This video features Bruce Tran and his thoughts about teen gun Violence in Sacramento.
On Saturday, July 29th, an event called “It’s Our Time” is being hosted by the Sacramento Community Reinvestment Coalition. This event is a forum focused on criminal justice to community reinvestment. This event is located at the Fruitridge Community Center At 4625 44th Street in Sacramento.
This event is aimed to raise a discussion and teach the affects that the criminal justice system has on the budget of Sacramento County. People can come and share personal experiences and ideas for investments that can help people and keep them safe.
The “It’s Our Time” forum is absolutely free with lunch provided. Reentry is allowed and community resource tables are available. The Sacramento Community Reinvestment Coalition is a group of people that are aiming to in helping Sacramento County in transforming the criminal justice system to reduce incarceration.
They hope that the county will invest more in reentry, treatment, rehabilitation, as well as many other critical services for the community of Sacramento. Members of the coalition include the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Self Awareness and Recovery, Sacramento Area Congregations Together, and the ACCE.
This event starts at 10:00 am on the 29th of July and ends at 2:00 PM that afternoon. For more information on this event and it’s whereabouts click here.
Between May 6th and 8th, Sacramento was once again was the host of the #freeourdreams Youth Conference. Formerly known as Sisters and Brothers at the Capitol, the event’s name was changed to Free Our Dreams and has become an annual event which is organized by PolicyLink and Movement Strategy Center. Over 250 youth stormed upon the California State Capitol to hold over 100 legislative visits with lawmakers. Topics of interest for discussion included issues about health, safety, and the future success of young people.
The overall purpose of Free Our Dreams is to make sure that the power of the youth voice is one that is strong and to use that power to help change and advance policies and narratives that affect the neighborhoods of the youth by organizing a statewide effort at the State Capitol.
Youth were transported by bus from cities all over California from places like Bakersfield, San Diego, Stockton, Los Angeles and more. Participants were asked to spread the word and to hashtag #freeourdreams on social media accounts. They went to workshops to learn more about the planned march, social injustices and how they can help to overcome them. They took part in legislative training and preparation for their visits At the end of the first full day of events was a “Block Party” where the participants made their own signs for the march and rally, took advantage of a photo booth and got involved in other art and craft activities.
May 8th was the day that the participants were preparing for. The youth boarded their buses and traveled to the capitol with their signs and banners, displaying #freeourdreams. Participants lined up and began to march around the capitol before heading to the Sacramento California Endowment office where they would finish by hearing speeches from senators and youth participants. From there, the legislative visits began. Youth from Bakersfield-based South Kern Sol spoke on SB 68, a senate bill that extends in-state tuition for undocumented students at CSUs and community colleges. They met Ellen Cesaretti, a representative for Assemblymember Dante Acosta. They also spoke about SB 607 which aims to end suspensions for willful defiance.
“At first I felt really thrilled and then I became nervous,” said Jocelyn Cuevas, a participant with South Kern Sol. “I knew I had to be outside my shell.”
After a long weekend of preparation and work, the legislative visits concluded and the participants returned home in their buses. For many participants, the Free Our Dreams event was a fun and unique experience.
“I was sad when it was done,” said Nichole Castillo, a youth participant with Mid-City CAN. “It was a really great and fun opportunity. I got to meet and bond with other sites. I wasn’t ready to go back home. Not yet.”
Life is a journey. My time at Access Local taught me many things but most important of all, it shows me ways to improve my life at every corner.
The young people will eventually inherit the politics of the world. According to the National Public Radio, the turnout rate of “Millennial” voters is among the lowest of all the current generations at only forty-six percent. In case you didn’t know, Millennials are young people currently between the age of twenty-two and thirty-five. To some, there appears to be a lack of confidence in the government from the young people. In fact, according to Harvard University, young people’s trust in the political process is now historically low.
One explanation for all of this could be that there is a lack of engagement in the political process when the person is a teenager. Many teens in the Sacramento City Unified School District do not know that the district is getting a new superintendent. While this could affect their life greatly, many do not know anything about it. Many do not know who the current superintendent is nor do they know the fact that the current superintendent, Jose Banda, stands to receive extra retirement money by spending time just a short amount of time here at SCUSD.
This lack of political engagement in local politics could be one of the reasons why young people are not engaged in politic as they should be. There were efforts in trying to get the youth of Sacramento to engage in the politics of the Sacramento school system. The Student Advisory Council of SCUSD held a youth town hall meeting for discussion of the selection of the new superintendent. Despite a total student turnout of less than thirty, there was a discussion between young people of how school politics should run.
“I want to make sure all that all this information will be involved in the interviewing process [for the new superintendent],” said Natalie Rosas, Student Board Member of SCUSD during a student town hall meeting. According to the Constitution, “We the people” are the one who grants the government their power. However, what happens when the people do not participate in their government?
This is an overview of the Youth Action Meeting that was held on March 23rd. The young people of Sacramento are encouraged to come to these meetings, and express their thoughts on how collaborative projects between adults and youth can improve.
There are thousands and thousands of students within the Sacramento Unified School District. Thousand of voice calling for different things- but how are they make sure they being heard?
Young people in California ages 16 and 17 now have the ability to pre-register to vote online. Previously, teens could only pre-register by filling out paperwork forms and mailing them in or by handing it into the county election office.
The process of pre-registering is very simple and can be done without the help of a parent or guardian. The questions that are required are likely general knowledge.
A signature is needed in order to complete the registration. The person registering may need to print out the form, sign it, and mail it in. However, if the person has a state ID or driver’s license, the Department of Motorized Vehicles will send in the signature from the ID or license.
But why does it matter that teens can now pre-register online?
91% of teenagers report using mobile devices to go online, while only 6.5% of teens are licensed drivers. Because teens have better accessibility to the internet, versus the ability to drive themselves to election offices or post offices, this hopefully will increase the amount of pre-registered voters, and thus represent the youth more in voting polls.
“I feel like (voting online is) going to be a much faster way of registering/voting,” said Katherine Alestra, a 14-year-old who wants to pre-register to vote. “You can go anywhere with WiFi and be able to do what you need to without the responsibility of going to a specific location.”
This will not make teens pre-register but will allow them to register easier if they wanted to. Hopefully, with easier pre-registration, they will be more inclined to vote by the time they are 18.
Many schools in the U.S today still enforce the zero tolerance policy. That means that a student’s first offense against many school policies will get an absolute punishment. The same thing could even be said with the law, after all, should be no second chance when a murder or robbery have been committed? But what if the crime is committed by an adolescent? Should the crime still be held to the strict standard it’s supposed to be for an adult?
The documentary film, They Call Us Monsters, by Ben Lear, challenges the traditional idea that if a child commits an adult crime, they should get tried in adult court and get an adult punishment. The movie follows three real-life juveniles who have signed up for a screenwriting class while in a detention center. They committed high-level crimes such as attempted murder and drug trafficking as teenagers. One of them was in the process of getting out through court and was successful. He was arrested two months later for robberies and is now currently awaiting trial. Another inmate was also in court, challenging the law to get a reduced sentence. However, his lawyer failed and he got a sentence of over a hundred of years. Due to a recent law passed in California, he was qualified to get a reduced sentence to 15 years since he was an adolescent when the crime was committed.
The question of whether a child should be treated like an adult when committing an adult crime is a question that many lawmakers and legislators have tried to answer. This movie presents the realities as it is. It shows the side of the inmate that is not seen from behind the bars and in the courtroom.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about this world I’d stumbled into,” said Ben Lear about his film. “The narrow space between a lost childhood and a stolen adulthood where these kids managed to live, laugh and discover their potential.” The film presents the reasons to why many youth turn to crime; it’s because they came from poverty stricken neighborhoods where gangs provide shelter and a false sense of security to young teens that are growing up. The inmates in this film even wrote a movie that reflected their own experience. Many politicians have a tough on crime policy because many voters don’t like the idea of “soft on crime”, but when it comes to a child who yet to have a fully developed brain, is it still fair to punish them for life?
Millennials are the primary users of social media but according to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, they are also the most afraid of how it affects them. Of the demographic, 48% report that they are afraid of how social media use affects their physical and mental health and 63% report feeling attached to their phone or tablet. Social media has taken over the world as we know it, but is it really for the better?