Join me for my very last video on this site.
I had so much fun this summer working for Access.
I remember my first assignment, I had to write an article about why I want to work at Access and make a video about my community. My task was so broad that I naturally overthought it and I didn’t upload my video until the last minute.
I ended up interviewing my neighbor about the highlights of living in the Arden Fair area and I was sweating up a storm because I thought my video wasn’t very good (It wasn’t, obviously, but I’d like to think I’ve improved at least a little since then). Back then, I could barely interview my neighbors without my voice shaking, but I feel like now I have enough confidence to walk to the mayor and ask him questions.
Around my second and third official videos, I started noticing that I was improving. Aside from Isaac, I have my coworkers to thank for that. Without their feedback and tips, all my videos would look the way my first did and I feel a lot more professional now knowing I can just taking a simple iPod and a microphone and make an amazing video.
The Imagine Justice Concert we covered was definitely the highlight of my summer. There has to be about twenty thousand people there! I got to interview people who drove in from Bakersfield just to see the concert, and even the families of some of my school mates. At one point, I was even interviewed and I got semi-spontaneous photoshoot. When I got back home, my family members were so proud of me. They already knew I wanted to be a journalist but I feel like they support be even more now that I’m doing it.
I suggest that for future reporters is to take your assignments seriously. A lot of time you will have an assignment you don’t like or you’ll get distracted. Just know that you have to represent, and that this is a job, not a club. If you try your best on all of your assignments your improvement will be dramatic.
It has been nine months since I started working for AccessLocal.TV, and along the way I learned so many things about the community, and the workforce. Between my first and second term, we began working on a project outside of AccessLocal.TV.
We partnered with Neighborworks to produce a series of videos called Know Your Farmers, Know Your Foods. Over the spring and into the summer we worked on this project, traveling to various farms and asking the farmers a variety of questions.
In July, my team and I took a trip to San Jose to cover the Summer Transportation Institute. This was a summer program held at San Jose State University, in which students attending the program got college credits for the classes they took. We got to tour San Jose state, as well as go to the Santa Cruz boardwalk, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Our last trip was the Free Our Dreams event held at UC Davis. We went to workshops, danced, and played games. However, the most important thing we did during our trips was our jobs: interviews, photography, and videography.
The best advice I could give to new coming arrivals is always get your work in on time. Make sure you get interviews to give your article or video soul, and don’t be afraid. The more confidence you have in yourself the easier the job becomes; the easier it is to get interviews and the easier it is to get interesting shots.
From September 8th through September 10th, the Neighborhood News Correspondent team covered the Free Our Dreams Summit at UC Davis. In this video report, four participants and organizers of the event answered what they personally stand for and how they plan to have a voice in the current political climate.
The power of youth who use their voice to advocate on their own behalf has been growing stronger in California in the past few years. The Free Our Dream Conference, held at UC Davis over the past weekend, seeked to empower young people from all across the state to make changes in their communities.
On Friday, September 8th, UC Davis again hosted the Free Our Dreams event. This Free Our Dreams, like previous events, brought youth from all corners of California, with the help of their adult allies, to come together and have conversations about statewide advocacy strategies for change. The youth came to Davis from as far away as San Diego, Bakersfield, and Eureka.
This event came only a week after President Trump’s decision to repeal the DACA program that supported over 800,000 “dreamers”. The DACA program will be phased out over the next two years.
The DACA program was eligible for undocumented immigrants who had been living in the U.S. before 2007 and were under the age of 30 before 2012. These undocumented immigrants had to be either working or going to school and could not receive federal benefits.
DACA’s removal was a huge topic at this year’s Free Our Dreams event as some of the participants were undocumented or know someone who is. Many youths in attendance are supported by DACA and have many concerns on what to do now.
Throughout the event, there were workshops set up for undocumented youth to participate in and learn more about what happens next. One of these workshops had an undocumented healing circle which allowed youth let out their words and feelings about DACA being repealed through the sharing of personal and emotional stories.
One student from San Francisco City College had more than a few words to say about DACA.
“DACA being revoked was devastating news,” said Cynthia Diaz. “However, DACA was never the solution to what was demanded, but still it offered protection from being separated from this community. I would just want to remind those affected that they are loved and supported, always. We must take initiative to start learning to go beyond DACA and this is by understanding class struggle and political theory. Unified, we will protect each other and build to overcome the system that oppresses us.”
“The fact that this conference brought out so many youths from across California and was very well attended and of course productive,” said Diaz. “This is perfect timing to get together as leaders of this state to create dialogue and share brilliant ideas with one another. Many more gatherings are needed, and definitely necessary.”
Despite many in the Republican Party being is opposed to the decision and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s advice to the president, the Trump Administration has decided to discontinue the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals, also known as the DACA program.
