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California Capitol Hill Bulletin

Volume 11, Bulletin 26 -- August 12, 2004    [or see pdf version]  [or jump to the previous bulletin]


CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:

California Nurseries Win Key Legal Dispute

House Armed Services Committee Holds Series of Hearings on 9/11 Commission Report

9/11 Commission Report Reviewed by House Government Reform Panel

Senate Committee Holds Hearings on September 11 Commission Findings

PPIC Study Examines Integration of California, Mexico Economies

CSBA Briefing Discusses Issues Related to No Child Left Behind Law

Transportation Costs High for Both High and Low Income Communities, PPIC Report Suggests

U.S. Traffic Fatalities Reach Historic Lows While California Highway Fatalities Rise

Statewide Survey Shows Californians Pessimistic About State Growth

Report Examines Seasonal Employment And Welfare Use

UCLA Report Reveals Los Angeles Residents Highly Sedentary, Recommends Action from Physicians

Mayors Share Progress Attributed to Youth Outreach Programs

Report Identifies LA Port Air Pollutants


To expand communications between Washington and California, the California Institute provides periodic bulletins regarding current activity on Capitol Hill that affects our state.  Bulletins are published weekly during sessions of Congress, and occasionally during other periods.


California Nurseries Win Key Legal Dispute

California's nursery industry recently made headway in a battle to stop several states from banning California plants. The state has reportedly lost millions of dollars as a result of several state bans on California plants since March of this year. Kentucky is one of ten states that imposed bans, purportedly out of concern over the spread of Sudden Oak Death.

The California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers filed a law suit against Kentucky, arguing that federal law prevents individual states from establishing rules that deviate from those of the USDA quarantine and inspection program. Two weeks ago Kentucky agreed to lift the ban and signed a consent decree that will prevent them from "implementing or enforcing" policies that are "inconsistent or in excess" of those of the USDA.

For related articles, see: Bulletin, Vol. 11, Nos. 10 (3/26/04), 22 (7/1/04) and 25 (6/22/04).

 

House Armed Services Committee Holds Series of Hearings on 9/11 Commission Report

On Tuesday, August 10, 2004, the House Armed Services Committee met to hear from 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas H. Kean and Co-chairman Lee H. Hamilton regarding on the Department of Defense's role in intelligence planning. Later that day, the Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Duncan Hunter (Alpine), heard testimony from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz regarding terrorist sanctuaries. The following day, on Wednesday, August 11, 2004, the Committee heard testimony regarding the 9/11 Commission report from Stephen A. Cambone, DOD undersecretary for intelligence; Defense Intelligence Agency Director Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby; and Army Major General Raymond Odierno. The fourth hearing in two days, on August 11, included testimony from Center for Strategic and International Studies President John J. Hamre, retired Lieutenant General (and former NSA Director) William Odom of the Hudson Institute, and Dr. Lowell Wood of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Chairman Hunter expressed concern that the intelligence reorganization proposed by the commission, which proposes transferring budgetary and operational control of several intelligence agencies from the Defense Department to a proposed national intelligence director, could jeopardize U.S. military forces. (The commission proposed consolidating a budgets and operations of 15 agencies with intelligence functions under a single intelligence-focused individual in the Administration. Many of these functions are now under the purview of the Pentagon. President Bush has backed creation of an intelligence director, but would not vest in him or her sweeping authority over budgets and personnel.)

Chairman Hunter stated, "The turf battles and lack of information sharing between the FBI and CIA prior to 9-11 can't be allowed to repeat itself. President Bush's endorsement of two key Commission recommendations to create a National Intelligence Director and a centralized terrorism intelligence center will go a long way to address this problem. While there are still details to be worked out, I believe we are all moving in the right direction." However, Chairman Hunter urged careful, cautious deliberation before committing to any scheme that transfers control of intelligence authority. He drew attention to comments before his Committee by 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, who said, "I think the committee has helped us in understanding the importance of the tactical military intelligence. And I think some of our recommendations can be refined. And we certainly want to work with you to do it." Hunter concluded, "[I]f we opt to make changes dictated more by politics than by the demands of national security, we make ourselves more vulnerable and cause the nation more harm."

