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Statewide Senior Coalition Rally Lawmakers Support Policy, Budget Allocations

By California Black Media

Over 300 seniors rallied at the state Capitol last Thursday to support efforts to streamline the way the state deals with policy and budget allocations for senior citizens in the state.

In 2015, the Senate Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care issued a report calling for the creation of a Senate Standing Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care as one means of bringing more order to the state’s fragmented policy system on senior issues.

The report found that there were 112 aging programs administered by 20 different state agencies, departments and offices.

According to senior advocates one in five Californians will be over the age 65 by 2030, and the aging population is increasingly diverse with people age 85 and older who constitute the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. One in six seniors live in poverty with 34 percent of them Black women who live alone.

Legislative leaders spoke at the rally to share bills that have been introduced into the legislature to try and correct the budget decline in senior-related programs since the 2008 recession. 

“Of the senior citizens that live in poverty today two-thirds of them are women, so I find that morally repugnant and disgraceful,” said Senate pro Tempore, Kevin de Leon.

The Senior Coalition estimates 70 percent of people 65 years old and older will need some type of long-term care supports services.

“We as seniors need healthcare, our meds are an enormous cost, and people cannot afford food and are cutting their pills in half or going without,” said Brenda Bristow, of I HELP I.E.

“84-year old San Bernardino resident Norma Archie said, “I am fed up with government leadership and disturbed that government will take 30 million in taxpayer dollars and spend it on attorney fees for non-citizens, while seniors are going without food, their medicine and housing, I am insulted with our leaders.”

Some Bills Up For Consideration:

 SB62 (Jackson) Establishes the Affordable Senior Housing Program.

SB177 (Nguyen) Appropriates $3,300,000 from General Fund to the State Department of Health Care Services for allocation to Caregiver Resource Centers to provide respite care services.

SB202 (Dodd) Increases the Medi-Cal monthly personal needs allowance from $35 to 80 while a person is a patient in a medical institution.

AB806 (Kalra) Creates a tax credit for certain expenses incurred by a family caregiver for the care and support of a family member not to exceed $1,000.

NSBE’s Summer Engineering Experience Comes to Southern California Region

NATIONAL- The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has announced the dates and locations of its 2017 Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) programs. SEEK, now in its 11th year, is the nation’s largest summer engineering program geared toward African-American pre-college students. The program is undergoing a large, three-year expansion funded by a $2-million grant from the National Science Foundation to NSBE and its project partners, Purdue University and Virginia Tech. SEEK, NSBE’s free, signature out-of-school-time program, will take place in June, July and August this year, at 15 sites in 14 cities across the U.S.

“The SEEK expansion will allow NSBE to make a resounding impact on the nation as we move toward our 10-year strategic goal,” said NSBE National Chair Matthew C. Nelson. NSBE is leading the concerted effort to graduate 10,000 African-American engineers with bachelor’s degrees annually by 2025, a nearly threefold increase over the 2014 total. “Thanks to our dedicated partners, we can expose many more black children to STEM careers, providing the U.S. more of the engineering talent it sorely needs while simultaneously strengthening African-American communities across the country.

SEEK participants engage in team-based, competitive engineering design activities and learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts, under the guidance of mentor-instructors, many of whom are collegiate members of NSBE. More than 18,000 students in grades 3–12, more than 20,000 parents and more than 2,800 mentors have participated in SEEK since its launch in Washington, D.C., in 2007. The engineering design activities for the children and teens are provided by SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers) — NSBE’s curriculum partner in SEEK since 2007 — and by numerous other organizations. The program enjoys the support of a broad base of corporate, government and nonprofit partners.

NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. is the principal investigator of the NSBE-Purdue-Virginia Tech project, which is titled “Strengthening the STEM Pipeline for Elementary School African Americans, Hispanics, and Girls by Scaling Up Summer Engineering Experiences.” The NSF grant will be used to expand the SEEK program to 31 sites and 27,000 African-American, Hispanic and female third through fifth graders across the U.S., by 2019. The project will measure: the effectiveness of SEEK in improving the students’ STEM-related skills, attitudes and knowledge; the relationship of those qualities to the students’ academic motivation; and the effect of organizational context factors on the students’ STEM experiences and outcomes.

“We look forward to the knowledge that will be gained from this project and to the positive results we will see for aspiring engineers,” said Dr. Reid.

A listing of the SEEK programs for 2017 follows. More information about SEEK is available at www.nsbe.org/seek.


Current Cities                                    Start Date                   End Date 
Ascension Parish, La.                         June 19                       July 7
Atlanta, Ga. (All-Female)                    June 12                       June 30
Birmingham, Ala.                                June 12                       June 30
Chicago, Ill.                                         July 17                        August 4
Detroit, Mich.                                       July 24                        August 11
Houston, Texas                                   June 12                       June 30
Jackson, Miss. (All-Female)                June 26                       July 14
Kansas City, Mo.                                 June 5                         June 23
Los Angeles, Calif.                              June 26                       July 14
New Orleans, La.                                June 12                       June 30
Oakland, Calif.                                    June 19                       July 7
Pittsburgh, Pa.                                    July 3                          July 21
Sacramento, Calif. (Twin Rivers)        June 19                       July 7                          
Sacramento, Calif. (Sac City)             July 17                         August 4
Saginaw, Mich.                                   July 24                         August 11
Washington, D.C.                                July 24                         August 11

Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino Celebrates 52 Years of Service

SAN BERNARDINO, CA– Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC) is celebrating National Community Action Month, dedicated to recognizing the success of the National Community Action Network that fights poverty across the United States. This month, CAPSBC will be conducting healthy food cooking workshops at partnering soup kitchens to educate their staff on the importance of healthy food preparation.  The project, funded through a grant from Kaiser Permanente, is focused on educating our communities on how to prepare and consume healthful food.  The cooking demonstrations will be done by Graduate students of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health.  Nutrition education resources and healthy food preparation tips will be shared with the staff.

“Community Action Month is a wonderful time to honor and celebrate the impact Community Action has in the lives of families and communities across the country.  Agencies are successful every day in helping families achieve economic security. Given that the needs of each family and community are unique, Community Action can use a range of resources and programs to meet local needs in creative and impactful ways.  This month we are pleased to showcase the fantastic work of our Food Bank in helping our partner soup kitchens who serve food insecure families and individuals who need nutritional assistance,” stated Patricia L. Nickols-Butler, Chief Executive Officer of CAPSBC.