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In Neighborhoods

Mar 23, 2015 |

[KPCC] Raising the minimum wage in LA: 3 studies on the impact

Thursday was a data dump at Los Angeles City Hall as three studies on raising the minimum wage hit the desks of policy makers. Los Angeles's minimum wage currently stands at $9 per hour. Last year, Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed raising it to $13.25 by 2017, and some members of the council said they want to bump it up to $15.25 by 2019. The idea is popular but controversial, prompting policy makers to call for more analysis. The city hired researchers at UC Berkeley to assess the impact. In the Berkeley report, authors said the benefits of raising the minimum wage will outweigh the costs. “The high density of low-wage jobs in Los Angeles means that the benefits of raising the minimum wage will be considerable,” the researchers wrote.
[Richmond Confidential] Small efforts help library accessibility widen in Richmond
Mar 19, 2015 |

[Richmond Confidential] Small efforts help library accessibility widen in Richmond

Sixth grader Clemon Brown loves reading books, but he has a hard time finding books outside of school. “Two weeks ago, I was sitting in my room [and] I want to read a book,” Brown said. He said he wanted to visit a library, but his mom’s car wasn’t working at the time. Brown lives in North Richmond, almost three miles away from the nearest Richmond public library. “That’s really the difficulty,” Richmond Public Library Director Katy Curl said. “[We’re] trying to make sure that we take into account that it’s hard for some people to access us.”
[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.
[Orange County Register] Santa Ana delays decision on Latino-focused downtown 'Wellness District'
Mar 18, 2015 |

[Orange County Register] Santa Ana delays decision on Latino-focused downtown 'Wellness District'

SANTA ANA – A plan to create a “Wellness District,” which aims to retain the Latino character of downtown Santa Ana, was delayed Tuesday night. Proposed by a coalition of working groups, including Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities, residents and downtown merchants are asking the City Council approve a resolution that establishes a downtown “Wellness District” to foster retail and activities that are healthy and authentic to Latino character. By doing this, the city will serve loyal Santa Ana residents – who are largely Latino – and attract a broader base of visitors who want a taste of Latino culture, they say. The proposal will come up again at the next City Council meeting April 7. Mayor Pro Tem Vincent Sarmiento said the postponement allows the entire council to consider the resolution. Mayor Miguel Pulido and Councilwoman Angelica Amezcua were absent Tuesday.
[Contra Costa Times] Study: Nearly 80 percent of Hispanics in L.A. metro area struggling to make ends meet
Mar 18, 2015 |

[Contra Costa Times] Study: Nearly 80 percent of Hispanics in L.A. metro area struggling to make ends meet

If it weren’t for his children, Joe Sepulveda would gladly leave Los Angeles for a cheaper place to live. Sepulveda, 41, of Reseda, who is unmarried and pays child support for his five kids, was laid off from his job as a drug and alcohol counselor in January and is now living on his unemployment insurance and earnings from odd jobs, he said. Even when he was fully employed and with the relatively low rent he pays to rent a room, he still found himself struggling to cover his costs.
Youth Driving Change
Mar 17, 2015 |

Youth Driving Change

California’s young people aren’t just inheriting the future, they’re building it. The energy and action of TCE’s youth partners have made a concrete difference in the lives of millions of Californians.   The Endowment is dedicated to enlisting and...
[Pacific Standard] The Criminalization of Youth
Mar 17, 2015 |

[Pacific Standard] The Criminalization of Youth

As a theatre artist, I regularly work with young people to write and perform stories that speak back to a society that labels them “at risk,” “delinquent,” “dangerous,” and “apathetic.” The youth are smart, engaged, and innovative. And many of them are in prison. Drawing on storytelling, movement, and other approaches to performance, participants between the ages of 13 and 21 explore gender, racial justice, and how identity shapes experience in the Performing Justice Project I co-direct with Lynn Hoare at the University of Texas-Austin
[Voice of OC] An Exercise Awakening in Santa Ana
Mar 17, 2015 |

