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It’s no secret that in communities of color, payday loan companies are everywhere.  Easy money lenders know Black and Hispanic Americans are paid the least, making it harder for them to make ends meet between paydays.  They see us coming.


Advocates of this type of predatory lending argue that they are providing a valuable service by offering help to those who could not get access to money in other ways, due to poor credit.  But if their intentions are so good, why did Republicans try so hard to protect them from reasonable government regulations.  


The L.A. Times did an excellent piece calling out GOP lawmakers who are voting this week on a bill to roll back proposed laws to regulate payday and title lenders from taking unfair advantage of consumers.  In the 589-page Financial Choice Act, there is a clause on page 403 that says federal authorities “may not exercise any rulemaking, enforcement or other authority with respect to payday loans, vehicle title loans or other similar loans.”


The important but poorly placed wording can have future repercussions for future generations of low income earners.    And because of the bill’s length, it is unlikely that most GOP lawmakers have read it, or that it even matters to them. 


The Financial Choice Act was authored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Hensarling has received millions in campaign contributions in exchange for his support of high interest lenders.


Payday loans are ideally intended for short-term use.  The problem is the interest rates are so high and the terms are so short that borrowers frequently find themselves unable to repay the loan in full. When that happens, a borrower will repay the loan and immediately sign to take out another or take out a second loan, and juggle both to keep the payments current.  It’s an endless cycle that traps borrowers and ruins credit.  With title loans, the borrower put up their vehicle as collateral. If the loan is not repaid on time, the borrower could lose their car.  


According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more than 19 million U.S. households resort to payday loans, and 20% end up saddled with 10 or more loans, one after the other.  With annual interest rates as high as 400%, consumers become trapped in a cycle of debt with no end in sight. 


The CFPB was formed under President Obama in an attempt to reign in practices of payday lenders and other loan sharks.  But now Republicans want to do away with consumer protections, like they are trying to do with their version of the health care bill.


It’s not hard to see why Republicans buried this provision and hoped no one would notice.   This, like so many other pieces of legislation, boils down to getting paid by lobbyists.  This is the sole motivation behind enacting laws that hurt the non-rich and non-white.  The deeply buried provision that favors predatory lending may be hard to find, but the behavior of GOP lawmakers  is predictable.  Just follow the money.



By Veronica Mackey


The long-awaited response to the officer-involved shootings of Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin came on Friday when the Inglewood Police Department completed its internal review.


Inglewood Mayor James Butts announced Tuesday that five officers are no longer employed by the Inglewood Police Department.  There are still, however, a lot of unanswered questions about what really happened to the couple in February 2016.  


What happened between the time the couple were allegedly found unconscious in a parked car and the time shots were fired? Where did Michael get the gun that was allegedly in her lap?  Was this gun pointed at any of the officers?  Why were 20 shots fired?  Were there more than 5 officers involved? Who witnessed the shooting?  Were the officers fired or did they resign?


“The Department’s report and any discipline that results from the report are confidential,” Mayor Butts said in a statement.  “At this time, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is conducting an independent review focused on law compliance.”


The district attorney’s office is continuing to investigate the shooting.  No other details have been released from either Mayor Butts or Inglewood police. But here is what is known, according to autopsy reports, prior police reports, and the L.A. Times : 


•Michael, 31 and Sandlin 32, were approached by officers while sitting in a parked car at Manchester Boulevard and Inglewood Avenue shortly after 3 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2016.


•An “unknown exchange” occurred between officers and the couple. 


•Butts told KNBC-TV in an interview after the shooting that officers “retreated, isolated the vehicle and spent about 45 minutes attempting to rouse the occupants and to de-escalate the situation.”


•Autopsies revealed Michael’s blood-alcohol content was 0.185%, more than twice the legal limit for driving and traces of methamphetamine was also found. The drug, according to the coroner's report, can be used to treat attention deficit disorder and obesity.  No drugs were found in Sandlin’s system, although his blood-alcohol content was 0.13%, over the legal driving limit. 


•According to the Times, public records named the five officers as Michael Jaen, Richard Parcella, Jason Cantrell, Sean Reidy and Andrew Cohen.


Attorney Milton Grimes, who is representing Michael’s family in a civil lawsuit filed against the City of Inglewood, told the Times, “I cannot settle this case until I can tell this mother how and why her daughter was shot 13 times. [We] still have not gotten that information yet.”  He added that firing officers is, to him, an admission of guilt.


The shooting has attracted support by Black Lives Matter and ignited widespread protests.  In addition to the termination of police involved in the shooting, Black Lives Matter is demanding restitution for children of the couple and the release of all related video.



A recent study reported in the May issue of JAMA Internal Medicine offered proof that segregated neighborhoods can affect health. The study focused on blood pressure among African-Americans, who suffer the highest rates of hypertension of any group in the United States. The results explained that living in a racially segregated neighborhood can actually increase blood pressure.


