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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on July 24th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 20 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 20

Political Watch 7/25/13

• The cities of Santa Maria, Goleta, and Ventura recently received $2.5 million in federal grant awards to provide housing and economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) announced in a July 22 press release. Community Development Block Grants provide federal funding to local governments to develop viable urban communities by providing affordable housing and expanding economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income individuals. Santa Maria received $1,339,618; Goleta received $217,108; and Ventura received $738,810 in grants. “Community Development Block Grants and the HOME program help communities help themselves,” Capps said in the press release. “The need for decent affordable housing along the Central Coast is critical to ensuring everyone can achieve a good quality of life in our communities. These programs have positively impacted many lives, and I hope this additional funding will allow us to build an even stronger, more-inclusive Central Coast community.” Celeste Coelho-Hudson, the Santa Maria Community Program manager, said in the release that the city is very pleased to receive a 14 percent increase over what was anticipated. “This will not only give additional funding for public services that provide critical and emergency needs but it will also allow for capital improvement projects,” Coelho-Hudson said.

 • Leaders of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, along with Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and other legislators, recently sent a letter to California Correctional Health Care Services Federal Receiver Clark Kelso expressing outrage over recent reports of unlawful and coercive sterilization of female inmates. The letter states, “As the federal receiver, you were appointed by a three-judge panel to implement a lawful standard of medical care in California prisons. These instances of unauthorized tubal ligations under your watch violate California state laws. Pressuring a vulnerable population—including at least one documented instance of a patient under sedation—to undergo these extreme procedures erodes the ban on eugenics. In our view, such practice violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment; protections that you were appointed to enforce.” The letter asks for a response to a series of questions—including whether and when these procedures were stopped, and what actions were taken to stop them—and indicates that the Senate will request a review by the State Auditor into allegations that female inmates were coerced into sterilization procedures. Kelso had yet to respond to the letter as of press time.