Super Bowl Ads Model Everything Wrong with “Diversity”

Super Bowl Ads Model Everything Wrong with “Diversity”

Like any good red-blooded American, I ate too much, drank too much, and screamed a whole lot on Super Bowl Sunday. Not only did this Jersey girl get to see the Eagles win for the first time (#FLYEAGLESFLY), but my inner Diversity Diva got pelted with one problematic ad after another. Lots of articles today are out about the “Do You Want to Feel Like a Good Person? Then Buy Stuff!” trope that most advertisers followed, but really, Sunday night serves as a perfect example of this nation’s perception on diversity — and why it’s so flawed. For those that opted for the Puppy Bowl instead (yes, it’s a real…
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Saving the Safety Net: Protecting the Sick and Vulnerable on Medicaid

Saving the Safety Net: Protecting the Sick and Vulnerable on Medicaid

On November 7, 2017, Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) spoke to an audience of state Medicaid directors from across the nation. In this speech, Verma outlined her vision for the future of Medicaid, a state and federally funded health insurance program (known in California as Medi-Cal) that covers nearly 75 million Americans, particularly low income families and disabled Americans. This program acts as a vital safety net for vulnerable patients who do not have the resources to afford private health coverage. Unfortunately, Verma’s plan will strip coverage from many vulnerable and sick individuals who currently utilize this decades old safety net program. What is the CMS…
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Fight Climate Change & Join the Clean Energy Revolution with the UpLift Resource Finder

Fight Climate Change & Join the Clean Energy Revolution with the UpLift Resource Finder

Something amazing is happening in California. California has taken bold steps to act on climate change, including regulations to cut our carbon consumption and charging polluters for the carbon that they emit. We put that money from polluters into a fund called the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) where it goes to work promoting the clean energy economy in communities across the state. What’s not amazing is that the infrastructure that California has created is enormously complex and hard to understand, even for someone like me whose job it is to track this stuff. And for the everyday renter, community-based group or local city planner, it can be dizzying to…
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Trump Solar Tariff Will Hurt American Workers in Solar Energy Industry

Trump Solar Tariff Will Hurt American Workers in Solar Energy Industry

By now we have all had our “What the…?” moments concerning Donald Trump: From pretending to look at the sun during last summer’s solar eclipse, to accusing former President Obama of wiretapping him, to questioning why immigrants from “sh**hole countries” should be allowed into America. While all those moments could be classified on a scale of your choosing, Trump’s solar tariff can definitely be placed on the high end of any scale since the only logic behind it seems to be as an attempt to keep his campaign promise of “getting tough” with China (leaders of the world’s solar power production). Unfortunately, the direct consequences of this trade tariff will…
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EV Update: PG&E to Deploy EV Charging Stations in Low-Income Communities

EV Update: PG&E to Deploy EV Charging Stations in Low-Income Communities

A BIG YEAR FOR EV EQUITY It’s been an exciting 12 months for electric vehicle equity. Some highlights: Almost a year ago, to the day, the three biggest utilities in California submitted $1 billion in proposals aimed at electrifying cars, trucks, buses, airport equipment, and much more. Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the first set of proposals giving utilities the green light to spend $42 million on a swath of projects that will create things like charging stations for electric school buses in low-income neighborhoods and charging ports for yard tractors at the Port of Long Beach, and much more. Last January the Commission approved a $519,400…
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California Public Utilities Commission Approves Over $60 Million for Clean Energy Research Projects Benefiting Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities

California Public Utilities Commission Approves Over $60 Million for Clean Energy Research Projects Benefiting Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a final decision Tuesday on funding its clean energy research program for 2018-2020. The Decision allocates $555,000,000 for EPIC – The Electric Program Investment Charge (don’t you love energy acronyms?). For the first time, the California Energy Commission must allocate $60 million of its EPIC funding to projects located in and benefiting low-income and disadvantaged communities. The decision implements new requirements created by Assembly Bill 523 . Authored by Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino), AB 523 was a project of the California Environmental Justice Alliance team of the 2017 Women’s Policy Institute. The first of its kind in the nation, the bill directs at…
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Police Diversity without Inclusion Won’t Lower Police Violence

Police Diversity without Inclusion Won’t Lower Police Violence

I have had many encounters with police, especially in my youth. So as a black transgender man, I am concerned about issues of police violence. After high profile police shootings, such as the Mike Brown case, and even with the recent rare conviction and sentencing of a former police officer, some have called for increasing the diversity of police departments as a necessary part of the solution. But, would greater diversity within law enforcement be enough to reduce tension and police violence? It turns out that more police department diversity doesn’t necessarily result in less police violence. For example, a study completed by Sean Nicholson-Crotty and published in the Public…
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Fellowship, Policy, and Opportunity: A Letter to Future Fellows

Fellowship, Policy, and Opportunity: A Letter to Future Fellows

Dear Future Greenlining Fellows, My name is Denzel Tongue and I am Greenlining’s current Health Equity Fellow. I am sure your life is probably pretty hectic right now. You may be finishing up finals, applying to jobs, or just trying to figure out what the hell are you going to do next year. I was in your shoes not too long ago, and I know that this time period is not easy. However, I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel, and some of that light comes from the Greenlining Leadership Academy! A policy fellowship like the one I’m in the middle of represents an amazing opportunity to…
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An Open Letter to the Next Mayor of San Francisco: Confront Gentrification

An Open Letter to the Next Mayor of San Francisco: Confront Gentrification

The sad, sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee shocked not only San Franciscans, but people all over the Bay Area.  As a person, Lee was almost universally liked. His low-key, gentle style came as a relief after the flamboyant personalities of Gavin Newsom and Willie Brown. His policies proved more controversial, but whatever one thinks of specific decisions, there can be no doubt that during Lee’s tenure, San Francisco gentrification went from being a concern to a full-blown crisis. As a 24-year city resident, I feel compelled to offer a few thoughts to the next mayor of San Francisco: Dear Mayor, I don’t know your name yet, or your politics…
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Net Neutrality: Is Ajit Pai a Real-Life Harry Potter Villain?

Net Neutrality: Is Ajit Pai a Real-Life Harry Potter Villain?

In August, Greenlining had a silly ‘awards’ ceremony and my telco and tech team got the “Fueled by Bottomless Rage” award. While it was funny, I didn’t feel all too much rage – after all, telecom policy under the previous FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler was pretty solid. He put in rules protecting net neutrality, told internet service providers (ISPs) they couldn’t spy on your browsing history and sell it to advertisers, expanded the Lifeline program to make it easier for low-income folks to get access to broadband and promoted ISP competition to drive down prices and increase adoption. In other words, the FCC was doing its job: protecting consumers and…
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