Millennials are the primary users of social media but according to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, they are also the most afraid of how it affects them. Of the demographic, 48% report that they are afraid of how social media use affects their physical and mental health and 63% report feeling attached to their phone or tablet. Social media has taken over the world as we know it, but is it really for the better?
On January 19th, 2017, Jose Banda announced his resignation as Superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) in June of this year.
A town hall meeting was conducted at John F. Kennedy High School on Wednesday, March 1st, where parents and students were encouraged to give their input on what kind of superintendent they would like to see replace Banda.
Many of the concerns revolved around a lack of community outreach and involvement on the part of the superintendent.
“I would like to see the superintendent develop a […] strategic plan for broader and [more] insightful community involvement,” said community member Caroline Cabias.
This concern was stressed throughout the meeting by participating students and parents.
“I’ve been a student of this district for 12 years now and I only recall seeing the superintendent once,” said SCUSD student Christopher Wong. “I’d like to see a stronger connection between the students and the district.”
“I think there needs to be a better connection between the parents and the district,” said an attending parent.
Concerns were also expressed over the lack of community involvement in the process of selecting the superintendent. The possibility of creating a community panel to interview candidates for the replacement superintendent was raised, to which Special Assistant to the Board Nathaniel Browning responded:
“It’s confidentiality purposes. We cannot have three potential, five potential superintendents come because we’re only going to end up hiring one. That means others are going to have to go back to their districts.”
“You can have a written agreement that talks about ensuring confidentiality,” replied an attendant. “Our message to you, and to the board, and some of the staff is that we want to see community stakeholder involvement in the selection process.”
The comments and concerns of meeting attendants were written down as they were raised at the meeting. These notes are posted on the SCUSD website, where notes from other town hall meetings are available as well.
The meetings following the John F. Kennedy town hall are as follows:
Rosemont High School – March 7th, 2017 – 6pm to 8pm
Will C. Wood Middle School – March 8th, 2017 – 6pm to 8pm
Luther Burbank High School – March 9th, 2017 – 6pm to 8pm
American Legion High School – March 14th, 2017 – 6pm to 8pm
“Links to Law Enforcement” by La Familia is an event that will go from the 1st of March all the way to April 5th. It will be held at La Familia’s Maple Neighborhood Center which is on 37th Ave in Sacramento.
La Familia is an organization that provides multicultural counseling along with services of support for low-income and at-risk youth and their families in Sacramento. For over 40 years, has provided these services that are all completely free with a totally bilingual staff. Their mission is to improve the quality of youth and their families by providing these services and providing programs that aim to help families to become empowered and succeed.
The Links to Law Enforcement event is a six session event that empowers young people and encourages them to participate in all things law enforcement in Sacramento. This is in effort to have the youth participate to diversify the law enforcement including the California Highway patrol and local sheriff agencies.
This event is likely in response to the police department not being racially diverse as the communities they serve. In Sacramento, the police department is dominantly 72% white while the community is only 36% white. While the rest being 14% black, 25% latino, and 25% other.
“This event has been happening for a long time in Sacramento, and we’re very proud of it,” said Ramon Guitart with La Familia when asked about the event. “These programs, especially from La Familia, help out families and youth and their communities.”
For more information on this upcoming event and what they do please click here.
This coming Wednesday, March 8th, from 6 pm to 9 pm, Sacramento activists are going to have a screening of Ava DuVernay’s “13th”, a documentary about the history and current criminalization of the black community. It will be at Sol Collective on 2574 21st street in Sacramento.
The community is coming together to do a screening and discussion of the documentary 13th. Pizza, spicy popcorn, and drinks will be available. If you want to know more about the event and time, look here for the Facebook event page.
“All of a sudden, a scythe went through our black communities,” Pat Nolan of Prison Fellowship said in 13th. “Literally cutting off men from their families. Literally huge chunks just disappearing into our prisons, and for a really long time.”
Criminalization of African Americans began once they got their freedom, and was amplified by the film The Birth of a Nation. African Americans were lynched and murdered by mobs between reconstruction and World War II.
“The demographic geography was shaped by that area,” Bryan Stevens of Found, Equal Justice Initiative said in the documentary 13th. “We have African Americans in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Boston, New York, and very few people appreciate that the African Americans in those communities did not go there as immigrants looking for economic opportunities, they went there as refugees from terror.”
Once mob lynching became unacceptable, African Americans civil rights activists were portrayed as criminals for breaking segregation laws. The civil rights act and voting right act finally turned things around for African Americans.
Around the time the civil rights movement was gaining popularity, crime rates were beginning to rise in this country. The baby boom generation was reaching adulthood by this time, however, politicians were quick to put the blame on the African Americans. Nixon started to crack down hard on drugs and crime, calling it the War on Crime.
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon white house after that had two enemies: the anti-war left, and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black…” John Ehrlichman, Nixon adviser said. “But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities… we could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
This set the future for America, cracking down on crime and drugs. The Three Strikes You’re Out Law also increased the sentence for people who were incarcerated. With these harsher and longer sentences for people, one would imagine that all races would be incarcerated more, however, 1 in 17 white males have a likelihood of being imprisoned within their lifetime. 1 in 17 is a lot less likely of being incarcerated than the statistic for the black community, which is 1 in 3 being imprisoned within their lifetime.
Watch 13th on the 8th of March to get more details about criminalization of the black community.
“Redlining” was a legal practice from 1932 to 1964. It directly affected minorities living conditions and housing options. Today, among other factors such as the wage gap and the pricey cost of higher education, redlining continues to affect people of color and other minorities.
During the 1930s, the Federal Housing Administration and the Home Owners Loan Corporation worked together to finance over $120 billion dollars worth of housing. However, they did not make this housing available to minorities. They would purposefully exclude minorities, and even went as far as to mark on a map of where the majority of colored people were, so that way the would not finance homes in that area.
This affects people to this day, as homeowners in the redlined areas have a harder time financing their homes, due to the area being poorer than the surrounding communities. This in turn brings down the value of the entire neighborhood. In these redlined areas, the houses also tend to be more decrepit, and the cost of repairs become more expensive.
However, redlining isn’t the only reason minorities are having a hard time. A study done by the Survey of Consumer Finances shows that there is a wage gap between minorities and their white counterparts. The wage gap refers to the phenomenon where one person gets paid less than another due to prejudice rather than skill or adequacy.
With this gap in pay, it makes it a lot harder to attend college in hopes of a higher education. With the price of tuition on the rise, it’s becoming harder and harder for poor people to climb out of their predicament.
Redlining, coupled with the wage gap and pricey education, makes it extremely hard for minorities to pull out of this poor crisis. Solving this issue would not happen quickly, and there are more factors that go into poverty than most people realize, but a good place to start would be to make education more affordable. Also, encouraging affordable houses in nicer areas, and fixing up less desirable areas would be a great place to start.
This past weekend the Growing Together School Garden Initiative gathered together to strengthen and educate teachers, parents, and community leaders involved with helping kids make the connection between food, health, and the environment.
This past Sunday, I attended “A Day of Remembrance” hosted by the local Crocker Art Museum. This spectacular interactive exhibit highlighted the history of the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 internment of Japanese Americans. Exactly 75 years ago this past Sunday, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed this Executive order that started incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese who were considered a threat to national defense from the west coast of the United States. They were forced to leave and abandoned their families, homes, businesses, and communities.
The Japanese were forced to leave to internment camps around the West in places like Utah and spread throughout California. The Crocker Center event included the sharing of stories by those who were imprisoned in the camps as children, remarks by community leaders, gallery tours, performances, and a film screening. This day of remembrance allowed attendees to capture the harsh conditions in the camps, living and work conditions.
The Croker Art Museum had a day of workshops and art exhibits planned that allowed every attendee to learn and gain appreciation for the culture of the history of this time. When I entered the building the first workshop I noticed was a group of people taking turns saying the names of all the people who were forced into these camps. As you continued to make your way around the museum there were stations for children to learn how to make traditional origami and have story time. The exhibit that took the majority of people’s breath away who attended was the “Two Views” photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank. When looking at the exhibit people were captivated by the true realness you can see coming from the photos. The photos showed the struggle of World War ll, forced relocation, and the quality of the work that was captured in each photo.
“After I observed this exhibit I found myself overwhelmed with emotion,” said Ann Peterson, an exhibit attendee.
The high-point of attending the exhibit was the personal narratives from Sacramento incarcerees. Harry Noguchi, 82, of Sacramento, who was interned at Tule Lake at the age of seven, shared his story of his family being forced to move where he was forced to live in an internment camp. Another incarcerated Mas Hatano, 88, of Loomis, who was interned at Tule Lake stated that “It happened, but it shouldn’t have happened”.
While memories of this day open a flood of emotions it’s still important that it is recognized. This Day of Remembrance helped educate and share the true stories of the Japanese decedents of people right in our community. The Crocker Art Museum did a phenomenal job putting this day together bringing the people of Sacramento together to remember the history and to pay respect of the individuals who shared their stories.
Titled “This Is What It Feels Like”, the installation features a black, curtained-off room whose only features are a mirror, a dim light, and a pair of headphones. The viewer puts on the headphones and hears recordings of cat calls that, as the sign outside reads, are “taken verbatim from brave women who chose to share their experiences”.
“My immediate emotional impact was that of searing sadness and anger”, says viewer Cullen Elly. “I’m still thinking about it”.
As the sign also reads, it is “intended for a male audience”, and as suggested by the title, the piece aims to bring the experience of cat calling to those who haven’t experienced it. “I think men should go through [the installation], to see what it’s like”, said Art Street viewer Ryan Montoya. “Even if you aren’t someone who [cat calls], it’s good to know what’s going on in the world.”
“This Is What It Feels Like” is centered in the open area of the warehouse, adjacent to the West End Club section of the exhibition. The installation will remain open to the public until Art Street closes on Saturday, February 25th.
Take a glimpse at the Sacramento’s own healthy food movement taking rounds from the Sacramento Harvest organization. This event brought many people together to work and go out to pick trees for fruit.
On average U.S teen smoking rates are at an all-time high these past several years. A recent article by CNN confirms the harmful risk for teens consuming e cigarettes. The new research and information conducted by one of the nation’s top doctors aims to encourage teens to not smoke e-cigarettes.
“These products are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States, surpassing conventional tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and hookahs,” says Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the US surgeon general.
Dr. Murthy also confirmed that the use of e-cigarettes use among high school students increased by 900% from 2011 to 2015, and vaping among young adults has doubled. E- cigarettes cause harmful effects including addiction and, acting as a gateway to other tobacco products and drugs. Since the rise is mainly from middle school to high school grade level, which means that group is more vulnerable because of brain development. Teens may have majority of their brain development but the harmful effects of an e-cigarette is creating new issues to arise.
The numbers suggest that rather than prompting teenagers to replace cigarette smoking with vaping, e-cigarettes instead have enticed teenagers to use nicotine. The problem now is according to Murphy, teens brains are still being developed at this adolescent stage. Young people who consume nicotine disrupt their neurotransmitter activity and it becomes highly addictive, particularly in a developing brain. Research conducted by the Journal of Pediatrics found that liquids inhaled contain solvents, formaldehyde and other ingredients that pose health risks when inhaled.
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services found e-cigarettes may not be as harmful as cigarettes. Since your lungs aren’t being harshly filled with smoke. However, that doesn’t make them a healthy alternative to regular cigarettes. Many people believe that because the e-cigarettes are a way for many smokers to wean themselves off of cigarettes that they are harmless, but it is still an addictive drug that is toxic if consumed in high doses. What we do know is that nicotine affects the brain, nervous system, and heart. It raises blood pressure and heart rate. The larger the dose of nicotine, the more a teen’s blood pressure and heart rate go up.
“I usually just always was a frequent hookah user, but once I started to notice e-cigarettes had flavors that started to entice me to try”. Karandeep Gill Health Science Major at CSUS.“I started using e-cigarettes and I don’t plan on quitting!”
Today’s generation of leaders and community need to help conquer this new trend e-cigarette has created. Just as taxes were increased on tobacco products in the past, it’s up to the federal, state, and local government to take a stand and regulate this substance. There is a complete lack of government oversight which is allowing tobacco industries to continue to market to children. Tobacco companies are targeted kids through promotion using colorful, sweet flavors, and grasping their attention with exciting logos. Also engaging teen’s interest with themes of independence, rebellion, and sex. The only way that promotion of ads like these can be stopped is taking action to regulate the ads and marketing targets. In the past tobacco companies have promoted cigarettes to young people in the past, but now it’s time to shift gears and urge the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes.