Gather Oak Park was held on Thursday, September 13th. Many people in the community gathered together to eat food and have fun. I interviewed vendors and participants at Gather.
The neighborhood of Oak Park is known as a low-income area. Now, it is known as a place where up and coming events are happening and the locals are getting pushed out.
D’primeramano Inc held their second “Grito De La Independencia de México” on September 15th, in the Franklin Center. The Festival included traditional hispanic food, dancing, a raffle, and a mariachi group who sang on horseback.
Recently, a study found that a homeless person in Sacramento dies every three days. According to the Sacramento County Coroner’s office, there was 150% increase of homeless deaths from 2016 to 2017. A major factor in this is the increase in the homeless population in Sacramento County which has increased by at least 1,000 people in the past two years. Although there are various homeless shelters around Sacramento, due to the increasing number of people on the streets, it’s become incredibly difficult to house all of them.
“They are too many people who are suffering on the streets with severe health issues from diabetes, high blood pressure to alcoholism. It is very difficult for someone who is homeless to receive and maintain the necessary follow– up with a doctor and to get regular medications needed,” said Sister Libby Fernandez, former Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes and founder of Mercy Peddlers. “Also, they are no immediate shelters or respite care when you are sick. That is what our community needs to help with immediately! Many people die from health issues, being exposed to the hot or severe cold weather, and of course, violence—a homeless person is so vulnerable.”
The issues surrounding homelessness are many, but one thing is for certain- the lack of a solution is fatal problem which we can’t ignore.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick just became the face of a Nike ad campaign and for many upset football fans a reason to burn Nike products.
Nike is celebrating its 30th anniversary. On Monday, September 3rd, Nike released an ad for their “Just Do It” campaign in celebration of the anniversary featuring a photo of Kaepernick, an activist for racial injustice, that reads, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Starting in 2016, Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to protest against the oppression of people of color and police brutality in the United States.
The ex-NFL player sparked a fire of controversy, literally, over what some believed was disrespectful to the troops who have fought for the U.S.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Colin in 2016, according to the NFL. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
The hashtags #boycottnike and #justburnit have flooded social media, with pictures and videos of people cutting off the Nike swoosh from their socks or lighting their Nike’s on fire. Setting shoes on fire to protest the views of the ex-football player didn’t seem to decrease the company’s sales. In fact, Nike sales have gone up by 31% since the photo’s release, according to NBC News.
Kaepernick claims that his intentions were never to disrespect the people who have fought for this country. After making the compromise to kneel instead of sitting down during the anthem with Nate Boyer, a former Army Green Beret and player for the NFL, Kaepernick spoke to reporters about his conversation with Boyer.
“We were talking to [Boyer] about how we can get the message back on track and not take away from the military, not take away from fighting for our country, but keep the focus on what the issues really are,” said Kaepernick. “And as we talked about it, we came up with taking a knee. Because there are issues that still need to be addressed and it was also a way to show more respect to men and women who fought for this country.”
After telling the media over the years that he does support the military and stated his intentions for protesting racial injustice, some Nike owners still continue to boycott the brand.
As for Nike, the $28 billion brand, according to Brand Finance, marketing strategies like this have seem to show much success.
With the 31 percent increase in the brands sales, some say this is just another way for a big corporation such as Nike to make more money, having in mind that talk about social justice is on the rise.
“That is difficult as Nike supports child labor and social justice is somewhat on trend,” says Cian Ward, a Sacramento artist and activist. “That being said it is important for larger scale corporations to recognize the struggle and give it some more attention.”
Another Sacramento resident, Izzy Ignacio, who is a writer and a student, agrees that Nike didn’t take a risk at all, but people should not react in the extreme ways that are taking place.
“I think it’s fine and I don’t understand why people are getting worked up about it; he started a movement, no matter what your point of view on it is,” said Ignacio. “It is still a movement. Financially, it’s not even a big risk to Nike, they’ve always been sort of progressive and they have lots of money and their customers have always mostly been younger people and younger people at the moment are mostly liberal/progressive/democratic so it makes sense why they would use him.”
“We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes,” Gino Fisanotti, the Vice President of Nike told ESPN.
Regardless of people’s opinions and urges to destroy shoes and clothes that could actually just be donated to children in need, Nike is still the world’s most valuable apparel brand.
When Mollie Tibbets’ murderer was identified as undocumented immigrant political officials began to use her death as a racist political argument against the Latino community. Mollie Tibbets father said in the Des Moines Register: “Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie’s memory, I’m imploring you to stop.”
Many in the Latino community have been struck hard by the effects of Mollie Tibbets death. Latinos in Des Moine have been attacked with graffiti and robocalls since the suspect was identified as an undocumented immigrant. Donald Trump, Jr. wrote his own Op-Ed in the Des Moines Register blaming democratic policies for the murder of Mollie Tibbets.
Young people in Sacramento have opinions on Mollie Tibbets’ death as well. “We already have to face enough with the fact that we have always been the lower class in society, and ever since Trump was elected racism has gone up for Mexicans and African Americans”, says Caleb, a 16-year-old student.
And he isn’t wrong. In 2017, the Anti-defamation League released a report which stated white supremacists committed the most extremist killings in 2017 compared to other extremist groups.
“Besides if (Mollie Tibbets) was an immigrant, nobody would bat an eye,” Caleb stated. Perhaps it is this statement that is the most important, maybe Americans as a whole need to take a long hard look at ourselves and think about racism and inequality. What can Americans do to bridge the divide?
Leaders in Sacramento are asking the voters to renew and double the sales tax known as Measure U. While the Mayor touts the plan as a win for the city, not everyone is convinced.
On Wednesday, September 9th, WalkSacramento held a walk audit at Will C. Wood Middle School. WalkSacramento is a non-profit organization made to help develop safe communities for pedestrians. They work with local planners to figure out what would be safest for the community. A walk audit is done to assess the walking and biking environment in an area. These are usually done at any time before, during, or after construction goes on to find issues with the safety or comfort of the area for pedestrians. With that information, the community can offer suggestions for alternate options in that community to make it more accessible.
The Will C. Wood Middle School Walk Audit took place on September 9th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. It is part of the “Safe Routes to School” program which is a program dedicated to finding safer routes for students both walking and biking to school. Studies show that children that walk or bike to school get more physical activity, therefore reducing the risk of obesity.
In Fresno County, the preterm birth rate is 12% in a 70% Black or Hispanic zipcode while in a historically white zipcode area where over 66% of it’s residents are white, the preterm birth rate is only 7% in a report published by UC Berkley’s Graduate School of Journalism. And it’s not just a “Fresno” thing, in this video I touch on the affect that zipcodes have on premature birth.