The Los Angeles Times took a closer look at the failure of SB 827, a bill that would have preempted local land-use regulations to incentivize building multi-unit housing near transit centers. “Activists for low-income residents and communities of color said that they were blindsided by state Sen. Scott Wiener's proposal and that subsequent efforts by the senator to protect against potential displacement and gentrification were inadequate. Wiener (D-San Francisco) and his allies have acknowledged they need to build better relationships with advocates for poor Californians and vowed to introduce a new bill in 2019. But for now, there is a fundamental disconnect between the approach of the senator and his supporters on one side and influential anti-poverty organizations on the other. ‘The YIMBY movement has a white privilege problem,’ said Anya Lawler, a lobbyist with the Western Center on Law & Poverty, a legal advocacy group and adversary of SB 827. ‘I don't think they recognize it. They don't understand poverty. They don't understand what that's like, who our clients really are and what their lived experience is.’ … Much of the reaction was predictable. Local governments and neighborhood groups opposed the state taking over some power to shape communities. Environmental organizations were divided over whether it hurt residents' ability to stop development or was a win in the fight against climate change… Many equity groups… remained stung by how the bill was introduced and believed its tenant protections and affordability mandates didn't account for varying needs in their communities.”
Writing for The New York Times, Evan Hughes maps out how drug manufacturer Insys Therapeutics pumped an opioid into the market using what prosecutors describe as a kickback scheme in which doctors received “speaker fees” that were linked to their prescribing practices. The drug maker is now facing an array of civil lawsuits and federal criminal prosecution for the tactics it allegedly used to enhance sales of Subsys, a drug approved for treatment of cancer patients’ pain, for a variety of off-label uses. While street drugs like synthetic opioids and heroin have overtaken prescription medications as the leading cause of deaths related to opioids, many of the people who use illegal drugs started with prescription medications.
The Marshall Project reports on a series of directives from the Trump administration that are “aimed at detaining more [unaccompanied] youths after their arrival [at the US border] and speeding deportation back to their home countries—where they may face violent reprisals from gangs or other forms of abuse… In a series of at least a dozen moves across multiple federal agencies, it has begun to curtail legal protections for unaccompanied children who cross the border,” targeting measures like “special immigrant juvenile status” that allows children to apply for green cards if they cannot be reunited with a parent due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. The administration has also separated more than 700 families since October 2017, with ICE officials describing the separations as a “disincentive” to immigration. The administration has also attempted to block undocumented teenage girls in detention from accessing abortion care. Vox reports on the American Civil Liberties Union’s legal efforts to ensure that youth in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement have access to abortion: “On March 30, the group scored a victory — a US District Court judge ruled that ORR could not block minors from getting the procedure, pending the result of a class action suit. Government lawyers have asked for a stay and plan to appeal this decision, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, in a deposition released at the end of February, Lloyd said he does not believe unaccompanied minors have a constitutional right to an abortion. According to another deposition, filed on April 4, Lloyd also required staffers to give a minor an anti-abortion booklet and read a graphic description of an abortion procedure. His office’s efforts to keep young people from terminating their pregnancies are a major part of a larger agenda, shared by many in the Trump administration, of restricting access to reproductive health care.”
Taxi drivers say ride-share services are putting them out of business, creating stress that some blame for a string of suicides among underemployed drivers in New York, Miranda Katz reports in Wired. “For taxi drivers, disruption is not only financially destabilizing, but also demoralizing, as it recasts their careers as gig work,” she writes. Cab drivers calling for regulation of ride share drivers in New York City staged a protest at City Hall featuring symbolic coffins.
With interactive pictures and stories, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explores how the opioid epidemic is tearing through families and overwhelming the child welfare system.
The City of Newark’s police department, which is under federal oversight for use of excessive force, is rolling out “trauma training” for police and citizens in hopes of fostering greater understanding, the Marshall Project reports. The training delves into everything from slavery to officers’ reluctance to talk about mental health.
The New York Times Well Blog looks at how women’s health concerns are often downplayed or dismissed by the healthcare system. ‘It’s a huge issue in medicine,’ says Dr. Tia Powell, a bioethicist and a professor of clinical epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Health care providers may have implicit biases that affect the way women are heard, understood and treated, she said. ‘Medical schools and professional guidelines are starting to address this problem, but there’s still much to be done.’ … research on disparities between how women and men are treated in medical settings is growing — and it is concerning for any woman seeking care… Women are also more likely to be told their pain is “psychosomatic,”or influenced by emotional distress. And in a survey of more than 2,400 women with chronic pain, 83 percent said they felt they had experienced gender discrimination from their health care providers.”
“Boys don’t think their feelings are normal, they don’t get told it’s normal for a boy to feel scared, vulnerable, sad, jealous, hurt,” author Rachel Giese writes in The Star in an excerpt from her new book Boys: What it Means to Become a Man. She digs into the barriers that boys face to interacting and connecting authentically – and also spotlights reasons for hope. “Since boys have the potential for empathy, connection, kindness and affection,” she writes, “then it’s merely a matter of figuring out how to encourage those qualities.”
Health officials increasingly are addressing stigma around substance misuse, underscoring the point that it’s a health condition that requires prevention and treatment like any other. Among recent examples:
- Matt Baker director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region III writes in Roanoke.com: “Within all these efforts, there is an overall goal to change the mindset in how we treat individuals struggling with addiction. People who are addicted to opioids should never be stigmatized, and their addiction should be treated as a medical condition. By recognizing that addiction is a disease, we can remove some of the impediments that discourage people from seeking treatment.”
- WXII News reports former US Surgeon General David Satcher, speaking at University of Rochester Medical School, on how to approach the opioid epidemic, said: "I think the mental health part is really critical because we as a nation still view mental illness as something to be embarrassed about, something surrounded with stigma. And that in itself prevents a lot of people from getting help who need it.”