Table of Contents
THE US COURTS OF WOMEN ON POVERTY, WESTERN REGION
The US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region assembled at Oakland, California on May 10-13, at Laney College hosted by the Women’s Economic Agenda Project, with endorsement from 60 organizations and allies. The initial call to establish this court began in Detroit’s Social Forum, and was created with support and endorsement of the World Courts of Women founder, Corinne Kumar.
Four cities were selected to host US Courts of Women after a national World Courts of Women assembly held at the US Social Forum in Detroit in 2010. Oakland, California was chosen for the Western Region Court coordinated by the Women’s Economic Agenda Project. The Southern Court will be held in Louisville, KY and is being coordinated by Women in Transition. The Northern Court will be held in Detroit, MI and is being coordinated by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC), is organizing the Eastern Court, to be held in Philadelphia, PA. The US Courts of Women on Poverty create space for discussions of poverty and how it is engineered and perpetuated, and for testimonies on the ways it violates women and their families, and their human rights. The Courts are convening and engaging the People in testimonies, discussions, and developing resolutions of action to end poverty and re-engineer economic and government systems that disproportionately target and perpetuate violence against women, poor people and people of color.
The US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region proceedings included keynote speakers, artists for social justice, roundtable discussions, panels, and testimonies from those surviving poverty. The Courts concluded with a statement of response from the honorable jurors in response to the testimony that they heard, and the resolutions put forward on Poverty in the United States of America.
The US Courts of Women understands that any serious discussion of poverty, jobs, and education must be grounded in the 21st Century shift from a labor-based economy to a technology-based economy. The rapidly increasing corporate investment in labor-replacing computerized and high-tech production greatly reduces the number of good jobs available for the working class, and is a key cause of the rise in poverty in the United States. Also, the corporate global economy’s thirst for the cheapest human labor possible means that workers in the U.S. are pitted against workers all around the world. Many are forced by the search for work to become migrants in the global economy, and a significant number are women.
The global push for profit hurts workers all around the world. More and more of us in the working class depend on contingent work that does not include the job security (healthcare, benefits, etc.) that our old educational and economic system was structured upon. Many of us are pushed out of the economy completely, leading to unemployment rates of 40% or more among some populations in the U.S. and even more globally. Meanwhile the world’s super-rich claim an ever growing percentage of the world’s wealth. The 20th Century social contract of a decent wage for a decent day’s work has been shattered.Society desperately needs a new vision of a social contract that will meet the needs of the 99%. We need a shift in education that supports collective understanding of the challenges to individual self-sustainability in this hostile, corporate-controlled world. We need the social and cultural literacy necessary for survival for those of us who now must rely on each other for the security that the economy has taken away from us.Women are at least half of our collective society, and the violence and oppression they experience in today’s economy is a forerunner of the destruction spreading across our entire society. To focus on the experiences of women is not to exclude others, but to shine a light on the most glaring manifestations of poverty. The first step of healing is to bring out these stories, not separately from one another, but connected in our common cause. When we all work together to craft actions for change, women’s healing starts to reverberate throughout society as collective healing, allowing for rebuilding community, human healing, and repairing and healing the planet.
The core issue is that when globalization is pitting workers against robots and against each other, continuing to allow our economy to be organized for private profit will no longer meet the needs of society. A new economic vision is imperative.
The US Courts roundtable discussions will interweave this vision with the practice of women’s healing where we are able to share, be heard, and engage our experiences as survivors, resistors, and those who have been greatly impacted by the violence of poverty. On this basis we are resolved to be architects for a new, safe, more just, compassionate, and economically secure future.
RESPONSE OF THE JURORS OF THE US COURTS OF WOMEN
ON POVERTY, WESTERN REGION
CONVENED AT OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, MAY 10-13, 2012
When the system destroys our children, the pain is too deep. The pain is expressed as a whisper because the scream won’t release. Sometimes it is the cacophony of an aunt’s voice when she shouts, “my niece was two when she died of malnutrition.”
In this, the richest country in the world whose system of profit-making denies the people housing, destroys the hope of the young, elderly, disabled and abled:
WE THE JURORS of the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region validate and lift up our People. Their silent suffering, which is our suffering, their tears, which are our tears, their broken hearts, which is the One Heart, we place them in the palms of our hands and affirm the People’s wisdom and experience and lift them high into the Light.
