Access to health care will continue to be an issue and a challenge. Here are two links to websites to help you with your search for information about health care.
Doorway to Health is a Foundation of the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority. Their vision is to "maximize the health status of all residents of Santa Barbara County." They are working to "develop programs to provide affordable comprehensive health care for the underserved, uninsured and underinsured" in our county.
See more information at their website for the Healthy Kids Program.
Go there for a webchat on The Affordable Care Act & Behavioral Health. This is a discussion on how provisions in this act will "help ensure that those with behavioral health disorders receive the coverage they need. The webchat is available as of September 15.
You can also find links for information on autism, flu, food safety and medical fraud.
Today, over 80 young people at the East Side Library, were treated to an Ice Cream Social to announce the Essay and Poetry Contest for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 17, 2011.
There were cones and bowls of McConnell's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, served by Beverly King of the MLK Jr. Celebration Committee. Contest posters were passed out and a small collection of the Library's MLK Jr. book offerings were on display in the lobby.
There will be $800 in prizes awarded to winners in the Essay and Poetry categories and will be presented at the Arlington Theatre, at the MLK Jr. Day Celebration. Competition is open to all local youth and teens, ages 6 to 18.
Please see poster for detailed information.
Tags: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, East Side Library, Essay and Poetry Contest, santa barbara
Our well-known local poet, Sojourner Kincaid Rolle signed copies of her new collection of poems, Black Street - Poems. This book "seemed to come together in a fairly short time" Sojourner told me, "five weeks from when the Center for Black Studies Reasearch agreed to publish it in time for my annual Langston Hughes reading on April 3, in fact" she says, "I had been working on it for quite some time. I first had the idea for the book shortly after I recorded a cd by the same title three years ago. The cd only had three poems, Black Street, Millenium Poem, and The Queen I Am, but I knew I wanted to create a companion book which included other poems I had written on the Black experience. Some of these poems likeThe Blues That Set Me Free, were written and published nearly 20 years ago. Sweet Home Hallelujah was actually turned into a one-act play and was produced in 1996. Milllenium Poem was written ten years ago when we were all summing up the past century and stocking up for Y2K."
On that Thursday evening at Chaucer's, she says "I was elated throughout the reading and signing. I was in one of my favorite places - a bookstore - surrounded by my friends, supporters, and the staff at Chaucer's - all gracious and complimentary."
Her poems are full of visual and musical imagery that vibrate with color , rhythm and sound. Many are history, such that even reading them, sound like they are stories being told aloud. I asked her if she had any favorite lines or poems and she told me, "of course, this is like asking me to choose among my loved ones. I feel so strongly about most of the ideas expressed in the collection of poems. There is more to say but I feel this set stands for what it stands for. Each poem is a response to some call. The title poem, Black Street, represents a certain coming out firmly and forthrightly to all who, through the years, consciously or unconsciously, subtly or explicitly, negate or subjugate the Black experience in America. I am proud to have produced this "speaking-up" poem."
She says that she is "just as proud of 'Inseparable' which I read at the unveiling of a commissioned painting of Barack Obama and again at a pre-inaugaration event held at Trinity Church. If I had to choose a line which I would like history to remember it would be this:
Each breath infinitessimally mingled; each drop of dew a composite.
It is often said that everything we write is autobiographical. I tend to think that is true with a few exceptions. In my case, I believe that my history is everybody's history. We all live on Black Street."
In the poem "Sweet Home Hallelujah" she evokes Harlem throughout the years, from it's Renaissance to it's sad decline, and great rising up, but still recalls the "rafters where our voices sang and closes with a great "Hallelujah, AMENhotep!'
One of my favorites, of which there were many, is about family. The poem, Grace, about her grandfather, begins,
"I had forgotten how good a word is grace
It's curvature and elegance;
simple and timeless. "
The book was dedicated to the poet Langston Hughes, and she quotes him, as he says,
"My seeking has been to explain and illuminate the Negro Condition in America and obliquely that of all humankind".
Later on in her collection she seems to speak back to him in her poem, Standing on the Place Where Langston's Ashes Reside.
In humble apropos
Standing within the circle
That holds in loving care
All that lies between-
All the tellings
All the signifyings
All the ironies
All the justifyings.
In silent repose
A boundless legacy.
Threads in the fabric
Of all that cloaks us -
A variable perfume
A mutable augur.
Sojourner says proudly in A Poem that Ends in Love, that "I Am a Black Poet". She is also a community activist, peacemaker, has taught poetry in our schools and in prisons, she is the Community Liaison for The Center for Black Studies at UCSB.
Santa Barbara is richer for her uplifting and creative presence here!
For more information about the book, Black Street, visit
PUEBLO Education Fund’s immigration committee along with La Casa de la Raza is looking forward to celebrating Santa Barbara’s Immigrant Week.
We would like to invite you to our Immigration forum: “Building America from the Foundation: Immigration Reform, the economy and safer communities.”
It will take place on May 1, 2009 at Presidio Springs, 721 Laguna St. Santa Barbara, CA from 6:30- 8:00pm. This is part of PUEBLO Education Fund’s campaign to create dialogue in our communities about the
complex issue of immigration and the great financial, environmental and human consequences that we face if it continues to be ignored.
Our diverse group of speakers will include UCSB Sociology Professor William Robinson, visiting faculty at UCSB and assistant CSU Northbridge Urban Planning Professor Teresa Vazquez, and experienced Santa Barbara Immigration Attorney Abbe Allen Kingston.
We hope that you can join us on May 1, and join in the conversation in the search for concrete solutions to the challenges that we face as a community and nationwide
Tags: PUEBLO, La Casa De La Raza, Immigration, Immigration reform, community dialogue, Santa Barbara events, PUEBLO Education Fund, Teresa vazquez, Abbe Allen Kingston, Professor William Robinson, ucsb
The line-up of speakers opposing Proposition 1D and Proposition 1E at the press conference are: 1STDistrict Supervisor Salud Carbajal; City Councilmember Helene Schneider; Executive Director Roger Thompson of CAC; President Linda Phillips of League of Women Voters; Executive Director David Selberg of Pacific Pride Foundation; Executive Director Susan Riordan of Families Act and Executive Director Barry Schoer of Sanctuary Psychiatric Centers.
Honored guests include: 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf; City Councilmembers Iye Falcone, Das Williams, Grant House and Roger Horton; Mayor Marty Bloom; representative from Assembly member Pedro Nava's office; Executive Director Jeff Green of the Fund for Santa Barbara; Executive Directors from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, First Five, Mental Health Association, PathPoint, Phoenix House, the Independent Living Resource Center, New Beginnings and Child Abuse Listening and Mediation, NAMI California.
Proposition 1E cuts mental health care programs demanded by the voters through Prop. 63 by almost a half billion dollars. The Legislative Analyst warns that "local governments would incur added costs for homeless shelters, social services, medical care, law enforcement and county jails." In Santa Barbara County, 10 programs are sustained with $11.49 million in Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds. Significant reductions to mental health services are not a question of conjecture, but a question of untenable compromises.
Proposition 1D cuts $268 million per year from children's services like child abuse prevention, immunization and early childhood development, all created by Prop. 10.
Proposition 1D and Proposition 1E take money out of specific programs required by the voters and put it in the state general fund, where the Legislature and the Governor can spend it with no fiscal accountability. Together they would provide just one-half of one percent of state spending. But Proposition 1D and Proposition 1E would slash services for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. For more information, visit the official No Proposition 1D and Proposition 1E website (http://noprop1d1e.com/). Advocacy and public awareness are more essential than they have ever been - we must defeat Propositions 1D and Proposition 1E.
Tags: proposition 1D, 1E, voting, press conference, santa barbara community leaders
As an nation, we spend twice as much per person on health care, than do other wealthy nations. Too many people here are uninsured and those with insurance worry that when they need their insurance for something important, the insurance company will find a way not to pay for the treatment the need. There is always the chance that they will lose their insurance altogether because illness may force them to stop working.
Increasingly, Americans are realizing that our health-care "system" is broken. There are many in our community without insurance at all. Many have inadequate insurance and cannot afford the high deductibles and co-pays for the services they need. When these two groups finally become very ill, the end up at the Emergency Department at a local hospital. The community ends up paying either way.
It seems reasonable that it would be preferable to have a system in which everyone contriubtes, everyone receives necessary care, administration is consolidated and streamlined and in which the system, as a whole, can negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies so that all people can have the care and medicine they need.
In Santa Barbara there is a local chapter of a statewide organization called, "Health Care for All - California" (HCA-CA). Founded in 1995 by a coalition from across California including Santa Barbarans Bill and Carole Marks.
Health Care For All is working to educate and to shed light on our current system and it's failings and to propose something that works better for all people in California. It is a single-payer system which essentially is an improved, complete Medicare for everyone in our state.
Sheila Kuehl's Senate Bill 840, un-amended from the last legislative session passed the Legislature twice only to be vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. This bill has ben re-introduced this past February as Senate Bill (SB) 810, sponsored by Mark Leno and co-authored by Pedro Nava and is endorsed by many local governmental bodies and by local organizatons including:
City Council of Santa Barbara
City Council of Carpenteria
California League of Women Voters
California Nurses Association
Church IMPACT, the lobbying arm of the Cal. Council of Churches
The American medical Student Assoc. (California Branch)
Under this plan every person in the State of California would have access to medical care with:
Free choice of a physician
Complete Benefit Package including Dental, Vision, Hearing, Hospice In and Out-Patient Care and Chiropractic Services.
The Santa Barbara Chapter of HCA-CA has a speakers bureau, sponsors films and events to educate and raise money. They meet the first Thursday of each month at 7:30, at the Santa Barbara League of Women voters office at 328 E. Carillo, Suite A, Santa Barbara,
The government will only respond if we as citizens become active and vocal in our positions on this important issue.
Please check out the following informational sites online:
The UCSB Center for Black Studies has made a film about Santa Barbara's own Shirley Kennedy.
I met Shirley at a "Not In Our Town" meeting many years ago, at San Marcos High School, a meeting held in response to a racial incident in which one student drew a noose on the notebook of a black student while she was away from her desk. Shirley was in good form as always, organizing, making it very clear how and why that kind of action was not acceptable. She and other concerned people organized a committee of parents and other community members to visit the school administration to express their concern and disapproval over what had occurred and to let the school know that they needed to respond to this incident and not just "let it pass."
Later, I met her again at a community event and asked about the class she was teaching next. She invited me to sit in, and I spent the rest of the quarter being inspired by her lectures and by the material. The class, in the Black Studies Department was about the "can-do", and "uplift power" of African-American women in the history of the United States, and was called "Women, Power and Politics."
At the end of the quarter I noticed a small article in the newspaper about Shirley and an organization she had helped found, Building Bridges. They were working to bring an exhibit of the slave ship Henrietta Marie to the children and community of Santa Barbara. I went to her UCSB office and told her I wanted to help out. She asked me "what can you do?", and I said that I wasn't sure I had anything worthwhile to offer but my time. She said that was "nonsense! .. "how about writing grants?" I had never done a grant, but she was so sure that I could do it, and so positive, that I agreed and that was exactly what I did. If I got discouraged or fainthearted, I thought about Shirley and her energy and her spirit and I would just go on. If ever there was anyone that I would have done almost anything to avoid disappointing and to earn her approval it was "Our Lady Of Perpetual Reform", Shirley Kennedy.
The film is being premiered on April 7, 2009 at the UCSB Multi-Cultural Center, at 4:00 p.m. Community members are invited and encouraged to attend. There will be a second showing on April 23, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Faulkner Gallery at the Downtown Library. It is a beautiful tribute to Shirley Kennedy and to her powerful spirit.