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New Report: California Housing Costs Impose Greater Burden On Women, Especially Black Women

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The Gender Equity Policy Institute (GEPI) released a new report, Gender and Housing in California, which reveals women disproportionately struggle with housing costs in California – particularly Black and Latina women, single mothers, and elderly women who live alone.

“California sorely needs gender-responsive housing policies because the faces of greatest need in our affordability crisis belong to women of color. As state lawmakers take their final votes on important housing bills this month, women are counting on them the most for a breakthrough,” said Nancy L. Cohen, President of the Gender Equity Policy Institute.

“Women continue to earn less than men and housing costs in California are among the nation’s highest. We knew that. Until now, we didn’t know how severely this gap translates into housing burdens.”

“Women can’t build lives in California without being able to afford a roof over their head. Our affordable housing crisis is squeezing women the most, putting many of us on the edge of financial stability,” said Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), Chair of the California State Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development and author of AB 2011, which would accelerate affordable housing development. “This report is a rallying cry for action. Unless lawmakers act on reforms now to unlock a wave of new affordable housing construction and access, we now know in shocking detail which women will be left behind.”

Developed at the request of Assemblymember Wicks, the report shows women are more likely to be rent burdened and severely rent burdened – meaning housing costs total at least 30% or 50% of their income, respectively. Key findings include:

  • 64% of women-led households are rent burdened and they are twice as likely to be severely rent burdened
  • 59% of Black women and 52% of Latina women are rent burdened, compared with less than half of white and Asian women
  • 73% of single mothers are rent burdened, with small differences by race and ethnicity, but white and Latina single mothers nearly twice as likely as white and Latino single fathers to be severely rent burdened
  • A third of elderly Black and Latina women living alone have an income below the federal poverty line.

Among women-led homeowner households, 40% are cost burdened – paying more than 30% of their income toward housing costs. They are nearly 2.4 times as likely as jointly-led

homeowner households to be severely cost burdened – paying more than 50% of their income toward homeownership costs.

“The lack of affordable housing means caregivers like me must have roommates or be homeless,” said Brenda Garner, who works as an in-home care provider in Sacramento and lives with her daughter and two grandchildren. “I get emotional because I can’t see the fruits of my labor. While caring for people in their homes, I see different visions of how I want to live but I can’t get there. I can’t afford a home for myself. Our leaders must move their feet and not sit in their seats.”

Among other recommendations in the report, GEPI urges integrating a gender lens in policies to confront the lack of affordable housing, housing insecurity and homelessness challenges, encourage affordable housing development in dense urban areas, and dedicate increased funding to solving the affordability crisis.

Jay-Z, Will Smith Invest in Program to Help Renters Purchase Homes

 

Stacy Brown, NNPA Newswire

      Landis Technologies, a Pennsylvania-based company that has provides consulting, implementation, and ongoing support services for Microsoft technologies, announced they are raising $165 million from a group of investors that includes superstars Jay-Z and Will Smith.

      The funds will help renters build credit until they can purchase homes.

      Landis buys homes and rents it to clients until they qualify for a mortgage. At that point, the client can buy the property back at a predetermined price up to two years after the initial acquisition.

      According to Ebuzztt.com, the model counts as a new spin on a rent-to-own strategy that’s been employed by other companies including Home Partners of America, which Blackstone Group Inc. agreed to purchase for $6 billion.

      “As part of its service, Landis provides coaching for clients on how to manage their finances to improve their credit and save the amount they need for a down payment,” the tech site reported.
The company’s typical client is a first-time homebuyer with a budget between $110,000 and $400,000, Ebuzztt noted.

      Jay-Z’s philanthropic efforts helping renters isn’t new. The hip hop icon and business guru recently teamed with Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey to announce a new “Bitcoin Academy” for underserved residents – particularly those in Brooklyn, New York’s Marcy Houses, where the rap pioneer grew up.

      The duo announced that the academy would offer one year of in-person and online classes through September 7, only for Marcy residents.

      They plan to add other locations for the program designed in collaboration with Crypto Blockchain Plug and Black Bitcoin Billionaire.

      Jay-Z and Dorsey said their mission includes providing education and empowering the community with knowledge.

