2023 Civics Edition
May 23, 2023
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A View From the Ground

News and information about politics, government, civic participation and engagement from URL Media's network of Black and Brown publishers.
A group of women wearing orange jumpsuits stand in a field outside of a prison facility.

Inmates stand together in a yard at Central California Women's Facility on April 5, 2012, in Chowchilla, California. (Credit: Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

🥼Calif. earmarks $4.5M compensation program for victims of forced sterilization: Between 1909 and 1979, California had the largest forced sterilization program, targeting mostly Black, Latinx, and Indigenous women. Despite the unethical nature of the practice, it continued well into the 21st century, with Moonlight Pulido among its many victims. Prism reports that in 2005, Pulido, while getting her annual pap smear at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California, learned that a doctor had performed a full hysterectomy without her consent. As one of at least 600 people sterilized against their will in the state, Pulido is now eligible for compensation under a $4.5 million state initiative.

Three public officials stand in front of a podium to address a crowd in Brooklyn New York.

🎒 New York scrambles to find space to house migrants: According to local officials, 600 to 700 migrants are arriving every day in New York City. Now the City's administration has turned to public school gyms to provide temporary shelter for migrants, reports Documented. There are many potential spaces that the City is contemplating using, with other media reporting that the administration is also considering a jail on Rikers Island, the Queen's Library and various State University of New York (SUNY) facilities. "Cities all across this country need your assistance right now, and you’re ignoring them. Wake up, President Biden. Do something. Anything," says Jumaane D. Williams, NYC Public Advocate.

A bird's eye view of a quiet truck depot.

🚚 Politics go awry in case of Harlem affordable housing: Epicenter-NYC reports that a significant decision made by Harlem Councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan prevented the development of over 900 units of new housing, including affordable housing. Developer Bruce Teitelbaum initially proposed a project called One45, pledging that 30% would go toward below-market rentals. However, Jordan and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine rejected the proposal, asking for 50% affordability. When Teitelbaum agreed to their request, Jordan unexpectedly demanded 100% income-restricted units, leading to the project's cancellation. The lot was subsequently used as a truck depot.

🎤 Prominent millennial journalist joins City Council Live as the show’s youngest host: Starting this Thursday, Ernest Owens, a prominent figure in Philadelphia’s journalism ecosystem, takes on the role of host for WURD Radio’s City Council Live, providing context, analysis and interviews with influential figures in Philadelphia’s City Hall. As the show’s youngest host, Owens says he’ll use the platform to engage younger listeners. “Too often, we ignore that the policies we implement today will impact them now and in the future. You can’t discuss issues involving gun violence, poverty and education, without having young people have a seat at the table.”

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