HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS

Heard on the Tom/Toms

Stephen Frank, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views,  10/20/23    www.capoliticalreview.com

The Cartoonish Campaign for Steve Garvey for Senator or L.A. Dodgers General Manager

On October 11, Matt Shupe, who is running the cartoonish Steve Garvey for Senate campaign—and the Steve Hilton for Governor effort, sent out a press release about the Garvey effort, “Baseball Legend Steve Garvey Announces U.S. Senate Campaign?’

In the past ten days, and after several months of Shupe saying Garvey is running, we have still not heard from Garvey himself.  On the day of his announcement, Shupe and Andy Gimmeekandy sent out a one minute video about Garvey—it showed him playing baseball, with baseball figures, showing him in a Dodger uniform—nothing about his position on sanctuary cities, open borders, Israel, taxation, the national debt.

His announcement for Senator looked more like a promo for him to be the next General Manager of the Dodgers, not a public official.  Then in the Shupe statement, the major portion (see below) of why he is running is based on playing baseball.  Even in his “community affairs” portion, not a word about being involved in public policy.

“Our campaign is focused on quality-of-life issues, public safety, and education,” Garvey said. “As a U.S. Senator, I will serve with commonsense, compassion, and will work to build consensus to benefit all of the people of California.”

Garvey, a former professional baseball player who played as a first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1987, was a 10-time All-Star, National League Most Valuable Player in 1974, and National League Championship Series MVP in 1978 and 1984. Garvey also holds the National League record for consecutive games played (1,207) and was named baseball’s “Iron Man” by Sports Illustrated. Garvey was part of the Dodgers’ infield that won four National League pennants and one World Series championship in 1981.

Garvey’s efforts have not been exclusively focused on the field. Giving back is a Garvey trademark. He succeeded Frank Sinatra as the National Campaign Chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. In Addition, he assists in a variety of other causes: Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes, The Blind Children Center, The Sisters of Carondelet, United Way, Ronald McDonald House, St. Vincent DePaul Center, Pediatrics AIDS, the Starlight Foundation, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Garvey also finds the time to hold positions on numerous civic committees and corporate boards.

To prove my point, he is NOT running for Senate—just a cartoon effort to be Dodgers new General Manager, here is, from his website, the video explaining why he is running:

Launch video script:

Narrator: “Deep right field, way back, got her done, back to the wall, it’s gone!

Garvey: “Over 50 years ago, I came to California for the first time… September 1st of 1969, the Dodgers called me up and my dreams came true. 

Garvey: “Over the next 20 years, I played for the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. I played in front of millions of fans. I never played for Democrats or Republicans or independents. I played for all of you. Now I’m running for the U.S. Senate in California. A state that I believe at one time was the heartbeat of America. And now it’s just a murmur.” 

Garvey: “It’s going to be a commonsense campaign. It’s going to be difficult, but we can do this together, you and I. It’s time to get off the bench. It’s time to put the uniform on. It’s time to get back in the game. Join Team Garvey at SteveGarvey.com.”

Yup, he got paid to play a game before an audience consisting of people of all Parties—he really thinks playing first base well, qualifies him to be a U.S. Senator.

Not mentioned on his website are his views on the key issues facing our nation.  Not mentioned is his failure to pay child support.  Not mentioned is his trouble with the FBI.  Not mentioned is his current job, shaking hands with game goers at Dodger Stadium.

Notice that in the months since Shupe and Andy first announced that Garvey would run, he has given one, very short speech, saying nothing but reminding people he played baseball well, at an event in the OC in June.  Since then he has been silent, no speech, no media interviews.

This is a cartoonish campaign, no issues, no sightings—unwilling to answer questions.  The purpose of this campaign is NOT to elect Garvey—but to use this non existent candidate to assure that Democrats make the top two for the November ballot.

How bankrupt is the Republican Party in California that the best the Establishment can do is run Garvey, by NOT having him campaign?  No, it is the Establishment that is bankrupt—they pushed a Democrat, registered as a Republican for Governor, Neal Kashkari in 2014 (an Obama donor!), a Leftist GOP’er Kevin Faulconer for Governor, a Democrat, registered as a GOP—then changed to NPP, Nathan Hochman for Attorney General.  It is NOT the GOP that is bankrupt, it is the Jessica Patterson wing that is bankrupt—note the effort to pass a Democrat Lite Platform.  Now she wants to assure NO live people are present at a convention by holding the next one the weekend prior to the March 5 primary.

Challenge to Steve Garvey—campaign, answer questions about your background and public policy.  I would vote for you for the Hall of Fame, but NOT for Father of the Year or Senator—or even city council.

Feel free to call me if you would like to discuss—Shupe and Andy have my phone number.

(Disclosure:  I have not endorsed any candidate for U.S. Senate)

 (Periodically the California Political News and Views will publish tidbits of political news, to keep you in the loop of what the pooh bahs know.  The phrase “tom/tom’s” comes from my mentor, Lorelei Kinder who never passed a rumor, just called to tell me what she heard on the “TomTom’s”.  This column is named in her honor.)

Colman: THE DEEP STATE

It will take massive changes in the law—even ending the civil service rights to a lifetime job.  Regardless of the President or Party controlling Congress, the strong arm of government lengthens and grows.  Only by massive cuts in programs and authority, forcing government workers to obey Federal law, can we end the Deep State.

Referring to the Bay Bridge, Parkinson, said:  “Take the Oakland bridge,” adding that “[w]hen it was finished, a permanent staff of 12 was hired to keep it [the bridge] repainted.  Over the years, it [the paint crew] grew to 77 . . .”

The size of the paint crew increased despite the development of better paints and better automation to apply paint.

From 1913, when the U.S. federal government started to increase in size, the bureaucracy has become –- to the present day — enormous.  In 1913, the federal government implemented the federal income tax.  In 1935, Congress passed and the president (Franklin Roosevelt) signed the Social Security Act.  In 1966, the federal government passed Medicare, a program to provide health care to senior citizens.

What also happened as the federal government grew in size was the amount of debt the federal government carried.  In 1981, the debt reached $1 trillion.  By 2023, the debt has become $33 trillion.”

THE DEEP STATE

By Richard Colman, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views  10/20/23   www.capoliticalreview.com

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States brought together a group of individuals who complained about the Deep State.

Opponents of the Deep State –- another term for bureaucracy -– wanted to reduce the number of employees working for government.

