All Articles Tagged "california"

California Moms Enrolled In Welfare Will No Longer Be Penalized By Family Cap Law

June 25th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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For over twenty years, California mother’s who were enrolled in the state’s cash welfare program have been penalized for giving birth to a new baby thanks to their Maximum Family Grant Rule. Until now.

The rule, which restricted mothers from receiving monetary government assistance for the children they had after their initial welfare application, attempted to limit the family size of poor women, mostly women of color. But with Gov. Jerry Brown (D) offering support of its demolition and the budget being passed off the floor of the state legislature late on Tuesday evening, the rule finally being done away with.

ThinkProgress also reported, “Once the policy is gone, 93,000 families will benefit from an extra $138 a month for each child that had previously been exempt, on average,” according to an estimate from the state Department of Social Services.”

“No child should be treated differently under the law simply because they were conceived and born while their parents were poor,” Jessica Bartholow, legislative advocate at Western Center for Law and Poverty told ThinkProgress in an email. “Now they won’t.”

Thankfully, California is the most recent of seven states that have repealed the law, joining Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming.


Lawmaker Proposes Parents Get Paid Leave To Participate In Child’s School Activities

March 23rd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Parents Get Paid Leave To Participate In Child's School Activities

Source: Shutterstock

If you’ve ever been a child, at an event, waiting for your parents to show up, you know how important it is for them to be there. It is with this fact in mind that California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat from Los Angeles, proposed that employees get three, paid days off each year to attend their children’s school activities.

KTLA reports that in a news release from last week, Gatto said, “Being involved in your child’s education shouldn’t be limited by your family’s income, and it shouldn’t come down to a choice between meeting with a teacher or volunteering in the classroom, versus paying the bills.”

Currently, parents, grandparents and guardians can take up to five, unpaid days for school-related activities and emergencies without losing their job. Gatto’s legislation wants to compensate employees for those days.

When he announced the bill, Gatto cited a study that showed that children with involved parents perform better and have fewer disciplinary issues at school. Yet, less than a quarter of parents with an income below $30,000 were very involved with their children’s education. Most of these parents said that there was a lack of time due to work schedules.

Gatto said that instead of continuing to complain about the state of public schools, we should begin to work to fix them. He’s hoping that the legislation will give parents a chance to be more active in their child’s lives without worrying about not being able to feed them.

“You shouldn’t have to be a cast member of the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ to be involved in your child’s education,” Gatto said.

What do you think about the legislation? Do you think other states should adopt the policy?

From Tragedy to Triumph: Watch LA Hairstylist Overcome Losing Sister in Tragic Car Accident (Teaser)

November 6th, 2015 - By jade
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We created a contest encouraging women to share their journey on the road to becoming a boss. They also received a makeover by a celebrity glam squad. In the premiere episode, Los Angeles based hairstylist, Angel Toney shares how losing her sister in a horrific car crash, immediately following the launch of their hair company, helped her to rise in the face of adversity.

The new Be The Boss two-part series premieres Monday, November 9th at 9am on MadameNoire.

In Which Majority-Minority State Are Blacks Doing The Best? California, New Mexico, Texas or Hawaii?

June 22nd, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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By 2044, experts say the United States will become a “majority-minority” nation — the share of Whites will dip down to 49.7 percent. Currently, four states model this theory: California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas. And it’s Hawaii, according to Forbes, where Black Americans are doing the best financially.

According to the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rate, which analyzed American wellness from 2011 to 2013, the national poverty rate sits at 15.9 percent: Whites have an average SPM rate of 10.7 percent while Blacks have an average SPM rate of 24.7 percent.

Focusing on the majority-minority states, the SPM rate for California, Hawaii, and New Mexico is above the national average at 23.4 percent, 18.4 percent, and 16 percent, respectively.

The steep costs of housing, especially in Hawaii and California, drove the poverty rate right up, Forbes said.

Texas is the only one that pulled a 15.9 percent poverty rating, right at the national average:

“Texas is the only majority-minority state where America’s four largest racial or ethnic groups all enjoy a Supplemental Poverty rate that’s below the national average [of their own racial cohort],” Forbes said.

