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Children's Defense Fund-California Recognizes Students

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Summer vacation is fast coming to a close and colleges and universities throughout California are gearing up for the fall semester — and 2012 Children’s Defense Fund Beat the Odds® Scholarship and Leadership Program alumni will make the transition from high school to college! These outstanding students will be attending some of the state’s premier universities, including University of Southern California, UCLA, and Mount St. Mary's College.

The 2012 CDF Beat the Odds honorees are the embodiment of strength, determination, and resilience. These young people have faced tremendous hardships on the road to college, and survived childhoods marked by periods of homelessness, abuse, abandonment, and loss. Yet each of these incredible students have achieved academic excellence and personal success despite their difficult upbringings, with many going on to become class valedictorians, student body presidents, all-star athletes, and role models in their communities. Read more about our 2012 CDF Beat the Odds honorees and watch their inspiring documentaries.

For more than two decades, the CDF Beat the Odds Scholarship Program has recognized outstanding high school students who have overcome adversity to excel in school and as leaders in their communities. The college prep program awards $55,000 in scholarships annually, as well as provides awardees with intensive SAT preparation, one-on-one college counseling, leadership development, college tours, career counseling, and other services to support them through their college career.

The application for the 2014 CDF Beat the Odds program will become available next month. For information on the program or how to nominate a student, contact program associate Joanna Flores at jflores@childrensdefense.org.

Assemblymember Isadore Hall Issues Statement on Adult Film Industry's Lifting Moratorium

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Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement in response to the adult film industry’s decision to lift their self-imposed moratorium on production due to a confirmed HIV transmission of an adult film actress.

“Today’s move by the Free Speech Coalition to lift their self-imposed moratorium on adult film production without requiring condoms is dangerous and irresponsible. The Free Speech Coalition is great at putting out a press release, but sadly, they are horrible at understanding science. The fact is it can take up to three months for a person with HIV to test positive. For those with HIV, use of current HIV medication can also bring viral loads below detectable levels, leaving fellow actors and the public susceptible to this deadly disease.

The industry’s testing only policy has failed. The fact is a voluntary testing only policy is as effective at preventing the spread of STDs as a pregnancy test is at preventing pregnancy. Short of requiring condoms in all adult films, STD transmission in the adult film industry will continue and California workers will continue to be exposed to injury, harm and potentially death.

I call upon to Free Speech Coalition and the adult film industry to join adult film actors, responsible adult film producers, medical professionals and the public in supporting my AB 640, which would require condoms in all adult films produced in California. No more stalling, no more excuses, no more lies. Too much time has been wasted while California workers have been harmed. The time to act is now.”

Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III, represents California’s 64th Assembly District that includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington in Los Angeles County.

California State Assembly Appropriations Passes Yee Bills on Foster Youth, Hospital Safety, Transparency

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SACRAMENTO – The state's Assembly Appropriations Committee voted to pass Senator Leland Yee’s (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) Senate Bills 3, 342, 528 and 718 today, which is intended to bring increased transparency to the lobbying process and modernize filing practices under campaign finance law, provide assistance to foster youth, and protect hospital employees.

SB 3 would set a statutory deadline for the Secretary of State and the Fair Political Practices Commission to create a modern online database for campaign disclosures. In 2011, the Cal-Access system went offline for a month due to technical difficulties, affecting the public's ability to track lobbyist activity in Sacramento, according to a press release from Yee's office.

“The public has a right to know who has influence in Sacramento,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo). “This information must be easily accessible through a modern online system."

SB 3 is part of the Sunshine in Campaigns Act, along with SB 2, authored by Senator Ted Lieu, which could strengthen disclosure requirements, including requiring campaign ads to disclose the top four campaign donors within the ad. SB 2 was also passed by the Appropriations Committee Aug. 30.

In addition, two of Yee’s foster care bills were passed by the Committee. SB 342 will require that social worker visits to foster youth will take place in the home, to assure the child is living in an adequate home environment. SB 528 would prioritize access to subsidized child care, as pregnant and parenting youth are 200% more likely to drop out of high school than to graduate. In addition, it expands access to pregnant and parenting teen conferences to assist parents in utilizing all the resources available, directs the Department of Social Services to start collecting data on parenting and pregnant youth, and provide age appropriate reproductive health education.

“These bills are common sense measures to protect and assist foster youth so that they can succeed and flourish,” said Yee.

The Committee also voted in favor of SB 718, which would require hospitals to craft plans for how to respond to workplace violence and protects survivors of workplace violence from retaliation for seeking necessary evaluation and treatment.

“Hospital employees should be able to go to work without fear of violence,” said Yee. “This bill will give them the protections they deserve so they can do their jobs with the confidence that they are protected from danger.”

Not all of Yee’s bills made it out of committee. SB 343, which would have ensured that foster youth who are at least 16 years old be provided with critical documents, such as their social security card and copy of their birth certificate was held, as was SB 327, which offered legal protections to survivors of human trafficking.

Curren Price Endorsed by Labor Leader Delores Huerta

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Calling him a proven and trusted fighter for people of all communities, legendary labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta has endorsed Sen. Curren Price for Los Angeles City Council in the 9th District.

"Curren Price is the one who can bring South Los Angeles together to make real improvements in people's lives," said Huerta. "From fighting to pass the DREAM Act, to creating job training opportunities and safer neighborhoods, Curren has a proven record of fighting and delivering results for every community. He is the type of leader that will empower and unite the people of South Los Angeles to build a better future for this community."

The recipient of many honors for her life of activism, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Huerta is a globally-recognized symbol of the power that individuals have to make positive change, by strengthening ties between people of all backgrounds.

"Dolores Huerta is a hero to all who believe in dignity and respect for all people, and I am so grateful that she supports our campaign," said Price. "She is a reminder to us all, that our community can accomplish big things if we come together for a common purpose. In the 9th District, those goals are safer and cleaner neighborhoods, job-creation and better schools."

The broad support for Price's leadership is reflected in the enthusiastic endorsements his campaign has attracted. Among the organizations and individuals who officially endorse the Price campaign: the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; the L.A. County Democratic Party; Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson Jr.; State Sen. Alex Padilla, president of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials; State Sen. Kevin de Leon; Congressman Tony Cardenas; Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod; former State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez; Latino Legislative Caucus Chair Ricardo Lara; the entire Legislative Black Caucus; Congresswoman Karen Bass; retired Congresswoman Diane Watson; State Sen. Carol Liu; State State Sen. Ron Calderon; State Sen. Ted Lieu; and Ruben Guerra, chairman of the Latin Business Association; Efren Martinez, president of the Florence-Firestone Chamber of Commerce; Sandy Cajas, president of the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and the Asian Business Coalition.

Pomona Minister Appointed Bishop of Brazil Ecclestiastical Jurisdiction

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On May 6, 2013 Bishop Terence P. Rhone, pastor of Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Pomona will be honored at a celebratory inaugural banquet for his being appointed as Bishop of the Brazil Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. On November 11, 2012, Dr. Rhone was appointed by COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake.

Dr. Rhone graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1986 Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and he obtained his medical degree from the Western University of Health Sciences in 1990. He is board certified in the disciplines of internal medicine and lung disease and currently practices in Downey, California as an internist and a specialist in lung disease and critical medicine.

For nearly 11 years, Dr. Rhone has served as Pastor of the Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ in Pomona, California. Each year he leads a delegation to the foreign fields of the Republic of the Philippines and Brazil to conduct medical missions and ministry trainings during their annual Auxiliaries In Ministry Convention.

For more information about the Celebratory Inaugural Banquet, please refer to the website at www.cogicbrazilbanquet.com or call Event Chairperson, Mary L. Paige, at (909) 868-0224.

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