Hearing on improving life for boys & men of color

Lawmakers will gather in Oakland this Friday to take testimony on ways to improve the life chances for young men of color through successful education, employment and juvenile justice programs.

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda, will chair a field hearing of the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday in the first-floor auditorium of the Elihu Harris State Office Building, 1515 Clay St. Other committee members include Luis Alejo, D-Salinas; Steven Bradford, D-Gardena; Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego; Warren Furutani, D-Gardena; Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park; Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield; Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco; Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia; Henry Perea, D-Fresno; Manuel Perez, D-Coachella; and Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge.

Among those testifying will be Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Director Alex Briscoe; Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth Executive Director Fania Davis; Alameda County Social Services Agency Director Lori Jones; East Bay Asian Youth Center Executive Director David Kakishiba; Alameda County Chief Probation Officer David Muhammad; and many others.

Research funded by the California Endowment has found African-American and Latino boys and young men are more likely to have poor heath outcomes than white boys and young men, with most of the differences directly related to their neighborhoods.

This will be the second in the committee’s year-long series of field hearings around the state.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    improving life for boys & men of color:

    Stop being a jive ass fool.

    Stop gang banging.

    Get a job or go to school. Whichever you do, take it seriously.

    Join the real world. Thug life = short life.

  • Ken Head

    They can do two things that will improve the lives of African American youth and older men, and the lives of many others:

    1. Eliminate minimum wage laws. The correlation between increases in minimum wage and the unemployment rate among young black males is impossible to deny. The fact is that these kids can’t find jobs because they aren’t skilled enough to overcome the cost of the minimum wage and all the other costs of employment. They then can’t gain the valuable job and life skills necessary to support themselves and families one day. The alternative for many is to turn to dependency and subsistence or the black market in drugs and, eventually, prison.

    2. End the War on Drugs. Gangs, fueled by lucrative profits from the illicit drug market recruit young boys to be mules and street dealers. These kids live a life of violence and danger and wind up contributing to the destruction of their neighborhoods and other lives. The War on Drugs is a gang price support program. End it, and the gangs which remain will be anemic compared to what they are today and without money or power to recruit on the scale that they do today.