Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion Relief Bill Before Speech To Nation (KPBS Midday Edition)
President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the $1.9 trillion relief package that he said will help the U.S. defeat the coronavirus and nurse the economy back to health. Plus, protesters gathered outside the San Diego Police Department headquarters Wednesday night after a video surfaced that appears to show an officer pointing his gun at a young boy during a traffic stop in Hillcrest this week. And San Diego Unified School Board changed the name of Junipero Serra High School in response to a student-led movement. Then, the City of La Mesa will soon accept food waste from residents. The waste will be processed at EDCO’s new anaerobic digestion facility in Escondido. Plus, Sally Ride’s story is being told along with 12 other inspiring women profiled in the “She Persisted” young adult book series. Finally, the third episode of the Parker Edison Project looks at how customs impact our culture, and examines how they even play a part in our imaginations.
Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego gets ready for its share of the $1.9 trillion stimulus.
Speaker 2: 00:05 We could be seeing something on the order of $19 billion coming to the region.
Speaker 1: 00:10 I’m Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heineman. This is KPBS midday edition. San Diego police policies are questioned after a child is involved in a traffic stop.
Speaker 3: 00:29 They take that gun from him. He’s eight years old. Who’s come over to us. All right, you’re good, bud.
Speaker 1: 00:36 A new food waste recycling effort is rolled out in Lamesa and music as therapy from KPBS, his new podcast, the Parker Edison project that’s ahead on midday edition
Speaker 1: 01:01 Today, president Joe Biden signed one of the largest spending packages in us history. The $1.9 trillion stimulus bill dubbed the American rescue plan invests in people, businesses, and communities in an effort to boost the nation out of its COVID economic recession. It also contains billions of dollars to help States and counties increase their vaccination programs. Most San Diego ones are expected to benefit from the stimulus payments at local businesses and governments are busy planning how to use this federal economic boost. Joining me is Ray major chief economist for the San Diego association of governments. Ray, welcome to the program. Thank you very much for having me. How much has the San Diego region been hoping for this stimulus?
Speaker 2: 01:48 Well, from a regional perspective, I think we have been anticipating and hoping that some type of relief would come as you know, California and San Diego in particular, um, is still being impacted by COVID and the economic ramifications of that with the, the, the lockdowns and stay at home orders. And so this type of revenue is going to be a big relief for a lot of businesses and individuals, as well as the local government.
Speaker 1: 02:15 How much can we expect from this package?
Speaker 2: 02:17 There’s no way to know exactly how much is going to come to San Diego. But if you figure that we are about 1% of the nation’s population, we could be seeing something on the order of $19 billion coming to the region.
Speaker 1: 02:31 Wow. What part of this rescue plan would you say is most needed by San Diego
Speaker 2: 02:37 In terms of what’s most needed? It’s really the relief to individuals whose businesses are still impacted and closed. That went from my perspective would be the number one thing that the stimulus is going to help. So the direct payments to those people who are not able to operate their businesses fully, there’s also additional monies that are coming to the local governments, like the cities, our region, which will be used to, uh, alleviate any budget deficits that they may have a crude last year.
Speaker 1: 03:07 Now lawmakers say the bulk of this relief bill will be geared toward helping those hardest hit by the pandemic economic fallout. Do you agree in looking at this stimulus package?
Speaker 2: 03:17 It doesn’t really look that way. From my perspective, there is some money that’s going directly to people, but there’s a tremendous amount of, of other monies in this particular plan that aren’t going directly to, to, to help with the, with the COVID crisis.
Speaker 1: 03:33 Well talk, talk to us about the stimulus checks. We’ve heard an awful lot about them. Will most San Diego wins? Do you think beginning some money?
Speaker 2: 03:41 Well, it looks like many San Diego hands are going to be getting some money because a, it looks like a family making as much as $150,000 would be getting some type of stimulus check. So in that particular case, it looks like there will be a lot of money being distributed to individuals within the County.
Speaker 1: 03:59 A family of four eligible for a stimulus check can expect up to $5,600. How significant is that for low income families
Speaker 2: 04:10 For low-income families, that’s going to be a huge amount of money. It represents maybe 20 in some cases, 30% of their total income for the year. Uh, this type of money really allows people to not only continue to pay their rent and to be able to feed their families, but it also gives people a sense of security that, that the economy is doing. Okay.
Speaker 1: 04:36 And how do you see that kind of stimulus, that kind of confidence, that kind of spending from low income families, helping the overall economy
Speaker 2: 04:44 For the economic stimulus to work, people need to spend that money and pump it back into the economy and support local businesses. And I think that’s really where this, this money helps. So if you give the low-income families in the region, this additional $5,600, then they will be able to spend money in the economy and then that supports other businesses. So from that perspective, it’s going to help, uh, keep some of the bolster, a lot of the smaller businesses here in the region, but also keep these families afloat through the rest of this pandemic crisis.