Deep State opponents perhaps did not make enough use of the arguments of C. Northcote Parkinson, a British historian.  Parkinson, who lived from 1909 to 1993, was famous for Parkinson’s Law which says that bureaucracy expands, sometime exponentially, regardless of the amount of work to be done.

In an article in The New York Times (June 19, 1978) Parkinson, used, as an example, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which opened in 1936.

Referring to the Bay Bridge, Parkinson, said:  “Take the Oakland bridge,” adding that “[w]hen it was finished, a permanent staff of 12 was hired to keep it [the bridge] repainted.  Over the years, it [the paint crew] grew to 77 . . .”

The size of the paint crew increased despite the development of better paints and better automation to apply paint.

From 1913, when the U.S. federal government started to increase in size, the bureaucracy has become –- to the present day — enormous.  In 1913, the federal government implemented the federal income tax.  In 1935, Congress passed and the president (Franklin Roosevelt) signed the Social Security Act.  In 1966, the federal government passed Medicare, a program to provide health care to senior citizens.

What also happened as the federal government grew in size was the amount of debt the federal government carried.  In 1981, the debt reached $1 trillion.  By 2023, the debt has become $33 trillion.

How long can the debt keep expanding?  No one knows.

Debt is financed by the selling of bonds, often called U.S. Treasuries, that pay the borrowers interest.   As long as lenders keep providing funds to the federal government, government can increase its debt.

However, there may come a time when lenders no longer want to buy American debt.  When that time comes, the federal government may have to curtail its spending or raise taxes.

Sometimes debt can shrink.  During years that Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was president and Newt Gingrich, a Republican, was speaker of the House of Representatives, federal government spending was less than its income.  From about 1996 to 2000, the federal government had budget surpluses.  After Clinton left office in 2001, debt reappeared.

During Clinton’s presidency (1993-2001), inflation was low, employment was high, prosperity reigned, and some stock market indices grew about four times in value.

The time has come to heed the lessons of Parkinson:  Government is growing too rapidly and may eventually cause America to become bankrupt.

The national debt of $33 trillion should be paid off, perhaps over a 30-year period.  Paying off the debt may make many Americans uncomfortable as government benefits like Social Security and Medicare are trimmed.

Opponents of the Deep State, often reviled, may be premature in their analysis of the dangers of excessive bureaucracy and excessive spending.  However, persistent and growing debt may eventually pose a danger to the economic well-being of Americans.

A nation that is debt-free, may find that economic growth -– with no inflation and full employment –- brings about a level of prosperity that no one today can imagine.

Biden Drops 18,500 Illegal Aliens on the People of San Diego—MORE to Come

Joe Biden is working hard to make San Diego County look like New York City or Chicago.  He is sending as many illegal aliens as possible to San Diego—forcing the local government to take money meant for Americans to be spent on health care, education, housing and social services for law breakers from 150 other countries.

“Overwhelmed by record numbers of asylum seekers from around the world, U.S. border officials have released thousands of migrants on streets in the San Diego area the past month, including about 1,400 in the beach town of Oceanside.

Twice a day, Customs and Border Protection vans or buses drop off asylum seekers at the transit center in Oceanside say humanitarian organizations and volunteers who welcome the migrants and help them reach destinations elsewhere in the U.S.

They are among some 18,500 people released on the street in the San Diego area since Sept. 13, according to local government officials and legal and humanitarian organizations that have been in contact with CBP.”

The joke here is that Biden considers we have a secure border.  If so, where do these folks come from.  El Paso is one gigantic illegal alien encampment—Biden is doing his best to make San Diego County the same.

18,500 Asylum Seekers Released in San Diego County Since Sept. 13, Officials Say

by Reuters, 10/19/23   https://timesofsandiego.com/politics/2023/10/17/18500-asylum-seekers-released-in-san-diego-county-since-sept-13-officials-say/

Oceanside City Councilman Eric Joyce helps orient asylum seekers who have just been released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Oceanside. REUTERS/Daniel Trotta

Overwhelmed by record numbers of asylum seekers from around the world, U.S. border officials have released thousands of migrants on streets in the San Diego area the past month, including about 1,400 in the beach town of Oceanside.

Twice a day, Customs and Border Protection vans or buses drop off asylum seekers at the transit center in Oceanside say humanitarian organizations and volunteers who welcome the migrants and help them reach destinations elsewhere in the U.S.

They are among some 18,500 people released on the street in the San Diego area since Sept. 13, according to local government officials and legal and humanitarian organizations that have been in contact with CBP.

CBP said in a statement to Reuters that when non-governmental organizations that normally receive migrants are over capacity, the Border Patrol coordinates with local governments to identify “alternate safe locations where migrants can conveniently access transportation services or accommodations.”

Most of the street releases take place in San Ysidro, but they also take place in suburbs such as Oceanside and El Cajon.

The arrivals farther from the border show how communities in different parts of the United States can find themselves directly involved in the immigration crisis. Local leaders are clamoring for more federal funds to help absorb the migrants, while the political debate over immigration is certain to intensify ahead of presidential and congressional elections in November 2024.

“California has an overwhelming amount of the homeless crisis. Now we’re dealing with the burden of the migrant crisis. Do we displace our homeless? I’m not displacing our homeless. The federal government needs to address this,” said Ryan Keim, Oceanside’s deputy mayor.

U.S. Representative Mike Levin, a Democrat whose district includes Oceanside, said in an email to constituents the street releases were “deeply concerning” and that he was fighting for more funding to “provide critical relief for our district.” He did not respond to an interview request from Reuters.

Last week the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a $3 million plan using available federal money to create a formal service center to receive all migrants released on the street in the county. Once operational, it would replace the makeshift operation cobbled together in the parking lot of a San Ysidro train station.

Oceanside had been operating a makeshift operation out of a city parking garage next to a transit station where the migrants are released. With the county attempting to consolidate services in one location, the city of Oceanside and the nonprofit group leading the effort, Interfaith Community Services, said on Tuesday they are now relocating migrants dropped there to San Ysidro.

The makeshift service centers help orient migrants who often have no idea where they are when they are released. The centers also provide services such as finding temporary shelter and booking airline flights to unite with family and sponsors elsewhere in the U.S.

Last week, about 65 men, largely from the West African country of Guinea, arrived in Oceanside. Each had a manila envelope containing their notice to appear in immigration court at locations around the country. Most were bound for New York City or Columbus, Ohio.

