Good Morning my Family in Community,
Happy Monday! I hope you are doing well this morning. A lot happening this week. If you have any questions or need anything from me or Marin CIL please feel free to reach out. Remember: We are here for you! Here’s the PM Morning Report for you. Sending an elbow bump and a smile.
Celebrating Women’s History Month
Honoring Cheryl Marie Wade
Cheryl Marie Wade (1948-2013), lovingly referred to as the “Queen Mother of Gnarly,” was a pioneer of disability arts and culture and one of the first performance artists with a physical disability to gain critical acclaim. Wade’s performance art and poetry, which feature visceral descriptions of her life with rheumatoid arthritis that resulted in physical disability and chronic pain, serve as an alternative form of disability activism. Rather than protesting or seeking policy reform, Wade combatted the stigmas of women’s disabled bodies by displaying her body through performance and challenging stereotypes and dominant narratives of disability through her prose.
Wade was an early critic of traditional disability activism and of the push for physical accessibility because it was not inclusive of people with chronic pain and/or illness. For Wade and women like her, greater access and equality would not remedy the physical pain that limited her activities and consumed her emotional and intellectual resources. This issue of marginalization even within the Disability Rights Movement would be echoed by Barbara Faye Waxman, Marta Russell, and the coordinators of the Disability March, all featured here.
In Wade’s performance of “Here,” she moves between lyrical poetry of quotes about her body and “gnarly” hands to prose-style reflections on how she interprets these depictions before moving on to discuss intimate relationships between people with disabilities. Over the course of the performance, she touches on the medicalization of disabled bodies, cultural fears of and prejudices against disability, the limits of physical accessibility, the importance of a community for people with disabilities, and her own sexuality.
Further Reading: Cheryl Marie Wade’s oral history from the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement Oral History Project
VIDEO: Here by Cheryl Marie Wade (Content Warning: Video contains adult subject matter)
Source: Women's Disability Activism: Cheryl Marie Wade
A Tidbit from Me: Cheryl is one of the most gifted people I have had the privilege to know. I first met her in the late 1980’s when I was asked to MC an event regarding disability and sex. Cheryl was one of the featured speakers. Her presentation was powerful. She talked about sexuality in a way that reminded us it was important to think of “disabled bodies as beautiful”. The unique ways our bodies move during intimacy because of our disabilities was just as meaningful as those without disabilities. She was witty, funny, and full of wisdom. It is the PM Morning Reports pleasure to honor one of my hero’s and mentor today.
County of Marin Update:
Can’t Wait to Travel? Consider the Risks
Word to the wise about making out-of-town spring break or other travel plans over the next few months: Infectious diseases like COVID-19 love to come along for the ride.
Also, with springtime observances like Easter coming on Sunday, April 4, remember that maintaining precautions against large gatherings will prevent a resurgence of the virus.
Even with nearly half of Marin County residents vaccinated with at least one shot, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, and Marin County Public Health are all aligned with longstanding warnings against travel and gatherings – that refraining from big social affairs and remaining at home and restricting trips is the best way to end the pandemic.
The increasing prevalence of virus variants that are more contagious or more lethal across the nation and globe is travel related risk. Travel puts both the traveler and the community they return to at risk of infection.
“If you have the travel bug, remember that COVID-19 is a travel bug,” said Dr Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer. “Stay local. The last thing we need to do is import variants into our community.”
Local public health officials have already seen the impact on non-essential travel among club sports teams. Local teams have traveled to distant parts of California or even outside of the state to participate in tournaments. This has resulted in an increase of COVID-19 cases among youth athletes, and exposures to family members. This affects local schools, as COVID-19 cases can require closures of classrooms for quarantine.
“We’ve made so much progress in the past two months: vaccination rates are increasing, and infection rates are declining,” added Willis. “Our goal should be to hold on to those gains, and not let down our guard.”
The CDC’s Know Your Travel Risk webpage includes important reminders under the caveat that any travel is not recommended at this time of the pandemic. If you must travel, take steps to protect yourself and others:
- If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Before you travel, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public.
- Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you.
- Get tested 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
Those adhering to the advice and staying close to home still need to consider restrictions on in-person gatherings, too. Currently, the California Department of Public Health recommending moving gatherings outside, where air circulation is better. Otherwise, indoor gatherings should be no more than 2 hours in length and with no more than three different households who remain masked. Additional considerations for safe holiday travel and gatherings can be found on Marin Public Health’s Celebrate Safely webpage.