The hurt heart, the damaged spirit must have a place to heal. The US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region has created the space for this unstoppable healing to begin.
The Women yelled, the People called out, “Do we not count for something?!” And, the answer is – yes – and yes – and yes!
Through creativity, courage, spirit and resistance, our will has been strengthened to make the world anew.
WE THE JURORS of the Court are affirming that which is planted deep within – that this system of transnational global capitalism with its maximum security state will no longer be allowed to walk all over us.
We are here to carry out our legacy. In the spirit of our ancestor’s unyielding struggle for justice, through the building of meaningful relationships, the speaking of truth, standing together, listening with love and through compassionate social transformation, we have elevated this movement to action.
WE THE JURORS of the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region stand in deep accord with these resolutions of actions:
Resolution on Poverty, Jobs and Immigration
Resolution on Foreclosures, Homelessness and Property Rights
Resolution on the Environment and the “Justice” System
Resolution on Health Care for the 99%
Resolution on Organizing for Quality Public Education
The resolutions written by the people are clear, validated and accepted.
WE THE JURORS of the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region, on this day which is Mother’s Day bear witness to the suffering of our mothers and the pain of our sons and daughters. We bear witness to the violence of battery, criminal injustice, homelessness, mental illness and physical violence, food insecurity and economic genocide indeed, the extreme violence perpetrated by poverty and the capitalist system.
WE THE JURORS bear witness to our People’s courage of resistance, the staunch ability to move beyond fear and desperation, and the ability to thrive through harsh experiences. We plant today the seeds of vision for a new world to grow – A world that moves beyond capitalism.
WE THE JURORS have heard the People’s cry for non-violent civil disobedience to the existing system; through our art, our voices, our stories, with our praise, our spirit, and our formidable will for social and economic transformation.
Our new political imaginary is transformational. It is not about tinkering, changes around the edges, but the remaking of our worlds, locally and globally through the resolutions for actions.
The resolutions created in this Court of Women will take root in the People and organizations of the Western Region and will be carried by all manner of communications to regions all over the United States, to other World Courts, and to United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) at Geneva, Switzerland.
WE THE JURORS of the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region, ultimately and unequivocally demand that the United States Government and corporations be held accountable for the gross local, national and international human rights violations that cause extreme emotional, spiritual and physical harm, even mental illness and death, to the poor people that live within its borders.
WE THE JURORS of the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region, hold the United States Government and corporations responsible and accountable for the multitude of gross human rights violations that have barred the way to basic human rights, such as affordable housing, health and mental health care, quality education, right to justice and dignity, and the right to exist and thrive in a free and true democracy.
LET IT BE WRITTEN, LET IT BE SAID, LET IT BE ACTED, SO BE IT.
May 13, 2012
Tony Alexander – Political Director, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 5
Aurea Lewis, PhD. – Archbishop of UROJAS Ministries, Oakland, California
Marian Kramer – Lifelong activist and revolutionary thinker, Detroit, Michigan
Rose Brewer – Professor – African American and Women’s Studies, University of Minnesota
Janny Castillo – Organizer, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), California
Genoveva Garcia Calloway – Council member, City of San Pablo, California
Cheri Honkala – Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tom Meyer – Criminal defense attorney, Oakland, California
Two Bears – Board member Sisters of Road, Portland, Oregon
Marguerite Waller – Professor – English at UC Riverside, Riverside, California
At the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region assembled at Oakland, California on May 10-13, at Laney College, the People created these resolutions through a process of proceedings and deliberations of the People’s testimonies on the violence, degradation and violation of human rights suffered from institutionalized and government sanctioned poverty in the United States of America. Members of panels and roundtables, as well as those who gave testimonies drafted the resolutions during the Court. The resolutions are presented to the People of the United States of America, and the World to further the transformation of systems and governments to end poverty. Transformations begin first within each one of us, and the People assembled at the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region, dedicated four days of their lives to candidly reveal their experiences and suffering wrought from systemic poverty. Through these resolutions, We the People affirm one another’s right to exist in health, safety, and prosperity, within communities of our choice. These resolutions represent the creative, regenerative and unstoppable spirit of a transformative movement grounded in humanity and love, that we carry forward from our ancestors, to our descendants who we stand for today.