Dr. Wood of Lawrence Livermore Lab, who is also a Visiting Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, cited the unique status Congress gave the nation's atomic energy efforts in the mid-20th century as a prospective model for dealing with intelligence matters via a joint Congressional committee and an intelligence commission within the Administration. He recalled that Congress created a Joint Committee on Atomic Energy within Congress, and -- more importantly -- gave the committee appropriating authority as well as policy authority. At the same time, an Atomic Energy Commission was created within the executive branch. These two entities (the JCAE and the AEC) jointly oversaw the research enterprise for three decades, according to Dr. Wood, "seamlessly melding civilian and military needs and functions." He further noted that "AEC and the DoD worked hand-in-glove, without any serious friction or bureaucratic game-playing."

For additional information regarding these hearings, visit http://armedservices.house.gov .

 

9/11 Commission Report Reviewed by House Government Reform Panel

On Tuesday, August 3, 2004, the House Committee on Government Reform held a hearing to consider and discuss the findings and recommendations of The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (more commonly known as the 9/11 Commission). Witnesses included

9/11 Commissioners Bob Kerrey and John Lehman, U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, Brookings Institution Center for Public Service Director Paul Light, American Public Transportation Association Vice President Dan Duff, AT&T Vice President Bob Collett, Critical Infrastructure Protection Project Director John A. McCarthy, Center for Democracy and Technology Director Jim Dempsey, and several family members of September 11, 2001 victims.

At the House Government Reform hearing, entitled "Moving from `Need to Know' to `Need to Share:' A Review of the 9-11 Commission's Recommendations," a number of committee members focused remarks on a Commission's recommendation that would establish a permanent intelligence committee structure in Congress. The report recommended that Congress establish "a single, principal point of oversight and review for homeland security." The House created a Select Committee on Homeland Security -- chaired by Rep. Christopher Cox (Newport Beach) -- whereas the Senate has not. (The report notes that federal homeland security officials now must appear before 88 Congressional committees and subcommittees.) 9/11 Commission member and former Senator Bob Kerrey commented that a Congressional joint committee would be an appropriate oversight mechanism. Rep Christopher Shays (CT) countered that he does not want to see a single congressional organization with complete oversight.

Responding to a question from Committee Chairman Tom Davis (VA), Sen. Kerrey called President Bush's proposal for a senate-confirmed intelligence director in the white house a "good opening bid, a starting point." Rep. Henry Waxman (Los Angeles), the Committee's ranking Democrat, noted that the President's proposal calls for an intelligence director who could coordinate but not control budgets. He expressed concern that such an official would "not be in the chain of command."

At another point, Rep. Waxman noted that for several years members of the Government Reform Committee have proposed that the president develop a comprehensive strategy based entirely on an assessment of threat and vulnerability, something the 9/11 Commission endorses.

Taking aim at the oft-criticized formula for distributing state and local homeland security grants, Rep. Carolyn Maloney lamented that 40 percent of grant funds are distributed equally to every state and the remaining 60 percent flow based only on population, yielding a $2 billion program that distributes funds without regard to threat or vulnerability and sends $5 per capita to New York and $38 per capita to Wyoming. [California is also at the $5 per capita level.] She also complained that the number of recipients of high-threat urban area program funding "ballooned" from 8 to 60 cities, resulting in sharp cuts in urban area funding to New York City.

She questioned the appropriateness of considering homeland security a "porkbarrel" area where a minimum is guaranteed without demonstration of need.

Responding to Maloney, Sen. Kerrey commented that such political jockeying is unfortunate but not surprising with 535 people in Congress, suggesting "We ought to turn it over to the bureaucrats and and let them decide." He added, "Until you recognize the threat of attack is greater in New York and Washington DC, you have a fundamental problem. The report urged homeland security grants be based on risk and vulnerability, rather than political formulas.

When Rep. John Tierney (MA) asked panelists whether they preferred a joint committee structure or separate, co-equal committees in each Chamber, Sen. Kerrey suggested that the strongest leverage would come from a joint committee with complete accounting, established through legislation (rather than a continuing resolution), and charged with producing funding adequacy reports once a year. Sen. Kerrey also acknowledged that vulnerabilities still exist in training personnel and border protection.

9/11 Commissioner John Lehman believed that the "intelligence czar" or National Intelligence Director recommended by the Commission's report -- a cabinet-level appointed position with hiring and budgetary authority -- would initiate a cultural change across the intelligence community, inviting innovation, encouraging competitive analysis and the cultivation of dissenting views, and breaking down resistance to information sharing that led to past intelligence failures.

House committee member Dianne Watson considered the report's section outlining the potential threat of terrorists living in America to be the most pertinent. She appealed to her fellow committee members to focus on a global strategy in order to better understand, "how (the terrorists) think? Rep. Watson stated that it was ineffective for the government to continue pouring money into arms without encouraging ethnic diversity within the intelligence community, "We need to get into their minds," she said, "to show we are a nation of laws."

David Walker, Comptroller General of Congress' General Accounting Office (GAO) discussed oversight issues in his testimony to the House Government Reform Committee. Walker commented on Congress' need to implement four priorities outlined in the 9/11 Commission Report: the creation of an Intelligence Czar position and deputies within the executive branch of government, the establishment of a National Terror Coordination Center, reorganization of Congress to provide adequate oversight of executive activities, and the completion of a comprehensive threat and risk assessment to address the nation's potential vulnerabilities. Mr. Walker urged members however to steer away from consolidating all aspects of intelligence into one committee and to provide appropriate checks and balances to the reorganization where necessary, for example, by shifting personal privacy and individual liberty issues to a separate committee. Responding to Rep. Tierney's comment that the Department of Homeland Security had not completed the risk and vulnerability assessment it was charged with conducting in October, 2001, Mr. Walker reminded committee members that the process has been a massive undertaking and that there has been threat assessment progress in certain sectors.

For an analysis of California homeland security grant receipts in 2003 and 2004 and a detailed discussion of the formulas that drive the funding levels, see "Federal Formula Grants and California: Homeland Security," a joint publication of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and the California Institute, available on the PPIC website at http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=481 .

Witness testimony and other information is available on the House Government Reform Committee website, at: http://reform.house.gov/ .

 

Senate Committee Holds Hearings on September 11 Commission Findings

On Friday, July 30 and Tuesday, August 3, 2004, during Congressional recess, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs held a hearing to review the report recently released by the 9/11 Commission (officially titled the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States). That Commission released its final report on July 22, 2004, offering numerous suggestions for improving intelligence, communications, and other capabilities for preparing for and preventing terror attacks on the U.S.

At the July 30 hearing, the Committee heard from 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean and Vice-Chairman Lee Hamilton. Witnesses appearing at the August 3 hearing included John O. Brennan, Director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center; John S. Pistole, Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigations; Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes, Assistant Secretary for Information Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security; Philip Mudd , Deputy Director of the Counterterrorist Center at the Central Intelligence Agency; Philip Zelikow, Executive Director of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; and Christopher A. Kojm , Deputy Executive Director of the Commission.

At the hearing, Brennan recommended that any executive branch official with widespread oversight over intelligence activities should have a planning role at the strategic level and should be able to centralize the kind of planning required to implement national intelligence priorities. The Commission recommended that the President lead "a government-wide effort to bring the major national security institutions into the information revolution, turning a mainframe system into a decentralized network."

Referring to President Bush's recent announcement of support for a national intelligence director, Committee Chair Susan Collins (ME) applauded the President for "swift and decisive action to move forward with some of the Commission's most significant recommendations," and she urged support for the 9/11 Commission's proposal to expand the authority of National Counterterrorism Center. She commented, "If this more powerful version is to succeed, it must get what it needs, both in resources and in its place in the priorities of the agencies that collect intelligence. At times, getting the resources it needs - especially the expert and experienced personnel -- has been a challenge for TTIC." Two major Commission recommendations were the establishment of a National Counterterrorism Center to unify intelligence analysis and operational planning, and the creation of a new National Intelligence Director to lead the U.S. intelligence effort, which now involves 15 agencies scattered across the federal government

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (CT), the panel's Ranking Democrat, praised the President's proposal for an intelligence director but expressed concern that the director "appears to lack the powers the commission wants it to have - particularly over the intelligence budget." Commenting that such a position may create a facade, he stated that "the challenge here is to avoid creation of a new office without the power to overcome the stove-piping and lack of authority that we need to overcome." He further stated, "Today, there is still no common playbook for 15 different intelligence agencies to read from., no 'unity of effort' to use the Commission's words - against terrorism that would replace the time-worn, Cold War-era stove-piped approach."

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ) criticized the politicized nature of the allocation of federal homeland security funding. He noted that the 9/11 Commission report "asks that we look at the risks when we distribute funds. The commission recommendations state, "We understand the contention that every state and city needs to have some minimum infrastructure for emergency response. But federal homeland security assistance should not remain a program for general revenue sharing. It should supplement state and local resources based on the risks or vulnerabilities that merit additional support."

Admonishing that "Congress should not use this money as a pork barrel," the Commission's report recommended that homeland security assistance to state and local governments "should be based strictly on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities." Under current law, every state first receives 0.75 percent of the funds, thus allocating 40 percent of funds equally among states and thereby favoring small states over large states. As a result, California received $5 in grants per capita in 2004, whereas Wyoming received $38 per capita. For an analysis of California homeland security grant receipts in 2003 and 2004 and a detailed discussion of the formulas that drive the funding levels, see "Federal Formula Grants and California: Homeland Security," a joint publication of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and the California Institute, available on the PPIC website at http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=481 .

Witness testimony is available at http://govt-aff.senate.gov .

 

PPIC Study Examines Integration of California, Mexico Economies

A new Public Policy of California report, The Emerging Integration of the California-Mexico Economies, finds that the network of trade, investment, and other economic relationships that exists between California and Mexico has grown dramatically since the late 1980s, and the border is where a great portion of joint activity is concentrated. Authors, Howard J. Shatz and Luis Felipe López-Calva, examined the many ways in which California and Mexico are integrating, focusing in particular on trade and foreign direct investment. While suggesting some policies that can facilitate that integration, if California chooses to encourage it, they note that Mexico is still trying to unwind from old political structures and ways of doing business and that a "yawning" gap lies between that country and the more advanced economies of the world.

Noting that Mexico is California's largest destination for exports, Dr. Schatz stated, "More than 75 percent of all California's exports to Mexico are shipped to border areas, and the vast majority go straight to Baja, California. There's an intense geographic concentration in the state's exports to Mexico."

Likewise, investment in California by Mexican companies has increased considerably in recent years, and the border is the epicenter. According to the report, 72 percent of Mexican-owned subsidiaries in California are located in the border counties of San Diego and Imperial, and 47 percent of California subsidiaries in Mexico are in border states such as Baja California, Chihuahua, and Nuevo León.

According to the authors, these location-specific economic ties have had significant regional effects, with Mexican manufacturing leading to employment growth in San Diego, and expanded export activity in Mexican border communities increasing employment in U.S. border cities. Nevertheless, the economic activity has both costs and benefits. "At the border, we have to deal jointly with commuting, traffic, infrastructure, environmental stresses, homeland security, and immigration," said Schatz. "The policy goal should be to ensure that both California and Mexico ultimately benefit."

The report can be obtained through PPIC's website at: http://www.ppic.org .

 

CSBA Briefing Discusses Issues Related to No Child Left Behind Law

Representatives from the California School Boards Association (CSBA) conducted a briefing for Capitol Hill staffers on July 23, 2004, presenting views on how the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)Act might be strengthened. Speakers Rick Pratt and Phil Escamilla noted that although the comprehensive education reform proposal had been received well by the public after becoming law in December 2001, a number of considerations remained that posed challenges for California schools. Some of the challenges described include funding shortfalls, overidentification of schools in need of improvement, dual accountability complexities, student participation rates, and school choice provisions.

Presenter Rick Pratt, Assistant Executive Director for Government Relations, opened the discussion by raising the issue of funding, noting that the current budget provides $7 billion less than is authorized for NCLB education programs. The presenters acknowledged, however, that federal funding for education has been growing by significant percentages annually. Mr. Pratt cautioned that the issue of funding, though important, had been increasingly politicized of late, and has effectively overshadoweda number of other NCLB issues among some members of the education community.

Among those other issues is what Mr. Pratt framed as the overidentification of schools as failing. Under NCLB, all students must demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing and math by 2014 using a federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) indicator to measure school improvement. California's school accountability system has operated using a separate performance indicator known as the Academic Performance Index (API). The API indicator, the presenters noted, measures individual student progress whereas AYP focuses on standards of achievement in each school as a whole. According to Mr. Pratt, California schools receive no federal credit under AYP for moving their lowest achieving students from "below basic" levels of education to "basic". As a result of differing federal and state standards, 277 California schools that met state-rated levels of success were identified as failing schools under NCLB by 2003, according to Mr. Pratt, and he cautioned that this trend is likely to increase sharply. Furthermore, over half of the California schools that are failing AYP are doing so due to low participation rates among students required to take standardized tests. California law authorizes parents to opt out of tests. Mr. Pratt recommended amending NCLB to take the best from both AYP and API while also gearing participation requirements to reflect state law and to better evaluate tested samples of student populations.

Mr. Pratt suggested that a change in NCLB's transfer policies could also improve the law. Though school choice was being upheld in California through its own transfer policies, the state was having problems adjusting to NCLB students shifting from district to district because of limited notification periods, desegregation requirements, and school capacity limitations. Some briefing attendees questioned whether changes in state law might accomplish some of the proposed objectives.

Phil Escamilla, legislative advocate for CSBA, discussed challenges involving teacher quality and special education students. Mr. Escamilla noted the seriousness of teacher shortages in California while underscoring the importance of qualifying teachers for instruction based on subject matter knowledge and pedagogical training. Finally, Mr. Escamilla said that school districts needed more flexibility in assessing special education students than is afforded by NCLB.

For more information on CSBA's perspective on NCLB visit http://www.csba.org/nclb/ .

 

Transportation Costs High for Both High and Low Income Communities, PPIC Report Suggests

A report by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) finds that transportation costs are among the most expensive budget item for urban California households in both high and low income brackets.

The report entitled "Transportation Spending in Low Income California Households: Lessons for the San Francisco Bay Area," discusses the usage, availability and affordability of transportation modes for California families-- with a special emphasis on Bay Area residents.

Irrespective of income, families are likely to spend about the same amount, between 13 and 15 percent of finances on transportation, according to Lorien Rice, the report's author. This comes to $2,164 for low income households (representing the third largest budget item), compared to $6,569 for higher income groups, annually.

The report also stipulates that low income commuters are more likely to carpool, walk, or use the bus in the Bay Area than those with higher incomes. Though Bay Area public transit fares were not identified as a financial barrier for most families with lower budgets, the author cautions that a number of nonmonetary variables such as commuting time, loss of access, and foregone employment opportunities could adversely impact low income residents.

Rice suggests that transportation policies designed to assist poorer communities should account for variations in the geographical distribution of jobs and workers as well as specific needs of subgroups. Among future research recommendations to help develop these policies, the author calls for surveys of Bay Area residents in need of financial assistance and an examination of the Bay Area's transportation affordability programs already in place.

To view or download the report, visit the PPIC website at: http://www.ppic.org .

 

U.S. Traffic Fatalities Reach Historic Lows While California Highway Fatalities Rise

Traffic accident fatalities across the nation dropped to their lowest rate in 29 years in 2003, although California road deaths increased from the previous year, according to a newly released Department of Transportation (DOT) report.

The report, published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), indicates an overall fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) of 1.48 in 2003, falling from 1.51 in the previous year. The 2003 figures marks the first time the rate has dropped below 1.5. According to the authors, twenty seven states recorded highway fatality decreases: the most significant reductions were seen in Colorado (-15 percent); Vermont (-12 percent); and Connecticut, Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia (-10 percent). The actual number of deaths on highways totaled 42,643 in 2003, with 2.89 million people reported injured from traffic accidents, according to NHTSA.

California was one of 22 states that bucked the national trend. Seeing a rise in traffic fatalities from 4,088 in 2002 to 4,215 in the following year, California's 3.1 percent increase was not among the highest recorded. Of states reporting the highest number of traffic fatalities, the District of Columbia (+43 percent) had the most significant rise in traffic deaths from 2002, followed by Rhode Island (+24 percent) and Oregon (+17 percent), according to NHTSA.

In a statement, DOT Secretary Norman Mineta partially attributed reductions in highway deaths to NHTSA safety campaigns, cooperation with state legislatures to pass tougher safety belt and drunk driving laws and regulations to boost vehicle safety. "America's roads are safer than ever," said Sec. Mineta.

Other findings in the report include a 12 percent increase in motorcyclist deaths, a 2.1 percent reduction in pedestrian fatalities and a 6.8 percent rise in Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) rollover deaths.

For more information or to view a copy of the report, visit the NHTSA website at: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/PPT/2003AARelease.pdf .

 

Statewide Survey Shows Californians Pessimistic About State Growth

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released the results of a Special Survey on Californians and the Future, which indicates Californians are pessimistic about growth and its consequences. In a telephone survey conducted between May 24th and June 8th of this year, 2,506 California adult residents were interviewed in five languages. The Study was directed by Mark Baldassare, Statewide Survey Director at PPIC, as part of the Institute's California 2025 project, aimed at raising awareness and encouraging discussion about growth and related challenges over the next twenty years.

Results of the study indicated:

- 63 percent of the respondents feel traffic congestion is a big problem in their part of the state, and 81 percent expect it to worsen by 2025;

- 67 percent view housing affordability as a big problem, and 78 percent think it will get worse;

- 44 percent say quality of K-12 education is a big problem in their part of the state - 45 percent believe it will improve, 46 percent believe it will get worse; and

- 42 percent say lack of opportunity for well-paying jobs is a big problem - 44 percent believe opportunities will improve, 47 percent believe they will worsen.

Only 12 percent of those surveyed have a great deal of confidence that the state government can plan effectively for future growth, compared to 46 percent who say they have some confidence (with the exception of a 55 percent approval rating for Gov. Schwarzenegger's handling of plans and policies for the future). 60 percent of the respondents feel local governments do not have adequate funding for infrastructure needs, but only 49 percent believe the state's role in providing funding for infrastructure should be "higher taxes, more spending" compared to 43 percent who feel it should be "lower taxes, less spending."

Between now and 2025 the state's population is expected to rise from 35 million to between 43 and 48 million. However, when questioned about current state population and future growth, only 16 percent of those surveyed believed current population was between 30 and 39 million, and only 13 percent said the population in twenty years would be between 40 and 49 million. Baldassare said, "As a state, we're pretty clueless about our future prospects, and this lack of knowledge breeds pessimism."

The full Survey can be obtained through PPIC's website at: http://www.ppic.org .

 

Report Examines Seasonal Employment And Welfare Use

The California Policy Research Center, University of California, recently released a briefing report entitled Seasonal Employment and Welfare Use in California's Agricultural and Rural Counties. The report, authored by Henry E. Brady, Mary H. Sprague, Fredric C. Gey, and Michael Wiseman, examines seasonal workers ho combine work in the summer (May through October) with welfare in the winter (November through April).

The report found variations in welfare patterns across county types, with the higher rates of unemployment in agricultural and rural counties helping to explain the higher welfare use there, versus urban counties. Over the 12-year period of the report's dataset (July 1985-August 1997), the authors found that both welfare participation and its annual variability were higher in ag and rural than in urban counties. Agricultural counties had the highest percent of the population on aid, 10.3 percent, and almost the highest annual variation, 3.8 percent, in the percent receiving aid. Urban counties had the lowest: 5.7% and 1.4%. Rural counties had the highest the highest variability rate, which the authors attribute to the impact of summer tourism.

Noting that the TANF law and CalWORKS emphasize work and time limits for welfare recipients, the report makes several recommendations for state and county policymakers to consider: 1) conduct a study specifically on the impact of CalWORKs time limits in rural and agricultural areas; 2) consider expanding unemployment insurance to cover more agricultural jobs and seasonal agricultural employment; and 3) consider alternative policy approaches to dealing with seasonal welfare use.

More information on the report can be obtained at: http://www.ucop.edu/cprc .

 

UCLA Report Reveals Los Angeles Residents Highly Sedentary, Recommends Action from Physicians

UCLA Researchers report high levels of inactivity in Los Angeles County residents. Based on results of a 1999-2000 random phone survey of 8,353 Los Angeles County adults they report that nearly half of Los Angeles County residents get almost no exercise, and women are nearly twice as likely as men to be physically inactive. Also, 41 percent of residents get no more than 10 minutes of continuous exercise each week. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Dr. Antoinette Yancey, associate professor of the Department of Health Services at the UCLA School of Public Health attributes findings of the study to a sedentary environment. The study found that 46 percent of Latinos, 41 percent of Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders, 40 percent of African-Americans and 37 percent of non-Hispanic whites were completely sedentary.

Yancey believes factors such as juggling jobs and caring for children or the elderly contribute to higher levels of inactivity in women. Also, Yancey cited cultural pressures for women to place the care of others before care for their own needs. In general, Yancey also argues that a high poverty rate that limits people's ability to join a gym or buy exercise equipment and unsafe neighborhoods where people are unable to jog or walk are contributors to higher levels of inactivity in LA.

Other findings of the study show that sedentary behavior was linked to depression, and residents not born in the US reported higher rates of inactivity. The report recommends that doctors prescribe exercise and assist patients in integrating exercise into their weekly schedule.

 

Mayors Share Progress Attributed to Youth Outreach Programs

On Monday, July 12, the United States Conference of Mayors held a briefing entitled "Return on Investment in Youth Development: Addressing the Crisis The YO Experience," to discuss the progress of programs funded by Youth Opportunity Grants. The Grants were authorized under section 169 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) to increase resources available to youth in high-poverty urban and rural areas, as well as Native American Reservations. A total of $250 million was appropriated in FY99, and the Department of Labor (DOL) awarded 36 grants. In California, El Centro/Imperial County, California Indian Manpower Consortium (Sacramento), Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco were grant sites. Appropriations for FY00 and FY01 remained at $250 million, in FY02 the amount was reduced to $225 million, and in FY03 only $44 million was allocated.

High school graduation rate, college enrollment rate and employment rate have been the major target areas of improvement through large grants aimed at improving whole communities deemed "empowerment zones, enterprise communities, and high-poverty areas. Joseph Zukowski, Executive Vice President of Community Affairs for Verizon, a company that has aided Youth Outreach, said that "more enlightened companies" are focusing on a "pipeline" of workforce development and planning for the future. He said that the private sector has an incentive to support programs like Youth Outreach because "success depends on customers and employees now and in the future." Lily Galland, Community Relations Director for Shell Oil echoed the corporate support for programs like Youth Outreach, saying her company and others like it "need students who are career-ready."

Robert Sainz, the Assistant General Manager of the Community Development Department of Los Angeles presented an array of statistics compiled by the United States Conference of Mayors, which show that Youth Outreach has exceeded its program goals. He said 86,209 youths have been served, 63,019 have been aided in obtaining employment, 22,373 have been provided with training, and 14,591 have been connected with education in the four years the program has operated. In Los Angeles, he said nearly 1,400 have been placed in long-term employment.

 

Report Identifies LA Port Air Pollutants

The Port of Los Angeles released a study last month which identifies air pollutants produced by port operations, which include nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide emissions. Consultants who presented findings of the study to community members said the port accounts for 12 percent of diesel particulate matter in the region.

The report, commissioned by the Port, was released by the Starcrest Consulting Group, based in Houston. It studied pollutants from oceangoing vessels, harbor craft, cargo handling equipment, railroad locomotives, and heavy-duty vehicles. Although it does not make recommendations for new programs or laws to reduce pollution, Port officials said it is part of larger plans to address pollution at the Port.

Ed Avol, a University of Southern California professor who specializes in environmental health, said the report "serves a very important purpose," and that "it does represent probably the best available approach to emissions inventories."

To access the full report, entitled Port-Wide Baseline Air Emissions Inventory, visit the Port's website at: http://www.portofla.org .

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