Opinion

Needed: Protecting small businesses from predatory lending

A loan document package ready to be signed. (Photo: nik93737 via Shutterstock)

OPINION: “Small businesses are the backbone of the economy.” We hear this all the time from elected officials, but the data show it’s much more than a political platitude. California’s four million small businesses employ 50% of the state’s private sector workforce, and accounted for two-thirds of job creation over the last seven years. They lifted us out of the Great Recession. But small business owners still grapple with acute challenges, particularly access to affordable credit.

Opinion

It’s time to trust the parents

Using a laptop as a virtual school tool. (Photo: fizkes, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: A young child struggles in school, is diagnosed with dyslexia, attends a variety of different schools to find the right fit and goes on to a successful career in business and politics.  This is the true life portrayal of Gov. Gavin Newsom – a model example of how different school options can have such a profound impact on the lives of our children.

Opinion

California must defend its environmental protection laws

Morning mist and the lake near Mt. Lassen. (Photo: Matthew Connolly, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The governor of California delivered a blow to the environmental community recently by vetoing a bill that would have ensured that laws protecting water, as well as air, climate, worker safety and endangered species could not be weakened by future federal government rollbacks.

Opinion

Parks are a public health solution waiting on our doorstep

A section of the Rubicon Trail at D.L. Bliss State Park in South Lake Tahoe. (Photo: AJ9, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It’s time to shift the conversation around parks in California. New data is illuminating the need to look at state parks in communities a bit differently. Rather than measuring their value by their undeniable beauty, new research illustrates a clear opportunity to measure parks by their impact on our public health and communities.

Opinion

AB 5: Small solution, big problems

Demonstrators outside the Uber offices in San Francisco. (Photo: Lucius Rueedi, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Assembly Bill 5 has been signed; now the battle begins. The bill compels some businesses, and labor platforms like Uber, Lyft, Doordash, TaskRabbit or GrubHub to classify their on-demand workers as employees with labor law protections. 

Opinion

A chance to make high school testing more equitable

High school students taking a test. (Photo: LStockStudio, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Twenty-four states will use the SAT and/or ACT this school year for state assessments and accountability.  California students deserve the same opportunity to take these assessments for free at their schools and reap the benefit of increased access to higher education. 

Opinion

Lost in translation: Information for Medi-Cal’s beneficiaries

A photo illustration of language diversity. (Image: Lonely Walker, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: For most patients, interpreting medical information can feel like interpreting a new language – the jargon and industry language requires reading comprehension comparable to the SATs. But imagine if that challenge also included interpreting mistranslated language. What’s a health consumer to do?

Opinion

Credit bill will hurt loan availability

A bank customer receives cash from his savings account. (Photo: Syda Productions, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The California Legislature has just passed AB 539, which will significantly reduce the ability of millions of Californians to access credit when needed. Legislators will tout the bill passing as a success, when in reality, it benefits a small group of lenders at the expense of everyday Californians with less-than-perfect credit.

Opinion

Getting traumatized — again — after violent crime

Crime victim survivors at gathering in Sacramento called Survivors Speak 2019. (Photo: Survivors Speak 2019)

OPINION: My son Tre’ was killed in a shooting in South Sacramento when he was just 21 years old. At the time, I was in a body cast and bedridden, recovering from back surgery.No one buys life insurance on a healthy 21-year-old child. But there I was having to do the unimaginable, bury my youngest child, while trying to recover from surgery, support my children and prepare for my return to the work I love.

Opinion

In California, a new war on poverty

Children in a stroller in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It’s been a long time since the United States waged a “war on poverty.” But here in California, a new war is underway. Under the leadership of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature, our recently enacted state budget confronts our poverty crisis with unprecedented investments in healthcare, preschool, CalWORKS, earned-income tax credits, and expanded juvenile justice and foster care funding and reforms.

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