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The debate about what are considered fundamental human rights is constantly evolving and changing. And in the United States, incidents like the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan, have raised questions about whether or not access to clean water is a basic right – although arguably this has been a discussion among people all around the world, and in marginalized parts of the U.S., for quite some time. A new report issued by the NAACP also reframes access to energy service and electric power as a basic human right.
Prisons inspire little in terms of natural wonder. But prisoners, one could assume, must have little concern for the flowers or for otherwise pressing environmental issues. With all the social quandaries present in their lives – walls of solitude, the loss of basic human rights – pollution, climate change and healthy ecosystems must seem so distantly important: an issue for the free. In actuality, prisoners are on the frontlines of the environmental movement.
Del, Carlina and Macio are three local San Francisco entrepreneurs creating opportunities for themselves and people from marginalized populations – homeless youth, veterans and low-income communities. While they all have different stories, they share the fact that their small businesses were started with help from a $5,000 Kiva loan. Kiva is a global non-profit organization that has worked to alleviate poverty through lending for the past 10 years.
LinkedIn’s Volunteer and Causes program is a good start in the tech industry’s challenge to become better corporate citizens and neighbors at a time when the financial and societal impact of the 21st century tech revolution could have devastating consequences for low income communities and people of color not employed or associated with the tech industry.
Juan Parras explains: “Today is the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12898 to address Environmental Justice in ‘Minority’ and Low Income Populations, issued by President Clinton. We came to Denver to celebrate our successes but, more importantly, we came because the work is far from done.” Mr. Parras and others are attending the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) meeting in Denver this week.
For Adama Mosley, a resident of the West Oakland neighborhood known as Ghost Town, having solar panels installed on her home was “a dream come true.” Energy advocates say significant challenges lie ahead if affordable renewable energy and widespread adoption of energy efficiency are to become a reality in low-income communities of color.
Join East Palo Alto youth for the premiere of their three short documentaries: ‘Homegrown: Cultivating Dreams Through Action’ on Monday, March 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at East Palo Alto City Hall, 2415 University Ave. The films are about the history of urban farming in East Palo Alto, the Weeks Neighborhood vision and the activism that led to the closing of Romic, a hazardous waste facility formerly located in the city.
According to The ARC (advocacy, respect and commitment) of California, the governor has made devastatingly destructive cuts in the support system for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Recently I received a letter from the president of the ARC, Dwight Stratton, stating that our elected legislators decided to ignore the will of the people of the state of California by decimating the Lanterman Act.
A march called Real Deal or No Deal, expected to be the biggest of the season, will take off at 3 p.m. Wednesday from Hallidie Plaza to City Hall. San Franciscans hit hard by the recession will join with city workers and the working poor to march against Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposed city budget.