Team Biden is using the IRS to attack the gig economy

Now you know why we need 87,000 new IRS agents.  Until Biden, the IRS checked all financial activities $20,000 and over.  Now, it is $600.  Of course this means more paperwork, file cabinets filled with receipts, audits and hiring of attorneys and CPA;s.  This is part of the Biden destruction of the American economy.

“A recent tweet says it all. “Sam Bankman-Fried: I don’t know where $10 billion went. The Pentagon: We don’t know where $2.2 trillion went. The IRS: You just sent $601.37 don’t forget to report it.”

The Biden administration is recruiting 87,000 IRS agents, allegedly to keep an eye on billionaires. But all appearances are that it’s aiming at the little fish of the gig economy instead.

Taking payments for a side hustle via PayPal or Venmo? Not only is the IRS reminding you those payments are taxable income, it’s deputizing those payment companies to snitch on you.

Of course Sam Bankman Fried gave the Democrats at least $40 million, to look the other way—did you?  Corruption?  For years the IRS has been harassing small businesses and families—plus hate for American.  Remember Lois Lerner and her corruption and abuse of American citizens.

Team Biden is using the IRS to attack the gig economy

By Glenn H. Reynolds, NY Post,  12/5/22 

Sorry, hipsters.

A recent tweet says it all. “Sam Bankman-Fried: I don’t know where $10 billion went. The Pentagon: We don’t know where $2.2 trillion went. The IRS: You just sent $601.37 don’t forget to report it.”

The Biden administration is recruiting 87,000 IRS agents, allegedly to keep an eye on billionaires. But all appearances are that it’s aiming at the little fish of the gig economy instead.

Taking payments for a side hustle via PayPal or Venmo? Not only is the IRS reminding you those payments are taxable income, it’s deputizing those payment companies to snitch on you.

The federal government can lose trillions, as a recent Pentagon audit noted, and nobody goes to jail. Sam Bankman-Fried can lose billions and (so far at least) be treated as a darling by members of Congress to whom he donated. But you’re expected to keep perfect records, and the corporate/government machine that characterizes early-21st-century American governance will be sure to keep close tabs on you.

As Leona Helmsley once allegedly said, taxes are for the little people. And you, hipsters of the gig economy who probably voted for President Joe Biden, you’re the little people.

But wait — it gets worse. People get payments through these companies for all sorts of things, like gifts from family members, expense reimbursements from employers, even money from friends for medical expenses, etc. Venmo and PayPal may — and sometimes undoubtedly will — mischaracterize these tax-free gifts as something taxable.

Well, no problem, you can just tell the IRS that Venmo is wrong, right?

Oh, no. That would be too easy. According to the IRS: “Those who receive a 1099-K reflecting income they didn’t earn should call the issuer. The IRS cannot correct it.”

So if Venmo or PayPal mischaracterizes your nontaxable gifts as taxable income, you have to try to get Venmo or PayPal to change things. Good luck with that. You may wind up having to pay an accountant hundreds or thousands of dollars to straighten out the mess or face an IRS audit.

The threshold used to be $20,000 but was lowered to $600 as part of the Democrats’ American Rescue Plan Act. (No Republicans voted for this monstrosity.) The legislation tightened the screws on the little guy, and that was no accident.

As The Post editorialized in June, “Think about this the next time Elizabeth Warren and AOC whine about the wealthy not paying their share. Yet the legislation they passed goes after hobbyists and little folks trying to earn a few bucks in various side hustles. It’s only going to punish the US economy a bit more: Some will have to charge more to make the work worthwhile; others will quit now that it means more paperwork and taxes.”

Why would Democrats do this? It almost seems as if they’re hostile to self-employment and small business.

Well, it seems that way because in fact they’re hostile to self-employment and small business.

You may have noticed that in this era of social-media mobbing, people get fired from their jobs when spineless employers are threatened by angry online mobs.

But you can’t get people fired from jobs when they work for themselves. Self-employed people — and even people with a second income from a side hustle — are more independent than people who depend on an employer’s paycheck. (Historically, this is why minority groups, subject to bigotry and prejudice in the workplace, have started their own businesses. You can’t be fired for your race or religion — or, nowadays, your politics — if you don’t work for anyone to begin with.)

That kind of independence is anathema to today’s Democrats, who have made pretty clear they want everyone under their thumb. Since the pandemic, in which lockdowns gave preferential treatment to big-box stores while brutally punishing small businesses, it’s been a steady grinding down of small businesses and entrepreneurs. (Well, except for the Bankman-Fried sort of “entrepreneurs” who make six-figure donations to favored politicians.)

This new rule is just another tightening of the screws. If everyone works for the government or a big corporation that’s in cahoots with the government, everyone is controllable. And for Democrats, that’s not a bug but a feature.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee and founder of the InstaPundit.com blog.

Surprise, surprise: An insurance crisis is upon us

California has an illegal alien crisis, a housing crisis, a drug crisis, a crime crisis, a recession facing us, a deficit crisis, a homeless crisis, we are told we have a climate crisis.  I am sure I have left out many other crisis situations.  Add to the list the INSURANCE CRISIS.

“Historic inflation and supply-chain delays have raised the cost of auto, homeowners, and commercial insurance claims.  Commissioner Lara is not keeping up with the cost of claims.  He has not approved dozens of auto rate filings in over two years.  Commercial rating plans have also sat unapproved for over a year.  Homeowners insurance is under extreme pressure from wildfires made more frequent and severe by climate change.

As a result, coverage options for consumers and businesses are being restricted.

Allstate, the nation’s fourth-largest insurer, recently instructed agents to pause offering new homeowners policies. American International Group (AIG) exited the California homeowners market altogether, and another leading insurer just announced they are pausing direct sales. California’s insurance market is at a tipping point.

Unless Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara acts quickly, homeowners, drivers and businesses will continue to lose access to affordable coverage – a reality that will hurt those who can least afford it.

This will be the biggest crisis—no one will be able to hide from it—except by fleeing the State.

Surprise, surprise: An insurance crisis is upon us

BY JULIAN CANETE, Capitol Weekly,   11/29/22     

Perhaps the greatest financial risk faced by Californians today has nothing to do with rising interest rates or a looming recession. Rather, it is the loss of access to products they rely upon to protect their most valuable assets: autohomeowners and commercial insurance.

While many may not yet be aware, an insurance coverage crisis is upon us – where consumers and businesses are having difficulty accessing the coverage they need to protect themselves, their property and businesses. That’s because Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has not done his job to ensure a balanced and thriving insurance marketplace.

