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Since his sudden death in April, I’ve been trying to imagine the health care movement without Rick Brown’s wise counsel, coherent advocacy, and perfect research. E. Richard Brown was a professor of Public Health at UCLA whose research and advocacy touched millions of lives. As a health activist and advocate, I worked with Rick to save California’s county hospitals and health centers, and I use his research, especially the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to illustrate the health care needs of various populations in California when I write grant proposals for nonprofit organizations. He was always happy to give me advice about how to frame an argument, and he was always willing to meet with policy makers when activists needed an authority to support them.
The memorial service held on May 29 filled UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall. The crowd included the health activists, labor leaders, UCLA faculty colleagues, and politicians who worked with Rick to gain recognition of health care as a basic human right,
The 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots has triggered a number of fascinating reports examining the underlying causes of the unrest and the changes (in attitudes and actions) that have taken place in the past two decades.
Scholars at the University of Southern California produced a report called L.A. Rising: The 1992 Civil Unrest, the Arc of Social Justice Organizing, and the Lessons for Today’s Movement Building. Their counterparts at L.A.’s Loyola Marymount University, published 20th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots Survey. And my colleagues at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (on whose board I proudly serve) published a series of reflections by L.A. activists called Rage and Reflection: Meditations on LA’s 1992 Civil Unrest and the Ongoing Transformation of a City.
“More deeply still, nonviolence is a spiritual challenge of epic proportions. It calls upon the soul’s authentic longing for heroism, for risking one’s life for an infinite stake, for self-transcendence in giving oneself to another.” – Walter Wink
After Reinhold Niebuhr succumbed to Cold War fever, there was no longer a major voice in Christian ethics among Protestants. In seminary, I myself had to read Paul Ramsey, who couldn’t get any closer to examining the ethics of war than resuscitating Just War Theory from the late days of the Roman Empire. Most of us who opposed the Vietnam War were stuck with a rationale that this-war-in-particular was unjust and therefore should be stopped. Since no one could articulate a thorough critique from a non-violent perspective, we were flying by the seats of our intellectual pants.
Little did I know that alongside mainstream Christian ethics, hidden somewhere in the obscure hallways of academia,
(This post originally appeared in Labor’s Edge, the blog of the California Labor Federation)
Zombies are everywhere these days. They’re on popular TV shows. They’re in the movies. They’re in our nightmares. But what many Californians don’t know is that zombies are a primary reason of our ongoing budget crisis.
Yes, that’s right. We call them Zombie Loopholes, and they’re devouring our state’s budget.
Today, the California Labor Federation launched a new website to highlight the devastating impact that budget-killing corporate tax breaks are having on our state.ZombieLoopholes.com brings a number of wasteful corporate tax breaks that are bleeding our state of billions each year out of the shadows so the public is aware that they’re contributing to deep budget cuts to school funding, services for seniors and public safety.
With the state facing another budget crisis and more cuts to services we value,
The Board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power took a huge step towards a greener, more efficient Los Angeles last Thursday. With a unanimous vote, the Board more than doubled LADWP’s investment in energy efficiency programs while also committing to sustaining that investment over the long term.
The Board set a goal of reducing energy consumption “at least 10%” with a soft target of 15% by 2020, pending the results of a new energy efficiency potential study. “These are significant increases and set LADWP on the path to be a leader in energy efficiency, allowing its customers to take advantage of this clean and cheap source of power,” NRDC’s Kristin Eberhard blogged the next day. “A robust energy efficiency budget can help create jobs and displace dirty coal in LADWP’s portfolio.” The vote came after over a year-and-a-half of organizing by a diverse coalition of environmentalists,