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Update: Farm Bill Passes with No Cuts to SNAP


SNAP poverty

The Farm Bill cleared the U.S. House on a 369–47 vote after passing the Senate with a vote of 87–13, and cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are not included, according to the Food Research & Action Center. Past versions of the bill had contained a $20 billion cut of SNAP over 10 years. “The negotiators appear to have achieved a bipartisan compromise that maintains and modestly strengthens SNAP, ensuring that millions of struggling Americans will continue to be able to count on SNAP to help them put food on the table,” Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told the Washington Post. This is great news for Latinos and all. SNAP is proven to: Lifts millions of people out of poverty and helps them stay ...

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3 Better Ways to Spend $168 Billion than Parking Garages


The park-and-ride at TriMet’s Park Avenue MAX station in Southeast Portland built in 2015. Source: TriMet via Sightline

Michael Anderson is quite unhappy with Portland’s plans for $168 billion worth of parking garages for “park-and-ride” users of its future 12-mile rail corridor. Anderson, an urban policy writer and analyst at the social justice nonprofit Sightline Institute, says garages are expensive, serve only a few transit riders, and drain money from more beneficial projects. He suggests three more efficient ways to spend the money while boosting transit ridership: mixed-income homes near transit bike infrastructure better bus and rail service. Anderson also encourages people in Portland Metro to advocate for these alternatives and speak up against the parking garage plans, and join local advocacy groups, like Portlanders for Parking Reform, Portland for Everyone, and ...

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Zero is Florida’s Big Traffic Fatality Goal



One traffic death is too many. That’s why Florida (25.6% Latino) has become the first U.S. state to adopt a goal of zero traffic and pedestrian deaths each year. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) even established safety performance targets to align with its “Driving Down Fatalities” vision for a fatality-free transportation system. Read how they did it below in Part 3 of Salud America!’s three-part series on transportation changes in Florida. Part 1 examined Florida’s reinvention of Complete Streets. Part 2 examined the potential for public transit integration. New Traffic Safety Targets State departments of transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) get money for transportation projects from multiple sources. Each source has ...

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Texas Kids Are Most Uninsured in America


hispanic kid child girl cough sick no health insurance

The number of U.S. kids without health insurance is rising for the first time in 10 years. Texas has the highest number of children without health insurance in America, according to a new report by Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The report found that more than 1 in 5 uninsured kids in the U.S. live in Texas, which is 835,000 as of 2017. From 2016 to 2017, Texas saw an increase of 83,000 uninsured kids. This is bad news for Latinos. Latinos, set to be the largest racial/ethnic population in Texas by 2022, are already the most uninsured U.S. group. Latino Kids and the Report This is the second-straight year Texas has had the nation's highest rate of uninsured children. There are many reasons for this, experts say. First, Texas has a greater ...

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The Midterms: Big Wins (and Losses) for Affordable Housing


affordable housing sign (via Associated Press)

U.S. housing is at its least affordable in 10 years, according to a recent report. So it was no surprise to see lots of affordable housing and rent control measures on local and state ballots during the Nov. 6 midterm election. Voters showed mixed results for affordable housing. Wins occurred in Texas, North Carolina, and Washington. Arizona suffered a big loss. California felt like a split decision. “Tremendous local and state victories on ballot initiatives to address homelessness and housing poverty mean new affordable homes for the people most in need and new alliances and momentum for bigger victories to come,” Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said in a statement. “And yesterday proved that housing is a winning campaign ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 12/11: Place-Based Health Disparities



Where you live is a bigger predictor of your health and life expectancy than your genes. The places we live are made up of homes, schools, childcare, parks, grocery stores, workplaces, community services, and the streets connecting us to these destinations. However, the places we live were not created equal, contributing to health disparities among Latinos. Join #SaludTues on Dec. 11, 2018, at 1:00 PM EST to tweet about laws and policies that have created unhealthy places and strategies to reduce place-based health disparities.  WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Place-Based Health Disparities” DATE: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 TIME: 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST (Noon-1:00 p.m. CST) WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: @ChangeLabWorks ...

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London to Ban Ads for Junk Food on Public Transit



London will ban advertisements for unhealthy food on public transportation in February 2019, as a publicly approved way to reduce rising obesity rates. Other cities can use the ban as a model. London Obesity London has one of the highest childhood overweight and obesity rates in Europe. Of children ages 10 and 11, more than 37% are overweight or obese. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is particularly concerned because children living in deprived neighborhoods are almost twice as likely to be overweight. “It’s completely unacceptable that in a city as prosperous as London, where you live and the amount you earn can have a massive impact on whether you have access to healthy, nutritious food,” the mayor said in a press release. “I’m determined to change this.” He is ...

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How to Merge Public Transit with Complete Streets


Healthline station with pedestrian crossing and bike lanes. Source: FDOT

Florida reinvented how they implement Complete Streets a few years ago, even adding coordinators to help each district create roads for people who travel by foot, bike, car, and more. And they didn’t forget about public transit. In fact, the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) created a guidebook to instruct and show examples of how to make public transit─trains, buses, & trolleys─a big part of Complete Streets. Read more below in Part 2 of Salud America!’s three-part series on transportation changes in Florida. Part 1 examined Florida’s reinvention of Complete Streets. Part 3 will cover pedestrian death reduction. Integrating Transit and Complete Streets Complete Streets can save lives by providing safe options for people to walk, bike and use public ...

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Florida Reinvents Complete Streets, 30 Years Later


Florida Ave. after Complete Streets improvements. Source: Space Coast TPO

In 1984, Florida transportation leaders crafted the state’s first policy for Complete Streets, which aim for safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders. The policy worked. It saved 3,500 lives in 30 years, according to a study. But, even with a three-decade decline in pedestrian deaths, Florida remains car-dependent and repeatedly ranks among the most dangerous states for pedestrians and bicyclists. What could transportation leaders do now? Their answer: Reinvent how they implement Complete Streets. Read more below in Part 1 of Salud America!’s three-part series on transportation changes in Florida. Part 2 will examine the potential for transit integration. Part 3 will cover pedestrian death reduction. Why Didn’t the ...

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