Commissioner Lara has failed to carry out his constitutional responsibility to ensure that insurance rate plans adequately reflect the cost of covering consumer and business claims.

Without access to homeowners insurance, lenders will stop issuing mortgages.

Instead, Lara is playing politics with the insurance coverage of all Californians by failing to approve adequate rate filings and by implementing policies that have applied unsustainable pressure on coverage providers.

Historic inflation and supply-chain delays have raised the cost of auto, homeowners, and commercial insurance claims.  Commissioner Lara is not keeping up with the cost of claims.  He has not approved dozens of auto rate filings in over two years.  Commercial rating plans have also sat unapproved for over a year.  Homeowners insurance is under extreme pressure from wildfires made more frequent and severe by climate change.

As a result, coverage options for consumers and businesses are being restricted.

Allstate, the nation’s fourth-largest insurer, recently instructed agents to pause offering new homeowners policies. American International Group (AIG) exited the California homeowners market altogether, and another leading insurer just announced they are pausing direct sales. California’s insurance market is at a tipping point.

Unless Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara acts quickly, homeowners, drivers and businesses will continue to lose access to affordable coverage – a reality that will hurt those who can least afford it.

The fact is that insurance rates must be sufficient to cover the costs of paying claims. That’s how the system is designed to work.

Without access to homeowners insurance, lenders will stop issuing mortgages. Without access to auto insurance, drivers will be burdened with finding other modes of transportation. Commercial insurers are also pulling back coverage options, adding limited, costly insurance to the pile of disruptions like inflation and supply-chain delays already challenging California’s small businesses.

This looming crisis is entirely manmade, and it can be avoided. It’s time for the Commissioner to start doing his job.

The fact is that insurance rates must be sufficient to cover the costs of paying claims. That’s how the system is designed to work, and the only way it can function. No one likes price increases, but if a small business had to consistently sell her product for less than she paid for it, she wouldn’t be able to stay in business very long.

That’s what is happening with insurance coverage in California, and as a consequence, the market is drying up. Soon consumers and businesses will have less access to the insurance coverage they need.

The Commissioner’s inaction and failed policies have left California’s insurance market broken. If left unfixed, it will blossom into a full-blown crisis that will be felt by all California’s drivers, homeowners, and businesses.

The simple remedy? Commissioner Lara needs a new approach to managing California’s insurance marketplace. He should work with providers to find innovative solutions that can tackle the current problems caused by climate change, inflation, and supply-chain delays.

The time has come for Commissioner Lara to press the reset button and start addressing the growing problems facing California’s insurance market, or consumers and businesses will be left to deal with the consequences of his inaction.

Editor’s Note: Julian Canete is the president and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.

Appeals process added to city’s ordinance requiring new buildings to be all-electric

Sacramento has decided to assure blackouts in the future and make its city a Third world country, like Cuba.  That is a country where electricity is rationed.  Since Sacramento is not supporting oil drilling, fracking or coal—just solar and wind as energy sources, there will not be enough energy to power all the EV’s the city is mandating and the all electric homes.

In the end it will also cause businesses to close and leave town.  Would you stay as a family or business if energy was very expensive and not stable?  This is how Sacramento will depopulate—ration energy.

Cheap gas versus expensive alternative electricity: “The City of Sacramento said it added an appeals process to the ordinance requiring new buildings to run on electricity instead of gas. 

Buildings with three or fewer stories will need to meet the electrification requirements beginning 2023, and buildings taller than that will need to meet them starting 2026. 

Appeals process added to city’s ordinance requiring new buildings to be all-electric

by: Jose Fabian, Fox40,  12/1/22HARE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The City of Sacramento said it added an appeals process to the ordinance requiring new buildings to run on electricity instead of gas. 

Buildings with three or fewer stories will need to meet the electrification requirements beginning 2023, and buildings taller than that will need to meet them starting 2026. 

Those requirements do not affect existing buildings. And in some cases, it could also not apply to certain parts of new buildings. According to the city, there will be limited exemptions for building permit applications filed on or before Dec. 31, 2025:

  • A limited exemption for ground floor food establishments for cooking equipment only.
  • A limited exemption for manufacturing process loads only within a manufacturing or industrial facility.
  • A limited exemption for regulated affordable housing when virtual net energy metering is not available, for water heating only.

An Infeasibility Waiver Process was also added to exempt new buildings from being all-electric. In order to be exempt, it would have to be shown that a portion of the building would not be able to be powered only by electricity.

To read more about the ordinance, visit cityofsacramento.org

Stanford band mocks Christians during halftime show

Stanford is a bigoted, hate filled University.  It opposes free speech, hate Jews and supports Palestinian terrorist.  Now it has come out against the Mormon religion—and then said it was a joke.

“At Saturday’s Brigham Young University (BYU) and Stanford University’s (Stanford) football game in California, Stanford’s band mocked BYU students’ Christain faith during its halftime show performance. 

The halftime skit was called “gay chicken,” as reported by Jackson Payne, of the Daily Universe, the official BYU newspaper. 

Featuring a mock wedding ceremony of two women, the skit mocked the words of the marriage ceremony of  the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which marries a man and woman “for time and all eternity.”  

The staged wedding  concluded with the mock marriage officiant quoting Genesis 1:28, telling  the women to “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”

The Music Director approved this vicious attack on the Mormon religion—even though the star quarterback is a Mormon.  So far no real apology.  Were I BYU, I would cancel any future games in any sport when Stanford was present.  Why reward bigots?

Stanford band mocks Christians during halftime show

Thomas Stevenson,  Campus Reform,  12/5/22 

The staged wedding concluded with the mock marriage officiant quoting Genesis 1:28, telling the women to ‘be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.’

The band put the skit on despite the fact that members of its own football team are members of the Church.

FacebookTwitterEmailMore

At Saturday’s Brigham Young University (BYU) and Stanford University’s (Stanford) football game in California, Stanford’s band mocked BYU students’ Christain faith during its halftime show performance. 

The halftime skit was called “gay chicken,” as reported by Jackson Payne, of the Daily Universe, the official BYU newspaper. 

Featuring a mock wedding ceremony of two women, the skit mocked the words of the marriage ceremony of  the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which marries a man and woman “for time and all eternity.”  

The staged wedding  concluded with the mock marriage officiant quoting Genesis 1:28, telling  the women to “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”

The band put the skit on despite the fact that members of its own football team are members of the Church. 

