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What It Do With the LUE: Diva’s Basement

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WHAT IT DO I.E.! Well it’s a NEW YEAR and ya girl is back! I hope you missed me. Being a female in the entertainment game; I am always about girl power. I would like to introduce an upcoming entertainment entity called “DIVA’S BASEMENT”, an internet show catering to urban Culture. DIVA’S BASEMENT was formed in 2012 by sisters Nicole Juniel, known as Nikki, and Nina Martinez, known as Nina B. The team also includes two other women,  Danielle Person known as  Queen D and Mychelen Skinner known as My My.

Divas Basement is a metaphor which means “motivated and driven women working hard to help build platforms that urban upcoming artists could use to build their careers from the bottom up.” Their main focus is to talk about issues women are thinking about, but are afraid to say, as well as showcase and interview up and coming talent throughout California. This group of beauties will be bringing you the scoop on all the happenings. I’ve seen these ladies in action, and let me tell you they WORK!!!!  I’m extremely excited for them and wish them SUCCESS.

Filming for their first show starts soon, so if you or someone you know wants to be on their show please email them at DivasBasement@gmail.com. They are looking for musicians, R&B artists, rappers, poets, dancers, models, fashion designers, hair and makeup artists, athletes, cooks, and  more. Please go like their Facebook page at The Diva’s Basement. Well I’m outta here, until next time. L’s UP!

Governor Brown Gives His Fourth Inaugural Address

Mixed Reviews On How to Solve Some Of The States Most Persistent Problems

By Simeon Gant, California Black Media 

Assembly Members Jim Cooper and Kevin McCarty on the Assembly Floor after Governor Jerry Browns unprecedented fourth inaugural address. Assemblyman Jim Cooper said California needs to address drug addiction and did not support proposition 47, the ballot measure that releases low-level offenders into the community  Cooper Assembly District 9 is from Elk Grove, McCarty 7th District is from Sacramento.

Assembly Members Jim Cooper and Kevin McCarty on the Assembly Floor after Governor Jerry Browns unprecedented fourth inaugural address.
Assemblyman Jim Cooper said California needs to address drug addiction and did not support proposition 47, the ballot measure that releases low-level offenders into the community
Cooper Assembly District 9 is from Elk Grove, McCarty 7th District is from Sacramento.

For the first time in the state’s history California elected one person to the Governor’s office four times. The Honorable Edmund “Jerry” Brown was sworn in today in front of both houses of the legislature, California’s judges and a bevy of state officials. Brown combined the State of the State address with his inaugural speech to include his previous accomplishments and a wish list of upcoming issues addressing California.

Brown quickly spoke to the usual concerns of most Californians – education, crime and public safety, health, human services and overall fiscal stability. The most unique aspect of his speech however, was how little has changed.

Brown recalled his first time in the Assembly Chambers. It was1959 during his father, Governor Pat Brown’s inauguration, “That was 56 years ago, yet the issues that my father raised bear eerie resemblance to those we still grapple with today: discrimination, the quality of education and the challenge of recruiting and training teachers, the menace of air pollution, and its danger to our health; a realistic water program; economic development; consumer protection and overcrowded prisons.”

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus responded to the Governor’s speech with hope and optimism for concerns of education equity and a reduction in health disparities throughout the state.

“The Governor is a visionary and very committed to California,” said Assembly Member Shirley Weber, Ph.D., chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. Focusing on how education equity may play out this year, the San Diego representative lawmaker said, “Local Control Funding Formula is still a work in progress. What they do with the resources they get for those special populations is going to be a challenge because we have already run into some roadblocks in terms of accountability and transparency. I want to see outcomes.”

Governor Brown touted the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) as “a much fairer system of school funding.” He informed the audience LCFF’s shift toward giving local school districts more control, giving the state less power and delivering more money to schools “based on the number of students from foster care, low-income families and non-English –speaking parents.”

Freshman Assembly Member Tony Thurmond, a Democrat from Richmond was also pleased to hear the Governor include an increase in health insurance coverage under the Medi-Cal Program.

As chair of the budget subcommittee on health and human services, Assembly Member Thurmond relates to the relatively silent healthcare crises of hospital and clinic closures, “In my district we have a hospital that could close because of the low reimbursement rate in Medi-cal.” He continued, “We know that people of color and low income people are disproportionally impacted around healthcare disparities and we are going to need to make some expansions around Medi-Cal.”

Governor Brown’s speech covered many of the state’s social and economic bases, confidently including the passage of water projects, environmental protection, a $2.8 billion Rainy Day Fund, driver’s licenses for undocumented citizens, $59 billion investment in roads, highways and bridges, the elderly, pensions and criminal justice.

Freshmen Members of the Assembly Tony Thurmond, left and Jim Cooper right share a moment responding the Governor Jerry Brown’s record fourth inaugural address. Thurmond wants to see an expansion of Medi-Cal. Cooper wants to see an emphasis on drug rehabilitation and criminal sentencing. Thurmond is from Richmond, W. Contra Costa, Berkeley, Oakland and Alameda

Freshmen Members of the Assembly Tony Thurmond, left and Jim Cooper right share a moment responding the Governor Jerry Brown’s record fourth inaugural address. Thurmond wants to see an expansion of Medi-Cal. Cooper wants to see an emphasis on drug rehabilitation and criminal sentencing. Thurmond is from Richmond, W. Contra Costa, Berkeley, Oakland and Alameda

Referring back to his father’s 1959 inaugural speech Brown reiterated, “He talked about identifying “’those prisoners who should never be released to prey again on an innocent public,’” but he also said, “’we should also determine whether some prisoners are now kept confined after punishment has served its purpose.’”

Newly minted Assemblyman Jim Cooper served most of his career working in law enforcement in Sacramento. He feels realignment—sending many low-level offenders from state prisons to the local jail systems — “is a good start.” However he proclaims the key is to reduce the number of people hooked on drugs and coming out of prison without a plan to get unhooked.  “One of the big issues is substance abuse,” Cooper said.

Since the recent passage of Proposition 47which released from prison low-level drug offenders throughout the state, Cooper says drug courts now don’t have the same teeth in the law to “hold over their head.”  He says prior to this new law the judges could “make them get clean” but no longer have that option.

Governor Brown doesn’t exactly agree with Cooper’s assessment about Proposition 47. His primary concern is overcrowding of prisons. “In the 1970’s we had12 prisons holding fewer than 30,000 prisoners…our system then grew to a peak of 34 prisons, with an inmate population of 173,000, eating up more than 10 percent of our budget dollars. He said the state dramatically lengthened sentences and added a host of new crimes and penalty enhancements to include more than 5,000 separate criminal provisions and over 400 penalty enhancements.

While it is common knowledge California’s prisons are disproportionally populated by men of color – a large number of African American and Latino heritage – the unemployment lines also see this struggling population as an ongoing challenge to California.

Governor Brown’s speech referred to a shrinking unemployment rate, currently sitting at approximately 7.2 percent in California, it’s still lower than the whopping 13.6 percent nationally for African Americans as reported by the US Department of Labor. None of these numbers include Blacks that have simply quit looking for jobs out of fatigue and futility. Governor Brown’s speech didn’t address a solution to the unemployment issue, but strategically included “California has seen more than 1.3 million new jobs created in just four years.”

Many of the new jobs on the horizon may very well come in what he deems three ambitious goals to be accomplished within the next 15 years.

He reminded the audience of the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and carbon pollution to 431 million tons by 2020. Looking forward to 2030 he said the state should, “Increase from one-third to 50 percent our electricity derived from renewable sources; Reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent; and Double the efficiency of existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner.”

These new efforts require a new and improved workforce, trained in the development of wind, water, solar and waste conversion into energy, specialist in alternative fuel vehicles and a renewed process of redeveloping California’s infrastructure.

The culmination of his speech addressed the potential for jobs by protecting our environment. He said, “We must build on rock, not sand, so that when the storms come, our house stands.”

 

College Degrees Lead to Better Health? Not So Fast, Says New Study

Black-College-GraduateBy Carmel Ferrer

Higher education and upward mobility are often touted as a ticket to better health. Yet a new study suggests that the positive health effects of a good education are felt less by blacks than by whites.

Consider this scenario: Four adults are sitting in a doctor’s office. Two are black and two are white. One black adult and one white adult have high school diplomas; the other two have college degrees.

You might reasonably expect that the two college graduates would be healthier than the ones who finished only high school, owing to the improved access to health insurance, fresh foods, and safe housing that higher education often brings. But the study shows that the health benefits of educational attainment for African Americans may in fact be offset by racial discrimination and other associated stresses.

Conducted over the course of 15 years, the data set—part of an ongoing longitudinal study—assessed subjects at age 30, and then again at age 45, for levels of inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been shown to contribute to a greater incidence of diabetes and heart disease.

One of the study’s authors, Thomas Fuller-Rowell, PhD, puts it this way: “Among whites, the more educated you are, the better off you are in terms of inflammation across adulthood. Among African Americans, we found no health benefit to being more educated.”

Fuller-Rowell is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar whose research examines how differences in race and social class affect health. “In order to solve the larger health disparities issue, we need to understand what it is about educational attainment that is more stressful for African Americans,” he explains.

As the study points out, stress is a prime suspect when it comes to poor immune function, slow healing, and infections. Long-term stress can cause chronic inflammation, which in turn contributes to a greater incidence of diabetes and heart disease.

“Upward mobility and education are put forward as the best way to improve health disparities, but these findings suggest that eliminating educational disparities will not be enough,” says Fuller-Rowell. “We have to address the differential stresses of getting a higher education along with issues relating to white-dominated workplaces.”

One of the study’s recommendations is to increase programs that not only encourage upward mobility among underrepresented groups, but also “acknowledge and seek to mitigate the challenges of navigating educational and workplace contexts that are often racially and culturally insensitive. “

According to Fuller-Rowell, “We need institutional and governmental programs that are designed to remedy group disparities so that we can address the legacy of racial inequity in the United States.” The study, he notes, defines rather than explains the problem.

“We’re now working on research that gets to the explanation,” he says.