California Update for Friday, June 8, 2018

Jun 8, 2018

• A California budget proposal would cut a program which provides discounts to hospitals that serve low income patients.

Today's reporting by Adhiti Bundlamudi.

Emerging from the economic consulting and the tech sector, Jaime B. Hansen aims to inspire and empower women through videos, speaking and speaking out; her latest book is Expanding the Conversation.   


   Is it possible to fight poverty and climate change at the same time? The answer is emphatically yes, and Rocky Rohwedder has examples to prove it.

  Rohwedder, who has now retired from his position at Sonoma State, found some important allies in his Ecological Handprints project. One was South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, who wrote an introduction for the book. Others included top-flight photographers who donated their images.

New Year Brings Higher Minimim Wage

Dec 29, 2015

  While the "Fight for $15" continues, in an effort to support low-wage workers nationwide, California's minimum wage will see a modest increase as 2016 begins.

  Better pay for in home health workers is necessary to uphold the rights of their infirm and disabled clients. That’s one of several supportive findings in a new pro-labor report.

Click here to read the full North Bay Worker's Rights Board "Report on Wages, Benefits and Working Conditions of Home Care Providers for the County of Sonoma."

Grants Boost Food Stamp Use at Farm Markets

Oct 7, 2015

There are 4.4 million food stamp recipients in California, and the participants in that program, now known as Cal Fresh are now able to use their benefits at many local farm markets. A new series of federal grants is out to expand those opportunities.

  It took some time for the use of electronic CalFresh cards to become easy and widespread in California, says Martin Borque, Executive Director of the Ecology Center in Berkeley. But that use was accelerated by some carefully negotiated measures to hold costs down.

Farmworker Health Survey Details Disparities

Sep 7, 2015

  A detailed survey of farmworkers in Sonoma County confirms that they are often very poor, with compromised health. Despite that, most of them claim this as their full-time home.

You can read the Executive summary of the full report here.

Building Bipartisan Collaboration in Sacramento

Sep 1, 2015

A freshman state senator faces a steep learning curve upon arriving in Sacramento. One lesson that former Sonoma County supervisor Mike McGuire has embraced is rooted in the demographics of his district.

  State Senator Mike McGuire has also been in the midst of the long-standing tug-of-war over the future of the Sonoma Developmental Center. Changes are overdue at the aging facility, he acknowledges, but the fast-track deadline to relocate the remaining residents at the SDC is a poor way to begin.

Capital Public Radio / Andrew NIxon

This 1-hour documentary brings you first-person stories of people coping with food insecurity in one of the country's richest agricultural regions. Hidden Hunger explores the daily struggles of children, adults and seniors who live in overlooked neighborhoods of south Sacramento, where the stigma of poverty and hunger is high.

10,000 Degrees Heats Up Educational Opportunities

Feb 26, 2015
10,000 Degrees

  A pro-active college scholarship program in the North Bay is succeeding by starting early and getting involved in their students’ lives. Not only do most of them get their degrees, but many of the graduates return to help perpetuate the upward cycle.

Sonoma County’s Hunger Index

Feb 18, 2015
Redwood Empire Food Bank

 Sonoma County is widely known for the quality and variety of foods and beverages grown and produced here. But a lot of people aren’t able to enjoy that bounty. A public forum Thursday afternoon hopes to refocus attention on the problem and what can be done to address it.

 Sonoma County’s 35.5 million missed meals in 2014 is a stunningly large number. Gail Atkins, Director of Programs for the Redwood Empire Food Bank, explains how it was calculated.


What's lacking in farm workers' health care

Dec 3, 2014

  To better meet the health needs of migrant farm workers, health care professionals will need to expand their training to include background in the social issues and conditions that affect those patients.

Health care services for migrant farm workers in California, says Seth Holmes, are sparse, overburdened and underfunded. All of which is a natural outcome from the way our for-profit medical system is structured.

State of the Latino Community 2014

Oct 2, 2014

  Los Cien, an emerging Sonoma County Latino leadership group, held its first “State of the Latino Community” forum yesterday, where the main topics were poverty, education and health. KRCB’s Bruce Robinson was there, and has this summary.

  You can hear David Grusky’s full keynote talk from the Los Cien gathering Thursday morning. It’s posted below.

Sustainable Housing Discussion in Petaluma

Sep 22, 2014

  Homelessness and the cost of rental housing are both going up in Sonoma County, which isn’t a good combination.  The question of how to maintain cultural and economic diversity in the face of these conditions is the focus of a North Bay Sustainability Mixer in Petaluma tomorrow night. Here’s a preview.

COTS' Mike Johnson will be one of four scheduled speakers at that gathering and mixer, which begins at 7 pm. You can find more information about it here.

Need for Food Aid High in Rural California

Aug 13, 2014
U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

  Food stamps are often seen as a benefit for urban families who need nutritional assistance. But as Lori Abbott reports, that's not an accurate picture of where the need is proportionately greatest in California.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Within tiny subsets of four Santa Rosa high schools, academically struggling student find the personalized support to help them graduate—and more.

At Grace School, on the Piner High School campus, the smaller school-within-a-school is structured to provide a supportive environment where students can quickly make up the credits they need to graduate. Principal Tony Negri outlines the differences.

  There are four Necessary Small schools within the Santa Rosa H9igh School District:

·       Grace School at Piner High

·       Midrose School at Else Allen High

Long Wait for Federal Rental Assistance

Dec 29, 2013

Funds to provide rental assistance to needy households currently meet only a fraction of the need in Sonoma County. And that was before the federal budget sequestration kicked in. Bruce Robinson has more.

While there are formulas that limit the total rental costs that the federal subsidies will support, Santa Rosa affordable housing advocate David Grabill observes that the Section 8 program was specifically designed to be workable for landlords.

The Benefits of Community Schools

Oct 24, 2013

  The key to successful schools--and students—in America today lies in fully integrated partnerships with other community organizations and funders. But it’s easier said than done.

The  annual community Dialogue on Poverty, held Oct. 24 in  Santa Rosa,  was convened by Community Action Partnership of  Sonoma County and the county’s new Cradle to Career educational initiative.

Redefining Poverty for California

Oct 22, 2013

 National formulas for setting the poverty line don’t allow for higher regional costs, such as Bay Area housing expenses. Factor those costs in, and the number of people who are actually living in poverty here takes a substantial jump. 

Mixed Numbers in 2013 Homeless Count

May 7, 2013

The preliminary results of the 2013 count of homeless people in Sonoma County will be presented to the board of Supervisors this morning. And, as Bruce Robinson reports, the news is mostly grim. 

Peter Connery of Applied Survey Research, which conducts similar studies for other counties and cities in California and beyond, says that despite the worrisome figures in his 2013 for Sonoma County, the programs in place here have helped prevent matters from becoming even worse.

Justin JelincicJustin Jelincic (D)
P.O. Box 971
San Leandro, CA 94577

Michael J. Moloney (D)
977 Marquette Lane
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 515-5951 (Business)
(650) 515-5951 (Residence)

Jackie SpeierJackie Speier (D) (Incumbent)
P.O. Box 112
Burlingame, CA 94011
(650) 347-4370 (Business)
(650) 347-4370 (Residence)