URL Media Weekly
Friday, September 30, 2022
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 What We're Talking About

With the concept of universal basic income becoming part of the larger political discourse, a number of cities in California are piloting guaranteed basic income programs.

California Cities Pilot Guaranteed Basic Income Programs

From the Bay Area to deep in the Southland, a number of California cities are piloting guaranteed basic income programs in an effort to provide low-income residents a little bit more breathing room.

“The course of this pandemic has revealed the large number of County residents who are living on the brink of the financial crisis, with insufficient savings to weather a job loss, a medical emergency, or a major car repair,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said in a release.

In L.A. County, the pilot program, appropriately named Breathe, will provide 1,000 eligible residents with $1,000 every month for three years. A smaller program in the Bay Area city of Mountain View will provide 166 low-income families with $500 per month for two years. And down in San Diego County, 150 eligible households will receive $500 a month for two years.

According to a report published by URL Media partner Black Voice News with California Black Media, support for programs like these has been growing. Keep reading for my top three takeaways from this story.

1. Guaranteed basic income is not the same as universal basic income.

Universal basic income provides money to everybody, regardless of their economic situation. Guaranteed basic income, on the other hand, ensures that low-income people have access to a base level of income.

2. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for guaranteed basic income.

Back in the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. talked about the possibility of the government providing regular checks to low-income people. In an archived recording aired last year by NPR, King said he believed this type of program would “go a long, long way toward dealing with the Negro’s economic problem and the economic problem with many other poor people confronting our nation.”

3. Many of California’s current programs are based on a 2019 pilot launched in Stockton.

That program gave 125 low-income residents $500 per month for 24 months. At the end of the program, researchers found that participants were not only less anxious and depressed, but also increased their full-time employment by 12% compared with the control group.

Black Voice News has all the details here.—Alicia Ramirez

P.S. A little personal news from your friendly URL Media weekly newsletter writer: For the past 10 months, I’ve been working on launching The Riverside Record—a nonprofit community-centered news outlet serving Riverside County, California. I’m happy to announce that it launched last week. You can read more about that here, and you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Uplift. Respect. Love.

Could this be a glimpse into life in the 2030s?
Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

Life in the 2030s. The pandemic showed us that we are capable of adapting to rapid change, and at this rate, there could be more innovation in the next ten years than in any other decade in modern history. From outer space to shopping, wellness, and even video entertainment—change is coming, so be prepared.

 Uplifting our Communities 

New Prison Tech Surveils Life On Both Sides Of The Wall: Increased access to communication technologies for incarcerated people also means prison officials can easily monitor, record, and gather more data on their families and friends. Scalawag has the full story here.

Politics And Buses: Early in the morning on September 15, two buses full of migrants arrived near Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington D.C. They were sent there by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

In 1962, a racist organization in Louisiana pulled a nearly identical political stunt, sending hundreds of Black Southerners to Northern cities in a brazen attempt to get liberals to tie themselves in knots. This piece from palabra., in partnership with the Texas Observer, reveals how what’s old is new again.

Leidy Paola Martinez Villalobos Took Her Life At a Queens Shelter: Leidy Paola Martinez Villalobos was a 32-year-old woman who loved learning, cared deeply for her two children, and was looking to further her studies and the career she’d built back home as a dental assistant. Villalobos, her husband, and their two children made the journey from Colombia to the U.S. in search of a better life. But after being separated from her husband at the border and spending the next five months at a shelter in Queens, Villalobos’ husband noticed that with each phone call, it became clearer she was becoming more lonely and withdrawn. She died by suicide at the shelter earlier this month. Documented has the full story here.

‘Haiti Needs Help Now’: What is at stake for Haiti as the country’s ill-equipped police struggle to contain ongoing riots? Among the consequences: a textile factory will lose about 12,000 jobs, families will experience worsening food shortages, and gang-fueled violence will continue to escalate—that's what officials told members of the United Nations Security Council during a briefing Monday. This revelation led some within the council to declare that it’s time for the UN to take action on Haiti, including freezing the assets of gangs’ political backers and utilizing more “culturally sensitive” support from African nations. The Haitian Times has the full story here.

Minnesota vigils mourn Mahsa Amini, whose death sparked protests in Iran: At a vigil Thursday night at the University of Minnesota’s Coffman Memorial Union, demonstrators chanted, “Say her name–Mahsa Amini.” Amini was detained in Tehran by the country’s morality police on Sept. 14 for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely. She was taken into police custody, then to a hospital later the same day. Amini died in the hospital two days later. Organizers said they hope the vigil, along with a larger demonstration scheduled for this Saturday, will help people see the distinction between the attitudes of Iranian people and those of the country’s political regime. Sahan Journal, in partnership with MPR news, has the full story here.

