Insight News

Sunday
Nov 23rd

Commentary

Santa Clara County Probation Program's alternative to warehousing youths

At the Children's Defense Fund's Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Summit in Sacramento, CA, earlier this year, we heard from young people from Missouri and California who are trying to get out of the pipeline with the help of caring adults. Here's the story of one of them: At 13, Diego Ramirez's violent, alcoholic father kicked him out of the house and onto the streets of one of San Jose, CA’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
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President Obama in Africa: Taking responsibility begins at home

While discussing Africa ahead of his trip to Ghana, President Obama stated he is not a big believer in excuses.  I understand the President’s frustration.
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Minority homeowners hurt most

Owning a home is a key part of the “American Dream” and critical step in creating wealth; even low- and moderate-income homeowners are able to benefit from their investment.  Unfortunately, with the recent crash of both the housing and financial markets, fewer Americans own homes than they did just a few years ago. The biggest declines were among minorities, with blacks and Latinos homeownership rates falling at a rate much faster than whites.
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Limit credit card use

The U.S. government is headed towards drastically restructuring the way credit card companies do business and, in turn, easing a heavy financial burden carried by so many Americans.  Congress has approved, and the President is expected to sign, legislation that will, among other things, control sudden credit card interest rate increases and late fee charges. Of course, the credit card industry is not happy with these new restrictions and will look for new ways to generate profits. So, even the new law will protect consumers, individuals must still exercise restraint when using credit cards.
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Bail out college students

In recent months, the federal government has bailed out banks, auto companies and, to a lesser extent, families and individuals via programs built into its economic stimulus package.   College students are now in need of a helping hand. And the government needs to step up.
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Reduce perscription drug costs

Prescription drug manufacturers and Congress recently struck a deal that would lower the costs of much needed medication for Medicare recipients. But individuals on Medicare aren’t the only ones who benefit:  the U.S. government will receive about $50 billion it can use to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system. And the drug industry profits as more Americans will have access to healthcare, thus becoming new customers. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. And we should all raise our voices in support.
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Should cities sue banks?

The city of Baltimore, Maryland is leading a growing group of local governments across the country are either suing or considering lawsuits against banks that allegedly steered minority home buyers toward subprime mortgages, even if they were eligible for better loan terms.  This predatory lending method is the latest in a legacy of discriminatory practices some businesses have used to keep people of color from getting ahead. In this case, banks such as Wells Fargo, convinced the home buyer they were helping them capture a piece of the American dream when, in reality, their loan practices were draining buyers and the communities they lived in of their wealth.
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