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The following is a transcript of Stacey Abrams’ Feb. 5 statement, as prepared by The New York Times: Good evening my fellow Americans and happy Lunar New Year. I’m Stacey Abrams and I’m honored to join the conversation about the state of our union. ...
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is a leading proponent of only incremental change to our broken healthcare system, and legislators at the state level are following her lead. Sens. Lara and Atkins have stopped advocating for SB 562. Sen. Scott Wiener, Assemblyman David Chiu and Assemblyman Phil Ting all say they support Medicare for All. How long must we wait before these Democratic Party leaders do something to help us achieve better healthcare at a lower cost?
On Tuesday, June 20, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass legislation that will make San Francisco the first municipality to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. The law goes into effect April 1, 2018. The legislation, introduced by District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, argued that flavored tobacco is disproportionately marketed to vulnerable populations such as children and young adults, African-Americans and LGBTQ people.
We can only guess at how few Californians know that you have been resisting Medicare for All legislation the past six years and that you are in cahoots with Anthony Rendon to assure that such a bill doesn’t get to your desk this summer. Do you, hopefully unlike the Republicans in Congress and Mr. Trump, actually believe that we ought to live in a democracy where the will of the people is solicited and honored? Because if you do believe in that notion, even a tiny bit, there is no way you would collude with the Assembly speaker to prevent the Assembly from voting on 562.
The annual Black Health and Healing Summit will take place the first weekend in June, June 1-3, in San Francisco and is expected to attract hundreds of health care professionals and community activists seeking to learn more about Black health inequities and strategies for improvement, as participants also experience the groundbreaking work of Dr. Joy DeGruy, the author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.”
The Greenlining Institute brought its 24th annual Economic Summit to the organization’s new hometown of Oakland April 14. At a moment when communities of color are under attack nationwide, the Summit – which brings together community leaders and grassroots organizers from California and around the U.S. – felt surprisingly like a celebration: a celebration of defiance, resistance and persistence in the face of threats to our communities.
In the wake of Trump’s Russia scandal to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, President Trump made a series of unsubstantiated claims in tweets early Saturday, March 4, that Obama “had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” and, minutes later, “Is it legal for a sitting president to be wire-tapping a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court order. A NEW LOW!”
At the Women’s March on Washington, Sen. Kamala Harris told constituents, she “had our backs,” and since she has been in office Sen. Harris has certainly been a vocal and active participant in standing up for the constitutional rights for her constituents in California against presidential legislation which undermines core human rights and values. Her track record in providing a safety net for the most vulnerable in our community is unparalleled.
A United Nations panel of human rights activists has urged the United States’ government to pay reparations to the descendants of Africans who were brought to the U.S. as slaves. The committee blamed slavery for the plight of African-Americans today. The U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent’s preliminary report follows a year of aggravated racial tensions in the United States that saw the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (“Isis Papers”) made her transition Jan. 2, 2016. She was 80. The psychiatrist who challenged white supremacists on what she called “The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy)” to look at their own melanin deficiency for what it is, “envy,” stirred and continues to stir the waters. She always stated theoretically that “Black lives matter,” way before the #blm movement.
Three of the largest churches in Los Angeles County – First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles (FAME), Faithful Central Bible Church and City of Refuge Church – joined forces with Covered California over MLK Jr. Day weekend to reach the African American community with a message that health insurance is now a right that is available to everyone, and it is time to exercise that right by enrolling and getting family and friends to enroll.
Covered California has released a list of the top areas in the San Francisco Bay Area where high numbers of people who qualify for subsidized health insurance are believed to reside. The “hot spots” released today show the estimated highest concentrations of subsidy-eligible uninsured individuals – people who qualify for help to buy health insurance through Covered California but have not yet taken advantage of it.
Covered California is in the third year of helping millions of Californians gain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Still, hundreds of thousands of Californians don’t have insurance – many of whom are African-Americans. With that in mind, Covered California has launched a new marketing and outreach effort to boost African-American enrollment, emphasizing financial assistance available to help consumers pay for insurance coverage.
When Dr. Samuel Cartwright coined the term “drapetomania” in 1864, he advanced a historical agenda to secure Black subjugation in America. The logic underlying the continuation and funding of the mass incarceration of the disproportionately Black mentally ill and Dr. Cartwright’s medical breakthroughs is the same: Black people’s mental health cannot be achieved, so society has to maintain extreme and inhumane restrictions on their freedom.
First, be more forceful about appointing federal judges. As a former constitutional law professor, you know better than most the importance of the federal bench. Second, please listen to Paul Krugman on economic policy. He was right early on in the economic crisis when he was adamant about the need to create jobs. Finally, do not abandon the needs of Black people because you will be seen as playing favorites. Black folks are out here on our own. We need you to stand up for us and to advance policies that will help us move upward, “lifting as we climb.”