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Award-winning journalist covering politics, gender, race, activism, and more. Puertorriqueña.

Can a century-old colonial crisis be solved before a once-in-a-generation opportunity passes the island by?

Illustration: Clay Rodery for GEN

Gabriela Medina was around 10 years old when she first learned in school that the United States’ president was her president, too. The Congress she’d heard about? The one that met thousands of miles away across the ocean? Well, they made laws that applied to her as well, laws that often superseded the ones enacted by leaders at home in Puerto Rico.

But what really stuck with Gabriela was something so fundamentally unfair, so mind-blowingly unjust, it began shaping her political identity. As a Puerto Rican living in the archipelago, she would never be able to choose who represented her…


The PRO Act would help workers who want to form a union

A rally in downtown Los Angeles to support unionizing Alabama Amazon workers. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

For the past few decades, unions have been under attack. Thanks in large part to laws that undermine labor organizations and make it hard for workers to organize, unions have suffered steep membership declines (just 10% of Americans now belong to one). As a result, wages have stagnated for union and non-union members alike, and the income inequality gap has widened. That’s not to say interest has totally waned: Nearly half of Americans would like to be part of a union and have a voice on issues such as job security, benefits, and compensation.

Enter the Protecting the Right to…


The conspiracy theory has gained followers among state and local governments nationwide

Illustration: Rob Dobi for GEN

Life in the small coastal town of Sequim, Washington, was upended last summer when Mayor William Armacost loudly and unapologetically promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory on a local radio broadcast. Six months later, in the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol insurrection, Armacost denied he “endorsed” QAnon. And yet, he had called it a “truth movement” and shared posts related to the conspiracy theory on social media. …


Here’s how Nsé Ufot and the New Georgia Project are fighting the state GOPs’ latest attempt to suppress Black and Brown voters

Photo illustration: Julia Moburg/Medium. Source: Getty Images

Following Democrats’ stunning victories in Georgia in November and again in the January U.S. Senate runoffs, the Peach State has once again become ground zero for Republican voter suppression efforts. The latest iteration of their fight to shrink the vote is House Bill 531, which passed Monday in the Republican-controlled Georgia House of Representatives. The legislation adds new restrictions to in-person and absentee voting, including adding new ID requirements and limiting the early voting period that was so crucial to Democrats’ recent successes. The bill now heads to the GOP-controlled Georgia Senate, where an identical measure was introduced last month…


Illustration courtesy of WNYC Studios and Futuro Studios.

Soon after I moved to New York City in 2014, I discovered an exhausting truth: To be a Puerto Rican living stateside is to be a walking explanatory comma. So almost daily I’ll need to clarify or contextualize a comment for a well-assuming but ignorant non-boricua.

It might go like, “The first presidential election I voted in was 2016 — explanatory comma — because people in the island can’t vote in federal elections.” Or, “Yes, I’ve been fully bilingual since I was a kid — explanatory comma — because Puerto Rican schools are required to teach English due to our…


The opposition to the nominations of Deb Haaland and Xavier Becerra follows a familiar trend on the right

Rep. Debra Haaland testifies during her confirmation hearing. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Pool/Getty Images

This week, as the U.S. Senate began the nomination hearings for President Biden’s Cabinet nominees, I saw a familiar pattern develop. Regardless of their actual record and without even having a chance to discuss it, nominees of color, such as Deb Haaland, Neera Tanden, and Xavier Becerra, have been painted as “famously partisan” people with “radical” ideas.

This is not the first time I’ve noticed such a trend. At the height of the 2020 election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s name was frequently invoked as a foe in ads for Republican candidates in races across the country, an obvious boogeywoman the GOP…


It’s time to rethink how much power these platforms have given to lawmakers and government agencies

Image by Taylor Le for GEN.

If you feel like our leaders are too online, you are not alone. Some of the biggest, most important government announcements these days are released via social media; lawmakers who’ve trolled their way to power can’t stop spreading disinformation online even after assuming office; and the art of the politician clapback tends to dominate the headlines above and beyond actual public policy. That’s without even talking about how the former president and his enablers incited an insurrection by steadily cultivating a cult of online disinformation.

Jennifer Grygiel, a social media expert and assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University, has…


White political journalists distanced themselves from the horrors of the Trump administration in a way many of us couldn’t

Donald and Melania Trump board Air Force One on January 20. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

The parasitic relationship between a certain class of political journalists and the Trump administration was the worst-kept secret in Washington. For over four years, previously obscure reporters leveraged their access to a media-hungry White House to land cushy analyst gigs in cable news, six-figure book deals, and public adoration. Above all, however, this class of reporters loved the thrill of being at the heart of the biggest story in generations.

A few weeks into a new administration, people like Yahoo! News national correspondent Alexander Nazaryan are already mourning the departure of the White House’s previous occupant. “I use that word…


It was just a matter of time before a subset of the men in the online left turned on the progressive movement’s most visible woman

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaigns on June 23, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t owe anyone her story, and yet she talked on an Instagram Live on Monday about her experience as a sexual assault survivor, explaining how the trauma resurfaced during the U.S. Capitol insurrection. Her honesty and vulnerability when discussing her own trauma and how she feared for her life resonated with colleagues and constituents alike — unless you belong to a mostly male-dominated subsection of the online left.

To certain leftists, Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram Live was evidence that she’s in fact a “sociopathic imperialist politician” with “shitty politics,” someone who had just given a “masterclass in emotional manipulation”…

Andrea González-Ramírez

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