WHEREAS, Half of the US population lives in poverty or is low-income, and more than half of those in poverty are women; and
WHEREAS, poverty is the direct result of an economic system that is historically based in the exploitation of human labor, including slave and wage labor; and
WHEREAS, throughout modern history, poverty feeds and promotes inequality and racism; it has been used to keep all working people in competition against one another in the fight for survival; pitting women against men, citizens against “non-citizens”; and
WHEREAS, immigration law is used by corporations as an instrument of labor policy and has consistently operated against the interests of working people in all nations; and
WHEREAS, these systems of human labor are increasingly being replaced by electronic technology, thereby destroying the social contract and dismantling the social safety net including child care programs, Cal Works and Programs for Disabled and Seniors, and including a systematic attack on public sector workers at all levels of government; and
WHEREAS, unions and all organizations built on the blood, sweat and tears of working people are being defunded and destroyed as part of a global process of implementing austerity measures to facilitate the massive reorganization of government into private corporate hands, thereby putting our people further at risk; and
WHEREAS, our nation currently has sufficient resources to end poverty but is structured legally to protect the profit-making of corporations and Wall Street, proven by the fact that Wall Street and U.S. corporate profits last year grew at the fastest rate in 60 years, and more than 40 percent of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes for two years or more during the period of 1998 to 2005.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region dedicate ourselves to support and lead on-going efforts to end poverty; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, guarantee our nation measures wealth based on quality of life and measures of human happiness rather than quantity of money and the ownership of private property; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, guarantee our government is held accountable to distribute all social resources to provide everything needed for a complete, healthy and sustainable life for all; this is a human right regardless of job status, citizenship or the ability to pay; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support and lead campaigns and programs that tax corporations, that expose predatory lending schemes, and that terminate toxic debt swap agreements and promote job development including the work undertaken by SEIU 1021 against Goldman Sachs in Oakland, a regional initiative undertaken by United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 5 “Good Jobs and Healthy Communities”, promoting job development, job training proposal and resource development and the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), (otherwise known as a Robin Hood Tax) proposal undertaken by California Nurses Association (CNA)/ The National Nurses United (NNU); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, guarantee comprehensive human-rights-based immigration reform; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, fight for an economic system where jobs to care-give, teach and create good, green environment replace our current exploitative labor system; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, support any future effort that embodies the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights call for the elimination of poverty.
Roundtable Presentations by:
Alysabeth Alexander – Political Action Committee Chair SEIU 1021
Benita Baines – CalWorks Advocate, Laney College
Boona Cheema – Executive Director, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)
Rebeca Walker-Marquez – Human Rights Organizer, Low- Income Mom
Regina Range – Low-income woman, Board Member Women’s Economic Agenda Project (WEAP)
Diana Spat – Executive Director, Lifetime
AND PROPERTY RIGHTS
WHEREAS, 400,000 men, women and children are homeless in California every night; and
WHEREAS, since the 1970’s, while market rate rents skyrocketed, the government has slashed housing subsidies and ended public housing construction; and
WHEREAS, the Great Recession and the collapse of the housing bubble have left American homeowners with up to $1.2 trillion in negative equity that they cannot afford to pay for; and
WHEREAS, the government that once supported renters, homeowners, and public and HUD-subsidized housing, is withdrawing its support and abandoning its people now that American industry no longer has any use for them;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region, call for an end to foreclosures and homelessness, and for the restoration of property rights; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support the campaign by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the Home Defenders League for loan modifications including resetting mortgages to current market value (principal reduction); allowing post- foreclosure families to stay in their homes paying rent; allowing post-foreclosure occupants to have first chance to buy back their home at real current value; a moratorium on foreclosures until due process and fairness can be ensure d; implementation of California law allowing cities to fine banks $1000 a day for poorly maintained vacant foreclosed properties; and support for local community land trusts and benefits agreements; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, mobilize support for every campaign by public housing tenants, HUD Tenants and allies to defend public housing and the HUD housing budget against every plan to cut funding, raise rents, and increase evictions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support expanding public housing until all people experiencing homelessness are housed; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support nationalization of the Wall Street Banks and turning over the millions of bank-owned homes to their former owners and all those in need; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support reclaiming land from corporations for public use, including the Maidu People in Northeastern California as well as other such struggles across the world; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, support every foreclosure defense, every housing takeover, every foreclosure auction disruption, every tent city, every eviction blockade, and every bank occupation, that the people feel is necessary to defend the human right to housing.
Roundtable Presentations by:
Janice Carolina – Santa Clara County Legal Aid
Professor Jacqueline Leavitt – Urban Planning UCLA
Al Marshall – V. President SEIU 1021
Sandy Perry – CHAM
Marylin Reynolds – ACCE, SEIU 1021
Mary Quintin – CHAM
WHEREAS, there is a steady re-organization of our government to benefit corporations as evidenced by the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to pump billions of dollars into the elections as well as State level attacks on democracy, such as Michigan’s “Public Act 4” allowing appointed “emergency managers” the final say in municipal and other local elected bodies operations, including the ability to break contracts and fire elected officials; and
WHEREAS, these same corporations use our federal, state and local governments’ three branches to criminalize, terrorize and incarcerate us for profit, at the same time that corporations are afforded unearned tax credits and subsidies; and
WHEREAS, subsidies for agribusiness lead to deterioration and monopolization of the food system, deliberately creating an unfair, predatory and not free market that denies independent small and organic farmers the ability to compete and survive; thus, denying millions of people access to fresh and healthy foods in the communities where they live; and
WHEREAS, people who are homeless, poor, and/or have mental illnesses are criminalized by a government that will not guarantee its people live-able jobs and basic human needs, and whereas, people receiving food, housing, health, cash or other government social support are being criminalized by a social service system that creates and engineers criminalization of the poor and those seeking and obtaining the means to feed their families, which can never be construed as breaking the law; and
WHEREAS, there is growth in bi-partisan politics promoting a “new racism” in this country and supporting practices to label individuals and communities in poverty “criminals”, while making it legal to deny them educational opportunities, public benefits and even the right to vote, at the same time legalizing both employment and housing discrimination, making it impossible to move freely and safely in society, without fear of being targeted by policing authorities; and
WHEREAS, streets and jails are now the largest mental institutions in the US, and the US has the largest percentage of land dedicated to prisons in the world (and that does not include immigration detention centers). Over 3% of American adults were in jails or prisons, on probation or parole in 2009, creating the highest incarceration rate in the world with 7,225,800 adults under correctional supervision; and
WHEREAS, the “justice” system is actually an injustice system and has increasingly become nothing more than a police state that enforces poverty and generates criminalization, keeping communities divided from one another and making it easier for the 99% to be controlled; and
WHEREAS, whole families and communities are terrorized, controlled, and labeled “illegal” and pitted against one another by this system, keeping us in fear and confusion in order to keep us from uniting; and
WHEREAS, people of color are perpetually positioned as criminals to serve the prison industrial system, and activists and those who acknowledge the oppressive prison industrial system are criminalized and attacked; and
WHEREAS, we are controlled through the justice and prison system, and through those who own the means of production, we are controlled and profited from through poisoning of the “food” system, including a lack of pollution control in our communities; and
WHEREAS, degradation of the environment goes hand-in-hand with the degradation of sustainable and healthy lives, to take care of the environment means to take care of and care for people, and whereas a disconnection from the land, our ecological environment, is also a reflection of our disconnection from one another;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region call for an environmental ethic and system of justice that serves the people; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, oppose government laws denying people the means to survive, to care and feed their children and families, understanding that such laws are immoral and must be challenged as must all actions by the corporations to reorganize government to meet corporate needs over the needs of the society as a whole; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, expose the system of exploitation and dominance we live under and rise up together, rely on each other, and learn from each other; build relationships and community with one another, share with one another with the aim of connecting and uniting all of our struggles, work to understand our differences, and build alliances with each other. This work will rely on such analysis as that done by Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support the amazing organizing efforts of prisoners (for example, Pelican Bay, etc.). Build connections to people who are incarcerated (those in prison, detention and detainment centers, and “mental health” institutions), by writing letters and visiting those who have been locked up; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support the Silicon Valley De-Bug project that collects and documents complaints from those who have been criminalized by expanding it from the city of San Jose to a national program. We do this to support each other, to expose this system, and to end and replace it with community-based accountability of government and corporations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, work to have non-profits, community based groups and collectives generate their own non-exploitative incomes to sustain their work; create good, green, and healthy jobs. In turn, build from this a healthy and reciprocal labor of production and sharing while creating a people-based economy and society; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, learn, live and love. Build community based systems of accountability and reciprocity. Focus on the fair governance and a redistribution of resources into the local economy. Learn and speak real history (about domination, oppression and supremacy and how our ancestors have altered economic, justice and social systems in past struggles); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, take back our justice system, government and country, to build a just economy and restore health and safety in our communities; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, make and grow our own food, locally and together, and share it with everyone, specifically by channeling the work of Planting Justice and other groups that promote and undertake projects that combine ecological training and urban food production with grassroots door-to-door organizing in order to increase educational community outreach, make connections with volunteers, decentralize fundraising sources, and provide local jobs that also train young community organizers and farmers.
Roundtable Presentations by:
Davey D – Hip-hop journalist and activist. He runs the popular website “Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner” at DaveyD.com. He is co-host of Hard Knock Radio on KPFA in Berkeley.
Dr. Jean Kennedy – Professor in the Behavioral Sciences programs. She’s is an Organizational Psychologist, and earned her doctorate degree in psychology from California School of Professional Psychology in 2006. She shares her skills not only in teaching, but by supporting community organizing projects where many of her students earn extra credit for getting involved with their community as an outcome learning.
Tracie Rice Bailey – Low-Income woman, Homeless Advocate, and WEAP Board Member
Haleh Zandi– co-founder and Educational Director of an Oakland-based non-profit organization called Planting Justice. She believes the modern colonial food system is a paradigm of war, and she is dedicated to ways in which diverse communities may build alliances and practice strategies that collectively resist the violence of the industrial food system.___________________________________________________________
RESOLUTION ON HEALTHCARE FOR THE 99%
WHEREAS, prices for healthcare are drastically increasing, and workers pay 47% more than they did in 2005 for the family health coverage they obtain through their jobs, and the United States spends twice as much for healthcare (2.4 trillion in 2008) than any other industrialized nation; and
WHEREAS, the quality of our healthcare in the US is lacking, and an estimated 23 million people will remain uninsured by 2019, and even with all the money spent on healthcare, the US still lags behind other developed countries in indicators of health (US ranks 37th in overall health outcomes by the World Health Organization); and
WHEREAS, this huge discrepancy between skyrocketing prices for healthcare and poor quality of care (lack of access to information & resources; proper care, medical attention, & specialized care; and ethical treatment of fellow human beings) can be attributed to the broken, bureaucratic system of our nation’s healthcare, as attributed to the thousands of insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations controlling the healthcare system as a system for profit, rather than a system for care; and
WHEREAS, public health programs including Medicaid and Medicare as well as those that are the last line of defense for the poorest and most disabled are being targeted for privatization, while unionized workers are facing total destruction of quality job-based health insurance affecting both younger workers in two-tier agreements and elderly workers facing underfunded retiree programs; and
WHEREAS, the private insurance companies including managed care systems absorb a high percentage of individual, employers and government health care costs and do not improve quality of care; and
WHEREAS, the pharmaceutical and other healthcare industry is currently based on profit rather than what is needed for the patient;
WHEREAS, one of the largest reasons for bankruptcy in this country is due to health related debt; and
WHEREAS, advances in electronic technology are currently being used to replace jobs, including healthcare jobs, and are being put in the service of profit making rather than achieving the highest level of health care research and delivery of healthcare; and
WHEREAS, poverty, lack of access to quality housing, food, water and other poor living conditions as well as violence and discrimination adversely affect health outcomes more than any single medical treatment, including access to drugs;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region will build a core of leaders who place the healthcare needs of the 99% at the forefront of the fight to reform healthcare in this country.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we demand FREE, comprehensive, equal healthcare for all, regardless of and individual’s pre-existing conditions, job status, marriage status, age, gender or place of origin, guaranteed by our federal government. The only precondition to be eligible should be being human; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we demand that healthcare be extracted from the market and reinvested into the hands of the public. We seek the elimination of private insurance plans and expansion of our already existing Medicare program to serve the 100%. We are not starting from scratch, but expanding the National Health Insurance; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we demand an immediate stop to the privatization of our existing limited health and social programs including Medicare and Medicaid, leaving them in the public domain and that Medicaid be brought up to the level of Medicare immediately as a transition to a fully funded, comprehensive healthcare for all. We further demand that health care related debt be expressly forbidden by law; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we support the single-payer program, as described in the work by Healthcare-NOW! for an expanded & improved Medicare for All, because it will simplify the health care system in the US by replacing multiple private insurers with a single, government guaranteed “payer” within the healthcare system. This will decrease all existing expensive, time-consuming, and laborious bureaucracy of our current healthcare system– an expected savings of $400 billion a year; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we demand affordable and accessible health care that includes a wide spectrum of care: medical, dental, eye care, chiropractic, mental, prescription, physical therapy, in home care, and long term care. We seek the inclusion of proven healing practices from traditions outside of Western medicine, such as holistic healing, herbal medicine, acupressure/acupuncture, etc.; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we advocate for empowering patients with information, resources, and education about their health so that they can have an informed choice. We demand that everyone have the highest level of access to resources and to various types of healthcare in order to best take care of their health, lives, bodies, and homes. Healthcare providers will use harm reduction approaches and meet people who need care where they are at, and care for them regardless of their socio-economic or health conditions because they are human and deserving of healthcare; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, healthcare is a human right to life: we declare that all profit, capital and gain should be eliminated from healthcare, thereby placing humanity, compassion and care at the core of expected health provision. Ethical decision-making including the appropriate use of technology must be built into all decision-making in healthcare standards; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, we advocate the improvement of our communities through increased access to housing and affordable healthy foods and grocery; cleaner neighborhoods free from pollution (smog, water, sound, etc); public spaces to exercise and play for healthy mind and body; and demand that resources allowing the community to connect and learn from each other, reduce stress, and improve health (ie. social organizations to help with legal assistance, housing/financing, childcare, spirituality, healthcare, etc.) be considered central to health planning throughout the country.
Roundtable Presentations by:
Lucinda Bazile – Executive Director with Brookside Community Health Center, Oakland
Kay McVay – President Emeritus California Nurses Association & National Nurses Union
Joyce Mills – Teacher, registered nurse, and revolutionary in Oakland
Ashley Proctor – Student, Human Rights Organizer, and low –income woman
Vanessa Nguyen – Student, homeless advocate, and volunteer
WHEREAS, educational curriculum remains compartmentalized to develop selective thinking and labor habits that support separation and competition instead of collective and cooperative economics; and
WHEREAS, artificial intelligence and technology is taking a more aggressive and significant role in education and school environments, over natural intelligence and common sense ethics, human and biodiversity values; and
WHEREAS, tax payer revenues and public money is not being used effectively or significantly enough in support of public education; and
WHEREAS, low income students already face insurmountable obstacles in everyday existence; and
WHEREAS, public high school students have come together to create an actual ballot initiative called the College for California Ballot Initiative, which would eliminate tuition & fees for all California residents who are full time students at any UC or CSU school; and
WHEREAS, tuition for public post-secondary education continues to increase unnecessarily and arbitrarily, with no end at sight; and
WHEREAS, it is a myth that California is “broke” when it is actually the wealthiest state in the United States and the 8th largest economy in the world; and
WHEREAS, California’s public schools now have one of the lowest per capita investments in its students to the detriment of the state in general and lower socio-economically placed people specifically; and
WHEREAS, California’s public schools now have one of the lowest per student spending budgets in the country and have high school graduation rates of approximately 74% on average, 59% among African American students, 68% among Latinos, and 56.3% among English learners; and
WHEREAS, California has one of the most paltry student spending budgets in the country and approximately 50% of students drop out of high school; and
WHEREAS, California now spends vastly more on prisons and prisoners than on higher education and students; and
WHEREAS, budget cuts have been responded to by University Administrators with the highest tuition hikes in the country at California’s public universities, while at the same time cutting admissions and class offerings;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the US Courts of Women on Poverty, Western Region support and lead on-going efforts to design a just and effective educational system that perpetuates values that drive social and economic justice and health equity; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the State of California shall have free, quality, diverse education for its citizens from pre-kindergarten through Ph.D; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the faculty and staff of the educational institutions be empowered to negotiate their contracts for just compensation, safe and comfortable working conditions, academic freedom, and freedom of speech; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that students be free to form a union to serve their interests in education with the state’s and local jurisdiction’s support and encouragement.
Roundtable Presentations by:
Janell Hampton – Laney College English Professor & Peralta Federation of Teachers Diversity Chair
Prof Kimberley King – Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and an associated faculty in Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, where she teaches courses in Community Psychology, Psychology of Gender, Prejudice and Discrimination, Research Methods, Multicultural Psychology, and Psychology & African Americans.
Mildred Lewis – CARE Coordinator of EOPS office at Laney College
Life Academy & Unity High School – Student Representatives and designers and advocates of the College for California Ballot Initiative.