Finally reaching the United States after long, arduous journeys, many of the migrants bypassed offerings of bottled water, fresh fruit and snacks and headed to tables of phone chargers so they could connect with family back home.

U.S. border officers picked up more than 204,000 migrants in the San Diego sector in the 11 months through August, up 27% from the same period of the previous year. Many of the new arrivals are seeking asylum status, which requires they prove they need protection from persecution in their home country. Asylum immigration courts are granting fewer than 15% of petitions.

‘We Can’t Help You’

When Iranian asylum seeker Hanieh Sadat Siadati arrived on Oct. 8, she said the American border officer dropped her at the Oceanside transit center with the words: “We can’t help you, just go.”

Siadati, 34, said she faced police repression in Iran for taking part in street protests in which she and other women removed their hijabs. She said she arrived scared and crying after a three-month journey that included a flight from Iran to Brazil and an overland expedition through nine more countries.

Once in Oceanside, volunteers “helped me and I thought, ‘I’m saved. Thank God,’” said Siadati, who now volunteers at the center while awaiting her immigration court hearing.

Asylum seekers typically turn themselves in to U.S. officials at the U.S.-Mexican border and are assigned a notice to appear in immigration court. Sometimes border officials will try to coordinate releases with nonprofit agencies that can help them get to their destinations, but with capacity overflowing, they are being released farther afield and in greater numbers.

The releases are now happening multiple times a day, leaving an average of nearly 600 people a day on the streets in the San Diego area, according to Immigrant Defenders Law Center.

Companies Are Hiring Fewer People With Graduate Degrees

Education is about learning.  It is not always politically correct, but it is should be about facts.  An education is meant to prepare you for the future, not the next riot/rally of hate.  Now we are seeing companies realize a diploma is a piece of paper, not a predictor of ability or knowledge.

“There’s also a supply and demand mismatch when it comes to the types of skills universities are producing, Chhinzer said. While the trades industry has an extensive variety of apprenticeship opportunities, they don’t create enough students that actually meet the demand of the market.

Meanwhile, Ph.D.s are oversaturated, with programs producing far too many academics to meet the limited demand, she said.

“I do foresee this is causing a shift in the demand for graduate programs, because employability is a major outcome that applicants are concerned about,” Chhinzer said. “The more transparency we can get or demand regarding the types of jobs that new grads have, the more we can educate candidates about likely outcomes for graduate programs.”

A quick way to cut the graduate programs is to expelled all those who support terrorism.  You can start with the professors who openly hate Jews.  If they hated blacks, they would be fired on the spot.


Companies Are Hiring Fewer People With Graduate Degrees

BY SUZANNE BLAKE, Newsweek,  10/18/23   https://www.newsweek.com/companies-hiring-fewer-people-graduate-degrees-1835864?utm_source=STMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TheBulletin&emh=17b11134735586c2e6b02f0f7a6503f550673633571ead93b4cb829e72241e11&lctg=64fff80c241e603fb409f459&utm_term=Bulletin

Companies are going against traditional recruiting wisdom that more education is better as they hire fewer people with graduate degrees.

Career officers and students alike at Yale, Columbia and Northwestern University all say companies are spending less time on campus looking for second-year MBA job candidates, The Wall Street Journal reported. Job offers are also going down, as the tech sector makes significant job cuts nationwide and finance deals slow.

Amazon has laid off more than 9,000 workers, while Meta cut more than 10,000 jobs from its global workforce in 2023 alone.

The shift away from graduate programs could go deeper than that though, experts say.

The slowing demand for graduate degrees might not be surprising when you consider the perceived skills of graduate degree holders versus their Bachelor degree counterparts, according to Nita Chhinzer, a business professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

“Employers view that candidates or employees with graduate degrees have specialized skill sets, whereas those who have undergraduate degrees are viewed as having a skill set that is more broad and malleable,” Chhinzer told Newsweek.

“Graduates are selected based on their academic success, including GPA, academic, references, and research interests. They are then put through academically rigorous programs, but the missing piece is the link between what they are learning and how it applies in practice.”

While co-op programs and internships can be helpful at getting graduate students those soft skills necessary for actual employment, being proficient at writing academic papers and research might not translate into real life job success.

There’s also a supply and demand mismatch when it comes to the types of skills universities are producing, Chhinzer said. While the trades industry has an extensive variety of apprenticeship opportunities, they don’t create enough students that actually meet the demand of the market.

Meanwhile, Ph.D.s are oversaturated, with programs producing far too many academics to meet the limited demand, she said.

“I do foresee this is causing a shift in the demand for graduate programs, because employability is a major outcome that applicants are concerned about,” Chhinzer said. “The more transparency we can get or demand regarding the types of jobs that new grads have, the more we can educate candidates about likely outcomes for graduate programs.”

Still, this might not be an immediate shift as tenure-track faculty members have no real incentive to reduce the amount of Ph.D. students, Chinnzer said.

Sean Lyons, a professor and associate dean at the University of Guelph, said the changing demand for higher degrees in the employment market shifted during the pandemic, as companies braved entirely new realities about what worked best for workforce productivity.

“Post-COVID, our assumptions about graduate school enrollments and labor market conditions are all being challenged,” Lyons told Newsweek. “Employment has continued to boom in some sectors but not in others.”

“We have traditionally believed that graduate school enrollments increase when the employment rate drops. But with so much complexity to the labor market trends right now, I’m not sure that this rule of thumb will hold up long term.”

While variations in MBA enrollment are normal over time, the spike in enrollment that happened during the pandemic is atypical, Lyons said. And this has the potential to create unrealistic expectations about continued enrollment growth.

For the 2019-2020 admissions cycle, 70 percent of American MBA programs saw an uptick in applications, according to a survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council. The survey was based on responses from more than 300 business schools globally.

New Recruiting Mantra

Even before the pandemic, the demand for higher degrees waned compared to previous years.

Roughly 46 percent of middle-skill and 31 percent of high-skill occupations had reduced their degree requirements in job listings between 2017 and 2019, according to a 2022 study from the Harvard Business Review and The Burning Glass Institute, a nonprofit labor market research organization.

And based on these trends, researchers predicted around 1.4 million jobs could open up to workers without college degrees over the span of five years.

A predictive report from analyst firm Gartner said the most successful companies this year will be the ones “more comfortable assessing candidates solely on their ability to perform in the role, rather than their credentials and prior experience,” and many companies are now operating under that viewpoint.