Health officials note that when vaccination rates reach 80 percent of residents, some restrictions and travel and gatherings may be further relaxed. As supplies increase residents are encouraged to obtain their vaccine when eligible. Visit GetVaccinatedMarin.org for latest updates on eligibility and availability of appointments.
COVID-19 Data Update:
Below is a summary of today’s data now available on Marin Data & Surveillance webpage. View the page for a broader range of data, plus interactive graphs for confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Data analysis is available by age range, gender, race, and city/town/geographic region. Questions about the data? See our Data FAQ or contact us.
Other Marin County Data Dashboards:
Sharing from the California State Independent Living Council (SILC)
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is recruiting an experienced, visionary executive to join one of the largest and most acclaimed state public health departments in the nation. The Center for Health Care Quality (CHCQ) Deputy Director serves as a member of the CDPH Senior Leadership Team and will direct, coordinate, and manage the policies, strategies, and programs of CHCQ to ensure uniform program direction and maximum efficiency.
If you are looking for a unique opportunity to be a part of improving the health of Californians and are a transformative leader with a focus on inclusion, collaboration, engagement, change management, strategic thinking and agility, this Deputy Director position with CDPH may be the job for you!
The California Department of Public Health is committed to achieving a diverse workforce through application of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies in all aspects of employment to create an environment that is welcoming to all individuals. The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, and disability (mental and physical), gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.
How to Apply:
To be considered for these unique opportunities, please visit the Office of the Governor appointments website to complete the online application form. Please print, sign, and send a copy of the online application with your application package to CDPH by one of the following methods:
California Department of Public Health
Attn: Human Resources Division, Deputy Director
P.O. Box 997378
Sacramento, CA 95899-7378
The application package must include:
- Signed copy of the Office of the Governor online application
- Completed State Examination/Employment Application STD Form 678
- Cover letter explaining interest in and qualifications for the position
All applications must be received by April 9, 2021. Additional information about the Deputy Director position is available in the attached flyers. In addition, you may visit the CDPH website to learn more about the department and how it promotes and protects the health of all Californians.
Human Resources Division
California Department of Public Health
Sharing from the Marin Independent Journal
Marin businesses weigh return to offices as virus rules soften
By MATTHEW PERA | email@example.com |
PUBLISHED: March 28, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. | UPDATED: March 28, 2021 at 11:30 a.m.
Marin’s recent move into a less-restrictive tier under California’s COVID-19 reopening plan means that workers can return to offices after months of working from home.
While some companies are inviting staff members back to their desks, other Marin businesses said they will continue asking employees to work remotely.
At Glassdoor, which has offices on Shoreline Highway in Mill Valley, all employees will continue working from home, a company spokeswoman said.
Eventually, the company plans to implement a “work where you want policy,” said spokeswoman Amelia Green-Vamos.
“Our employees will have the option to choose whether they want to exclusively work from home, primarily work from their local office or take a hybrid approach and balance certain days working from home and others working in a local office,” Green-Vamos said.
But for now, she said, the company will not reopen its offices until “it is deemed safe to return.”
Dr. Matt Willis, Marin’s public health officer, said he recommends that office workers continue to stay at home.
For full article: Marin businesses weigh return to offices as virus rules soften
Marin power supplier offers pandemic rate breaks
By ADRIAN RODRIGUEZ | firstname.lastname@example.org | Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: March 28, 2021 at 11:10 a.m. | UPDATED: March 29, 2021 at 6:25 a.m.
MCE, the power aggregator formerly known as Marin Clean Energy, is launching a discount program for customers who are behind on the bills because of the pandemic.
Approximately 11,500 residents and 10,800 small businesses in Marin County would be eligible for the program, part of the utility’s $10 million COVID-19 relief effort set to launch in April.
The program is scheduled to run for the rest of the year, but the MCE board could choose to extend it.
“There was a motivation to try to help out struggling customers amid COVID,” said Tom Butt, chairman of the board and mayor of Richmond. “We looked (at) our reserves and saw that this was enough to make a difference, but not enough to deplete our annual contributions to the reserve fund.”
The Marin-based utility agency, which covers 36 jurisdictions in four counties, has a $450 million annual budget. The reserve fund generally equals about half that amount, Butt said.
Eligible customers would include residential customers enrolled in discount programs such as the California Alternate Rates for Energy, or CARE, and Family Electric Rate Assistance, or FERA. Small businesses on the A1, A1X or B1 rate through Pacific Gas and Electric Co. are also eligible.
Dawn Weisz, executive director of MCE, said it is initiating the discounts now, as opposed to last year, because of timing. The utility’s fiscal year begins in April.
“Our budget for the last fiscal year was established before the big effects of the pandemic had begun,” she said. “We would have had to revisit our existing budget mid-year.”
She said the utility did offer other forms of assistance over the past year in line with the existing budget.
For full article: Marin power supplier offers pandemic rate breaks
A Tidbit from Me: Marin CIL appreciates MCE’s support of community members who are experiencing financial hardship during this historic time. Marin CIL participates in the Marin Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. Marin Green and Healthy Homes mission is: To break the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families by creating and advocating for healthy, safe and energy efficient homes. A world where no child’s potential is limited by unhealthy housing conditions. Marin Green and Healthy Homes partners include:
MCE also partnered with Marin CIL and together with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers and PG&E in support of Marin CIL’s Disability Disaster Access and Resources Program in providing batteries to MCE customers who depend on electricity for life safety and mobility during a Utility Public Safety Power Shutoff event.
Sharing from the Department of Health Care Service
On March 23, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved DHCS’ request for a temporary extension of the Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services (SMHS) 1915(b) waiver program through December 31, 2021. This nine-month extension allows DHCS time to develop and obtain approval for the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative, and to align with the proposed one-year extension of the 1115 waiver (Medi-Cal 2020). The CalAIM initiative includes transitioning the Medi-Cal SMHS 1915(b) and 1115 waivers into a single comprehensive section 1915(b) waiver, with a proposed effective date of January 1, 2022. DHCS will continue to work with CMS during the extension period.
On March 26, CMS approved State Plan Amendment (SPA) 21-0016 to add Medicaid Disaster Relief to implement temporary policies under section 1135 during the PHE. As approved in the SPA, DHCS will increase the fee-for-service payment rate for durable medical equipment (DME), specifically oxygen and respiratory equipment, equivalent to 100 percent of the Medicare rate. The payment increase will be effective for dates of service on or after March 1, 2020, so DME providers can continue providing necessary equipment during the COVID-19 PHE.
Additional Published COVID-19 PHE Guidance
A Tidbit from Me: The Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services (SMHS) program is “carved-out” of the broader Medi-Cal program and operates under the authority of a waiver approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under Section 1915(b) of the Social Security Act. As the single state Medicaid agency, DHCS is responsible for administering the Medi-Cal SMHS Waiver Program which provides SMHS to Medi-Cal beneficiaries through County Mental Health Plans (MHPs). The MHPs are required to provide or arrange for the provision of SMHS to beneficiaries in their counties that meet medical necessity criteria, consistent with the beneficiaries’ mental health treatment needs and goals. -Source: Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services
Sharing from Marin CIL’s own Fabulous Renee Pollard
Biden’s American Rescue Plan is a lifeline for low-income renters
By Chris Holden on March 15th, 2021
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill signed by President Joe Biden last week, provides a range of benefits that will help lift millions out of poverty, especially children.
From emergency rental assistance directly helping low-income renters stay safe in their homes, to education funding, the aid that is most important to low-income renters have been detailed below.
Emergency Rental Assistance
The American Rescue Plan provides $27.4 billion for emergency rental assistance. Of this amount, $152 million will be set aside for each state; and $315 million for territories.
Eligible renters must have incomes at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). They must also qualify for unemployment benefits or had other financial hardships due to the pandemic. Renters at risk of homelessness are also eligible.
State and local programs must prioritize serving households with incomes below 50% of AMI, or people unemployed for more than 90 days. State and local programs can add other priorities.
Emergency rental assistance can be used to pay for back-rent and rent going forward. It can also pay for delinquent utilities and utility bills going forward. It can pay for internet connections and other housing related expenses. Assistance can be received for 18 months.
In addition, the law provides $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers. These vouchers will be targeted to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, and also to domestic violence and human trafficking survivors.
The emergency housing vouchers can only issue these vouchers through September, 2023. However, once someone receives a voucher, it cannot be taken away. This means these voucher recipients will have rental assistance as long as they need it, and won’t lose it when the vouchers will no longer be issued.
Low-income renters in rural areas will benefit from $100 million provided to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This will assist tenants in USDA rural rental housing. Tribes will also receive $750 million. This money will be disbursed through federal block grant programs that serve tribes.
How does this help low-income renters?
Millions of low-income renters have faced the threat of eviction since the pandemic began a year ago. Low-income renters are currently protected by the CDC national eviction moratorium, but it will expire on March 31. Although most renters have been able to stay in their homes under the moratorium, they still owe rent. When the moratorium expires, millions of renters will owe thousands of dollars in back rent and fees.
Emergency rental assistance and emergency housing vouchers will help low-income renters catch up on back-rent and utilities. It will also provide ongoing support for renters as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan has $5 billion to help people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. These funds can support rental assistance and supportive services. The funds can also be used to develop new affordable rental housing. In addition, the money can be used to acquire non-congregate housing (like motels) and convert these properties into permanent affordable housing or an emergency shelter.
How does this help low-income renters?
With so many low-income renters facing the threat of eviction, these funds will help homeless shelter and service providers pay for new places for at-risk renters to stay. It will help make congregate shelters safer, and provide more shelter options where people can have privacy. The emphasis on funding permanent housing and shelter shows a strategy of re-using current buildings to address housing shortages over the long term.
For full article: Biden’s American Rescue Plan is a lifeline for low-income renters
A Tidbit from Me: Based on the article it is not clear how much funding Marin County will be receiving as part of this initiative. Currently, during the rent moratorium: make sure to pay 25% of rent owed between September 1, 2020 and June 30th, 2021 at any time before June 30th. Any funding received through this initiative will be beneficial to many Marin County residents including people with disabilities, older adults, and BIPOC, as well as other traditionally marginalized communities. Marin CIL as mentioned previously is working in partnership with community-based organizations and appointed and elected officials to advance rental protection initiatives on behalf of out valued community members who have been adversely affected during this unprecedented pandemic.
Sharing from the Marin Public Charge Workgroup
- In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. Up to $9,000 in COVID-19 funeral funding assistance is available to cover expenses for funeral services and internment or cremation. The Full eligibility criteria is included in FEMA’s policy guidance (PDF). In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. To apply, potential applicants will need to provide an official death certificate, funeral expense documents (e.g., receipts or contracts), and proof of funds received from other sources (e.g, burial insurance). More information regarding COVID-19 Funeral Assistance can be found on FEMA.gov.
- The Marin Access Services Call Center is offering assistance for eligible Marin residents to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination. Flyer attached.
- *Reminder* Marin HHS Covid-19 Events will host a series of COVID-19 Vaccine Talks where participants can learn about vaccines, getting vaccinated, and the truth about some myths and misinformation. Flyers in Spanish (Spanish health education flyer) and English (VaxTalkFlyer) are attached. Contact Amy Callis with questions.
- *Reminder* The County of Marin has produced a new COVID-19 community response toolkit landing page, accessible here.
- Buckelew Programs will offer a series of Suicide Prevention Hotline Training classes starting on April 20, 2021. The training will include 40+ hours of comprehensive and supportive training on crisis intervention, assessing suicide risk, and active listening. Email HR@buckelew.org with questions and to request an application. In-person or Zoom interview required by April 19. Flyer attached.
- The Multicultural Center of Marin will host Racial Trauma Support Groups to address mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias and ethnic discrimination, racism, and hate crimes. Any individual that has experienced an emotionally painful, sudden, and uncontrollable racist encounter is at risk of suffering from a race-based traumatic stress injury. In the U.S., Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are most vulnerable due to living under a system of white supremacy. Flyers attached. For more information about the support groups, please contact Cesar Lagleva at 415-846-3789 or email@example.com.
- The Racial Equity Action Lab will host a Zoom session on April 12th from 1-3 PM entitled Bring California Home: Racial Equity Input Session. Bring California Home (AB 71) is a bill that would reimagine how California ensures we all have a roof over our heads—centralizing state programs, demanding measurable results, and establishing a permanent, ongoing source of funding for housing and services. The bill would raise approximately $2.4B annually. It also would reward local governments for hitting aggressive goals, and improve data collecting and reporting. This session will provide an opportunity to inform statewide policy and funding for racial equity work in local communities. Flyer attached. Click here for Zoom link; Passcode: JoinBARHII, 1 669 900 6833 US, Meeting ID: 894 2922 0710
Sharing from Disability Rights Education a Defense Fund (DREDF)
Together We Must Stop Asian Hate
Dedicated mothers. Immigrants who came to the United States in search of a better life. An Army veteran working as a handyman. People who, according to an article in USA Today, loved their families and loved to dance and sing karaoke.
The horrific, tragic killing of those eight people – including six Asian and Asian American women by a white man in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 16 in two attacks – shines an uncomfortable, necessary spotlight on anti-Asian racism and violence in the United States. Both the shooting and its aftermath – in which a first responder attributed the shootings to "a bad day" rather than white supremacy, or the shooter placing the blame on his victims – shows the lengths to which many will go in an attempt to avoid facing difficult but necessary truths.