How it can happen


One reason is given by David Goff, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). He states that living in segregated neighborhoods where there is often "inadequate access to health-promoting resources" can cause an increase in stress, and an increase in blood pressure. He includes full service grocery stores, recreation centers, and health care clinics as health-promoting resources. 


The study included 2,280 blacks aged 18-30 over a 25-year period. The results showed that blood pressure increased among participants living in neighborhoods that were more segregated, while significant improvements were experienced by those who initially lived in a highly segregated neighborhood and moved to a less segregated one.


Understanding health equity


Study researchers say this information is very helpful in understanding health equity, and could also help reduce racial health disparities. It is the first study to explore whether increases or decreases in residential segregation specifically affect blood pressure.


For more details about the study, visit


DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.


First of Its Kind Set to Become a National Model


Los Angeles County, CA- Lennox: May 26, 2017: The Lennox School District has announced an innovative new dentistry program that will infuse hands-on science lessons with real-world career applications.


The Lennox School of Dentistry will debut next year at three elementary schools, which will be outfitted with specialized labs. The first of its kind program for K-12 school districts in California features a curriculum that is aligned with California’s Next Generation Science Standards and will be integrated into multiple academic subjects.


In addition to the academic curriculum, students will participate in clinical settings that resemble real-life dental offices. The idea is to prepare students for achieving higher educational goals and promote broader understanding of medicine and science.


“The Lennox School of Dentistry will promote the kind of project based learning that helps learning come alive for our students.” Superintendent Kent Taylor said. “By introducing our students to career pathways and professional mentors while they are young, we hope to expand their college and career goals.”


Establishing the Lennox School of Dentistry, the District has collaborated with Dr. Lynnette Jackson to develop its instructional program. The groundbreaking initiative also includes professional development for teachers and hands-on lessons for students.


“This is an incredible opportunity to teach students in a new way that could inspire them to pursue medical school or a career as a dentist or healthcare professional.” Dr. Jackson, D.D.S. said. “I realize that some kids may actually dread going to the see the dentist. This program will not only demystify the dentist’s office, it will improve the health literacy of students at the same time.”


The Lennox School of Dentistry will launch in January for fourth graders at Huerta, Jefferson and Moffett elementary schools. Students will spend two hours a week in the dentistry school.


Teachers will work with Dr. Jackson and District administrators in the coming months to develop curriculum units, lesson plans and schedules. The District will begin developing lab space at each of the campuses in the fall. 


The Lennox School District first began providing public education in 1910. Located in an unincorporated community of 1.3 square miles between Hawthorne and Inglewood, the district serves more than 5,100 students at one middle school, five elementary schools and a preschool in each school site.


Lynnette Jackson D.D.S, M.S. serves as the program director and has a general practice residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She earned her medical degree from the Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington D.C. and holds a Masters of Science Degree in Clinical Research from Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles.




For additional information, please contact:

Becki Blanco, Chief Instructional Officer

10319 Firmona Ave Lennox, CA 90304

(310) 695- 4000

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Davon Dean, Public Information Officer

10319 Firmona Ave Lennox, CA 90304

(310) 695- 4000

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My Message to Graduates

Thursday, May 25, 2017

As this school year comes to a close, graduates will, no doubt, think about the things they can finally leave behind like books, getting up early and going to classes they don’t like.  They’ll be glad to ditch the studying—even if only for a summer. 


If you are a graduate, there will be a lot of emphasis on what you’re graduating from, but there may not be much thought on what you will be graduating to. You may or may not know what’s next.  High school, college, graduate school,  a job or a year off to figure it out.  


There are many options.  But knowing what you are graduating to can provide you with the stability needed to sustain your vision.


The world that you are inheriting is very different from what your parents and grandparents experienced. Many of the things that gave us comfort are being steadily eroded— public health care systems like Medicaid and Medicare; retirement income from Social Security. There was a time when this country had systems in place to take care of the most vulnerable among us. 


While you are still young, and hopefully on track to earn substantially more money than family members in prior generations, it is important to take a hard look at where you are in relation to the collective whole.


Take health care for instance.  Today, the Congressional Budget Office released estimates on the cost of Donald Trump’s health care bill.  According to the numbers, some 23 million people would lose coverage by 2026.  As Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said, “Unless you are a healthy millionaire, Trump Care is a nightmare.”


Hopefully, your good health will last a long while, but try not to take it for granted.  You could very well be among those 23 million if the Republican healthcare bill were to pass the Senate as-is.


This is not to dampen your spirit, but to point out that any education that does not prepare you for the flipside of life is inadequate, regardless of the institution.


Whether you are graduating from middle school, high school or college, it’s a good idea to map out a solid Plan B or a “what if” scenario in case life doesn’t go as planned.


This is not to suggest that your Plan A won’t come true, but to give yourself some options and a way to keep hope alive.  Life is not a straight line—although it may feel that way when we hear all those wonderful commencement speeches.  Life is full of twists and turns and the more able you are at managing the ups and downs, the better.


Make your Plan B the best you can, but focus on your dream.   Then go out and have some serious fun. Inglewood Today salutes graduates of all ages and stages. Congratulations on a job well done.





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