Tag: How We Live Now

Home Health Care Workers – The Difference a Union Makes

Their work days are largely similar. Both mother and daughter rise early and make a lengthy commute — up to one hour by car for Danielle and up to two hours by bus for Brittany. They make their clients’ meals. They shop for groceries and clothes, pick up medicine, run to the post office. They care for pets. They dress and undress, change diapers and give baths. They assist with medication. They dust, vacuum and do the laundry. They talk and listen to the stories of their clients’ lives, often for hours.

But the similarities end there. Brittany makes nearly $20 an hour, usually working five days a week. But without child care for her 8-year-old son during the pandemic, she’s been working no more than four. She has paid time off, medical and dental insurance, a retirement plan and many other benefits. Danielle works seven days a week making half Brittany’s wage. She has no benefits through her job, qualifies for Medicaid and is barely able to survive.

These differences come down to where Brittany and Danielle live. Brittany lives in Washington State and belongs to a union of long-term-care workers, S.E.I.U. Local 775, that has worked with the state for better pay and working conditions. Danielle lives in Arkansas, where she has none of that.

Mother and Daughter Do the Same Job. Why Does One Make $9 More an Hour?
By Brigid Schulte and Cassandra Robertson
Ms. Schulte is the director of the Better Life Lab at New America, a progressive think tank, and the author of “Overwhelmed.” Dr. Robertson is a senior policy and research manager at New America.
NYTIMES

Driving While Black – Questlove Anecdote

So that was my one and only car. I had a ritual that when we finished a record I would take the finished mix and listen to it as I drove around. This is a common practice in the record industry. In the basement at one of the studios we recorded in, they had a full-size van that engineers used to sit in when they were working on a record. Jimmy Iovine told us that back in the seventies, he used to have a half-car set into the wall so that people could listen to albums in their natural environment. When we wrapped How I Got Over, I put it in my jacket pocket and went out to the Scion, Portable Studio A, to take it around Philadelphia and see if it held up. It was late Saturday night, early Sunday morning. No one was around except for the cops, and after about fifteen minutes one of them pulled me over. The first officer checked my license, gave it back to me, let me go. About fifteen minutes later, I was pulled over again, same thing: license, please; thank you, sir; you can go.

The album was working for me – I liked what I heard – but after a little while I was hungry, so I got myself a fish sandwich on Broad Street and pulled over to eat it. That’s when the third police cruiser pulled up alongside of me. The officer got out, walked up to the car, shined his flashlight through the window.

“Evening,” he said.

“Hi,” I said. “I’m Questlove.”

He stared at me for a second, eyes narrowed in confusion, and then his face uncreased. “Oh, yeah,” he said. “Hi.” He came closer to the car, friendly now.

I was happy that he wasn’t giving me any trouble, but now my curiosity was aroused. “Tell me something,” I said. “What’s the matter? Why am I a magnet for you guys tonight?”

“Oh,” he said. “That’s easy. We’re in the Temple University neighborhood.”

“Right,” I said.

“And you’re in this car.”

“And me in this car what?” I loved my Scion. It was part of my identity. I thought anything more lavish was the kind of thing a drug dealer would drive. This was the car of a thoughtful artist, a man who didn’t live through his material possessions.

“It’s the wrong car for you,” he said. “It just doesn’t look right. If you were driving an SUV, you’d look like a professional football player. But this little thing sets off alarms. It looks like you took it from a college student.”

Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove
Thompson, Ahmir “Questlove”

Note – this book was one of –The 50 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time – Rolling Stone List

Average Denver Home Price Hits $674K, Up $40K in a Month

Average Denver Home Price Hits $674K, Up $40K in a Month from r/Denver

nmesunimportnt
Median home price is a much better measure since it is less skewed by huge transactions at the top end. Median is still bad at ~$560,000.

Ecredes
The same report has median stats too, up 30k since last month.

EvergreenSea
Sheesh. That’s bad news for us wannabe homeowners.

jballs
Seriously, how do people just starting off afford houses now? I’m lucky enough to have bought our first place 13 years ago when it was still possible to by a place with a 2 in the starting digit. How can people just starting out even hope to buy a house for half a million dollars minimum?

solidtwerks
Is everyone up to the eyeballs in debt?

lhturbo
its a lot of out of state money coming in. Sell their home in Cali or New york for way more value and pay cash here.

meissho1
And I imagine investment firms as well just gobbling up properties so they can rent them out at exorbitant rates.

Vigils Honoring Atlanta Victims Draw Mourners Across U.S.

From Sacramento to Salt Lake City to Philadelphia, thousands gathered this weekend at vigils across the country with signs, candles, portraits and flowers grieving the eight victims of Tuesday’s shootings in Atlanta and crying out against anti-Asian racism.

In Atlanta, hundreds attended a rally and march Saturday afternoon, some holding signs reading “Stop Asian Hate” and “Racism Is A Virus.” The demonstrators met at Liberty Plaza, across the street from the Georgia state Capitol, where just last year lawmakers passed a hate crimes bill allowing additional penalties to be added when perpetrators are convicted of other crimes.

https://www.npr.org/2021/03/20/979542001/we-will-not-go-back-vigils-honoring-atlanta-victims-draw-mourners-across-u-s

California Exiles and the Housing Crisis

But there is another factor at play: Californians, fleeing high home prices, are moving to Idaho in droves. For the past several years, Idaho has been one of the fastest-growing states, with the largest share of new residents coming from California. This fact can be illustrated with census data, moving vans — or resentment.

Home prices rose 20 percent in 2020, according to Zillow, and in Boise, “Go Back to California” graffiti has been sprayed along the highways. The last election cycle was a referendum on growth and housing, and included a fringe mayoral candidate who campaigned on a promise to keep Californians out. The dichotomy between growth and its discontents has fused the city’s politics and collective consciousness with a question that city leaders around the country were asking even before the pandemic and remote work trends accelerated relocation: Is it possible to import California’s growth without also importing its housing problems?

“I can’t point to a city that has done it right,” said Lauren McLean, Boise’s Democratic mayor.

That’s because as bad as California’s affordable housing problem is, it isn’t really a California problem. It is a national one. From rising homelessness to anti-development sentiment to frustration among middle-class workers who’ve been locked out of the housing market, the same set of housing issues has bubbled up in cities across the country. They’ve already visited Boise, NashvilleDenver and Austin, Texas, and many other high-growth cities. And they will become even more widespread as remote workers move around.

NYTIMES

Hard Times – Eviction and Unemployment

CYNTHIA: About the end of February, close to March, they laid us off because of the pandemic. And during…

CAMP: She was surviving. And then this pandemic, by no fault of her own, took her job away, took away her ability to pay her rent.

CYNTHIA: They laid us off. They sent the letters, saying, sign up for employment.

CAMP: She struggled to apply for unemployment benefits.

CYNTHIA: So I signed up for unemployment. I didn’t get unemployment till four for five months.

CAMP: And in fact, through the better part of last summer, she did not even receive unemployment.

CYNTHIA: I’m trying to find a place to live. I can’t find nothing. I can’t find another job. I’ve been looking and looking. It’s been a whole year now – you know, going on a year. I still can’t find anything.

SHAPIRO: We’re not using Cynthia’s last name because she doesn’t want this story to affect her future ability to find a place to live. She’s 52 and lives in the St. Louis area with her two adult kids, who’ve also struggled to find work, and her 8-year-old grandson. They’re all in a house where she owes about a year of back rent. There is sewage backing up in the pipes, and the landlord wants them to leave.

CYNTHIA: And I know these people want us out of this house. I want to be out of here just as bad they want us out ’cause I’m not like that, not paying my bills and don’t want to pay. I want to pay.

NPR

Minimum Wage Used to be Enough to Keep a Family of Three Out of Poverty

Amid protests across the country over retail and service jobs that pay little better than the minimum wage, it’s easy to forget that this income benchmark once meant something slightly different. In the past, a minimum-wage job was actually one that could keep a single parent out of poverty.

Since the 1980s, the federal minimum wage has kept pace with neither inflation, nor the rise of the average worker’s paycheck. That means that while a federal minimum wage in 1968 could have lifted a family of three above the poverty line, now it can’t even do that for a parent with one child, working full-time, 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year (yes, this calculation assumes that the parent takes no time off).

Emily Badger, Bloomberg
December 4, 2013

Veteran GOP Strategist Takes On Trump – And His Party – In ‘It Was All A Lie’ – Stuart Stevens Interview, Fresh Air

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Dave Davies, in today for Terry Gross. My guest, Stuart Stevens, is a veteran political consultant who says he spent decades waking up every morning eager to fight Democrats. Stevens was a strategist for scores of Republican campaigns, including the presidential bids of Bob Dole, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. But now he’s written a new book excoriating party leaders for their support of President Trump. The distinguishing characteristic of the current national Republican Party is cowardice, Stevens writes, the base price of admission is a willingness to accept that an unstable pathological liar leads it and pretend otherwise.

Stevens argues that the party’s support for Trump isn’t just a pragmatic choice. He says it reflects the party’s complete abandonment of principles it long claimed to embrace, such as fiscal restraint, personal responsibility and family values. His book is called “It Was All A Lie: How The Republican Party Became Donald Trump.”

Drug Use in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — In early 2019, a formerly homeless man named Tom Wolf posted a thank-you on Twitter to the cop who had arrested him the previous spring, when he was strung out in a doorway with 103 tiny bindles of heroin and cocaine in a plastic baggie at his feet.

“You saved my life,” wrote Wolf, who had finally gotten clean after that bust and 90 days in jail, ending six months of sleeping on scraps of cardboard on the sidewalk.


Drug overdoses killed 621 people in the first 11 months of 2020, up from 441 all last year and 259 in 2018. San Francisco is on track to lose an average of nearly two people a day to drugs in 2020, compared with the 178 who had died by Dec. 20 of the coronavirus.

“If we didn’t have Narcan,” said program manager Kristen Marshall, referring to the common naloxone brand name, “there would be no room at our morgue.”

San Francisco struggles to stem ‘horrific’ uptick in opioid overdoses, drug abuse
Rachel Scheier
Los Angeles Times