Mohammed, Zaineb

Ethnic Candidates Largely Succeed in California Primary

By Zaineb Mohammed
New America Media

Despite possibly record low voter turnout, candidates of color largely achieved success in California’s June 5 primary.

Fifty-seven Democrats advanced to the November general election in California’s 53 congressional districts according to Tenoch Flores, communications director of the California Democratic Party. Twenty-six of them were candidates of color.

“Asian Americans did well. Out of our endorsed candidates, all of them went through to the second round except for one,” commented Andrew Medina, consultant to the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.

Medina observed that there are currently 11 Asian Americans in the state legislature, which is the most representation they have had to date. That could improve in the upcoming election.

“There is the potential in November to reach 12 Asian Americans,” he said.

Study: California Women “Falling Behind”—and Held Back by Budget Cuts

By Zaineb Mohammed
New America Media

Women are recovering from the recession at a slower rate than men according to a new report by the California Budget Project (CBP) published in partnership with the Women’s Foundation of California.

The report, titled,Falling Behind: The Impact of the Great Recession and the Budget Crisis on California’s Women and Their Families, " was released on Feb. 1.

In a telephone briefing with the media on Thursday, Jean Ross, CBP's executive director commented, “The Great Recession hit single mothers particularly hard and contributed to a sharp increase in poverty among female-headed families with children.”

Civil Rights Advocates Meet in L.A. to Discuss Voter Suppression Laws

By Jose Luis Sierra & Zaineb Mohammed
New America Media

Last week, at a press briefing co-hosted by New America Media (NAM) and Common Cause, civil rights lawyers and advocates representing California’s largest ethnic communities spoke of the need to work together to ensure that 2012 elections are open and accessible, in light of a rash of state laws that they say are being deliberately designed to suppress the vote of ethnic minorities and the poor.

Speakers at the briefing included legal experts from the Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund (MALDEF), Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Common Cause.

California Governor’s Budget Could Hit Most Vulnerable With Deepest Cuts

By Zaineb Mohammed
New America Media

Advocates for both ethnic communities and children reacted with alarm to the state budget that Gov. Jerry Brown proposed on Thursday.

The proposal aims to reduce the budget deficit from the $26.2 billion budget hole of one year ago to $9.2 billion through budget cuts and revenue generators amounting to $10.3 billion.

However, the cuts come mostly at the expense of low-income ethnic communities and children in particular.

Cuts Would Impact Access to Care

Chad Silva, policy director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, commented, “The programs that impact the lowest income folks are getting cut and are going to hurt them in very significant ways because they impact access to care.”

Foreclosed Homeowners Re-Occupy Their Homes

By Zaineb Mohammed
New America Media

Carolyn Gage was evicted from her foreclosed home in January. Earlier this month, she moved back in.

“I’ve been in here for 50 years. I know no other place but here. I left and it was just time for me to come back home,” said Gage, who is in her mid-50s.

Gage’s monthly payments spiked after her adjustable rate mortgage kicked in, and she could no longer afford the payments on her three-bedroom house in the city’s Bayview Hunters Point district. She says she tried to modify her loan with her lender, Florida-based IB Properties, but to no avail.