Speaker 1: 05:18 And what kind of help does this stimulus package have directly for small businesses
Speaker 2: 05:24 Was $813 billion in a paycheck protection program, which would go directly to small businesses supporting, uh, the employment at those establishments.
Speaker 1: 05:35 Last time, much of the federal stimulus money was gobbled up by bigger businesses. Are there any new guidelines in place to ensure that won’t happen again?
Speaker 2: 05:43 I haven’t seen any new guidelines that would keep large businesses from, uh, participating in these programs. I think the biggest problem is that small businesses have a hard time applying for these types of programs and when they do, um, you know, there, there needs to be some follow through. So hopefully those, those, uh, guidelines have been streamlined to help the smaller businesses. I don’t have any direct knowledge that that’s the case though.
Speaker 1: 06:11 How will the stimulus help with COVID vaccinations?
Speaker 2: 06:15 Well, there is some money in there to help with COVID vaccination. And so that’s great. And some COVID research, but again, right now the biggest thing is getting the, the allocation of vaccines. I think that, uh, the vaccines that are available, the federal government, uh, needs to do more to get those vaccines here into the region and to allow the general population to be vaccinated.
Speaker 1: 06:40 What kind of an impact has the pandemic and the shutdowns had on the San Diego regional economy?
Speaker 2: 06:48 Well, there’ve been a lot of impacts on the San Diego economy from a personal level, from a people level. What you’re looking at is nearly a hundred thousand people who are still unemployed because of this COVID pandemic. Many people have gone back to work, but when you take a look at certain sectors in our economy, particularly looking at, for instance, the hospitality industry, which includes the retail sector, uh, the, you know, restaurants and, and hotel motel, we see about 50,000 people who still haven’t gone back to work over there. Uh, in education we see about 21,000 people who haven’t been able to return to work and another 14,000 people in, in, in the retail industry. So a lot of impact when it comes to, to local people, not, um, you know, having a job here in the region
Speaker 1: 07:37 With this stimulus package, some economists are predicting as much as 7% gross in the U S economy this year. Do you agree? And do you think we’re going to see that in San Diego?
Speaker 2: 07:49 I think we’re going to see tremendous growth. And part of that, the reason is that everybody is ready to get back to work and the economy is ready to open. So as soon as you have, uh, the, the go-ahead from the state government to start traveling again, for instance, and everybody’s vaccinated, I think you’re going to see a huge bump in tourism, which is going to bring a tremendous amount of money back here into San Diego. But, um, with this much money being pumped into the economy, you will absolutely see growth. But with that, you will probably also start to see inflation, uh, back in the economy, which we haven’t seen for many years.
Speaker 1: 08:24 I have been speaking with Ray major chief economist for the San Diego association of governments. Ray, thank you very much. You’re
Speaker 2: 08:31 Very welcome. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 4: 08:40 And there’s been strong community backlash after the release of an image of what appears to be a San Diego police officer pointing a gun at an eight year old boy during a traffic stop. SDPD has since released body cam footage of the incident and claims the officer never had his gun drawn on the child in the first place in either case many have been calling on the San Diego police department to review their protocols and treatment of children during traffic stops. Joining me today to discuss this incident is San Diego union Tribune staff writer, David Hernandez, who covers law enforcement, crime, and public safety across San Diego. David, welcome. Thanks for having me and David, before we begin, I do want to play a brief clip of that altercation.
Speaker 5: 09:27 Hey buddy. Just put your hands up for us. All right. Just come towards SRA. Come over here. Can you take that gun with him? He’s eight years old, just come over to us. All right. You’re good, bud.
Speaker 4: 09:41 Eight years old there, David, what do we know so far about this traffic stop?
Speaker 6: 09:45 Obviously it got a lot of attention once a photo of the encounter circulated online and the next day, uh, which was yesterday police, really some more information about how it all began. So what we know is that, uh, an officer OSI car speeding down park Boulevard in the Hillcrest area, try to pull it over the driver. Didn’t pull over though, according to police and, um, eventually did. And that’s when this entire traffic stopped that we see in the video unfolded. Um, essentially they first called out the driver who was the dad of the, of the kid. Um, and once he was in custody officers called for the kid to step out of the vehicle. And that’s essentially the point of discussion in terms of whether the officer pointed his gun at the child or not, um, is in the end. You know, he, uh, was taken to the side by an officer while his father was issued a citation. And while officers searched the vehicle,
Speaker 4: 10:46 You know, the father can be heard in the video pleading for one of the responding officers to put his gun away from the child. SDPD has released body cam footage from the incident and insists that the gun was not pointed at the boy. Um, how has SDPD responded to this incident?