Tanner McKee, Stanford’s quarterback, and other players including Levani Damuni and Spencer Jorgensen have served religious missions for the Church. 

Damuni was reported as saying, “I’m assuming it was the Stanford band. They’re a militia of students who don’t represent what Stanford is about. I love Stanford.”

A BYU student at the game, Lauren Palmer, when contacted by Campus Reform, corroborated the details of the skit saying, “They put on a ceremony and then kissed the bride(s). As they did so, one woman took the microphone and said something along the lines of, if you think I’m gay, well I am.”  

Thomas Olsen, a reporter at the Cougar Chronicle, who covered the story told Campus Reform, “When I first heard about it, I was disappointed but not surprised.” He added that “Mocking religions as halftime entertainment is wrong, but it seems less people care because it’s BYU.” 

statement from Stanford issued the same report saying “The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) has a long history of lighthearted and satirical halftime performances. Unfortunately, some of the language that was used in Saturday’s halftime show did not reflect Stanford University’s values of religious freedom and diversity, inclusion and belonging.” 

The statement continued saying “The LSJUMB deeply regrets that this performance caused offense to spectators, and the halftime performance review and approval process is being adjusted.”

This comes just after a statement of religious bigotry was put out regarding notes placed on a Dia de los Muertos Altar at Stanford’s campus. The notes read, “This is pure idolatry” and after that was taken off, another one was placed that said “Still idolatry ok.” 

In response, Stanford’s statement reads, “Residential student leaders noticed the notes, documented, and then removed them. This is especially harmful as it was done during Dia de los Muertos, a cultural-religious tradition for many Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and other Latiné communities. Furthermore, any form of religious bias that shows intolerance to certain rituals and practices of others is unacceptable.”

All other parties in the story have been contacted for comment. The story will be updated accordingly. 

Real Reform Includes the City’s Public Sector Unions

There can be no reforms of the L.A., or other city, public union sector.  No, not as long as workers are forced to pay bribes to work for the city—then the union buys elections for preferred candidates who will look the other way on City Council when the unions harm the workers and the public.’

“This may result in favorable labor agreements that result in rivers of red ink as was the case in October of 2019 when the City Council approved a budget busting contract that resulted in a $1.5 billion hit to the City’s finances over the following four years.  Or it may result in favorable legislation such as the approval of exclusive trash franchises (RecycLA) that resulted in a massive increase in hauling fees for apartment buildings but facilitated the unionization of the work force of the trash haulers. This was contrary to the semi-exclusive recommendation of the City Administrative Officer.         

One solution to bust busting labor agreements is for the City Council to pass an ordinance that would prohibit the City from entering contracts that result in a current or future deficit.   

A better reform is that those that get contracts from the City, like vendors and unions, may not make political donations either directly or through “Independent “ PAC;s to candidates.  Stop the flow of bribe money and you save the City. 

Real Reform Includes the City’s Public Sector Unions

JACK HUMPHREVILLE, City Watch LA,  12/5/22  

LA WATCHDOG – “We have a unique power – we elect our bosses.

It would be difficult to think of workers anywhere else who elect their bosses. We do. We must take advantage of it.” Alex Caputo-Pearl, President, United Teachers Los Angeles 

Since the Los Angeles Times broke the story of the leaked recording of a racist and profanity laced meeting between three members of the City Council and Ron Herrera, the President of the politically powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the focus has been on our three elected officials, Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, and Kevin de Leon.  Left relatively unscathed is Ron Herrera and County Fed. 

The apparent purpose of the meeting was to discuss the redistricting of the City Council districts in a way that favored the Latino community, especially the Mexican-American community.  In the era of identity politics, the three Councilmembers believed the Latino community was underrepresented because it constituted about half the City’s population but have only a quarter of the seats on the City Council. 

And what better way to accomplish a favorable redistricting (gerrymandering) than to solicit the help of the most powerful political entity in the City and County, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor that represents 800,000 workers in both the public and private sectors of our economy.  

Of course, Herrera, along with County Fed and its many unions, will want something in return for his help, not only with the gerrymandering of the fifteen Council Districts, but in assisting most of the members of the City Council in their election campaigns. But this may not be in the best interest of Angelenos. 

This may result in favorable labor agreements that result in rivers of red ink as was the case in October of 2019 when the City Council approved a budget busting contract that resulted in a $1.5 billion hit to the City’s finances over the following four years.  Or it may result in favorable legislation such as the approval of exclusive trash franchises (RecycLA) that resulted in a massive increase in hauling fees for apartment buildings but facilitated the unionization of the work force of the trash haulers. This was contrary to the semi-exclusive recommendation of the City Administrative Officer.         

One solution to bust busting labor agreements is for the City Councill to pass an ordinance that would prohibit the City from entering contracts that result in a current or future deficit.   

Another alternative that was endorsed by the Los Angeles Times is for the City to develop a Civic Openness in Negotiations (COIN) ordinance that would allow for greater transparency into labor negotiations and agreements.  This would allow for an independent analysis of any tentative agreement and public hearings before any agreement can be ratified.    

There is no doubt that Los Angeles is a union town.  But maybe too much so where there is a need for the Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance Reform to level the playing field by discussing checks and balances to union power that benefit ordinary Angelenos. 

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate

How did confidential gun permit data get leaked?

California is the home of Silicon Valley.  Yet none of our government computer systems work.  Think DMV, EDD and it corruption, the Registrar of Voters sending out ballots to long time dead people.  You have the computer system for the Secretary of State that has not worked properly since 2000 (not a typo).

“Four days later, Bonta’s Department of Justice unveiled a new website aimed at giving the public access to data about criminal justice, including how many Californians had concealed weapons permits. Very quickly, however, website users, including some in the media, discovered that if they hit the right button, they could access supposedly confidential personal information about gun permit applicants and holders.

As the data breach unfolded, many gun owners saw it as deliberate retaliation by Bonta to spoil their celebration of the Supreme Court decision, even though he shut down the leaky website, issued public apologies, promised an independent investigation of how it happened and even sent letters to permit holders to “offer my sincerest apology…”

You have two choices—either the radical Rob Bonta is totally incompetent or totally corrupt.  You know where I stand on that question, how about you?

How did confidential gun permit data get leaked?

BY DAN WALTERS, 12/5/22 

IN SUMMARY

California’s political and legal wrangling over gun control was punctuated by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June and then a leak of confidential information about concealed weapon permit holders four days later.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the state’s gun owners were already warring over the state’s very tight gun control laws when, on June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that could threaten the constitutionality of at least some of the restrictions.

Gun owner organizations had sued to overturn some of the state’s laws, such as a 10-round limit on magazines, and had some success in federal court. The 6-3 June 23 ruling, overturning a New York law restricting concealed carry permits, signaled that other restrictive laws in other states, including California, were in jeopardy.

Bonta quickly said that he wanted the Legislature to keep as many California guns laws on the books as possible. “In the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and with gun deaths at an all-time high, ensuring that dangerous individuals are not allowed to carry concealed firearms is more important than ever,” he said in a statement.

Four days later, Bonta’s Department of Justice unveiled a new website aimed at giving the public access to data about criminal justice, including how many Californians had concealed weapons permits. Very quickly, however, website users, including some in the media, discovered that if they hit the right button, they could access supposedly confidential personal information about gun permit applicants and holders.

As the data breach unfolded, many gun owners saw it as deliberate retaliation by Bonta to spoil their celebration of the Supreme Court decision, even though he shut down the leaky website, issued public apologies, promised an independent investigation of how it happened and even sent letters to permit holders to “offer my sincerest apology…”

While gun owners’ reaction was understandable, given the years of political and legal wrangling not only involving Bonta but his predecessors, such as Vice President Kamala Harris, and Gov. Gavin Newsom, the juxtaposition of the Supreme Court decision and the gun permit data leak was probably coincidental.

Last week, Bonta released the 61-page report on the data breach investigation by a prominent law firm, Morrison & Foerster, which concluded that it was caused by the errors of the ill-trained technician who operated the website, compounded by managerial failure to double-check its integrity.

The law firm said, “improper exposure of confidential personal data by DOJ, while unacceptable, was unintentional and not connected to any nefarious purpose. The investigation found that the data exposure was due to a lack of DOJ personnel training, requisite technical expertise, and professional rigor; insufficiently documented and implemented DOJ policies and procedures; and inadequate oversight by certain supervisors.”

The detail of what Morrison & Foerster’s team discovered is mindboggling. Repeatedly, the technician, identified only as “Data Analyst-1,” insisted that the site did not allow users to access the personal data, but after it was initially shut down and then reopened, access continued to data of 190,000-plus Californians.

The report said “confidential personal data was downloaded approximately 2,734 times, in full or in part, across 507 unique IP addresses,” adding, “The investigation could not accurately determine the number of public visitors who may have only viewed, but did not download, the underlying dataset.”

What occurred on June 27 plays like a broken record. Repeatedly — even chronically — California’s state government has attempted to use information technology with poor results.

Systems fail to deliver promised results and/or experience years of delay and immense cost overruns. Just last week, a legislative committee delved into how the secretary of state’s office spent tens of millions of dollars to upgrade its site for accessing campaign finance reports and it still has a cranky and unreliable system.

That’s the real scandal.

Women Transit Riders Deserting LA Metro

If you were a woman, or a man, would you knowingly go on a government train or bus knowing it carries diseases, is dirty, the other passengers will grope you or worse?  Would you go on a government bus knowing you could be a crime victim?  Would you allow your children on a government bus?

“Many women do not feel safe on Metro buses and trains, and while other municipal agencies did not conduct their surveys, this unease from women would also apply to those other agencies and their buses.  

Women represent 50% of Los Angeles County residents. From the study,“Although women made up the majority of bus riders in 2019 — at 53% — they accounted for only 49% of riders this year, according to the customer experience survey. The percent of women on Metro train lines also fell, though only by 2 percentage points, to 44%. Compared to all respondents, female riders were more likely to cite safety as the top issue on which they wanted Metro to make improvements.”  

This must be addressed for the safety of women, for the overall safety of all riders, and to have Metro live up to a great promise of an efficient transit system in vehicle obsessed and gridlocked Los Angeles. This is particularly true for Metro Rail, the Los Angeles County wide network of subways and light rail trains. 

Do you want your mother or wife on these buses or trains?  Feel safe?  Not on an L.A. government bus or train.

Women Transit Riders Deserting LA Metro

MATTHEW HETZ, City Watch LA,   12/5/22  

LA TRANSPO – A recent survey conducted by Metro shows a decrease in women ridership.

Many women do not feel safe on Metro buses and trains, and while other municipal agencies did not conduct their surveys, this unease from women would also apply to those other agencies and their buses.  

Women represent 50% of Los Angeles County residents. From the study,“Although women made up the majority of bus riders in 2019 — at 53% — they accounted for only 49% of riders this year, according to the customer experience survey. The percent of women on Metro train lines also fell, though only by 2 percentage points, to 44%. Compared to all respondents, female riders were more likely to cite safety as the top issue on which they wanted Metro to make improvements.”  

This must be addressed for the safety of women, for the overall safety of all riders, and to have Metro live up to a great promise of an efficient transit system in vehicle obsessed and gridlocked Los Angeles. This is particularly true for Metro Rail, the Los Angeles County wide network of subways and light rail trains. 

Further from a study, “Metro’s 2022 Customer Experience Survey was conducted between March and May 2022. A total of 12,239 surveys were taken on board Metro buses, trains, and Metro Micro vehicles, reflecting a 63 percent response rate.” 

What is safety for women transit riders? From the survey: 

“The top five improvements female rail customers want Metro to make:

  • Safety from crime, sexual harassment, or racial or ethnic harassment
  • Cleaner trains
  • Homelessness issues on trains
  • Cleaner stations
  • Trains to arrive on time. 

The top five improvements female bus customers want Metro to make:

  • Safety from crime, sexual harassment, or racial or ethnic harassment
  • Buses to arrive on time
  • More frequent service
  • Homelessness issued on buses
  • Cleaner buses

The first priority for women transit riders is very clear. This feeling of safety has been decreasing over the years. The survey on the decrease of women transit riders does not include those women who left transit riding before the survey, nor those leaving after the survey, so the percentage is even greater. 

To provide safety there must be a presence of authority who will keep a safe, orderly, maintained and controlled experience while riding transit. Not a stifling police culture, but some kind of feeling of safety when riding transit but without it being a police-state. 

On Metro Rail this authority has been LAPD and Los Angeles County Sheriff. Before the COVID Shutdown which resulted in decreased ridership, LAPD and LASD were a fairly constant presence on light rail and subways, on the stations and in the trains. This was a deterrent.  

With the return of some kind of living with COVID, transit ridership is increasing, but I do not see the pre-COVID police presence, and women are leaving riding transit. 

