Welcome to another episode of the AccessLocal.Tv Podcast. On this show, the Neighborhood News Correspondents are talking about equality and representation in mass media. They also spend some time introducing themselves as we have several new voices on the show. Their comments and opinions may surprise you! Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the discussion in the comment section below!
Throughout the campaign and into his new governorship, Gavin Newsom caught the attention of Californians with his comprehensive policies and new approaches to the issues plaguing the state. Newsom’s ideas on LGBTQ+ rights, education, and juvenile justice make it clear that Newsom is willing to make investments in young Californians to improve the future of the state. These proposals have caught the attention of young people across the state as they followed what has been called one of the most important midterm elections in recent years.
Harlan Adams, a former intern for Kevin McCarty’s Assembly District Office recalled “(Newsom) had a really good campaign compared to John Cox … he was able to appeal to more Latinx and working-class voters, that’s why he won…” Young people were extremely engaged in the election and many paid attention to their local elections but also national elections.
While many are excited about the upcoming years, others are anxious about California’s resources being spread too thin. Michael Bennett-Wells from West Campus High School said: “Newsom’s policies will be beneficial to a majority of Californians, however, I feel that because he has so many ideas, he may not be able to fund all of them”. And while these concerns have been raised, Newsom’s budget plans so far have referenced what funds would be used where.
Young people were not only engaged with the election but are also excited and anxious for what is to come. Kora Spiak from the Young Activists program at West Campus said: “I am so glad we have pro-LGBTQ+ Governor but I am concerned if he will be able to stand up to our current presidential administration.”
While it is still too early in Gavin Newsom’s term to predict everything that will happen, his policies have given many young people a positive opinion of him. In general, the young people in California this reporter spoke with are extremely hopeful for the governorship of Gavin Newsom.
On Sunday, January 13th, members of the Oak Park community came together to paint fences, make pathways and plant fruit trees at what is called Art Garden. If you would like more information on upcoming community gatherings at Art Garden, view the following link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/124122945099230/
According to the Sacramento Bee, “Rising suicide rates and depression in U.S. teens and young adults have prompted researchers to ask a provocative question: Could the same devices that some people blame for contributing to tech-age angst also be used to detect it?” This question is leading scientists to think of apps and programs that can monitor a user and warn them when it comes to a mental health crisis.
Often, when one hears that an app or just more screen-time, in general, can help them with their depression, it sounds like a joke.
“It doesn’t seem feasible,” said high school student Arabesque Lynaolu. “I would probably not use an app that claimed it could help cure my depression because I would not believe
that it could.”
However, professionals working on this, such as Dr. Alex Leow, a professor of psychiatry and bioengineering at the University of Illinois, explain that these apps are simply tracking.
“We are tracking the equivalent of a heartbeat for the human brain,” Dr. Leow explained. This is similar to devices that cardiologists are telling their patients to use, that can track and monitor how steady or abnormal their heart rates are.
“Every morning, the device I was given sends a report from my defibrillator that is directly attached to my heart, to the cardiologist, ” said Germelle Watson, a patient with heart failure and a device to monitor it. “The technician checks all of the reports daily and if there is an abnormality, they contact me.”
Although some people find the idea of someone tracking your thoughts and mood to be a direct violation of one’s privacy, others argue that it is worth the risk to save lives in a time where suicide rates are climbing.
NorCal Resist recently sent 15 people to help at the southern border. An event was hosted at the First United Methodist Church where community members could ask questions and discuss issues such as intersectionality and youth involvement, and how they impact asylum law.
On Sunday, January 14th, on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and 14th Avenue, the Oak Park Art Garden will be hosting a “neighborhood action day”. The event will be open for members of the community to partake in painting the communal fence mural that surrounds the lot as well as a chance to plant trees and other winter crops. The event will be happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free, and plants and art supplies will be provided. Drinks and snacks will also be available to attendees, and it is suggested to wear clothes that you are willing to get messy in.
