Posting current news related to our issues. Issues give you the background, the key talking points, and the actions that can improve our lives. Posts in NEWS are dynamic, providing new info on our issues and proposing actions we can take. Sometimes the NEWS will be a photo or video that you can use. You can expect that some of these posts will show up in upcoming newsletters.
Our structure for NEWS
The nature of the NEWS is ever-changing. If you can’t find an article that you read or picture that you saw, search on the CATEGORY (HEALTH CARE, WATER, IMMIGRATION etc) to find it. You can type health care in the search box on the right, and anything containing health care will come up, narrowing the posts that you will see.
Our CATEGORIES range from health care, clean water, jobs, and gun safety to ethics, immigration and more. We post the important messages from many news sources. We will encourage actions, from getting out the vote to speaking with legislators to organizing peaceful protests. We will provide sources for news articles where appropriate.
Feel free to share what you learn here with your friends on social media, in emails, during conversations. To learn more about the issues we are facing, be sure to visit our ISSUES page, where we also provide key talking points for you to use.
We will not let innocent people suffer because of the color of their skin or the country where they were born
We are mobilizing to educate and protect the members of the Haitian communities in SWFL. With the partnership of the the NAACP, ACLU and Legal Aid Service of Collier County, we have developed a program in which volunteers can use a one-page tool to coach residents in the TPS papers they must have. Additionally, we will offer the Haitian Churches of Collier a dropbox (cloud storage) of their own for copies of the required documents, in case ICE arrests a legal community member.
We launched a small program with the Haitian pastors of many of the churches in Collier and a few in Lee County. Starting with Pastor Paul of the Naples Haitian Church of the Nazarene, and his wonderful son John K Paul (CFO), who has become my working partner on this effort, we have pulled together great resources for the community.
Why It Matters
Our website says it all. WTFAction means we see it and we need to change it. Babies separated from mothers, immigrants in “dog pound” or “freezer,” all innocent people seeking a better life for their kids.
Today some are criticizing Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez for calling the cages of kids and separated parents “concentration camps.” But that’s exactly what they are: holding cells meant for 15-30 inmates that are concentrating large groups (as many as 200) with no facilities, no soap, toothbrush, not even a mattress, and being held in these diaper-less conditions for many more days than the law allows. That’s exactly what happened in Germany: hundreds of residents and detainees put into concentrated railroad cars where they had to stand for hundreds of miles (and where some died standing up), then into small barracks meant for 10-15, but stuffed with 75-100 or more.
I remember the first time I saw a grownup with numbers on his arm, the dad of one of my friends. The explanation was he “got it in the war.” My dad was a decorated war hero, so I’d heard many funny stories about the war… I started reading books, grabbing any Leon Uris book from the library and asking a lot of questions. My friends and I shared what we learned, and none of it was pretty. We never forgot.
On Our Partner List
The Haitian Community Alliance, a new organization that is the co-host of our event, has been instrumental in our development of the project. The president and treasurer of the Alliance and will be at the event to welcome folks and describe the Alliance.
Legal Aid Service of Collier County, providing legal and paralegal appointments to the community. Representatives will be at the community event on June 29, and sporadically through the coming days as we visit churches.
NAACP of Collier County is a partner who, through the national organization, initiated one of the court filings to prevent the removal of asylum residents. Our local chapter will be providing forms and handouts to the attendees. Several members of the Youth Council have been great help to our planning team and we expect they will share the stories of their families’ experiences leaving Haiti to find safety in America.
We are continuing the updates of economic impact of the issues. In each of these, you will see how the economy changes, who bears the heaviest burden, and how all the issues intersect to drive or inhibit economic growth and prosperity for all.
This post is about the environment in SWFL. It shows the impact of pollution, sea rise and climate change in our part of the world.
In this year, 2018, the hottest year on record for the last 10 years, the ten years before than, and the ten years before that, we have seen the enormous growth of red tide into a year-long display, a highly unusual growth and size of blue-green algae, and, currently, some new “colors” coming into view.