DACA, which was founded by the Obama Administration in 2012, protected undocumented immigrants, or “Dreamers”, who entered the country as children from being deported. If the program is discontinued, after a six month delay period around 800,000 immigrants would be subject to deportation by ICE to whatever country they came from.In the case of a lot of Dreamers, these immigrants have no memory of the countries where they were born or worse were unaware that they were ever undocumented in the first place. According to a press conference by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the president has decided as of today, that the DACA program will be phased out over a two year period.
Regardless of the president’s decision, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg hosted a press conference on August 29th to reassure California’s 22,000 Dreamers that Sacramento, and most of California, will protect the undocumented from ICE.
“In Sacramento, there are 13,000 Dreamers,” said the Mayor. “President Trump, don’t destroy the dreams of our Dreamers.”
The Sacramento Police Department also wanted to assure Dreamers of their compliance with the mayor’s idea in the hope that the undocumented won’t neglect to report crime in fear of being deported.
“Our mission statement is to improve and enhance the quality of life for everyone in our community and regardless of what federal program gets changed or doesn’t get changed, our mission statement doesn’t change,” Sacramento Police Chief Daniels said at the conference.“We are not as concerned with somebody’s status as we are concerned with how things happen in their community [affect] their quality of life.”
Despite reassurances from state leaders, there are still protests scheduled against the discontinuation of DACA in Bakersfield, New York, and Troy, Michigan and many more places around the country.
Come along with Accesslocal.Tv in this video of California Senators and Assemblymembers talking about how important parks are to communities across the state.
On August 20th, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento collaborated with Sacramento Area Congregations Together, an organization focused on encouraging and supporting members in advocating for change in economic and racial injustice issues, to host a conference to encourage people to advocate for environmental justice.
Environmental justice is a type of socioeconomic discrimination where corporations and companies build “less desireable” infrastructure in areas that are lower income and have a high minority population opposed to richer areas that are predominantly populated by white people.
Environmental injustice is often seen in older, pooper neighborhoods. In more affluent communities, residents live with higher property value, making it more expensive for a transplant to locate there, at least in comparison to a lower income neighborhood, where residents pay less and the property value is drastically lower
It is expected that any household would prefer living in a less-polluted neighborhood, regardless of income. Poorer families often find themselves in a position where they have to decide between their willingness to pay more to live in a less polluted area and their desire to have lower rent.
“Not having a healthy thriving community actually impacts every aspect of your life,” said Gabby Trejo, Associate Director of Sacramento ACT. “Drive by a community that has a lack of affordable housing or lack of housing and you’re able to actually see it with your own eyes. But when we’re talking about water or we’re talking about air pollution, we’re not necessarily able to see it and that’s when it becomes a little bit harder to see how that impacts other areas of their lives.”
According to a paper released by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010, studies conducted in 1995 found that “housing values grew less rapidly in locations where there was at least one waste site, and the minority population increased more rapidly in these locations than it did in other neighborhoods,” and “both white and rich households tended to leave neighborhoods after the siting of a dirty plant, while minorities tended to move into these more polluted areas.”
“I feel very hopeful that folks that showed up today…that really have a hunger for making a difference [will] have a real impact on the way Sacramento really looks at environmental justice,” Trejo said after the conference. “We’re going to have a committee have a meeting next month so we actually start digging deeper into what our work is really going to look like.”
Anyone who is interested in advocating or has questions about environmental justice in Sacramento can contact Gabby Trejo @ Gabby@SacACT.org for more information.
On September 9th, from 11 am to 1 pm, Sol Collective will be hosting an event called “Healing for the Homies”. This event is geared towards activists and artists whose work takes a toll on them. Tickets are $10 and the event will be at 2574 21st street.
With the events in Charlottesville, d the hurricane in Texas, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s going on in the world around you. Though it is good to keep up on how the world is doing, activists can get too caught up in other people and big issues and forget about taking care of themselves.
Healing for the Homies helps activists and artists to take a step away from the issues of the world and take some much-needed time to focus on themselves. Healing for the Homies tickets can be found here.
“Sol Collective is a non-profit organization focusing on art, culture, activism, and we have a lot of programing such as Sacramento Activist School. We have Sol Live media platform, which I am the assembly director of, and basically, we try to provide a platform and a voice to individuals who represent marginalized communities,” said Salvin Chahal, the Creative Director of Sol Collective said in a previous interview. “Our work is just rooted in basically healing the people in the best way we can, because we know right now more than ever our communities are hurting, and we don’t need to see any numbers to get a better understanding of that. We know, we can feel it in our hearts and our minds and our souls, so anything we can do to basically provide the opposite of the duality of what’s going on with everything, that what we want to do that’s what our work is rooted in; trying to heal and build community through art and activism. Two things that go hand in hand in whatever way you think when you think of art of activism.”
More information about Healing for the Homies can be found on Sol Collective’s Facebook Page.