January 20, 2021

Minorities First – John Wayne Cancer Foundation

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California’s vaccine plan will prioritize Blacks and Latinos, among others. Here’s why

Take a look at California’s COVID-19 caseload maps, and it’s easy to spot where rates are highest: in some of the state’s most diverse and low-income communities.

The virus has ravaged urban centers like Los Angeles, infiltrated rural Imperial County and flooded the farmlands of the Central Valley.

But COVID-19 does not claim its victims equally. Latinos make up 40% of the Golden State’s population, but 60% of its COVID-19 cases and 48.5% of its deaths. Only 6% of Californians are Black, but 7.4% of COVID-19 deaths.

Now, as California plans to distribute an eventual vaccine to its nearly 40 million residents, the state intends to prioritize early rounds of the shots in the name of fairness for these communities disproportionately affected by the disease.

It’s not just race under consideration. The state is in early planning stages, but data like death and infection rates, along with housing status, age, economic stability, health care coverage and ethnic backgrounds could all play a role in who might be among the first groups to get vaccinated, according to the California Department of Public Health’s draft vaccination report.


New Law Requires Diversity on Boards of California-Based Companies

In a move that continues California’s push for increased diversity on corporate boards, Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30, 2020 signed into law a bill that requires publicly held companies headquartered in the state to include board members from underrepresented communities. The action follows passage of a similar law in 2018 mandating that public companies headquartered in the state have at least one woman on their boards of directors by the end of 2019 (SB 826), with further future increases required depending on board size.

The law significantly expands on the diversity categories included in the legislation as originally proposed (see our prior coverage of the draft legislation here).

Companies that do not comply with the new law, AB 979, will face similar penalties as those noncompliant with SB 826, the gender diversity law: fines in the six figures, in addition to ramifications to their brand and reputation. As with SB 826, the new law contains some open questions and ambiguities that may affect implementation.


Trudeau government’s ‘buy back’ gun program likely a multi-billion boondoggle

In his mandate letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair (pictured above), Prime Minister Trudeau gave the highest priority to prohibiting and confiscating “military-style assault rifles.” And this week, during a federal cabinet retreat in Winnipeg, Minister Blair reiterated the government’s commitment to the plan.

This program is being called a “buy back,” but actually it’s a mandated confiscation of legally-purchased firearms for which the government will compensate owners at a rate the government deems “suitable.” Only owners who can document their legal ownership will be compensated, and non-compliance will be a criminal act. Unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.


Trudeau’s Toxic Gun Ban: No Buy-in to the “Buyback”

There is new evidence of problems with the implementation of the “assault weapons” ban imposed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 1st.

Readers will recall that under the Liberal Government’s scheme, over 1,500 firearms and devices listed in a government regulation immediately became a “prohibited” firearm or “prohibited device,” as did “any variants or modified versions.” Individuals in legal possession of these newly prohibited firearms or devices on the day the regulations were announced are protected from criminal liability arising from their possession or ownership, but this “amnesty” period ends on April 30, 2022.


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