The names of those killed in the first of three attacks were Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, and Paul Andre Michels. Soon Chung Park, Hyun Grant, and Suncha Kim, were killed in the second attack on Gold Spa in Atlanta and Yong Ae Yue was killed across the street in the third and final attack on Aromatherapy Spa.
It's disheartening, but not entirely surprising that, to date, the killer – and speculation about his motivations – have probably garnered more attention than his victims or their stories.
Beyond the usual thoughts and prayers, our collective grief and outrage reside firmly with the victims' friends and families, specifically, and Asian-American communities, collectively. But thoughts and prayers alone are not enough. Outrage and grief get us much closer to the work we must do, as a nation, both individually and collectively to combat anti-Asian racism, reject racial stereotypes, stem gun violence, and hold murderers accountable.
We'll leave others to speculate about the perpetrator's motivations because whatever they may have been this much is without question: In the shooter's mind, they did not merit respect or acknowledgement as individuals with their own hopes, dreams, histories and loved ones.
As far as the killer was concerned, his victims were nothing more than "temptations" to be eliminated. Props in his play.
DREDF rejects this thinking, and the troubling history of legal, political, cultural, and economic Asian-American scapegoating which precedes it. We also reject the misogyny, systemic violence, white supremacy and lack of accountability which remain at the core of incidents like what occurred March 16.
Furthermore, we commit to having hard discussions, among ourselves, with colleagues, and in our families, on how racist violence is both specific and common, subjecting each group to unique kinds of objectification and ill treatment while, at the same time, eroding trust across racial, ethnic and socio-economic divides or acknowledging how real people have complex, intersecting identities.
Perhaps most importantly we honor the individuals – and the communities they were a part of -- whose legacies have been unwillingly, irreparably recast in the public spotlight, posthumously, in the context of tragedy rather than everything else that their lives were, everything else that they deserve.
Source: Together We Must Stop Asian Hate
Sharing from Marin CIL’s own Equally Fabulous Tonique McNair
Applications Open for Rental Assistance
Those experiencing hardship because of pandemic may use new online tool
San Rafael, CA – The online application period is now open for Marin County renters who have experienced economic hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is $16 million to distribute as part of the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, intended to prevent evictions and homelessness.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors accepted the funding during its February 9 and March 9 meetings, and money will be channeled directly to landlords to cover past tenant rent and utilities.
The state’s Business, Consumer Services & Housing Agency estimates as many as 1.5 million California renters are behind on rent for reasons tied to the pandemic. Clearing accumulated debt is designed to provide a lifeline to the hardest-hit families and provide income stability for landlords. In Marin, over 3,000 people have contacted the County for help with unpaid rent related to the pandemic.
Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and are often at the highest risk of housing displacement.
“Those most in need of pandemic-related rental assistance often face the most barriers to access a program like this,” said Leelee Thomas, CDA Planning Manager. “Sometimes it comes down to communication in multiple languages and hands-on assistance. As this distribution of funds gets underway, we will continually watch for new barriers and adjust as needed to ensure equitable distribution of funds.”
Local landlords have a choice to accept 80% of unpaid rent owed between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, in exchange for forgiving the remaining 20%. If a landlord chooses not to accept the offer, tenants may still apply for relief valued at 25% of unpaid back rent owed for the covered period.
The $16 million was on top of nearly $6 million in local funding already allocated. Marin’s safety-net rental assistance program started in March 2020 when the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a local relief fund partnership with the Marin Community Foundation (MCF) to support the most financially needy local residents during COVID-19.
A household of three with an income at or below $125,000 a year is eligible if they are qualified for unemployment benefits, experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant COVID-related costs, are at risk of homelessness or endured other financial hardship due to the coronavirus. Priority is given to households that are considered extremely low income, which in Marin would be a family of three with an income of no more than $43,550.
To prevent virus-related homelessness, the Supervisors passed local eviction moratoriums several times over the past year before the state enacted its own evictions ban. Most recently, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution January 12 that continues to bar evictions through June for people economically impacted by the coronavirus. State legislation has since superseded the local ban.
Earlier, the County created a new phone number and email address to guide residents who may need assistance with the online application.. Anyone needing help with the online application may call (415) 473-2223 or email staff to learn more about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which is open for applications.
BREAKING NEWS: Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19
Updated Mar. 29, 2021
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed a declaration determining that the evictions of tenants could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
ORDER: Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 pdf icon[185 KB, 17 pages]
Source: Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19