Welcome to another episode of the AccessLocal.Tv Podcast. On this show, the Neighborhood News Correspondents are talking about the experiences they’ve had in high school. Their comments and opinions may surprise you! Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the discussion in the comment section below!
On Thursday, August 14th, the Girls on the Rise conference took place at the Sierra Health Foundation. People from throughout Sacramento gathered to hear what knowledge the many speakers of the conference had to offer.
Girls on the Rise is a local non-profit run by a young woman named Jaelyn Singleton. This program provides a space for young girls of color to work on community service projects and leadership skill development throughout their communities in Sacramento.
The conference started with a brief introduction by Singleton and was led into poetry. The event focused on self-care and acceptance, as well as how to fight oppression from where you stand and skills to get involved with the community and help people.
The event then entered into a yoga session after briefly talking about how meditation and yoga can help with everything from the way one sees themselves, being mentally present and tips for
managing stress. Participants then followed an instructor and went outside.
A panel of four women who help the community through non-profits helped the audience understand how they started helping the community, why they do it and what exactly was their “call to action”.
“My call to action,” said Carmen Martinez from Brown Issues, “is something that I have seen in my community, in Sacramento in general, is that certain parts of Sacramento are being gentrified and we have these people coming in from different places, different cities that are not from Sacramento and don’t know the people in Sacramento. Like, how they live and they come in here and they build all these fancy coffee shops, hair salons and breweries and all these things that are not accessible to our own people. So, my call to action for myself and for my community is to reclaim that space. Take that space back because this is our space and we need to take care of it and people say that gentrification is helping communities and making communities better, but it’s not. If people are becoming homeless because wealthier people are moving in, that’s not getting better and we have to take back that space because we know what’s best for our community.”
At the end of the conference, hugs and thanks were all around, and the participants agreed, Revive with Girls on the Rise, was truly a success.
A proposed bill in California would make water and milk the “default beverage” for children at restaurants who order children’s meals. Senate Bill 1192 has already been passed in the Assembly and may soon be signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
The proposed bill was made in an effort to curb childhood obesity and childhood diabetes. If passed, children’s meals will automatically be served with water or milk instead of a soda or juice option with high sugar content.
“I think kids eight and under should not have sugary drinks in restaurants because young bodies need healthy food to grow and the sugar could also cause them to get hyper thus disrupting other customers,” says Elizabeth Merrifield, a 15-year-old Sacramento resident.
According to the text of SB-1192, some of the reasons for this proposal are that “obese children are at greater risk for numerous adverse health consequences, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain cancers, asthma, low self-esteem, depression, and other debilitating diseases.”
Some people believe that the proposed bill will prevent childhood diabetes and obesity, while others believe that the bill is too much. Whichever way one feels, SB-1192, if adopted will have effects across California.
The Party For Socialism and Liberation met on August 18th to discuss Rent Control and reform as well as the release of the magazine; The Housing Issue. In this video, participants, candidates, and guests talk about their thoughts on how socialism could affect rent reform.
Recently, many residents of Sacramento have had to deal with rising rents as property values continue to rise. Mayor Darrell Steinberg addressed the problem by talking about ways to make housing more affordable in the city. According to newly released data, Sacramento rents jumped 9.3 percent in 2017, the largest increase in the country.
To further discuss this issue, and specifically to delve into rent stabilization and “just cause evictions”, the City is holding a public workshop on September 4th at 5 p.m at the City Council chambers on 915 I Street.
“We have to recognize that creating more supply is going to take some time, and we cannot ignore the plight of people who are suffering today,” Steinberg said. “These are people at risk for losing their apartments.”
Steinberg thinks a multiple-pronged approach is needed. The earlier workshop was about increasing the affordability of housing in Sacramento, where staff presented ideas for how to speed the construction of more affordable housing by reducing parking requirements and waiving fees, among other things.
Steinberg has been negotiating for months with housing advocates and labor and business leaders to come up with a plan that will shield renters from excessive increases. He believes that the talks will not put brakes on new units built.
Because police shootings are on the rise in California, a bill called AB931 has been created. In 2017, there was 707 use of force incidents that resulted in serious injury or death throughout California, according to The California Department of Justice.
This year, 625 people have already been shot and killed by police across the nation. California has the highest number of deaths by police shootings-66, says the Washington Post.
AB931 is a bill that was first enacted in March 2017, by Assembly Members Shirley Weber of San Diego and Kevin McCarty of Sacramento. It was written to change the legal standard governing police use of deadly force. According to the California Legislative Information, existing law allows a peace officer to use reasonable force to effect an arrest, prevent escape, or to overcome resistance.
Existing law also states that homicides are justifiable with self-defense, but AB931 would deny this defense to an officer charged with manslaughter and limit the use of deadly force.
“It’s time for justice for victims and families like the Clark family here, like the Clark families all across California and our nation,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty at the AB931 Press Conference at the Capitol in April; a month after Stephon Clark was killed by two officers in Sacramento.
Stephon Clark died at the age of 23. He was unarmed when officers chased him until they shot him 20 times, in his grandmother’s backyard and mistook his phone for a weapon. Community members such as Black Lives Matter Sacramento have been organizing events and protesting his murder, demanding charges to be placed on the two officers, as well as the SacPD officers from past shootings that still have not faced any punishment for unjust shootings.
