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Stereotypes, Snickers and Everyday Bigotry

Stereotypes, Snickers and Everyday Bigotry

Looking for a tasteless Halloween costume? A company that I prefer not to name will happily sell you a “Sexy Women’s 4 Piece Indian Chief” costume for $69.95 plus shipping. And yes, it’s as tacky, demeaning and stereotypical as you might imagine. And it’s just the tip of the commercial bigotry iceberg. Plenty of companies will happily sell you Halloween costumes based on sexist and racist stereotypes. You look at some of this stuff and think, “Really? In 2018???” Yeah, this stuff is still here. In fairness, these sorts of crude stereotypes occur in pop culture less frequently now than when I was a child in the 1960s. I vividly…
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California Ballot Guide, November 2018 — Resist!

California Ballot Guide, November 2018 — Resist!

Californians can #RESIST this November by voting on key statewide propositions that invest in people, not corporations.  Given California’s housing crisis, it is no coincidence that many of our most contested measures relate to California’s housing crisis. Californians can fund key issues related to housing and protect vital transportation funding and say no to giving more tax breaks to the wealthy. Our California Ballot Guide gives the specifics. If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote, you can find out by visiting the California Secretary of State’s voter status page, where you can also find your polling place and other useful information. The voter registration deadline for this November’s…
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Narrative Justice: A Daughter of Black Immigrants Reflects

Narrative Justice: A Daughter of Black Immigrants Reflects

I am of a history of cross-border movements that no right-wing political administration can contain. My folks are the kind of loud, and Black, and women dreamers who everyday disrupt U.S. binaries of “Black” and “immigrant” by being both at the same time: Black immigrants. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, my mother taught me to never forget her island of Trinidad and Tobago. Because of my family’s love for home, I carry my heritage into all that I do. As a Health Equity Fellow in the Greenlining Leadership Academy, I am encouraged every day to seek #ChangefromWithin by bringing the fullness of my identity into my work. My experience…
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Mobility Equity: Turning Theory into Reality

Mobility Equity: Turning Theory into Reality

Social equity has become a hot-button topic. Equity refers to achieving justice for marginalized communities who have been left behind by ensuring that they have the resources they need to catch up. But how do you actually achieve equitable outcomes in such a challenging and complex field like transportation and mobility? And what does mobility equity look like in a time when people have more transportation options than ever before? Uber, bike-share, scooter-share, and other mobility options represent exciting new ways to move around our cities. Yet these new options also represent ways that transportation inequities can be exacerbated. So if new mobility options are going to play a role…
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Muslim Women Know: Net Neutrality is a Feminist Issue

Muslim Women Know: Net Neutrality is a Feminist Issue

Net neutrality saved my life. As a young Muslim woman of color, open and free internet access has had my back more times than I count. As someone who is often left out of mainstream conversations, net neutrality allows me and all Muslim women to speak up online when I’m not able to do so offline. Net neutrality means free and open internet access to all websites and online content. Under this principle, all data is treated equally and no one’s access to a certain website or service is slowed down or restricted, a term referred to as “throttled” in the tech industry. I often experience sexism and Islamophobia (sometimes…
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Unconventional Leadership: How Anger Can Heal and Be Of Service

Unconventional Leadership: How Anger Can Heal and Be Of Service

May This Anger Be Of Service My first day at Greenlining was filled with anticipation. This Fellowship is my first job out of college and as a 19-year old, this was one of the most exciting moments of life. One of the first things I was told at Greenlining was “I hear you, I see you, you are valid here.” I knew from this moment that my time at Greenlining would be transformative, and began to understand what the Leadership Academy means by #ChangeFromWithin. Greenlining encouraged me to step into my power and sit with the president of Greenlining to ask hard questions, the kind that you never ask your…
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To Fight Redlining, Community Should Lead CRA Reforms

To Fight Redlining, Community Should Lead CRA Reforms

Once again, the Trump administration is advancing an agenda that favors banks to the detriment of communities of color. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency head Joseph Otting proposes to gut the Community Reinvestment Act — an over 40-year-old law created to fight redlining. The CRA requires banks to make investments in low-income neighborhoods through actions like making accessible home loans, having branches in low-income neighborhoods, and supporting small businesses in an attempt to make up for decades of race-based disinvestment. Under the direction of Otting, a former banker and current friend to banks, the OCC has released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that essentially proposes to weaken…
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Small Business Truth-in-Lending Bill Would Protect California’s Entrepreneurs of Color

Small Business Truth-in-Lending Bill Would Protect California’s Entrepreneurs of Color

California often acts as a trailblazer in national policy, and can earn that title yet again with SB 1235, authored by Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), the nation’s first small business truth-in-lending bill. Supported by The Greenlining Institute, SB 1235 would protect all small business owners in California, but especially entrepreneurs of color. This bill will empower entrepreneurs to compare financial products, their real cost and terms, and support the development of financially healthy businesses.  SB 1235 is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk right now, so our governor needs to hear Californians’ strong support for what could become one of the most important small business financial protection laws in the country.…
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Scale It: SB 1072

Scale It: SB 1072

Last week, I wrote about our work in Stockton collaborating with the city and local community groups to create the building blocks for a more resilient Stockton, using funds made available by California’s climate laws. I mentioned that SB 1072 (Leyva) holds the key to helping other communities build capacity and sustainability locally. This week, I want to share more about SB 1072, a bill that we’re co-sponsoring this year along with the Trust for Public Land. SB 1072 would build out and scale up the capacity building and technical assistance infrastructure needed in California’s most impacted communities. For many communities like Stockton across the state, the process of getting…
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Build It: Sustainability Planning in Stockton

Build It: Sustainability Planning in Stockton

Here in California, we  devote at least 35 percent of funds collected from polluting industry to communities most impacted by poverty and pollution. Those resources have been used to plant trees, build affordable housing near transit, install solar and more in communities across California. Our recent work in Stockton taught us a lot about community planning to make those funds really work to promote sustainability. In Stockton, the city and community are beginning a year-long community engagement process this summer to identify key local sustainability priorities. Funded through the Transformative Climate Communities Planning Grant, Stockton is one of ten grant recipients from across the state that are embarking on planning…
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