Did you know that Sacramento and many cities in the Central Valley ranked among the top in the nation in rent increases? In this video, we look at the statistics and how it affects people.
The term “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as a disorder that can develop in people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous, and overall “traumatic” event. PTSD is most commonly associated with symptoms seen in returning war veterans, but an action brief released on the California Endowment’s homepage redefines the term in a way many services providers seem to overlook. The report explains how PTSD symptoms in boys and men of color are often dismissed as the patients being “too hard” or “unremorseful” while really they are suffering from trauma that cannot be pinpointed to a single incident but are recurring factors in their daily lives.
To begin to understand how PTSD affects BMoCs, you first have to understand trauma.
The National Center for Trauma-Induced Care says that when a victim experiences trauma, an “external threat overwhelms [that] person’s coping resources.” While many people picture trauma as involving violence, abuse, or a disaster, just as many fail to realize is that factors like as poverty, racial discrimination, and incarceration or detention can be equally traumatic. While a form of PTSD is definitely experienced in many BMoCs, the term itself fails to accurately represent the trauma they experience.
For one thing, BMoCs quite often fail to get the help that they need, whether it be from lack of primary care and behavioral health treatment or an absence of emotional support derived from “victim-blaming”.
The brief also claims that because of the mis-definition of trauma, services like schools, healthcare, and law enforcement “will overlook these symptoms in BMoC, considering them “unworthy” of the diagnosis of PTSD” or “consider BMoC’s to be solely responsible for creating the circumstances that led to their trauma will therefore not offer empathy or treatment” which only reinforces the trauma. Aside from that, the empathy gap concerning mental health and poverty of Blacks and Latinos in our society enforces a stigma that BMoCs are “hard” and don’t need support or assume that the victims are at fault for experiencing their trauma and violence.
Often times, BMoCs misunderstand their trauma themselves and internalize their stress as just parts of their lives. Usually, BMoCs will identify their trauma as them just “trippin’ out” or feeling “angry”, many times they refer to physical symptoms like grey hairs or feeling as if they’re “killing [themselves] slowly” with stress, many describing experiencing sleep dysfunction.
In these situations, it’s common for BMoCs to self-medicate themselves with drugs like marijuana or alcohol in order to “be cool” enough to fall asleep, though is only helps reinforce a negative stigma to providers that BMoCs are “drug seeking” and will ignore their complaints, the brief explains.
There are more restorative ways to help with this problem. PRO Youth and Families, an organization in Sacramento, works with youth through Life Skills classes and mentoring programs.
“We get to know the youth we’ve been entrusted to work with by not only focusing on their exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), but also on family, social and community assets that could serve to moderate risk exposures or enhance resilience,” said Dimitrius Stone of Pro Youth. “We also introduce mindfulness, meditation and the benefits of yoga to our youth. Although many are reluctant to try these practices to help cope with anxiety or mental illness, we make sure to share data that shows a correlation between communities with an abundance of fitness clubs/yoga studios and the high life expectancy of its residents, and communities with few fitness clubs/yoga studios and residents with low life expectancies and mortality rates and allow the students a chance to talk about the disparities and draw their own conclusions.”
You can read the full brief for yourself here.
During the panel discussion for the 2018 Women’s March, some people of Sacramento were unhappy with some of the aspects of the last women’s march. This year, however, changed some of the issues people had with the march last year. Let’s see what the people of Sacramento think of the Women’s March this year.
On January 13th, Black Women Organized for Political Action organized a film screening of the movie “The Bail Trap” and panelists discussed the facts of the movie and advocating for SB10, that eliminate money bail in the state.
American high school-aged teens engagement in risky behaviors are reportedly on the decline in recent years. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and reported by the International Business Times, within the last decade the rate of high school teens having sex has gone down dramatically. Sex among students has dropped from 46.8 percent to 41.2 percent. The decline is steady and prominent even in younger students such as in middle school.
According to another study report by IBT, there are many reasons why teens are not having sex as early. One of the main reasons for female students not participating in intercourse is that “I am proud I can say no and mean it.” For males, it is “my current partner (or last) is (was) not willing.” This reasoning shows that female students are more empowered to say no and male students are more respectful to their wishes.
“Student [now] are under a lot more stressed than the previous generations,” said Sophia O’neal, a senior from John F. Kennedy High School. “They don’t have a lot of time to think about those kind of thing like sex and drugs. School is something that is important for me and I focus on it a lot.”
One thing to keep in mind is how much riskier the behaviors that teens participate in have increased. It comes down to quantity versus quality. Teens may be using less drugs now than the previous generation, but according to the San Diego Union Tribune, drugs like methamphetamine have gotten purer and deadlier in recent years.
According to KCRA 3, 44 pedestrains and bicyclists were killed in Sacramento County in 2015. That’s why the City of Sacramento is working on its own “Vision Zero”, a program that is based on traffic and biking safety. Their ideas are to bring biking fatalities down to zero.
“Vision Zero” believes that traffic deaths are preventable, and they use preventative measures to try and keep residents safe. Vision Zero recommends changing speed-setting standards for cars, improve enforcement on speeders, and updating roads to accommodate everyone who uses them, not just cars.
“Well, last time I rode my bike I ran into a parked car and the handle smacked (me) and almost broke my ribs!” Katherine Mills, a Sacramento resident explains. “Bruised like crazy! I don’t like how sidewalks here have the wave effect. They aren’t flat.”
New York City and other town have seen a decrease in biking accidents after implementing Vision Zero, or other programs like it.
Locally, there are four upcoming meetings in different areas at different times, in order to get input from the city of Sacramento:
- January 17 – 5:30-7: 00 pm, South Natomas Library, 2901 Truxel Rd.
- January 24 – 5:30-7: 00 pm, Pannell Community Center, 2450 Meadow View Road
- January 29 – 5:30-7:00pm, Oak Park Community Center, 3425 MLK Jr Blvd
- January 31 – 5:00-7: 00 pm, City Hall, 915 I Street
Access Sacramento is looking for short film scripts for its 19th annual “A Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival script competition. Ten entries will be selected for production and a big-screen world premiere in October, 2018.
Entry scripts must be no longer than 10-minutes with family-friendly stories that feature people and places from the Sacramento region.” Script entries are due by 5 p.m. Wed. March 21, 2018 by either drop off at the Access Sacramento office or online from AccessSacramento.org.“What an exciting opportunity is coming for another 10 filmmakers,” said Film Festival Director Gary Martin. “With Hollywood successes like “Lady Bird” and “The 15:17 to Paris” showcasing Sacramento in film, this year’s festival is perfectly positioned to demonstrate 10 more times what a great filmmaking community we have here.”
Scripts are judged by professionals in three-rounds of blind review, before the top 10 screeplays are selected. The winning writers become producers who have the summer to shoot and edit their project for submission in early September and the world premiere the first weekend in October.
Access Sacramento will host a huge volunteer cast and crew call on Wed. May 9, 2108 at the Coloma Community Center in Sacramento where actors and technical crew gather to volunteer their talents to the 10 winning writers.
A special “Short-Form Script Writing” class runs four Saturdays beginning Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. at Access Sacramento to help writers begin a new script or to polish one already in progress. Instructor Dawn Spinella is a professional writer and coach and is the script coordinator for the California Film Foundation. The $50 class-fee must be paid for in advance at Access Sacramento, 4623 T Street, Suite A, Sacramento or by calling 916-456-8600 ext. 0.
Additional classes to help aspiring filmmakers include:
Short Film Production Tips – Four Saturdays – 10am-2pm – April 7-28 – $50 – Instructor Carlos Hernandez
Make-Up for the Camera – One Day – May 19 10am – 2pm- $50 includes supplies – Instructor Shawna Stagner
Acting for the Camera – One Day – May 26 – 10am – 5:30 pm – $50 – Instructor Charlie Holliday
In 18 previous years, the A Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival has brought 177 original short films to the big screen at the Crest Theatre for their world premiere. Many of the writers and actors see their work on the big screen for the first time while others advance existing acting and technical careers.