Police shootings involving the murders of unarmed black men have infuriated the families of Sacramento, and community members throughout the California; causing an uprise in fights for justice; for accountability.
Lizzie Buchen, a legislative advocate at the ACLU of California who works to reduce police violence and misconduct, also spoke at the conference.
“Clearly, the current standard where they can use deadly force when they fear a serious threat, isn’t enough to prevent unnecessary deaths of members of the community, particularly people of color’ said Buchen.
Others worry that enacting AB931 will change policing in a negative way; endangering the public and officers.
“AB931 will turn policing in California on its head,” says Deputy Director Shaun Rundle of the California Peace Officers Association.
“The bill could further erode and compromise both public and officer safety by further emboldening criminals to commit crime with relative impunity, while simultaneously diminishing both the ability and desire of police officers to exercise their lawful discretion when making crucial decisions whether to equitably enforce the law or turn a blind eye to criminal behavior.”
Officers fear that enacting this bill will put the public in danger, with new use of force standards; lower their current standards of de-escalation. But is this the kind of change our police departments need?
“It’s time for California to modernize our century-old deadly force standard,” says Assemblymember Kevin McCarty.
“Revising California’s use of force standard will help law enforcement transition to a police system that can prevent the deaths of unarmed individuals and build much needed public confidence in how we keep our communities safe.“
AB931 will be acted upon by August 17th, if approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The full State Senate and State Assembly will vote on the bill by August 31, according to Assemblymember McCarty.
On August 12, 2018, the Unite the Right 2 rally occurred at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC. This rally was to promote white supremacy and white nationalism. The previous rally was held in Charlottesville, Virginia the year before, which left one person dead after a man drove a car into a group of counter-protesters and left more than 35 people injured. The city of Charlottesville increased security on the anniversary of these tragic events. The city was full of marches against white supremacy and memorials for the people affected. The turnout for the rally this year was very small, participants were outnumbered by counter-protesters from members of over 40 anti-racism groups
Counter-protesters held signs with the phrases “Shut down white supremacy!” and “NO Nazis, NO KKK, NO Fascist USA.” on them. Maurice Cook, who organized the March for Racial Justice, said that the reason that they were there was “to let everyone know we support each other.” Shortly after the rally had begun, the white nationalists left the park because of signs of rain. As they were leaving, the anti-protesters stayed on them, chanting and waving signs. The police that were at the event kept the two groups separated to avoid violence.
On Friday, August 12th, Sol Collective hosted a pop-up Art Show and poster sale with Ernesto Yerena. It was a chance for the community to get together, view art, listen to music and eat traditional Mexican food. Yerena’s art focuses on the Chicano experience and feelings on both sides of the border.
“For me being a political artist, it’s important because a lot of times, the media’s not gonna put out our own stories, stories from our own neighborhoods, from our heritage,” says Yerena.
Sol Collective regularly provides opportunities for the community to engage in activities that promote social justice and awareness. Just last week, on August 8th, Sol Collective hosted Sac Activist School: Mothers Out Front.
“I’ve known them (Sol Collective) for years, and I’ve always wanted to come and do something like this here, we just planned this last minute but, it’s nice to be a part of something here in the community,” Yerena said.
The show brought the community together to appreciate art that highlighted the cultural Chicano experience, while surrounded by great company.
Political art, social justice, and culture all culminated in one place at the Pop Up Art Show. For more events like this one, check out @solcollective on Instagram and Facebook.
On Saturday, August 4th, friends, family, and fans gathered at the Colonial Theatre to celebrate the life of Virgil Flynn III with a memorial wrestling show.
On Saturday, August 4th, there was a Mayan Hip Hop and Cacao Ceremony put on by a local nonprofit called The Decolonization Project and held at the Yisrael Urban Family Farm.
The Decolonization Project is a small nonprofit created to give local People Of Color a voice and a means to get back to their roots. They hold events, distribute a newsletter and even have a zine that comes out every season. The point of the group is to “decolonize”, which means to take back who people of color are and separate the involuntary white life forced upon them away.
“TDP,” as defined in The Decolonization Project’s Facebook page, is “an experimental cooperative with the intent to co-power, strengthen, and create resilient communities of inclusion through the indigenization of our bodies, minds, and spirits. We believe that through indigenization, we can radically alter the settler colonial landscape of our communities and create a harmonious relationship with our Mother Earth.”
The Decolonization Projects praised the location of Yisrael Urban Family Farm due to its intimate size and surrounding nature, as well as the fact that the farm is accessible to the community as well.
The Mayan Hip Hop and Cacao Ceremony took place due to the hope that people who usually do not have access to these ceremonies could easily come and enjoy. Many ceremonies like this would not be advertised to a broad audience and most likely tucked away somewhere. Whereas, this ceremony was made for everyone. The gathering was intimate with around 20 guests in attendance.
“I was a little uncomfortable,” said Arabesque Lynaolu, a Sacramento resident, and attendee of the ceremony. “But I was glad that they had an event accessible to those who practice this.”
If you want to learn more about The Decolonization Project, check here for their Facebook page: