Support SB 534 To Ensure Diversity in California’s Insurance Industry

Support SB 534 To Ensure Diversity in California’s Insurance Industry

The California State Senate is set to consider Senate Bill 534, authored by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), a bill that will ensure diversity in California’s insurance industry. Ensuring Diversity in California’s Insurance Industry According to the California Department of Insurance, in 2018, California had the largest insurance. market in the United States, a $310 billion industry that covered housing, automobile, health, and life insurance – just to name a few. Given the rapid growth of California’s insurance sector, it is vital that state leaders push for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion across this sprawling industry. If you think this isn’t a big issue, think again. In 2016, Greenlining opposed two…
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Clean Energy Benefits for Environmental Justice Communities: Support AB 961

Clean Energy Benefits for Environmental Justice Communities: Support AB 961

Assembly Bill 961, the Community Energy Benefits Act is being championed by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes. If enacted into law, AB 961 would remove one of the key policy barriers reducing beneficial clean energy investments in low-income communities of color. California leads the nation on clean energy technological innovation and climate policy, but the benefits of these efforts often don’t reach low-income communities of color. That’s in part because of a fatal flaw in how we measure the benefits that clean energy programs can bring to environmental justice communities – the low-income neighborhoods that get stuck with the worst pollution. California’s Clean Energy Challenge Low-income communities of color experience three…
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Call to Action: Support AB 962, The Hospital Supplier Diversity Act

Call to Action: Support AB 962, The Hospital Supplier Diversity Act

Diversity matters in health care, and in more ways than you might think. The California State Assembly is currently considering a bill – Assembly Bill 962 authored by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) – that would further promote diversity by requiring all hospitals with annual operating budgets above $25 million to report their supplier diversity – that is, contracting with minority-, women-, LGBT-, and veteran-owned businesses . The data is clear: Increasing supplier diversity will benefit all Californians. Large corporations and government agencies across the nation buy billions of dollars in goods and services, and when diverse businesses get their fair share of these contracts, it builds jobs and prosperity in communities…
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Protecting #MyCrown: Why I Support SB 188

Protecting #MyCrown: Why I Support SB 188

Earlier this year, Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) introduced Senate Bill 188, the Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, to ensure that no Californian will face employment discrimination based on traits associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles.  The Need for Equitable Policy: Why the Professional Repercussions of Natural Hair Matter As a native New Yorker, I was excited to see one of California’s most prominent Black leaders, Senator Holly Mitchell championing a policy mirroring the New York City Commission on Human Rights Legal Enforcement Guidance on Race Discrimination on the Basis of Hair. As a Naturalista, I support SB 188 because…
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The Public Charge Rule: An Obstacle to Immigrant Families Like Mine

The Public Charge Rule: An Obstacle to Immigrant Families Like Mine

To determine who is eligible for admission into the United States, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses “public charge” to refer to an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for support.  The current rule defines public benefits as cash assistance programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as long-term institutional care paid by the government. On October 10, 2018, the Trump administration proposed a new rule that would completely change how USCIS defines a “public charge.” In an attempt to reduce the number of immigrants entering the United States and limit those who are applying to…
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From Silence to Power

From Silence to Power

Content warning: This post contains language and description of violence, harassment and abuse. The first language that I learned was an intergenerational literacy that has kept the members of my family hollow. The language that I speak of is not English or even Spanish. It instead is an embodied literacy taught to marginalized populations— Silence. Growing up in my Mexican family I was always told to shut up, to be more obedient, to hide secrets that no child should hide, and to pretend that abuse that occured in my life never happened. I was expected to be silent, that was my birthright as a mujer, as a mexican womxn after…
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Algorithmic Bias:  How Algorithms Can Limit Economic Opportunity for Communities of Color

Algorithmic Bias: How Algorithms Can Limit Economic Opportunity for Communities of Color

Racial and gender bias in algorithms impacts communities of color in disproportionate and frightening ways. The urgency of addressing this issue cannot be stressed enough. Algorithmic bias goes beyond privacy and surveillance issues that we have seen in the past. Biased algorithms can determine my access to healthcare, jobs, loans, and broadly, economic opportunity — and yours, too. As a young person of color who relies heavily on technology, I worry about the ways inequality is becoming automated, normalized and worsened through computerized decision-making systems. I have first-hand experience of what happens when we leave discrimination unchecked. As a Muslim raised post 9/11, I have seen Islamophobia continue to increase.…
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City of Oakland Unanimously Passes Resolution Backing Community Reinvestment Act

City of Oakland Unanimously Passes Resolution Backing Community Reinvestment Act

For the first time in 40 years, the federal government could weaken a little-known but important law encouraging bank lending, services and investments in underserved communities: the Community Reinvestment Act. Advocates like The Greenlining Institute do not expect changes proposed by the Trump administration will bode well for communities of color, and cities and mayors across the country are rising to support a strengthened CRA. With the passage of a CRA resolution on February 5, Oakland became the second city in California and one of dozens of cities in the nation calling for the preservation of the CRA’s mission: requiring banks to meet the credit needs of low- and moderate-income…
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Transitions: A Letter from Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar

Transitions: A Letter from Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar

Dear Friends and Allies, My passion for public service stems from my upbringing in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights. My parents came to this country as undocumented immigrants seeking better economic opportunities. My birth in Los Angeles in 1974 provided a path to legal residency for my parents. Approximately seven years after their residency, they became U.S. Citizens. Both of my parents worked extremely hard in working-class jobs while my two older siblings and I attended local public schools. Together we spent the first 18 years of my life in the same two bedroom apartment in The Wyvernwood Gardens, an apartment complex with over 10,000 residents. There,…
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Clean Energy Technology for All through CalSEED

Clean Energy Technology for All through CalSEED

The green and clean energy economy is emerging, but who is at the forefront? What comes to mind first may be those who can afford to buy into the green economy. However, those who do not have access to financial wealth, can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods or own Teslas typically use less water, electricity, and gas. These folks — often people of color — already conserve the most natural resources and would like to do more, but are overshadowed by the White-dominated environmental narrative and miss out on clean energy technology. Since income remains a key limit on access to clean energy technology, low-income folks of color have…
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