The New York Times editorial board argues governments should “give money to babies,” looking at baby bond policies in the UK and proposals in the US: Philip Murphy, the governor of New Jersey, proposed last month to create a similar program for children in his state, which would be the first such program in the United States. The “baby bonds” program would create a $1,000 savings account for each child born into a New Jersey household with an annual income below about $131,000. The money eventually could be put toward school tuition, a down payment on a house or starting a business. Mr. Murphy’s office estimates roughly three-quarters of the state’s newborns would be eligible — around 72,000 children next year. It is a proposal with the potential to change the trajectory of individual lives, giving New Jersey kids a better chance to thrive and prosper. Black people are particularly disadvantaged by inequalities of wealth and opportunity in the United States — inequalities that are substantially a result of past and present racism. Black households with children have on average about one penny in wealth for every dollar held by white households with children, according to a recent analysis by the sociologists Christine Percheski and Christina Gibson-Davis. That wealth gap has increased in recent decades and, strikingly, the gap between Black and white households with children is wider than the overall wealth gap for Black and white households. The baby bonds program, which builds on the work of the economists Darrick Hamilton and William Darity Jr., is an elegant approach to reducing those racial gaps: Broader programs command broader support. The program would help everyone who needs it. It would create a baseline for individual wealth, limiting inequality in much the same way free public schooling limits inequalities in education. The disproportionate need among Black children would be reflected in the distribution of the benefits.”
In a recent podcast, Annie Fryman, a senior advisor to Scott Wiener, and Leonora Camner, executive director of Abundant Housing LA, discuss how California can meet the demand for housing and how changes in housing policy can help curb climate change.
The New York Times reports on fires, evacuations, and exposure to hazardous air pollution in the western US: “Multiple mega fires burning more than three million acres. Millions of residents smothered in toxic air. Rolling blackouts and triple-digit heat waves. Climate change, in the words of one scientist, is smacking California in the face… California’s simultaneous crises illustrate how the ripple effect works. A scorching summer led to dry conditions never before experienced. That aridity helped make the season’s wildfires the biggest ever recorded. Six of the 20 largest wildfires in modern California history have occurred this year. If climate change was a somewhat abstract notion a decade ago, today it is all too real for Californians. The intensely hot wildfires are not only chasing thousands of people from their homes but causing dangerous chemicals to leach into drinking water. Excessive heat warnings and suffocating smoky air have threatened the health of people already struggling during the pandemic… Wildfire smoke can in the worst cases be deadly, especially among older people. Studies have shown that when waves of smoke hit, the rate of hospitalizations rises, and patients experience respiratory problems, heart attacks and strokes. The coronavirus pandemic adds a new layer of risk to an already perilous situation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued statements warning that people with Covid-19 are at increased risk from wildfire smoke during the pandemic.”
Honolulu Civil Beat reports on how the KVIBE bike shop has changed gears to meet the community’s needs during the pandemic. “The KVIBE bike shop in Kalihi is normally packed with kids. The warehouse along Kamehameha IV Road is walking distance from multiple public housing complexes, and the organization takes seriously its mission to help mentor kids and get them off the streets. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the warehouse transformed. “We turned our shop into a food hub,” explains Josh Kim, who works at the youth outreach bike shop that’s part of the Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Health Center. By late May, more than 21% of Kalihi residents had filed for unemployment and others were still struggling to do so. KVIBE partnered with the YMCA of Kalihi to give out up to 150 meals per day to families in need. Six months into the pandemic, Kim and other staff spend their days delivering food throughout the neighborhood. Honolulu Kalihi Has The Worst COVID-19 Outbreak In Hawaii. Here’s How The Community Is Responding 27 Nonprofits are pivoting to help residents in a community facing the worst outbreak of COVID-19 of any zip code in the state, along with high rates of unemployment. By Anita Hofschneider / September 9, 2020 Reading time: 8 minutes. The KVIBE bike shop in Kalihi is normally packed with kids. The warehouse along Kamehameha IV Road is walking distance from multiple public housing complexes, and the organization takes seriously its mission to help mentor kids and get them off the streets. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the warehouse transformed. “We turned our shop into a food hub,” explains Josh Kim, who works at the youth outreach bike shop that’s part of the Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Health Center. KVIBE Kalihi Valley Instructional Bicycle Exchange Program wide with many different sized bicycle wheels on wall. 26 oct 2016. Before COVID-19 started spreading in Hawaii, kids worked on their bikes at KVIBE in Kalihi. The bike shop became a food hub when the pandemic hit. Cory Lum/Civil Beat By late May, more than 21% of Kalihi residents had filed for unemployment and others were still struggling to do so. KVIBE partnered with the YMCA of Kalihi to give out up to 150 meals per day to families in need. Six months into the pandemic, Kim and other staff spend their days delivering food throughout the neighborhood. The pivot was a necessity in Kalihi, where the pandemic has hit harder than every other part of the state. State data shows the 96819 zip code reported 1,396 total cases thus far, the highest of any zip code in the state. Nearly two-thirds were identified in the last 28 days. That’s 261 cases per 10,000 people, more than twice the islandwide rate. And it’s worsening — in August, about 30% of Kokua Kalihi Valley patients who got tested for coronavirus received positive test results. “Our community is in crisis right now and we are doing our best to come together,” said Puni Jackson, a KKV staffer.”
In a commentary published in The Trace, PI’s Rachel Davis and Anthony Smith, executive director of Cities United, lay out what a public health approach to preventing gun violence looks like and argue that “we can’t afford to abandon a public health approach to preventing gun violence. Instead, we need to expand this approach to every city in the nation. This unprecedented moment with its challenges and opportunities — provides an opening for cities to divest from broken systems that are harming Black and Brown communities and invest in what really works to create community safety.”