Is an Uber/Lyft driver entitled to vacation pay, sick leave?
Does a dialysis center need a physician on staff?
If in inherit property from my parents, what is my property tax base?
If I’m arrested do I need to pay CASH bail?
All these questions and more are on the 2020 California ballot under citizens initiatives (or Propositions). Often confusing and misleading titles, CA is infamous for these initiatives and it’s up to YOU to votes YEA or NAY. Attached is a simple (I hope) explanation for each initiative (completely non-partisan) to help inform you when you complete your ballot.
As a reminder, ALL registered voters in CA will receive a mail-in ballot NEXT WEEK! If you changed addresses in 2020 you will need to register. Voter registration deadline is October 19th! If you would like additional information on any of the propositions, please call or email me.
DON’T FORGET TO VOTE (and sign your ballot when/if you mail it in).
Prop 14 Stem Cell Bond Issue
Issues $5.5 Billion in bonds for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) "stem cell"
In 2004 voters approved Prop 71 which created CIRM and $3Billion in funds for stem cell research. Only $132M in funds remain
Supports issuing a $5.5B General Obligation Bond for the state's stem cell research institute for diseases such as: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia.
Opposes issuing $5.5B bond
Prop 15 Tax on Commercial/Industrial Properties [NOTE: This DOES NOT affect residential properties at all]
Amends the state constitution to require commercial and industrial properties (except agricultural) to be taxed on their fair market value.
In 1978 Prop 13 put a cap on residential, commercial and industrial properties taxed based on purchase price. The tax increase is limited to 1% of the original purchase price with annual adjustment equal to inflation or 2% (whichever is lower). This bill would maintain the property tax cap for residential properties ONLY. The increased revenues to the state would be directed to education and public health. Expected revenue benefit of $8B - $12.5B per year.
YES Vote =
Support constitutional amendment commercial and industrial properties would be taxed at CURRENT fair market value rather than original purchase price.
NO Vote =
Opposes constitutional amendment and maintain current property tax at original purchase price.
Amends the state constitution by repealing Prop 209 (1996) by allowing government decision-making policies to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin to address diversity in the operation of public employment, education or contracting.
In 1996 stated that discrimination and preferential treatment were prohibited in public employment, public education and public contracting on account of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
YES Vote =
Repeals Prop 209 (1996) and allows government to use race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin to address diversity in public employment, education and/or contracting.
NO Vote =
Opposes constitutional amendment and maintains current practice of NOT using race, sex, color, etc. in public employment, education and/or contracting.
Prop 17 Voting Rights Restoration for Paroles
Amends the state constitution to allow people on parole for felony convictions to vote
Currently people on parole for felonies are disqualified from participating from voting until imprisonment and parole are completed. If passed, felons who are on parole would be able to vote.
YES Vote =
Amends state constitution to allow felons on parole to vote.
NO Vote =
Opposes constitutional amendment and prevents people on parole for felony convictions from voting.
Prop 19 Property Tax Transfers
Changes the rules for tax assessment transfers. Allows "eligible" (over 55-years-old, disabled, victims of natural disasters) homeowners to transfer tax assessment to different home of the same or lower fair market value - thus allowing them to move without paying higher taxes.
Currently grandparents and/or parents can transfer primary residential properties to their children or grandchildren without the property tax assessment resetting to market value.
YES Vote =
Increases property tax to fair market value on inherited property tax if not used for primary residence.
NO Vote =
Opposes the constitutional amendment and maintains property transfer without upward adjustment of property tax.
Prop 20 Criminal Sentencing, Parole and DNA Collection
Amends several criminal sentencing and supervision laws. Specific type of theft and fraud crimes (firearm theft, vehicle theft, unlawful use of credit card) as felons rather than misdemeanors.
YES Vote =
Supports initiative to add crimes to the list of violent felonies; also requires DNA collection for certain misdemeanors.
NO Vote =
Opposes initiative to add crimes to list of violent felons.
Prop 21 Local Rent Control
Allows local governments to enact rent control
In 1995 a law (Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act) was passed allowing landlords to increase rent prices to market rates after a tenant moves out. This measure would replace Costa-Hawkins. Additionally, in 2018 voters rejected Prop 10 which would have allowed local governments to adopt rent control on any type of rental housing. [AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) was behind Prop 10 and also sponsors Prop 21]
YES Vote =
Allows local governments to enact rent control on housing first occupied over 15 years ago (with exception for landlords who own less than 2 homes).
