Things That Matter

Schools, Weed, And Crime. Here’s Why Californians Should Register To Vote Beyond The Presidency

Today, Oct. 24, marks the last day you can register to vote for the upcoming Nov. 8 election in California. If you’re too lazy to fill out an application by hand, you can register to vote here. And while the state is already in the win column for Hillary Clinton (California hasn’t voted Republican since 1988 and that won’t change in 2016), that doesn’t mean that your vote doesn’t count. Quite the contrary. There’s a lot at stake on the ballot that directly impacts you. Here are some propositions that makes your vote more meaningful than you think.

Legal Weed

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Credit: “Black Sheep”/Giphy

In California (and in the rest of the country, technically), possession of marijuana for recreational use is illegal. If passed, Proposition 64 would make  California the fifth state behind Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Beyond legitimizing something that everyone already does anyway, the passing of Proposition 64 would be a big blow to the federal “war on drugs,” which has disproportionately wreaked havoc on communities of color.

Bilingual Education

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Credit: Voto Latino/Giphy

In 1998, California passed Proposition 227 and got rid of bilingual education. As the Los Angeles Times notes, part of the reason why that proposition passed was anti-immigrant sentiment. 18 years after that vote, Californians have the option of bringing bilingual education back. This is a good thing. Bilingual education has proven to be an effective way of getting kids who don’t speak English to pick up the language. There’s also a lot of research that suggests that bilingual people are likely smarter than those who only speak one language. Who wouldn’t want smarter kids?

Less Crowded Jails

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Proposition 57 might be the most consequential measure on the ballot. If passed, Prop 57 would do two things: 1) it would make it easier for those in prison for a non-violent crime to get parole, and 2) it would leave it up to judges to decide whether a minor gets tried for an adult. The first would make it easier for those who were convicted of a nonviolent offense to be paroled and go through rehabilitation instead of sitting in an overcrowded jail. The second, perhaps more importantly, is that it would prevent overzealous prosecutors from trying to make an example out of kids and try them as adults. Proposition 57 could have serious impact on the Latino community given that we are disproportionately jailed more than our white counterparts.

PLEASE PLEASE VOTE!

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Credit: “Lemonade”/Giphy

Your vote really does count. Plus, Beyonce is asking you to go do it, and you want to listen to Queen Bey on this.

READ: This Burrito Truck Will Bring You To Tears

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California Is Poised To Become The First State To Offer Unemployment To Undocumented Workers

Things That Matter

California Is Poised To Become The First State To Offer Unemployment To Undocumented Workers

Brent Stirton / Getty Images

Covid-19 has devastated families financially, especially Latinos. Latino households have experienced disproportionate levels of unemployment and health issues from Covid-19. California is helping undocumented people impacted by the virus.

California is going to help undocumented people struggling during the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the California legislature released a stimulus package to help Californians suffering during the pandemic. The “Major Components of Joint Economic Stimulus Plan” includes financially assisting undocumented people living in California. The plan further stipulates that the state would create a fund to assist those who will lose when the $600 unemployment benefits disappear and any other holes that might remain in the economic injuries of residents.

People are defending the use of tax dollars to help undocumented immigrants.

Undocumented people pay taxes. It is a narrative that anti-immigrant people push to further harm the undocumented community. Advocates have argued that the undocumented community should be protected during this pandemic as much as anyone else. This plan would likely do that.

“Our calls for prompt relief and a bit of human kindness have been heard and we hope soon not another family will go hungry or without essentials such as medication, bars of soap and other hygiene products, as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc in the Golden State,” Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, said in a statement.

The virus is still spreading in the U.S. with California being one of the worst-hit states.

The state set a record on July 29 with 12,904 new Covid cases and 192 deaths. The state has been criticized for rushing its reopening strategy that led to a visible explosion of cases in mid-June. That is when California restrictions were lifted before meeting the health guideline standards for a safe reopening.

Latinos are the most impacted community. More Latino households have seen illness and sudden joblessness across the U.S. The federal government has left out undocumented people, who pay taxes, from assistance using tax dollars. California might be the first state to rectify that.

READ: Boston Red Sox Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez Suffering From Covid-Related Heart Inflammation

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Series Of Earthquakes Shake LA And People Still Act Surprised

Things That Matter

Series Of Earthquakes Shake LA And People Still Act Surprised

Mario Tama / Getty Images

If there is one thing that everyone knows about Southern California is that you should expect earthquakes. They are as unique and predictable to Southern California as hurricanes in Florida. Yet, three earthquakes this morning shook Southern California to some surprise.

2020 has been one crazy year and for Angelenos, July ended with a bang.

Three earthquakes, one being a 4.2 centered in Pacoima, shook Southern California. The first earthquake occurred at 4:30 a.m. local time. the epicenter is 23 miles north of downtown LA. The quake woke up people in the greater Los Angeles area with a jolt and sustained rocking.

Some people are trying to get all philosophical with it.

Sure, we aren’t necessary on the planet. One can even argue that we are the biggest threat to the earth’s integrity. However, the earth shaking beneath your feet is one of the most unnerving sensations. Let people panic in peace.

Some people were ready to physically fight the earthquake.

When dealing with an earthquake, it is important not to run. You want to stay in place and find a way to hunker down. Study tables are a good place to hide under during an earthquake, according to the National Safety Council. If that is not available, a good, sturdy doorframe is the second-best place to hunker down.

Others managed to sleep right through them.

There is a special class of people who are never awakened by earthquakes. The sleep is so deep that not even the earth moving wakes them up. Those are the kinds of people you want on your side. Nerves of steel.

This one abuelito thinkgs that your concern over this earthquake is cute.

The 1994 Northridge earthquake is something no one will ever forget. The 6.7 magnitude earthquake was devastating and those who lived through it will never forget it. While this earthquake hasn’t caused immediate damage, it is a reminder to always be ready for the big one.

READ: Mexico Was Rattled By A Massive Earthquake And This Is What It Was Like In The Country’s Capital

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