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[LA School Report] Garcia’s School Climate Committee leads LAUSD’s restorative justice era
Apr 03, 2015 |

[LA School Report] Garcia’s School Climate Committee leads LAUSD’s restorative justice era

Rarely, there’s anything more dry than an LA Unified committee meeting, where the minutia of reports and statistics are vetted before they make their way to the full school board. But as the laboratory for forward-thinking ideas surrounding school discipline,meetings of the Successful School Climate Committee are typically anything but dull. Chaired by board member Monica Garcia, the committee was formed in 2013 not long after the groundbreaking School Climate Bill of Rights was passed. The measure was the first effort by a large school district in the nation to reverse the trend of “zero tolerance” by adopting restorative justice techniques and ending “willful defiance” suspensions and expulsions.
[New York Times] How to Encourage Healthier Eating
Apr 03, 2015 |

[New York Times] How to Encourage Healthier Eating

A primary justification behind a ban on using federal food stamps for junk food is that it is against the public interest for tax dollars to add fuel to a health crisis caused by poor diets. That logic dictates that we make such a policy more universal and not confined only to low-income people. Every year, public dollars are used when federal employees buy junk food while on official travel and, presumably, when federal agencies host conferences and other events. Extending a junk-food ban more broadly to federal employees might be difficult to enforce, but it would send an important message that if the federal government is going to ban using public funds for junk food, then it will be blind to income and employment status. Even partial compliance would be a step in the right direction.
[Coachella Unincorporated] City of Coachella Asks for Community’s Help in Preventing Gun and Gang Related Violence
Apr 03, 2015 |

[Coachella Unincorporated] City of Coachella Asks for Community’s Help in Preventing Gun and Gang Related Violence

On Friday, April 3, The City of Coachella held a press conference at city hall to ask the public for help in preventing violence in the community. “Today on Good Friday, we have organized, not individually, but as a community to stand here to send a message that the City of Coachella stands united and will do everything in its powers to combat the mindless menace of violence and gangs within our city,” Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez said.The press conference comes five days after local youth, Anthony Delatorre, 20, was shot and killed on Marina Avenue in Coachella. Delatorre’s death was the latest incident in a series of gun and gang related crimes in Coachella over the past four months. During the press conference, Father Guy Wilson from Our Lady of Soledad in Coachella, offered condolences to Delatorre’s family members, who were in attendance, and he also urged community members to not encourage violence in their neighborhoods.
[South Kern Sol] Photo Essay: Building Healthy Communities Resident and Youth Summits
Apr 02, 2015 |

[South Kern Sol] Photo Essay: Building Healthy Communities Resident and Youth Summits

In late March, Building Healthy Communities South Kern (BHC-SK) held their first-ever Resident and Youth Summit at Arvin High School. Community leaders presented on issues including water quality, keeping local parks safe and clean, and bringing jobs and public transportation to the South Kern region. BHC-SK is a community coalition comprised of over 1,200 residents, youth, business and organizations who are working for positive change in the communities of Arvin, Lamont, Weedpatch, and the unincorporated areas of Southeast Bakersfield. The coalition is seeking community input on a new action plan which will guide their work for the next five years.
[NBC] Study: Obama Immigration Programs Would Mean Higher Wages, GDP Growth
Apr 02, 2015 |

[NBC] Study: Obama Immigration Programs Would Mean Higher Wages, GDP Growth

The president's executive action immigration programs could mean $103 billion more in wages for those who qualify and a $230 billion increase in the nation's gross domestic product in 10 years, according to a study issued Thursday by a group supportive of theprograms. The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, calculated the economic benefits the programs, known largely by their acronyms DACA and DAPA, could provide. Under the programs, certain immigrants not here legally could get protection from deportation and work permits.
[Chronicle of Philanthropy] Indiana’s Lessons for Philanthropy: Timing and Agility Matter
Apr 07, 2015 |

[Chronicle of Philanthropy] Indiana’s Lessons for Philanthropy: Timing and Agility Matter

As Christians were celebrating Holy Week around the globe, the course of American history for gay and lesbian Americans was unfolding in Indiana. Passage of a religious-protection law in Indiana sparked a national conversation on the place of LGBT people in our society. That conversation went to the heart of our most basic access to the services and accommodations of everyday life and the issues that all of us in philanthropy care about deeply. Long-simmering questions about religion as a justification for discrimination came to a full boil in newspapers, on television, and via social media. Voices from nearly all corners of society — business, labor, religion, academia, athletics, government, even comedy — took center stage for this defining exchange about our core values as a nation.
[Richmond Pulse] Women of Richmond Still Making History

Mar 19, 2015 |

[Richmond Pulse] Women of Richmond Still Making History


Richmond Police Captain Bisa French was the keynote speaker at this year’s International Women’s Day celebration in Richmond. As the Richmond Police Department’s first ever African-American woman to be captain, French discussed the importance of “planting seeds” in the minds of young people. She took those in attendance on a journey through her career, from being a single mom to joining the police force and rising to captain. She said that she got to where she is today because of the seeds that were planted in her mind.
Should we ban the purchase of junk drinks and junk food with food stamps?
Apr 06, 2015 |

Should we ban the purchase of junk drinks and junk food with food stamps?

There’s been an argument brewing about whether consumers using SNAP benefits – also known as food stamps – should be able to purchase sugary drinks and junk food through that program. It’s true that low-income communities are hardest hit by the double...
Children and Seniors are Winners in Rare Bipartisan Deal in Congress
Apr 06, 2015 |

Children and Seniors are Winners in Rare Bipartisan Deal in Congress

Before heading off for spring recess, Democrats and Republicans came together to pass a major health care reform bill that extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years and fixes an 18 year-old quirk in the law that repeatedly...
[Contra Costa Times] Richmond: Injustice and search for answers at heart of new play
Apr 06, 2015 |

[Contra Costa Times] Richmond: Injustice and search for answers at heart of new play

RICHMOND -- A large group of local youths, young adults and theater artists have collaborated on a new play, "Freedom Change," a tale of "lived injustice" that will be presented in performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The production, which debuted last weekend, is the work of the Iron Triangle Theatre Company, which will present the play at its home at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St. "This piece is a compilation of their work and strives to represent the complexities of lived injustice while balancing the center's mission of supporting artistic training and re-imagining our world," the company said in a news release. The premise of the play: "In a city that accepts the routine incarceration and release of young men and boys of color, one young man finds himself locked up for a crime he didn't commit. On making bail, with no one to turn to, he goes back to the only world he has ever known and spends his first day searching for answers. But he now sees it through new eyes and questions the nature of the closest friend he's ever known -- as everyone around is questioning him." After each performance, there is a facilitated discussion with the actors, play creators and the audience about the issues and questions presented in the play and how they relate to the greater Richmond community.
[California Health Report] Central Valley and Rural Northern California Counties Ranked Unhealthiest
Apr 06, 2015 |

[California Health Report] Central Valley and Rural Northern California Counties Ranked Unhealthiest

People living in California’s Central Valley and rural northern counties have the poorest health outcomes in the state, according to a report released last Wednesday. The 2015 County Health Rankings, a nationwide report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ranks counties based on health outcomes. In a ranking that weighs length of life and quality of life equally, Marin County had the best score in the state, followed by Placer, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Orange counties. Sierra County scored lowest on the rating system, followed by Lake, Siskiyou, Trinity and Modoc counties. All California counties were ranked except for Alpine County, which has a population of 1,150 people and did not provide enough data for researchers. In another ranking, called Health Factors, that weighs access to clinical care, the health behaviors of residents, the physical environment and social and economic factors, Marin County again had the best score, followed by Placer, San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties. The poorest score in that ranking system went to Imperial County, followed by Tulare, Kern, Fresno and Lake counties. The rankings are based on high school graduation rates, access to healthy foods, rates of smoking, obesity and teen births, among many other factors.
[California Health Report] LA Clinics No Longer a Last Resort
Apr 06, 2015 |

[California Health Report] LA Clinics No Longer a Last Resort

Before health reform, Los Angeles County clinics served people who had no other options—sick patients with no health insurance. But as 2014 approached, county officials realized that many of their clients would become insured and choose other health care. If they opted out, the entire system –with 19,000 employees and a $4 billion budget would face near collapse. Thirty years ago, Colleen Hollman would have probably gone anywhere but a county clinic if she had a choice. When her kids got sick she’d spend entire days with them in an LA County clinic waiting room— a formidable challenge with healthy children and much tougher with sick ones. “It was bad. There would be so many people waiting there was nowhere to sit,” she said. Now after having been insured most of her life, Hollman is back in the county system. But this time, she’s not complaining. County clinics are a lot more user-friendly now, and health care is more accessible. The man behind the transformation is Mitchell Katz, a 55-year old family physician who rides his bike around town and still sees patients once a week at East LA’s Roybal Comprehensive Health Center. As director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Katz created the Healthy San Francisco program to provide health care to the city’s uninsured.
Apr 06, 2015 |

[Twin Cities Pioneer Press] Visiting experts to tout urban design as health aid

The right sidewalks, walking paths and outdoor attractions in a city could save your life, according to Dr. Richard Jackson, one of four doctors and architects coming to the Twin Cities to spread the gospel of healthy living through urban design. Jackson, who hosts a PBS series on the topic, is among a growing number of researchers who believe the design of cities can impact residents' health -- everything from obesity to lung disease. A city's design also may influence mental health concerns such as depression and isolation. What's more, making spaces that once were mostly frequented by drivers more accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists and residents can be good for business. "We need to rethink how we zone places," said Jackson, pointing to the example of Sacramento, Calif., which is adding residential apartments to downtown hotels and state office buildings. "You can't have a lively downtown if everyone goes home at 5 o'clock and no one is around on weekends. Businesses can't survive, they can't thrive if that happens."
[The Nation] Fields of Toxic Pesticides Surround the Schools of Ventura County—Are They Poisoning the Students?
Apr 06, 2015 |

[The Nation] Fields of Toxic Pesticides Surround the Schools of Ventura County—Are They Poisoning the Students?

When Dayane Zuñiga started running for Oxnard High School’s track team a few years ago, she often noticed an odd odor coming from the strawberry fields on her route. A farming community between the beach towns of Santa Barbara and Malibu, California, Oxnard is among the largest strawberry-growing regions in the nation. At first, Zuñiga didn’t pay much attention to the smell. Growing up near agriculture, she was used to odd odors. Then one day during practice, Zuñiga saw men working in the fields with face masks and smelled the same odor. Suspecting they were applying chemicals, she wondered why no one had warned her team. She asked her principal if the administration ever got notices about pesticide use around the school, attended by more than 3,200 kids. He told her it did, in accordance with strict regulations, and that she had nothing to worry about. So Zuñiga put pesticides out of her mind. When she smelled a pungent odor, she ran faster to reach a patch of fresh air. When her asthma acted up, she puffed on her mini-inhaler and kept running. Now she wishes she had asked more questions.
[Al Jazeera America] More than 1 million Californians don’t have reliable access to clean water
Apr 06, 2015 |

[Al Jazeera America] More than 1 million Californians don’t have reliable access to clean water

ARVIN, California – Californians who grumble about not being able to water their lawns everyday during the fourth year of a historic drought should swing by this small town in southern Kern County. Drought or no drought, residents of this rural community can’t drink water from the tap and can’t even use it for cooking because high levels of arsenic — known to cause cancer — become even more concentrated when water is boiled. “They worry about little things,” said Salvador Partida, president of the Committee for a Better Arvin, of the rest of the state. “We’re worried about not being able to drink the water.” Last week Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the State Water Resources Control Board to enact mandatory cuts in water use by 25 percent. But more than 1 million California residents who live in mostly rural areas have unreliable access to safe drinking water, according to the Community Water Center, a non-profit group that advocates affordable and clean water for all Californians. For them, the ongoing drought that is ravaging the state's water supply is merely a sideshow. Tap water that comes mostly from wells in these communities violated maximum contaminant level standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency at least once in 2012 – the most recent annual compliance report by the state’s drinking water program.
[Inside Philanthropy] Another Push to Prepare Low-Income Kids for Healthcare Jobs, This Time In Oakland
Apr 06, 2015 |

[Inside Philanthropy] Another Push to Prepare Low-Income Kids for Healthcare Jobs, This Time In Oakland

With the aging of the baby boomers, healthcare will remain one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy in coming years, offering career paths for workers at different levels—assuming they have the right skills. In a country where good jobs can be scarce for young people of color, healthcare is a major bright spot. That's why a growing number of funders are focusing their workforce development efforts here, as we've been reporting lately. Oakland is one more area where this work is going on, with some major funders picking up the tab. "In the next several years, we are expecting over 10,000 job openings in the healthcare field in Alameda County," explained The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Naomi Post. "Yet despite the explosion of opportunities, too many students in Oakland are dropping out of high school or graduating without the skills necessary to secure jobs that pay a living wage."
[Center for Health Reporting] Ask Emily: How to find medical care if you’re uninsured
Apr 06, 2015 |

[Center for Health Reporting] Ask Emily: How to find medical care if you’re uninsured

About 5 million Californians have new health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both through the Covered California health insurance exchange and the expansion of Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program for low-income residents. But millions of others remain uninsured. Up to half of California’s uninsured population is made up of immigrants not in the country legally and therefore excluded from health insurance exchanges, tax credits and most Medi-Cal coverage. Others can’t afford coverage (even if it’s subsidized), choose not to buy insurance or are unaware that they qualify for free or subsidized insurance. No matter who they are or what their circumstance, they get sick, too.
[Coachella Independent] Taps That Can Be Trusted: Safe Drinking Water Is Coming to the Eastern Coachella Valley Thanks to the New Agua4All Program
Apr 06, 2015 |

[Coachella Independent] Taps That Can Be Trusted: Safe Drinking Water Is Coming to the Eastern Coachella Valley Thanks to the New Agua4All Program

Agua4All is a program with a catchy, informative name and an inarguably laudable objective: delivering safe drinking water to every resident of the state, regardless of location or income level. The program aims to provide this necessity via its proprietary water-filling stations, which are being installed in schools and community-meeting areas like parks, youth clubs and libraries. For too many Californians, the only accessible source for safe drinking water is commercially sold bottled water—an unaffordable solution for many underprivileged families. Currently in its pilot phase, Agua4All is focusing on disadvantaged communities in southern Kern County—and right here in the eastern Coachella Valley. “The original idea was actually conceived by The California Endowment, which has been the major funder of the program,” said Sarah Buck, rural development specialist for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), which is charged with supervising and coordinating efforts around this program. “They have given us the opportunity and responsibility of designing it in a way that makes sense. Once this current pilot phase is over, we can replicate it and continue this work throughout all of rural California.” From January through early March, the RCAC ran a fundraising campaign, the second in the last year, on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform. Unfortunately, the donation response was dismal, with just $575 raised.
[KPCC] $3.7M grant aims to get poor families to buy more produce
Apr 02, 2015 |

[KPCC] $3.7M grant aims to get poor families to buy more produce

A program that encourages low-income people to buy more fruit and vegetables at farmers markets will expand across Los Angeles and the state, thanks to a $3.7 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant, announced Wednesday, will support California Market Match, which provides a financial incentive to people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - formerly known as food stamps - to buy fresh produce at farmers markets. The program matches dollar-for-dollar the amount spent at participating farmers markets on fruit and vegetables - up to $10 per shopping outing in L.A. County. The federal award builds on a $2.5 million grant given last year by First 5 L.A.
[California Health Report] Why Young People Kill
Apr 01, 2015 |

[California Health Report] Why Young People Kill

Dwayne Taylor went to a party at the Ida B. Wells housing project one mid-May night as the Chicago weather was warming to the promise of spring. Once there, according to court documents, Taylor met up with three friends and made a disastrous decision: to rob someone. They left the party and drove around until they found a victim, 21-year-old Tedrin West. Taylor carjacked, abducted and robbed West before shooting him in the back of the head. As her son lay dead in a parking lot, West’s mother called his stolen phone. A man answered. “Where is Tedrin?” she asked. “Where is my son?” The reply: “He’s gone, bitch.” West was murdered in 1993. The group of perpetrators included a 14-year-old boy. The tragedy was part of a wave of youth violence that frightened city dwellers and the nation as a whole in the late ’80s and early ’90s. A graph of violent juvenile crime in the United States in those years looks like a one-sided mountain, climbing up and up with no summit in sight. Juvenile homicide rates jumped from 10 in 100,000 in 1985 to a high of 30 in 100,000 in 1993, just eight years later.
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