Author: Jessica Portner

A New Escape Route for Victims of Domestic Violence

Under the new Safe Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors law—which also applies to victims of stalking, human trafficking, sexual assault and elder abuse— tenants  in an unsafe living environment may break their residential lease with a statement from a counselor or caseworker.

Disabled Advocates Rally for Health

In every corner of California, in living rooms, community centers, and grassroots organizations, disabled activists are determined and organized to fight to preserve health programs and social services that help them and their communities.

Health Care Hurdles for the Disabled

Yvette Baptiste’s son Andrew was born with Klippel-Feil syndrome, a bone disorder where the neck vertebrae are fused, causing pain and limiting movement.

But even though Baptiste, as the Executive Director of Eastern Los Angeles Family Resource Center, was a seasoned health advocate, it still took more than a year to find a new doctor to treat her adult son.

No Small Victory for Disabled

Creating a welcoming medical home for adults and children with developmental disabilities is what compelled Alicia Bazzano and her husband — both pediatricians, and parents to a special needs child — to co-found the clinic two years ago. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in the state. Bazzano, who also has a Ph.D. in public health, says people with developmental disabilities (which includes autism, mental retardation, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy) are at a disadvantage on many fronts.

Police and Moms of Cypress Park Walk the Beat To Safety

About 25 moms greet Captain Jeff Bert of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Northeast Division, maybe grab a bite, and then start walking. About a dozen of these ladies—deputized as “mamma captains”—are Captain Bert’s entrée to neighboring businesses and homes where residents are eager to talk about the gangs and violent crime that are crushing their sense of peace.

Saying No to Teen Dating Violence One Classroom at a Time

Jessica Corral, an education coordinator with Peace Over Violence, a Los Angeles-based advocacy group, stands in front of a rowdy class of teenagers at San Gabriel High School and draws a “Cycle of Violence” on a white board, a circle that represents a sort of relationship weather map. It goes from sunny honeymoon phase, to tension-filled and cloudy, then thunder and lightening, and finally an explosive storm, indicating abuse.

How the ACA is Changing Lives

The federal health law known as the Affordable Care Act has become a partisan punching bag in Washington D.C., but for singer Georgia Bennett*, the new law could not sound any sweeter. The law gave her peace of mind when she lost her job, and now she sees it as part of the foundation for a new business she is trying to get off the ground.

The Waiting Room: L.A. County’s Medi-Cal Backlog

As the deluge of applications for Medi-Cal through continues to flood into Covered California, local health advocacy groups and providers throughout Los Angeles County say the sizable enrollment backlog is delaying health care services for needy residents.

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