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[Upworthy] It's Hard To Imagine These Kids Behind Bars. Then Again, Maybe It's Not.
Sep 23, 2014 | Article

[Upworthy] It's Hard To Imagine These Kids Behind Bars. Then Again, Maybe It's Not.

What could be worth investing in more than education, the pathway that will help children realize their wildest dreams? Well, California has found something that's apparently way more valuable. And it tells a really depressing story about the type of future they see for millions of kids.
[The Washington Times] Health law enrollment now 7.3M
Sep 18, 2014 | Article

[The Washington Times] Health law enrollment now 7.3M

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration says 7.3 million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the health care law - down from 8 million reported earlier this year.
Hispanic Heritage Month: My Story
Sep 22, 2014 | Blog

Hispanic Heritage Month: My Story

I was born and raised in Mexico City, near the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, where I lived with my grandparents after I was born.  My parents divorced when I was a baby, and my mother began working long hours as a cook to support us.  Four years ...
[Bloomberg] U.S. Health System Among Least Efficient Before Obamacare
Sep 17, 2014 | Article

[Bloomberg] U.S. Health System Among Least Efficient Before Obamacare

The U.S. health-care system was among the least efficient in the developed world two years before major changes from Obamacare began to go into effect. America’s health-care system ranked 44th of 51 nations assessed by Bloomberg, in terms of per person spending, life expectancy and health-care cost as a percentage of the economy. It’s an improvement from 46th of 48 last year, yet Serbia, Turkey and China still scored better. Singapore, with the top ranking, spent $2,426 per person and had a life expectancy of 82.1 years in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available.
[Capitol Weekly] Medi-Cal: A dire situation for renewals
Sep 18, 2014 | Article

[Capitol Weekly] Medi-Cal: A dire situation for renewals

One of the most important bills awaiting Governor Brown’s signature is Senate Bill 18 (SB 18), which would provide the state with a total of $12 million—$6 million from The California Endowment and another $6 million in matching federal funds—to distribute to community-based organizations for Medi-Cal renewal assistance. It is imperative that Governor Brown sign this bill, because without it, thousands of low-income Californians may unexpectedly find themselves without health coverage. Why not continue the work California started with the ACA and ensure that everyone who is eligible have the opportunity to renew Medi-Cal coverage? The money being offered under SB 18 has no strings attached and the state will not incur administrative costs because it leverages the infrastructure set up during the first year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. During that time, the Department of Health Care Services accepted $53 million total from The California Endowment and matching federal funds to finance in-person enrollment assistance. This effort, in turn, resulted in nearly 2 million Californians enrolling in Medi-Cal.
[DetermiNation] 2014 Sisters & Brothers at the Capital
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[DetermiNation] 2014 Sisters & Brothers at the Capital

The Alliance for Boys & Men of Color converged hundreds of youth and young adults at the California State Capitol from August 4-7, 2014. This video documents the experience of the young men and women that participated in this delegation. The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color is a California-wide coalition committed to increasing and improving opportunities for success for the state’s boys and young men of color. The Alliance includes youth, community organizations, funders, and officials in areas such as education, public health, and law enforcement. The Alliance partners with the Select Committee to help achieve its Action Plan.
[Richmond Pulse] The Push to Register Young Voters
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Richmond Pulse] The Push to Register Young Voters

It’s no secret that one of the groups least likely to register, or vote, is the youth. Now, a local group is hoping to help change that trend. September 23 is National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide campaign coordinated with volunteers and organizations to educate and reach out to to voters, while guiding them step by step through the registration process and helping them find their voting location. In Richmond, one of the organizations helping to register voters on National Voter Registration Day is the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, a national nonprofit aimed at increasing civic involvement. “We do some advocacy work in that we encourage people to vote in ways that are most equitable and democratic,” said Kia Croom, President of the League of Women Voters West Contra Costa County. “The other part is our voters services in which we get people registered to vote.”
[Voicewaves] 10 Long Beach Youth Explain Why They’re Afraid Of Police
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Voicewaves] 10 Long Beach Youth Explain Why They’re Afraid Of Police

In the days after unarmed black teenager Mike Brown was shot at least six times and killed by police in Ferguson, Miss., thousands of people across the country rallied the streets questioning the militarization of police and the racial harassment of young black and brown people of color in America. While conversations around law enforcement practices have begun to change, one thing has stayed constant: fear. Guns, racial profiling and power—all were cited as reasons why Long Beach youth say they fear the police. VoiceWaves compiled their responses to the Ferguson crisis below.
[Voice of OC] Santa Ana Invites Input on Street Friendliness
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Voice of OC] Santa Ana Invites Input on Street Friendliness

Residents, business owners and others are being invited to help Santa Ana make its downtown streets more friendly for bicycles and walking. This week’s workshops, scheduled on three back-to-back days at the Garfield Community Center (501 N. Lacy Street, Santa Ana), are part of Santa Ana’s process to develop an overall plan for accommodating all types of travelers in the downtown area. The goal is to “create a more walkable, bikeable, and livable Downtown Santa Ana,” according to a city flyer on the workshops. The Santa Ana Downtown/Transit Zone Complete Streets Plan is expected to cover the city’s downtown and Civic Center areas, as well as surrounding parts of the city. The study area reaches from Flower Street east to Grand Avenue, and from Civic Center Drive south to First Street.
[Fresno Bee] Community groups discuss Fresno's blighted homes
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Fresno Bee] Community groups discuss Fresno's blighted homes

Community groups and Fresno State students and staff gathered Saturday in the Kirk Elementary cafeteria in southwest Fresno to discuss exactly what a blighted home is -- and how to fix what they call a serious problem in the city. Esther Delahay of Lowell Community Development Corp. explained to the crowd of over 100 people just how the city classifies a home as blighted. It's a boarded-up, vacant property that poses a public nuisance, which the city defines as cheapening the quality of life, standard of living and property values for neighbors. Delahay said that a property can be boarded up and not be a blight. Boarding up a property is fine, she said, so long as it is done properly and well-maintained. She added that city code specifies that properties can only be boarded up as a temporary solution. Janine Nkosi, a sociology professor at Fresno State, said that "temporary" is ambiguous and contributes to the problem. She called for a change in the city code that would specify exactly how long a property can be boarded up before the owner is held accountable. Kirk Elementary Vice Principal Denise Romero shared a story involving a student last week at the school, which has a blighted home for a next-door neighbor in the 2000 block of East Belgravia Avenue.
[Los Angeles Register] L.A. city attorney deploys a new kind of street justice
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Los Angeles Register] L.A. city attorney deploys a new kind of street justice

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced plans last week for a Neighborhood Justice Program that will allow low-level, first-time adult offenders to help the community they victimized instead of serving a traditional jail sentence. Pilot programs will start in the Valley, South Los Angeles and the Harbor area. “It’s really important for members of the community to see the tangible impact of the intervention of the justice system on their quality of life,” Feuer said. The program will roll out next month, and it will allow neighborhood volunteers to help shape the punishment of offenders. Offenders will appear before a panel of three volunteer community members, a mediator trained by the city attorney’s staff and a city attorney staff member. The group will discuss the crime and the harm it caused.
[Truthdig] For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From Racism
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Truthdig] For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From Racism

The events of this summer in Ferguson, Mo., highlighted an ugly truth to mainstream Americans: Black men in this country are viewed as so suspicious by law enforcement that they are often shot first and questioned later. It is a reality that black men have been living with in the United States since the very beginning. As of 2010, black American men had the shortest life expectancy of any demographic in the U.S. In their interactions with law enforcement African-Americans are three times more likely than whites to have their person or vehicle be searched, more than three times more likely to be handcuffed and almost three times more likely to be arrested. One in every 15 African-American men is incarcerated compared with one in every 106 white men. Fully one-third of all black men can expect to go to prison during their lifetime. In 2009-2010, black male students graduated at the rate of only 52 percent nationwide compared with 78 percent for white males.
[Monterey Herald] Ranking of Salinas in 'least educated city' list upsets many
Sep 18, 2014 | Article

[Monterey Herald] Ranking of Salinas in 'least educated city' list upsets many

Local education activists point out schools are doing a good job at educating students, but there are not enough resources for extra-help needed for the area's mostly low-income students."The challenge with supporting youth is that we don't even have the infrastructure to provide adequate after-school tutoring and mentoring," said Salazar, the former president of LULAC council 2055. "We don't have sufficient facilities, volunteers, nonprofit organizations, technology, training or funding to have a significant impact. It's just not there."
[Sacramento Bee] Viewpoints: More work to cement health reform gains
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Sacramento Bee] Viewpoints: More work to cement health reform gains

Stand up and pat yourself on the back, California. With key leadership from Gov. Jerry Brown, the Legislature and our communities, we have led the nation in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Enrolling 2 million Californians into Medi-Cal would not have happened without the dedication of our partners who helped open coverage to the previously uninsured, build pathways to prevention and lay the foundation for healthy communities around the state. But there’s still work to be done.
[Los Angeles Times] FOR WRITERS IN JUVENILE HALL, SENTENCES CAN BE LIBERATING
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Los Angeles Times] FOR WRITERS IN JUVENILE HALL, SENTENCES CAN BE LIBERATING