NO Vote =
Opposes ballot initiative, thereby continuing to prohibit rent control on housing first occupied after 2/1/95.
App-based drivers (e.g. Uber/Lyft) to be considered Independent Contractors and NOT employees.
In 2019 AB 5 passed which defined Independent Contractors based upon a 3-prong test: a)worker is free from company control; b)work done is not in the company's usual course of business; and c) worker engaged in established trade, business of same nature as work performed. [Basically, the state made it very difficult for someone to be an Independent Contractor based upon the idea the employers were taking advantage of independent contractors by now calling them employees and thereby forgoing sick time, vacation pay, etc.]
YES Vote =
Defines app-based drivers as Independent Contractors (the way things are currently)
NO Vote =
Opposes ballot initiative deferring to AB 5 to decide whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors
Prop 23 Dialysis Clinic Requirements
Requires dialysis clinics to have at least one licensed physician to be present (or nurse practitioner or PA if shortage of doctors); report data on dialysis related infections to state health dept.; prohibits closing dialysis clinic without state approval; prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on source of payment for care.
In 2018, voters rejected Prop 8 which would have required dialysis clinics to issue refunds to patients for profits in excess of 115% of the cost of direct patient care. Prop 8 was sponsored by SEIU labor union and pitted them against DaVita the largest private dialysis provider in the area. SEIU supports Prop 23 also.
YES Vote =
Requires dialysis clinics to have physician (or functional equivalent) on site; report infections to state department of health and notify state before closing.
NO Vote =
Opposes ballot initiative and keeps things as they are
Prop 24 Consumer Personal Information Law
Expands consumer data privacy laws. Prevents businesses from sharing personal information; allows for consumer correction of inaccurate personal information; limits businesses' use of "sensitive personal information" including geolocation; race; ethnicity; religion sexual orientation, etc.
In 2018 SF developer, Alastair Mactaggart, filed a similar measure but withdrew it after the legislature passed the California Consumer Privacy act of 2018 (CCPA). Mactaggart wants to expand the CCCPA with additional rights. Furthermore, ballot initiatives cannot be amended without the approval of the voters.
YES Vote =
Expands consumer data privacy laws including provisions to allow consumers to direct businesses NOT to share their personal information and creates the Privacy Protection Act to enforce consumer data privacy laws
NO Vote =
Opposes ballot initiative, things stay as they are now.
Prop 25 Cash Bail vs. Risk Assessment
This is a "Repeal Referendum" which would overturn the existing "risk assessment" method used by California courts (in place of cash bail) and return to a cash bail system.
In 2018 SB 10 was signed into law by Gov. Brown. SB 10 made California the first state to end cash bail for all detained suspects awaiting trial. In the alternative to cash bail, a "risk assessment" is used to determine whether a detained suspect should be granted pretrial release and under what conditions. This initiative is a "VETO REFERENDUM" to overturn SB 10. The backers are primarily the bail bond companies. [There are an overabundance of moving parts here. But the bottom line is to use an alternative to cash bails. On the one hand, the bail bond companies obviously want to return to cash bail; on the other hand, many civil liberty organizations do not like the "risk assessment" tool currently in place; many consider it racially biased and left to the discretion of judges. However, this referendum does not offer an alternative to cash bail].
YES Vote =
Upholds SB 10 which replaced cash bail with a risk assessment.
Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, October 10 From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO
Over half of people living with HIV in the United States are 50 or older (CDC), and they often experience age-related illnesses earlier. COVID has compounded this as we see loneliness, depression, and PTSD become more prevalent.
We have the resources to help PLWHA thrive, and this year’s Aging Positively Conference is filling an important need for information and connection during COVID. DAP clinicians will be presenting topics for practical hope and living during COVID: addressing HIV treatment, coping with isolation, and even advice on dating.
We are looking forward to hearing long-term HIV survivor and Broadway star of Hamilton, Javier Muñoz, share how he is using his passion and creativity to make a huge difference with Broadway Relief.
You can join this virtual conference from the safety of your home on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To find out more, click here.
