The New York Times reports on the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks: “On Thursday, public health officials recorded more than 150,000 new cases in a day for the first time — more than 160,000, in fact. That has pushed the seven-day average of new daily cases to more than 134,000, as of Thursday, an increase of 72 percent from the average two weeks earlier. It was only eight days earlier that the country had its first 100,000-case day. Six of the last nine days have set records, and with colder weather driving people indoors, there is little reason to expect a respite soon.”
National Public Radio interviewed researcher Rachel Hardeman on the toll of police violence on African-American communities: “This scene, she says, doesn't capture the whole of the problem, that police violence leaves marks across a community of survivors - their families and neighbors. Hardeman studies racial disparities in health, focusing on a long-standing problem - Black mothers die in childbirth at three to four times the rate of whites. That holds true regardless of wealth or education. Black babies are more than twice as likely to die in their first year. Research suggests racial discrimination is a likely cause of both preterm birth and infant mortality, outweighing factors like obesity, smoking or poor prenatal care. Hardeman's latest research looks at how police violence in particular might affect that. She studied women in and around Minneapolis after police shot Philando Castile in 2016 and, two years later, Thurman Blevins… A large body of research shows that that stress across pregnancy can have an impact on low birth weight and preterm birth in particular. Studying the start of life is so important because if we can't get that right, you know, we're setting someone up for a lifetime of pain and of struggle and disadvantage."
The LA Times reports on how climate proposals and candidates running on climate-action platforms fared in the 2020 elections.
California voters narrowly voted down a ballot initiative that would have raised funds for public services by lifting some of Prop 13 restrictions on property tax increases. “This is an important moment in California political history — the biggest attempt to reform Proposition 13,” said Manuel Pastor, an author and sociology professor at the University of Southern California. “Given that this is the third rail of California politics, it actually came pretty close with very significant headwinds including a recession, and the limits the pandemic placed on door-knocking and other high-touch voter contact.” Proposition 15 would have raised $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion a year for public schools, community colleges and city and county governments, according to a nonpartisan state agency. Proponents had promoted the measure as a needed investment in public services when the economy and budgets are under stress.”
PI's Wil Crary and Zack Tarro published a blog on how boys and men have changed the narrative about their communities through Making Connections: "All 13 Making Connections coalitions uplift positive narratives of mental wellbeing while naming injustices such as racism, trauma, and isolation that have resulted in mental health inequity. In highlighting positive narratives, community resilience, and grassroots leadership, MC sites reframe commonly held beliefs about what fosters mental health and how to foster it. The key to MC’s success has been centering a positive community narrative to create meaningful change. Making Connections leaders across the country take actions that focus on the root cause of illness and injury, because they want to see these narrative shifts become the rule, not the exception."