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First Ever Corporate Diversity Board Requirements Passed in California; $1 Billion in COVID-19 Relief Redirected to Defense Department by White House; and More

California passes first ever state-mandated corporate boardroom diversity law.

More than 660 public corporations with headquarters in California will soon be required to have at least one board director from an “underrepresented community, the Washington Post reports. A new state law signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom will require boards with four to nine directors to include at least two individuals who self-identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native; or as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender by the end of 2021 — boards with 10 or more directors will require at least three individuals. Failure to meet the requirement will set companies up for fines between $100,000 and $300,000 per violation. “This is a win-win as ethnically diverse boards have shown to outperform those that lack diversity,” assemblyman and co-author of the bill, Chris Holden told the Post.

 

White House secretly directs $1 billion earmarked for COVID-19 PPEs and medical equipment to government defense department contractors.

Over $1 billion dollars that was approved by Congress to help pay for masks, medical supplies and testing materials has instead been funneled to the Defense Department where it was used to pay for engine parts and body armor, the Washington Post reports. This happens at a time when the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfiled, testified before congress that many U.S. hospitals are still in desperate need of funding for a number of life-saving materials that $1 billion was supposed to help fund. After news of the misuse of funds broke, Congresswoman Maxine Waters issued a statement condemning the actions of the White House. “The Trump Administration should be investing public dollars in helping [medical] workers and keeping the American people safe from COVID-19, not lining the pockets of the defense industry,” she said.

 

Latinas in California make just 42 cents for every dollar earned by white men.

The wage gap for Latinas living in California is the worst of anyplace in the country, NBC News reports. According to a new study released by Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, nearly 30% of Latinas in California were laid off, fired or furloughed at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, compared to just 9% of white women. As for that terrible pay, the gap has persisted for more than a decade and shows no sign of improving any time soon. “Latinas have made absolutely no progress,” the report’s author, Elsa Macías told NBC. “Forty-two cents on the dollar in 2007 and 42 cents on the dollar in 2019,” she said. “Over the same time period, white women have improved from 76 cents to 79 cents. Not great, but certainly better than how Latinas are doing.” 

 

Denver officials attempt to right decades of environmental racism.

Blocks of park and tree-lined homes in white neighborhoods; decrepit storefronts and sun-scorched concrete in communities of color — this dichotomy continues to be one of the most troubling, and ongoing, examples of blatant discrimination when it comes to municipal planning. But city officials in Denver are now attempting to at least start erasing that troubled past;  according to The New York Times, the city has embarked on a regeneration program that will entail buying significant amounts of land for new parks, repairing run-down playgrounds, building recreation centers and planting trees and grass in areas that have typically been skipped when it comes to recreational and environmental spending. The project is being funded through a recent environmental tax that was enacted and has since added tens of millions of dollars to the city budget. While skeptics worry that the effort is just another form of gentrification, the city vows they just want more trees out there for everyone to enjoy and are targeting all of their funding simply based on where tree canopies in the city are the sparsest.

 

Are you registered to vote? Vote.org provides a number of resources for voters including a state-by-state rundown of important dates and regulations to know, plus information on registering to vote, how to successfully vote by mail and more. For more info, go to vote.org.

 

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