By Mike Males
Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice
In 1986, more than 8,000 black teenagers were arrested across Los Angeles County for drug offenses. After a steady, steep decline, that number fell to just 400 in 2013. Meanwhile, drug arrests of L.A.’s white middle-agers more than doubled. From the peak arrest year (1986) to the present, a huge shift in racial patterns has emerged:
By Randy Shaw
Yesterday was Election Day, but millions of eligible voters did not cast ballots. I used to wonder why Democrats could not prevent such a significant drop off between midterm and presidential election turnouts, until I accepted that many voters quite rationally see their lives unaffected casting ballots.
Many find non-voting to be repellent. Progressives can't believe people think it makes no difference whether a pro-choice, green Democratic Senator like Colorado's Mark Udall defeats the anti-choice, right wing zealot Cory Gardner. There is so much evidence that who we elect makes a real difference that we cannot fathom why the working and lower-income voters who government could most help don't go to the polls.
By Carole Bartolotto
Even though they have been in our food supply for years, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about GMOs. There are legitimate environmental and societal concerns including the corporate control of the food supply, loss of crop diversity, and the escalating use of herbicides. The safety of GMOs is a whole other matter and something that is very important to me as a health professional.
Proponents claim they offer a plethora of benefits including higher yields, more nutritious food to feed the hungry, fewer weeds and bugs, and a decrease in herbicide use. But reality tells an entirely different story. While they make millions for multinational corporations, they don't offer consumers a thing.
By Dan Bacher
The debate over the pros and cons of Prop. 1, Jerry Brown's $7.5 billion water bond, is very important, but an even bigger issue in any environmental battle or process is the money behind the campaign.
The big corporate money behind the water bond largely determines who the bond will benefit - billionaires, corporate agribusiness, oil companies and the 1 percent, not the people, fish or wildlife of California.
Contributions to Governor Jerry Brown's Yes on Props 1 and 2 Committee have jumped to $13,880,528.43, according to the latest data posted on the California Secretary of State's website.
By Miriam Rotkin-Ellman
Natural Resources Defense Council
From polluted skies to contaminated drinking water and hazardous waste, communities of color in California get way more than their fair share. If the oil and gas industry gets their way, drilling – and the environmental and health threats from fracking, acidizing, and other technologies – will be piled onto communities already staggering under smoggy skies and unsafe water.
By Public Policy Institute of California
Jerry Brown maintains his strong lead among likely voters in the governor's race against Neel Kashkari. Among two statewide ballot measures that Brown is campaigning for, Proposition 1—the $7.5 billion water bond—continues to have majority support and Proposition 2—the "rainy day fund"—has gained ground since September, with about half of likely voters in favor today.
A majority continue to favor Proposition 47, the measure to reduce sentences for some drug and property offenses. Support for Proposition 45—which would give the state insurance commissioner authority over health insurance rates—has declined since last month and continues to fall short of a majority.
By Chuck Idelson
National Nurses Union
We are in the midst of the worst Ebola epidemic in history-- over 4,500 deaths globally and now two U.S. nurses are infected. RNs from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where Ebola victim Thomas Duncan died describe a chaotic and unprepared environment where workers and patients were not adequately protected. "There was no advanced preparedness on what to do with the patient. There was no protocol. There was no system."
By Steve Hochstadt
The history of scientific hoaxes is often amusing. In 1813, Charles Redhoffer created a “perpetual motion machine,” a device that created more energy than it used. After hundreds of people paid a dollar to see it spinning around, Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat, grew suspicious of its uneven motion. When pieces of wood were removed from the wall behind the machine, a belt drive made of cat-gut was revealed, leading to an upper floor, where an old man was turning a crank with one hand and eating bread with the other.
By Richard Holober
Consumer Federation of California
Health care industry-funded ads sounding the Prop 46 privacy alarm flunk the straight face test.
The ads allege Prop 46 sets up a secret medical record database that will be vulnerable to hacking. Not only is this absolutely false, it's galling when you consider that the hospitals and insurance companies funding the ads have exposed millions of their own patient records through their negligence.
By Dan Bacher
As the oil industry spent record amounts on lobbying in Sacramento and made record profits, documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity reveal that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms.
The Center said the wastewater entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking (hydraulic fracturing) fluids and other pollutants.