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This report examines the state of technology for electric trucks and buses, their life cycle emissions, and job opportunities presented by an expanding market for electric heavy-duty vehicles. While clean air and climate policies across the country have sparked sales of passenger electric vehicles, deployment of similar technologies for heavy-duty trucks and buses has been slower. California is shifting this balance, with policies and investments to bring electric trucks and buses to market. With recent innovation, these vehicles can meet the requirements of many demanding applications. And with the right job-training and equitable hiring policies and programs, California’s emerging electric truck and bus sector can provide opportunities to increase employment in underserved communities. Pollutants from heavy-duty vehicles pose health risks at all stages of life, from premature births to premature deaths. Studies have associated air pollution with adverse effects on nearly every organ system in the body. While air pollution affects us all, low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to be located near ports, rail yards, ware- houses, and busy roads, where they suffer disproportionally from the consequences of dirty air. These localized inequities are particularly important because mitigation strategies to reduce regional air pollution may not address disproportion- ate exposure to pollutants at the local level.
This policy brief presents recommendations from health pipeline professionals about how to build a diverse health care workforce and support young people of color pursuing these opportunities. Health career pipeline programs should be designed to increase opportunities for people from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and disadvantaged back- grounds to pursue careers in health care. Health career pipeline programs offer young people and students the chance to engage in experiential learning by providing paid work-based internships and other learning opportunities in the health sector. Beyond these fundamental skills, pipeline programs need to provide targeted support to students of racial and ethnic minority backgrounds8 if they are to play a significant role in diversifying California’s health workforce. The health sector can serve as a vehicle for economic security in communities of color while simultaneously creating a diverse industry that reflects California’s diverse communities. More than one third of the projected growth in health care jobs will occur in the allied health professions, which already represent 60 percent of all health care providers. These professions include occupational therapists, dental hygienists, and x-ray technicians, and require relatively little formal training beyond a high school diploma. On average, these jobs pay about $35,000 per year and can provide opportunities for career advancement and educational reimbursement.
Building electrification means eliminating use of fossil fuels for functions like heating and cooking and replacing gas appliances with alternatives that use electricity. In California, 25 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the buildings we live and work in. As our electric grid gets steadily cleaner, building electrification can play a big role in fighting climate change. Electrifying our homes also has major health benefits. Burning gas releases nitrogen oxides and particulates, which can have serious health consequences. While building electrification has promising benefits for residents and for the state, it must be pursued equitably— ensuring that environmental and social justice communities can benefit, rather than being left with polluting and increasingly expensive gas appliances. It will require intentional policymaking and a planned transition for environmental and social justice communities to gain access to the major benefits of electrification, including cleaner air, healthier homes, good jobs and empowered workers, and greater access to affordable clean energy and energy efficiency to reduce monthly energy bills.
In exchange for large tax breaks, not-for-profit hospitals are required to provide programs, services, or other resources to address community health needs through “community benefit” activities. These include grants to community-based organizations, charity care (free or reduced- cost services for low-income individuals) and the un- or under-reimbursed costs of care for patients on Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California) and other government programs. When a hospital receives not-for-profit status, it enters a pact with the public that it will provide community benefits in exchange for its tax exemption, but this exchange is not equal. Studies of community benefit programs show that the financial benefit hospitals get by not paying taxes greatly exceeds the amount of funds they invest in community benefit activities. In California, not-for-profit hospitals received $3.27 billion in total government subsidies and benefits, while only providing $1.43 billion in community benefit in 2010 alone. Questions have also been raised regarding how not-for-profit hospitals account for their community benefit investments and how these activities relate to the most pressing community health needs.
The health and well-being of undocumented boys and men of color are vital to the future of California. State and local lawmakers must make the lived experiences of undocumented boys and men of color a focal point of health care, immigration, criminal justice, and education policiy. Undocumented boys and men of color face many barriers to good health and security. The Greenlining Institute interviewed several undocumented youth, who highlighted the high cost of health care, the “machismo” mentality, disparate access to care within mixed-status families, and limited access to health services for LGBTQ individuals. Injustice, discrimination, and fears of deportation constantly impact the lives of undocumented boys and men of color. The undocumented youth interviewed for this report experienced cultural incompetency and discrimination from health professionals and employers. Additionally, undocumented boys and men of color live in fear every day that they or their loved ones will be criminalized and/or deported.
For undocumented immigrants, the explicit denial of coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has kept many without access to preventive services and basic health care. Although ACA enrollment in California has far outpaced any other state, over one million undocumented immigrants still lack access to quality, affordable health coverage. The inability to access health coverage has severely marginalized the undocumented community. For example, undocumented immigrants play a pivotal role in providing food for all Californians, since over half of farm workers are undocumented; however, they themselves are banned from partaking in the health care system despite serving as the backbone of our supermarkets and grocery stores. Moreover, undocumented immigrants have been found to contribute more in taxes than the federal government spends to provide services for them. Yet, despite their undeniably positive impact, barriers to coverage have limited the chances for undocumented immigrants to maintain their health. For members of the undocumented community who manage to stay healthy, including those we interviewed for this project, many attribute their well-being to luck and good fortune.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we approach job quality, and created a new context for how employers and workers dramatically conceptualize and pursue quality employment. COVID-19 mean that strengthening job quality is more important than ever—both in the short-term to support worker relief and safety, and in the long term to build a more inclusive economy. This special document has been developed to help practitioners respond in the short-term and have begun gathering tools and resources developed by a range of organizations in response to the crisis. Content is organized in four areas: worker health and safety, financial and other supports for workers, policy and workers’ rights, and monitoring and supporting businesses.
We've done a great job developing technology and labor saving machines, which unfortunately has produced a population that is disconnected from nature and sedentary. Our fondness of sitting is reflected in growing rates of obesity, diabetes, and chronic pain. One of the best things we can do to help people become more physically active is to give them public, open spaces where they can move their bodies. This document provides ideas for cities to reconsider existing public spaces and existing park furniture as exercise equipment. This is a low-cost, high-reward strategy to bring residents together in a public space and demonstrate a cultural commitment to holistic well-being. Cities can begin to think of parks as a way to provide access to the natural world, and a place where people can connect with their own physical bodies and each other.
Remarks by Jacky Grimshaw at the state capital bill signing by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn laying out five critical areas where public investment would help achieve a sustainable future: clean energy, clean water, toxic waste clean up, open space, and transportation.
The United States’ current healthcare system is driven by profit and governed by insurance and pharmaceutical companies, rather than by the people. This platform calls for improved Medicare for all, which will shift power from corporations and the one percent (insurance & drug corporations), move health care resources into the public sphere (and people into public coverage), increase community control, and combat exclusion on the basis of race, gender, citizenship status, age, and ability. Specifically, this platform provides policy recommendations that will protect existing federal health programs and funding, build a mandate for universal care, and end the overdose crisis and the “war on drugs”.