Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders developed a budget agreement this week (passed by legislators on Thursday) that would expand Medicaid access to approximately 138,000 young undocumented immigrants ages 19 to 25, expand subsidies for low-income residents to “fully cover” the costs of Covered California health plans, invest approximately $130 million in improving water safety, and increase access to pre-Kindergarten schooling for income-eligible four-year-olds.
City Lab reports on the push to keep parks around the world open later to improve community cohesiveness, expand opportunities for recreation and social connection, and help cities adapt to warming weather. "In 2018, the Trust for Public Land surveyed parks in the 100 largest U.S. cities and found that most close from dusk to dawn, while some others are open until 11 p.m. A few remain open later into the night, but they’re the exception to the rule: The National Mall in Washington, D.C., is open 24 hours, for example, and New York City’s Central Park closes at 1 a.m. Still, aside from a handful of joggers and late-night strollers, you’re unlikely to find a lively crowd in either park at night... “The fact is if you have a long period of excessive heat, your park infrastructure will not be used enjoyably [during the day],” he says, pointing to Phoenix’s 100-plus consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures last year. “So being able to use some of these spaces after dark is a really valuable public benefit.” Dolesh says it’s “an inevitable response” to a climate-changing world."
The New York Times reports on how federal immigration agents treat immigrants seeking medical care, “who are in custody only because of their immigration status, are often subjected to security measures meant for prisoners charged with serious crimes… As apprehensions of migrants climb at the southwest border, and dozens a day are taken to community hospitals, medical providers are challenging practices — by both government agencies and their own hospitals — that they say are endangering patients and undermining recent pledges to improve health care for migrants. The problems range from shackling patients to beds and not permitting them to use restrooms to pressuring doctors to discharge patients quickly and certify that they can be held in crowded detention facilities that immigration officials themselves say are unsafe. Physicians say that needed follow-up care for long-term detainees is often neglected, and that they have been prevented from informing family members about the status of critically ill patients. Agency vehicles parked conspicuously near hospital entrances, health providers say, are also stoking fear and interfering with broader immigrant care.”
A new study from the Tahirih Justice Center finds that immigrants who have experienced domestic violence often don’t seek help due to fear of being deported. Colorlines reports, “According to a statement released by the coalition, researchers surveyed “575 victim advocates and attorneys in 42 states, one U.S.territory and the District of Columbia.” The results show that in the months since the government began tightening immigration laws, immigrant survivors of domestic abuse “have an increased fear of deportation, retaliation by their abusers and separation from their children.” The current administration’s severe policies have made it difficult for survivors to speak up when they are in danger. “This survey shows us the robust chilling effect that recent immigration policy changes are having on immigrant survivors of violence,” Archi Pyati, chief of policy for the Tahirih Justice Center, said in the statement released by the coalition. “This is the message they are receiving: either stay with your abuser or risk deportation.””
The editors of Civil Eats discuss 10 years of working on the issue of food access. “I want to credit [urban gardener] Karen Washington for her use of the phrase “food apartheid,” because I think it takes this concept of a food desert and it acknowledges that these areas don’t just happen by accident. They are the result of intentional policy decisions that have accumulated over years and years and have continually reinforced [the idea] that certain populations should have access to healthy food and others don’t matter. For the most part, we’re now recognizing that our agricultural policies are making it harder to ensure that we all have access to healthy food. For example, only 2 percent of U.S. crop land is used to grow fruits and vegetables and about 60 percent is used to grow commodity crops like corn and soybeans, which are primarily used to produce meat, processed food, and ethanol. This has two really troubling implications for food access. The first is that we’re not actually producing the kinds of food that we need; if everybody were to meet dietary recommendations for fruits and vegetables, we’d need to nearly double the production of those crops. The second implication is that many of the big industrial farms producing corn, soy, and wheat aren’t taking good care of the soil, and that will jeopardize our ability to grow food there in the future. If we want to help the food supply now and for years to come, healthy soil and a healthy environment also have to be key ingredients.”
Democrats in the US House and Senate introduced legislation this week that would repeal federal policies that shield gun and ammunition manufacturers, dealers, and trade groups from civil litigation after a gun is used unlawfully