Vigil to honor RBG in Chico Ginsburg, a cultural icon, championed women's rights

photo by Karen Laslo

by Leslie Layton

Chicoans turned out this evening at City Plaza to honor the memory of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of civil rights, women’s rights and voting rights, who modeled courage and toughness in her personal struggles as well as in her professional life.

Ginsburg passed Sept. 18 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, and vigils attended by supporters — most heart-broken, many despairing — were taking place throughout the country, including this one at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The Chico vigil was organized by the group Women on Reproductive Defense (WORD). read more

Voter turnout critical in Butte County; vote early, officials say Experts say mail-in voting is safe; voter suppression is the problem

So-called “voter suppression laws” made it difficult for millions – many African American – to participate in the 2016 election. Turnout will be key in the upcoming General Election.

by Leslie Layton

If you’re eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election, Butte County Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs has a single, simple piece of advice: Don’t procrastinate.

To make sure your vote gets counted on election night, register or update your registration now. Vote when you receive your ballot in October. Call the Elections Office with questions, whether you speak English, Spanish or Hmong, Grubbs says.

But in what some people are calling a “vote-because-your-life-depends-on-it” election, there is plenty to worry about in terms of national polling. In some states, millions of people who have voted previously must re-register — and may not know that — because of tough and suppressive voter registration laws. read more

Hispanic Resource Council launches COVID outreach campaign COVID testing fear a problem

by Leslie Layton

Reyna Nolta and the Chico-based group she works with knew, shortly after Independence Day, that they had been called to act.

She had read and been interviewed for a July 4 ChicoSol story that reported on the disproportionate way in which COVID-19 was slamming the Latino community in Butte County. Now, the Hispanic Resource Council of Northern California (HRCNC) – an organization with a clunky name but a trustworthy reputation — has in a matter of weeks organized five events targeting Latino, Black and Hmong families with information and supplies to stem the spread of the virus. read more

War on immigrants escalates as pandemic worsens Trump steps up assault on immigration and immigrant communities

photo by Leslie Layton
Demonstrator at a Women’s March several years ago calling for immigrant rights.

by Sunita Sohrabji
EMS contributing editor

The Trump administration has made 400 policy changes detrimental to immigrants through its tenure at the White House, with 63 fresh blows meted out amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) in a report released July 31.

“Many of the changes reflect the administration’s really strong knowledge of immigration law and regulations, and their willingness to enforce things that have been on the books for years, but have never been implemented,” said Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at MPI, who co-authored the report with MPI Associate Policy Analyst Jessica Bolter. read more

Butte County Latinos hit hardest by pandemic City of Gridley now claims 35 percent of county's total cases

Butte County Public Health says 41 percent of the total COVID-19 cases, through June, were people identifying as Hispanic.

by Leslie Layton

Butte County’s Latino residents are becoming infected with COVID-19 at an alarmingly disproportionate rate, a reflection of the disparities surfacing throughout the nation that show low-income, immigrant and other minority communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

Figures released earlier this week to ChicoSol in response to a Public Records Act request show that people identifying as Hispanic comprised 41 percent of 164 Butte County residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 through June 28. Latinos and/or Hispanics make up less than 15 percent of the county’s population, according to estimates, but belong to what is by far the county’s largest minority group. read more

Ineligible for government relief, unauthorized workers suffer Nonprofits overwhelmed by need

photo courtesy of NorCal Resist
A volunteer for NorCal Resist delivers food to an immigrant family.

by Leslie Layton

Until disaster struck, Susana and her husband were employed by two Chico restaurants, supporting their three children by working in food preparation and dishwashing.

They paid social security and other taxes, but when the restaurants that employed them were closed two months ago as part of the state-mandated shelter-in-place, there was no government relief available for the family.

As undocumented immigrants, they were ineligible for unemployment insurance or a stimulus check. Financial assistance to undocumented immigrants nationwide – many of whom perform services deemed essential, and in doing so, are subject to possible virus exposure – has largely been left to grass-roots, charitable organizations that struggle to keep up with a deluge of requests for help. read more