Join the Resistance 

If the normal order of business is to buy yourself into a job, to use cronyism to save money for your friends, and to ignore the little guy, then I say we have to resist. I’m contemplating wearing my hair like this every day as a symbol of my resistance to the current forces and power.
This is just ridiculous.

Dot Head … Freedom of Hate Speech 

There has been a change in our culture within the last week. Has there been a change in your behavior ?

wp-1479185700669.pngA proposed change in-country leadership has put a man who has used words and phrases that alienates pacific groups of people. A man who is followed and celebrated by the white power in Klu Klux Klan and older white gentleman is posed to accept the presidency in the beginning of next year.

Leaders lead. Followers follow.
What I love about the country of the United States of America is that our Preamble says we the people.

We are the people. This is our government and it is made out of us and it is for us. All of us.

It is up to each of us to accept a role and lead one another in a path of decency no matter who hold official positions of power. Your president will set the country’s business agenda and will be in charge of writing how we interact with

Your president cannot dictate what is decent or socially acceptable. You decide the words that come out of your fingertips and tongue: the president does not.

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So before you say something which marginalizes you in the history books as somebody who uses hate speech or disparages entire groups of people based on their religious and cultural habits or the color of their skin or the type of employment in which they have or where they live or where they are from or what they’re fleeing or what language they speak or what is in their underwear or what they wish was in there underwear or what is in their heart or where they pray and even if they pray, give a good thought to how you sound. Are you the president of your soul? Are you exercising good judicial and executive judgement?

Politics are Personal

“All politics are local”-Tip O, when speaker of the house

I take politics personally because they touch my lifeet. The laws and the people who pass them create the system in which we live.

We have clean water.
We are not being bombed.
My kids have access to vaccinations.
Our food is safe to eat.
Our cars don’t usually explode.
Our Internet is more than 18 sites.

When you say you want the Notorious R.B.Gary. lynched, I wonder what the hell is wrong with you…for a couple of reasons.

When you support people for President to because you “want to throw a hand grenade” in the system… I wonder where your brain and heart are.

When you pontificate that someone who doesn’t do their own job particularly well and throws 3 am temper tantrums on social media should be President… I wonder if I will ever trust your judgement again.

Politics isn’t a Team Sport where one side wins or loses. Politics is a Group Event and we all win or lose.

If you post an “Open Letter”, I will post an open response.

If you can’t find facts that have been verified by more than 2 sources, “shhhh”, or call it what it is “Speculation”

If all you can contribute to the group is hate speech and prejudice, have a long talk with yourself and then with people who don’t agree with you. Are you entrenched or too proud to change your mind?

You are not the 1%, you don’t need to worry that you have “rich people problems”, you have Middle Class Problem so though they sick, no one is chopping off your kids arms.and making them dig for diamonds – so maybe complain less about the tiny fraction you contribute to Welfare Programs and be glad the government won’t let you starve.

If you have thoughtful points to discuss, and ballot measures to explore – I want to see them.
If you just can’t figure out why you can’t agree with science and research and math (basic, algebra or measured by Common CORE standards) – find the Unfriendly button and pull that trigger. You know how I feel about intellectually able people who insist on being stupid. Go away.

If you have thoughtful points to discuss, and ballot measures to explore – I want to see them.picsart_09-30-10-12-54

The truth about Minimum Wage

“Common Sense” – aka knowledge held by the common man fails in this argument. The LA City Council studied 3 peer reviewed studies before increasing minimum wage. I don’t know what they read – but here is some of what I found.

 

Neoclassical economic theories present a clear prediction: as the price of labor increases, employers will demand less labor. However, many recent studies testing this prediction have found very small to no effects of the minimum wage on the level of employmentfrom Texas A&M (where my dad went) http://econweb.tamu.edu/jmeer/Meer_West_Minimum_Wage.pdf 

 

Does increasing the minimum wage lead to job losses? What does economics literature say?

Based on the economic multiplier effect that results from putting additional income in the hands of lower-income workers, raising the minimum wage will likely have a modest but positive impact on job creation, leading to an additional 85,000 net new jobs when fully phased in. http://www.epi.org/blog/raising-federal-minimum-wage-will-not-lead-to-job-loss/

 

If I see one more armchair Economist tell me differently I am going to ask them what they think happens when you blow in between 2 balloons. They will say they separate and I will say they touch. Sometimes what seems like the logical answer must be put to the test to find the truth. 

