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From Fresno to Greenlining
Mar 02, 2015 |

From Fresno to Greenlining

Earlier this month, Juan Reynoso wrote about the Health Equity Fellows and the journey we’ve embarked on together. To help this all make a little more sense, we’re each going to tell you a bit about ourselves and what landed us here. My story begins in...
Our kids have a right to safe water
Mar 02, 2015 |

Our kids have a right to safe water

Hi lovely people, Jamie here. As you guys might know, part of my foundation is based out in California and we’ve recently teamed up with a wonderful institution, The California Endowment, who are doing great work promoting better health in the...
[Sacramento Bee] Op-Ed: CEO-worker pay disparity matters
Feb 27, 2015 |

[Sacramento Bee] Op-Ed: CEO-worker pay disparity matters

The American Enterprise Institute and Employment Policies Institute challenge our ads to boost the minimum wage (“Ad campaign to boost minimum wage relies on some fuzzy math,” Viewpoints, Feb. 25). We stand by our ad that contrasts the pay of a typical CEO with a minimum-wage worker. There are many studies that estimate CEO pay. We used estimates from a study done by the Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm, which was widely distributed and cited this past year. Their estimates also fell in the middle of the studies we reviewed. For example, Bloomberg Business reported on a study from Demos, a public policy organization, which puts the gap between fast-food CEOs and their frontline workers at more than 1,200 to 1. The article states that “fast-food CEOs are some of the highest-paid executives in America, with an average compensation of $26.7 million in 2012. Fast-food workers are the lowest-paid. Their average hourly wage is $9.09.” Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article11255807.html#storylink=cpy
[Boyle Heights Beat] More LAUSD high schools serve breakfast in the classroom
Feb 23, 2015 |

[Boyle Heights Beat] More LAUSD high schools serve breakfast in the classroom

It’s second period at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet in Boyle Heights and the sound of squeaky wheels coming down the hallway interrupts the students working frantically on the school yearbook.A student worker walks in with a small steel cart and lifts a blue bag to reveal cereal boxes, milk cartons and granola bars. Most students push back their chairs and head toward the front of the class to pick up their breakfasts. Throughout Los Angeles Unified School District, this new program, Breakfast in the Classroom, provides food for children in their classrooms between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The menu changes daily, and students eat at desks that were previously used strictly for schoolwork.
[New York Times] Keep Out of Jail Those Who Don’t Need to Be Locked Up
Feb 26, 2015 |

[New York Times] Keep Out of Jail Those Who Don’t Need to Be Locked Up

Jail is where over-incarceration begins. Millions of people in jail today simply don’t need to be there, and the devastating costs and consequences fall disproportionately on low-income people and communities of color. This country’s reliance on jails has grown sharply; jail populations have more than tripled since the 1980s. There are now nearly 12 million admissions to local jails annually — almost 20 times the number of admissions to state and federal prisons.
[Los Angeles Times] Prop. 47 report finds fewer drug arrests, less crowding in jails
Feb 26, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] Prop. 47 report finds fewer drug arrests, less crowding in jails

Less than four months after California voters approved Proposition 47, the landmark law is already having significant effects on Los Angeles County's criminal justice system. A new report by the county chief executive office attempts to measure the effects of the law, which downgrades some drug and theft felonies to misdemeanors, though officials said it's still far too early to draw final conclusions.
[The White House Blog] Giving Every Young Person a Path to Reach Their Potential
Feb 26, 2015 |

[The White House Blog] Giving Every Young Person a Path to Reach Their Potential

Our nation’s most basic duty is to ensure that every child has the chance to fulfill his or her potential. This isn’t the responsibility of one individual or one neighborhood: it’s up to all of us to pave these paths of opportunity so that young people — regardless of where they grow up — can get ahead in life and achieve their dreams. That’s why My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) is such an important initiative. Launched by President Obama last year, MBK brings communities together to ensure that all youth — including boys and young men of color — can overcome barriers to success and improve their lives. I got to see this work up close during a recent trip to Oakland, California. I joined Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Council President Lynette McElhaney, and other stakeholders for a conversation about efforts that are making a difference in the lives of local youth.
[Fresno Bee] New Fresno social media campaign calls for ‘no more slumlords’
Feb 26, 2015 |

[Fresno Bee] New Fresno social media campaign calls for ‘no more slumlords’

A group of Fresno volunteers is targeting young people with a new social media campaign to improve the living standards of low-income properties around the city. No More Slumlords, an advocacy group with a core team of 12 volunteers (mostly young professionals), has worked for the past three years on the campaign called, “Reclaim Fresno.” It started Tuesday with the launch of an 8-minute video and online petition urging city officials to help improve subpar properties. Wednesday night, they held a launch party at Peeve’s Public House.
[Reuters] U.S. government says 8.84 million people signed on for 2015 Obamacare plans
Feb 26, 2015 |

[Reuters] U.S. government says 8.84 million people signed on for 2015 Obamacare plans

(Reuters) - Some 8.84 million people selected or were automatically enrolled as of Feb. 22 in an individual health insurance plan on the HealthCare.gov website created under the national healthcare reform law, the U.S. government health agency said on Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services extended enrollment for people who had tried to buy an insurance plan on or before Feb. 15 but were unable to because of customer lines at the call center or technical issues. Some 40,714 people picked a plan after enrollment closed on Feb. 15. HealthCare.gov, created under the healthcare reform law often called Obamacare, sells plans in 37 states. The other states and Washington D.C. operate their own online exchanges.
[The Pew Charitable Trusts] Immigration Changes Wouldn't Solve Health Issues
Feb 26, 2015 |

[The Pew Charitable Trusts] Immigration Changes Wouldn't Solve Health Issues

President Barack Obama’s controversial executive action on immigration has highlighted a thorny health care issue for states: Potentially millions of immigrants could legally stay here and work, but still lack health insurance. Unauthorized immigrants have limited access to health care coverage, and the president’s action likely will make them ineligible for most Medicaid services and bar them from purchasing insurance on the federal and state exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Some states have sought to solve the problem for low-income immigrants with separate state-funded insurance programs. Those that have not are wrestling with the consequences of a population that is going without routine care, which can drive up costs when preventable illnesses become serious health emergencies. Treating kidney disease as an emergency condition, for instance, costs almost five times what it would with routine care denied to unauthorized immigrants, according to a Baylor College of Medicine study published by the Texas Medical Association last year.
[EdSource] Report reveals national ‘discipline gap’
Feb 26, 2015 |

[EdSource] Report reveals national ‘discipline gap’

A study of national suspension rates shows a “discipline gap,” with African-American and disabled students having the highest rates and Asian and white students the lowest. Altogether, 3.5 million public school students were suspended from school at least once in 2011-12. “Given that the average suspension is conservatively put at 3.5 days, we estimate that U.S. public school children lost nearly 18 million days of instruction in just one school year because of exclusionary discipline,” according to the study, Are We Closing the School Discipline Gap?, by The Civil Rights Project at UCLA. Out-of-school suspensions, the authors say, exacerbate the achievement gap. They point to a 2014 study by Attendance Works that found that missing three days of school in the month before taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress test translated into 4th-graders scoring a full grade level lower in reading on the test. The UCLA study found a suspension rate for middle and high school students of 23.2 percent for African-American students and 18.1 percent for students with physical and mental disabilities. That compares with 6.7 percent for white students and 2.5 percent for Asian students. Latino students had a suspension rate of 10.8 percent.
[California Healthline] Report: California Uninsured Rate Fell by as Much as 40% Under ACA
Feb 26, 2015 |

[California Healthline] Report: California Uninsured Rate Fell by as Much as 40% Under ACA

California's uninsured rate fell by as much as 40% in 2014, in large part because of expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a fact sheet by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Payers & Providers reports.
Statement from The California Endowment's President and CEO on Governor Brown's Appointment of Karen Smith as Director of California's Department of Public Health
Feb 26, 2015 |

Statement from The California Endowment's President and CEO on Governor Brown's Appointment of Karen Smith as Director of California's Department of Public Health

It is with great pleasure that I congratulate Karen Smith who has been appointed director of the California Department of Public Health by Governor Jerry Brown. Both her education and vast experience in the fields of infectious disease and public health...
Attorney General Launches New Bureau of Children's Justice
Feb 26, 2015 |

Attorney General Launches New Bureau of Children's Justice

"We simply cannot let down our most vulnerable children today, then lock them up tomorrow and act surprised." With that statement, Attorney General Kamala Harris has launched the California Department of Justice's new Bureau of Children's Justice to...
Feb 26, 2015 |

Nearly $500,000 Awarded in the San Joaquin Valley

Funding provided to 27 organizations working to improve health and reduce disparities  Sacramento and Merced – Today, Sierra Health Foundation Center for Health Program Management announced nearly $500,000 awarded to 27 organizations working to improve...
[Oakland Voices] Native American InterTribal Friendship House a place where culture and food grow together
Feb 24, 2015 |

[Oakland Voices] Native American InterTribal Friendship House a place where culture and food grow together

EAST OAKLAND _ It's a sunny and clear Valentine's Day morning, and young and old arrive at the InterTribal Friendship House to ready the community garden for Spring. There are trays of seedlings that need to be transplanted, dried herbs and corn that need to be cleaned and bagged, and after the rains earlier in the month, many weeds that need to be pulled. An elder woman shows a young man how to cull the weeds from the raised beds and leave the sweet grasses. The mood is calm, and people speak to one another quietly. A man with a long ponytail carries a seashell filled with smoldering cedar needles from the garden to a large meeting room inside the house. Executive Director Carol Wahpepah explains a bit of the history of the InterTribal Friendship House. It was founded 60 years ago by the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization dedicated to social justice, as a response to the influx of Native American newcomers to San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco.
[Christian Science Monitor] Schools' reliance on suspension, expulsion isn't necessary, report finds
Feb 24, 2015 |

[Christian Science Monitor] Schools' reliance on suspension, expulsion isn't necessary, report finds

What do Richmond County, Ga.; Visalia, Calif.; and Worcester, Mass., have in common? All three are among the school districts showing the biggest rates of improvement regarding their school discipline practices. A new report analyzing federal data on out-of-school suspensions found evidence of huge “discipline gaps” when it comes to suspension rates for minorities and students with disabilities. And it highlighted some districts with extremely high suspension rates – a factor that has been linked to lower achievement and lower graduation rates.
[The Know Youth Media] Fresnans Meet to Discuss Gang Prevention
Feb 24, 2015 |

[The Know Youth Media] Fresnans Meet to Discuss Gang Prevention

FRESNO, Calif — Ruben Hernandez is an active gang member in Fresno but is fed up with what he sees everyday in his community. “I’ve noticed that a lot of the children, ages 12 to 18 have started to rebel against the police,” Hernandez said. Hernandez, 30, has spent 15 years incarcerated and another 4 years in parole. Hernandez wants his children to learn from his mistakes so that they won’t make the same ones. Hernandez joined other ex-gang members and concerned community members at People’s Church on February 19 to discuss issues of gang violence and gang prevention. The town hall was organized by KMPH FOx 26 after the murder of Janessa Ramirez, 9, when she was caught in crossfire between two rival gang members. The town hall was moderated by KMPH’s Monty Torres, and the panel included Police Chief Jerry Dyer, Sheriff Margaret Mims, Pastor B.T. Lewis of Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church and Ernie Rodriguez, an outreach worker. Much of the discussion centered around preventing youth from joining gangs.
[Richmond Pulse] Public Defenders and Community Come Together in Working Group on Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System
Feb 24, 2015 |

[Richmond Pulse] Public Defenders and Community Come Together in Working Group on Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

With community-law enforcement relations still making headlines around the country, a group of attorneys from the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s office are organizing to see changes made on the judicial level here in Richmond. Together with community members and organizers, the group aims to address the racial bias they believe exists in Contra Costa County’s criminal justice system. The group first met in late January in response to District Attorney Mark A. Peterson’s public rebuke of Public Defender Robin Lipetzky for her remarks at a Black Lives Matter demonstration, where she noted instances of racial disparities witnessed every day in her work place. “We here in the Public Defender’s office walk through these halls of justice day in and day out and we see the immediate effects of the disparate treatment on our clients,” Lipetzky said at the Dec. 18 rally.
Feb 24, 2015 |

[Chronicle of Social Change] Positive Youth Justice, Part Two: Community Works, Oakland, Calif.

Last week, our series began with a look at a program that employed a positive youth development framework to steer kids away from behavior that might land them in the juvenile justice system. This, we posited, would be the first step in full “Positive Youth Justice System.” The second logical step in such a system would be a program or set of programs used to divert juveniles from formal involvement in the system after an arrest. That is the task at hand in the Oakland, Calif., where a nonprofit called Community Works leads a “community conferencing” model to mediate between juvenile offenders and the victims of their delinquency. After three years, the numbers suggest that youths who complete the program recidivate at a significantly lower rate than similar juveniles in the system. The strategy hinges on youth accepting responsibility for the crime, and recognizing the impact of their actions on a victim, their family and the community.
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