How to Pick an FCC Chair and Not Get Eaten by Bears — Part I

How to Pick an FCC Chair and Not Get Eaten by Bears — Part I

Two weeks ago, Commissioner Robert McDowell and Chairman Julius Genachowski announced their imminent departure from the Federal Communications Commission.  If history is any indication, Commissioner McDowell and Chairman Genachowski will step through the “revolving door,” which whisks FCC Commissioners, who are charged with protecting consumers from telecommunication providers’ abuses, into cushy jobs with those providers.  But that’s a story for a different post. Once those seats are vacant, the president will nominate replacements, who must be confirmed by the Senate.  If you’ve been following the developments in the media, you’ll see that a lot of names are being bandied about, along with long lists of each person’s qualifications.  However, while…
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Mandatory Sentencing is a Crime

Mandatory Sentencing is a Crime

Last year, California passed a modest reform of the notorious “3-strikes” law that has bloated our prison population with nonviolent offenders. But, as a new Rolling Stone article makes clear, the human wreckage from such laws continues, in California and elsewhere. Read it. We simply have to do better.
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This Week in “What the…?” – Supreme Court Edition

This Week in “What the…?” – Supreme Court Edition

Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grim (a former colleague at another job and one of the smartest people I know) wrote an interesting story the other day about Chief Justice John Roberts and his seeming inability to detect any vestiges of prejudice in American society. He appears to live in a world in which racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. have been happily banished. Although Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments about the Voting Rights Act a few weeks ago were more inflammatory and got more notice, the failure to acknowledge ongoing discrimination seems to be a continuing thread that runs through Roberts’ statements and actions over the years. The Chief Justice and I are…
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Cambodian Community Speaks Up About Voter Information

Cambodian Community Speaks Up About Voter Information

On March 25, Greenlining’s Claiming Our Democracy team hosted a community input session on improving the state voter guide with Cambodian voters in Santa Ana. In 2012, the language spoken by most Cambodians, Khmer, was added to the list of languages into which voting materials must be translated in California. So what did these voters think? The official state voter guide is the single piece of voter information that (supposedly) every voter receives prior to an election. The problem is, well “it’s complex,” “confusing,” and written in “legalese,” just to name a few complaints from voters. Let’s just say that language access is more than mere translation. Political vocabulary like “ballot proposition”…
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Steering in the Right Direction: Stopping Discrimination in Auto Loans

Steering in the Right Direction: Stopping Discrimination in Auto Loans

On March 21 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a groundbreaking bulletin detailing predatory practices in auto lending and explaining what the bureau plans to do about it. The Greenlining Institute has long advocated for regulation of lenders that mistreat consumers or discriminate against communities of color,  we’re glad to see the  CFPB moving aggressively. The CFPB is the newest federal financial regulatory agency, created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, and is the only one created specifically to protect consumers. In just over a year and a half since its creation, the CFPB has already established itself as a champion of consumers. The…
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Greenlining’s Michelle Romero and Justin Rausa on KALW-FM  March 27

Greenlining’s Michelle Romero and Justin Rausa on KALW-FM March 27

Recently, Greenlining released an analysis of Gov. Brown’s proposed California state budget, focusing particularly on its impact on communities of color. On Wednesday morning from 10 to 11 a.m., Greenlining’s Michelle Romero and Justin Rausa will be interviewed on KALW-FM’s “Your Call” to discuss the report and the state budget’s impact on California’s new majority. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, tune in to 91.7 FM, or listen from anywhere online.


Exciting New Appointment for Greenlining Legal Counsel Ryan Young

Exciting New Appointment for Greenlining Legal Counsel Ryan Young

Yesterday the California Air Resources Board voted Greenlining’s own Ryan Briscoe Young onto its AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee!  While Greenliners are no strangers to this type of role, we’re particularly excited about this recognition because of its critical importance. By way of background, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32)  was authored by then-Assemblymember Fran Pavley and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 27, 2006.  AB 32 seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020, with even more ambitious goals in successive decades, making it the nation’s (if not the world’s) most aggressive climate change policy to date. Aside –…
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This Week in “What the …?”

This Week in “What the …?”

Welcome to our occasional roundup of the disturbing and unnerving: proof that – despite what some would have you believe — bigotry and prejudice are alive and well in America: In an incident that sounds like something the KKK would have done back in the 1960s, a Virginia family woke up a few days ago to the smell of smoke, finding that someone had spray-painted racial slurs on their home and set their car on fire. Yes, this sort of thing still happens in 2013. Singer Michelle Shocked, performing in San Francisco last weekend, surprised the audience with a rant opposing same-sex marriage, including the line, “God hates fags and…
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Does Silicon Valley Have a Diversity Problem?

Does Silicon Valley Have a Diversity Problem?

It sure looked like it when the San Jose Mercury News investigated a few years ago. Now, a new report suggests that there is still a problem, and lots of big tech companies still don’t want to disclose diversity data that was requested by CNN Money. Shouldn’t the leading industry in one of the nation’s most diverse areas do better than this? Tech companies that want to diversify can do it if they want. One place to start is CODE2040.


A Partnership Linking Health and Equity

A Partnership Linking Health and Equity

While I am only a recent alum of the Greenlining Academy, I can’t help but feel excited when I hear about the impactful work that current Academy participants are engaging in. From developing racial equity frameworks to creating a social media strategy (something I helped with!) to addressing health inequities, the kinds of things that Academy participants experience are unique and diverse. Just recently, Jessica Dunn, a current Greenlining Health Equity Fellow, published a blog post for The California Endowment, detailing her experience at the Grantmaking in Health Conference. A key takeaway from the event: developing partnerships is a vital component to improve health care delivery. While we’re on the…
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