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Come Learn How Clean Energy Helps Working Families

Come Learn How Clean Energy Helps Working Families

Something amazing is happening in California. We are taking bold steps towards building an inclusive clean energy economy that benefits our neighborhoods, our working families and our planet.  California’s growing clean energy economy not only fights climate change, it’s already putting Californians to work in good jobs, helping California employment to grow faster than the rest of the U.S.  Today over 430,000 Californians work in energy efficiency, solar power and related fields.  More Californians now work in these fields than in aerospace or movies, TV, and radio combined.  Much more is coming and we want you to know how to join the Good Economy. Businesses owned by people of color…
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Creating #OneHealthyFresno with Fresno Building Healthy Communities

Creating #OneHealthyFresno with Fresno Building Healthy Communities

Since September 2014 I have attended meeting after meeting to understand the health impact of the city’s general plan, convince our elected officials that providing health care access to all Californians, regardless of immigration status via Health4All is both economically and morally responsible, and advocate for necessary resources to maintain and create new parks in central, southeast, and southwest Fresno. Through all the meetings I have witnessed that mentorship plays an essential, universal role in the success of Fresno Building Healthy Communities. I learned the value of mentorship first-hand as an undocumented student trying to overcome multiple challenges. Looking back, I always had mentors and a safe space created by…
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Questions for the Presidential Candidates

Questions for the Presidential Candidates

Suddenly we’re up to our eyeballs in presidential candidates — yeah, I’m looking at you, Rand, Hillary, Marco, Jeb and all the rest. I have some questions for you. I must note here that Greenlining is nonpartisan. We don’t endorse candidates for president or any other office – even when one of our staff members or Leadership Academy graduates is on the ballot – so nothing here should be regarded as an endorsement of anyone. But presidential elections matter, and for those on the wrong end of the racial wealth gap, they matter most of all. I’ve found myself conducting a sort of informal poll of late by virtue of…
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Apple Fails on Equity, Opportunity, Fairness

Apple Fails on Equity, Opportunity, Fairness

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been in the news a lot lately for publicly opposing Indiana legislation (since amended) that could have fostered discrimination against LGBT Indianans. As applause-worthy as that stand is, Apple continues to fail fundamental tests of equity and fairness here in its home state. As the San Francisco Chronicle reported this morning, former felons are barred from working at the construction site for the spectacular new Apple headquarters now under construction. As the Chronicle notes, “The ban is unusual for construction work, a field in which employers typically do not perform criminal background checks.” Apple is famously hyper-vigilant about security, but seriously, are the guys pouring…
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Try Diversity! Think “Out of the Box” to Expand CRA

Try Diversity! Think “Out of the Box” to Expand CRA

Same moves, same faces, same old ideas ─that about sums up the debates around the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) over the last 20 years. Yet last week, at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition Annual Conference, I had the pleasure of bringing something new and “out of the box” to the discussion: Try diversity! CRA is a vitally important law that needs improvements. But first, a little background: The CRA is critical to the story of how people of color gained economic mobility in the US. Sad to believe, but ten years before the act passed, it was actually legal for banks and other companies to refuse to extend credit based on…
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Investing in Communities of Color Means Investing in ME

Investing in Communities of Color Means Investing in ME

A few weeks ago one of our Health Equity Fellows, Jessica Fuentes, blogged about how her experiences growing up shaped her definition of leadership. I want to continue this series of introductory blogs by talking about one of the projects I am currently working on and how my experiences as a youth informed the decision-making process. Recently I hopped on board a project at The California Endowment (TCE) that enabled me to see my work come full circle: helping to manage a small grant from the Endowment’s communications team to build capacity for youth media. The grant will provide support for an existing youth program in south Sacramento to develop and…
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Reflections From the Capitol: California’s Voter Turnout Problem

Reflections From the Capitol: California’s Voter Turnout Problem

Yesterday I testified at a hearing at the Capitol on Statewide Voter Turnout. Throughout the day, several advocates, researchers, and election officials came before Senate and Assembly members to address the troubling turnout in California’s most recent election: a historically low 42 percent of registered voters voted last November. This number is a wakeup call for those of us working in election reform to ask some important questions about why people aren’t voting and how our state can change that. The hearing gave me and others working in this policy area a chance to provide some answers. In my testimony as a panelist on voter outreach, I discussed language access…
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Memo to Levi Pettit: Fire Your PR Consultants

Memo to Levi Pettit: Fire Your PR Consultants

Levi Pettit, seen leading fellow University of Oklahoma fraternity members in a racist song in that now-infamous video, apologized yesterday, in what was obviously a carefully scripted press conference. The fingerprints of the high-priced public relations advisors his family had hired were all over his remarks, and these PR consultants did this young man no favors. After he read his statement, reporters began asking the obvious questions, like where he learned the offensive song, with its racial slurs and “jokes” about lynching. And Pettit responded with a transparently scripted response, saying, “I’m not here today to talk about where I learned the chant or how it was taught. I’m here…
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Happy Birthday to the Affordable Care Act! It Really Is “A Big *bleepin’* Deal”

Happy Birthday to the Affordable Care Act! It Really Is “A Big *bleepin’* Deal”

It’s been five years since a White House microphone caught Vice President Joe Biden’s not-so-subtle remark to President Obama as the president signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Vice President Biden probably thought he was being poetic as he celebrated the largest overhaul of health care since the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid. While the vice president was more Tupac than Shakespeare, the truth is he was right. I was a freshman in college when the Democratic-controlled House and Senate, still riding high from the historic 2008 election, muscled health care reform to the President’s desk. For months, Congress debated every single provision of the bill, crafting a complex piece…
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