Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger Works On Homelessness Issues With UCLA

Fifth District County Supervisor Kathryn Barger addresses the room flanked by UCLA Government and Community Relations Executive Director Richard Benbow and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh. (photos by Jonathan Van Dyke)

Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger came to UCLA with a commitment to working with experts here to end homelessness and treat the county’s health and mental health issues that often go hand-in-hand with this countywide crisis.

“Mental health and health, in general, are my passions,” she said during a roundtable discussion on Sept. 6 at UCLA Center for Health Sciences.

At the start of her career, Barger worked as former Firth District Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s health deputy, and she has maintained her commitment to those issues ever since. “We have to look at the cause of what’s taking place in this population and what is growing it. I am committed to working with you all … This isn’t about any one district.”

Barger heard from an accomplished group representing three major facets of UCLA’s work with the homeless community:

Continue reading

UCLA Advocate In Action: Sen. Holly J. Mitchell Carries the Community Perspective

State Sen. Holly J. Mitchell hasn’t forgotten about the importance of higher education as she has ascended to chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

California State Senator Holly J. Mitchell has been working toward this moment for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve always been civically active, so I grimace when people confess that they aren’t,” she said from her office in Exposition Park, reflecting on a life dedicated to her community at large. “It’s our collective and individual responsibility.”

It wasn’t that Mitchell’s parents forced this mentality onto her, but both were social workers, and social consciousness and advocacy was just woven into the family persona. And sometimes that meant her mother needed to be out of the house at 5 a.m. to open a Riverside County clinic.

“Sometimes it’s circumstance. “My mother would say, ‘Come ride with me to Blythe on a Saturday morning.’” Mitchell playfully rolls her eyes recalling a 5 a.m. trip to a Riverside County methadone clinic. “It’s just what they did. And so it was an integral part of me.”

Continue reading

Federal Funding Fuels UCLA McNair Scholars’ Community Research

U.S. Reps. Lou Correa and Jimmy Gomez visited with Chancellor Gene Block, students, staff and faculty during a special luncheon regarding the McNair Research Scholars Program.

Through her research, UCLA student Brenda Lara has coined the term epistemic unconfidence. The first generation philosophy and Chicano/Chicana studies student defines the term as such: that structures of power continuously deny Latinas intelligence, leading those women to believe they are incapable of producing “legitimate” knowledge.

It’s a topic she has observed in her family through her mother and across her community in Huntington Park. As she continues her education, Lara wants this research to make a difference back home and positively impact her hometown and beyond.

At a special roundtable luncheon on Aug. 7, members of U.S. Congress and a cohort of students, faculty, staff, and Chancellor Gene Block bonded over their work to give back to the community, and better help the state and country at-large understand their backgrounds and the people in their communities.

Continue reading

UCLA-led center receives $9.75 million from Department of Energy to improve rechargeable batteries

UCLA professors Sarah Tolbert and Bruce Dunn are the director and associate director of the new center. (photo courtesy UCLA Samueli)

Article by Amy Akmal for UCLA Newsroom

An energy research center led by UCLA has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of its Energy Frontier Research Centers and awarded a four-year grant of $9.75 million. 

With the funding, the new UCLA-led Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables center, or SCALAR, will help accelerate research on new types of chemistry and materials for rechargeable batteries. The researchers will seek to increase battery capacity, stability and safety.

Continue reading

UC lawsuit leads to thousands of DACA grant renewals

Release from University of California Office of the President

So far this year, more than 117,000 young immigrants have extended their authorization to legally live and work in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the direct result of a federal injunction issued in response to a lawsuit brought by the University of California and other plaintiffs.

A review of the latest data issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shows that since the time the injunction took effect until the end of June, 117,446 DACA recipients received a two-year renewal of their grants.

Continue reading

Q & Advocacy: Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia Talks UCLA Partnership, City Services, Civic Engagement

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia speaks with UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Dean Gary Segura during a spring meeting at the Long Beach Civic Center.

During the spring, UCLA officials and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia made a promise to open a dialogue and seek out new ways for the two entities to partner now and into the future.

Luskin School of Public Affairs Dean Gary Segura made the trip, and officials discussed subjects including housing, homelessness, tenants’ rights, multi-modality, the U.S. Census, and even how public policy and social welfare graduate students might be able to intern and work with the City of Long Beach.

As a way to keep the conversation going, Garcia agreed to a short correspondence regarding this new burgeoning partnership, issues affecting his city, and how to get others civically engaged.

The following is the transcript from the email interview.

Continue reading