Eminem's "The Monster" ricocheted off the cinder-block walls and worn linoleum floor at Sylmar's Juvenile Hall. I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed Get along with the voices inside of my head You're trying to save me, stop holding your breath And you think I'm crazy, yeah, you think I'm crazy Ten teenagers, some of them awaiting trial on charges of murder, attempted rape or armed robbery, sat around a makeshift table in a hallway near the guard station, eyes closed, heads nodding to the beat. In the middle of the group, appearing scarcely older than the inmates and wearing a dark hoodie and canvas sneakers, Scott Budnick asked the young men to write about the lyrics that spoke to them. One had caught his eye.
[Fresno Bee] Council's vote reveals Fresno's racial problems
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Fresno Bee] Council's vote reveals Fresno's racial problems

The Fresno City Council vote to allow a chemical storage facility to be located in southwest Fresno is another example of the racial bias of our council. I am appalled at the four council members who showed no concern for the wishes of these people. For as long as I can remember, I have watched our city turn its back on this area of town. The people living in this community have had their property values decrease continually because of a systemic attitude that their community doesn't matter. Property values affect taxes, which fund schools. This is a blatant disregard for a whole community of Fresno and is obviously racially motivated. Yes, the people of southwest Fresno are mostly people of color. This area has been left out of the planning process altogether or has had businesses dumped there ( processing plants, used tire dumps, wrecked car parts, etc.) because they were not conducive to the plan for the whiter areas of the city.
[New York Times] A Chance to Go From Hard Lives to Healing
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[New York Times] A Chance to Go From Hard Lives to Healing

Like too many young men in his East Oakland neighborhood, 21-year-old Shaka Perdue spent the earlier part of his youth “living like I was becoming a statistic,” as he put it. At 16, he landed in juvenile hall after robbing a pedestrian in broad daylight. Two years later a friend was shot right in front of him in a drive-by. “In Oakland, you run into all the people you have problems with,” he explained. Perdue still hangs out in the neighborhood — but he now wears a stethoscope around his neck. He is one of 90 or so graduates of EMS Corps, a pioneering five-month program spearheaded by the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency that trains young men of color to be qualified emergency medical technicians. “You are the first person to approach the patients,” Perdue said of his future as an E.M.T. “The nurses and doctors get them after they’re stabilized in the field.”
[Riverside Press-Enterprise] Mission Readiness gives Boys & Girls Club a clean source of water
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Riverside Press-Enterprise] Mission Readiness gives Boys & Girls Club a clean source of water

A new hydration station was unveiled at the Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley last week to help provide fresh drinking water to approximately 200 club members every day. It is one of seven stations that have been installed throughout the region, to not only provide clean water, but reduce the number of plastic bottles sent to landfills. Community leaders and health officials from Pueblo Unido, the city of Coachella, the Regional Access Project Foundation and Mission: Readiness, teamed up to provide the new station.
[California Healthline] New ACA Rules, Forms Complicate and Confuse Medi-Cal Renewal Effort
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[California Healthline] New ACA Rules, Forms Complicate and Confuse Medi-Cal Renewal Effort

n a California Healthline report by Kelley Weiss, experts discussed the low return rate of Medi-Cal renewal forms, and the more-complicated requirements and sometimes-confusing language of the forms. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. County workers have been struggling with the huge backlog of Medi-Cal applications, and have not yet targeted trying to reach those millions of Medi-Cal enrollees who have not renewed. The report includes comments from: Cheryl Davis, the human services director in Placer County; Anastasia Dodson, the associate director for policy with the California Department of Health Care Services; Jennifer Flory, senior attorney with the Western Center on Law and Poverty; and Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (Weiss, California Healthline, 9/10/14)
[Los Angeles Times] Don't turn down a Medi-Cal gift, Gov. Brown
Sep 22, 2014 | Article

[Los Angeles Times] Don't turn down a Medi-Cal gift, Gov. Brown

The 2010 federal healthcare reform law let states expand Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor, largely at federal expense. California is one of 27 states that have taken up Washington's offer, and well over 1 million newly eligible residents signed up for coverage when the expansion went into effect this year. The response has strained the system, however, causing the backlog of enrollment applications at county offices to surge to 900,000 at one point before falling to about 350,000 this month. Adding to the workload, previous years' Medi-Cal enrollees are asking the same county offices for help in filling out the new, lengthy forms required to renew their benefits.
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