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3 Ways Oregon Legislators are Addressing the Housing Crisis in Their State


little girl eating and watching TV

For nearly 100 years, it has been illegal to build anything other than detached, single-family homes on most residential land. As a result, many cities are facing a housing affordability and stability crisis which disproportionately displaces Latinos and low-income communities of color, contributing to disparities in health and wealth. That’s why advocates across the country are pushing for rent control and more inclusive zoning laws — and it’s working in Oregon (13.3% Latino). This year, Oregon passed Senate Bill 608 and House Bill 2001. These laws include three major policy changes: Banning no-cause evictions, passing state-wide rent control, and legalizing duplexes. Affordable Housing Crisis As access to affordable housing diminishes across the nation, Americans are ...

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San Francisco’s New Equity Office Will Aim to Fight Systemic Racism



The City of San Francisco (15.1% Latino) unanimously approved legislation to create an Office of Racial Equity on Tuesday. The position will oversee a citywide race-equality plan, according to city officials as reported by NBC Bay Area. "This legislation will hold us accountable to moving the needle for racial equity in our city and addressing the disparities facing communities of color with regards to economic stability, housing, health outcomes or policing," said City Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who proposed the legislation along with Supervisor Vallie Brown. "It is long past due that San Francisco makes real our commitment to racial equity, and this Office of Racial Equity will make sure that everyone in San Francisco has equitable opportunity to survive." Racial Equity ...

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UPDATE: States Sue EPA Over Chemical Linked to Brain Damage in Children


chlorpyrifos ban EPA

UPDATE: August 8, 2019 Six states filed lawsuits against the EPA over chlorpyrifos—a pesticide that is linked to numerous and life-threatening effects—yesterday. Researchers have connected this form of chemical exposure to the development of cognitive, physical complications, according to The Hill.  The states, which include California (39.3% Latino), New York (19.2%), Massachusetts (12.3%), Washington (12.9%), Maryland (10.4%), and Vermont (2%), say the chemical is too dangerous to be on the market. “Parents shouldn’t have to question whether everyday fruits and vegetables will poison their children,” California Attorney General Becerra said in a press release. “The EPA is egregiously sacrificing our children’s health by refusing to make a determination on this ...

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New Law in Nevada Requires Police Send Notice to Schools if Student Exposed to Trauma



Children exposed to traumatic events can struggle to focus, learn, and thrive in school. In the aftermath of a traumatic event, the school setting might potentially buffer or aggravate the negative effects of toxic stress. Worse, school personnel often have no idea what kind of internal wounds their students bring to class, thus are not prepared to act as buffers. That’s why Nevada’s (29% Latino) state government recently passed Senate Bill 80, a state law requiring the establishment of the Handle with Care program. What is Handle With Care? Handle With Care is a West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice’s program promotes communication and collaboration with police, schools, and mental health leaders to help children who’ve experienced trauma. It enables local ...

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Will San Antonio’s New Pedestrian Mobility Job Make an Impact?



Access to safe, reliable transportation options matters, especially for health and wellbeing. A lack of options can make it impossible to keep a job, get out of poverty, and care for aging family members. In San Antonio (64% Latino), walking is not safe; therefore, public transit quickly becomes an unrealistic option, limiting resident’s transportation options and access to opportunity. That’s why the city government created a new position to develop a coordinated non-vehicular pedestrian mobility effort in its discussions about the 2019 budget. Pedestrian Mobility Officer Last month, city officials hired San Antonio’s first Pedestrian Mobility Officer, Timothy Hayes. This position will dedicate Hayes to enhancing the pedestrian experience by developing and ...

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Can Churches Help With the Affordable Housing Crisis?


Church Latino Housing

Many U.S. churches are taking dedicated action to assist those in need of affordable housing by building developments on their properties. "There's so much land owned by houses of worship anywhere you go in the country," David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit focused on housing solutions, said in a speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF). Churches and religious institutions are among the country’s largest landowners. Many of them have additional unused land or adjacent sites that are suitable for development. The current lack of affordable housing in America has substantial implications for many Latinos and dramatically impacts their quality of life. Religious Institutions' Role Places of worship usually offer a variety of amenities that make them ideal ...

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Trump’s EPA Gives ‘Dirty Power’ a Boost with Green Energy Rollbacks


"Dirty Power" Rule EPA Trump

From air contamination to water pollution, current white house officials are taking sizable steps to reduce the government’s role in environmental protection. Now the EPA implemented new rules that rescind Obama-era green energy regulations set on the coal industry—a promise the President made on the campaign trail. These rules cut initiatives to reduce America’s emissions levels and allow plants to operate longer hours, according to the New York Times. Andrew Wheeler, Chief the Environmental Protection Agency administrator and a former coal lobbyist, said his agency implemented the rollback to correct the previous administration’s overreach in climate change issues. Still, many researchers and advocates oppose the new rule for “dirty power.” “No matter how you ...

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Will Removing Race from Criminal Court Charging Decisions Help Latinos?


police in SF implicit bias health equity

The San Francisco district attorney’s office said it plans to enable prosecutors to make charging decisions in some criminal cases without knowing the race or background of the suspects and victims, a move aimed at reducing the potential for implicit bias in prosecutions, according to the L.A. Times. This is great news for Latinos and minorities, who traditionally face negative stereotypes and police discrimination. What is Implicit Bias? This unconscious thinking is preconceived attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions. Assumptions like these then influence your actions and judgments: A widely held, simplified, and essentialist belief about a specific group (race or ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, sex, sexuality, and so ...

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Transportation Advocacy Group Conducts Transit Equity Analysis


transit equity for family health

Every segment of American society—individuals, families, communities, and businesses—benefits from public transit. However, there is a lack of equity in these services. Latinos, for example, often report bus routes are unreliable, infrequent, or even unsafe, contributing to disparities in health and wealth, according to a Salud America! Research Review. An equitable transit network for Latino and all families starts with an equity analysis. That’s why transportation advocacy group, LINK Houston, conducted its  Equity in Transit 2018 Report. They found that nearly one million residents in Houston, Texas (44.5% Latino) are living in areas with high-transit needs, but do not have access to frequent weekday, weekend, and evening services. Do you know who has access to ...

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