Special Features
Confronting Child Sex Trafficking on the Central Coast

Confronting Child Sex Trafficking on the Central Coast


A source from the FBI’s Los Angeles Division alerted the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office that the Central Coast had become a hub for commercial sexual exploitation of minors — a crime that had gone relatively undetected by local authorities. Photo: Ken Pfeiffer Photography

By Leah Bartos

Five years ago, when Lisa Conn became a mental health provider for juvenile justice in Santa Barbara County, she noticed a disturbing trend: A large number of the incarcerated girls were displaying symptoms of complex trauma and, in particular, sex trauma.

Most Survivors Want More Rehab, Less Punishment for Victimizers

Most Survivors Want More Rehab, Less Punishment for Victimizers

Victims of violent crime are more likely to be low-income, under 30 and Latino or African American, according to a survey by Californians for Safety and Justice. Aswad Thomas, pictured above, was shot in the back twice in 2009. Photo courtesy of Aswad Thomas.

By Lily Dayton

Aswad Thomas made a quick stop at a convenience store to buy a bottle of pink lemonade on a hot summer night in 2009.

Shelters, Clinics Work Together to Help Domestic Violence Victims

Shelters, Clinics Work Together to Help Domestic Violence Victims

“So many people won’t walk through our doors because they’re afraid,” says Jesse Torrey, associate director of RISE, an agency that serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in San Luis Obispo County. “But they will go to the doctor to get a check-up.” Photo: File/Thinkstock

By Lily Dayton

“Ask me,” begs Paula Spencer, the protagonist of Roddy’s Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked into Doors.

Universities Lack Guidelines for Responding to Domestic Violence

Universities Lack Guidelines for Responding to Domestic Violence

By Lily Dayton Studies have found that the prevalence of domestic violence and dating violence among college students is on par with the number of female college students who’ve experienced sexual assault. “About 21 percent of college students report they are experiencing violence from a current partner,” says Jessica Merrill, communications manager for California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.  
Access

San Francisco Gets Dignified: No More Tin Cup

San Francisco Gets Dignified: No More Tin Cup In November, The Dignity Fund supporters claimed victory when San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved a unique cash infusion for aging and disability services inspired by similar efforts a quarter century ago to benefit kids: The Children’s Fund.

California Moves to Resist Trump Administration Actions on Immigration

California Moves to Resist Trump Administration Actions on Immigration If Trump tries to follow through on his many threats—like deporting up to 3 million immigrants, building a massive border wall, scrapping environmental regulation, repealing the Affordable Care Act or rolling back civil rights—the Golden State is ready to resist.

Food Allergies Impose an Additional Burden on California Families Struggling to Make Ends Meet

Food Allergies Impose an Additional Burden on California Families Struggling to Make Ends Meet Coping with food allergies can be daunting for any family, but, due to the extra labor and grocery costs, they often hit low-income families hardest.

Marked Racial Disparities in Money Spent to Help Disabled

Marked Racial Disparities in Money Spent to Help Disabled

 

By Chris Richard

Four years after California legislators vowed to eliminate racially and ethnically-linked disparities in spending on services to the developmentally disabled, funding gaps persist, records show.

The state’s 21 “regional centers,” nonprofit organizations tasked with providing services for people with developmental disabilities, consistently spend less on Latinos than on whites, African-Americans or Asians.


California Focus: Daniel Weintraub

ACA repeal could be big blow to working poor

By Daniel Weintraub

California probably gained more than any other state from the Affordable Care Act, the federal health reform better known as Obamacare. Now, with the program facing almost certain demise, the state and its low-income residents have the most to lose.

President-elect Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have pledged to repeal Obamacare and then replace it with something better.

Why transit advocates are optimistic about the Trump era

By Daniel Weintraub

In the days following Donald Trump’s election as president, progressive activists on a number of issues – from health care to education and the environment – said they were preparing to fight against an expected attempt to roll back everything they’d worked so hard to achieve during the Obama Administration.

Healthy communities mean healthier people

By Daniel Weintraub

The recent announcement that insurance premiums will be going up for people who buy their health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” has put the program back in the news, with Republicans from Donald Trump on down calling for its repeal and Democrats saying its problems can be easily fixed.

Plunging teen birth numbers reason to celebrate

By Daniel Weintraub

Although we live in a culture of negativity that leads many people to believe that things are worse than ever, the data often show otherwise. Crime, for example, has plummeted for a quarter-century, though you’d never know it from watching the local news. Access to higher education has never been greater.

Making care more affordable, but not less expensive

By Daniel Weintraub

The big rate increases announced last week for health insurance policies sold by California’s version of the federal health reform are the latest evidence that the Affordable Care Act, despite its name, cannot do much to tame the rise of health care costs.

The government-run health insurance market is facing all the same cost pressures that the private market has confronted for years, plus more that have resulted from the dynamics of the federal law itself.

California Voices

Slow Down: A Lesson From Caregivers and Millennials

At some point in our lives, if we don’t slow down on our own, we are forced to slow down. Early Baby Boomers are now in their 60’s. Many of them are still working, but they may eventually need caregivers.