Some raise the issue that having the police on board trains makes them nervous. They make me nervous. Without question there has been, and remains, police abuse, particularly towards people of color. This must be addressed and eliminated. I understand people’s uneasiness around the police, but when a needed authority figure is absent, a vacuum appears. This vacuum was filed in with increases of bad, unruly behavior from some transit riders which leads to that unsafe feeling for women riding transit. 

Metro is undertaking a transition to a more holistic policing practice, which is needed. Metro has started a pilot program on the new Crenshaw-K Line of using non-police greeters and ambassadors.  

From the Metro website in response to safety issues: 

Customer Care

  • Launched the Metro Ambassador Program to improve the overall customer experience for all Metro riders while navigating the system. A total of 55 Transit Ambassadors have been trained in everything from customer service to trauma informed response and mental health awareness and disability awareness and deployed on parts of the system. The goal is to deploy 300 ambassadors by February 2023.
  • Doubling homeless outreach teams to assist those in need.
  • On-boarding crisis intervention teams for those in need of mental health assistance. 

These are good and needed steps into making transit riding a safe experience for women, and all riders. 

What exactly will the ambassadors do?  

Will they make sure riders do not eat on the trains which is an ongoing problem? Cleaner buses, trains and stations are a high priority for women. 

Will they ensure radios and music devices are not blaring throughout a train? Many transit riders are very satisfied with quite rides. 

Will they make sure no shoes on seats-who know where the soles of the shoes have been, and if it’s raining bus and train seats become unusable when they are wet. 

Will the ambassadors be the ones to tell some riders smoking weed on trains and buses to stop? What if the stoner doesn’t want to stop rolling joints and smoking them, which I’ve seen and involuntarily inhaled? I stopped smoking pot forty years ago and have no intentions on returning to it even if it is free, secondhand pot smoke. 

Will ambassadors make sure that women are not harassed verbally and physically, and if they are, will the ambassadors be in a position to stop it? 

If the ambassadors will not be able to ensure that women feel safe on buses and trains, what is the next level? What is left are the police.  

That the ambassadors will be trained with homeless and mental health issues of transit riders is a very positive steps. 

And while the threat has been quiet, at least to the public, who will deal with terrorist threats? 

What is needed to retain, and attract new transit riders, women and men, is to have a transit riding experience where other riders simply follow the most basic of courtesies which make for a safer bus or train ride. But, what authority will the ambassadors have to back up the public’s needs to ensure social considerations of other riders, to create a safe environment?  

While some think there should be no police presence on buses or trains, others think they need to be a steady presence, not to instigate, but to immediately back-up the duties of the ambassadors to ensure some kind of civility and safety between transit riders.  

Whenever a new Metro Rail opens the trains and platforms are saturated with police, and then after a little while they disappear. It is a overhanded, too stern, temporary occupying force which does not ensure the ongoing safety on transit. 

These police are pulled from thought the ranks, and for some this is their first time just riding Metro’s trains and buses, I’ve talked with when riding trains. They have no experiences on the rhythms of transit riding. 

Metro’s new policing strategy could be improved if in addition to the greeters and ambassadors there is the creation of an transit division of police assigned exclusively to transit. They would learn how to move within the transit network like transit riders must do. They could develop the senses needed to work in the transit environment, which is similar to the senses police gain working in traffic, vice, juvenile, gang and narcotics and so forth. They could get to know familiar faces of us transit riders. There could a more humane interaction. 

Metro is tasked with billions of dollars of public money to create a vibrant, working, and safe transit network. If women continue to leave riding Metro’s rail lines; and all bus routes, Metro’s and other municipal agencies, too much of that money will be wasted.

(Matthew Hetz is a Los Angeles native, a composer whose works have been performed nationally, and some can be found at https://www.matthewhetz.com. He is the past President of the Culver City Symphony Orchestra and Marina del Rey Symphony. His dedication to transit issues is to help improve the transit riding experience for all, and to convince drivers to ride buses and trains to fight air pollution and global warming. He is an instructor at Emeritus/Santa Monica College and a regular contributor to CityWatchLA.)

The shadow race is on to succeed Feinstein

Does it matter if a Socialist, a Socialist/Marxist or a Socialist Hoaxster becomes Senator from California?

The important part of the article is what it does not say.

Note there is not a single word about a potential Republican candidate for Senate.  Why should there be?  The California Republican Party by its refusal to support the County Committees, implement a voter registration effort, end its jihad on conservative candidates.

Until the California GOP comes alive, there is no need to speculate on who our losing candidate for Senate will be.

The shadow race is on to succeed Feinstein

California’s long-serving senator hasn’t revealed her 2024 plans, but Democratic hopefuls are making moves.

By JEREMY B. WHITE, Politico,  12/4/22 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein hasn’t said if she intends to seek another term in 2024 — but the competition to succeedthe oldest member of Congress is escalating.

Reps. Ro Khanna and Katie Porter are fielding entreaties to jump into the race, and Rep. Adam Schiff has publicly declared he is exploring a run. Rep. Barbara Lee is spending the holidays mulling her next move. Three hopefuls have contacted former Sen. Barbara Boxer to seek her advice, marking the incipient stages of a fierce fight between California Democrats for a seat that has not been open for a generation.

“They’re starting to call me to get ready for what is a massive campaign – truly, massively expensive and hard-fought,” Boxer said. “It will be a very crowded field.”

Schiff fired the first salvo last month by openly admitting his long-known interest in the seat, telling a Los Angeles television station that, after his House leadership bid fizzled, he would “consider running for the Senate if Senator Feinstein decides not to run for reelection.” Schiff also met with Feinstein to inform her of his intentions, according totwo people familiar with the exchange.

Feinstein’s plans remain a wildcard. The 89-year-old senator’s standing has eroded as California Democrats sour on her centrism and the San Francisco Chronicle detailed her perceived cognitive decline in an explosive piece this spring that bolstered previous reporting by POLITICO about Feinstein’s capacity to serve.

But while it is widely believed that the California senator will not seek another term in 2024, she has not said anything explicit about her intentions — a Feinstein spokesperson contacted about the story said he had “no updates” — and people who know her say she bridles at being backed into a corner. Californians eyeing Feinstein’s seat have been careful to show respect for the longest-serving woman in U.S. Senate history and have, for the most part, avoided overt positioning.

But the détente is unlikely to hold for much longer.

“Just by virtue of the calendar and her age, the playbook is getting to a climax here,” said a prominent California Democratic bundler who requested anonymity to discuss a sensitive campaign matter. “People who have interest have been talking to people about their interest.”

Schiff is one of multiple California House Democrats who could seek the seat. Porter, fresh off beating back a Republican challenger in one of the state’s most competitive races, is “absolutely considering a 2024 Senate campaign” as she hears from admirers around the state, according to a person close to Porter.

And Khanna is being urged to run by progressives aligned with Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose presidential campaign Khanna co-chaired.Lee plans to spend the holidays discussing her plans with her family, according to a source familiar with her intentions.

All of those possible candidates would bring assets to the race. And under California’s top-two primary system, it’s likely a U.S. Senate race would yield two Democrats squaring off in the general election, as happened when Kamala Harris defeated then-Rep. Loretta Sanchez in 2016.

Both Schiff and Porter are formidable fundraisers, although Porter’s competitive House contest drained much of her resources. Schiff achieved national stature as a fierce antagonist of former President Donald Trump and for his role in impeachment proceedings. Porter quickly became a star for her acerbic and whiteboard-assisted grilling of executives.

Lee has long been seen as a top contender to win an appointment if Feinstein resigns. California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetted Lee when he was seeking a replacement for former California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is Black and Asian American, and later committed to choosing a Black woman if he gets to make another Senate appointment. The longtime Oakland congresswoman is widely respected in the Bay Area and could marshal deep Black support.

And Khanna is beloved by progressives and could divert rivers of money from his affluent Silicon Valley district.

The next few months could determine the field. Contenders will be working to secure endorsements and fundraising commitments — and to freeze out their foes in the process.

“Anyone who is sophisticated enough to think about running for one of California’s two seats in the U.S. Senate is fully aware of the dynamics, and dynamics include the option of getting out early, staking your claim, and discouraging challengers,” said Darry Sragow, a Democratic former political consultant and publisher of the election analyst California Target Book.

But it’s unlikely that anyone will have the field to themselves. California’s overwhelmingly Democratic electorate makes a U.S. Senate seat close to a lifetime position. Even if the race doesn’t affect the balance of power in the Senate, it’s certain to be a multimillion-dollar melee.

“This isn’t something you do at the last minute. It takes tremendous preparation, and tremendous organization and messaging and money and all of those things,” Boxer said. “Anyone who’s interested in this, with full respect to Sen. Feinstein, should start securing the support they need.”

San Fran is a hellhole for a reason

Visit San Fran, if you can not afford to go to Cambodia or any other poverty stricken, Third World country.  In all of these places you will see the streets littered with homeless and human feces.  You will see productive people fleeing the community, failed, racist schools and a corrupt government.

Love crime?  San Fran is for you—even with a new DA criminals get away with theft because the ops are afraid to stop crime for fear of being sued and called racist.

“E Earlier today I wrote about an infant who overdosed on fentanyl while playing in a park. The child’s nanny had taken her to the park for a walk and among the detritus left by druggies was enough fentanyl to cause a near-fatal overdose. Luckily the EMTs arrived and saved her life.

This is modern San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi’s shining city on a hill. The park is a few blocks from Pelosi’s scene of the crime home. Earlier today I wrote about an infant who overdosed on fentanyl while playing in a park. The child’s nanny had taken her to the park for a walk and among the detritus left by druggies was enough fentanyl to cause a near-fatal overdose. Luckily the EMTs arrived and saved her life.

This is modern San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi’s shining city on a hill. The park is a few blocks from Pelosi’s scene of the crime home.”

This is an open city for drugs.  Mayor Breed even provides places for druggies to overdose and die, under the watchful eye of nurses!  How considerate.  San Fran is a hellhole.

San Fran is a hellhole for a reason

DAVID STROM, HotAir,   12/1/22    

Earlier today I wrote about an infant who overdosed on fentanyl while playing in a park. The child’s nanny had taken her to the park for a walk and among the detritus left by druggies was enough fentanyl to cause a near-fatal overdose. Luckily the EMTs arrived and saved her life.

This is modern San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi’s shining city on a hill. The park is a few blocks from Pelosi’s scene of the crime home.

I stumbled across this new investigative report an hour after I finished writing that post, and it helps explain why San Francisco is a literal crap-filled mess.

As I have said before, public employment in San Francisco isn’t public service; it is nothing but another government grift. Not that most of the taxpayers in San Francisco don’t deserve to lose money to the confidence men; they are idiotic enough to keep voting for this crap.

Still, David Sjostedt of the San Francisco Standard deserves kudos for reporting the story. If San Franciscans aren’t engaged enough to care about the decline of their once-breathtaking city, at least people from more sane venues can learn from their experience.

At least 300 people have held unauthorized second jobs while working for the city’s Department of Public Health and are only now seeking approval as the city investigates the practice.

The health department said on Wednesday that it has received 300 additional requests for secondary employment since Oct. 21, the day that Jail Health Services director Lisa Pratt resigned from her second job at a city-contracted nonprofit.

The surge of dual employment applications came after the health department reminded employees of their responsibilities to seek permission for secondary jobs. The city launched an audit of the practice after The Standard revealed that Pratt, a top public health executive, was moonlighting 20 hours a week for the nonprofit Baker Places in violation of city rules.

The department said that of 304 currently pending applications, 44 are in need of additional paperwork and 260 are under review.

“In other words, those 300 were violating the law, never asked for permission and are now asking for forgiveness?” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin.“Well shit, somebody call the police.”

Notice how the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (city council in regularspeak) guy expresses shock and outrage? That’s BS. This has been going on for years, and the only crime these people committed was not asking for permission to bilk the taxpayers out of money.

And it’s not just that they are working for other employers in 2nd jobs. They are working for employers who get business and grants from the city in the very areas these public employees manage. This is simple bribery, nothing less. And it is standard practice in the city, and only frowned upon when they fail to inform the city that they are doing so.

There are 137 health department employees who have an already approved side job for an entity outside of city government, the most of any city department by far. If you add that number to the 304 pending requests, then 441 health department employees work second jobs, making up 6% of the department’s total workforce. 

Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission has the second-most employees working second jobs, with 18 employees reporting side gigs, which amounts to 1% of its workers. 

Perhaps you might suppose that, given San Francisco’s high cost of living these poor city workers have to find second jobs to make ends meet? You know, a school teacher getting a job as wait staff at a diner?

Uh, no.

Employees are barred from working jobs that contradict, interfere or present a conflict of interest with their city job, according to the city attorney’s Good Government Guide.

In Pratt’s case, her city job running health care in the city’s jails requires her to be on call for the city 24/7, and public record emails obtained by The Standard show her routinely responding to emails for the nonprofit during normal business hours. Pratt earned $123,000 annually at Baker Places on top of her $428,750 city compensation.

“The department is confident that this new process will ensure greater compliance and reduce confusion among employees about their responsibilities when seeking additional employment,” said the health department in a statement.

San Francisco has a “good government guide.” How appropriate. Whenever the city or its employees get caught doing shady stuff they can point to the “good government guide” and claim that any problem is an aberration, not systemic. The city is all-in on good government. The results speak for themselves, after all.

The results of this incestuous relationship between government workers and the nonprofits they grift for are obvious: hideously expensive “services” that perpetuate, not solve the underlying problems. The nonprofits need the problem to persist in order to keep the gravy train going, and the city workers get paid to ensure that happens.

That’s why it costs $60,000 to monitor each tent in a city-provided tent city. We are not talking about large tent structures the city puts up to house lots of homeless people. These are the camping tents that the homeless put up on city property lent to them by the bureaucracy across from City Hall.

The bureaucrats get that money, not the homeless people. They are just the excuse for the public employment their existence ensures. No wonder the city is a magnet for homeless people: the city workers need them to get the big bucks.

If you think these problems are limited to the bluest of the Blue cities in the Left coast, you are sorely mistaken. Local governments have become the employer of choice for some of the most incompetent and greedy folks in the US. People who are too useless to employ at even the most bloated corporations.

Sure, there are a lot of dedicated city and county workers who labor to do the right thing. As critical as I am of government unions and government itself, there are actually lots of people doing yeoman’s work keeping our cities functioning. I just wish those were the people running things. Usually they are not. They are victims of the same system that the rest of us are, and frustrated as hell by what is going on.

But in most cases the people at the top are grifting, incompetent boobs who should be homeless themselves if there were any justice. But they are children of the Elite™, or have somehow obtained impressive credentials that immunize them from criticism. They are the Experts™, and they are destroying our country.

None of these people are getting fired for their malfeasance. The Jail Health Services director Lisa Pratt who violated the law by moonlighting for a related nonprofit simply had to resign from her outside job, retaining her $500k city job.

The next time you hear somebody say “government should do…” or “there should be a law…” just say no. Government screws everything up, usually intentionally. The more problems the government has to solve the more money it can steal from taxpayers.

Government is the only business where you get more money the more you fail. And when you pay for failure, you get more of it.

Fentanyl continues to take students’ lives in Sacramento. Here’s how parents and schools are responding.

This story is a sick joke.

Parents and schools can not stop the fentanyl use in Sacramento—one man can—and he refuses.  Thank is Joe Biden.  As long as he keeps the borders open to the drug cartels and welcomes them into this country, we will have kids die.  That is even with free narcan everywhere.

This story is a farce—we already know that the Biden Criminal Family is compromised by the Communist Chinese government—yet the article refuses to note who is responsible for these deaths.

“Sacramento County has seen a 133% increase in the number of Fentanyl-related cases between 2021 and 2022, according to Jonathan Charron, a criminalist at the Sacramento District Attorney’s crime lab who spoke at Arrive Alive discussion in November. He found the increase in cases directly corresponded to the amount of Fentanyl pushed in the region.”

This is a feel good article that will kill more kids because of its refusal to name the cause and person responsible.  Why not ask Biden about his open borders policy and his relationship with Communist China.

Fentanyl continues to take students’ lives in Sacramento. Here’s how parents and schools are responding.

Srishti Prabha, Capitol Public Radio,  12/5/22  

In the Sacramento neighborhood of Land Park, Jennifer tells the story of her 16-year-old son’s Fentanyl use, drug addiction and current rehabilitation. 

“Where to begin,” she says, overwhelmed, stumbling over a few sentences.

Over in the suburb of Rocklin, Laura Didier starts her story at the end of her 17-year-old son’s life. 

“The last day that I saw my son alive was Christmas of 2020,” she says, her voice quivering, “and Christmas will never be the same.”

Unbeknownst to both mothers, their sons ventured out to buy Percocet from social media dealers in the greater Sacramento area. But instead they got Fentanyl, a highly addictive and dangerous opioid. 

What these families face is no longer an atypical experience in Sacramento, as opioid begins to take a grip on the region. Young adults cope with depression, loneliness, and COVID fatigue by turning to dealers on social media. And though what they seek are pills like Percocet or Xanax, they are given Fentanyl, an opioid that feeds depression and addiction. 

These “Fentapills” are easy to produce and disguise, and remain unregulated with more than half of the distributed street pills containing a lethal dose. 

Across the schools in the area, leaders and parents are urgently looking for solutions, prioritizing education and access to the life-saving medication Narcan, which is also referred to as Naloxone. 

This fentanyl crisis prompted the Sacramento City Unified School District to vote in October to become one of the first in the state to distribute Narcan, which can help treat suspected fentanyl overdose. The decision by the board was a response to increasing opioid deaths in Sacramento County and the introduction of “rainbow Fentanyl” in California.  

Other districts have followed suit after the county partnered with Fentanyl prevention nonprofit Arrive Alive California. Local organizations also are focusing efforts on Sacramento’s youth, who are caught in the middle of COVID-related mental health crisis and an opioid epidemic.

Sacramento County has seen a 133% increase in the number of Fentanyl-related cases between 2021 and 2022, according to Jonathan Charron, a criminalist at the Sacramento District Attorney’s crime lab who spoke at Arrive Alive discussion in November. He found the increase in cases directly corresponded to the amount of Fentanyl pushed in the region.

Bob Beris, special agent at the San Francisco division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, says Fentanyl, which is often produced in China and pedaled to the cartels in Mexico, comes to Sacramento in high volumes, as a distribution point for the rest of the country.

Jennifer was taken aback when Fentanyl affected her family. (We’re not using her full name to protect her son’s medical privacy.) He was a good student, both parents were attentive, and drugs were never around in the house.

“I didn’t think it was going to touch my family,” Jennifer said. 

‘He ended up getting hooked’

In 2022, Jennifer noticed her son’s odd behavior. His heavy eyes didn’t match the effects of marijuana, and he seemed to be in a downward spiral.

“He started substance use probably in the seventh grade, but we weren’t aware of it back then,” Jennifer said. “And then the pandemic hit and we were noticing mental health issues, depression, anxiety.” 

During the pandemic, a mental health epidemic joined the issues affecting youth. A 2022 UC Davis study found that mental health crises were a common reaction to opioid withdrawal.  

Jennifer sought counseling for her son, who was put on antidepressants, which proved to be ineffective because he was dishonest about his drug use. 

This summer, Jennifer caught her son inhaling Percocet with a straw in the garage. When she sent the drug to the lab to be tested, she found that it was pure Fentanyl. 

“From a mental health standpoint, knowing that teenagers are moody — and being a teenager is really hard — I thought, ‘He’ll get through it,’” Jennifer said about the escalation of her son’s addiction prompted by the pandemic. “But the further down he went, he ended up getting hooked.”

Fentanyl capitalizes on the insecurities of young people, according to Bob Hicks, a program coordinator at the Rocklin-based youth recovery program The Pathway Program

“Teenagers are already susceptible,” Hicks said. “They don’t have the ability to see into the future and they love thrill seeking behavior, which is also what describes alcoholics and addicts.”

Beris with the DEA warns parents and their children of the new drug landscape where 99% of street pills (Percocet, Xanax, Adderall) are solely Fentanyl. And 60% of those have a lethal dose of that drug. 

“It’s really a game of Russian roulette that we have with Fentanyl pills that are being distributed in our communities,” Beris said. “And I want to make sure folks know it takes only two milligrams of Fentanyl in a pill to be a lethal dose – a couple of grains of salt.”

Jennifer’s son’s life was spared, and she pressed to send him to rehab for recovery.  

“But it was just the beginning,” she said. “Full-on substance abuse addiction is a long journey.”

‘They will be quite literally delivered to their homes’

Between 2018 to 2021, access to Fentanyl developed into a national trend and there was a 141% percent increase in Fentanyl-related youth deaths. These numbers continue to climb. 

Laura Didier’s son Zach Didier was a senior at Whitney High School in Rocklin in December 2020. He had just completed his UC application and was excited about the future. 

That year, two days after Christmas, her ex-spouse Chris Didier found Zach in his room, napping at his desk, his hand on the mouse, ready to click. But his body was cold, and he was unresponsive. 

“The time from [Zach’s] first contact with a dealer [on Snapchat] to Zach’s death was 48 hours,” Laura Didier said. “It only took one pill.”

He had no history of drug use and his untimely death came as a shock. 

“From what we’ve pieced together, I think there was some COVID boredom and COVID fatigue,” Laura Didier said about her son’s interest in acquiring Percocet. 

Beris emphasized the accessibility of Fentanyl and its ability to be in any home.

“Back in the day, you’d have to go down to the street corner,” he said. “But a cell phone is a superhighway. They get on these social media sites, they can order these drugs and they will be quite literally delivered to their homes.”

Counterfeit pills have distinct markings, like M-30, which can help identify that they are Fentanyl pills. 

Beris and Didier spoke to the indiscriminate nature of “Fentapills.” They can impact any family, Didier said. But a disaggregated breakdown of Fentanyl overdoses by age and race were not provided by the Sacramento County Public Health Department. 

“Three months after we buried [Zach], we received all of his acceptance letters,” Laura Didier said. “And he got into UCLA, his top choice. But instead of visiting him at UCLA, I have to visit him at the cemetery.”

‘So many people were being affected by it’

In the aftermath of her son’s passing, Laura Didier felt an urgent need to get the word out about Fentanyl. However, COVID restrictions made it difficult at first.

Around this same time, Emergency Medical Services at the Cosumnes Fire Department in Elk Grove had been tracking irreversible Fentanyl cases in the area prior to the pandemic. It found the numbers of cases rising. 

Captain Julie Rider — along with Sacramento City, Sacramento Metro and Folsom Fire departments — joined forces with Didier to create a Fentanyl awareness social media campaign in August 2021. 

“So many people were being affected by it. Some very close. And one of our firefighters had a family member [who] passed away [from Fentanyl overdose],” Rider said. “So it started to touch the lives of not only our community as a whole, but also people in our department.”

Sacramento County is catching up with these efforts, as well. 

For this school year, the county is contracting with Sacramento-based Arrive Alive California to implement free Fentanyl education and prevention programs. Arrive Alive’s seminars have been held in 109 schools in the greater Sacramento area. Arrive Alive also collaborates with Song For Charlie, a California-based nonprofit focusing on Fentanyl awareness among youth, and for which Laura Didier is outreach coordinator.

At assemblies with parents, students, teachers and school administrators, Didier shares her son’s story, the disconcerting data when it comes to youth Fentanyl deaths and the significance of having Narcan available. 

“I think I’ve spoken in front of about 30,000 students since the beginning of the school year,” Didier said. “Being able to be face-to-face with the kids and seeing their reaction — they really listen. They come give us hugs afterward, thank us for what we’re doing. And it helps me feel like Zach is still there with me by my side as I share his story.”

‘It is potentially life-saving’

Angela Webb, who is the CEO of Arrive Alive California, is a proponent of Narcan in schools and in the hands of as many people as possible. Narcan is an over-the-counter, FDA-approved nasal spray medication that can treat opioid overdose. 

The debate around access to Narcan became heated in August of this year after Pleasant Grove High School parents expressed concerns when their children came home with it after an Arrive Alive presentation. 

Webb says many parents don’t understand why Narcan is something people need. “If someone isn’t having an opioid crisis or overdose and the nasal spray is administered, it will not hurt them at all. It does not hurt children or pets. However, if someone is experiencing an overdose, it is potentially life saving.”

Sacramento City, San Juan, Elk Grove, Folsom Cordova and other districts now have some form of Narcan at schools. Some have it in health offices and others have it distributed to safety officers and teachers. 

According to studies, Narcan can reverse Fentanyl overdoses around 93% of the time. At the Sacramento City and Elk Grove school districts, Narcan has already been used twice since it was made available two months ago.

But ultimately, youth Fentanyl deaths have already left their indelible mark on the Sacramento community.

Jennifer says she’s questioning her parenting. “Kids are so used to being able to have that instant gratification and make the bad feelings or the uncomfortable feelings go away,” she said. “But they don’t have actual life skills. And that is something that became very apparent, where I was like, ‘Oh my God, I failed to give my kid coping skills.’”

Didier feels similarly, and she hopes advocacy can be a tool to enable her to move forward.

“The advocacy helps, but it’s a pain that’s unrelenting,” she said. “It’s still the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing I think about when I go to bed. What could I have done differently? How could I have prevented this from happening?”

Parents who are interested in obtaining Narcan can contact: