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LA BLADE PSA: Final Census Deadline Today

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced they are ending operations October 15, 2020

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SACRAMENTO – California’s campaign is calling on all Californians to take the Census today since the U.S. Census Bureau is stopping Census operations Thursday, October 15, 2020. Families still have one last chance to make a difference for their family and neighborhood by taking the Census online, by phone or mail.

U.S. Census Bureau Operations:

  1. Internet self-response will be available across the nation through October 15, 2020, visit my2020census.gov to respond today.
  2. Phone response will be available for its regularly scheduled time on October 15, 2020. Click here for schedule and a list of numbers.
  3. Paper responses must be postmarked by October 15, 2020.
  4. Nonresponse Follow-up census takers will continue resolving nonresponding addresses through the end of the day on October 15, 2020.

An estimated 10.5 million households have self-responded to the Census, with around 2.4 million of those being in the hardest-to-count areas. This is 1.2 million more households than 2010 and 1.9 million more than 2020.

Leaders said it was the decision to invest resources in reaching hard-to-count Californians that made the difference, noting that the state’s effort to reach people who are traditionally harder-to-count was a result of a comprehensive multilingual and multicultural campaign that has been underway since the beginning of the year.

“We implore Californians who have yet to take the Census to fill it out today before midnight. This is our moment to be counted and make a difference for our family and community. If California households aren’t counted in this Census, they will become invisible for the next 10 years,” said Ditas Katague, Director of the California Complete Count – Census 2020.

As of today, 69.4% of California households have responded to the 2020 Census online, by phone or mail. In 2010, California’s self-response rate (SRR) was 68.2%. With today being the last day to take the Census, it is critical for Californians who have yet to fill out the form to complete the confidential, nine-question survey now to help achieve a complete count.

Between late July and mid-October, the gap between California’s SRR and the national SRR almost doubled, from 1.3 percentage points to 2.6 percentage points. Traditionally, California has served as a leading indicator for the decennial Census. California drives the national rate given the state has approximately 10% of all U.S. households. The national SRR is 66.8% (98.8 million households). The final national SRR in 2010 was 66.5%.

California is the hardest-to-count state in the nation, with a large, diverse population, and a high number of people considered traditionally hard-to-count, including recent immigrants, people who lack high-speed Internet access, and people with limited English proficiency.

Since the Census began in mid-March 2020, California’s Census campaign has been focused on executing an integrated, hyper-targeted outreach and communication effort with the help of over 150 partners designed to reach California’s estimated 4 million households in the hardest-to-count areas.

The Census is confidential and secure. Information is not shared with any other government agency. Most importantly- the Census is a count of everyone living in the country today, regardless of their status. There is no citizenship question and every single Californian has a right to be counted.

For more information about the U.S. Census Bureau’s NRFU operation, including how to identify an official Census taker, please click here.

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California

Visalia’s city council proclaims October ‘LGBTQ history month’

“Thank you to the council for doing this […] When we started this work five years ago, we didn’t know how we would be received in the city”

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Downtown Visalia, CA (Photo by Devon Jones, City of Visalia Economic Development Manager)

VISALIA, Ca. – In a proclamation this past Monday, the city council paid tribute to The Source LGBTQ+ Center’s work in the Visalia LGBTQ+ community, including Tulare and Kings Counties over the past five years. The council also proclaimed October as LGBTQ+ history month presenting ‘The Source’ a plaque noting the nonprofit’s recent expansion.

“In 5 years, The Source has become the largest LGBT center between Los Angeles and Sacramento,” the plaque reads in part, The Visalia Times-Delta newspaper reported.

“We started with just an idea that we came up with on Main Street – back when it had antique stores,” said Nick Vargas, director of development and cofounder of The Source. “From that idea, other people have joined us and I have been able to do the best work of my life, helping the citizens of Visalia, particularly the LGBTQ youth, those living with HIV, and their families.”

On Saturday, the fifth annual Pride Visalia organized by ‘The Source’ was held at a different time of year and in a brand new location, Valley Strong Ballpark, supported by communications giant T-Mobile. The center’s annual Halloween Gala was also held Saturday night at the Bello Vita Venue. 

“Thank you to the council for doing this, it means a lot to us. When we started this work five years ago, we didn’t know how we would be received in the city,” Vargas said. “It means a lot to be here today, I would love it if you all showed up to PRIDE Visalia… but just knowing we have the support of the council and the city, is a lot.”

On its website, ‘The Source’ specifies that the center’s mission is to “provide spaces within our communities for the LGBT+ population to Learn, Grow, Belong, Transform, Question + Support.”

Visalia, the Tulare County seat, is the gateway to Sequoia National Park, and only forty-one miles south of Fresno located in the conservative San Joaquin Valley region of central California. In Congress, the area, California’s 22nd congressional district, is represented by Republican Devin Nunes, who has been unresponsive to LGBTQ+ concerns, having been labeled anti-LGBTQ+ by the Human Rights Campaign and Equality California.

The Times-Delta also reported that The Source is also hosting its first-ever AIDS Walk to raise awareness as well as funds. The walk is scheduled at 11 a.m. on Oct. 30 on NW 2nd Avenue. 

Pride Visalia 2021 sponsored by T-Mobile:

 

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Council bans homeless camps in 54 locations

Sitting, sleeping & storing property near fire hydrants, building entrances, driveways, libraries, parks, elementary schools banned

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LA Homeless Service Authority workers Giovanna Miranda, (L) & Tania Trigueros (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – Setting up or creating encampments by homeless persons in 54 select locations across the city is now banned after the LA City Council voted 12-2 Wednesday to outlaw sitting, sleeping and lying in those places.

Utilizing new laws passed over the summer after contentious and at times acrimonious debate, the council enacted new rules regulating sitting, sleeping and storing property near fire hydrants, building entrances, driveways, libraries, parks, elementary schools and several other locations.

The council also directed city staff to ensure that the homeless were given proper notifications prior to action and that all departments expand staff and make available resources to help those affected by the new ban.

On Wednesday, U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced that the VA is going to place more than 500 unhoused veterans living in Los Angeles into permanent housing.

According to McDonough, the efforts will be in two steps, the first to assist approximately 40 veterans living on the street in what is colloquially referred to as the ‘Veteran’s Row’ encampment, located adjacent to the VA campus in Brentwood on San Vincente Boulevard.

That encampment has been highlighted by mayoral candidates visiting it frequently including last week by U.S. Representative Karen Bass, (D) who was accompanied by the VA Secretary.

The next step is move another 500 veterans into permanent or transitional housing by December 31, the VA Secretary said.

In the last census count of homeless people conducted by the County of Los Angeles, of the nearly 66,000 people experiencing homelessness, roughly 3,900 are homeless veterans.

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Los Angeles

LA City Council votes to suspend Ridley-Thomas over corruption charges

The 11-to-3 vote to suspend vote came two days after Ridley-Thomas announced that he would “step back” from his duties

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Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas speaking at a press conference (Blade file screenshot photo)

LOS ANGELES – The city council voted Wednesday to suspend Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, 66, who was was indicted a week ago by a federal grand jury on 20 federal counts of conspiracy, bribery, mail and wire fraud.

The 11-to-3 vote to suspend vote came two days after Ridley-Thomas announced that he would “step back” from participation in City Council meetings and committees. Ridley-Thomas, who has denied any wrongdoing, has said he will not resign and will fight the federal charges against him, KTLA and the Los Angeles Times reported.

The federal grand jury’s indictment alleged that Ridley-Thomas took bribes from a former dean at the University of Southern California, (USC) when he was a member of the County Board of Supervisors.

In a letter sent to fellow councilmembers Monday, he indicated that he would step back from his duties but he declined to resign from his seat. He said that he planned to fight the “outrageous allegations” and would resume participation on the legislative body “at the earliest appropriate time.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that in exchange for the payoffs, Ridley-Thomas allegedly supported awarding county contracts worth millions of dollars to USC. 

In the indictment Ridley-Thomas is charged with conspiring with Marilyn Louise Flynn, 83, then dean of USC’s School of Social Work, to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian into graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship, the Times reported.

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