All Californians stand to benefit by doing everything possible to ensure that young men of color have the chance to grow up healthy, to get a good education, and to make positive contributions to their communities.
We will reap the rewards of this investment. Boys and young men of color can make our neighborhoods safer and stronger and they can work hard, innovate, and keep California competitive in the global economy. It’s time for California to renew its commitment to making sure that all young people have a fair shot to grow up healthy and successful.
The Alliance is working to ensure that California’s boys and young men of color:
- Are physically and mentally healthy;
- Live in safe neighborhoods;
- Succeed in school and work; and
- Possess the knowledge, skills, and leadership capacity to contribute to their families, communities, and the state’s social and economic well-being.
Working at the local and state level, the Alliance is actively pursuing reforms that will:
- Increase access to health services that recognize the strengths and assets of boys and young men of color while also responding to the trauma and chronic adversity that many face;
- Achieve 100 percent high-school graduation rates among boys and young men of color by strengthening the performance of public schools and reducing expulsion rates;
- Ensure boys and young men of color live in safe neighborhoods and can attend safe schools;
- Reduce the numbers of youth who enter the juvenile justice system and ensure that those who leave the system have the skills needed to succeed; and
- Increase access to the types of education and training that lead to meaningful employment.
For a complete list of Alliance activities, go to PolicyLink.org.
Questions? Please contact Ruben Lizardo, Deputy Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
With strong participation and leadership of youth, community and system players Alliance partners have launched campaigns in Oakland, Fresno, and Los Angeles. Each of these efforts is anchored by a local convener.
As the regional convener of the Alliance’s work in Oakland, Urban Strategies Council facilitates collaborative efforts between Alameda County and Oakland systems leaders and leading community based organizations. Find out about Urban Strategy Council’s work here. To learn more, contact Junious Williams, CEO, Urban Strategies Council.
PolicyLink, the Building Healthy Communities Program, and the California Endowment jointly facilitate the work of the Fresno County BMoC Task Force that includes community-based organizations, as well as youth and adult residents, law enforcement, education, health system leaders, and faith-based advocates. Find out about the Fresno BMoC Campaign here. To learn more, contact Nathaniel Brown, Program Assistant, PolicyLink.
The Los Angeles Sons & Brothers Coalition is a partnership between The California Endowment, Liberty Hill Foundation, Los Angeles community-based organizations, parents and students to improve the health and expand opportunities for boys and young men of color. The LA Sons & Brothers Coalition has strategic focus on the following issues:
- Improving Third Grade Reading by Reducing Chronic Absences
- Positive School Discipline and Restorative Justice
Alliance members worked hard last year to build support for state policy proposals to fix school discipline. This included mobilizing letters of support for the slate of bills school discipline advocates and educators moved through the legislature. The Alliance’s Change.org petition to Governor Brown generated over 10, 000 signatures.
Meanwhile, through partnership with the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color Alliance members provided a platform for more than 2,000 youth, community and system leaders to voice their concerns in the six hearings and six policy working groups that were held across the state. Alliance members’ advice about promising solutions and policy and system reforms on which the state could act were included among the sixty seven recommendations in the Select Committee’s Action Plan.
In November 2012, the Alliance hosted a policy convening with local and state partners to develop plans for a new state policy campaign to build on last year’s success. Aligned with our core policy and system objectives, this spring the Alliance is launching a Campaign to Make Health and Opportunity Happen for Boys and Young Men of Color. The campaign seeks to ensure our most vulnerable boys and young men of color:
- Attend schools that have the tools and supports needed to keep them in the classroom, ensure they achieve at a highlevel, and graduate ready for college and career;
- Live in neighborhoods that are safe and provide them with the supports needed to for healthy youth development and economic self-sufficiency;
- Have access to quality health services that build on their cultural strengths and address exposure to chronic adversity and trauma.
- Get the opportunity to work, through the removal of barriers to employment and through increased access to career education and training.
After a year-long series of hearings, in August 2012 the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color released a final report and an ambitious Action Plan with sixty seven recommendations related to health, education, employment, violence prevention and youth development. Read the Select Committee Action Plan here Under the leadership of newly appointed Chair, Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D – 62), the Select Committee will continue to champion the cause of ensuring California’s boys and young men of color are healthy and successful. Select Committee Chair Bradford will use the Committee’s Action Plan as the basis for engaging Committee Members and others in the Legislature.
Contact Select Committee Chair Bradford here.