Despite the reduced emphasis on degrees job candidates are seeing in the current moment, Lyons still believes those with graduate degrees will continue to see long term benefits from their education.

“I believe that the value of graduate degrees will continue to hold long term, despite peaks and valleys in hiring trends,” Lyons said. “Although the [return on investment] might not be as strong in all years, the ROI is likely to continue to be positive. Of course, mileage may vary, depending on the tuition costs.”

Tuition for two-year, full-time graduate degrees can often cost more than $100,000 in the United States, with some doctoral and professional degrees priced even higher.

Top law firm rescinds job offers to Ivy League students who signed Israel letters

This is what it takes to assure your lawyer does not hate you.  If they are known to hate Jews—or blacks or others—they should not be allowed to practice law.  In fact, I believe that these terrorist supporters of Hamas can not pass the ethics portion of the Bar.  These kids should be steered toward filling tacos, not dealing with the lives of people.

“Top U.S. law firm Davis Polk announced in an internal email that it had rescinded letters of employment for three law students at Harvard and Columbia universities who signed on to organizational statements about Israel, one of the latest responses to open letters from university groups about the Israel-Hamas conflict that have roiled university donors, employers, alumni and students. 

“These statements are simply contrary to our firm’s values and we thus concluded that rescinding these offers was appropriate in upholding our responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive work environment for all Davis Polk employees,” said the email, signed by Neil Barr. 

We need the Gestapo, our FBI, to round up these wannabee terrorists—for their safety and our own.

Top law firm rescinds job offers to Ivy League students who signed Israel letters

The law firm Davis Polk said in an internal email to staff members that the students’ statements don’t represent the firm’s values.

 Kat Tenbarge, NBC News,  10/18/23  https://www.nbcnews.com/business/corporations/harvard-letter-israel-columbia-ivy-davis-polk-law-firm-student-rcna120881

Top U.S. law firm Davis Polk announced in an internal email that it had rescinded letters of employment for three law students at Harvard and Columbia universities who signed on to organizational statements about Israel, one of the latest responses to open letters from university groups about the Israel-Hamas conflict that have roiled university donors, employers, alumni and students. 

“These statements are simply contrary to our firm’s values and we thus concluded that rescinding these offers was appropriate in upholding our responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive work environment for all Davis Polk employees,” said the email, signed by Neil Barr. 

Small-business lawyer Joseph Gerstel posted a screenshot of the email Tuesday on LinkedIn. A Davis Polk representative confirmed it as authentic. 

Barr went on to write, “At this time, we remain in dialogue with two of these students to ensure that any further color being offered to us by these students is considered.”

A representative of Davis Polk pointed to a statement that was included in the email: “The views expressed in certain of the statements signed by law school student organizations in recent days are in direct contravention of our firm’s value system. For this reason and to ensure we continue to maintain a supportive and inclusive work environment, the student leaders responsible for signing on to these statements are no longer welcome in our firm; and their offers of employment have thus been rescinded.” 

The representative did not immediately respond to a question about how the firm identified the students as having signed the statements.

The identities of the students were not revealed in the email, which did not specify which statements the students signed. A series of public statements supporting Palestinians and blaming Israel for the recent Israel-Hamas conflict has created a firestorm on college campuses and in corporate America since last week.

On Oct. 10, The Harvard Crimson, one of the university’s student-run news publications, reported that more than 30 Harvard student groups signed on to a letter that said they held Israel “entirely responsible” for “all unfolding violence” in the conflict, which came after a surprise Hamas attack on Israel killed over 1,300 people. Since the letter was published, numerous CEOs, business leaders and a federal judge have responded by cutting ties with the university, calling for the identifications of the signers or saying they would not hire the signers. 

Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman posted on X that he would “like to know” which students signed the Harvard statement “so I know never to hire these people.” 

“Same,” EasyHealth CEO David Duel wrote on X, replying to Neman. 

FabFitFun CEO Michael Broukhim echoed them, and in a post on X he wrote, “Discriminating against terrorist supporters is the most comically easy decision I’ll ever have to make as a CEO.”

Judge Matthew Solomson of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims also reportedly made a statement on LinkedIn that he would not let any of the students who signed on to the statements clerk for him. 

Prominent donors have also cut ties with Harvard over the statement, including the Wexner Foundation — co-founded by Leslie Wexner, the former CEO of Victoria’s Secret. 

The Harvard Crimson reported last week that at least four online websites have revealed the identities and personal information of students in groups that signed the statement. The Harvard student group that issued the statement has removed the list of organizations that signed on to it.

Harvard President Claudine Gay pushed back against the students’ statement, writing in her own statement to the Crimson on Oct. 10 that “no student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership.”

Student groups at other Ivy League universities, including Columbia University, issued similar joint statements in support of Palestinians. 

A week previously, another prominent New York City law firm, Winston & Strawn, announced it had rescinded a former summer associate’s letter of employment over “inflammatory comments” that were distributed to the NYU Student Bar Association.

North Dakota Runs Honest Elections—California Can Learn From Them

By Wednesday evening after a Tuesday election, the people of North Dakota KNOW who won an election.  They know that the votes cast were legal—and that the shenanigans of absentee ballots do not exist in their State.

VOTERS ARE NEVER MAILED A BALLOT WITHOUT FIRST REQUESTING ONE THROUGH AN ABSENTEE APPLICATION. The application requires the eligible voter to use their date of birth and state issued ID number. This ensures that our vote by mail and absentee voting complies with our strict voter ID law before a ballot is mailed out.”

Unlike California, in North Dakota the dead do not vote.  Those that moved to another State do not get a vote.  This is a State the prides itself on honest elections—unlike California.

North Dakota Runs Honest Elections—California Can Learn From Them

From: Howe, Michael C. <michaelhowe@nd.gov>
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2023 4:16 PM
To: Howe, Michael C. <michaelhowe@nd.gov>
Subject: Trusted election information

Good afternoon,

It has been brought to our office’s attention that several members of the legislature have received messages about North Dakota’s election process. As policy leaders for our state, I believe it is critically important that you have the facts as they relate to the election processes you have put in place. The information shared here is to help you to remain a vital part of our election security by sharing accurate information with your constituents.

