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More Cities Are Banning Smoking in Apartment Units


no smoking in apartments in riverside and vallejo california multifamily secondhand smoke

Two more cities have prohibited smoking inside apartment units. On April 26, 2022, Riverside, Calif., city leaders preliminarily approved a ban on smoking in multifamily-housing rental complexes, including individual apartment homes and attached balconies and patios. Latino tenants helped drive the measure. On May 10, 2022, Vallejo, Calif., city leaders banned smoking in multi-unit residences. Bans like these—to reduce exposure to harmful secondhand smoke among apartment and condo tenants—are on the rise. "Upon adoption, Riverside would join at least 167 California cities and counties that have enacted ordinances to restrict smoking in multifamily housing complexes, said Karina Funez, advocacy policy manager for the American Lung Association in California, which has been ...

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New Orleans Bans Soft Drinks on Kids Menus in Restaurants


New Orleans Bans Soft Drinks on Kid’s Menus in Restaurants

Next year in New Orleans, kids won’t be able to order a Coke off the kids menu in restaurants. On Jan. 6, the New Orleans City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that will require restaurants to serve water, milk, or fruit juice with kids meals, according to New Orleans Public Radio. While the ordinance faced some pushback from the soft drink beverage industry, advocates believe this new rule will make a difference in preventing childhood obesity. What Does the Ordinance Say about Soft Drinks on Kids Menus? The city health department pitched the ordinance to remove soft drinks and make healthier options as the default beverages on kids menus. New Orleans City Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen put it to a vote. “This is really about helping our young people to stay healthy, ...

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How Can We Measure Transportation Insecurity?


transportation insecurity

Inadequate transportation can hurt a person’s social, economic, and health outcomes. But planners and policymakers have not had a good tool to measure transportation insecurity—a condition in which one is unable to regularly move from place to place in a safe or timely manner due to the absence of the material, economic, or social resources needed for transportation. So, in 2018, researchers from University of Michigan and others created a tool to explore transportation security modeled after the Food Security Index and based on interviews with families living in poverty. They call it the Transportation Security Index. In 2021, they validated the 16-question index using a nationally representative sample. “We hope [the Transportation Security Index 16] will be adopted ...

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Inside the U.S. Government’s New Investment in Latino Education


Inside Investment Latino Education

Education is critical in childhood development, yet Latino kids across the U.S. face systemic injustices in their schools and communities. Whether it is living in child care deserts, language issues and immigrant status, unengaged parents, childhood trauma, discipline, segregated school districts, and a lack of state funding in—many Latinos are left behind in education compared to their white peers. That’s why the U.S. government is taking action for Latino education, according to a recent executive order signed by President Joe Biden in September 2021. “We must enable Hispanic and Latino students to reach their highest potential through our Nation’s schools and institutions of higher education,” the executive order says. “The Federal Government must also collaborate ...

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San Jose to Ban Smoking Inside Apartments, Selling of Flavored Tobacco Products


Ban Smoking Inside Flavored Tobacco Products

Lots of small cities in California have taken two big steps to protect youth from smoking addiction and secondhand smoke —banning flavored tobacco products and smoking inside all apartment homes. Now San Jose will become the state’s largest city to take both steps. The San Jose City Council is expected to formally approve the bans during a vote on Oct. 5, according to The Mercury News. “The tobacco industry has a stronghold on our kiddos — enticing them with flavors and leading them to a life of addiction,” Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco, a champion of the proposed ban, said Monday. “Banana split, Kool-aid, Hawaiian punch, gummy bears — all of these e-cigarette flavors may taste like candy but it’s poison to our children.” San Jose’s New Ban on Smoking ...

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Paving the Way from High School to College for Latino Students


High School to College Latino Students

Latino students were once the fastest-growing group in U.S. colleges. Due to COVID-19, that is no longer the case. Latinos and other communities of color continue to bear a heavy burden of the pandemic economic fallout, making it harder for families to send their children to college. In response, George Fox University, a private university in Newberg, Oregon, launched the Liberation Scholars Program. The program offers seminars, mentoring, and more for high school students at Woodburn High School, according to Mario Garza, a college and career counselor at Woodburn. “I think what we try to do, and I think what George Fox is doing with us through their Liberation Scholars program, is really trying to build up the toolbox for all of these kids,” Garza said, according to ...

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How This Latino Student Group Campaigned to Remove Discriminatory School Policing


How This Latino Student Group Campaigned to Remove Discriminatory School Policing

Thanks to the efforts from the student-led community organization Gente Organizada, Pomona Unified School District will no longer allow police patrols to monitor campuses. The decision comes after years of campaigning against discriminatory practices by school police, which was amplified after the racial justice protests of 2020. Removing school police means Latino youth are safer from discrimination in school, as Pomona (71% Latino), a city in Los Angeles County, is home to many Latino and immigrant families. “This is a milestone that has been met,” said Caroline Lucas, a Pomona youth organizer, according to Los Angeles Times. “For me, it means that leaders can experiment with what transformative activists have been trying to do.” A Campaign Sparked by an Act of ...

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