On May 24th, KCRA 3 reporter Edie Lambert provided the Accesslocal.Tv team with a tour of the KCRA studio during the 6:30 evening newscast.
I don’t like talking to people. Well, what I mean is that I don’t like asking strangers a bunch of questions that seem intrusive. Reporters tend to have a bad reputation in general as being prying and pushy and that notion hung over my head for awhile. Especially whenever I’m building the courage for 20 minutes to finally interview just one person. However, this wouldn’t stop me from doing my job and I’m actually quite glad that I relatively got better at starting interactions with strangers.
Sometimes, you can get a good interview by genuinely listening to what people have to say or just by.asking where the nearest important person is. I fondly remember one time at a farmers’ market when I was having a conversation with a woman running a cheese stand. She was very nice and she gave me samples of different flavors of cheese (I like cheese). After discovering that I was a reporter, she personally escorted and introduced me to the coordinator and director of the farmers’ market. I was deeply grateful because she saved me a lot of hassle and from another reminder of my own incompetence.
Overall, working at the Neighborhood News Correspondents gave me many memories and experience as a fellow reporter. I think, in the future, I would probably look back at my time here and credit it for giving me the skills I needed to assist in my anticipated career as a public servant in the City of Sacramento.
I would like to thank Jazmine for recommending this line of work to me as well as being understanding and patient, Dominique for being supportive of my endeavors, Ivan for making me laugh, Quan for teaching me to be cognizant of my co-workers, and, of course, Mr. Gonzalez for allowing me to participate in this youth media program. I couldn’t have asked for a better remaining network of reporters to work with.
Since the May 5th release of Childish Gambino’s music video, This is America, YouTube has recorded over 181 million views and it has reached No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100. Critics have praised Childish Gambino, the stage name of Donald Glover, for producing a video with so many layers of political commentary which is proking a discussion of modern-day violence and culture in our country.
“I don’t want to give it any context,” Glover said an interview. “I feel like that’s not my place.”
But despite Glover’s reluctance to interpret the video himself, many critics have taken on the job on for him.
According to INSIDER, the gray pants Glover wears in the video are almost identical to those worn by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
The red handkerchief used to handle the guns at the 0:55 and 1:56 mark in the video, INSIDER believes represents the Republican Party, specifically how Republican-dominated states often value the 2nd Amendment over lives.
Chaos continues out of focus while Glover and school children perform a South African dance made famous by Rihanna called Gwana Gwana which Business INSIDER believes symbolizes how black culture is used to distract from black violence.
“Death” on a white horse gallops in the background as Glover and the children dance next to a burning car at 2:37.
17 seconds of silence starting at 2:42 is believed to be used to honor the 17 victims in the Florida Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
The video is packed frame-by-frame with symbols that make a powerful statement about black violence, gun control, white supremacy, and the media.
Black youth in the Oak Park neighborhood in Sacramento shared their responses when first watching the video.
“When I first saw it, I was like “Woah”. It made me think a lot about the black culture in American- like black violence and how people react to it and how a lot of the culture is used as a distraction from the violence,” said Makaylah Porras, a 17-year-old Sacramento High School student.
“There was just so much going on. I was distracted by everything. I had to watch it a good seven times,” said Violet Walker, another 17-year-old Sacramento High School student.
“The first thing I noticed was when he posed back and I saw him shoot the dude in the head. I thought it was interesting. I didn’t get the choir reference until someone explained it to me. I liked how it had an ominous feeling. It portrays how America is basically a facade. It’s not peaceful here, like, THIS is America,” said Layla Dobson, an 18-year-old Sacramento High School Student.
What do you think the symbolism means? You can watch the full music video here:
Traffic safety is an ongoing concern in Sacramento, and even more so in the aging original suburbs just outside of the city core. On May 24th, an as-yet-unidentified woman in a wheelchair was killed in a hit-and-run on Stockton Boulevard. Police responded to the incident that morning by closing off Stockton Boulevard between Fruitridge Road and Lawrence Drive. No vehicles were allowed to pass between that part of the roadway for awhile. The Sacramento Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit investigated the scene but no official conclusions have been made as of yet.
“Our officers responded and the female was already deceased,” said Officer Linda Matthew. “It appears that she was in the southbound lanes of Stockton Boulevard in a wheelchair.”
The roadway was reopened at around 7:30 AM but investigators were unsure as to whether the woman in the wheelchair was in the car lane or in the bicycle lane before the fatal crash. As of Thursday morning, the investigators did not have a description of the vehicle or driver.
In January 2012, a 16-year old student of West Campus High School, Michelle Murigi, was fatally hit by a vehicle while on a crosswalk at Fruitridge Road and this prompted many area residents to demand a solution from local officials. In May 2014, the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento City Unified School District installed traffic signals at 58th St and Fruitridge Road. How will local officials respond to the death of the latest victim of traffic?
“This incident has led me to believe our traffic safety isn’t as safe as some may find it,” said Harold Coleman, a resident of South Sacramento. “You have to question the driver for their actions but overall the event is shocking and horrible. Our traffic safety needs to be in check and the woman’s family deserves the justice of finding the person that killed her.”
If you have any information concerning the incident, you can call the Sacramento Police Department’s non-emergency line at (916) 264-5471.
On May 24th, Assembly Budget Subcommittee 5 on Public Safety took crucial steps in addressing California’s increasing number of police shootings. Many supporters of the proposed changes feel that this legislation was a long time coming.
Between the 2016 shooting death of Joseph Mann and the 2018 killing of Stephon Clark, advocates for law enforcement practice reform have been disappointed by the little success for legislation to reign in the police.
Despite California’s liberal reputation and the public’s demand for more accountability for police shootings, law enforcement groups make it extremely difficult to pass bills concerning to police shootings, misconduct, and even body cameras, lawmakers say.
“The public has to become outraged with the people they elect that won’t fight for what is right,” Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) said in March.
And the public has. The pressure is on Sacramento incumbent District Attorney Anne Schubert in her election against challenger Noah Phillips, who claims he can do what she won’t–prosecute police officers.
According to the City of Sacramento’s website, when an officer-involved shooting occurs, the police department’s Homicide and Internal Affairs Units respond to the scene and conduct an “internal investigation” into the shooting. These units are given oversight by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and the City of Sacramento’s Office of Public Safety Accountability. After the investigation is completed, the case is sent to the District Attorney who determines if the officer’s actions were unlawful.
Since Anne Schubert took office in 2015, Black Lives Matter Sacramento counted 22 people killed in Sacramento County by law enforcement and 0 charges filed. The DA claimed each shooting case was justified.
AB 284, authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), will allow officer-involved shootings to undergo an independent review, supposedly free from the influence of the District Attorney and the police department.
“Continued incidents of officer-involved shootings of civilians have caused a growing public skepticism of law enforcement and a conflict of interest for local district attorneys investigating officers,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “Today’s action will help build public trust and confidence in these investigations by allowing an independent review of these incidents by professionals within the California Department of Justice. Taxpayers and the families of those killed by law enforcement deserve nothing less.”
Laws requiring independent investigations of officer-involved shootings are currently in place in the states like Wisconsin and New York.
A newly case study, From Farm to Every Fork: Rewriting the Narrative on Urban Agriculture in Sacramento by Heather Gehlert, depicts the recent historical process and development of urban agriculture in Sacramento. The study reveals that many community leaders and advocates supported urban agriculture as a tool to bring social change because they believe food, as a universal need, can be used to drive communities together. They also believe Urban Ag can help alleviate some of the problems of victims of food deserts and that since Sacramento is a considerable center for food research and policy as well as an environment for food to be grown year-round. However, those same advocates were also quick to stress that “urban agriculture is much more than a feel-good trend; it is a matter of health and social justice.”
The California Endowment, in recognition and response to healthy food advocates and their efforts in Sacramento’s southern neighborhoods, such as Lemon Hill and Oak Park, picked up urban agriculture “in 2010 as a part of its Building Healthy Communities initiative, a 10-year strategic plan to boost health in 14 of the state’s communities that not only have poor health outcomes but also have the potential to change them in ways that create a ripple effect throughout the rest of the state.”
While community leaders and advocates continued their primary agenda for an increase of neighborhood participation in urban agriculture, their efforts were also directed towards youth programs in order to generate the next generation of advocates and additionally influence urban agriculture to be more diverse and inclusive in the future. A prime example of these youth programs is the Burbank Urban Garden at Luther Burbank High School, where the club meets four days a week after school and offers elective credits, allowing students to learn about seasonality, sustainability, crop rotation, and nutrition. The club members maintain their gardening space – which consists of a greenhouse, raised beds, and 40 fruit trees – and also hold annual plant sales.
However, despite recent efforts of promoting the positive effects of urban agriculture, there appeared to be deeply-rooted stigma among young people about farm work. For some African-Americans, agricultural labor was a burden to partake in considering the historical implications of slavery in the United States. For some Mexican-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, their older generation of family members were critical of it because they wanted their children to attend college.
Nonetheless, urban agriculture is on the rise and the vision for some advocates have recently shifted from creating opportunities for urban farming to assisting people in finding those opportunities, making it profitable, and building the business that they need to sustain it. Ever since Sacramento’s policies about urban agriculture have become less strict over the years, farmers’ markets have become frequent.
For more information of the case study by Heather Gehlert, click on the following link: http://s26107.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/bmsg_tce_bhc_from_farm_to_every_fork_sacramento_case_study2018-final-mid.pdf
A study published by researchers Anthony Bui, Matthew Coates, and Ellicott Matthay of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found a new way to encourage police shooting accountability by calculating the average number of years lost in the lives of police shooting victims.
“Framing police violence as an important cause of deaths among young adults provides another valuable lens to motivate prevention efforts,” researchers wrote. “ [Years of Life Lost will] highlight that police violence disproportionately impacts young people, and the young people affected are disproportionately people of color.”
The researchers pulled data from the Guardian’s police shooting death database, The Counted, and found that in the 1,146 police killings in 2015 and the 1,092 in 2016, 51.5% were people of color. Different studies indicate that Black males between 15 and 34 years of age are 9 to 16 times more likely to be killed by police than any other race. Based on the ages and life expectancies of the victims, an average of 57,375 years of life was lost in 2015 and 54,754 in 2016.
In the wake of the death of Stephon Clark, the unarmed 22-year-old black man killed in his own backyard by Sacramento PD over a month ago, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg introduced an initiative to reintroduce community police procedure to rebuild the relationship between the community and police officers.
But some people feel as though the relationship between the community and law enforcement is too strained to repair.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento leader, Tanya Faison, feels that the community needs to focus more on self-empowerment and is organizing a cop-watching group with volunteers to help citizens with their inactions with police, believing that these practices will lessen the number of black and brown deaths by police officers.
Whatever way the city decides to handle police shootings, both the city council and advocacy groups seem to agree that police shootings in Sacramento police shooting deaths have gotten out of control.
Join Access Local as we participate the annual NAMI Walk this year in 2018. Many people from all over come together to show their support for people with mental illness.
Between the years of 2010 and 2015, the death rates of African American children in Sacramento County exceeded that of any other race. Out of the 873 children who died between 2010 and 2015, almost one-quarter of them were black youth. That’s twice the rate of white children, and three times the rate of Latino and Asian children according to the Sacramento Bee.
Why is this issue occurring? The common and most addressed theory is that it has to do with socioeconomic status. Due to historical oppression, people of color tend to be of a lower socioeconomic status, and they have less access to healthcare, or any other kind of medical resources. Some organizations are trying to combat this, such has Her Health First. Sacramento County even enacted its own health program specifically for black infants to combat this issue.
“As a Personal Advocate, I want to assure women that they don’t have to do this alone,” Kenya Fagbemi, program director, wrote on the Her Health First website, “I am here to help client’s problem solve some of the challenges that happen in their daily lives, that might directly or indirectly impact their pregnancy. We empower women with information, options, and an action plan, giving them the confidence to deal with whatever life throws at them.”
Latinos have the many of the same issues with poverty, but why not with infant deaths? This question raises another theory that affects every person of color despite their socioeconomic status.
The theory has to do with discrimination and the stress that the mother is under while the baby is still in utero. When a baby is still developing, they can be affected by the emotional state of their mother. If the mother is under stress during her pregnancy, it can create a variety of issues for the baby, even after it grows up.
Mental health issues also plague the black community due to poverty and discrimination. It could be a combination of these two issues is what is causing the higher mortality rates in black children, but nobody can say for sure until more research is done.