We know, after many long years of studying the blooms, that these are caused by warming waterways, unusual amounts of rain, longer hot seasons, runoff of fertilizers/pesticides/phosphates, and human and animal waste.
How does that support good education outcomes? It doesn’t. This is a real-life example of social insecurity/ housing insecurity that has real-life impact on the success of the student and her lifelong ability to earn a living.
It’s part of the total support system of improving health and lives. Called the Social Determinants of Health, #SDOH shows the impact of low level or missing determinants in health care. Some of the points are home security, mental health support, secure job and wages. We wrote about it here.
Children need the security of the education and a safe home in order to succeed. Switching domiciles, sleeping in shelters, or being removed from families are not moments of security. The stigma and interruptions that are inherent in homelessness– even something as not being able to join an after-school program or sport– become messages of unworthiness to a growing child.
Workers with Low Education Have Not Recovered from Recession
Excerpt from Brookings: The Great Recession inflicted economic pain on many American families, but its burden was not equally distributed. Ultimately, the brunt of the Great Recession was borne by those without the protection of postsecondary education. College raises average lifetime earnings, and it also helps insulate workers from economic downturns, providing economic security in the times they need it most. Finally, racial disparities have been less severe in recovery than in the worst years of the Great Recession, though differences in employment rates persist. For the American labor market to be truly healthy, it needs to work for all people—not just some.
When we consider school policies, educational requirements, and post high-school education, we must test our ideas across a continuum of barriers that can lead to poorer outcomes. Clearly, in the largest and most prosperous economy in the world, there is no place for homelessness, and even minus space for kids without home security.
You’ve probably heard the starfish story. There’s a boy on the beach who finds thousands of starfish washed ashore, dying. He picks one up and throws it back into the ocean. A passer-by asks him what’s the point of that. All these thousands of other starfish are still going to die. “Well,” the boy responds, “I saved that one.”
Many of our social programs are based on that theory of social change. We try to save people one at a time. We pick a promising kid in a neighborhood and give her a scholarship. Social programs and philanthropic efforts cream skim in a thousand ways. Or they mentor one at a time, assuming that the individual is the most important unit of social change.
Obviously it’s possible to do good that way. But you’re not really changing the structures and systems that shape lives.
Maybe the pool story is a better metaphor than the starfish story. As a friend of mine puts it, you can’t clean only the part of the pool you’re swimming in.
It could be that the neighborhood, not the individual, is the essential unit of social change. If you’re trying to improve lives, maybe you have to think about changing many elements of a single neighborhood, in a systematic way, at a steady pace.
One of the signature facts of the internet age is that distance is not dead. Place matters as much as ever, and much more than we ever knew.
Read More https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/opinion/neighborhood-social-infrastructure-community.html
Some research supporting the concept
Low-income children who moved at birth from the low upward-mobility area of Seattle’s Central District to the high upward-mobility area of Shoreline earned, at age 35, $9,000 a year more than those who had made this move in their 20s.
Shoreline is 10 miles from the Central District.
In a classic study, the sociologist Eric Klinenberg showed just how important neighborhood is in determining who survives in a crisis. Klinenberg compared deaths in two Chicago neighborhoods during a heat wave in 1995. More than six times as many people died in North Lawndale as in South Lawndale, even though the two places are demographically comparable.
The fact is that human behavior happens in contagious, networked ways. Suicide, obesity and decreasing social mobility spread as contagions…
David Brooks, NYT 10.19.18
Thinking in neighborhood terms requires a radical realignment in how you see power structures. Does the neighborhood control its own networks of care, or are there service providers coming down from above? Do the local norms of interaction need to be changed? For example, do people feel it’s normal to knock on a neighbor’s door and visit, or would that be considered a dangerous invasion of privacy? Are there forums where the neighborhood can tell its collective story?
Florida officials have made yet another attempt to win approval for their federal education accountability plan, submitting revisions on both June 6 — a day after receiving a negative status update — and again Aug. 24 after the June proposal was not approved.
The key point of contention, according to a cover letter from Gov. Rick Scott, has not been the concerns over learning requirements for English language learners, as some civil rights advocates repeatedly have hammered to improve.
The tax cut is not benefiting the middle class, but that’s only part of the story that began 20+years ago. Stagnating wages, new price increases for food and essentials, and low wages under the GOP administration are working to derail what little security middle class families have.
See the chart below. The misspell of Class in the headline came from Brookings — we all have an off day *smile*
Read more https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2018/10/16/the-middle-class-needs-a-tax-cut-trump-didnt-give-it-to-them/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=66739209
Brookings is a favorite resource of mine. Considered a centrist research group, it provides many topics of discourse and they are as much competing as they are synced. What that means: Brookings is essential to considering the solutions to problems rather than focusing on partisan winning.
We often speak only about the direct costs of care: health visits, cost of drugs, hospital stays.
But it’s important to remember that the consequences are far more expansive than immediate costs. The total costs stretch to all sectors of the economy.
Economics affect all parts of our lives
Whether we are discussing clean water and climate change or education, immigration, and so many more issues, there is a cost to most of not all sectors our communities. Often, there is a national cost that can be measured, too.
It’s for this reason that we present our first chart for you:
Climate change is happening, but it’s not man-made.
Climate change is man-made, but doing anything about it would destroy jobs and kill economic growth.
These are the stages of climate denial. Or maybe it’s wrong to call them stages, since the deniers never really give up an argument, no matter how thoroughly it has been refuted by evidence. They’re better described as cockroach ideas — false claims you may think you’ve gotten rid of, but keep coming back.
About those cockroaches: Details aside, the very multiplicity of climate-denial arguments — the deniers’ story keeps changing, but the bottom line that we should do nothing remains the same — is a sign that the opponents of climate action are arguing in bad faith. They aren’t seriously trying to engage with the reality of climate change or the economics of reduced emissions; their goal is to keep polluters free to pollute as long as possible, and they’ll grab onto anything serving that goal.
Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 and is also a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade and economic geography. @PaulKrugman
Paul Krugman Macroeconomics, trade, health care, social policy and politics.
Many of us in the health care and economic fields have known for decades that even the best health care, by itself, does not deliver the best outcomes. About a decade ago, the University of Wisconsin in partnership with JAMA and the Kaiser Family Foundation published the earliest charts of what social factors influence health outcomes. You may be familiar with smoking and poor diets. But the Social Determinants of Health #SDOH encompass much more.
Social determinants very often are predictors of better (or worse) health outcomes. Some of these include exercise, support community, neighborhood, clean food, clean water… and still more. You can see the list in the chart below.
You can see that these assets (or, risk factors, if they don’t exist) can disable a great diagnosis and treatment plan. Many of the great success stories in cancer, diabetes, depression and most assuredly, addiction, are successes because they included so many of these factors in order to achieve the success.
When we withhold funding, put barriers to affordability or access, or deny people the basic education, food, or clean water in our great economy, we are hindering their life expectancy and social mobility as well.
Martin Luther King said it best:
Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health careis the most shocking and inhumane.
Kaiser Family Foundation is a trusted source for health care data, surveys and year over year monitoring. Just as Pew Organization surveys culture impact, KFF monitors many dimensions of health care impact. In this survey, it is painfully obvious that voters are worried about health care costs and affordability. Sixty-seven percent (67%) are concerned.
Drew Altman, of KFF, explains more about this problem in a post for Axios:
It helps explain why so many people name health their top issue, despite the progress that has been made in covering the uninsured. And everyone who’s sick and can’t afford medical care has family members and friends who see what they are going through, creating a political multiplier effect.
It is also why health care is substantially an economic issue as well as an issue of access to care. When people have trouble paying medical bills, it’s a hard hit to their family budgets — causing many people to take a second job, roll up more debt, borrow money, and forego other important family needs.