The Sacramento Bee recently wrote an article about the city being a dangerous place for pedestrians, this video shows some of the dangers in Oak Park.
About Mario Ayala
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It’s estimated that nearly 11.2 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States, meaning that some 11.2 million people do not have access to health care.
According to Juan Hernandez, an Oak Park resident and immigrant from Sinaloa, these immigrants usually get sick but wait until the last minute to get help.
“Sometimes we get sick or something and let it add up and add up until we finally can’t take it and end up in the emergency room,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez recalls a moment when he was injured but couldn’t pay for his medical bills.
“Back a couple years ago I was working on the roof and I took a wrong step and fell I ended up landing on my back. It didn’t hurt much when it happened but it started to later,” said Hernandez.
An article talks about different facts about healthcare, and it claims that nearly 18,000 people die in the United States each year because they are uninsured.
“I never wanted to go because at the time I was working a job that was helping me sustain my family and I didn’t have any spending money,” said Hernandez. “When the pain finally became unbearable I went into the emergency room, while they did the different scans they found out I had a cancerous tumor.”
“I ended up getting it treated through different avenues but it was a long process.”
Hernandez believes if he would’ve had a doctor he could’ve figured this out sooner.
“If I had a regular doctor they could’ve found this before but most of the time me and the undocumented community face different judgements and don’t have the money to afford a doctor so we go on feeling bad but not being able to do much about it,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez and many other people in the Oak Park community hope that this can change and that they can all receive healthcare. After all, “We all work and get our hands dirty like everyone else,” says Hernandez.
My voting place was the Shiloh Baptist Church on 9th Avenue, a big old church that has been there ever since I can remember. A staple of the Oak Park Community, I used to ride my bike through their parking lot as a shortcut to McClatchy Park when I was younger.
But now it was time to go there and vote, and there were different signs in the lawn that said “voting” with an arrow pointing towards the entrance with an American flag under it. I followed the signs until I was at the door. I stopped at the door and looked straight down the long hallway, it had poor lighting and the wood they used to decorate a long time ago was old and had missing pieces. I walked down the hallway and passed various doors, for a moment I felt like I was in the wrong place. Two guys in suits walked by and looked at me, it seemed like they were wondering what I was doing there. I felt uncomfortable and not welcome but I kept walking until I reached this big opening.
The place smelled abandoned like a building that had been closed up for a long time and like old cologne, I walked up to a table where three elderly ladies greeted me. Their smiles seemed faked and forced like they had done it too many times that day and just wanted to go home. They asked me my last name and found me on a list they asked me to sign a paper, they saw my signature and asked “Are you a doctor or something?” I thought for a moment, I didn’t know if it was a trick question or some sort of joke to make their day go by easier. I told them, “No, I’m not. Why?” One of the ladies said “Well I’ve seen so many different signatures today but yours looks like something a doctor would sign.” I just smiled, she caught me off guard and I didn’t have a response so I just said “Well I’m different.”
She gave me the instructions on what to do after I voted and what piece of the paper to keep as my receipt. I sat down at a big long white plastic table and started voting. It was kind of hard to concentrate on my votes because the ladies were talking about what they wanted to eat once they were done with their day. After I was done voting, a middle aged man in a suit helped me turn in the ballot and told me to get a sticker that said I voted. I turned in my pen and walked out. I told the ladies to have a nice rest of their day and they just smiled and waved. I walked back down the same long hallway thinking this is going to be the first of many.
Capital Punishment is a topic that has been at the center of many controversies for a very long time. With many different viewpoints on its effectiveness and moral consequences, it’s difficult for people to reach a solid agreement.
In 2012, Proposition 34 was proposed in California. This proposition would have replaced the death penalty sentence with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and require that people sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole to work in order to pay restitution to victims’ families. Prop 34 did not come to be as it was defeated 52% against to 48% in favor. This topic is debatable for many reasons, but a common one concerns the time that goes into implementing the death penalty;for example money that has to be paid to judges, lawyers, and many other people involved. That is money which could be used elsewhere in preventive ways.
The constitution requires for there to be a longer court process for people on death row to help ensure innocent people aren’t killed. Deathpenalty.org talks about some of the cost of the death penalty. Their research shows that only 13 criminals have been executed in California since 1978, but yet California has spent more than $4 billion on Capital Punishment over the past 35 years. That is an average of $308 million per death row inmate. It is estimated that a prisoner serving life without parole costs taxpayer an average of $50,000 per year. California would save $1 billion dollars within five years if they eliminated the death penalty in favor of life in prison.
With the economic recession the country is currently experiencing, and the major budget cuts towards schools and after school programs, $1 billion over five years could go a very long way. It could help stop the “School to Prison Pipeline”, a disturbing trend around the country regarding children being “funneled” from school to prison.Many of them have a learning disability or a history of poverty according to American Civil Liberties Union. These students could benefit tremendously from extra programs.
Delana Carter, a mother and an Oak Park resident, believes her son wasn’t able to get into the correct school programs because of different budget cuts.
“When he went to elementary school I remember he used to love the after school programs especially START,” says Carter. “But they cut off funding for it and he started looking for other things to do with his after school time.”
Carter acknowledges that everyone is responsible for their own actions, but feels like the school just wrote her son off.
“I know it isn’t their fault but they didn’t do anything to help him, to keep him out of gangs or to keep him in class instead of at home,” said Carter. “I remember there was a year when they didn’t have the budget for someone to watch the kids who had in-house suspension so they’d send them home.”
Carter’s fears that if her son one day loses his way, he could enter the same correctional system which rather spend money on the death penalty rather than educational opprotunites.
My name is Mario Ayala and I’m an 18 year old Oak Park resident. I was born and raised in Sacramento and I currently attend the Met Sacramento High School as a senior. I’m Hispanic and I am very proud of my heritage.
This is going to be my third time working with AccessLocal.Tv and I am very excited to be back. I’ve always liked to write. Although I sometime feel like I’ve never been too good at it, I love to do it.
On my free time I like to play music and I’ve played the bass for 6 years. I also play soccer for a team in Stockton. Music has become one of the centerpieces of my life, it’s helped me communicate with people in a way that’s impossible without it.
I’ve always had a passion for writing but I started journalism about 15 months ago while writing for my school newspaper. Since then I’ve been referred to as a provocateur by principals, teachers, and people in politics. My goal is to let reader see the articles you don’t see in the everyday news and to let Oak Park residents stay informed and have a voice. I feel that many times voices that don’t have power don’t go far.
After I graduate I plan on going to college and then law school. I want to be a lawyer that represents underprivileged minorities, and hopefully a city council member one day. I look forward to this great opportunity to create quality articles that are also informative, so stay tuned.
The Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy is a homeschool program for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. There are four SAVA offices located around Sacramento serving various communities.
On May 16th, SAVA is having a college, career and community fair. It will take place on 5330 Power Inn Road. There will be student appreciation celebration and enrollment opportunities for summer school and Fall 2014 classes. There will also be representatives from colleges and community organizations.
The event will take place form 2 p.m to 4 p.m. for more information call Summer Sorosinki at (916)387-8063.
On a recent Saturday morning, a groundbreaking ceremony at McClatchy Park was held to welcome the new renovations that are taking place at the park. Also, the Oak Park Farmers Market started up with different vendors showcasing their goods.
I’m tired of losing people I know as a result of gang violence. This time it was a close friend of mine, Cheaquis Jones, who was murdered while he was at a house party. Last year it was Alonzo Walsh, who was shot dead while getting into his car. It seems like every year I lose someone I know to the violence playing out on the streets. It’s become something I have grown used to over the years, but I know that it is not normal at all. It seems like with each instance the people who are dying are people I was closer to year after year.
Cheaquis Jones was an 18 year old kid who grew up in the Fruitridge area, a neighborhood known for its gangs. As a young person he struggled to find his way, just like many other kids kid who grow up in the hood. Even still, I will never understand how people were quick to label him a “troubled child”.
Many people don’t know about the problems and the stress a teen goes through while growing up in the hood. Having to choose between going to school or selling drugs, or taking the chance to aim for college rather than becoming a gangster like all of their peers. Making quick money is always the alternative to sitting in a class listening to a teacher who usually doesn’t care about the “black boy”.
Something both of these boys had in common although they were from completely different neighborhoods is that they were both African American and they both grew up in struggling areas of Sacramento. Both went to struggling elementary schools that didn’t offer proper motivation or programs for students to stay in school. Schools where the quick fix to silencing an outburst from a stressed student was send him home on suspension rather than digging deeper to find out the real issue.
Before we write this off as just another gang killing, try to stop and think about the real issue. This is a tough awakening, an issue that has been around for years, an issue that sadly has to be emphasized with the death of young adults, and that is that the education system failed to reach these students. I am not saying the responsibility of the death of these students should land on schools, but there is a real problem with the education system that is used in schools. Until a remedy is found, to guide the troubled young people growing up in our most disadvantaged neighborhoods towards prosperity, I’m afraid that it’s only a matter of time until another person who I once knew and called a classmate meets a violent and sudden death.