Surfer on Venice Beach. Credit: Kris Dahlin

Stand up to insurance companies and support CalCare now
Editor:
People are waking to the possibility of Medicare For All, a transformative health care reform that would provide quality care to all people, regardless of wealth, age or employment. We in California are closer to this reality than ever before.

Assembly Members Ash Kalra, Alex Lee and Miguel Santiago have introduced A.B. 1400 Guaranteed Healthcare for All, legislation that has come at a time when upward of 70% of Californians support health coverage for all who live in our state.

The movement for Medicare for All is snowballing – A.B. 1400 is just the latest proof of that thousands, if not millions of Californians are not receiving health care simply because they can’t afford it. The health insurance system is not set up to care for us – it is set up to drain more money from us with as little return as possible.

We’ve heard enough stories: delaying a test because of high copays and deductibles; skipping doses because prescriptions are too expensive; or turning to bankruptcy and GoFundMe to deal with outrageous medical bills. People are dying unnecessarily.

My own family is experiencing this firsthand, witnessing the cruelty of so-called “insurance coverage” after the loss of our newborn son. A system that seeks to extract as much money as possible from a grieving family under the guise of deductibles and copays is not something that can be reformed.
We all deserve full and unfettered access to health care every moment we need it – moments that are often already the toughest of our lives.

To realize Guaranteed Healthcare for All, health care activists like myself are organizing our communities to build our grassroots movement and persuade legislators to pass this lifesaving reform.

Join us! Call your state Assembly Member and demand they cosponsor A.B.1400 Guaranteed Healthcare for All. Connect to your local Health Care for All chapter (healthcareforall.org) or the California Nurses Association (nationalnursesunited.org/California-
nurses-association)

Now is the time to act. Do it for the health of yourself, your family, and for all Californians.
Kayla Dobson
Inglewood

Climate change
Editor:
Growing up in a low-income, farm laboring town of Terra Bella, I would have never imagined myself being part of a climate organization and eventually lobbying for a bipartisan climate bill in Washington, D.C. However, after seeing the effects of climate change in California and my community, I decided to take action.
In California, where climate change is causing more frequent and extreme heat waves, under-resourced, low-income, immigrant and undereducated communities are the worst impacted. For example, farmworkers experience disproportionate rates of occupational injuries and illness due to the high-intensity labor in high heat. They are exposed to harmful pesticides and often have a record of respiratory health problems. Additionally, most farmworkers live in low-income rural communities that are surrounded by waste, power and oil plants. This pollutes the air and harms their health and quality of life.

I joined Citizens Climate Lobby in 2017 to try to do something about climate change. My main goal initially was to inform my community about climate change in their preferred language, since many farmworkers in the Central Valley do not speak English. Through grassroots outreaching and collaboration with other high school students, I led a district-wide endorsement campaign which was later mentioned in the lobby meeting with our congressional representative.

In my second quarter at UCLA, I applied and received the California regional fellowship with CCL. This position has allowed me to work with devoted and passionate young people that care deeply about climate change. This spring, I organized and moderated a panel on environmental justice at the California Citizens’ Climate Conference, a topic that is very important me and my community. This panel opened the door to many important conversations, some of which are difficult and controversial, many of which I’ve had with members of my community.

For decades we have known about the possible effects of greenhouse gases yet we have decided to ignore them. It has come to a point to which the effects are no longer possible to ignore. I hope that in the near future we can come together and address climate change through legislation like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. We must act now and change our trajectory.
Paulina Torres
Los Angeles

Homeless problem
Editor:
The biggest issue regarding housing for the homeless is the cost of land and structures. It isn’t cheap living in Venice and the homeless should contribute in some way. My idea is to acquire 1,000 acres of cheap land and construct a city of tents. We could add a movie theater, educational facilities, etc. Even a bus service could be provided. Cheap land is the solution to the homeless problem.
Frank McGinity
Los Angeles

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