Michigan’s Largest Utility Faces Pushback on Debt Sales and Shut-Offs as Company Asks for Rate Hike: What typically is routine procedure — a utility requesting and then receiving approval for a consumer rate increase — has turned unusually contentious for DTE Energy, the largest provider of its kind in Michigan. Critics are highlighting both the financial impact on Detroit-area consumers and drawing attention to other ways the company’s practices are affecting local communities, including widespread outages and the treatment of customers who can’t afford to pay their bills. URL Media’s newest partner Outlier Media, alongside their publishing partner for this series, ProPublica, has the full story here.

Are Seniors Who Get Covid More Likely to Get Alzheimer’s?: In last Tuesday’s edition of Wake up with WURD, Dr. Delana Wardlaw and Dr. Elana McDonald explained what it means for the pandemic to be “over,” explored the link between cannabis and birth defects, and answered the question of whether seniors with COVID are more likely to get Alzheimer’s. Listen to the full episode here

Political Remix #1: This week, Our Body Politic re-airs some of its most noteworthy and illuminating political interviews from the past two years in preparation of the 2022 midterm elections. The episode revisits conversations with key public officials like New York Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James, scholar Geraldo Cadava, and Bertica Cabrera Morris, a longstanding Republican organizer and businesswoman. Listeners will also hear from U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawai’i and from Wes Moore, the current Democratic nominee for governor of Maryland. Listen to the full episode here.


 Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture

Her Beat: As a songwriter, Erika Ender has the rare gift of being able to compose for different musical styles and genres—from pop and reggaetón, to Regional Mexican, to tropical rhythms like salsa, merengue and bachata. But not all female music professionals may be as willing to challenge norms in the recording studio as Ender has been. Get the full story from palabra. here.

Birthing While Black: The disproportionate rate at which Black people die as a result of pregnancy-related causes in the U.S. is no secret. And while California may have a lower rate of pregnancy-related deaths, Black people in the state still experience a higher rate of pregnancy-related death than any other race. Black doulas have been working to reduce that rate by prioritizing Black health, supporting families and advocating for change. In this series by Breanna Reeves, Black Voice News explores the work of doulas, the families they support, and regional and statewide efforts to expand doula access as part of the solution to this historical disparity. Read the full series here.

 Centering Love 

Q&A with Deb Haaland about the 'Road to Healing' Tour: The past two years have seen a succession of firsts in Indian Country: the first time a Native American was appointed to a cabinet position, the first time the federal government looked at its role in Indian boarding schools, and the first time the government organized an effort to connect Indian boarding students' descendants with their oral testimonies. In this exclusive interview with Native News Online, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland opens up about what she’s heard so far from tribal citizens and survivors during the tour. Read the full story here.

 What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners 

Composting Comes To Queens: When organic material like food scraps, leaves and animal products decompose properly, it becomes compost that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Composting organic material also significantly reduces methane emissions — a much-needed win for the planet. And starting Oct. 3, curbside composting will be available to all Queens residents. Epicenter-NYC has all the details here

 The URLs on URL 

How do Black and Indigenous communities intersect?
This special feature ahead of Indigenous People’s Day explores the forces that have both facilitated and thwarted collaboration and movement-making among Black and Indigenous people in the United States. S. Mitra Kalita and Sara Lomax Reese of URL Media return for this month’s “Meet the BIPOC Press” with guests Levi Rickert, a citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and founder and publisher of Native News Online, and Dr. Kyle T. Mays from the Saginaw Chippewa Nations, an Afro-Indigenous scholar and author of An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States. Watch the full episode here.

URL Media’s Newest Publishing Partner Is Outlier Media
Outlier Media, the Detroit-based independent platform that embodies news as a utility, recently joined URL Media as our newest publishing partner, bringing the total number of high-performing BIPOC-owned newsrooms in the network to 13. Founded by journalist Sarah Alvarez in 2016, Outlier Media combines information-needs assessments, resident engagement, investigative reporting, and a text messaging service to bring a fresh kind of accountability to the Detroit journalism landscape. Read more about our newest partnership here.

URL Media Events 

2022 ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit
Held on Indigenous Peoples Day, the 2022 ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit will feature a diverse lineup of programming focusing on how Black people can respect and protect their spaces in order to strengthen their collective future. The event will be held both in person at Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia and virtually on Monday, October 10, from noon to 4 p.m. You can RSVP here.

 Our Founders 

Sara Lomax-Reese, CEO of WURD Radio, media entrepreneur for almost 30 years, served as Program Lead for the inaugural Facebook BIPOC Sustainability Accelerator and is currently a JSK Fellow.
S. Mitra Kalita, former SVP at CNN Digital, current CEO & Publisher at Kalita Mukul Creative Inc., which publishes Epicenter-NYC, The Unmuted and The Escape Home, has worked at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and has launched brands like Mint and Quartz.

 Our Partners 

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