After the Trump Administration filed a lawsuit over its Sanctuary State laws, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared in Sacramento for a speech covering his issues with California. This appearance ignited a protest right outside of the Sawyer Hotel in Downtown Sacramento.
In honor of National Women’s Day, local organizers put together a march to discus prevelant issues that all women deal with, as well as the women in Sacramento. There was a heavy emphasis on diversity, and inclusion. There also was live music, as well as speeches given by different organizers.
Many people believe that laws exist in society in order to keep its citizens safe. When a person commits a crime, they should be penalized accordingly. However, there are some that are questioning if punishment is the appropriate way to keep people safe. After all, if the punishment cripples a person’s ability to return to being a productive citizen, is it really the best option?
According to the Los Angeles Times, community reinvestment is the key to reducing crime and violence. Instead of locking up the people who break the law, they are assigned projects or summer jobs to improve their community.
“Indeed, there is now sufficient evidence to support an entirely new model for countering violence — one driven by investment,” said Professor Patrick Sharkley, the writer of the article Community investment, not punishment, is key to reducing violence.
In Sacramento, organizations such as the California Endowment encourage restorative actions rather than punishment. One reason to choose reinvestment is the much lower cost. According to the New York Times, the average cost of locking up one inmate annually is $168,000, The prison population of California in 2015 was 112,300 people. According to the Orange County Register, California could save half a billion dollars by introducing new rehabilitation programs for inmates and ex-convicts.
In the Sacramento City Unified School District, there are some educators who hold similar views. Often, the teachers and school administrators have to strike the balance between restorative programs and punishment.
“I definitely think that the balance should tip in the favor of, restorative, reinvestment, supportive, as opposed to punishment,” said David Van Natten, Principal of John F. Kennedy High School. “Particularly in the context of school, sometimes a consequence is appropriate but that it’s a much better learning experience and it’s more likely result in long-term change if there is a restorative component.”
The American prison system has become one of the largest in the world. It is up to the people to decide what happens next.
As time marches on, technology advances. These advancements are meant to provide improvements to the condition of life for everyone. For example, automation makes manufacturing faster and more efficient. Computers and algorithms make sorting millions of data points as simple as the click of a button. However, there may be a downside to technology that many people might not be aware of. Artificial Intelligence may be very advanced, but it does not yet have the strengths that people get from human interactions.
According to Gizmodo.com, the book “Automating Inequality: How High Tech Tools, Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” is exploring how technology affects poor people.
“What the system did was explicitly sever the link between local and caseworkers and the district that they served,” said Virginia Eubanks, author of the book, in an interview with Gizmodo. “The result was [a rise in] denials of benefits for basic human rights like food and medical care.”
In her examination, Eubanks brought up an examination of how statistics collected in during a case in Pittsburg determined abuse or neglect in a household were discriminating against the poor. She claims that the lower incomes families are “over surveils” because they are the one who uses public programs such as welfare, food stamp, etc. Most of the data collected used by the city come from those programs, and there, unfairly assume abuse and negligence are more common in low-income households.
Sacramento had also become more technologically advanced in the recent years. According to an article written by the Los Angeles Time in 2015, Silicon Valley was having increasing present in the Capitol. Even though they were bringing new technologies to Sacramento, they were also bringing lobbyist. For example, Uber and Lyft spent nearly half a million dollar in 2013 lobbying bills that would regulate them like the taxi industry. While technology is making life easier for some, it may also be increasing hardships for others.
Sacramento housed the fourth largest Japan Town in the United State during the 1920s. Today the town is known as Old Florin Town. Explore in this video the untold history that many that still have a message today.
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.
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.
The Me Too movement originated over a decade ago when a woman named Tarana Burke was at a youth camp. A young girl had asked to speak with Burke alone and she told Burke about sexual acts her stepfather had done to her. From the experience, Burke would go on to create the Me Too movement later that year. The movement exploded in October of 2017 after actress Alyssa Milano came out against movie producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual assaults.
Shortly after, Milano tweeted out, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”
Thousands of people started to reply to the tweet and tell their story. The metoo hashtag was trending on Twitter for many days. Other actors and actresses also came out with their own experiences of being sexually assaulted. The movement is so powerful that it has influenced politics. The Washington Post published in early November that Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore had an inappropriate relationship with a 14 year old girl while he was 32 years old. Roy Moore lost the election afterward.
In Sacramento, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty called for more responsibility in regards to sexual harassment claims in the California Legislature.
“The California State Assembly should look at the taxpayer funded payouts for sexual harassment — and explore holding perpetrators of sexual harassment more financially accountable,” said McCarthy on his website. “Why should taxpayers be on the hook for sexual harassment payouts, while wrongdoers walk away with no financial accountability? The State Assembly and the Joint Rules Committee should consider ways to recover financial damages from proven violators directly.”
The Me Too movement came late in 2017 but has already had a tremendous effect on society. Many women felt more empowered to speak out as a result.
Every year, fancy sports cars gather at the door of Shriners Children Hospital. The community gathers to donate toys and help the children who are less fortunate.