Our Impact

Nakenya Allen and her son Landon were featured in a story we did on families who are fighting racism and disability discrimination. Photo by Martin do Nascimento / Resolve Magazine

Our stories win awards, shift conversations, change laws and policies, and highlight communities that are striving for social justice. 

We care about the people behind our stories. We want to make life better for the communities we cover. That’s what we strive for with each story, and the details below demonstrate the breadth of our impact.

Awards

 

Marc Philpart, with the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color at PolicyLink, was featured in a story we did in 2020 on alternatives to calling the police for domestic violence survivors. Photo by Martin do Nascimento / Resolve Magazine

Examples of Our Impact

 

Domestic Violence Healing and Prevention

 

We partner with domestic violence survivors to share their lived experiences and help identify paths to healing and prevention. 

 

 

Racial Justice and Health Equity

 

Writing about racial justice and health equity is central to our mission. These solutions-driven stories often win awards and influence the national conversation. 

 

 

Rosa Perez worries about what many years of consuming the tap water in Fuller Acres might have done to her family’s health. Photos by Martin do Nascimento.

 

Water Justice in the Central Valley

 

For the past three years, we’ve focused on how Californians living in the Central Valley, many of whom are people of color from low-wealth communities, can have access to clean water — a basic human right. 

 

  • Early in the pandemic, we wrote about how COVID-19 was impacting those who don’t have access to clean water in their homes. The story was cross-published widely, including by Spanish-language media, and picked up by public radio. Soon after its publication, California officials began a water delivery program to the area we wrote about. The story was part of a group that was a finalist for a LION Publishers award.

 

Melissa Alcala was featured in a 2020 story about how parents caring for children with disabilities are coping during COVID-19. Photo by Martin do Nascimento / Resolve Magazine

 

Disability Rights and Equity

 

We write about how to make our society more inclusive of people with disabilities and their families. 

 

  • Our stories on how racial justice intersects with disability justice have helped ensure these families are included in policy and community conversations. Our story on how families are fighting racism and disability discrimination won two awards from the California News Publishers Association in 2021.  

 

Daisy and Ximena Lopez, 5, sit on the porch of their home in Oakland. Ximena, suffers from cerebral palsy, diabetes insipidus, epilepsy and dysautonomia, among other conditions, and is particularly sensitive to heat and cold because she cannot sweat to regulate her body temperature. Photos by Martin do Nascimento/Resolve Magazine.

 

Climate Change and Solutions

 

Our reporting ensures that communities of color and low-wealth Californians are included in climate change discussions and solutions. 

 

  • We collaborated with The Center for Public Integrity, Columbia Journalism Investigations and newsrooms across the country to investigate how disasters are affecting mental health. This award-winning story was published by Mother Jones, among many other outlets. 

 

Environmental Justice

 

We’ve been a leader in reporting on how communities of color and low-income Californians are affected by environmental hazards, and we always focus our reporting on solutions.

 

  • We wrote about how California banned the pesticide chlorpyrifos, but how farmworkers continued to be exposed. Recently, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would also ban the pesticide. 
  • A story profiled an Oxnard community that is fighting pollution from a port expansion, giving voice to an underrepresented group and leading to a shift in the larger conversation about air quality and port locations. 
  • We wrote about a community that was trying to prevent a third fossil-fuel power plant from being built near homes. Shortly after the story ran, three state lawmakers urged the Energy Commission to reevaluate the Oxnard project, citing social justice concerns mentioned in our story. In 2018, the energy company announced that it would withdraw the proposal to build the power plant. A new state law now requires the Coastal Commission to consider the environmental impacts on vulnerable communities when making decisions.
  • In 2016, we wrote about how a state bill that would have granted farmworkers overtime pay failed by four votes. However, legislators resurrected the proposal a few weeks later, it passed and was signed by the governor.

 

Dulce Vargas, coordinator of a domestic violence intervention and prevention program for the Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), photographed at the MICOP offices in Oxnard, California.

 

Language Justice

 

We shine a light on how Californians who speak languages other than English are too often not given proper translation services in hospitals, doctors offices or with medications. 

 

  • Early in the pandemic, we were among the first to write about how community groups were serving as a lifeline to residents who spoke languages other than English, providing them with essential information when no one else was.
  • In 2014, we wrote about how many pharmacies in California did not provide translated instructions with prescriptions for people who don’t speak English, despite the fact that 44 percent of the state’s population spoke a language other than English at home. Our reporting helped spur a state law that now requires pharmacists, upon request, to provide medication instructions in the five most common languages in California after English.

 

Mental Health Access

 

We’re a leader in writing about how to remove barriers to mental health care, particularly for people of color and those enrolled in the state’s low-income health program, Medi-Cal. 

 

 

Marika Hinds, one of the facilitators of the Black People Raising Exceptional People Support Group, speaks during one of the group’s bimonthly sessions from her offices at First 5 Contra Costa.

 

Access to Health Care for Low-Income Communities

 

We’re often the first to report on how health care policies impact Californians who are enrolled in the state’s low-income health program, Medi-Cal, or who lack health coverage. 

 

  • Early in the pandemic, we were among the first to write about how it was impacting low-wage workers who didn’t have sick pay. State and federal officials later instituted mandatory sick pay for these workers. 
  • In 2015, we reported that the Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal health plans in Alameda, Contra Costa and Kings counties had consistently failed the state’s quarterly assessments by scoring below 40 percent. Alameda and Contra Costa’s plans had been below the minimum performance level since 2011. Our reporting led to improvements, and all three health plans are now above the minimum level.
  • In 2014, we reported that the agency that oversees Medi-Cal had seen an 82 percent increase in complaint cases that year, and the office that handles the complaints was not equipped to manage the complaint volume. Our reporting spurred a state audit, and in 2015, the California State Auditor found that Ombudsman office was understaffed and had a telephone system that couldn’t handle the volume of calls it received. The office said it would upgrade its phone system and improve data collection. In 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 97, which requires the office to to release quarterly reports with data from calls and emails.
  • In 2014 we reported that the office that handles complaints about health plans for low-income Californians hadn’t produced a quarterly report since September of the previous year, despite seeing a huge increase in enrollment due to the Affordable Care Act. This story spurred state legislators to question the agency about the quarterly reports, and since February 2014 the agency has produced quarterly reports on schedule.
  • We discovered through a public records request in 2014 that the California agency that oversees the state’s low-income health plan vastly overstated the number of doctors who accepted patients through the program in 2013, even as the number of people enrolled was set to skyrocket under the federal Affordable Care Act. After our questioning the state said it would update the list. We continue to follow this issue. 
  • In 2014, after a months-long investigation, we discovered that directories of doctors given to low-income patients across California were highly inaccurate, making it difficult for them to get the health care they’re entitled to under state law. Our investigation spurred a state audit and led to a California law that now requires insurers to update their lists of doctors weekly.

 

Zara Ahmed outside the Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments offices in Fremont, CA. Photo by Martin do Nascimento / Resolve Magazine

 

Children’s Health

 

We write about children’s health from a solution’s focused lens, and our Doctor’s Notes column helps bridge the gap between the clinic and the community. 

 

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