As aforementioned, the national poverty rate for Blacks hovers at around a quarter of the population. In Texas, that number dips down to 19.9 percent. The Latino national SPM is 26 percent, but slumps to 22.7 percent in Texas. For Asians, their national SPM is 16.4 percent, but falls to 14.1 percent in the Lone Star state.

Still, zooming in on Blacks, Texas isn’t the best state for African-Americans financially, according to Forbes. It’s Hawaii.

The Aloha state has the lowest SPM rate for Blacks, out of the four majority-minority states, at 17.9 percent. This is 6.8 percentage points lower than the Black national average.

Forbes said that it is important to examine the poverty rate of the four majority-minority states because, with the U.S. on track for Whites to lose its majority status by 2044, it’s useful to analyze California, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Texas for “applicable lessons in governance.”

“The Texas model of governance—low taxes, less regulation, and lawsuit reform—results in more prosperity and less poverty for all,”Forbes concludes.

How Former Slave Biddy Mason Died A Wealthy Real Estate Investor And Philanthropist

February 24th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Black History is so important to me personally because any time I get ready to complain about something…virtually anything, I can think back on the people, Black men and women in this country who had far less resources and material means than I do today, but somehow managed to accomplish great feats.

Today, we’re highlighting and honoring Bridget “Biddy” Mason.

Biddy was born into slavery in Hancock County, Georgia on August 15, 1818. (Some sources cite Mississippi.) She had both African American and Native American ancestry but she was separated from her parents and sold several times, so no one ever recorded her last name. She worked on plantations in Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. She spent most of childhood on John Smithson’s plantation in South Carolina where she worked as a midwife to the other house servants.

In 1836, when Mason was 18, Smithson gifted Biddy to his cousins Robert and Rebecca Smith as a wedding present.

With the Smiths, she continued working as a midwife, birthing six of the Smith children. She also worked outdoors in the cotton fields and with livestock.

Biddy had three daughters. Historians believe all three children were Robert’s.

Around the time Biddy’s second daughter was born, Robert became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A few years later, they left Mississippi for what is now Salt Lake City, Utah. The group was made up of 56 Whites and 34 Black slaves, including Mason and her three daughters, the youngest of which was still an infant.  The slaves, on the 2,000 mile, 7 month journey, were required to walk behind the wagons and livestock. After walking all day, the slaves were responsible for cooking, cleaning and tending to the animals. Biddy, specifically, was responsible for setting up camp and packing it up in the morning. During the trip several children were born to both Blacks and Whites. Biddy helped to deliver them.

When a group of Mormon pioneers decided to leave for San Bernardino, California, Robert Smith decided to go with them. His decision would eventually lead to Biddy’s liberation.

In 1849, California forbid slavery and entered the Union in 1850 as a free state. Slave owners who had arrived before 1850 were allowed to keep their slaves as indentured servants. Smith, Biddy, her daughters and the rest of the slaves in the party arrived in 1851.

Smith likely did not know California was a free state.

Once they’d reached San Bernardino, several free Blacks told Biddy that she could live as a free woman here. One person in particular, Charles Owens, took a particular interest in Biddy and her daughters’ freedom because he had been dating Biddy’s eldest daughter Ellen.

Once Smith learned that California was not only a free state, but the anti-slavery sentiment was growing, he decided to travel to Texas, in order to settle there and sell his slaves for a profit. The trip was delayed because another woman owned by Smith was about to give birth to another one of his children.

While they waited for her give birth, Charles Owens’ parents persuaded the county sheriff to prevent Smith from taking his slaves out of the state.  The sheriff kept the slaves in the county jail for protection. Meanwhile Owens filed a petition stating that Smith was holding his slaves illegally in a free state. Smith tried to assert that they weren’t slaves but members of his family.

Los Angeles County District Judge Benjamin Hayes granted the petition and set all of Smith’s slaves free on January 21,1856.