Speaker 6: 11:03 Yeah, so they, interestingly enough, uh, responded to the photo that circulated and to the dialogue around that photo by releasing the body camera video. And what was interesting is that they felt that it essentially showed that the officer had never pointed the gun at the child. And, uh, they said that in the statement that came with the video, um, however, uh, many people felt quite the opposite that the video did show that the officer pointed his gun at the child. And as we heard in the clip, you shared, the father also clearly felt that way too. He repeated repeatedly asks the officer not to point his gun at his eight year old son. Um, and so again, what was interesting is that the department released this too, as they essentially worded it to clarify some of the, and they also said they wanted to do this to promote public trust, but, um, many felt that it did quite the opposite.
Speaker 4: 12:01 And following the incident, a group of protestors demonstrated at police headquarters later on in the day, what’s been the community reaction so far.
Speaker 6: 12:09 Yeah, so many of the proteins actually called for the officer to be fired. Um, but generally speaking, a lot of the conversation has unfolded online and many people have questioned the tactics that pleased use during the traffic stop. Um, in particular in how they dealt with the child who was in the car, um, council, woman, Monica, Montgomery step, who’s the chair of the public safety and livable neighborhoods committee. She called on the police department to review how children are treated during traffic stops. So a lot of discussion about the trauma that this likely caused for the child and the implications of how police encounters, um, affect, uh, communities and in particular children,
Speaker 4: 12:55 Do we know why the officer felt the need to pull a gun during a traffic stop?
Speaker 6: 13:00 We have a little bit of insight in terms of some information that police released. So we know that they felt, um, that it was a high-risk traffic stop, which essentially is a term for situations when officers believe that they may face a potentially dangerous situation. You know, we also know that the officer had called for backup. And the question there is, you know, why so many officers, and what we’re told is that the officer thought that the driver was trying to get away because he didn’t initially pull over. So, you know, with high-risk traffic stops, it’s not uncommon for officers to pull out their guns and aim them at the car. But again, the debate kind of centers on, you know, whether officers acted appropriately in pointing the gun at the child or not, and what trauma that may have left the child with.
Speaker 4: 13:46 And is there any indication from the city’s commission on police practices that they’ll be reviewing this altercation?
Speaker 6: 13:53 Actually, that’s one of the demands from community members that the police department investigate this incident. And it’s very likely that it should, the police department review this incident, the commission on police practices would also look into it as well, but we haven’t heard from the commission at this point,
Speaker 4: 14:11 Community leaders have already begun calling on the San Diego police to review how children are treated during traffic stops. What can you tell us about that?
Speaker 6: 14:20 So one of the strongest demands came from Councilwoman Mon Monica Montgomery step, who called for the police department to essentially review how officers interact with children during traffic stops. And, uh, essentially a lot of people are kind of questioning how officers react and respond at two, um, traffic stops, but in particular high-risk traffic stops. When, again, it isn’t uncommon for officers to pull out their guns, but in this case, you know, it’s an interesting dynamic because a child was involved. So a lot the demands
Speaker 7: 14:52 Focus on how officers should treat cases, where children are involved.
Speaker 4: 14:59 I’ve been speaking with David Hernandez who covers law enforcement, crime, and public safety for the San Diego union Tribune. David, thank you very much for joining us.
Speaker 7: 15:08 Thanks for having me.
Speaker 4: 15:28 You’re listening to KPBS midday edition. I’m Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. After a student led movement, San Diego unified Hoonah pero Sarah high school will now be called Canyon Hills high school. The San Diego unified school board voted for the change this week as the San Diego union Tribune, Kristin Takeda reported students say the name of the founder of California’s mission system is offensive to indigenous peoples whose ancestors were subjected to its doctrine. Joining me is Kristin Takeda K through 12 education reporter with the San Diego union Tribune. Kristen, welcome. Thank you for having me. So students petitioned to not only change the school name to Canyon Hills high school, but to also change the mascot. Talk to me about why this was so important.
Speaker 7: 16:14 And this was in wake of the black lives matter movement. They felt that the name and the mascot were very offensive to indigenous peoples. The mascot is the cookie Sudar, which is essentially the Spanish conqueror who basically overtook the lands of the indigenous peoples and subjected them to violence and disease, and which essentially wiped out the vast majority of indigenous peoples in that time.
Speaker 4: 16:43 Okay. And there were some people who actually felt the name should stay the same. Who were they? And what was their rationale behind that?
Speaker 7: 16:50 There have been some Catholic leaders who have pushed back against changes like this. They believe that, well, first of all, Sarah is a canonized Saint in the Catholic church and they Revere him for the work he did and spreading Christianity. And so, um, they also, uh, some Catholic leaders associate this as a kind of cancel culture of Sarah. But I think what some of the students told me in response to those kinds of arguments against removing Sarah’s name is that even though some people believe like Sarah May have had good intentions in trying to simply spread Christianity to indigenous peoples, the students felt that what indigenous peoples, how they viewed what happened alone is the most important factor that they felt was needed. And considering whether to change the school’s, they said, regardless of anyone’s intentions and spreading Christianity, the end results of that colonization was that many, many people died or had, they said, had essentially lost their culture. And so those are the reasons why students said that they felt it was important to change the name regardless.
Speaker 4: 18:10 And what’s been the community reaction to this step and changing the high school’s name and mascot to the now Canyon Hills ramp.
Speaker 7: 18:17 Yeah. So in general, a lot of people are very happy about the change. Um, the change had support from several local indigenous leaders who said that they believe this is going to help with healing from the past, and they believe this will help. Right? History,
Speaker 4: 18:37 Leukemia nation has said they feel the name change will provide a more ethical view of history. Are there any changes being made in the actual history curriculum that students are taught to reflect that as well?
Speaker 7: 18:49 Uh, one of the community leaders said that fellow leaders are going to work with the school on, on creating a curriculum like that, that talks about, or that accurately depicts can we, I history and culture. And so, yeah, it does look like that is going to happen along with the name change, which is part of the rebranding of the school that the school wants to do.
Speaker 4: 19:13 And the San Diego unified school board didn’t stop with changing the name of Huna pero Serra high school. A decision was also made to name a future city Heights campus after the late Reverend George Walker Smith and the board also voted to change the name of Pacific beach joint use field at Pacific beach, middle school to Fannie and William pain joint use field. Why are these particular names so significant?
Speaker 7: 19:37 Yeah. So Reverend Smith was the first African-American elected to office in San Diego. He was a school board member. And then for Fannie and William Payne, they were African-American teachers and San Diego. And for William pain, there was this incident where, where he worked at Pacific beach middle school, essentially, there were hundreds of people who petitioned to have him removed from the school in 1945. There were some students at the school today who wanted to change the change, the name of the field to honor him and his wife because they, because they had been part of a racist moment in history. And so they wanted to change the name in order to honor them. And to also kind of similar to what, what the students were trying to do with Sarah high school is to as essentially redressed history and similar things with, uh, naming the future city Heights campus after Reverend Smith. I think in general, what the school schools and the school board were trying to do is to honor people who have made steps fight for
Speaker 8: 20:48 Racial justice. Um, and you know, when we look at the larger picture, do you get a sense that
Speaker 1: 20:53 This is all part of a reckoning here in San Diego in an effort to tell a more inclusive and accurate history about its past?
Speaker 8: 21:01 Yeah, I think that’s definitely why the, all these people are making these changes and why the school district is making these changes. They want to have more inclusion and also honor the moments of this history where people have really stood out to moments that embodied racial justice or injustice
Speaker 1: 21:21 In speaking with Kristin Takeda K through 12 education reporter with the San Diego union Tribune. Kristen, thanks so much for joining us.
Speaker 8: 21:29 Yeah. You’re welcome.
Speaker 1: 21:47 Preparing household waste for recycling can be complicated, no plastic bags in the recycling bin. Make sure everything you put in is dry and by all means don’t leave any uneaten pizza. And the pizza box in Lamesa though. Recycling is about to get much simpler and more environmentally friendly, a program called co-mingled organics. Recycling will start for single family residence next month, allowing those pizza slices to stay in the box and other food ways to become part of regular curbside recycling. Joining me is Hillary Eggo environmental program manager at the city of Lamesa and Hillary welcome.
Speaker 8: 22:29 Thank you for having me. What has
Speaker 1: 22:30 Lamesa been doing so far to reduce the amount of waste headed to the,
Speaker 8: 22:34 The landfill? So the city works in partnership with our waste teller at co uh, to divert 50% of our waste from the landfill through our recycling programs and in 2018 Lamesa city council adopted a climate action plan. That includes a goal to divert 75% of our waste by 2035. And our city council are really strong proponents of our impact on the environment and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Currently residents are able to place items in their blue bin, including things like paper, cardboard, glass, and metals, and also a yard waste such as leaves and grass trimmings and their green bin. But as you mentioned earlier, starting in April and co is rolling out a new organics recycling program for single family resident homes. And with this program, residents are going to be able to put food scraps such as your banana peels and eggshells, um, or also food, soil papers. So things like napkins and pizza boxes, and those can be co-mingled with the yard waste in the green bin.
Speaker 1: 23:35 Why is accepting food waste the next step in the city’s effort?
Speaker 8: 23:39 So the state of California has some state mandates that require organic recycling. And this is really to prevent these materials from ending up in the landfill because when these materials go in the landfill, they produce a harmful greenhouse gas emissions. So by putting these in the green, then we’re going to be able to collect the waste and a Coldwell then send it off to their new anaerobic digester. And eco has been a great partner in ensuring that we can meet these mandates.
Speaker 1: 24:05 I’m going to ask you a question about that anaerobic digester in a minute, but I want to find out practically, how will it work for Lamesa residents say they’re in CA in their kitchen cooking, or they’re finishing up a meal, what kind of food waste can they recycle and where do they put it?
Speaker 8: 24:21 When residents are at home in their kitchen, a great way to recycle their organics is to put aside things that are food scraps. So like your banana peels, um, also any peel peelings, um, if you are, you know, peeling a potato, but also any spoiled food from your fridge, uh, you know, that turns into science experiments and also, uh, food, soil paper. So things like your napkins and paper towels and pizza boxes are a really great one as well. And so those can go straight directly into the green bin. Uh, EDCO is providing a free kitchen pale for, uh, residents to be able to collect their kitchen scraps. And the best way to do that is to just put them directly into the kitchen caddy. And then from there, you know, not use any plastic bags or even those compostable bags, we recommend that you wrapped your scraps and things like newspapers or paper towels, and then those go straight directly into the green bin outside. Okay.
Speaker 1: 25:16 Okay. Now on to anaerobic digestion, how is this recycled food waste process?
Speaker 8: 25:23 Great question. So it’s definitely a really neat technology. That co has been a really great partner to ensure that we’re able to send our waste there. So the anaerobic digester is actually an Escondido, so the waste will be collected in Lamesa and then transferred to their facility in Escondido. And what this does is all the organic waste material is placed inside the anaerobic digester where micro organisms and heat will break down the materials. And then it creates a bunch of byproducts, including things like fertilizers that can go back onto our local farms and also natural gas that will be used to power and coast trucks. And I don’t want to get too into the details because we do have a webinar that will be later today, uh, from four to five where echo will be talking with us in partnership with, I love a clean San Diego to talk about more about the science behind their anaerobic digester and kind of the do’s and don’ts of what you can put in the green bin and how the program will work. So we all know,
Speaker 1: 26:20 I know that if we don’t increase recycling, the waste is just going to wind up in the landfill. And why is it that we just don’t let it go to the landfill? Why do we want to decrease that way?
Speaker 8: 26:30 This organic material has a lot of great nutrients and it would be wonderful if we can put that back into our local environment and back into our farms where these nutrients belong, instead of just going to the landfill and granted they will break down
Speaker 9: 26:44 In a landfill, but they do take a lot of time. So it’s really important that we are putting them and recycling them. So that way we can get them back into our environment.
Speaker 1: 26:52 The Lamesa food waste recycling program begins for single family homes on April 1st and sometime this summer for apartments and businesses. Do you see this program as potentially a model for the rest of the County?
Speaker 9: 27:05 Definitely a co is going to be rolling out this program to their franchise cities, uh, in a series of phases. And if you don’t live them a Mesa check with your local holler to see what their updates for organics recycling programs are going to be
Speaker 1: 27:19 Fair enough. Then I’ve been speaking with Hilary echo environmental program manager at the city of Lamesa Hillary. Thanks very much. Thank you so much for having me. I love a clean San Diego is holding a webinar at 4:00 PM today on how the food waste will be processed. More information can be email@example.com.
Speaker 1: 27:48 This is KPBS mid day edition. I’m worrying Kevin off with Jade Heinemann Sally ride. America’s first woman in space left a legacy for young girls here in San Diego and around the world, her history, making trips aboard the space shuttle challenger and her work as a physicist at UC San Diego serve as an inspiration to women and girls interested in all things science and now Sally ride story is being told along with 12 other inspiring women profiled in the sheep persisted young adult book series. And ride’s book is lucky enough to come out this month. Women’s history month. Joining me as the author of she persisted Sally, ride a Tia about a Tia. Welcome to the
Speaker 9: 28:34 Thank you, Maureen. I’m so happy to be here now.
Speaker 1: 28:36 I guess what a breakthrough it was to have Sally ride as an astronaut aboard the space shuttle. There had been lots of hesitation by NASA about women astronauts and really lots of doubts about women’s ability to become scientists.
Speaker 9: 28:49 Absolutely. Um, so Sally ride was the very first American woman to make it to space and it was a long road to get there. In fact, Sally growing up, never even dreamt of becoming an astronaut because there were no female astronauts back then, uh, she was famously quoted saying, you can’t be what you can’t see. And in fact, there were legendary male astronauts who were actually blocking females from joining NASA. It was in 1977, after eight years of studying at Stanford, getting her undergraduate graduate and doctorate in physics. And she was a physicist that she went to the school cafeteria. She was munching on some scrambled eggs and a cinnamon roll where she opened the school newspaper. And it said that NASA was finally looking for female astronauts. Uh, Sally quickly applied and she was then sent to Texas where she went vigorous testing, both physically and mentally and academically. And she made her way as one of the first female astronauts and the very first to make it to space.
Speaker 1: 29:52 What was it in Sally ride’s background? Do you think that helped her break through those barriers? Sally?
Speaker 9: 29:58 I grew up in a time where a lot of girls were told that they’re not strong enough. They’re not tough enough. Um, and they’re just not as good as the boys, but Sally’s parents were completely different. They told Sally and her younger sister that they could do anything that they set their minds to and that they should just continue to try. And Sally believed in that. So when given the opportunity, Sally went for it. So if she knew that she wanted something, she went for it. And the only reason she didn’t go with the string for NASA when she was younger is because she didn’t see any female astronauts back then. But the second that she was given the chance she realized I want this. And she knew that she would get it as long as she worked hard for it.
Speaker 1: 30:40 Uh, Tia, how did you go about doing research for the book? I noticed that you even have details about Sally ride when she was a toddler. Did you interview her family members
Speaker 9: 30:50 As a journalist myself? The very first thing that I want to do when I do my research is talk to the person that I’m writing about. And unfortunately I couldn’t do that with Sally because she passed away in 2012. So actually the second best person that I thought to go to was her life partner, uh, Tam O’Shaughnessy, uh, Tam was her partner in life, as well as partner in science. They created, uh, the Sally ride center, uh, for science together, along with some other friends. So I did interview Tam. I did reach out to see if I could speak to her mother and sister. Her father unfortunately also passed away. Uh, but they weren’t feeling well, so they couldn’t talk to me, but Tam was gracious enough to have a virtual interview with me through the computer and through the phone. And she also sent me Sally’s photo biography. So there was a lot of stories in there about Sally’s youth from when she was a baby up until the day that she unfortunately passed away.
Speaker 1: 31:45 You mentioned Sally ride science at UC San Diego. Can you tell us a little bit more about why Sally ride decided to start that?
Speaker 9: 31:53 I think it was such an amazing, brilliant idea for Sally and Tam and their other friends to start Sally ride science and their main goal was because of their own experiences. In the past. You know, Sally was told from one teacher to another that she shouldn’t be studying science. She shouldn’t be studying physics mainly because she was a girl later, a woman. And she was told that she was going to be taking jobs away from the men. Um, and through the years, both Sally and Tam realized that a lot of young girls, as well as young boys were being turned away from science, they didn’t think science was cool anymore. They didn’t think that science was interesting anymore. They thought that science were, was only for particular types of, uh, so they wanted to remind children as they got older, that science is still fun. Science is interesting. Science explains pretty much everything, um, that we see in experience in life. Sally would talk about how, even with tennis, you know, physics explained why a ball would curve the way it did after you smacked it with a racket. Uh, it explained that it also explained the cosmos. Uh, so she wanted young children to remember that science is cool and fun. So she created Sally ride science, uh, to share that with, uh, the students, as well as the teachers to keep that spirit of
Speaker 1: 33:19 Now in doing the research for the book, was there something that you were surprised to learn about Sally ride?
Speaker 9: 33:24 Yeah. I was actually really surprised to learn that she was not in fact the best student. It didn’t mean that she didn’t get good grades because she did get good grades, but it meant that if she wasn’t motivated by a teacher, she wasn’t really motivated by the class. Um, but when a teacher really sparked her interest as did a teacher, when she was in high school as science teacher, that’s what really motivated her. And that was one thing that I found very interesting. Another thing that a lot of people don’t really know about Sally is that she could have been a professional tennis player. Uh, she was ranked in California by the age of 12. She got one scholarship after another scholarship in tennis for her studies that included going to Westlake high school, uh, in Los Angeles County, which led to her scholarships to Swarthmore college, as well as Stanford university. And she actually gave up her studies for a little while to really focus on tennis. But when she was focusing on tennis, she realized that she didn’t have that passion, that she really needed to become a professional tennis player, but she later found that passion she needed, uh, when it became to, uh, becoming a
Speaker 1: 34:33 Astronaut. Yeah. That is a little known aspect of her life. Can you tell us about the she persisted book series? What was its inspiration?
Speaker 9: 34:42 Chelsea Clinton actually created the series when she wrote some children’s books about the sheep persisted series and they were very popular. They were best-selling books, uh, throughout the U S and throughout the world, uh, that the publisher decided that they wanted to reach a little bit of an older audience as well. So grade school, uh, girls and boys, uh, so for that, they wanted more authors to help contribute. And this year they’re releasing one book a month about different, amazing females in our history who achieved great things. In fact, they’re going to have two books that releases in December. So that’s going to be 13 books that are a part of the she persisted series
Speaker 1: 35:23 And who were some of the other women profiled?
Speaker 9: 35:26 So the January book was on Harriet Tubman. A lot of people know who Harriet Tubman is, but there are some interesting tidbits in the book that I bet some new readers would know. Uh, February’s book was on Claudette Colden, and not many people know who Claudette Colvin is, but they know about Rosa parks, but Claudette was actually the first person who refused to give up her seat on the back of the bus, but she was only 15 years old at the time. And Rosa parks actually did it a few months after Claudette, later on, we’re going to have more women profiled, for instance, Oprah Winfrey, uh, Virginia app, Gar Flo Jo, the fastest woman who was ever alive. Uh, it’s going to be an incredible year about learning about people that we may have already known about and others that we don’t really know much about and why
Speaker 1: 36:17 You want to get involved in this particular project about Sally ride.
Speaker 9: 36:21 Well, this was really important for me, uh, for many reasons, um, partly because some of these women we’ve heard of their names, but we don’t know their full stories. We know about legendary male astronauts, but we haven’t really heard about the female astronauts. Um, another reason it was really important to just be a part of this series. I would have been honored to write about any of these women, but I particularly chose Sally because I knew about her, but I didn’t know enough about her. Um, it was important for me to learn about her, but it was also important for me to share this with the young girls and young boys out there, including my own children. Uh, I want my son to know that women are as good as the boys girls are as good as the boys. That’s one thing that I teach him every day. And when my daughter gets older, she’s to what right now, but as she gets older, I want her to know the same thing. And I think it’s important to teach both boys and girls about these great women in our history, because I feel like it’s something that I, myself and a lot of my friends were deprived of growing up.
Speaker 1: 37:26 I’ve been speaking with a claimed author and journalist a Tia. Abelli the book is she persisted Sally ride. It’s part of the, she persisted 13 American women who changed the world book series and the Tia. Thank you so much for speaking with us
Speaker 9: 37:42 And thank you, Maureen. It’s so good to talk to you
Speaker 10: 37:50 What
Speaker 11: 37:50 It comes to mind when you think of American culture, the new KPBS podcast, the Parker Edison project zooms weigh in on what really makes culture, food, music, style, sex fashion, and more all through the lens of black America and an excerpt from episode three of the podcast, host Parker Edison explains how seemingly unimportant interactions can become traditions. Future generations pass forward. For years, he talked to Robert Lee about a team of volunteers in city Heights that are using education to foster inclusion in the community.
Speaker 10: 38:25 Coming up on the Parker Edison project. This episode is about our different customs, how they define us and how it was put together, they make our city great. It’s so rich. You just
Speaker 12: 38:36 Walked down the street and you see 10 different languages being spoken. You see people wearing Pitt jobs, people wearing different ethnic wardrobes. You hear karaoke sung in Vietnamese down the street. It’s so rich, culturally, I kind of didn’t know what that history, where does it come from?
Speaker 10: 38:54 Did you know San Diego welcomes more refugees than any other California County, more than San Francisco, Sacramento or LA?
Speaker 12: 39:02 It kind of follows what civil war is going on in another part of the world. One area is suffering from genocide and war, and that’s kind of how the neighborhood evolve.
Speaker 10: 39:13 If you’re from a far away place, it’s quite possible a school teacher could be your first real guide into this country. I’ll talk to an educator on the front lines.
Speaker 12: 39:22 So you really try not to use the term refugee because it categorizes these students. There’s so much more than refugees.
Speaker 10: 39:29 He grab a cup of coffee and be part of our experiment about how customs even play a part in our imaginations and welcome to black coffee. Uh, can I take your order? That’s coming up next on the park Radisson project.
Speaker 13: 40:01 Excellent yourself. I see why you’re here. Good food, drink wine or a beer or anything
Speaker 10: 40:17 From KPBS. This is the Parker Edison project where we look at the tenants of culture and what really makes America great. This episode is about customs, how they shape us and our perception of people outside of our culture, for someone moving to a new country or even city, their teachers can really shape their first impression at this new culture who start in city Heights, where a team of tutors are taking a holistic approach to educating a unique demographic. We’ll speak to Robert and educator facing the challenges of weaving American teaching practices and cultural understanding while welcoming an often overlooked population.
Speaker 12: 40:52 My name is Robert. Oh, go ahead. Sorry. Um, who
Speaker 10: 40:56 Are you and what does SDR T?
Speaker 12: 40:59 My name is Robert Lee. I’m on the board of directors for San Diego refugee tutoring. It’s a organization that supports students in the city Heights, neighborhood extent, Diego, uh, the refugee international population and our students. We support them and address, uh, registrational and social injustice through, um, holistic academics.
Speaker 10: 41:21 Do you know what inspired the conception of strt? What spawned it?
Speaker 12: 41:26 San Diego is one of the largest city in California, um, that resettles refugees, uh, more than San, more than LA, more than Sacramento. And it has this very rich history of supporting the international refugee community yet. Uh, that story, that narrative oftentimes is unnoticed amongst those who live in San Diego and those who, um, kind of, uh, call it their home. And now we reach out to more than a hundred students. And, uh, we have tutoring every Tuesday and Thursday for these students, uh, throughout the school.
Speaker 10: 42:02 Yeah. That’s wild. Impressive really. Is, is there something important about city Heights? Like, is there a special part to see Heights plays?
Speaker 12: 42:12 Yes, actually I’m, I’m from Chicago. And so I moved here about 12 years ago. And when I came to San Diego, I really didn’t know the history of San Diego, the history of the different neighborhoods of San Diego. And when I got connected with this organization, the first year that it was incepted, I realized that city Heights is it’s different. It’s so rich. He just walked down the street and you see 10 different languages being spoken. You see people wearing hid jobs, could be people wearing, uh, you know, different ethnic wardrobes. You hear different. Um, I hear karaoke sung in Vietnamese down the street. It’s so rich, culturally. I kind of didn’t know what that history, where does it come from? One of the largest communities of refugees do resettle here in San Diego. And one of the reasons kind of traces back to the Vietnam war in the 1960s and 1970s, when a large number of Vietnamese refugees were brought into the California San Diego area. And the first neighborhoods that they started settling in were, uh, several neighborhoods, including city Heights. And that started the foundation of support groups, refugee resettlement organizations, um, and resources being anchored in that neighborhood to support initially the Vietnamese community, but each generation, every couple of years, you start to see resettlement groups of different ethnicities, different cultures. It kind of follows what civil war is going on in another part of the world. What, um, area is suffering from genocide and, uh, and war and, um, and discrimination. And that’s kind of how the neighborhood evolves.
Speaker 10: 44:05 Wow. The first thing that makes me kind of excited right there, when you’re dealing with that type of variety with so many different cultures, what are some of the techniques that are used in the program to kind of unify the learning process?
Speaker 12: 44:19 It’s a challenge, and we really do have to factor in a child’s national cultural, uh, and, and even family history of that have really tragically kind of occurred with a lot of these students and these families, and that trauma follows the students into the classroom. And that mental health aspect is an even more complex component. Some of the students haven’t gone to school prior to coming to the States. Some have, we have to ask the question constantly, how do we navigate through that to, to, uh, enhance their educational experience and then help them thrive educationally, which is ultimately our goal. Absolutely.
Speaker 10: 45:06 What’s the average success rate for refugee students in the city right now, pause between you and me. That was a loaded question. I know what the numbers are, and they’re bleak. City Heights has a very high poverty rate. Nearly 40% of its residents are living below the poverty line. There’s nearly a 30% dropout rate for refugee students look around the room. You’re in however many people are in their subtract, a third that’s what’s happening regularly to classrooms with refugee students.
Speaker 12: 45:37 I think success is probably a very, very relative term as far as our goals. Uh, and I think access is creating a place where the students can come and feel safe and protected and love, and having them come back, uh, to, uh, to see us. I think that’s the biggest success. There’s something really special about these students. We actually really try not to use the term refugee because it categorizes these students. There’s so much more than refugees. They’re bundles of joy. They are students and kids and children who are witty, who loved to laugh, who, um, desire, you know, friendship who desire relationship. It just melts your heart. And at least for me, that’s what happened.
Speaker 11: 46:28 And that was Parker Edison host, and co-creator of the new KPBS podcast. The Parker Edison project, the full episode exploring culture is online. Now, listen in subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts.