East L.A., the cradle of Mexican American culture, seeks greater independence

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By Daniel Trotta EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Reuters) – East Los Angeles is home to Mexican American success stories from boxer Oscar De La Hoya to rock stars Los Lobos to the overachieving calculus students depicted in the 1988 film “Stand and Deliver.” Yet for all its fame and vibrancy, the almost entirely Latino community of 120,000 people suffers from an identity crisis, if not a political one. The 7.4-square-mile (19-square-km) area is not its own city nor part of the city of Los Angeles but rather an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. Now a group of community leaders hopes to exert…

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