The Select Committee’s new members as of February 2013 include:
- Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D - 62), Chair
- Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R - 35)
- Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D - 18)
- Assemblymember Cheryl Brown (D - 47)
- Assemblymember Beth Gaines (R - 6)
- Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D - 24)
- Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D - 59)
- Democratic Whip V. Manuel Pérez (D - 80)
- Assemblymember Anthony Rendon(D - 63)
- Assemblymember Phil Ting (D - 19)
- Assemblymember Scott Wilk (R - 38)
Hearing on the Status of Advancing the Committee Priorities and Policies in 2013-2014
August 8, 2013, Sacramento, CA
Included in the Public Hearing Documents (Download PDF) are sections on Education, Youth Development and Youth Policy, Health, Employment and Wealth, and Juvenile Justice and Safety. The documents cite recommendations for each of these issue areas, and notes the specific progress indicators. The documents also cite accomplishments in the 2012-2013 session, including bills pending, suggested follow-up/implementation oversight activities with dates for Regional Input Sessions, as well as a list of organizations engaged in advocacy in support of Select Committee Priorities.DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT.
Emblematic of this year’s success, House Resolution 23, co-authored by 55 Assemblymembers, is a testament to the Assembly’s commitment to the work of the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. The resolution recognizes that Trayvon Martin’s senseless killing was an all-too-frequent and tragic example of the unjust criminalization of our boys and men of color. HR 23 also explicitly commits to investment in our boys and men of color as essential for California’s future prosperity.
In addition to HR 23, the following policies that will improve health and opportunity for our boys and young men of color are now California law:
- Local Control Funding Formula increases support for students with the greatest needs, de-emphasize test scores in evaluating school success, and gives more control over resources to school leaders and parents.
- Medi-Cal expansion (AB/SB 1x1; SB 1x3) covers more low-income Californians and create bridge coverage for individuals and families transitioning between Covered California care and Medi-Cal.
- AB 4 (the Trust Act) makes it harder for federal agents to detain and deport unauthorized Californians who are non-criminals or minor offenders and pose no threat. This will increase public safety by removing one barrier to open communication between immigrant communities and law enforcement.
- AB 60 (the Safe and Responsible Driver Act) gives access to driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, leading to safer roads and greater economic opportunity.
- AB 218 (Fairness in Government Hiring / “Ban the Box”) allows job applicants to present relevant qualifications before disclosing an unrelated criminal conviction, giving workers a fairer chance and reducing the likelihood of recidivism.
- AB 549 (Campus Safety) encourages school districts to integrate alternatives to law enforcement, such as conflict resolution led by trained counselors, into school safety decision-making processes currently held solely by police officers.
- AB 570 (Continuation Schools) establishes and improves policies and procedures for continuation schools and ensures that they will not be used as an alternate to expulsion.
- AB 651 (Expungement) allows some nonviolent felons sentenced to county jail instead of state prison to have their crime expunged from their records by a judge.
- AB 720 (Reducing Obstacles to Reentry) helps the formerly incarcerated access physical, mental health and substance abuse services.
- SB 260 (Sentencing Review) enables youth who were transferred to adult court to appeal sentences of 10 years or more.
- SB 458 (Cal Gang Database) requires law enforcement to notify parents before they place youth on a statewide gang database.
- ACR 30 (Student Bill of Rights) recognizes the importance of engaging youth to influence decisions that affect their quality of life and well-being, and establishes a student youth bill of rights to serve as a framework to guide and inform the youth in organizing and advocating on policy issues.
A number of 2013 Alliance priority bills became two-year bills and will require a big push in 2014:
- AB 420 (Willful Defiance) would limit the arbitrary “willful defiance” disciplinary standard, including prohibiting expulsion for a willful defiance offense.
- AB 1178 (California Promise Neighborhood: Cradle to Career Initiative) would establish 40 California Promise Neighborhoods to support child development.
- SB 192 (Early Learning and Support Programs) would establish a comprehensive system for safe, high-quality early learning and educational support programs.
- Oakland Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
- The Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition (Los Angeles)
- Fresno Boys and Men of Color Campaign
- San Joaquin County Alliance for BMOC
- Sacramento Boys and Men of Color
- California Pan Ethnic Health Network
- CA Program on Access to Care
- California School Health Centers Association
- CA Health Workforce Alliance & CA Health Professions Consortium
- CA Primary Care Association
- Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice
- Children’s Defense Fund
- Communities United for Restorative Justice
- Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization
- Fathers and Families of San Joaquin
- Fenton Communications
- Labor Strategies Center
- Latino Coalition for a Healthy California The Liberty Hill Foundation
- The Greenlining Institute
- The Movement Strategies Center
- National Employment Law Project
- National Council of La Raza
- National Latino Fatherhood and Families Institute
- PICO Network California
- Southeast Asian Resource Action Center
- The Unity Council
- Urban Strategies Council
- The Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy