiz, a 28 year old disabled man, was a life-long member of the Virgil Village community in the East Hollywood area of Los Angeles. On the evening of October 8th, 2019, shortly after 6:00 PM, Anthony was shot four times at the intersection of Virgil Avenue and Lockwood Street. He was rushed to the hospital, where hours later he was pronounced dead. For fellow locals in the area, Anthony was an unmistakable figure who crisscrossed the local side-walks in his wheelchair.

Also characterizing Anthony was a child-like smile that came over his face when laughing in the company of his homies. Anthony became disabled over 15 years ago during his early teen years, when another shooting permanently severed his spine. He was still at Thomas Starr King Middle School when he lost the ability to walk and would also go on to attend John Marshall High School before dropping out in the mid-2000s. He is survived by his Godfather Vic, as well as friends and family throughout the neighborhood now grieving his loss. If you would like to support memorial services for Anthony, you can do so at his GoFundMe page.

J.T.