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Texas City Drafts Budget to Funnel Funds through ‘Equity Lens’


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“Equity” is a term that means many things to many different people. For many Latinos, equity has been difficult to attain in many different areas. Healthcare, housing, education, and income are just some of the areas in which many Latinos face disparities and/or inequities. However, the City of San Antonio, Texas (63.34% Latino population), has recently made the topic of equity an issue to be tackled by the city government. San Antonio City Manager, Sheryl Sculley, presented the 2018 city budget recently and it will be the first to use an “equity lens,” according to a story by The Rivard Report. With the new equity lens, more city resources will be committed to areas and populations where the need is greater – often low-income and heavily Latino-populated areas that have ...

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City Councilman Helps Save Education Program for Low-Income Students



Latino students sometimes struggle to continue their education, which can hinder their long-term life outlook. In San Antonio, TX (63.34% Latino population), many students have counted on the Upward Bound Program from the U.S. Department of Education to help prepare them for college. However, according to the San Antonio Express-News, funding for the program – which has been in operation for the last 20 years in the city’s primarily Latino-populated South San Independent School District (SSAISD) – has been cut and was in danger of not continuing. According to reports, 64 SSAISD students participate in Upward Bound. “[That] number probably would have increased to about 100 had there been enough funding to continue the program this year and recruit a new freshman class ...

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Teenagers Help Erase School Lunch Debt



It cannot be emphasized enough: kids need to eat healthy, nutritious meals in order for them to succeed academically. There is an indisputable link between nutrition and the development of children’s brains. Despite this importance, many kids go hungry. Kids from low-income families, including a disproportionate number of Latinos, often go without meals at school because the owe money. School lunch debt is a huge issue in cities across the country. A 2016 survey by the School Nutrition Association of 1,000 school meal program operators, about 75% of districts had unpaid student meal debt at the end of the school year. The median amount of debt per district was $2,000, but it can run much higher in large districts. For example, the Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, ...

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Streetsblog’s Sorriest Bus Stop Competition


Latino health safe routes equity

Two critical parts of every bus trip are the walk there and the walk back. Sadly, many streets are designed for cars, not families, making for some very sorry bus stops. Safe routes and safe bus stops are critical for people to access basic necessities, like schools, work, grocery stores, parks, healthcare, and other cultural and historical community resources. Streetsblog USA is calling attention to sorry bus stops during their 2017 Sorriest Bus Stop in America tournament. The goal is to motivate action from the streets and transit agencies who are responsible for designing and constructing the bus stops. You can enter the competition by submitting a photo of the sorriest bus stop with the exact location (preferably tagged in Google Maps) and a short description of what ...

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Head Start Partners with Technical and Community College


Latino health early childhood education

Latino children may have education disadvantages when starting kindergarten. Head Start, which is free for low-income families, may help to improve school readiness with curriculum to enhance children's language, pre-literacy, and social-emotional skills. In 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services Head Start passed new performance standards increasing the minimum program hours. This is great for kids and families, but a challenge for providers due to limited space. In Alexandrian, Minnesota, half-day classes could share the same facility, one in the morning and a second in the afternoon, but didn't have the space to offer full day programming for both classes. They needed more space. Jim Haugen, Head Start Supervisor approached Alexandria Technical and Community ...

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City Looks to Increase Minimum Wage; Faces Resistance from State



Few factors are as important to a person’s health as their income. Millions of Latinos and other minorities struggle to make ends meet financially because of low-wage jobs. Low wages lead to housing instability, food insecurity, and poor health. In recent years, cities across the country have pursued efforts to raise the minimum wage so that workers will have a better chance of getting ahead, accumulating wealth, and provide better living environments for their families. One such example is found in Kansas City, MO (14.54% Latino population), in which voters overwhelmingly approved raising the minimum wage from $7.70 to $10 an hour. This would precede annual increases up to $15 by 2022. “We are so pleased that Kansas City has demonstrated a progressive political perspective ...

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Why Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen in New York


Getting ready for the beach

As temperatures blaze this summer, don't forget the water and the sunscreen! Latinos, who face a shockingly high risk of skin cancer, should wear head covering, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect against the sun. What if you can't afford find or afford sunscreen, though? A cool new initiative in New York City (28.9% Latino population) offers free sunscreen dispensers in all five city boroughs, CityLab reports. “The mix of raising awareness about the problem of melanoma and providing a free preventive measure [sunscreen] is an easy step towards reducing skin cancer,” said Bright Guard CEO and Co-Founder Ryan Warren told CityLab. The Myth of Latinos and No Skin Cancer It is true that skin damage from the sun, which can lead to skin cancer, affects those with lighter ...

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Azusa Unified Now Identifies as a Pre-K through 12th District



California educates about one in eight U.S. students. In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) into law, which is the most comprehensive school funding system in 40 years. The LCFF provides more equitable school funding with local flexibility and greater community engagement with the goal of reducing the achievement gap in education. Early child education provides the highest impact in preventing achievement gaps. Many families in California feel like they aren't being adequately served by local early child care providers and want school districts to step up and take responsibility for early child education. However, funding requirements and expectations are complex, and many school leaders don't understand what is available to them or ...

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How to Encourage SNAP Participants to Eat Healthier



Since its inception, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has become the most important anti-hunger program in the United States. The program has helped benefit millions of low-income Latino families out of poverty and support them by providing an “adequate diet.” Overall, Latinos have a higher poverty rate than the national average. According to a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2016, nearly 1 in 5 Latinos (21% overall) lived below the federal poverty line. This compares to the national average of 1 in 7 people. Latino households are also more likely to experience food insecurity on a regular basis compared to the national average. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees SNAP benefits, recently announced awards of nearly $17 million to ...

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