Gentle cabrones:

No big surprise: I’m a shameless self-promoter.

Well, I’m going to be extra-shameless self-promoter this week.

So instead of my usual newsletter ruminations, I’m asking ustedes for a favor.

This Tuesday, unless the world ends before then, is the debut of my first-ever podcast for the Los Angeles Times: “The Battle of 187.”

The subject? Proposition 187, a ballot initiative in 1994 that sought to declare war on illegal immigrants but ended up turning California into an progressive paradise.

So can ustedes please subscribe to “The Battle of 187” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher NOW? Like, NOW? No, I mean it.


Because without Proposition 187, you wouldn’t be reading me today.


The mailer that started it all — details to come…

First time reading this newsletter? Subscribe here for more merriment! Buy me a Paypal taco here. Venmo: @gustavo-arellano-oc Feedback, thoughts, commentary, rants? Send them to

The 25th anniversary of Proposition 187 is going to get HUGE play in the Southern California media. Already, I know rivals are planning their own articles, roundtables, documentaries, segments and the like.

None of them will be like mine — unless they reference to Brujería AND El Torito, that is.

I’m not going to reveal TOO much right here, except again: Subscribe NOW on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

But I can tell you what to expect:

*A one-hour podcast (broken up into three 20-minute episodes) that will also air on Latino USA beginning November 1st, because it was a co-production with Futuro Studios, which makes Latino USA.
*A long historical on how 187 turned me into the person I am today — but years after it passed instead of in real-time.
*A couple of more print stories that I won’t disclose right now
*Television and radio appearances.

And who knows what else? Here’s the LA Times landing page for all my Prop. 187 work.

I’m proud as hell of what myselfand executive producers Marlon Bishop and Abbie Fentress Swanson created, but do me a favor: don’t let this podcast be the Lisa Lionheart of podcasts.

Don’t know what I mean? You’re obviously not a Simpsons fan.

Long story short: Malibu Stacy’s founder creates a doll with Lisa’s help that’s not sexist. It flops. Finally, one girl buys it, and that makes Lisa happy, and then the founder mutters under her breath that she basically lost un chingo on it.

Don’t let this podcast be the Lisa Lionheart of podcasts. Subscribe to “The Battle of 187” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher NOW.

And, yes: I trust in myself, and have achieved most anything I’ve ever desired. But that doesn’t get people to listen, you know? And if you don’t?

Gustavo GIF courtesy of my genius colleague, Mark Potts. I’m Thrillho to his Bart!

One last time: Subscribe to “The Battle of 187” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher NOW.


This is the feature where I take your questions about ANYTHING. And away we go…

I teach at a small private high school. Most of the students are white, but we have a large (30%?) portion who are LatinX. Most of them come from public schools where they excelled and were given scholarships to our school (and other private schools). They are welcomed, loved (We have a very loving school), but I know it’s hard for them to be around some students who have a lot of money or students who may be middle class but have lived a white-privilege existence. There is no animosity at our school (I’m getting to the question), they are not suffering racist attitudes. They make friends across groups and grades, although their tight friendships are with each other. SO my question is, what is one thing that I, as a teacher, can do to make sure they feel seen? My classes are small and I “see” all my students. But I want to acknowledge their reality without making a big deal out of it – as opposed to pretending they are just the same as the others. If you were a kid in this situation, what would you hope a teacher would do or say or ……?

I’m not seeing a problem here if you described the school accurately. If everything is so loving, where’s the problem? That said, high schoolers never disclose everything, so I’d privately check in with the Latino students. Maybe they’re fine; maybe they’re suffering. If the latter, ask them what they need and follow through. DON’T make a public spectacle if none is need — if there’s one thing I remember about high school, it’s that no one likes to see preferential treatment of others. Did I say high school? I meant LYFE.

Got a question for Guti? Email me here.


Enough rambling. This was the semana that was:

IMAGE OF THE WEEK: My parent’s dog, Canelo, always loves to stand on the table in their backyard. I’m mad at him, though; he stole my burritos again!

READING: “Jitterbugging with Jim Crow”: The essay became a bit too solipsistic toward the end, and its critiques of appropriating gabachos could’ve been better stated with more ’90s example instead of the usual white-guilt claptrap in this genre of journalism. Still: Great history, storytelling, and characters.

LISTENING: La Rama,” Conjunto Medellin de Lino Chavez. This son jarocho Navidad standard is not just probably the most beautiful Christmas song of them all, but one of the most beautiful songs you’ll EVER hear: Earnest, joyous lyrics, gorgeous vocals, and the twinkling #respect to the Infant Jesus via the harp, jarana, and requinto. I’m playing it today not because I necessarily love Christmas, but as a preview of yet ANOTHER project I took part in that just got released— details to come…

Gustavo in the News

New restaurants show meat-free Mexican is not a carne sin”: I get quoted in an Associated Press story about the rise of Vegan-Mex.

Los Angeles Times New Podcast Begins with Look at History of Controversial Proposition 187”: Some promotion for my Prop. 187 podcast.

Comida vegana mexicana gana popularidad en Estados Unidos”: The AP story via Telemundo.

Estos son algunos de los mejores lugares de California donde puedes disfrutar un delicioso taco”: Univisión plugs my Eater road trip story from last year on Mexican food along California’s Highway 99.

Favorite Restaurant? Kalyn Heffernan Votes for El Toro!”: Denver’s alt-weekly, Westword, mentions me almost as much as my former paper!

Vegan Mexican Restaurants Are Popping Up All Over And They’re Facing Serious Backlash”: Mitú weighs in on the AP Vegan-Mex story, quotes me.

Open and shut: L.A.-based Sage Vegan Bistro is headed for Agoura Hills”: Ventura County Star gives one final plug to my KCRW #TortillaTournament

Futuro Studios and Los Angeles Times to Premiere ‘The Battle of 187’ Podcast on Anti-Immigrant Proposition”: Latino Rebels plugs my upcoming 187 podcast.

Gustavo Stories

OC makes a big push to refocus mental health treatment”: My latest KCRW “Orange County Line” talks about the county’s first-ever mental health clinic that anyone can use!

You made it this far down? Gracias! Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram while you’re down here. Buy me a Paypal taco here. Venmo: @gustavo-arellano-oc. And don’t forget to forward this newsletter to your compadres y comadres!