This is a big win for anti-rape activists, many of whom have been touting the necessity of an “affirmative consent” standard for years. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has the next month to sign the bill into law. If he does, schools across the state would be required to define consent before engaging in sexual activity as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” or risk losing state financial aid funding.
ABUSED FILIPINO CAREGIVER SETTLES WITH EMPLOYER FOR $100,000
By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Nov. 9, 2012
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nelly Gonzales, 58, still gets emotional when she talks about her ordeal as a caregiver in the U.S.
For 15 years, Gonzales was abused by her Filipino employer, paying her as low as $150 a month, to care for six developmentally-delayed adults 24/7.
She said, “All I wanted was respect. No matter your stature in life, you deserve some respect.”
It took her 15 long, agonizing years but Gonzales finally found the courage to fight back, after she saw Filipino caregiver Victoria Aquino on Balitang America talk about filing a case against her abusive employer.
She pointed out, “If she could do it, I thought, I could do it too. I could fight for my rights.”
Through the help of the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants or PAWIS, Gonzales filed a claim for back wages against her employer in 2010.
If you are an abused caregiver and want to know how you can fight for your rights, call PAWIS at (408) 657-8947.
Domestic workers in Southern California can also reach the Filipino Migrant Center at (310) 421-8362 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for the FMC website.
An interesting article that examines national demographic and political trends by focusing on California. Some highlights:
1. Making it easier for people to register to vote seems to shrink the Republican pool of voters:
…[T]his year the Democratic legislature and Governor Brown enacted online voter registration…1.4 million Californians, disproportionately young and Latino, registered to vote, more than half of them online. By the time registration was completed…the Republicans’ share of the state’s voters, which had been declining steadily for years, fell beneath 30 percent for the first time since the state started measuring.
2. People in power (who are mostly whites) rig things so they stay in power. Taking redistricting out of the hands of the legislature helps ensure that the conservative white vote isn’t being given disproportionate weight:
The new districts in which congressional representatives and legislators competed this week weren’t designed to ensure their survival. And with the Latino and Asian share of the electorate continuing to rise, they all but guaranteed that the Democrats would enlarge their delegations at Republicans’ expense.
3. Xenophobia/racism during the mid-1990s (e.g. Prop. 187) won the Republicans some elections, but it laid the building blocks for future defeat by not only causing Latin@s to abandon the GOP, but politically mobilizing them:
One week before the 1994 election, the spontaneous anti-187 demonstrations of Latino youngsters came together in a massive planned march in downtown Los Angeles, which a number of not-quite-so-young Latino labor leaders coordinated. Two of those leaders, Miguel Contreras, then the political director…of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor…and Eliseo Medina, then a local official of the Service Employees International Union…saw the potential to build an alliance between the newly Latino-ized Southern California labor movement and the politically aroused Latino immigrant community….By 1998, they had flipped the long-Republican congressional and legislative districts…into the Democratic column. The efforts of both the AFL-CIO and SEIU have continued…turning a once-purple state steadily bluer.
4. The steady movement of the Asian vote toward the Democratic Party suggests that the GOP’s failure to capture the Latin@ vote runs much deeper than their shitty stance on undocumented immigrants:
Obama won 73 percent of the Asian vote nationally…It…demonstrates that the Republicans’ problem runs deeper than mere opposition to immigration, since the number of undocumented Asian immigrants is small. It suggests that for Asians, no less than for Latinos and blacks, the Republicans are viewed as a white man’s party. It also suggests that Republican opposition to education spending, increasing Pell grants and the like, may not be the best way to win a growing voting bloc that places such a high premium on education.
I agree with this. I don’t think Latin@s are automatically going to flock to the GOP if the party suddenly reverses its stance on undocumented immigration. They can’t win back voters they so recently demonized and bullied. I also don’t think the conservative stance on welfare programs, taxes, and education are all that appealing to Latin@s or Asians. Being anti-government no matter what seems to be (mostly) a white thing.
(Los Angeles) – California voters’ failure to abolish the death penalty perpetuates a barbaric practice and places the state out of step with national trends. Had it passed on November 6, 2012, Proposition 34, the SAFE (Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for) California Act, would have closed down the nation’s largest death row.
“California was poised to become the sixth state in five years to abolish the death penalty; instead, today’s vote has left a costly and cruel system in place,” said Alba Morales, United States criminal justice researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is now time for others, including the governor and legislature, to put an end to capital punishment in the state.”
The 724 people on California’s death row are more than 20 percent of the death row inmates in the United States. Under the SAFE Act, their death sentences would have been vacated and they would have been resentenced to life without parole. The proposition failed by approximately 5 percentage points.
Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all cases. Government-sponsored execution is inherently cruel, and its application has been plagued with prejudice and error. In the US, 141 people have been released from death row after presenting evidence of their innocence, three of them in California. African Americans are more likely to be sentenced to death than whites, and defendants are much more likely to be sentenced to death when the victim is white.
Many of the arguments surrounding the SAFE Act revolved around the costs of the death penalty – California has executed 13 people since 1992 at a cost of approximately $4 billion. The act would have set aside $30 million of the money saved by doing away with the need for costly death penalty appeals and death row housing and devoted those funds to investigating serious unsolved crimes. Almost half of California’s homicides go unsolved, as do a majority of the rapes reported in the state.
The death penalty globally, how the United States stacks up »