As an all volunteer project, A Place Called Sacramento annually draws hundreds of people who want to support filmmaking in our region both for the creation of the 10 winning films and then their world premiere. The 18th annual festival’s films showed to a sold-out capacity crowd of 960 at the Crest Theatre.
For more information, visit the AccessSacramento.org website or call 916-456-8600.
Housing has been a major problem in Sacramento for the past several years. Whether it be the affordable housing crisis or high rents, many people are struggling with finding a place to live. Even when people find apartments to live in, they can still face problems as tenants. Often, low-income tenants struggle to pay their rent. They struggle because they are what’s considered a “cost-burdened” tenant. That means that they have to pay 50% or more of their income on rent. According to a Harvard study reported by National Public Radio, 72% of people who make under $15,000 a year have to pay more than half of their income on rent. Cost-burdened tenants are more likely to be evicted or treated unfairly by their landlord because of their struggling ability to pay rent.
One group that seeks to stand up for tenants rights in Sacramento is the Sacramento Tenants Union. On January 8th they held a meeting in the Organize Sacramento office to discuss solidarity in supporting each other rights as tenants. It was an open door meeting and everyone was welcome to join.
“The Sacramento Tenants Union [believes that] housing is a human rights, solidarity is key,” said Lazaro Cardenas, a member of STU. “It is important to recognize that tenants are not defined by one issue. Affordable, rent control and evictions are issues that impacted a lot of people incident in Sacramento and other states. The mission of the Sacramento Tenants Union is to ensure a strong solidarity amongst tenants in Sacramento.”
Tenants have rights that are protected by state and federal laws. The Sacramento Tenants Union seeks to spread knowledge of those rights and protect people from unjust evictions.
Martin Luther King Jr. was renowned for his achievements as a political activist in civil rights. But many people don’t know that just before he was assassinated, he strived to solve the problem of poverty in our nation. King wanted the government to eliminate poverty by providing every US citizen a guaranteed middle-class income and a job. He didn’t want to just alleviate poverty but to also raise the American society into the middle-class. King argued that the guaranteed income should be “pegged to the median of society” and it would, therefore, raise the standard of living for many people. He contended that his plan was feasible because he noted an estimate by John Kenneth Galbraith, an economist, that the government could create a guaranteed income with $20 billion dollars a year. As Mr. Galbraith said, King’s economic plan was “not much more than we will spend the next fiscal year to rescue freedom and democracy and religious liberty as these are defined by ‘experts’ in Vietnam.”
With that in mind, the third annual “Reclaim MLK: This Was Not The Dream!” march will be held on January 15th, 2018 between 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM, starting at the Safeway market at 1025 Alhambra Boulevard in Sacramento. This march is hosted by Black Lives Matter Sacramento, SURJ Sacramento, and the Gender Health Center. The goal of this MLK march is to bring unity and to rally the power of the people against racism, white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, homelessness, poverty, and fascism. The march will end at the Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J Street, where the Diversity Expo will be held from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.
The following organizations that sponsor this upcoming event are ANSWER Sacramento, ACLU Sacramento, Party for Socialism and Liberation, California Endowment, NoDAPL, Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, H.E.L.L.A. (Health Economics Life Liberty for All), Sacramento Justice League, Justice for the Picnic Day 5, the Poor People’s Campaign – Sacramento, King Hall Immigration Detention Project, Rural SURJ of NorCal, Green Party of Sacramento, Lavender Library, Democratic Socialists of America – Sacramento, Wellstone Progressive Democrats of Sacramento, Jewish Voice for Peace – Sacramento, the Resistance Sacramento Elk Grove, Awake Café, Community Space, and Brown Berets de SacrAztlán.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento, SURJ Sacramento, and the Gender Health Center collectively made a statement, “We will not be aligned with an event tainted in capitalism or sponsored by the very law enforcement entities that are killing us in the street, but with the people! Join us!”
For more information about this event, click here.
The Women’s March in Sacramento last year was successful in getting thousands together for one cause. But many people felt lost after the march, and some of Sacramento’s citizens want there to be changes before there’s another march to the Capitol.