  • NORTH DAKOTA ONLY USES PAPER BALLOTS. Paper ballots are required by state law and provide the counties and state an auditable paper trail post-election.
  • Voters can mark a traditional ballot or use the assistive technology touchscreen (ExpressVote) to mark and print a paper ballot card.
  • Ballots are stored for 22 months, as required by federal and state law, with their respective County Recorder’s office in their vault.
  • AFTER EACH ELECTION, A POST-ELECTION AUDIT IS COMPLETED BY EACH COUNTY. Counties are ordered after each election to test a precinct to ensure accuracy as provided for in NDCC 16.1-06-15 (5.) …
  • “After each election, the secretary of state shall order a random testing of the voting system programming for one precinct in each county of the state according to logic and accuracy testing procedures detailed in subsection 2 and as may be further defined by the secretary of state in writing. This test is to be conducted before the meeting of the county canvassing board.”
  • NORTH DAKOTA’S ELECTION EQUIPMENT MEETS FEDERAL STANDARDS. The election system used in North Dakota (manufactured by Election Systems & Software (ES&S)) has undergone federal and state level certification.
  • Federal certification includes tabulating 1.5 million ballots on the voting machines, a full security audit of the election management software, and penetration testing of the entire system.
  • Additionally, our election system security has been audited by the Office of the State Auditor and was called “incredibly secure across our state.”
  • VOTERS ARE NEVER MAILED A BALLOT WITHOUT FIRST REQUESTING ONE THROUGH AN ABSENTEE APPLICATION. The application requires the eligible voter to use their date of birth and state issued ID number. This ensures that our vote by mail and absentee voting complies with our strict voter ID law before a ballot is mailed out.
  • The Election Voting FAQs Voters.pdf (below) provides greater information on vote by mail and absentee requirements.

Be assured you can be confident that the election you won in your legislative district was valid and not null and void.

We encourage you to use the Office of the Secretary of State as a resource. It is the true source of trusted North Dakota election information.

The links below provide greater information on voting and election processes for your knowledge.

Election Voting FAQs Voters.pdf (nd.gov)

Election Voting FAQs Process.pdf (nd.gov)

Thanks,

Michael

Michael Howe

Secretary of State

NORTH DAKOTA OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

P: 701-328-3670   |   michaelhowe@nd.gov  |  sos.nd.gov

California violent crime skyrockets as arrests plummet

You are not safe in California.  On the whole DA’s are refusing to enforce the law.  Hence cops are leery of making arrests, since if they do, THEY can be sued and lose their financial future.

“According to newly released FBI crime statistics for 2022, violent crime decreased nationwide but sharply increased in California. Between 2021 and 2022, the violent crime rate per 100,000 people increased from 481.2 to 499.5 in California and decreased from 387 to 380.7 nationwide. At the same time, statewide arrests decreased significantly from pre-pandemic levels, a statewide phenomenon not localized to just major cities.”

Worse, if you are an honest citizen that defends yourself, YOU can be sued and arrested.  Honest citizens will become victims of criminals, and then victims of the judicial system.  It is safer to move to Texas.

California violent crime skyrockets as arrests plummet

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Even if data is incomplete, increases in some types of crime have been substantial.

By The Center Square Staff, 10/17/23  https://justthenews.com/nation/states/center-square/california-violent-crime-skyrockets-arrests-plummet

According to newly released FBI crime statistics for 2022, violent crime decreased nationwide but sharply increased in California. Between 2021 and 2022, the violent crime rate per 100,000 people increased from 481.2 to 499.5 in California and decreased from 387 to 380.7 nationwide. At the same time, statewide arrests decreased significantly from pre-pandemic levels, a statewide phenomenon not localized to just major cities.

Notably, 2021’s numbers did not include crime statistics from 43% of national police departments, including Los Angeles and New York City, the nation’s largest cities, due to the adoption of a new crime reporting system. While the adoption of the new system had been announced five years before, more than 4 in 10 police departments failed to prepare for adopting the new system on time, resulting in the FBI’s 2021 crime statistics providing an incomplete picture of crime in the United States. It’s thus not clear whether or not crime significantly increased in 2022 over 2021, or if improved data reporting simply captured more of the crime that was actually occurring. Conversely, anecdotal reports of victims of crime in big cities under-reporting crime due to perceptions that police or prosecutors can or will do little suggest that crime may still be significantly underreported.

For example, while there were 44,693 robberies reported in California in 2020, the FBI only received reports of 6,698 robberies in 2021, while receiving 47,619 reports for 2022, when most police departments went back to sending annual statistics to the FBI.

However, even if data is incomplete, increases in some types of crime have been substantial. Los Angeles Police Department logged an increase in stolen vehicles from 34,854 in 2019 to 55,845 in 2022, an increase of 60%. San Francisco Police Department reported a similar increase, with a rise from 8,863 in 2019 to 13,174 in 2022.

One of the most notable aspects of the change between pre-and-post-pandemic law enforcement is changes in arrests. California had a total of 1,062,995 arrests in 2019, with just 774,729 in 2022, a 27% statewide decline not localized to just major cities. LAPD made 54,060 arrests in 2019 but just 38,833 in 2022, a 28% decline, while SFPD made 14,337 arrests in 2019 and 10,249 in 2022, a 29% decline. While cities experienced a slightly higher decline in arrests than the rest of the state, the data demonstrates the overall decline in arrests is fairly consistent across the state and may have some connection to increases in certain crimes. Peer-reviewed literature is consistent in finding that increased arrests tend to correlate with lower crime rates, primarily due to deterrence but also due to incapacitation, or the removal of criminals from the public body.

“Incapacitation suggests that an increase in the arrest rate for one crime will reduce all crime rates; deterrence predicts that an increase in the arrest rate for one crime will lead to a rise in other crimes as criminals substitute away from the first crime,” wrote study author Steven D. Levitt, a University of Chicago economist best known for writing Freakonomics and its sequels. “Empirically, deterrence appears to be the more important factor, particularly for property crimes.”

Jewish?  Your Starbucks Barista May Want you DEAD

The next time you drive up to a Starbucks and order a Latte, think of this.  If the barista is a member of a union, they may serve quick Latte’s, with a side of hate and venom.

“Starbucks sued international and local unions representing its employees in Iowa federal court Wednesday, claiming the unions violated the coffee chain’s trademarks while making statements on social media in support of Palestine that triggered outrage from critics and calls to boycott Starbucks.

Starbucks accused the Iowa City Starbucks Workers Union of posting and reposting messages “advocating for the continuation of violence against Israel and cessation of U.S. aid to Israel,” including in the complaint examples of the union reposting messages that say “Palestine will be free” and encouraging unions to engage in the Palestinian-led BDS movement, meaning boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The account also shared information about demonstrations in support of Palestine.

Were I Starbucks, I would fire all union members—since as members that are accepting hate as part of their membership.  Maybe Jews and supporters of Israel need to stop buying their coffee from Starbucks—make it the Bud Light of the quick coffee industry.  They can not pay haters.

Starbucks sues employee unions over pro-Palestine social media posts

The Seattle-based coffee giant equated expressions of solidarity with Palestine to advocating violence against Israel in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

ROX LAIRD, Courthousenews, 10/18/23     https://www.courthousenews.com/starbucks-sues-employee-unions-over-pro-palestine-social-media-posts/

DES MOINES, Iowa (CN) — Starbucks sued international and local unions representing its employees in Iowa federal court Wednesday, claiming the unions violated the coffee chain’s trademarks while making statements on social media in support of Palestine that triggered outrage from critics and calls to boycott Starbucks.

Starbucks accused the Iowa City Starbucks Workers Union of posting and reposting messages “advocating for the continuation of violence against Israel and cessation of U.S. aid to Israel,” including in the complaint examples of the union reposting messages that say “Palestine will be free” and encouraging unions to engage in the Palestinian-led BDS movement, meaning boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The account also shared information about demonstrations in support of Palestine.

The social media posts led customers to attribute the sentiments to Starbucks, because the union used images that closely resemble the company’s logo, the chain says in its U.S. District Court in Des Moines complaint.

Service Employees International Union and Starbucks Workers United, which are named in the suit, did not respond to a request for comment by Courthouse News Service Wednesday.

Workers United, however, filed a complaint of its own against Starbucks on Wednesday in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking a declaratory judgment that the union may continue to use the Starbucks Workers United name and logo, despite the company’s trademark infringement claim. The Workers United complaint also claims Starbucks’ public statements asserting that Workers United supports “terrorism, hate and violence” are an anti-union effort to attack the union’s reputation.

Starbucks, for its part, claims that because of the union’s social media posts using its trademarks and copyrights, “Starbucks received hundreds of complaints from customers and other members of the public in the immediate aftermath, chastising and singling out Starbucks — not defendants — for supporting Hamas.”

“Shortly after defendants’ posts, the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks was trending on X, and people all over the world were ‘tweeting’ and posting on various social media accounts, falsely stating that Starbucks supported terrorist organizations, the killing of innocent civilians, and multiple other things Starbucks unequivocally condemns,” the complaint says.

One customer called the Seattle Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Oct. 11 and threatened to “shut down” the roastery and all Starbucks stores, the complaint states. The caller said he hoped the Starbucks employee who took the call found himself “in a war dying on the frontlines.” A swastika was painted on the front door, and Stars of David were painted on the door and an exterior window of a Starbucks store in Rhode Island.

Starbucks’ suit makes seven claims, including trademark and copyright infringement, and the company seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions against trademark and copyright infringements by the defendants.

The Starbucks lawsuit was filed by R. Scott Johnson of Des Moines’ Fredrikson & Byron and Peter M. Brody and other lawyers with the Washington, D.C. firm Ropes & Gray.

The Starbucks Workers Union complaint was filed by Eric Young of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.

L.A.: No Cash Bail Equals Arsonist on the Loose

You put a violent person back on the street without any incentive to stop criminal acts and you get an arsonist in Los Angeles.

A woman has been taken into custody, accused of intentionally setting a series of fires in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles overnight. That same woman had been arrested a week ago, but had been released as part of Los Angeles County‘s new zero cash bail policy

Jacqueline Whatley, 36, was taken into custody Wednesday for allegedly setting multiple fires. She’s facing attempted murder charges for the fires that destroyed a business, a home and even an occupied tent.

Should DA Gascon be listed as an unindicted co-conspirator?  He caused the no bail policy.  Maybe the Board of Supervisors should be jailed for promoting crime—no cash bail in all cases promotes crime.  Politicians need to be held accountable for their policies.

Woman arrested for Sherman Oaks fires was allegedly out due to zero cash bail policy

By FOX 11 Digital Team,  10/18/23  https://www.foxla.com/news/woman-in-custody-for-allegedly-setting-several-fires-in-sherman-oaks-area

Woman arrested for string of suspicious fires

Jacqueline Whatley was arrested in connection with as man as a dozen fires in the Sherman Oaks area.

LOS ANGELES – A woman has been taken into custody, accused of intentionally setting a series of fires in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles overnight. That same woman had been arrested a week ago, but had been released as part of Los Angeles County‘s new zero cash bail policy

Jacqueline Whatley, 36, was taken into custody Wednesday for allegedly setting multiple fires. She’s facing attempted murder charges for the fires that destroyed a business, a home and even an occupied tent.

3 killed in North Hollywood shooting

The first was set Tuesday night. Just after 11:15 p.m., crews were called out to Mark’s Garden, a one-story floral shop on W. Ventura Boulevard. Fire officials said the fire started outside then spread inside.

Less than three hours later just after 2 a.m., another fire was reported at a one-story home on N. Nagle Avenue. The owner of the home told FOX 11’s Christina Gonzalez that he is lucky his son noticed flames outside the front door when he got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Similar vegetation, garbage and debris fires were set overnight, including a fire set in a car and a tent with people inside. Police called all the fires “suspicious.” Whatley was later identified and arrested. 

Woman arrested in series of suspicious fires

A woman is in custody after allegedly setting several fires in the Sherman Oaks area overnight.

After Whatley’s arrest Wednesday, it came to light that she had been arrested just last weekend, for allegedly ramming a car into a Coffee Bean and a sushi restaurant in Los Feliz. The vehicle she was allegedly driving at the time was engulfed in flames as she was taken into custody. 

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Whatley was arrested for vandalism, which falls under LA County’s new no cash bail policy. Because of that, Whatley was released shortly after her arrest.

LA County District Attorney George Gascón‘s office told Gonzalez that Whatley’s vandalism arrest last weekend was a case the office had returned to the LAPD for further investigation, and that it was the LAPD that labeled the alleged ramming incidents as vandalism. 

Whatley is now being held on $1 million bail.