Community Health Team Is Standing Up to COVID
COVID fear has many people skipping periodic STI screenings and sometimes, even basic self-care like eating and keeping warm. Sanitized and souped-up, our mobile testing van is in business and ready to bring testing, treatment, and linkage to care to those most at risk. C.J. Tobe, director of community health described his team’s efforts for improving public health during COVID. You can hear him in this week’s DAP Talks.
DAP In the News
We’re All In It Together: Desert AIDS Walk 2020
As the need for our services grows, sources for funding them are dwindling, especially with COVID. This year has challenged us and all humanitarian organizations in ways we could not have imagined. Our Board Chair Patrick Jordan talked to NBC Palm Springs anchor Thalia Hayden about why Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is more important than ever. You can watch here.
COVID Can’t Stop DAP STI Testing and Treatment
If we let the pandemic get in our way to end HIV and STIs in this Valley, we will only be compounding the tragedy of COVID. Over decades of doing this work, we have learned that to educate, test, and treat always strengthens public health, and it requires meeting our patients in ways that work for them. C.J. Tobe talked to Maria Sestito at The Desert Sun about the rise in testing and treatment for some STIs, and the need to remove stigma from sex during COVID. You can read more here.
Due to the pandemic, all Californians with active voter registrations will automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot. Elections offices will send out vote-by-mail ballots by October 5. Confirm your registration to make sure elections officials have your current mailing address and language preference.
You can also vote in person in all Southern California counties. Below is a summary of your options to cast a ballot this November. Find more information below about your county.
Cast Your Vote-by-Mail Ballot
Casting your vote-by-mail ballot will allow you to vote safely and will reduce crowding at polling locations or vote centers for individuals who need to or prefer to vote in-person. You can return a completed vote-by-mail ballot on or before Election Day by:
Mailing it to your local elections office Mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day, November 3, 2020. There is no postage required to return a vote-by-mail ballot.
In California, you can always vote-by-mail by Election Day. If you decide to vote in-person or drop-off your ballot, you have options. Select your Southern California county of residence to learn more:
Polling Place. Riverside County will use a polling location model this November. There will be at least 120 polling locations (called “Voter Assistance Centers”). Voters will be able to vote in-person or drop-off a ballot at any of these locations starting October 31. On Election Day, polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ballot Drop-Box. There will be 80 secure Ballot Drop-Off locations available beginning October 5
Polling Place. San Bernardino County will use a polling location model this November. There will be 210 polling locations. Voters will receive a polling “assignment” printed on the back of their Voter Information Guide, but they will be able to vote in-person or drop-off a ballot at any of the County’s 210 polling locations. A select number of locations will be available for early voting beginning October 26, and the rest will be available beginning October 31. Polling locations will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the early voting period. On Election Day, polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ballot Drop-Box. San Bernardino County plans to have 70 secure Ballot Drop-off locations available beginning October 6.
Specialists say social isolation can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, but many people over age 65 in our community are trapped with long-term social seclusion, worsened by this pandemic. We’ve created a medical home for them, with specialized doctors and therapists they can access from home, and a social services team to link them to programs and coverage.
Seniors make up almost 30 percent of this Valley’s population, about double the national average. Because many already identified as physically vulnerable pre pandemic, seniors are experiencing added isolation from adhering to current social distance rules.
As the length of this pandemic takes a toll on even the most resilient seniors, advocates like Dr. Jill Gover, our behavioral health manager contributed to a story in The Desert Sun:
"(Older people) are not willing to take the risk and so they are much more isolated — it was a major problem to begin with and COVID has only exacerbated it." (read morehere)
Get Access To the Care You Need
One Call is a service that can enroll callers in health insurance or Medi-Cal through Covered California, register them for medical and behavioral healthcare, and schedule their first appointment at DAP — all in approximately 45 minutes. This is a significant reduction in the amount of time this would normally take, thanks to a DAP Healthcare Navigator who will work one-on-one with each caller.
Callers can access One Call service by calling 760-992-0426, Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PDT.
Getting on PrEP at DAP is easy. We offer help with insurance and discount programs, and our navigators and doctors give you specialized attention to find out what works best for you as an individual.
Most of our clients who are using PrEP to prevent HIV are on the daily dose, and this remains the most effective regiment. Clinical data indicates that while daily PrEP has shown to be 99% effective in preventing HIV, PrEP 2-1-1 has been shown to be up to 86% effective.
For a few, daily PrEP is not an option, and we believe in making this lifesaving therapy available to everyone. Your DAP doctor can tell you more.
Under certain circumstances, PrEP 2-1-1, or PrEP-on-demand, is available at DAP. While we fight COVID-19, our doctors are also keeping their patients safer from HIV by finding new ways to protect their sexual health.
During this period of lockdown, we make daily dosing easy for you. With medication delivery, telephone consults, and sanitized stations for periodic STI testing, clients are preventing HIV while being safely served.
If you or someone you know wants to talk about PrEP, please call (760) 323-1999 to talk to a member of our team who’s ready to tell you more. You can also learn more here.
Community Impact Newsletter September/October 2020
Lifesaving HIV Meds Quicker Under New Rapid ART Program
DAP programs for promptly treating patients with HIV are being recognized again at the national level, and the result will save even more lives and prevent new cases. It also says a lot about our community, because without donor support, these programs are not possible.
Winning designation as a Rapid ART Implementation Site is an important milestone in the fight to end HIV. DAP stands with just 10 other healthcare organizations in the U.S. The Award for Special Projects Of National Significance was won in a competitive grant process and is bestowed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
By joining this national demonstration project and collaboration with HRSA, DAP will share its 36 years of experience in the fight to end HIV, and it will boost resources for its HIV testing and treatment programs for people in the Coachella Valley.
For a three-year period, DAP will continue to build and share its best practices for making sure PLWHA receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) quickly after receiving an initial HIV diagnosis, or immediately after requesting it if they had stopped ART for any reason.
Untreated HIV Threatens Coachella Valley
It’s a surprise to many, but people are still developing and even dying from AIDS in 2020, right here in the Coachella Valley. Our early intervention program had 160 referrals for attempts to find patients who had stopped filling their ART prescriptions, ceasing their HIV treatment without explanation. (Based on calendar year 2019)
Falling through the cracks means that some patients whose bodies had stabilized with life-saving HIV meds have stopped taking them, sometimes for five years or more. And for others, it means not starting therapy at all after receiving an HIV diagnosis.
Without accessing care, they are waiting until they are sick from HIV-related illnesses before attempting to resume ART and primary care.
Waiting to begin or resume ART always leaves a dangerous gap of time that could result in catastrophe, such as failing to ever adhere to medication therapy, or even death. Another consequence is the effect on others as sex partners are put at risk for HIV.
This collaboration with HRSA seeks to remedy the problem with a protocol that provides ART ASAP:
Same day as HIV diagnosis (some exceptions)
Quickly after request is made to resume therapy
The vast majority (about 80 percent) of new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2016 were transmitted from the nearly 40 percent of people with HIV who either did not know they had HIV, or who received a diagnosis but were not receiving HIV care. (CDC)
According to Dr. Tulika Singh, DAP Associate Chief Medical Officer, not all physicians are permitted to treat their patients without administrative obstructions that derail health outcomes.
“Despite having extensive experience in HIV treatment and care, caregivers struggle to reduce high HIV prevalence and rising HIV incidence rates, due to delays in starting ART,” she says. “This is due to previous protocols and practicing traditional HIV medicine,” like having to do unnecessary lab work or jumping through hoops with insurance.
“No more!” says Dr. Singh.
Greater access for ART through this project will be enabled by DAP’s referral and linkage networks, with extensive arrangements with regional medical centers, community clinics and individual providers, in addition to this grant.
“We are able to provide rapid start ART for newly diagnosed persons living with HIV as early as the same day of diagnosis,” she says. “This will help us get to UN 90-90-90 goal sooner than anticipated and help our patients age in a healthy way.”
Getting Back On ART -- Helping Someone Find The Courage
Given what we know about the health consequences of stopping ART, the public health argument is strong for offering the resources to resume therapy quickly and without delay. This includes taking the time to make a personal connection, so that people can feel safe.
When it comes to why people fall out of care, “Every situation is so different,” says C.J. Tobe, Director of Community Health at DAP.
Poverty affects most DAP clients, but it affects PLWHA uniquely. They might cope with denial, depression, and suicidal ideation. Stigma is often made worse by rejection from loved ones, and drug and alcohol abuse are more likely to increase.
