Meaningful moments of 2013

2013 was a complex year that started with high expectations for Barack Obama’s second term as president and ends with a debate on domestic espionage and national security. Along the way, many events impacted Americans’ lives.

These are some of the events over the last 12 months that were particularly meaningful for our readers.

New L.A. Mayor: The Hispanic electorate—in a low overall turnout—threw its support behind Eric Garcetti. The new mayor is acknowledging that support with his emphasis on quality of life, as well as by defending the interests of consumers of the Department of Water and Power (DWP).

Licenses in California: After many attempts, this year was the year that a law was signed that will soon allow the undocumented to obtain drivers licenses. Governor Brown also signed the TRUST Act to control implementation of the Secure Communities program.

Congressional gridlock: A major frustration was the stagnation of immigration reform that remained frozen amid differences on the Republican side of the aisle. As a result, this legislative session was one of the least productive in memory.

Deportations: In 2013 the number of deportations fell with respect to 2012, but the separation of loved ones continued to be the primary concern of the immigrant community given the still high level of repatriations.

Obamacare: While the botched launch of the healthcare reform dominated news in Washington, across the country millions of people obtained new protections with respect to insurance companies. Latinos— the group with the highest percentage without health coverage—are the plan’s main beneficiaries.

An imbalanced economy: Jobs were created, and the stock market broke records, but debate focused on a growing income gap that has continued to widen in an uneven economic recovery, especially for minorities.