The Oak Park Art Garden is a large lot that once stood vacant right in front of the large MLK and 14th Ave intersection. It is now a safe community space for creativity to thrive. Throughout the space, there are many art pieces that were created to uplift the neighborhood and residents. There are also crops that were planted by members of the community at events such as the one happening on the 14th.
Safe, creative spaces like the Oak Park Art Garden are not often accessible in areas like South Sacramento, which is why the Art Garden ’s work is so important. To have events open to the public with opportunities to create and work with the earth allows for safe and fun experiences for everyone to take place.
To register for this free event, go to the official Eventbrite page. To keep up with the art Garden and future events, make sure to like their Facebook page and follow its Instagram, @oakparkartgarden.
The word expunge is defined as “to erase or remove completely something unwanted or unpleasant.” In the process of law, expungement is when criminal records can be destroyed or sealed off to help improve the quality of life for these people. The expungement of records is often available to first-time offenders. Many violent crimes cannot be expunged however expungement is often used to seal off these record of people convicted of drug possession. Expungement is helpful to those who find it difficult to find a job or start fresh after a conviction and can help someone trying to start a new life.
Expungement law changed in California with Penal Code Section 851.91. The Rudolph E. Loewenstein Law Firm wrote “The great thing about this legislation is that if you qualify under its provisions it is a matter of right and the judge cannot refuse to grant the petition.” The legislation makes expungement more accessible to Californians, leading to a rise in expungement clinics in California. Expungement clinics are events where a person can work with attorneys to clear or reduce their record in order to improve job prospects. While expungement laws vary by state, these clinics have become more and more common in an attempt to help combat rising drug arrest rates that disproportionately impact marginalized communities.
The American River College Legal Clinic will be holding expungement clinics on the second Saturday of the month from February to May. This clinic can expunge convictions from California Courts. American River College Legal Assisting Students will be facilitating the clinics and helping participants file their reports and attorneys from the Wiley Manual Bar Association, as well as the Cruz Reynoso Bar Association, will be present to help answer questions and look over applications. More information regarding the event can be found here.
On January 21st, the Sacramento branch of the Black Lives Matter organization is hosting the “4th Annual Reclaim MLK: This Was Not The Dream!” march. The event is meant to make others aware that there was a Martin Luther King Jr. that people are not taught about.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento wants to march for a specific vision that Martin Luther King Jr. had. “The MLK Jr that no one speaks of. The MLK Jr that doesn’t accommodate the legitimacy of white supremacy, but instead the MLK Jr that tells us that “A Riot is the Language of the Unheard,” that “I’m Black and I’m Beautiful”.”
On April 4th, 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech that surprised many. King’s speech, titled-Beyond Vietnam, detailed how the United States was using its resources on the war and not protecting those within its own country and how the main enemy for most citizens was their own country.
“…I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos,” King declared in Beyond Vietnam, “Without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world: my own government.”
Black Lives Matter Sacramento continues to put on this event as a reminder of the Martin Luther King, Jr. that, according to USA Today, “has all but disappeared from the public consciousness.” In the aftermath of the speech, critical people were fired up and judgmental. Many thought that
King should have “left well-enough alone” and kept the two topics separate. In fact, many would rather have had King disappear and the anger led up to King’s death via assassination on April 4th, 1968.
The 4th Annual Reclaim MLK: This Was Not The Dream! March is meant to commemorate King’s life and work that many do not care to know about and to continue King’s fight.
If you are interested in going to the Reclaim MLK: This Was Not The Dream! March, view the following link: https://www.facebook.com/events/338301196955130
Hello and welcome to my first contribution to AccessLocal! My name is Star Porras, and I am a new neighborhood news correspondent. I was born on January 5th, 2001, right in South Sacramento, California. I am the oldest of three children, with an eleven-year-old sister and one-year-old baby brother. In terms of astrology, I have a Capricorn Sun, Gemini Rising and a Taurus Moon. I’m a third generation Chicano, who is also transgender-nonbinary. My pronouns are He/Him and They/Them. Currently, I am a senior in high school and plan on going to community college for two years and transferring a four year. While I have not planned out every single step of my life, I know for certain but I am going to continue to be heavily involved art and activism. I plan to study art and business, but I am keeping my mind open in case I become more interested in other ventures.
I was born to two Chicano artsy activists, and I’ve noticed I have been subconsciously following in both their footsteps. My mother is an incredible organizer and businesswoman and has the ability to excel in everything she does. Her love for collaborative community building and healing has led her to become an incredible and inspiring leader. She founded one of the most prominent community art centers in the city and is involved with an array of incredible international projects. My father is a master of capturing the moment, as he was a professional photographer for years, but later switched to video work when he grew tired of the stillness. He is incredibly creative and has helped me so much as I dive into the same artistic fields he has been passionate about his whole life. My parents There is also my amazing stepdad, who is an audio genius. He is a highly skilled sound engineer, as well as a producer and DJ, who has taught my siblings and I some of his craft. My parents all get along as best friends and even have a band together. Together, we have all traveled to many different kinds of festivals and conferences and shared many unusual learning experiences. I’ve been blessed to have the three of them support and inspire me, and I am doing my best to make them proud.
My passions are all pretty much a mix of my parent’s strengths, but with my own unique flair. I’ve dabbled with many art forms, and plan to keep doing so. My most frequent method is usually drawing, either digitally or with pens and art markers. I also paint with both acrylics and watercolor and plan to get into oils soon. Collaging, sculpting, graphic design, zine making, printmaking, and even fashion design are some of my favorite crafts. Along with those, I also have recently found a deep passion for video and film work. While I have dabbled with photography on 35mm or Polaroid film cameras for years, I’ve started to take digital photography and videos more seriously this past year. I was lucky enough to have a film history class in my junior year, which I now TA for, to open my eyes to the passion didn’t realize I had. Analyzing the cinematography of films from the 1920s to now has inspired me greatly, and I am currently in the process of writing scripts for a few short films I plan to create within the next year. Along with those creative pursuits is also writing, which has always been one of my favorite pastimes. In elementary and middle school I would love to write and illustrate short stories all the time, and then distribute them to friends as gifts. In school, my teachers have always praised my work and used my pieces of examples, whether it be a research report or an excerpt from my autobiography. Combined with my wonder for what is happening around me, journalism is of course just happened to be another creative endeavor I am looking forward to exploring. I probably got that from my grandpa, who had created his own newspaper back when my family was still in Texas, which he now continues in the form of Facebook blog posts. I am looking forward to experiencing all that this field has to offer and to create intriguing content for others to learn from and enjoy.
This year, a law passed in 2016 called the California Voter’s Choice Act changed voting in California exponentially during the midterm elections. The California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) allowed voters to have more options on how, when and where they voted. This program was tested in five counties in California including Sacramento. Napa, Madera, Nevada and San Mateo.
The VCA allowed voters to have same-day voter registration, early voting up to 29 days prior, and the ability to vote by mail. Out of these five counties, Sacramento was the largest, and therefore it was very important to see the results from it. Voting in Sacramento was exponentially higher than previous years. According to an informational article by Hmong Innovating Politics, the 2014 general election voter turnout was 38.28%, whereas in 2018, the voter turnout increased to 68.32%.
“My experience as a new voter this year was very nerve-wracking,” said Arabesque Lynaolu, a newly-eighteen, first-time voter, “But exciting! It was my first time voting and I’m so glad I took the opportunity to. Although I didn’t mail in, having the option was convenient and I definitely will vote again. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”
Overall, The Voters Choice Act seems to have changed voting as a whole. So much in fact that in 2020, all counties in California may opt-in.