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

County releases Micalizio documents ChicoSol requests officers' records under SB 1421

Myra Micalizio (left) with her daughter, Hali McKelvie.

by Leslie Layton

In July 2018, a Sacramento civil rights attorney noted just how much information had been withheld in the shooting by Butte County sheriff’s deputies three months earlier that had killed a Palermo woman.

Myra Micalizio, 56, died in April of that year during an encounter with a pair of deputies who together fired 13 rounds. Attorney Mark Merin, representing Micalizio’s family, issued a press release noting that Butte County had “refused to produce any interviews, investigation reports… statements of the officers, coroner’s report…” read more

Proposed citizenship question turns Census into civil rights issue Inaccurate tally could affect minority communities, election results

by Lindajoy Fenley

Ethnic minority organizations are vowing to do everything possible to encourage an accurate census count in the face of what they called a Trump Administration plan to solidify conservative Republican power with a distorted tally.

“The 2020 Census is one of the most urgent civil rights issues facing America,” said moderator Beth Lynk of the Leadership Conference Education Fund in opening an Ethnic Media Services press conference by telephone that featured speakers for five organizations. read more

Non-sanctuary resolution dies at county meeting Supervisors vote only to oppose state legislation

photo by Karen LasloDistrict 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl

photo by Karen Laslo

District 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl

by Leslie Layton

Supervisor Larry Wahl retreated Tuesday from an effort to officially declare that Butte County is not a so-called “sanctuary jurisdiction” – a designation adopted by some counties in response to federal immigration policies.

Wahl declined to move for passage of a draft resolution that he had requested, after the board heard a detailed 60-minute presentation by Sheriff Kory Honea and testimony from a dozen members of the public. Most speakers viewed the resolution as unnecessary and warned that it would be perceived as a hostile gesture. read more

Know Your (Seven) Facts Undocumented immigrant population stable

photo by Leslie Layton

Participant in Jan. 21 Chico Women’s March

Regardless of how you feel about illegal immigration, facts will be useful when you discuss this polarizing national issue. Here is ChicoSol’s March 2017 facts roundup, focusing in particular on the Latino demographic. The most interesting fact may be the last on our list:

1. Latinos comprise 15 percent of Butte County’s total population, according to the U.S. Census 2011-2015;
2. Latinos comprise about 39 percent of California’s population;
3. Nationwide, Latinos make up more than half of the K-12 total student population;
4. Nationwide, 64 percent of all Latinos are U.S. born;
5. The number of undocumented immigrants in this country has been estimated at about 11 million, a figure that has remained stable since 2009. About 66 percent of the undocumented population had been here for at least a decade in a 2014 study.
6. In 2014, Mexicans made up about 52 percent of the undocumented population, but that figure has been declining.“The origin countries of unauthorized immigrants have shifted, with the number from Mexico declining since 2009 and the number from elsewhere rising,” says Pew Research.
7. Forbes magazine has just reported that an astonishing 83 percent of the finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search were the children of immigrants. –– Kate Sheehy and Leslie Layton read more

Measure E Supporters Canvassed to Ban Fracking in Butte

Melinda Vasquez
 

photo by Karen Laslo

 Melinda Vasquez takes a break from canvassing

Editor’s Note:  Measure E to ban hydraulic fracturing in Butte County had passed with 71.5 percent of the vote, according to election results on June 8. This story was written during spring semester at Chico State.

By Maria Miyashiro

Melinda Vasquez knocks on a door at the sea-green apartment complex. She is greeted by a woman, who notifies her Chihuahua she’s “going to spank your butt” if the dog doesn’t stop barking. The dog quiets down. read more

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