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It’s impossible to cancel CalFresh

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Envelope to DPSS mailed June 5

I am back at work. I don’t think I qualify anymore and don’t want a monster overpayment or for the county to think I’m committing fraud.  I guess my next step will be to file an appeal

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I don’t see any way to get them to close the case. I can’t get a hold of her on the phone and the fax did not go through.

I don’t have time to go to the DPSS office (work and all takes up my day).

No joke. I have tried and tried but there are no “end service” forms available.
The system is unreachable and not enough access is granted to users.

It is a good idea but needs refinement.

And, as a GAIN worker; I have to tell clients to look here. They must not have read the mounds of mail to see the system is online.

If the County had a position to smooth this out and make it user friendly; I would apply in a heartbeat.

Los Angeles County DPSS is a mess

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I am sure the system means well, but @countyofLA  @dpss_calfresh is freaking me out.
I can’t figure out how to close the SNAP case or update my information. I am locked out of the online system and calling this number ALWAYS results in a termination message of “We can not find your information. Good bye”.

I never had a chance to do more than request my Language choice before the system threw me out.

I have attempted to email the worker I applied through at MEND. I also attempted to fax a SAR but the fax did not go

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through

Why don’t we have an Ombudsman for these Federal-state County benefit sefvices?

How can I apply?

It has been my experience that the Board of Supervisors are wonder, effective people. All of the County Employees believe in the programs they work in. Somehow, there is a disconnect and the systems are set up for failure. Right now I feel like the failure for not being able to navigate the system.

Why Food Stamp Users are Angrier About Foodstamps Than You Are

Remember when I was out sick from  work for over a month? At the end of that time period I didn’t know if Disability would ever come in or when I would be released to go back to work. I went to M.E.N.D. and applied for foodstamps. This was in the beginning of March 2014.

It is now May 2014 and I just now received 3 separate pieces of mail.
1. I qualified for Cal Fresh (food stamps)
2. The card came in the mail
3. A pin number was sent to use with the card.

I am fortunate that when I was pulled from work that u had a pantry of food and WIC to provide fresh milk, juice, and fruits for Darla. Also, i have family i could borrow from. And yes, I went back to work and have been paid so I could grocery shop.

There is no way I could have survived for two months without access to food.
What is the County of Los Angeles doing this whole time?

Come on County, get it together.
Poor hungry people need these benefits as promised.

I no longer wonder why my clients have such bad attitudes. I am angry and I work in the system.

  1. The application process is confusing.
  2. There is a massive waste of paper in forms and mailed notifications
  3. There is no “status update” process
    4.forms to update the County of a change in circumstance are not easily accessible to the client. (I am fortunate enough to know how to ask for the forms…and then found out I should have notified the county within 10 days of returning to work even though it took them 50 or more days to notify me of my status.)
  4. No Users Guide is given to people detailing what is an eligible purchase or stressing the important fact that coupons can be used with food stamps.

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Dear Los Angeles County and Department of Agriculture (they are responsible for the SNAP /foodstamps/Cal Fresh programs… Please think about what I am telling you.

And if you are infuriated at the store by someone using a food stamp payment because you think they are lazy scum who shouldn’t need your less than 2% of the Federal Budget , understand that even I qualified for food stamps. And yes, I know I need a job where I don’t qualify for WIN because as a County Contractor my pay is horribly low (especially since I have 3rd the caseload of anyone else here)
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To see if you qualify : http://www.benefitscal.orgapply for California benefits

People are Problems and I am the Pep Squad

I went from Information Management to Social Worker to I.T. Director back to Social Worker. Yesterday was my official 7 year anniversary in my job in the Welfare system as a GAIN worker .

What do I really do?

I solve people.

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( and then I fill out a gang of forms that have nothing to do with what I did )

Sometimes clients don’t make it out of the lobby. They don’t want help and I don’t have time for them until they do.

Some people unzip their souls and spill out all over my desk, self hatred and hopelessness oozing like ectoplasm containing microbeads of hope.
        These are often the reason I know the Burbank Police Sargent so well.

Others come in to break up with me. (these are my favorites) they are working or engaged in something that will take them off of public assistance.

Most often, my first meeting is with someone who is terrified by the right angles, ugly color scheme and sterile environment over illuminated by the worst florescent lights in existence.
My typical client is a single mother who has been in a long term game of dodge ball with family, friends, and strangers hurling insults and preconcieved ideas at her. She is emotionally bruise from the hits.
I wander down to the lobby with coffee in hand, and Instead of calling her from the doorway I walk into the room and ask for her. I meet her at her lobby chair and shake her hand. If she has her child and parenting paraphernalia I offer to help her carry the burden.
We talk in the elevator about my daughter and her kid (s) and I selfishly stop in front of the photocopier and ask if there is anything (paystub, schedule, fan letter to Justin Bieber) she wants me to copy before we walk the Green Mile to my desk.
I have a secret box of toys under my desk where only the rowdy crawlers will find them after escaping their mom. I have bubbles by my keyboard and washable markers for desk drawing. My client faces the window and my computer screen is turned so she can see everything I do. I have no secrets. I tell her that she has all the power and is in charge … essentially I blow her mind.
And then I destroy her.
I tell her all of my shallow judgements because she needs to know that she is articulate, eloquent,  poised, good with her child, has nice handwriting, can problem solve etc. These statements vary by the individual and are always accurate. I won’t lie to anyone, but she will suspect me of deception because no one else has told her these things since before she was poor. She has stopped believing them.
I do this because I have hired staff before and I would not hire someone mired in self doubt. Also, we are currently being told to not tell girls they are smart because then they won’t work out problems. .. This is some crappy science and it doesn’t work. The noise of parenting and poverty drowned out the inner voice of self confidence.

Being faced with huge problems like how to put your baby to bed in a box behind a store and stay safe all night can make anyone feel stupid.

As I set this person on the Los Angeles County prescribed program of self sufficiency I do what Sherry Hays and Joleen Swenson did for me in highschool. I cheer them on with a smile and genuine optimism . I am a pep squad of one.
When I drop her off in the lobby again there is a handshake or a high five and then I want to take a nap but I do it all again for 9th hours a day,

What I Know About the Negro People

I am no Cliven Bundy, so I can admit to not knowing a much. I barely have a handle on being a Caucasian Female in a political party that doesn’t trust me to govern my own body after puberty. PicsArt_1398488477472 I don’t know anything about any group of people other than they are PEOPLE.

  • People need food to feel the or bodies
  • People need other people to teach them to communicate (and sometimes that leads to forming religions and even scientific discoveries as we band together to make sense of our surroundings).
  • People benefit from being in groups
  • Some people are harmful to others

And that is all I know. I have a very expensive degree in Sociology and this is all I can tell you about people. Any group of people will be made up of individuals who perceive the world uniquely. No two people will agree on anything. Using subjective labels to group other people also puts limits on them, and sometimes they believe those limits to be reality. Only fools believe that Cliven Owen and the Koch Brothers or the Tea Party or even the Democrats can “know anything about the (fill in the blank) “______ people”.

Are Homeless People Citizens ? Will the Sheriff’s Department Care About the Answer?

Do they even count? Should they vote? Are they individuals who matter or are they a collective lump that needs to be disassembled and scattered to other places? The Los Angeles Sheriff race had a debate tonight and not one candidate called this group “people”. This population is referred to as “The Homeless” the way I refer to ‘The Cancer” Or ‘The Trash”. Not one candidate discussed the thousands of citizens who are possibly registered voters as a constituent group with needs worth addressing. Yes, it is ugly to do down Seventh Street from the Wilshire Grand down and out of the financial district until your car slows to a crawl in allowance for the shopping carts and crush of people sleeping on sidewalks and meandering on the street like my kids hang out on the front yard. It smells bad -skid row smells like a 5 day old diaper left to molder under a bed. Businesses find it difficult to get customers in doors blocked by bodies. But Homelessness isn’t a blight -it is a PLIGHT. it is a side effect of failing schools and high school drop outs, low paying entry level jobs, a crazy housing market and domestic violence. What we see and smell are so very rarely life cgoices, they are states of living for human beings who can not see or get to other options.

Get on the bus, Gus
Candidate Bob Olmsted would give bus tickets to “the homeless” to send them home.

A bus ticket is not a solution. Los Angeles is a home. A street corner is a valid address to use when registering to vote. Listening and reading about tonight’s debate made me ever more thankful that I live and play where the Foothill Division of the LAPD, Burbank police and Arcadia police have jurisdiction -because if the future leader of the Sheriff Department won’t call an entire class of citizens “people”, I wonder if they will see fit to protect the entire population they are assigned to – or just the people they feel will politically and financially benefit them.