The Owens family invited Mason and her family to live with them in Los Angeles. Charles and Biddy’s first daughter married soon after that. In L.A. she continued her work as a midwife and nurse for a doctor. She became known for her herbal remedies and delivered babies for families of all races and social classes. She earned $2.50 a day, which was considered a good wage for a Black woman at the time. She offered her services for free to those who were unable to pay. After working as a midwife for ten years, she’d saved $250.

With her savings she bought two plots of land on the outskirts of the city near Spring, Fort, Third and Fourth  Streets.

She was one of the first African American women to buy property in America.

Initially, she used the land for gardening and built small, wooden houses to rent for additional income. She did this for the next 18 years. She moved to her own land in 1884, sold the initial piece for $1,500 and built a commercial building on another part. She rented out storerooms on the first floor and lived with her family on the second.

The neighborhood developed quickly. And by the late 1800’s Biddy was the wealthiest African American woman in L.A.

But what is most admirable about Biddy is that she didn’t just sit on her money and influence. She used it to help uplift others. She founded a travel’s aid center and an elementary school for Black children. In 1872, she was instrumental in founding the city’s First African Methodist Episcopal church, the first Black church in L.A. She donated the land where the church was built.

When she died on January 15, 1891, she spoke fluent Spanish, had dined with the mayor and had amassed a fortune of $300,000.

She was buried in an unmarked grave but in 1988, during a ceremony attended by the mayor of Los Angeles and members of the church she founded, the tombstone was located and marked.

Her great granddaughter, Gladys Owens Smith quoted Mason as saying, “If you hold your hand closed, nothing good can come in. The open hand is blessed, for it gives in abundance, even as it receives.”

Thank you Ms. Biddy Mason!

Goapele Gives Us a Tour of Oakland for Black History Month

February 24th, 2015 - By jade
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A Black Mecca is a city where a good amount of African Americans live and thrive in the community on a daily basis. When you hear of a Black mecca you always think of places such as Atlanta and DC but in this segment, Goapele gives us a tour of her hometown Oakland, California. We are encouraging locals to support and celebrate small town businesses in the area during black history month!

Click here to see our editors tour St. Louis.


For more information on the places that were featured in the segment see below:

Oakland School for the Arts

530 18th St.

Oakland, CA 94612

Miss Ollie’s 

901 Washington St.

Oakland, CA 94607

Owl N Wood

45 Grand Ave.

Oakland, CA 94612

Zoo Labs

1035 7th St.

Oakland, CA 94607


Proposed California Bill Plans To Punish Companies Who Overpay Their CEOs

April 26th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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The general public usually gets outraged when they hear about exorbitant executive salaries, particularly for companies that aren’t doing very well. California is now trying to take action against the ever-expanding salary gap between CEOs and employees with a process to ban  “out of whack” CEO salaries.

A new bill that will do just that is in the state Legislature with support from Democratic leaders, organized labor and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, reports The Huffington Post.

According to Reich,  the bill would reward “responsible” companies by giving them lower tax rates and ultimately help the middle class by boosting the U.S. economy.

Under bill SB1372 companies that pay CEOs more than 100 times the median wage of their workers would have to pay a higher corporate tax rate. But on the other hand, firms with a smaller wage gap would benefit from a lower rate.

Currently  the tax rate is 8.84 percent of net income for all corporations. For cooperating companies it would be dropped down to 7 percent and for offending firms it would be increased to 13 percent .

Of course there is opposition to the bill. According to the California Chamber of Commerce, the proposed bill would cause cost jobs.  “Chamber lobbyist Jennifer Barrera told the committee the bill would discourage corporate investment in California,” reports HuffPo.

And Gina Rodriquez, the California Taxpayers Association’s vice president for state tax policy, claimed it would make California appear hostile to business.

The naysayers might be jumping the gun. Even the authors of the bill aren’t sure of its passage since it will need a two-thirds super-majority, which seems unlikely since Republicans are expected to vote against it.

Still the Dems say such a bill, the first of its kind in the nation, is important and necessary. AFL-CIO data shows that chief executives received an average compensation of 43 times the median U.S. worker’s pay in 1983. And the gap is a whole lot bigger today — 278 times a typical wage.  There is even more proof of the gap.  The CEOs of companies listed in Standard & Poor’s 500 index received an average of 354 times more in salary than the median employee in 2012.

“The issue of widening inequality of income and wealth and opportunity and political power is one that the United States is now becoming aware of because things are getting so out of kilter,” Reich said to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

Faith Evans Says She’s Not Looking For Love & That Marriage Does Not Solidify A Couple’s Bond

January 26th, 2014 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Singer Faith Evans hit up the Bethenny show last week and chatted it up about her relationship with Diddy, the last time she saw Whitney Houston alive and of course, relationships.

Faith’s 14 year marriage to Todd Russaw ended two years ago in divorce and we’ve neither seen nor heard her talk about dating since that time. The few scenes she had on R&B Divas had her mostly dealing with the issues of the other cast members or her talking about her children.

Bethenny asked Faith if she was dating right now or if she was in a relationship and while she dodged answering that question, Faith did reveal that most of her friends call her “Granny” because she doesn’t like to go out and of course, that makes it harder to meet people for potential dating purposes.

Faith also added that she is extremely private about who she lets in her personal space, especially when it comes to relationships because she has children. When it comes to marriage, Faith is pretty much on the fence about it:

“I don’t know. There was a time when that was part of my big picture, growing old with someone. I wouldn’t say no but I’m certainly not looking for it. If it comes and God says ‘hey,’ I think I’ll feel that. But I don’t thin marriage means it’s a meaningful relationship.”

Check out a piece of Faith’s interview with Bethenny  about relationships below:

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No Money, Mo’ Problems: MC Hammer Sued By The IRS For Almost $800K!

December 8th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"MC Hammer pf"


So Mc Hammer looks to be having money troubles again and this time, the IRS is on his back over taxes from over 15 years ago.

According to TMZ, “Uncle Sam” has filed a lawsuit against Hammer (real name Stanley Burrell) for close to $800,000 in unpaid taxes.

If you can believe it, the lawsuit is based on his unpaid taxes from 1996 and 1997. If memory serves correctly, he’d already had huge financial problems years before the mid-90s, so to be that far in debt with the IRS shows that he still hadn’t really gotten it together.

According the documents leaked to TMZ, the IRS now wants every dollar Hammer makes in order to pay the $798, 033.48 bill.  We haven’t heard much from him over the last few years; for years, he’s been trying to make different web based projects work but none have seemingly been overly successful in recent times.

We’re not quite sure what he’ll do to pay the IRS back but make no mistake, they will get their money. Perhaps his team can talk to someone who produces celebrity reality shows and he can get on there to not only make a check, but also to become visible again. Hmmm, Dancing With the Stars, anyone?

So far, no comment from Hammer.

A Piece Of Lady O: Oprah’s Epic Yard Sale Rakes In More Than $600,000!

November 3rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Oprah Winfrey Interviews

Source: WENN

Well, were any of you able to buy anything from Oprah’s epic yard sale? If you tried and you didn’t get anything, don’t feel bad: the prices even shocked Oprah.

According to The Los Angeles Times, winning bids for Oprah’s former possessions sold for a total of more than $600,000. People were so excited to buy something that belonged top Oprah – the items came from her homes in Hawaii, California, and Indiana – that the prices for some of the simplest things were through the roof. TMZ noted that Oprah said during the auction, “You’re paying too much!”

While that may have been true, Oprah certainly didn’t ask them to start over with lower bids.  The Times reported the following winning bids on some items:

  • $60,000 for a set of six 18th century Louis XVI armchairs with hand-embroidered details
  • $4,100 and $6,000 for canvas banners promoting Oprah in The Color Purple
  • $3,000 for TV Guide cover
  • $1,400 for a dog portrait
  • $1,000 for a chair painted by a fan (estimated to be worth no more than $200)
  • $1,000 for a teapot (worth less than $100)
  • $4,000 and $4,750 for two sofas

If Oprah were doing this for herself, that would have been a nice bit of pocket change. But, the proceeds from Oprah’s epic yard sale will go to her all girls leadership academy in South Africa.

Congratulations to all the people who got a “piece of Oprah.” I mean, I guess (forgive me, no shade, I’m just surprised by some of these prices).