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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.

American Cancer Society Encourages Californians to Help Finish the Fight

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During March's Colon Cancer Awareness Month Enroll in Historic Cancer Prevention Study to Make a Difference in the Fight

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. As the American Cancer Society celebrates its 100th birthday this year, it is emphasizing the importance of age-appropriate colorectal cancer screenings and asking Californians to help defeat the disease by enrolling in a historic research study. An estimated 5,135 Californians will die from colorectal cancer (commonly called colon cancer) in 2013, accounting for nine percent of all cancer deaths.

The Society recommends Californians reduce their risk of developing the disease by maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of physical activity, and eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats. Limiting alcohol intake can also reduce colon cancer risk. For information about colon cancer screening and nutrition and physical activity recommendations visit cancer.org/coloncancer.

Colon cancer is highly treatable if found early. Half of all colon cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented if everyone followed recommended screening guidelines. Most people should begin screening at age 50, and those with a family history are at higher risk and may need to be screened earlier.

Colon cancer death rates have dropped by more than 30 percent over the past two decades thanks in part to progress made by the American Cancer Society. The Society works with community partners to provide education and access to colon cancer screening in areas hardest hit by the disease. Society-funded research has led to improved understanding about the link between diet and colorectal cancer, and the development of drugs to treat colorectal cancer.

This spring, the Society is offering an unprecedented opportunity for Californians to change the face of colon cancer and all cancers for future generations by participating in a historic long-term study. 300,000 diverse men and women ages 30 to 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are needed to enroll in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).

“Many cancer patients struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., principal investigator of CPS-3. “CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer.”

Dr. Patel added, “Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

The opportunity for Californians to enroll in CPS-3 will take place at the below local sites:

• In Palm Springs and Palm Desert from May 7-16; visit www.cps3palmsprings.org to register.
• In San Diego County at ten locations from March 10-23; visit www.cps3sandiego.org to register.
• In Los Angeles County at dozens of locations from April 18-May 9; visit www.cps3la.org to register.

For more information about CPS-3 visit cancer.org/cps3 or call the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 Information Line at (888) 604-5888; or (800) 227-2345.

Attorney General Harris Announces Settlement to Protect Public Health in Jurupa Valley

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LOS ANGELES -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris recently announced a settlement in a lawsuit challenging the approval of an industrial project in Riverside County that would cause additional diesel truck traffic near a community already disproportionately affected by diesel exhaust and noise pollution.

As part of the agreement, the City of Jurupa Valley and other parties will take action to significantly reduce the project’s air quality impacts on Mira Loma Village, a primarily Hispanic residential community.

“It is a false choice to suggest that in order for California business to thrive, public health must suffer,” Attorney General Harris said. “It is my intention that this settlement will provide a model for local governments, developers and communities to work together to ensure responsible development benefiting all Californians.”

In September 2011, Attorney General Harris joined the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) action filed by the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice to set aside Riverside County’s approval for the Mira Loma Commerce Center, which would consist of a million square feet of warehouses and industrial buildings.

The suit outlined the county’s failure to adequately analyze and mitigate the project’s impacts on Mira Loma Village residents in light of the already serious health and environmental risks suffered by the community.

The City of Jurupa Valley, which was incorporated in 2011, now has jurisdiction over the project site. The city and the project developers agreed as part of the settlement to implement and fund the following:

- Proceedings for preparation of an Environmental Justice Element of the City’s General Plan;

- Installation of air filtration systems in the homes of Mira Loma residents;

- Air quality monitoring in Mira Loma Village;

- Landscaping in setback areas with plants with potential to remove or reduce exposure to diesel particulate emissions; and,

- A “green” project site, including a 100kW capacity solar photovoltaic system, LEED Silver certified project buildings, and electric vehicle charging stations.

“We are extremely impressed with the cooperative process that took place to arrive at this agreement,” said Penny Newman, Executive Director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. “This settlement has created the ‘gold standard’ for settlements in addressing impacts through a model process of how diverse stakeholders can come together and cooperatively find comprehensive solutions.”

The settlement also requires the City of Jurupa Valley to conduct proceedings to adopt an ordinance to prohibit heavy trucks on the road adjacent to Mira Loma Village, to implement an anti-idling enforcement program and to consider environmental justice during CEQA review for future projects in the City.

Since the 1990s, Riverside County has approved a series of warehouse projects that are now under the City of Jurupa Valley’s jurisdiction. Thousands of trucks travel to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to distribution centers and warehouses in the City of Jurupa Valley and other areas of Riverside County each day. These trucks spew diesel exhaust causing harmful health impact to residents living near the freeways and roads on which the trucks travel. Diesel exhaust is listed as a known carcinogen under Proposition 65. The levels of particulate matter and ozone pollutants in the Jurupa Valley area are significantly higher than both California and federal air quality standards.

This settlement will help reduce the public health impacts caused by the project and existing warehouse facilities on the overburdened community of Mira Loma Village. This settlement serves as a model for how other local governments can encourage smart development while also addressing environmental public health in their communities.

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