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A street in the Kern County community of El Adobe, California.

‘I’m Scared of Getting Sick From the Water’

Like more than 300 communities across California, the tiny town of El Adobe in Kern County lacks safe drinking water. Since 2008, the arsenic levels in one of its two wells have regularly exceeded the safety standards set by federal and state authorities, often by more than double.

A 2013 report recommended the community consolidate with the larger water system in nearby Lamont. Residents are still waiting for that to happen. Some are losing hope.

2. Parent advocates with the organization Integrated Community Collaborative speak with Latinx families during a 2018 event in Huntington Park about how to access Regional Center Services for their children. Photo courtesy of Integrated Community Collaborative.

For Spanish-Speaking Families, an Uphill Battle for Special Needs Services

A 2020 Public Counsel study of youth ages 3 to 21 living at home found that, for every $1 an English-speaking child received in fiscal year 2018-2019, a Spanish-speaking child received 82 cents — a disparity that grew 46 percent over the previous four years.

The unequal spending on services has persisted despite the state allocating an extra $11 million annually to reduce disparities in the regional center system.

Frustrated sad black guy is watching at laptop screen

A Law Designed to Protect Health Consumers Has Ended Up Hurting Them

Network directories — lists of providers contracted with health plans — form the heart of decision-making for health care consumers. They can help people decide which health plan to choose if they want to stay with a trusted doctor.

But health care providers say insurers have shifted the burden of updating directories onto them — a patchwork system that is still riddled with errors and leaves consumers paying the price.

Analysis: Why California Should Expand Health Coverage to Undocumented Seniors

While President Barack Obama’s 2010 health reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, greatly expanded insurance access, it excluded undocumented immigrants across the country. This likely contributed to COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on undocumented Californians. Health equity and immigrant rights advocates have been urging California leaders to broaden health coverage for nearly a decade.

Mike Duncan, the founder of Native Dads Network, sits on a bench.

To Counter Domestic Violence, Some Native Americans Embrace Tradition

Mike Duncan is founder of Native Dads Network, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that runs workshops on healthy parenting and relationships. The workshops draw on traditional Indigenous teachings about the value of life, the role of parents and the sacredness of women.

The network is one of a growing number of programs across the state that seek to address high rates of domestic violence in many Tribal communities by using Native American people’s own traditions and history as a guide.

Two women wearing protective masks walking at crosswalk on 16th Street in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Opinion: COVID-19 Shows Us Why California Must Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Long-standing racist policies and practices have determined where and how Californians live, work, receive health care, attend schools and more. For Black Californians, Latinx Californians, and other Californians of color these racist policies block opportunities to be healthy.

When the pandemic started, it became abundantly clear that the virus was disproportionately harming communities of color, who are at increased risk of severe illness due to long-standing inequities.

Color Blind Ambition

Since the death of George Floyd nine months ago prompted America to re-examine entrenched racism in all its institutions – from police departments to corporations and colleges – the child welfare system too, has had to reckon with its troubled past and deeply flawed present.

Driven by evidence that child welfare decision-makers judge parents of color more harshly and are more likely to remove their children, calls for systemic change have grown more urgent among parent advocates, scholars and even agency leaders.

Mountains and a valley belonging to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

Few Native Americans Access Hospice Care. A New Effort in Yolo County Hopes to Change That

Native American seniors are much less likely than other racial and ethnic groups to receive hospice and palliative care, but a new partnership between a Capay Valley tribe in Yolo County and a local hospice provider seeks to change that.

Yolo Hospice is working with Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation to research the challenges that Native American communities face when trying to obtain and plan for end-of-life care.

An illustration of Arlene Campa, founder of Art Hour, with fellow students.

Opinion: Arts Education Is a Student Right, Especially During a Pandemic

Arts education has the power to emotionally and academically rebuild students — and the world around us.

I come from an immigrant community, where people routinely shift between English and Spanish in everyday conversation. As the student ambassador to a statewide organization, Create CA, I’m working to ensure every student has access to a full arts education, as promised by California’s Education Code.

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