      Program participants would receive MiFi devices, a one-year limited data plan, and smartphones if needed. Residents may keep the devices.

CD10 Voices for Empowerment group submits document to city council

Our Weekly Staff

Following months of debate and discussion among members of the community, clergy and leading 10th District stakeholders and constituents — all members of CD10 Voices for Empowerment — the group recently submitted a “Framework for Transparent and Accountable Representation” to the Los Angeles City Council.

The document includes three motions that call for city charter reforms to enable greater transparency in the suspension and temporary appointment process; reinstatement of suspended Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas; and restoration of the councilmember’s salary and benefits.

The plan also highlights the importance of implementing a community-driven process or special election in CD10 if Ridley-Thomas is deemed ineligible to serve the remainder of his term.

The framework was prepared by CD10 Voices for Empowerment, a network of 10th District constituents and stakeholders working to defend voting rights and demand greater transparency in the selection of an interim replacement for Ridley-Thomas.

In October 2021, Councilmember Ridley-Thomas was suspended by the City Council following an indictment by a grand jury on charges of corruption during his tenure on the Board of Supervisors.

Following Ridley-Thomas’ suspension, City Council President Nury Martinez appointed term-out former councilmember Herb Wesson, to serve in Ridley-Thomas’ place, an alleged violation of the City Charter.

CD10 constituents, including many in CD10 Voices for Empowerment, were frustrated and called attention to the secretive selection process employed by Martinez, calling it at the time a “backroom deal.”

In mid-July, a Los Angeles Superior Court barred Wesson from further service on the Council pending a decision regarding his eligibility.

“The City Council, led by the Council President, disenfranchised CD10 voters and nullified the results of the November 2020 election,” stated the Rev. Edward Anderson, pastor of McCarty Memorial Church and CD10 resident. “Our voting rights were violated. In the process, Councilmember Ridley-Thomas was denied his due process and the presumption of innocence -– cornerstones of American democracy.”

According to the document, Ridley-Thomas’ suspension was “hasty, ill-conceived and punitive.” The suspension and process to fill the temporary vacancy selectively solicited feedback from known Wesson supporters, lacked transparency and the broad consultation demanded by 10th District voters.

“As a 10th District resident, I am befuddled by the appointment process,” added Dr. Denise Fairchild, a long-term CD10 resident and leader. “It smacks of backroom dealmaking that happens too often and creates distrust in our politicians and the political process. The Framework’s common sense recommendations aim to remedy that.”

The 40-page report was developed following extensive conversations during the past four months. The document released is the result of hundreds of hours of work and a series of meetings with constituents and stakeholders since a Preliminary Report was delivered to all Los Angeles City Council members in March 2022.

“Both California State Attorney General Rob Bonta and a Los Angeles Superior Court judge have ruled that the City Council created an untenable set of circumstances for CD10 residents,” said Anderson. “We respectfully demand that the City Council show CD10 constituents and voters the respect that we deserve.”

“This effort portends full scale engagement on behalf of our communities in pursuit of transparency,” concluded Fairchild. “We expect this of the City Council.”

Ridley-Thomas’ Lawsuit Against the City Targets City Controller, Two Council Members Introduce Motion to Investigate Galperin Move Councilman Says Galperin’s Move to Strip Him of Pay Was Politically Motivated

Lisa Collins

Last Thursday, attorneys representing Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas filed a lawsuit against the city, maintaining that City Controller Ron Galperin’s decision to strip him of his salary was unauthorized, unlawful and politically motivated.

The lawsuit alleges that “Controller Ron Galperin seized upon the City Council’s suspension of Councilmember Ridley-Thomas for his own political gain. Mere weeks before Mr. Galperin announced his candidacy for California State Controller, Mr. Galperin unilaterally terminated Councilmember Ridley-Thomas’s salary and benefits, posting the unlawful action as “campaign news” on his website.”

A day before the L.A. City Council suspended Ridley-Thomas on October 20, 2021, Galperin announced in a widely circulated press release that he would stop paying Ridley-Thomas’ salary if he was suspended.

      “If Mr. Ridley-Thomas is suspended, I intend to use my authority as Controller and Paymaster of the City of Los Angeles to cease his salary payments and benefits in accordance with the City Charter.”

Citing Section 218 of the City Charter, Galperin said, “Mark Ridley-Thomas is no longer empowered to carry out the duties and responsibilities for which he was elected, and he can no longer be present to effectively serve his constituents or represent their interests at City Hall.”

The lawsuit, however, maintains that Galperin—who placed fifth out of sixth in his bid for state controller— had no such authorization in the City Charter to do so and that the action exceeded the scope of his enumerated powers.

“His carefully enumerated and prescribed duties under the Charter do not include authority to terminate salary and benefits,” the lawsuit asserted, characterizing the move as pernicious and punitive.

Earlier this year, Galperin came under fire by Black leaders in L.A. County for stripping suspended Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas of his salary and benefits—a move that L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez said was not directed by her.

A delegation of South L.A. pastors—including Bishop Charles Blake, Rev. K.W. Tulloss, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer and civil rights legend James Lawson— whose congregants number upwards of 50,000, questioned Ron Galperin’s motives in terminating the councilman’s pay and benefits.

In a letter requesting a meeting, they wrote: “We note with irony that even police officers in high profile police shootings and use of force cases receive their salaries during police department and prosecutor’s investigations, and in some instances, while they await trial. In the councilmember’s case, you discarded the presumption of innocence and due process in favor of a rush to judgement and political expediency.”

In accordance with the lawsuit, Councilman Ridley-Thomas is seeking a judgement declaring the move to strip him of his salary and benefits as unlawful and reversing the action as well as attorney fees and whatever other relief the court deems as proper.

On Wednesday, City Councilmember Paul Krekorian introduced a motion requesting that the City Attorney look into whether or not the Controller had the legal authority to make a unilateral decision to suspend pay benefits. The requested motion, seconded by Gil Cedillo, gives the city attorney 30 days to report back on Galperin’s legal authority and what options the city council has.

Brittney Griner Sentenced to Nine Years

Kisha Smith, Staff

Today, in a Russian court, WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony and a fine of $16,000. This, despite defense team’s arguments that the two-time Olympic gold medalist said that she mistakenly packed the medical marijuana—used to treat pain from injuries suffering playing basketball—while rushing.

Before the sentence was handed down, the eight-time WNBA All-Star apologized to her teams in Russia and the United States as well as to her wife and family. “I never meant to hurt anybody, to put in jeopardy the Russian population or violate any Russian laws. I made an honest mistake,” she said, while noting that she had not promoted talk centering on her being a political pawn and hoped it would not impact sentencing.

Biden did not however hold back upon hearing the sentence.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney…I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

In a joint statement, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “Today’s verdict and sentencing is unjustified and unfortunate, but not unexpected and Brittney Griner remains wrongly detained. The WNBA and NBA’s commitment to her safe return has not wavered and it is our hope that we are near the end of this process of finally bringing BG home to the United States.”

Griner has been jailed since her February 17 following her arrest at a Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing 0.252 grams and 0.45 grams of cannabis oil in her luggage.

Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), also condemned the nine-year sentence.

“The sentencing of Brittney Griner to nine years in prison is a moral outrage and a legal atrocity in any court in the world. In most places, including the United States, what she pled guilty to and was charged with, would not even have merited a misdemeanor. It is a shameful and dark day when global athletics is subjected to politics and not due process.

“She and Paul Whelan are clearly pawns in some global political chess game that has nothing to do with them. We call on President Biden and the United States government to redouble their efforts to do whatever is necessary and possible to release both immediately.”

Sharpton noted that he continues to ask for the Russian and U.S. governments to permit him and a delegation of clergy “to at least have an immediate visit with her as we’re concerned, even more now with this heavy sentence, about her spiritual and mental wellbeing.”

In the meantime, the U.S. is continuing its efforts to negotiate a prisoner exchange for the 6’9” Phoenix Mercury center.

Added Sharpton, “We ask for people all over the world to pray for Paul and Brittney and pray that we live in a world that those we may have political differences with are respected and regarded, and not used in some other way.”

After 874 Days, the U.S. Department of Justice Files Charges Against Four Officers in Breonna Taylor’s Death

D.T. Carson

For the last 874 days, Tamika Palmer has been waiting for justice to be served in the case of her 26-year old daughter, Breonna Taylor, who was killed in a fatal raid on her Louisville, Kentucky apartment in 2020. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice charged four former and current Louisville police officers with federal crimes in connection with the deadly incident that sparked national headlines.

An announcement by U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland of the arrest and indictments of ex-detectives Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison and current officers Kyle Meany and Kelly Goodlett for civil rights offenses, unconstitutional use of force, obstruction, falsifying information and unlawful conspiracies was the result of a federal investigation following attorney General Daniel Cameron decision not to pursue charges against the officers involved in Taylor’s death.

“Among other things,” said Garland, the federal charges announced today allege that members of LMPD’s Place-Based Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home, that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death.”

“Today is long overdue but it still hurts.” said Palmer.

National Bar Association President Lonita Baker, who is co-counsel for Taylor’s family said that the charges reflect that the officers never should have been there that fateful night.

“We have been saying they lied,” Baker said. “We have been saying Breonna was not involved, and we have been saying they should not have been at Breonna’s home. We have been saying that officers should be held accountable for Breonna Taylor’s murder. And today, is the first day towards getting that justice.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kristen Clark confirmed that it was a false affidavit that set in motion the events that resulted in Taylor’s death.

“Today’s indictments allege that Louisville Police Detective Joshua Jaynes and Sergeant Kyle Meany drafted and approved what they knew was a false affidavit to support a search warrant for Ms. Taylor’s home,” Clark said.

“Breonna Taylor should have awakened in her home, as usual, on the morning of March 13, 2020. Tragically, she did not.

“In a separate indictment, the grand jury charges former LMPD Detective Brett Hankinson with using unconstitutionally excessive force during the raid on Ms. Taylor’s home,” Clark continued. “Without a lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force, defendant Hankinson traveled away from Ms. Taylor’s doorway to the side of the building and fired 10 shots into Ms. Taylor’s apartment through a bedroom window and a sliding glass door that were both covered with blinds and curtains.

“Community safety dictates that police officers use their weapons only when necessary to defend their own lives or the lives of others, and even then, that they must do so with great care and caution. Today’s indictment alleges that Hankinson’s use of excessive force violated the rights of Ms. Taylor and her guest, and also of her neighbors, whose lives were endangered by bullets that penetrated into their apartment.”

Clark concluded her remarks with condolences to Taylor’s family. “Today, we acknowledge the loss of her life, recognize her dignity, and recommit ourselves to the pursuit of justice.”

Goodlett was “charged on information,” which typically means she has pleaded guilty or plans to. She was charged with one count of conspiracy.

“This is a historic day,” said Benjamin Crump, who serves as the family’s attorney. “A day when Black women saw equal justice in America.”

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Endorse Congresswoman Karen Bass

Staff

In what is a major “get” in any mayoral campaign, Congresswoman Karen Bass has landed the endorsements of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

“We are endorsing Karen Bass for Los Angeles Mayor because we are eager to continue to partner with her on innovative strategies to reduce homelessness and increase public safety and prosperity.

Karen Bass has our friendship, and she has earned our respect through her leadership in Congress on crime prevention strategies, effective and fair policing, and the welfare of children and families,” said President Biden and Vice President Harris.

Bass had been on the short list of those Biden considered as a running mate in 2020, and if elected, looked forward to the opportunity of working with them.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has delivered for America’s cities at an unprecedented level – on infrastructure, the environment, economic recovery and so much more,” said Bass. “I am excited to continue partnering with them when I get our city moving on homelessness, public safety, affordability and in ensuring every Los Angeles resident is treated equally and has an equal shot at success. It is a true honor to have their endorsement; President Biden and Vice President Harris are leaders that I respect and admire so much.”

The announcement comes on the heels of other key endorsements for Bass who finished first in a field of six in the primary election, beating out real estate mogul Rick Caruso by a margin of seven points.