[Voice of OC] An Exercise Awakening in Santa Ana

With the booming hip-hop music and bouncer sporting a leather jacket and hoodie, the pre-dawn scene at Santa Ana Stadium could have, at first glance, been mistaken for an all-night rave. But the 250 or so people gathered together at 5 a.m. on a recent Wednesday weren't ending a night of excess -- they were beginning their day with Payan X, Santa Ana's burgeoning exercise phenomenon. The free community workouts, which feature volunteer trainers, draw between 100 and 450 people to the stadium on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and have become part of a community health awakening of sorts in Santa Ana.
[Los Angeles Times] Minority families struggle to break out of poverty, study finds
Mar 17, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] Minority families struggle to break out of poverty, study finds

eneration from now, minority workers are expected to make up the majority of the American workforce. But today, their families are far more likely to be poor than their white counterparts, according to an analysis of Census data released Monday. The study, by the Working Poor Families Project, showed that working poor families are three times more likely to be headed by a minority parent. In California, 44% percent of families headed by a working minority parent are considered low-income, compared to 16% of white families, researchers found.
[Voice of OC] Downtown Wellness District on Santa Ana Council Agenda
Mar 17, 2015 |

[Voice of OC] Downtown Wellness District on Santa Ana Council Agenda

Santa Ana City Council members Tuesday night are scheduled to discuss a proposed downtown “wellness district” that would affirm the area’s Latino character and focus on the mostly working-class residents who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. Activists with Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities have been advocating the district since December, when economist Jeb Bruegmann presented a study funded by the California Endowment that found Central Santa Ana residents to be a largely untapped economic resource in the downtown. According to Bruegmann's study, the city could bring in an additional $137 million in spending to the downtown by creating a Latino business corridor that focuses on bringing back customers from residents who, despite living so close to the downtown, have been lost to big-box retailers.
[The Know Fresno] No More Slumlords Aims to Rid Fresno of Absent Landlords
Mar 17, 2015 |

[The Know Fresno] No More Slumlords Aims to Rid Fresno of Absent Landlords

For many Fresnans, home is not necessarily a welcoming place. Many families live in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, such as in units with broken plumbing, toxic mold, rodent infestations and faulty wiring and gas lines. In addition, absentee and negligent landlords contribute to blighted conditions and homes where criminal activities take place unchecked. This is why Sergio and Ashley Cortes founded No More Slumlords, a social media campaign which urges Fresnans to get involved to ensure a safe and healthy living environment for all.
[Richmond Confidential] “The Run and Only” basketball league gives the NBA a run for its money
Mar 17, 2015 |

[Richmond Confidential] “The Run and Only” basketball league gives the NBA a run for its money

Six months into its first season, Anderson says the league is about three things: “It’s about respecting the guys who had sacrificed their whole lives to play the game of basketball, it’s about providing cheap and terrific entertainment to the community and it’s about saving the game of basketball.” The players, who work other day jobs, get paid $150 per game if they are on the winning team and $35 if they are on the losing one. But off the court is where these players really get paid—all of them have access to health insurance, a financial coach and a job-hunting assistant. “These are the things we do for the guys off the court and that is more meaningful for us than the basketball,” said Anderson.
[Access Local TV] Mo’ Money Less Prisoners – Prop. 47 Website Informs
Mar 16, 2015 |

[Access Local TV] Mo’ Money Less Prisoners – Prop. 47 Website Informs

A website promoting the knowledge and use of Proposition 47 is up and running. The widely popular ballot initiative was passed late last year and reduces the punishment for six possible felonies, like drug possession and petty theft, to those of misdemeanors. “This will reduce over-reliance on incarceration for nonviolent offenses,” said Hillary Blout, the statewide Prop 47 implementation manager. Smaller punishments mean less or no jail time. This will free up space in our state jails and prisons that was not there to begin with. “California’s prisons and jails have been overcrowded for years,” said Blout. “The focus on incarceration over prevention and rehabilitation has led to a revolving door in our jails and prisons.” That is exactly the kind of problem Prop. 47 was drafted to fix. “It is prioritizing law enforcement resources on serious, violent crime,” said Blout. “And investing hundreds of millions of new dollars into prevention and treatment in order to break the cycle of crime.”
[Orange County Register] From gentrification to 'Calle Cuatro': Downtown Santa Ana merchants want Fourth Street to bank on Latino culture
Mar 16, 2015 |

[Orange County Register] From gentrification to 'Calle Cuatro': Downtown Santa Ana merchants want Fourth Street to bank on Latino culture

The Trio Jarocho musicians last Sunday belted out Fourth Street deals in downtown Santa Ana – serenading workers inside a Mexican menswear boutique and patrons walking out of the trendy Playground restaurant. They sang “La Bamba” to spectators across the street from the new artisan 4th Street Market and posed for photos with passers-by. A “payasito” (clown) joined in and danced with nearby children. “This is what’s been missing from ‘La Cuatro,’ ” one spectator said in Spanish. “The joy.” The roving musicians signal a shift in sentiment in downtown Santa Ana as “hipper” establishments open along a stretch of the city’s downtown that for decades has catered to Spanish-speaking immigrants.
Ferguson: The Pain That Just Keeps Giving
Mar 16, 2015 |

Ferguson: The Pain That Just Keeps Giving

My heart and prayers continue to pour in the direction of Ferguson, Missouri.  Now it appears that after months and months of strife and tension ever since the tragic shooting of Michael Brown, we witness a shooting of two police officers during a...
[ABC KERO-TV] Arvin youth calling for a new bike park
Mar 16, 2015 |

[ABC KERO-TV] Arvin youth calling for a new bike park

ARVIN, Calif. - Bike Bakersfield partnered with the building healthy communities initiative to help restore Arvin's skate park. A dozen local middle school kids showed up to the Bike Kitchen in Arvin to voice their concerns. "We want to get them involved and let the neighborhood know that they're interested in it and being active and their own champions. And we want to see them take this movement on their own," said Jason Cater of Bike Bakersfield. They're calling for a new bike park, complete with lights, gates and sturdy concrete. "I think these kids are looking for some great recreation facilities and they know their interests and passions so when we say we have a meeting and talk about getting involved in the skate park, not just support but involved, and have 20-25 kids to come up then that shows they're really involved," said Cater.
Mar 16, 2015 |

Reporting on Health: Cleaner air leads to stronger lungs in kids, but can the trend continue?

The Clean Air Act of 1970 may be over four decades old, but the political divisiveness over the law’s regulatory power shows few signs of abating. In a news analysis of President Obama’s ambitious use of the law, published last fall by The New York Times, the act was variously referred to as “the most powerful environmental law in the world” and “the granddaddy of public health and environmental legislation.” The act’s longtime supporters attribute reductions in air pollution to the law’s passage and view it as a key lever in the effort to curb greenhouse emissions. Industry critics, such as the National Mining Association, lambast the legislation as a job killer and say Obama is overreaching in his energetic embrace of the law. If this sounds like old politics, it is. But new research on children, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and widely covered in the press last week, supplies fresh evidence by which to evaluate one of the law’s most basic assumptions: Cleaner air leads to better public health. This latest research – from the two-decade Children’s Health Study at USC – looked at how lung development changed from the age of 11 through 15 among three different groups of Southern California kids. The first group was tracked from 1994 to 1997, the next from 1997 to 2000, and the last from 2007 to 2010. Teams went to schools in five SoCal communities, where they recorded kids’ respiratory illnesses and measured their lung function with a device called a spirometer.
Diversity Key to Finding Meaningful Solutions
Mar 16, 2015 |

Diversity Key to Finding Meaningful Solutions

If you’re reading this blog post, then you’re probably very familiar with a fundamental message of the The California Endowment: that where we live plays a powerful role in the health of our families, too often with devastating results.  The geographic...
[ABC News 10 Sacramento] Prop. 47 changes Rancho Cordova woman's criminal history
Mar 10, 2015 |

[ABC News 10 Sacramento] Prop. 47 changes Rancho Cordova woman's criminal history

Almost 3,000 inmates have been released in California because of Proposition 47, a voter-approved law that reduced some non-violent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. State officials said it's helping solve California's prison overcrowding problem, while some are worried about the consequences it's having on public safety. For one Rancho Cordova woman, Prop. 47 is a second chance at life. "Now, that all my felonies are gone, it opens up a whole new door," Toni Hunter said. On Friday, a judge reduced her felony convictions to misdemeanors under Prop. 47. "I'm just elated," Hunter said. Hunter said her criminal history started when she stole baby formula and diapers for a friend. After that, came more petty theft charges, prison time and probation. And then, she failed to report a change of address on time.
[Associated Press] Police agencies line up to learn about unconscious bias
Mar 10, 2015 |

[Associated Press] Police agencies line up to learn about unconscious bias

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When law enforcement officers from around the U.S. visit the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles for training these days, they are faced with a choice between entering a door marked "prejudiced" and another marked "unprejudiced." While most officers pick the "prejudiced" door, some don't and quickly discover that the "unprejudiced" door is locked — a not-so-subtle reminder that no one is unbiased. It's an early lesson officers receive when they show up at the center's Museum of Tolerance for instruction that includes implicit bias training, which aims to help them recognize and understand how their unconscious biases can impact the way they do their jobs. The training is gaining more traction among police departments in dozens of cities, including Philadelphia and Dallas, especially after recent protests over the killings of black men by white officers sparked a debate about the role race plays in policing.
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