Orange County Supervisors Approve Year-Round Homeless Shelter

By Christopher Rivera

 

In November, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, of California, unanimously approved a year-round homeless shelter to be built in Anaheim. This was after 600 supporters and opponents who gathered at the forum at Eastside Christian Church.

Their vote came four hours after heated debate over whether or not the warehouse should be converted into a 200 bed facility for the homeless. The facility is located off the 91 freeway, and is on 1000 N. Kraemer Place in an industrialized part of Anaheim.

Those that were against opening of the facility were business owners that surround the area, as well as residents from nearby neighborhoods. Their argument against opening a year-round homeless shelter is it will only lead to more crime and become “a magnet to additional homeless in the area,” said Mike Chew, who is a nearby resident who lives a mile away from the facility.

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The opponents also fear that once this location is open that it will deter customers from shopping at their stores. The residents in the nearby neighborhoods fear that the homeless shelter will lower their value of their home.

Those that were in favor of opening a year-round homeless shelter included advocacy groups, charities, and churches.

One of the supporters was Curtis Gamble, who, as the O.C. Register reports, was homeless for six years, told the forum, “It’s time we help the veterans. We served the country, we looked out for you. It’s time to look out for us.”

With the shelter approved, board Chairman Todd Spitzer was reported saying, “If we do it here and we do it right and we dispel all the myths, we can do this and we can solve the homeless problem in our county.”

The 200 bed homeless shelter will be, “equipped with a multiservice center that would assist occupants with health, employment, housing and other services.” Shuttles will be available to transfer people to and from the shelter to jobs and appointments. Homeless clients who have pet dogs will also be able to keep their pets in kennels and be able to play with them in a dog park that is located on the facility. The shelter will also offer a bike repair station, as was reported Scpr.org. It will also help people find permanent housing and permanent employment.

The shelter will be able to provide, “122 beds for men, 64 beds for women with an additional, separate wing for families. Cots, mats and cribs would be used for overflow.” There will also be a “[f]lexible sleeping space [that] would also be provided for transgender populations, people with special illnesses or people in recuperative care.”

The shelter beds will be available upon reservation only, and a background check must be passed to ensure there are no wanted felons or sex offenders from entering the facility. They are hoping there will be an average stay of 30 days, with a six month stay maximum.

10 percent of the shelter’s beds will be reserved for referrals from law enforcement agencies. And to make sure this facility is safe there will be unarmed private security guards patrolling the property. The shelter will also have metal detectors, cameras, and outdoor lights to ensure safety.

It is estimate that nearly 15,300 people will experience at least one night of homelessness over the course of this year, according to Orange County Commission to End Homelessness.

Although the 200 bed shelter is only going to help a fraction of the 4,500 people who are homeless in Orange County, but as Karen Stoyanoff, who is a member of Anaheim’s Poverty Task Force and a minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim, said “[The shelter] is a drop in a bucket, but the point is, we’ve got to start somewhere.”

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The Struggle for Education in the Victorian Era

By Joshua Elkridge

victorian schoolAfter 4 years of staggering through the cold desert we call high school, my mother incessantly urged me to enroll for my first semester at Consumes River College. Coming from a family that stresses the importance of education and me being indecisive about the idea, my mother took me by the hand and enrolled me herself. To insure my success, she signed me up for DIOP, a program/club within the school that catered to Black-American subjects. I attended this classes for barely a month before dropping out to pursue a job. If I could go back and tell myself to stay in college and finish the program, I would.

Being a person of color these days has its ups and downs, but that struggle had a lot more push to it back when America was blanketed with the curtain of suffrage and slavery. Although blacks struggled more in the south during the Victorian-era, suffrage was practiced all over the United States and it hit closer to home than one would think. In the year 1850, the first census of California counted 962 Black-Americans in the state with 240 of them residing in the young and developing city of Sacramento. The Black-American population stayed low during the mid-1800’s due in part to the fact that California Homestead laws were in place to dissuade blacks from moving there. Despite the anti-Black-American legislation that sat over Sacramento, the black community in Sacramento were determined to provide education not just for them but for future generations.

During the 1850’s, most Black-Americans in Sacramento lived between 3rd &6th, I &J streets. Black Americans were only granted citizenship so that they could pay taxes. Despite paying taxes, the Black American community in Sacramento didn’t see a single cent from the tax fund as the money was used solely for the purpose to benefit all-white schools. The Black community methodically petitioned the all-white Sacramento City council to build a school for the colored to no avail. It wasn’t until 1854 when Elizabeth Thorne Scott, considered by some as the pioneer in education for colored children in California and educator Rev. J.B. Sanderson established a private school in Ms. Thorne’s home dubbed, “The School for children of African descent‘. They were the only two teachers at the school despite Ms. Thorne’s inability to receive certification due to her being a black woman. Sanderson, a black man, received certification later on. Their salaries were paid by an improvised Black-American Sacramento community. The community also funded school materials.

Late into the year of 1854, after many conventions and petitioning, a driven group of Black-American women obtained a deed for an empty lot that was sold to them by a white man named John Prentice. Their plan was to build an official school house for the Black community of Sacramento. They passed the deed on to a board of black trustees and the black community, led by the church leaders and clergy men, held fund raisers and successfully obtained the money to build a school house on the empty lot. The community was beginning to overcome, however, support from the all-white Sacramento council was needed for the school to continue functioning. It wasn’t until 1856 when the school finally received the funds from the Sacramento Council that it desperately needed to continue operating. With 25 dollars a month, most of the money went to the salary of the teachers. The sum was meager, even for the time, but it was a step forward in the right direction.

By the 1870’s, after many years of racial tension and prejudice, California passed laws ending Anti Black-American legislation. Black men were able to vote and the schools in Sacramento became desegregated. For the first time, Black students were able to obtain the same benefits in education as white ones had. The biggest accomplishment for Black Sacramentans, came in 1894 when Black-American educator, Sarah Mildred Jones, became the first black woman in Sacramento to become principal of fully integrated Freemont Primary School, located today at 24th and N Street. The school, mostly white with an all-white staff was under fire by white parents for the move and 36 of them petioned to reverse the decision to the Sacramento school board. In turn, ninety-eight petitioned to support Sarah Jones. Speaking for herself in front of parents, staff, and the school board, Ms. Jones calmly stated her credentials and asked to be judged not by her skin, but by her abilities and accomplishments. That day in East Sacramento, the board upheld their decision to give Ms. Jones the job as a trial, based on her qualifications and success. A huge positive note for the City of Sacramento.

When I think back about deciding to drop out of school, I think about this information. We need to take advantage of the education provided to us that is scarce in some places of the world today. The Black- American community in Sacramento during the Victorian-era, went through great lengths, hardship, and sacrifice just so future generations wouldn’t have to. The ability to successfully receive your education, whether you’re White, Black, or Asian, would give them the justice they so well deserve.

 

mayor kevin johnson of sacramento

Sacramento 3.0, A New Era

By  Sierra Fatlowitz

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“I think most of you know last week I was at Washington D.C, and had an opportunity to give my first State of the City’s Address in my capacity of the president of the U.S Congress and Mayors,” stated Mayor Kevin Johnson.

U.S President Barak Obama declared “The State of the Union is strong,” during the State of the Union address. The next day, Johnson responded consecutively stating, “The state of the Union is strong, because the state of our cities is strong.”

January 29 2015, all classes of Sacramento society united in the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium to bear witness to the 2015 State of the City Address with the theme “Sacramento Strong”.

The preshow was appropriate as the night kicked off with an ensemble to Macklemore’s “The City Can’t Hold Us”, followed by a short film highlighting Sacramento’s best entertainment, business, influential people, arts, and sports.

According to Johnson, “Our city is moving into a new and vibrant era.”

Amidst the address, Johnson depicted the antecedent, and succeeding developmental eras of Sacramento into 3 stages.

Sacramento 1.0 “A community built around the Gold Rush and agriculture.”

Sacramento 2.0 “Came much later and saw our city develop as a government town that completely revolved around the state capitol, and real-estate.”

Sacramento 3.0 “Sacramento has to be a hub of innovation, of entrepreneurship, and technology. It’s paperless, its wireless, it’s cashless.”

Johnson stated Sacramento will break barriers enabling its third generation to “have more cell phones than land lines, more tablets than desktops, and more smart devices than tooth brushes.” Adding an “It’s true” to his statement as the audience laughed in disbelief.

In his vision for Sac 3.0, “The world’s largest music company has no records, Apple. The world’s largest bookseller has no bookstores, Amazon. The world’s largest taxi company has no cars, Uber.”

Johnson spoke with irony and with stating “It’s only a matter of time before the world’s largest hotel chain will have no hotel rooms, Air B and B.”

With sympathy to neighbor and sponsor of the address, California State University, Sacramento, Johnson stated empathetically, “I know the university folks are not going to appreciate this, but very soon the world’s largest universities will have no campuses.”

“When you think about the potential of Sac 3.0, it’s hard to not get excited.”

Johnson believes that Sacramento’s path forward will be dependent on its collective ability to focus on 3 main areas; innovation, infrastructure, and inclusion.

Johnson plans to build Sacramento’s innovated fundamental foundation by creating an economy that will create new jobs for all social classes. In order to do this Johnson spoke with urgency stating,

“We have to stop thinking about our community and our economy as being confined within our city limits. The global economy has no boundaries, so neither should ours.”

Johnson then announced the recently developed Greater Sacramento Economic Area Council powered by the regions leaders, the CEO’s and elected officials, under newfound leadership of Barry Broome with the purpose to create, attract, and grow new businesses from the 6 surrounding counties.

Accompanied with applause Johnson stated, “Barry will work to ensure that Sacramento is the easiest place to do business in California, that’s our goal.”

Johnson initiated the transition of the importance of infrastructure, including city wide Wi-Fi networks, and turnkey start up operations for startup companies. Civic amenities are expected the improve Sacramento’s quality of life, by providing a culture center, and a sense of community.

Specific infrastructure plans were disclosed such as the Downtown Sacramento Rail yard, soon to be home to the UC DAVIS World Food Center, and new soccer stadium to the Sacramento Republic FC, and other additions that will double the size of Downtown Sacramento.

“I am pumped beyond belief to announce today that in the spirit of regionalism the newest investor of the Sac Republic who will join our efforts to secure major league soccer in Sacramento is none other than the San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York!”

Johnson drew to the public’s attention that the big “whole in the ground”, where the construction of the new Downtown Entertainment Sports Complex is expected to be completed in 2016.

ESPN, the award winning 30 for 30 documentary, will do a premiere major film later this year about Sacramento’s fight to save their Sacramento Kings.

Interrupting his own address, Johnson interjected, “Wait, really quickly… DeMarcus Cousins didn’t make the all-star team? Okay can we just give a round of applause for DeMarcus because we know…” Johnson was abruptly cut off by the chants and screaming of the provoked Sacramento Kings fans.

Johnson declared that Sacramento is “just getting started” due to recent plans to commission a new state of the art performing and arts cultural center, that will house the philharmonic, the opera, the ballet, the California Music Theatre, and strong ethnic performing arts groups “because arts are just as important as our sports teams.”

-Staff Reporter Sierra Fatlowitz

 

 

Mayor Johnson at sac state

Mayor Talks Jobs, Downtown Kings Arena at Sac State

 

On Monday, September 29, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson held a city town hall meeting on the campus of Sacramento State University courtesy of their social sciences department. He spoke about issues concerning citizens the most. Johnson started off by recalling times growing up in his hometown and neighborhood of Oak Park and receiving high grades but not being well-prepared for college. He joked about not being able to spell the word, “euphemism,” at the time when he was a student. Johnson also talked of how Sacramento High School which is now ran as a Charter school has a 93% acceptance rate of its student being accepted to four year colleges. Between Johnson and wife, Michelle Rhee, they plan to make Sacramento a strong educational system for all kids.

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Johnson also spoke about the Downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings that will have a major impact on the city. It will not only house the city’s basketball team but soon a soccer team, and several other entertainment venues as well as creating several thousand jobs.

“You’re going to have eleven hundred construction jobs. A number of permanent jobs around the arena. Our restaurants, retail and our entertainment is going to grow and develop jobs. This is really good for Sacramento,” Mayor Johnson said.

The meeting ended on a more pressing matter, Johnson talked often about creating a ‘Strong Mayor,’ for the city with hopes of not running Sacramento like a governance city anymore. He says he just doesn’t agree with not being held accountable for electing a Chief of Police. Johnson wants the voters to feel like their opinions matter and believes that this can’t be done if someone who is not on a ballot gets to make all of the decisions for the city.

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“The person you vote for you want them to have a full democracy to carry-out what he or she says. The city manager is not elected. But that’s not who people vote for. People vote for the Mayor of Sacramento. I want them to understand a full democracy and accountability.”

He feels that by implenting Measure L is a way to give mayors a boost of authority in the mayoral chair in City Hall. If this bill passes, Johnson plans on making Sacramento 3.0 which will run this city like the major cities in California; Oakland, Fresno and Los Angeles bringing vitality to the city, making it more enjoyable for the citizens to live.

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“We picked a new Chief of Police a little over a year ago, that person was selected by the city manager. They didn’t ask me what my opinion was, I didn’t get to interview the candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m the mayor, everybody thinks I’m the one doing this like I don’t have anything to say.”

“You want to get a mayor to carry out their vision. That’s just one example of where I have no say so what so ever. I think Sacramento should be ran better than that.”