California

Shark Fin Controversy Escalates into Lawsuit

Summer Chiang

The San Francisco-based Chinatown Neighborhood Association (CNA) announced last week that it intends to file a lawsuit to overturn California Assembly Bill 376, a new law banning the possession, sale and distribution of shark fins. CNA President Pius Lee told the Chinese-language newspaper Epoch Times, the association believes the shark fin ban is unconstitutional. 

Meth Addiction, Drug-Related Crimes Plague an Indian Reservation

Allie Hostler and Jacob Simas

He snorted his first line of dope when he was 15. He remembers the day. He ran with the older boys, and they tried to look out for him by refusing to rail him up. They told him, “You better not.” But it wasn’t long before his “bros” caved to his curiosity. Nor was it long before he stopped snorting, and started shooting his poison. He spent the next 21 years incarcerated or on the run, battling an addiction that swept his youth away like powder in the wind.

Renowned Artist Xavier Viramontes Discusses His Career and Famous Political Artwork

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Xavier Viramontes is a nationally renowned printmaker whose prints impacted many political movements and social justice campaigns during the 1970s. His prints are also part of the revolutionary canon of Chicano art produced at Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco. His most famous print, “Boycott Grapes, Support the United Farm Workers Union” from 1973, which depicts an Aztec warrior smashing grapes with his fists as the grape juice and blood drip over the title, is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  He spoke with Edgardo Cervano-Soto about his career and art.

The Exasperating Search for Employment in a Down Economy

Chris Levister

William F. Baskerville knows that losing the opportunity to cultivate the “minds of California’s brightest students from every background” is like losing “a precious national resource.” That’s why despite the Inland Empire’s posted unemployment rate of 12.6 percent in March, the education consultant is not giving up on finding a job. “I refuse to be relegated to the government’s ‘uncounted’ roles,” he said, referring to the millions of unemployed Americans who have simply dropped out of the labor market. 

The Republican Party Struggles to Attract the Crucial Latino Vote

Jennifer Baires and Jamie Goldberg

Burlingame, CA -- The Republican party’s desire to appeal to Latino voters is a matter of survival. Nearly 22 million Latinos in the United States are eligible to participate in this year’s election—the most ever, and up by more than 2 million since 2008. But Republicans don’t have the best track record for getting Latinos, or any minority group candidates, in office. There are no Latino, Asian or Black Republicans serving in the state’s Senate, Assembly or congressional delegation.

BP Announces It Will Divest From its Oil Refineries in California, Texas

Ngoc Nguyen

As political maneuvering continues over the fate of the controversial proposed Keystone XL pipeline, one of the world's largest energy companies -- BP -- is already signaling the direction it plans to take: it's positioning itself to tap the burgeoning supply of Canadian tar sands oil. BP announced it will divest from its oil refineries on the Southern West Coast -- in Carson, Calif. -- and Texas City, Tex., and expand its operations in the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest. 

California Leads the Way in Health Care Reform

Liz Gonzalez

From New America Media:  As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to review the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), California health experts are confident that the state will continue to lead the way on health reform. California has the highest number of uninsured persons of any state. Through the work of health and consumer advocates, the state has focused on building the infrastructure for future coverage expansion and implementing as many of the changes as fast as it can. 

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