Less than half of Sacramento’s Black and brown students meet UC, CSU requirements. These groups are trying to help.

To a bigot, everything is racist.

“Since he was 12 years old, Florin High School senior Da’Marus Lewis Jr. dreamed of attending the University of California, Los Angeles. But the tides turned when COVID-19 hit and his grades plummeted.

“I was really struggling with my mental health, and I wasn’t doing good academically. I couldn’t follow those dreams,” said Lewis. 

No longer on track to meet the requirements needed to apply to UCLA, or any of California’s four-year public universities, he said he felt hopeless about the future. 

This also happened to Asian, white and Hispanic students.  It was the brutality of the unions and the National Socialists that lied to us, closed schools for ALL students, and tried to kill off a generation of young people.  Stop using race for the excuse of the totalitarianism of Fauci and his followers—they hated kids of ALL colors.  The educrats and politicians killed off the hope of many.

Racist?  Yup, blame the unions.  Racist?  Yup, blame the Hollywood Slicky Governor.

Less than half of Sacramento’s Black and brown students meet UC, CSU requirements. These groups are trying to help.

 Srishti Prabha,Tony Rodriguez, CapRadio,  10/18/23  https://www.capradio.org/articles/2023/10/18/less-than-half-of-sacramentos-black-and-brown-students-meet-uc-csu-requirements-these-groups-are-trying-to-help/

Since he was 12 years old, Florin High School senior Da’Marus Lewis Jr. dreamed of attending the University of California, Los Angeles. But the tides turned when COVID-19 hit and his grades plummeted.

“I was really struggling with my mental health, and I wasn’t doing good academically. I couldn’t follow those dreams,” said Lewis. 

No longer on track to meet the requirements needed to apply to UCLA, or any of California’s four-year public universities, he said he felt hopeless about the future. 

“I tend to not reach out to people when I need it,” he said. “I let myself get into the headspace where I felt like I couldn’t go forward.”

Florin High School senior Da’Marus Lewis Jr.Russell Stiger Jr. / The Sacramento Observer

Lewis is just one of many of Sacramento County’s Black and brown students in this position.

A deeper look into the county’s six largest school districts — Sacramento City Unified, Elk Grove Unified, Folsom Cordova Unified, Natomas Unified, Twin Rivers and San Juan Unified  — reveals the numerous obstacles that students of color face on their path to higher education.  

Students, educators and researchers point to cultural bias, inadequate information on the University of California and California State University requirements, and tracked classes relegating students to remedial settings as potentially deterring them from future economic mobility. 

In Sacramento County, less than half of the student body has completed the required coursework to apply for four-year public universities like the UCs and CSUs. And Black and brown students meet those requirements at lower rates than their peers. 

The now 17-year-old Lewis turned to the program Improve Your Tomorrow, a preparatory program focused on the college achievement gap for Black and brown boys at Florin High. With the guidance of the program’s mentors of color, he has his sights set on ultimately attending CSU Long Beach, and possibly being the first in his immediate family to graduate from college.

College intervention programs — like Improve Your TomorrowAdvancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, and United College Action Network, or UCAN — undertake the responsibility of exploring the critical role of embedded, representative support and alternative pathways. 

“Growing up, I never noticed a lot of attention for people that look like me,” Lewis said. “So as an African-American, to walk into this space [that is] predominantly African-American, it is really welcoming, and it feels like I belong in academics.”

Data shows large portion of Sacramento students are unprepared for state public universities

Sacramento County’s college readiness data paints an unpromising picture of general inaccessibility for all students in the region, with the inequality gap widening for Black and brown students. 

Graduation from high school alone is not enough to be admitted into California’s UC and CSU campuses. And the UC and CSU requirements, or A-G classes, are not the default track that all students in Sacramento County are put on. 

To qualify for California’s public universities, students must complete their minimum graduation requirements and A-G requirements with “C’s” or better. The A-G coursework minimum involves taking: 

  • two years of history or social science
  • four years of English
  • three years of mathematics
  • two or three years of science laboratory
  • two years of a foreign language 
  • one year of visual and performing arts
  • a college preparatory elective

San Juan Unified’s college readiness rates are some of the lowest in Sacramento. The district reports that only 29% of Hispanic, 17% of Black, and 10% of Indigenous students are completing the A-G curriculum mandates to apply for four-year public universities in California. Comparatively, 37% of white and 47% of Asian students meet the same criteria.

Kristan Schnepp, the district’s assistant superintendent, said she is aware of the overall low college-going rates and the inequitable practices at their schools. 

“Students of color might not have had success in some of the more challenging classes because of adult mindsets, lack of equitable grading practices and expectations,” said Schnepp. “Our goal is to have students pass classes on the first try, but especially post-pandemic, what we’re seeing is the biggest barrier right now is math.”

Student interest in pursuing higher education can falter when the coursework feels unwieldy. Michael Lynch, CEO of Improve Your Tomorrow, facilitates Black and brown students’ completion of the A-G curriculum. He finds the requirements arbitrary. Many of his students become ineligible to apply for CSUs and UCs because they got a D or lower in a foreign language or math class. 

“Math is important but why three years? Why not four years? Why not two years? What is the metric of success that’s there that you have to take three years of math in order for you to be successful?” asked Lynch.

For Sacramento State’s Executive Director of Admission Outreach Brian Henley, the admissions office considers the A-G coursework completion as a model for a student’s possible success at the institution. 

“I think a strong component of what happens in college is [around] all that general education stuff that students take,” said Henley. “That starts in high school. I hear this Spanish word and I’m able to make that connection to the English word and begin to understand how languages and different cultures interact.”

While CSUs and UCs attempt to recognize an applicant’s potential issues in meeting the A-G requirements, their only alternative solution to mitigate systemic bias is an appeal process.

Students face barriers — including misconceptions — on their path to college

In addition to the coursework itself, Black and brown students confront bias from instructors and mitigate demands in their personal life that can have educational consequences that follow them to college. 

Executive Director of Education Equity Solutions Mina Dadgar’s research outlines the consequences of relegating students to remedial math in a community college classroom setting when they don’t complete their A-G requirements, and the prolonged impacts of educational barriers on student success once they enter community college in California. 

She finds that the first college-level math course is considered “gatekeeper math,” where pass rates are generally lower than 50% in the state and much lower for Black, brown and Indigenous students.

“Years of research in higher education shows that remediation reduces chances of graduating [from college].” Dadgar said. “After years, the earnings of people who are placed in remediation are lower.” 

Instead, her research points to fostering belonging in math classes, providing embedded support within the classroom and offering equitable accommodations for Black and brown students. 

“Instructors are the number one predictor of whether students succeed,” said Dadgar. She also suggests that high schools can adopt these tactics as a catalyst to spark interest in academia. 

“Our research is to dismantle the narrative that students are not succeeding because they lack motivation,” said Dadgar. “That is a prevailing narrative, and these narratives are what is driving inequitable policies.” 

Tracie Locke, San Juan Unifies’s lead counselor and manager of the AVID program — a college preparatory elective class students can choose to sign up for — said their program takes in students from “underrepresented groups and gives them the support structure and family sense” to pursue higher education.

“College-going rates in our AVID program are relatively high,” said Locke. Of the 250 seniors out of 2,800 in the district enrolled in the AVID, 97% were college-going last year, a much higher rate than the average student in the district.

But, AVID targets those in the middle to high-performing academic group and requires an inherent interest and general knowledge on how to navigate higher education. Locke explained that the AVID curriculum is rigorous, which can dissuade those in the lower-performing academic groups, many times Black and brown students.

“It’s the lack of desire [from those students],” Locke said. “I don’t know if that’s just because of expectations or their day-to-day requirements, but that seems to be a big theme that’s emerging over the last several years.”

These types of sentiments can be discouraging for students like Lewis, who haven’t seen representation in academics and have parents who work multiple jobs to sustain their family’s needs. 

Other educators say the issue has less to do with a student’s motivations. UCAN, an organization focused on Sacramento’s students of color at an academic disadvantage, probes beneath the surface of a student’s obvious performance indicators. 

“Everybody is not motivated in the same way and it’s important to find out what’s going to motivate kids,” said Alan Rowe, founder of UCAN. “And that’s where I think our school systems are lacking or falling short.” 

For Johan Cardenas, a former Improve Your Tomorrow graduate, it was not a lack of desire to go to college that acted as a barrier. He migrated from Mexico to South Sacramento when he was 15 years old. New to Valley High School and Elk Grove Unified’s system, an English language learner and with only one parent for support, the odds were stacked against him. 

“I remember asking, ‘How do I go to college? I want to go to college,’ to my counselor. They said, ‘You won’t be able to go to college because you are way behind,’” explained Cardenas.

Completing coursework and navigating the college-readiness network was arduous for Cardenas and Lewis. What appeared as a lack of desire was rooted in underlying challenges. 

Non-profits work to get more Sacramento students into college

Amid the educational disparities for Black and brown students, some educators, universities and college readiness organizations are working to try and find ways for graduates to move on to higher education.   

2021 report by the California Budget and Policy Center reinforced apprehensions about the gaps between UC, CSU and high school requirements, subsequently causing inequities for marginalized students. The report highlights that Black and brown students were less likely to complete the A-G requirements in California due to “limited access to critical academic support and counseling” which included qualified teachers who knew how to work with diverse audiences. 

One of the report’s recommendations is to modify the A-G coursework to improve the inequity of access to public universities in the state. Lynch advocates for this model: “A system that works is when a student is placed on an A-G default curriculum.” 

Unlike in Sacramento City Unified, most districts in the county do not automatically enroll students into the classes mandated for UCs and CSUs. And within those districts, the A-G requirements are not always common knowledge. 

“The first barrier that students continue to face is around advising and information. Parents don’t have that information, especially with the local community of color,” Lynch said. “Programs like AVID, which are phenomenal, serve a small set of students, typically students who are in the academic middle, or are the highest performing.”

Gaps in these success rates among students of color exist even with the presence of involved college readiness organizations on campuses. These resources, though, if taken advantage of, can act as a gateway to potential student success. 

Over at UCAN, if a student in their program is not meeting the A-G prerequisite, they are not automatically placed on a community college track. Rowe and the historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, that he works with redefine what it means to be ready for academia. 

“If you have an F, but you have mostly A’s and B’s, that doesn’t exclude you from being able to go to an HBCU,” advocated Rowe.

UCAN’s annual HBCU college fair offers a direct connection to students of color seeking alternatives to public universities that seemingly make it difficult for students with an under-resourced upbringing.

Hakim Reynolds, a senior at Grant Union High School, said that the UCAN program, along with their HBCU network, was imperative to his pursuit of higher education. Three months into the school year, he has already been accepted to his top three HBCUs. 

“UCAN has [mentors] that graduated from an HBCU, so they tell me their experience and how they messed up or how they recovered,” he said. “And I don’t get that from a counselor. They don’t really give me a backstory of how they went to college.”

Though on-site college counselors are accessible, many times they have a caseload of up to several hundred students, which can be unrealistic and unmanageable, according to Lynch. Peer mentorship, directed support and cultural inclusivity, like with the UCAN and Improve Your Tomorrow program, can help address counselor oversights. 

Justice Spears, a Sacramento Charter High School senior, finds that “a lot of people don’t get the opportunity” to utilize college learning resources. UCAN is “helping people understand more about college and HBCUs.”

Culturally responsive, representative support is a void highlighted by Black and brown students. At UCAN’s HBCU college fair at Sacramento Charter High, Spears said a UCAN staff member immediately welcomed her into the space, reminding her of her family gatherings.

“She said I can call her ‘Aunty’ and it was really refreshing,” Spears said, underscoring the importance of familiarity in a space where the expectations match her potential.

Unfortunately, unlike Improve Your Tomorrow, UCAN’s services are not embedded into the framework of the school day, and Black and brown students can continue to slip through the cracks. After the pandemic, Lewis said he would have been a casualty of the education system if it had not been for an embedded college access program.

“[Mentors at Improve Your Tomorrow] have really shown concern and care for the way I’m going in life,” said Lewis. “And even outside of academics, they care about what’s going on at home.”

Despite many dedicated efforts to improve the college readiness for Black and brown students, the data continues to depict a complex and concerning reality in Sacramento. 

The power of embedded or culturally responsive programs like UCAN and Improve Your Tomorrow becomes self-evident when students like Lewis share their stories of having people in their corner: “It makes me feel unstoppable like I really can achieve anything that I want in life.”

Srishti Prabha is an education reporter and Report For America corps member in collaboration with CapRadio and The Sacramento Observer. Their focus is K-12 education in Sacramento’s Black communities.

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