Last month, Bass received the endorsement of Hillary Clinton, who posted her support on Twitter, writing “I’m proud to endorse (Bass) for mayor of LA because she’s a proven leader who will bring Angelenos together to solve problems while championing women’s rights and opportunities for young people,”

Other big endorsements came from the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, the CHIRLA Action Fund, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, the Los Angeles County Democratic Partyand Senator Elizabeth Warren, who observed, “At this pivotal moment in our country, when the Supreme Court thinks it’s more important to protect guns than women, it’s more important than ever to elect local leaders that we can trust to do the right thing — because they’ve always done the right thing. Karen Bass has always fought for reproductive freedom, always fought for good-paying jobs for working families, and always fought to protect our planet. We have to move Los Angeles forward — and we’ve already seen what kind of damage an out-of-touch billionaire can do.”

 

The California Department of Aging: There Is Help for Elder Californians

 

Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media

The Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Commission on Social Action held a community meeting on aging last Thursday in San Bernardino with representatives from the California Department of Aging (CDA) and the Bernardino County’s Department of Aging and Adult Services.

Held in the sanctuary, the discussion featured state representatives and Social Action commission members led by former Assemblymember and Commission Chair Cheryl Brown, who represented the 47th Assembly District in San Bernardino County from 2012 to 2016.

Brown spoke with community members and leaders from San Bernardino and Riverside counties about programs and resources available for elderly Californians and the caregivers who look after them.

“The state has set aside millions of dollars to help older Californians have a better quality of life through the master plan on aging. And caregiving is 4th of the 5 goals established in the state’s Master Plan for Aging,” Brown told California Black Media.

CDA Director Susan DeMarois also attended the meeting.

CDA administers programs that serve older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the State.  It has a $450 million dollar budget and according to its Strategic Plan, CDA’s first objective is to advance Gov. Gavin Newsom’s California’s Master Plan for Aging.

Newsom’s “Master Plan for Aging” was introduced as an executive order in the summer of 2019. Conceptualized as a five-point plan, its framework encompasses housing, health, equity, care giving “that works” and affording aging.

According to DeMarois each point of the governor’s master plan has its own budget and will be implemented over the next 8 years.

During the meeting — titled “Lunch, Listen and Learn” — community members expressed their concerns and suggestions specifically regarding to taking care of elderly Black people in the Inland Empire. A major theme of the discussion was ensuring familiar (traditional) modes and channels of communications were being employed to reach Black elders.

Sharon Nevins, director of San Bernardino County’s Department of Aging and Adult Services, spoke about ways in which the county has been involved in addressing those concerns.

“We have staff out there in the community, putting information in hands,” said Nevins.

Nevins emphasized the significance of Black churches and their unique influence on Black elders in California.

“We definitely reach out to the churches. We’ve always done that,” Sharon Nevins

DeMarois hailed San Bernardino as a model for the rest of the state because the city has been “meeting the needs of the whole person.”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), California was tied with Hawaii in 2019 for the states with the nation’s highest life expectancy at an average of about 81 years.

Riverside County has a life expectancy of 80.3 years and San Bernardino county has a lower expectancy at 78.8 years.

Part of the statewide plan for addressing the Black elder community is to partner with ethnic media organizations to spread the word about the resources that are available to Californians in the advanced phase of their aging process.

DeMarois, much like Nevins, acknowledged that a large portion of the state’s plan to reach Black elders is through local churches.

“It’s multi-pronged,” said DeMarois. “We know in the Black community faith is a proven path.”

One of the organizations mentioned during the community meeting – an organization that DeMarois claims she took note of – is the Inland Empire Pastor’s Association.

DeMarois expressed the need for the state and local agencies to implement “coordinated strategies” to approach challenges facing the state’s aging population.

What You Should Know About the New 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Line

Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media

On July 16, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline officially became the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

The service also launched a new quick dial hotline number for California residents. Californians can now call or text 9-8-8 any time of day, seven days a week, to reach trained counselors who can help with mental health or substance abuse crises.

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a Los Angeles-based mental health services provider and a leader in whole-person mental health care and suicide prevention for nearly 80 years and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) were the two organizations central to implementing the new hotline.

“9-8-8 is now active across the United States. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services,” the hotline’s website reads.

Formed in 2005 and led by SAMHSA, the hotline has over 200 crisis centers that callers are routed based on their area code.

When the 9-8-8 hotline launched, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office tweeted “help is closer than you think” before tweeting the new number.

Aside from rhetoric promising a commitment to mental health, Newsom proposed $7.5 Million for one time start-up costs and $6 Million in ongoing funding for the 9-8-8 hotline. In this year’s state budget $1.4 Billion is proposed for mobile crisis teams to serve people with Medi-Cal health coverage.

The previous number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, will still be available for an unspecified amount of time.

Jennifer Christian-Herman, from Blue Shield of California, believes that the change to 9-8-8 is a “powerful indication of how seriously we’re taking suicide and mental health as a country.”

Christian-Herman said that the 9-8-8 phone/text line will “help save many lives.”

One of the goals of this quick dial hotline number is to divert people in crisis to mental health specialists as opposed to going through the 9-1-1 emergency line and potentially dealing with responders who might not be as equipped to address mental health related episodes.

California has alternative options for people suffering from a crisis but who do not feel like they are at the point of committing suicide.

One such alternative is California’s mental health “warm line.”  Operated by CalHOPE and the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, the service is designed to assist people in non-emergency situations.

The peer-run warm line (Call 855-845-7415 to speak to a counselor) started in 2014 and has received over 185,000 calls since 2019, according to the Mental Health Association of San Francisco.

The organization is currently looking to secure annual funding for this program through 2027.

“We provide assistance via phone and web chat on a nondiscriminatory basis to anyone in need,” the organization’s website reads. “Some concerns callers share are challenges with interpersonal relationships, anxiety, pain, depression, finances, alcohol/drug use, etc.”

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Study Finds That Pandemic Has Lowered the Life Expectancy of Black Californians

Edward Henderson | California Black Media

If you follow social media or if when you’re out in public and count the number of masks being worn, you might conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. People have resumed posting pictures of their summer vacations and family gatherings. Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks shows entertained thousands of uncovered faces across the nation.

But, neither the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization have declared the pandemic has run its course and statistics and death tolls across California tell a distressing story about the indelible mark the pandemic has left on all of us.

A study by collegiate researchers, including representatives from UCLA, recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that during the pandemic Black Californians and other minorities experienced a disproportionate reduction in life expectancy occurred compared to White Californians.

The JAMA study also found that for Californians living in the highest income census tracts versus the lowest, the gap in life expectancies increased from a difference before the pandemic of about 11.5 years to 14.67 years in 2020 and 15.51 years in 2021.

Between 2019 and 2021 the research shows the life expectancy for Black Californians decreased by nearly 3.8 years from 74.8 years to 71. Latinx Californians’ life expectancy fell by nearly 5.7 years from 82.5 years to 76.8 and for Asian Californians the decrease was 3 years, from 86.6 years to 83.5. White Californians life expectancy only decreased 1.9 years from 80.5 to 78.6 years.

“This disparity, much like other racial and ethnic inequities, has roots in the social determinants of health as well as structural barriers resulting from systemic racism that have helped perpetuate disparities for generations,” researchers stated in the study.

The study found that economic factors including the likelihood of Black and Latinx Californians working frontline jobs increased their exposure to the COVID-19 virus coupled with the increased need for them to attend work in person to financially survive the pandemic were possible contributors to the life expectancy decrease.

“Families of lower socioeconomic status are more vulnerable to economic instability and were less likely to access income support programs during the pandemic, raising concerns that the stresses brought on by the pandemic might have widened health gaps related to income and race and ethnicity,” the study reported.

As of July 11, only 68 % of Black Californians have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and only 25 % of Black children in California.

Government supported programs and additional funds allocated in budget for Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented immigrants are a few steps that have been taken to combat some of these disparities.

BlackandVaxxed.org is a California statewide public awareness campaign designed to give the Black community facts and insights necessary to make informed decisions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Created in partnership with the California Department of Health, the organization provides a compilation of workplace safety initiatives and vaccine related information on its website.

Information on how and where to receive Covid-19 vaccinations can be found here.


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