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 Liberty Hill Foundation leads the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition, which is dedicated to building the leadership capacity of young men of color to shape policy and system practice that impacts their life chances. The Coalition’s Steering Committee includes an array of national and local organizations. Find out about the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Los Angeles Work here. To learn more, contact Tonna Onyendu, Campaign Manager, Brothers, Sons, Selves.
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)
- Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D - 54)
- Democratic Whip V. Manuel Pérez (D - 80)
- Assemblymember Anthony Rendon(D - 63)
- Assemblymember Phil Ting (D - 19)
- Assemblymember Scott Wilk (R - 38)
Education Bills That Will Keep More Boys and Young Men in School
AB 420 (Dickinson) Willful Defiance
Limits the practice of suspending and expelling students for “willful defiance,” a policy responsible for the overwhelming majority of suspensions and expulsions in California schools. The bill makes “willful defiance” applicable only to high school students on the third offense. Prohibits expulsion for a “willful defiance” offense.
- SB 744 (Lara) Involuntary Transfers: Community Day Schools and County Schools
No longer allows homeless and foster youth to be involuntarily placed in county community schools, normally reserved for expelled students and students on probation. It would also restrict SARB referrals to county community schools. It would, furthermore, require that any student found by a discipline hearing panel not guilty of an offense warranting expulsion shall have the right to return to the school of origin.
- AB 570 (Jones-Sawyer) Continuation Schools
Extends the minutes of continuation schools to 240.
- AB 1178 (Bocanegra) California Promise Neighborhood: Cradle-to-Career Initiative
AB 1178 establishes the 40 California Promise Neighborhoods to support child development. The Department of Education would select eligible applicants from areas that voluntarily apply, as prescribed. The bill specifies the services to be provided to the participating neighborhoods.
Education Bills That Make Schools Hubs for Providing Services That Are Critical to Health and Success
- SB 192 (Liu) Early Learning and Support Programs
Establishes a comprehensive early learning and educational support system that promotes access to safe, high-quality early learning and educational support programs. The bill requires the Superintendent to administer the early learning and educational support program through direct classroom or alternative payment services, and requires the Superintendent to develop requirements for the implementation of high-quality early learning and educational support programs.
- AB 174 (Bonta) Mental Health Trauma Care in Schools
Public School Health Centers will create a grant program to fund school-based mental health services for students impacted by violence and trauma. The grant program will complement existing funding streams, such as Medi-Cal, and will therefore help schools and school-based health centers reach the many students for whom critical mental health services are currently not available.
Health Bills That Remove Barriers to Critical Health Services
- AB 814 (Bradford) Cal Works Eligibility
Eliminates the requirement that the Cal Works grant of a family be reduced if the county determines that an eligible child under 16 years of age is not regularly attending school.
Health Bills That Increase Access to Health Services and Prevention Resources
- SB 580 (Leno) - Crime victim trauma centers
SB 580 uses existing funding to create three “trauma recovery centers” throughout the state based on a successful model in San Francisco. This helps victims get the support they need – all under one roof – and reduces re-victimization.
- ABX 1-1 (J. Perez) , SB X1-1 (Hernandez) Medi-Cal Expansion
Extends Medi-Cal eligibility to adults making up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level ($15,856 per year for an individual) and would require that income eligibility be determined based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). The bill prohibits the use of an asset or resources test for individuals whose financial eligibility for Medi-Cal is determined based on the application of MAGI.
- SBX 1-3 (Hernandez) Bridge Option
A spot bill declaring legislative intent to enact legislation that would create a bridge option to allow low-cost health coverage to be provided in the Health Benefit Exchange for individuals and families transitioning between Medi-Cal and the Exchange.
- AB 720 (Skinner) Increases Access to Health for Reentry Population
Requires counties to enroll eligible inmates into the Medi-Cal program 30 days before being released. Additionally, costs associated with Medi-Cal are covered using federal funds. AB 720 will address one of the main barriers to reentry by helping formerly incarcerated inmates access physical, mental health, and substance abuse services.
- AB 411 (Pan) Improving Quality Data in Medi-Cal Managed Care
This bill requires Medi-Cal Managed Care health plans to analyze quality data such as HEDIS measures by race, ethnicity, and primary language.
- SB 283 (Hancock) Successful Reentry and Access to Jobs Act
Removes the lifetime ban for people with drug felony convictions from CalWORKS and CalFresh.
Bills That Remove Barriers to Employment and Increase Opportunities for Work
- AB 218 (Dickinson) Fairness in Government Hiring
Prohibits a state or local agency from asking an applicant to disclose information regarding a criminal conviction, until after the applicant's qualifications for the position have been determined to meet the requirements for the position.
- AB 60 (Alejo) Safe and Responsible Driver Act
The Safe and Responsible Driver Act will allow taxpayers to apply for a drivers license using a federal individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) or other identifier deemed appropriate by the State Department of Motor Vehicles. This bill will improve traffic safety as it will ensure that drivers on the roads are properly trained, pass the driving test, pass a background check, know our state driving laws, and become insured.
- AB 870 (Jones-Sawyer) Fair Chance Employment Act
Prohibits the state from contracting with a person or entity that inquires into the criminal history of a potential employee on an initial employment application.
- AB 651 (Bradford) Expungement
AB 651 will expedite the expungement of records for the realignment population.
- AB 114 (Salas/ V.M. Perez) Prop 39- Workforce Training
The intent of this bill is to ensure the Proposition 39 investment in job training and workforce development will result in an increase in the number of disadvantaged youth, women, and veterans that are prepared to work on the funded projects and in the emerging green sector.
- SB 594 (Steinberg) Career Pathways Funding
Gives tax credits to a business entity that provides career technical education. This bill requires each school district and community district to create a Career Pathways Investment Trust Fund, the funds in which would be used for the purposes of financing program and administrative costs.
Bills that ensure boys and young men of color live in safe and just communities
- AB 4 (Ammiano) - Federal Immigration Policy
This bill prohibits law enforcement officials from detaining an individual on the basis of a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold after that individual becomes eligible for release from criminal custody, unless certain criteria is met.
- AB 310 (Alejo) - Gang, Crime & Violence Prevention Partnership
AB 310 adds the communities of Monterey and Salinas to those listed for inclusion in the Gang, Crime and Violence Reduction Partnership program and appropriates $3 million from the state General Fund for that purpose.
- SB 61 (Yee) Limit Solitary Confinement
Will severely limit the use of solitary confinement for youth in county and state custody. Solitary confinement has led to increases in suicide, PTSD, mental illness, violence, and recidivism among youth .
- AB 549 (Jones-Sawyer) Campus Safety
AB 549 requires schools and districts in their campus safety plan to better define the roles of adults, on-campus counselors, police, and administrators. AB 549 will also require schools and school districts to prioritize funding for school counselors and administrators before police officers.
- AB 915 (Jones-Sawyer) Local Resources for High-Needs Youth
AB 915 creates a Youthful Offender Block Grant Part B Fund to strengthen county resources for better serving high-needs youth locally.
- SB 458 (Wright) Cal Gang Database
Requires law enforcement to notify parents before they place youth on a statewide gang database.
- 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
- South East Asian Resource Action Center
- The Unity Council
- Urban Strategies Council
- The Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy