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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
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...
Safe Communities: Where Health Can Thrive
Feb 23, 2015 |

Safe Communities: Where Health Can Thrive

Through it’s Building Healthy Communities (BHC) plan, The California Endowment has made a 10-year, $1 billion commitment to improve health outcomes in 14 of California’s most underserved communities. Public safety and violence prevention is at the core...
Reporting on Health: A tale of two towns in California’s Ventura County
Feb 23, 2015 |

Reporting on Health: A tale of two towns in California’s Ventura County

The story I reported for the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship focused on obesity and diabetes in two communities in California’s Ventura County. Though not far apart in terms of distance, the two towns are worlds apart in terms of childhood obesity. Ojai, which is well off, offers a sort of mirror image to Santa Paula to the south, which is one of the poorer towns in the county and has a greater proportion of Latinos. Young people in Ojai are much more likely to be in a healthy weight range, whereas Santa Paula has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the state (48 percent). It took me about six months to bring this story to publication. Given the length of time it consumed, it’s worth getting out of the way a few things that were not helpful. Although I quoted many numbers in the story, public health databases did not help at all. The spark for the story was lit by a study published by the county’s health care agency in December 2013. The study offered much insight into childhood obesity in the county, but trying to dig further into the data on various online databases – including the one from the county – turned out to be a phenomenal waste of time. The study had already culled the best stats, and even consulting with the statistician for the health care agency didn’t bring me any more useful numbers. Instead, what I really needed was the human dimension: the personal stories, an understanding of obesity’s causes locally, threats to long-term health, and, most of all, a sense of the actions being taken in Santa Paula to help stem the problem.
At the Crossroads of Two Sectors
Feb 23, 2015 |

At the Crossroads of Two Sectors

Here at Greenlining, we see diversity and equity as the key to success. Only by allowing everyone to contribute their talents and creativity across all sectors can we build an inclusive, fair, and prosperous society. As President Obama recently stated in...
Reporting on Health: Just how does childhood adversity turn into poorer health?
Feb 12, 2015 |

Reporting on Health: Just how does childhood adversity turn into poorer health?

If you’re brushing up on your knowledge of how early adversity influences long-term health, sooner or later you’ll come across the CDC’s page on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, that famous 1998 study of Kaiser Permanente members in San Diego that launched a flotilla of news articles and studies on how childhood trauma can damage one’s lifelong health outlook. On that CDC page, you’ll notice a little pyramid meant to illustrate the basics: A foundation of early adversity ups the odds of chronic disease and “Early Death,” the pyramid’s ominous crown. Between that difficult start and untimely end lies the adoption of risky behaviors and “social, emotional and cognitive impairment.” The same pyramid is included in the original study, but the CDC took the liberty of adding in the words “scientific gaps,” a reminder that our understanding of the links between early adversity, unhealthy behaviors, and early disease and death is still a bit murky. The standard explanation is that children who are abused or traumatized are more likely to grow into adults who smoke, drink, take drugs and take greater health risks than their more fortunate peers. It’s those behaviors that are precipitating poorer health and premature death. That’s the idea offered by Dr. Vincent Felitti and co-authors in the founding study:
Feb 12, 2015 |

Painful Losses of Health Warriors

In recent days, we have been bitten by some key losses of leaders in community and public health.  The extraordinary Lark Galloway of Community Health Councils was an unrelenting advocate for a healthy South Los Angeles and a reopened MLK community...
Feb 09, 2015 |

[The New Yorker] Not Immune

Twenty-five years ago, when a doctor named Robert Ross was the deputy health commissioner of Philadelphia, a measles epidemic swept the country. Until this year’s outbreak, which started at Disneyland and has so far sickened more than a hundred people,...
El Porvenir: Water bills, safety notices, and the drought in western Fresno County
Feb 05, 2015 |

El Porvenir: Water bills, safety notices, and the drought in western Fresno County

El Porvenir. In Spanish it means “the future,” but also something more. El Porvenir is the luxury of being able to think long term, of what is yet to come for us, and for our loved ones. Thinking long-term is difficult, however, for many Californians who...
Celebrating the Three-Month Anniversary of Proposition 47
Feb 05, 2015 |

Celebrating the Three-Month Anniversary of Proposition 47

In November, California voters approved Proposition 47 and sent a clear pro-health message:  more prisons and more punishment are not the way forward. Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to imprison drug addicts and people with...
Finishing the Sentence on Childhood Trauma...
Feb 04, 2015 |

Finishing the Sentence on Childhood Trauma...

It started with a profound connection to the words of one wise Dutchman addressing a room full of therapists. The ah-ha moment when Bessel van der Kolk linked childhood trauma to attachment. Exciting, because at Echo Parenting & Education we train parents and professionals how to create the kind of safe, stable relationships that allow a child to flourish. Instinctively, we had always known that the lack of such attachment was traumatic to a child - after all, if your survival depends on an attuned, attentive caregiver, anything that interrupts that feeling of connection will signal imminent danger and send the body into full trauma response. We have also realized that abuse and neglect doesn't always manifest in physical ways. Spanking is a violation of a child's right to physical safety and cannot be viewed as anything but violence; more pernicious because it is perpetrated on someone smaller and weaker than you. However, Bessel's work at the Trauma Center in Boston has revealed that emotional abuse and neglect is equally if not MORE damaging to children. Seems like our founder, Ruth Beaglehole, always had it right. Echo Parenting & Education was founded on the premise that anything that hurts the body, mind or emotions of a child is violence.
Obama Budget Reflects California’s Values
Feb 04, 2015 |

Obama Budget Reflects California’s Values

President Obama released his federal budget proposal this week. Where the State of the Union address lays out a President’s vision in words, his budget lays out his vision in dollars. And thanks to a rebounding economy and shrinking deficit, President...
[Oakland Tribune] Steps Toward Peace: Addressing socioeconomic inequality issues essential to reducing crime in Oakland
Feb 02, 2015 |

[Oakland Tribune] Steps Toward Peace: Addressing socioeconomic inequality issues essential to reducing crime in Oakland

A city struggles and reduces gun violence, but how is the reduction sustained? In Oakland, 2014 was the second consecutive year the homicide rate declined. However, one month into the new year, the number of homicides was already higher than it was one month into last year or 2013. Richmond, which also had seen a significant drop in gun violence, started the year with an upsurge. San Francisco's Western Addition, where gun violence had dropped in recent years, is grieving a quadruple homicide just days into the new year; the victims were 19 to 22. The Boston Miracle, when homicides dropped dramatically in that city, inspired several cities across the country to adopt the Ceasefire strategies originated there. In Boston, the number of homicides spiked in 2014. When I started interviewing people for this series, asking what they thought had contributed to the decline in Oakland's homicide rate, a couple of them sounded a warning.
Feb 02, 2015 |

#Agua4All: New Taps Installed in South Kern County and Eastern Coachella Valley Expand Access to Safe, Clean Drinking Water

20-year-old Arvin City Mayor pro Tem Jose Gurrolla often tells the story of how, after spending hours playing under the San Joaquin Valley sun as a kid, he and his friends knew instinctively not to quench their thirst with the water coming out of their...
[Oakland Voices] Healing From The Scars and Sin of Racism is Ongoing
Feb 02, 2015 |

[Oakland Voices] Healing From The Scars and Sin of Racism is Ongoing

  When Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008 to great fanfare, it was popularly believed the United States had exorcized the demons of racism from its national character. To be sure, Obama’s election...
[Los Angeles Times] This conservative op-ed confirms the immorality of repealing Obamacare
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] This conservative op-ed confirms the immorality of repealing Obamacare

Rarely do conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act acknowledge the real human consequences of their campaign to overturn the healthcare reform law. But an astonishing op-ed published Friday by the Washington Post does just that. Its author, Michael R. Strain of the American Enterprise Institute, argues that even though the result of repeal is that some Obamacare beneficiaries may die from losing their insurance, that outcome is moral. As the Post's editors succinctly and accurately headlined the piece: "End Obamacare, and people could die. That's okay."
Drink Different: Feasible Strategies to Reduce Obesity
Jan 26, 2015 |

Drink Different: Feasible Strategies to Reduce Obesity

Each day, Americans make choices about what they will eat and drink. Often, these are unhealthy ones, contributing to a national obesity rate of more than 33 percent. Lowering this rate is key to controlling rising health-care costs and improving quality...
Jan 26, 2015 |

[Inside Philanthropy] Article: 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."
Long Beach Building Health Communities: BHC partners, workgroups made health happen here in 2014
Jan 26, 2015 |

Long Beach Building Health Communities: BHC partners, workgroups made health happen here in 2014

Citywide language access in Spanish, Khmer, and Tagalog. Solar energy in Central Long Beach. Youth walking neighborhoods to pass Proposition 47 for prison reform. These are a few examples of how Building Healthy Communities is bringing community members together and supporting organizations to make health happen in Central and West Long Beach. As we wrap up our fourth year of a ten-year initiative, we’re proud of our partners, workgroups, and allies who have helped deliver positive, sustainable change to Long Beach.
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