California Black Media Political Playback: News You Might Have Missed
Joe W. Bowers Jr. and Edward Henderson | California Black Media
Your roundup of stories you might have missed last week.
California Black Women’s Collective Announces “Wealth Building” Tour
The California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute (CABWCEI) and the Bank of Montreal (BMO) are launching a statewide tour called “Conversations for Black Women – Building an Economic Action Plan Tour.”
The tour will visit six areas in the state: San Diego (July 29), Solano (August 26), Sacramento (September 23), Oakland (October 14), Fresno (October 21), and the Inland Empire (November 18).
The events will offer a variety of opportunities, including job coaching, mentorship programs, apprenticeships, financial planning, homeownership counseling, and entrepreneurship support. Onsite counselors will be available to assess participants’ needs and provide additional services, according to Kellie Todd-Griffin, author, social entrepreneur and founding member of CABWCEI.
The objective of the tour, organizers say, is to develop an economic action plan that helps Black women build wealth and overcome barriers through transformative policies and practices.
Tour partners include California Black Media and Black Women Organized for Political Action.
California Education Chief Thurmond Considers Run for Governor
California’s chief elected education officer, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, is considering a run for governor in 2026.
On July 5, Thurmond announced that he has formed a campaign committee.
“Working families across California are facing so many challenges that require our entire state government working together to solve,” Thurmond said in the statement. “Growing up as a Black and Latino kid without my parents, I lived the struggles that so many Californians face every day — that’s why I dedicated my career to fighting for a brighter future for California’s children.”
Gov. Newsom Updates State’s Opioid Plan to Include New Deadly Drug “Tranq”
Gov. Gavin Newsom has updated his strategy to combat opioid abuse in California by introducing measures to address a new deadly drug xylazine, also known as ‘tranq’ on the streets.
This animal sedative is increasingly being mixed with fentanyl, making it even more deadly. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of fatal opioid overdoses involving ‘tranq’ increased by 276%, from 2.9% to 10.9% between January 2019 through June 2022.
Newsom’s ‘Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis’ focuses on holding the opioid pharmaceutical industry accountable, cracking down on drug trafficking and raising awareness about the dangers of opioids. The plan includes addressing emerging threats like ‘tranq.’
“California has an all-hands-on-deck strategy for tackling the fentanyl and opioid crisis impacting every community across our state,” said Newsom in a statement. “Education and outreach are critical tools in our arsenal to prevent tragedy, to connect people with treatment, and to fight the life-threatening stigma that stops too many people from getting help.”
California has allocated $30 million to fund the production of naloxone, the anti-overdose drug. Newsom has also increased anti-drug-trafficking operations, especially at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, where a significant amount of fentanyl enters into the state.
AG Bonta Releases Reports on Crime, Juvenile Justice, Guns, Homicides and Use of Force
California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the release of the annual Homicide in California, Crime in California, Use of Force Incident Reporting, Juvenile Justice in California, and Crime Guns in California statistical reports.
The reports contain statistics for 2022 as submitted by California law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice organizations.
Findings indicated 612 civilians were involved in incidents that involved the discharge of a firearm or use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death. Of those civilians: 48.4% were Hispanic. 25.3% were White, and a disproportionate 19.3% were Black. Black Californians account for about 5.72% of the state’s population.
In 2022, there were 2206 homicides reported in the state, a decrease of 6.6% from 2361 reported in 2021. The rate of violent crime per 100,000 people increased by 6.1% from 466.2 in 2021 to 494.6 in 2022. The homicide arrest rate decreased by 5.9% in 2022 compared to 2021 and the violent offense arrest rate increased by 3.4% compared to 2021.
“Having access to good data is a cornerstone of responsible public policy. The data released today is essential for understanding, preventing, and combating crime,” said Bonta. “In 2022, California made significant progress towards reducing its homicide rates, but more remains to be done. While crime rates remain significantly below their historical highs, property and violent crimes continue to have devastating consequences for communities across the state.”