Welcome to This Week in Equity Engagement on Twitter (TWEET) for the week of November 2, 2015. Once again, we have a bunch of great social and environmental justice discussion to highlight. Let’s get to it!
California’s prison spending continues to pace the country.
Welcome to This Week in Equity Engagement on Twitter (TWEET) for the week of October 19, 2015. Another eventful week comes to a close, and we have some great social media resources for you. Check it out:
Another report that shows that soda taxes can be effective at reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Welcome to This Week in Equity Engagement on Twitter (TWEET) for the week of October 5, 2015. There was so much bill-signing excitement last week that we’re a couple days late for this anxiously anticipated edition of TWEET. Don’t worry, we still have a lot of great stuff in here, including:
Great feature in the New York Times about how soda consumption is decreasing.
While most people drive to work, alternative forms of transportation (walking, biking, etc.) are becoming more popular.
This month, the organization released another terrific report highlighting how homelessness interacts with the criminal justice system. Adding Insult to Injury: The Criminalization of Homelessness and Its Effects on Youth looks at how unaccompanied homeless youth face additional burdens due to laws that criminalize their status. For example, homeless youth are often penalized for sleeping in public places. Entering the criminal justice system at a young age can serve as a severe barrier as these youth look to lift themselves out of homelessness. A criminal record can impact their ability to find housing, secure employment, pursue education, and access some safety net resources.
The report, which is the result of interviews with and testimonials from homeless youth across the state, points out that homeless youth lack the resources needed to avoid further violating some “quality of life” laws.
Welcome to This Week in Equity Engagement on Twitter (TWEET) for the week of September 14, 2015. This week was highlighted by the U.S. Census Bureau’s release of national and state-level poverty and insurance coverage data. As such, this edition of TWEET features many analyses of this data:
More Americans have health insurance now than any year on record. Check out this great analysis of the Census data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Changes to California's criminal justice laws will be the subject of a town hall meeting in Stockton this week. Fathers & Families of San Joaquin (FFSJ) will host a public forum tomorrow, April 9th, to educate the community at-large on recent changes to the state's criminal justice laws and to funding streams created by the passage of California's Proposition 47.
Prop 47, passed by voters in 2014, reduces penalties for six non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes by reclassifying them from felonies to misdemeanors. The measure also allows certain offenders who have been previously convicted of such crimes to apply for reduced sentences.
In addition, the measure requires any state savings resulting from Prop 47 to be used to support truancy prevention, victim services, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. By law, 65% of all redirected funds – estimated to be millions of dollars annually – will pass through the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), 25% to the Department of Education, and 10% to victim compensation.
The passage of Prop 47 is very significant for San Joaquin County residents. Many job opportunities are closed to people with felony convictions. Reclassification to misdemeanors will give ex-offenders a better chance to find employment to support themselves and their families.
Proposition 47 will also help create more alternatives to incarceration by shifting funding to education and mental health services. These changes will lead to more people getting the support they need before they get in trouble with the law.
As the economy in the Bay Area continues to grow, few places are reaping the benefits as much as Santa Clara County. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in the county is $91,702, about $30,000 more than the statewide median. In addition, the median value of owner-occupied housing units in Santa Clara County is $645,600, nearly twice the state median of $366,400.
These numbers, coupled with the fact that the county’s population is roughly two-thirds communities of color, would make it seem like a great land of opportunity for all residents. But there are still stark disparities in the county along racial and ethnic lines.
Today’s Friday Facts table shows one of the more striking disparities in Santa Clara County: the juvenile felony arrest rate. As you can see, African American juveniles in the county are more than eight times as likely to be arrested for a felony than their White counterparts (38.0 per 1,000 compared to 4.7). The Latino juvenile felony arrest rate (15.4 per 1,000) is more than three times that of Whites.