On Saturday, October 6th, the Black Parallel School Board held a forum at the Fruitridge Community Collaborative for candidates seeking office for the Sacramento Unified School District Board.
On Saturday, October 13, the 39th annual Take Back the Night Rally and March will be held at the Sacramento Native American Health Center at 2020 J Street. This event will be held from 5:30 PM- 9:00 PM.
Sacramento’s Take Back the Night Rally and March is held in order to gather the Sacramento community to stand up against sexual assault, domestic violence, gender-based violence and all hate crimes in general.
“We all have to take care of each other,” said local artist and student, Eliot Olson. “It’s all of our responsibilities to create justice, not just a selected committee of oppressors. Community matters.”
There are many resources for people dealing with violence and for people who want to learn how to get more involved in their community. Artists including those that do spoken word, sing or dance will perform and there will be an array of speakers and advocates. The march will begin to make its way through midtown at 8:30 PM and come to an end at 9:00 PM.
Take Back the Night matters to many people in the community and around the Sacramento area. It gives them the chance to speak up, advocate and find ways to help out their community.
To learn more about the Take Back the Night Rally and March, visit their FaceBook page at Take Back the Night.
On Sunday, September 16, the City of Sacramento held the inaugural “916 Day” at McClatchy Park. This is an event planned to be held annually, every 16th of September to bring together Sacramento citizens for a celebration of the city.
On Wednesday, September 12th, Scott Gottlieb, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, stated that youth vaping has become an “epidemic”. He said that his administration is planning on stopping e-cigarette manufacturers sales if they cannot prove that they’re putting the proper rules in place to keep their products out of the hands of children and teenagers. Youth vaping has become a “popular” thing to do in the past few years, with 1-in-10 high school students saying that they’ve vaped nicotine in the last year and 1-in-20 reporting that they vaped marijuana.
“It really started because everyone else was doing it,” said Adam DeLeon, a Sacramento teenager who formerly used devices such as “Juul’s” to vape nicotine. “I knew there was nicotine in it but didn’t think it would do any harm, I thought I could control it. Eventually, I got my own Juul and would use it every day, I found myself needing it a lot. I’m eighteen, I didn’t want to be addicted to something this early in my life, so I ended up throwing everything away.”
Peer pressure seems to be one of the biggest factors in youth vaping as almost 40 percent of students claimed that is why they began. Another 31 percent claimed they began because of the range of flavors available and 17.1 percent claimed that they thought that e-cigarettes were less harmful than regular cigarettes. This is part of the reason why the FDA is ordering e-cigarette manufacturers such as Juul, Blu, Logic, MarkTen XL, and Vuse to give them “robust” plans to keep their products away from children and teenagers.
Gottlieb himself has said there’s no doubt that youth vaping is a problem in America. “Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing,” says Gottlieb, who is a physician. “We’re going to have to take action. No one can look at the data and say there’s no problem.” Many believe that it is good to see that the FDA is finally cracking down on the problem but we will still have to see what occurs in the near future.
According to a recent poll commissioned by Power California, 72% of California youth aged 18 to 24 say they “definitely will” vote in November but only 16% of that same age group voted in the June primaries. This causes many to wonder what is causing this disconnect with youth and voting.
Many young people have their own opinions on voting, and it’s not that they aren’t politically aware, it’s just that many have lost faith in the system or simply don’t know what steps to take to be registered to vote.
“If Hillary and Trump were running again, no I wouldn’t vote, politics are just messed up on both sides,” says 16-year-old William Oosterman of Sacramento.
Youth voter turnout is also an issue that needs to be confronted. In the Power California Polls, around 70% of the youth who voted in the June primary said they were contacted by email or text reminding them to vote. But just reminding young people to vote isn’t always enough.
Young voters need to connect to the candidates and issues they are voting for. Increasingly, more and more youth are supporting groups like Black Lives Matter and are the majority of attendees at protests and boycotts. When a candidate speaks out about an issue that matters to them, an increased number of younger voters show up to the polls.
“Yes I would vote!” says Mason Johnson, a young potential voter in California. “People’s opinions can potentially change the future of the country.”
It is the future of the country that young people are worried about and have set out to change. Some, like Johnson, have not lost hope and continue to fight for a country they can be proud of. Others no longer believe voting has a purpose. Voter education and contact, such as reminders, are just some steps that need to be taken to increase voter turnout among youth.
The Black Parallel School Board will hold a candidates forum for the upcoming Sacramento City Unified School District Board election on Saturday, October 6th from 11:30 to 1:30 PM at the Fruitridge Community Collaborative in Room 5.
The main focus of this event is to let the public understand who their candidates for this election are. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, hear what the candidates have to say and learn what the future of their school district could hold.
Confirmed candidates who will be attending are Lisa Murawski and Anna Molander, running in Area I, Ellen Cochrane, Cecile L. Nunley and Leticia Garcia who are running in Area II, and Darrell Woo and Jody S. Johnson from Area VI.
“As a young person, I try and find every possible way to get involved,” said Emelia-Rose Engel, an intern with candidate Lisa Murawski. “I know how important and vital this race is to me and so many other youths. This race affects the school system and with that, thousands and thousands of students, which means getting involved and letting our voices be heard is so powerful and meaningful.”
Residents who would like more information should call (916) 484-3729 or visit www.blackparallelschoolboard.com.
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.