But other factors may include housing insecurity, unemployment, lack of transportation, and fear of government due to immigration status. Being a recent transplant to the Palm Springs area from other parts of the U.S. also can also be a reason.
“People are also dying by not accessing all the things you need to make the medication keep working,” says Tobe. “There’s a lot that goes into getting that treatment, starting with walking through those doors.”
In addition to ART, DAP helps patients thrive with HIV with access to social services they are eligible for, ensuring they receive needed food, housing, transportation, and home health care support if they need it.
U=U Helping End The Epidemic
The more people who are on treatment and undetectable, the fewer new transmissions there will be. According to Prevention Access founder Bruce Richman,
“We need access to treatment and removing barriers, not just for the wellbeing of people living with HIV,” he says. “But also, to prevent new transmissions.”
About U=U & Prevention Access Campaign
Prevention Access Campaign is a health equity initiative to end the dual epidemics of HIV and HIV-related stigma by empowering people with and vulnerable to HIV with accurate and meaningful information about their social, sexual, and reproductive health. Find out more here.
Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U)is a growing global community of HIV advocates, activists, researchers, and over 990 Community Partners from 102 countries uniting to clarify and disseminate the revolutionary but largely unknown fact that people living with HIV who are on treatment and have an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit HIV.
About UNAIDS 90-90-90
Removing barriers to ART is in support of UNAIDS 90-90-90, the global plan to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
The goal is that globally,
90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, and
90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and
90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
According to its 2020 update, “The response could be set back further, by 10 years or more, if the COVID-19 pandemic results in severe disruptions to HIV services.”
Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, September 19, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO
Committed to Preventing Flu
By missing a flu shot, as many as 50 million Americans may catch influenza this year, but now it can be much deadlier.
Experts warn that it is possible to catch the flu on top of a COVID, but there is something everyone can do now to make a huge difference.Flu season starts in late fall, and getting your vaccination is recommended by October 1, 2020.
Flu season often is delayed in Southern California, meaning we see cases peak in January through February. DAP is timing its flu shots so that patients retain immunity during peak months.
If you have HIV, you are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications. In addition to taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), the best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu shot.
Questions AboutFlu? Call Us!
Our COVID Clinic also specializes inmultiple upper and lower respiratory diseases, including flu. Anyone interested in talking about the flu should call760-992-0407 to talk to a clinician.
Desert AIDS Walk Paved Way for COVID Response
36 years of walking created the roadmap DAP used to quickly open a COVIDClinic, which has provided testing and respiratory treatment to almost 3,500 residents since the pandemic began. Together we are boldly applying lessons from our past to today's crisis.
Because of community support, DAP developed the services needed to respond to the AIDS epidemic while creating a patient-centered model of care that today helps more than 7,000 patients, regardless of HIV status.
The AIDS crisis left unhealed wounds and it is understandable that we may resist leaving our comfort zone. But AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response. It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help. Read more here.
The reason for the Walk has never really been about balloon arches or walker t-shirts. It’s always been about the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care that they need to live their best lives.
Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is an important funding source for programs and services that help people thrive with HIV, while preventing new cases in our valley. It also supports Hepatitis C cures, behavioral health services, dentistry, food, housing, and other vital services.
This year we are making it easy and fun for Valley residents to participate with downloadable walk routes, specialized for safe walking in their cities. We’re also including an online wellness forum that will provide entertainment and more about DAP’s programs and services, dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of its partners. Registration and more information is available at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.
Preventing suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern for mental health advocates everywhere. DAP’s Dr. Jill Gover, Behavioral Health Manager, addressed the warning signs and other important information we all should be aware of in her latest DAP Talks. You can listen here.
If you or someone you know needs to talk to a specialist about suicide, please don’t wait. The following services are available, day and night:
No matter what health profile we fit, it’s important to stay engaged in our healthcare during this crisis. Dr. TulikaSingh talked to The Standard about the top four neglected health habits she notices in her patients, plus realistic fixes for better outcomes. You can read more here.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been experiencing anxiety, fear, frustration, sadness, and loneliness. And some, to the point that those feelings have become unbearable. If you’re feeling hopeless and having thoughts about suicide or you’re concerned about someone else, listen to Dr. Gover, Clinical Psychologist, talk about some ways to find help, and restore hope.
Suicide Prevention Resources:
If emergency medical care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. The phone lines are answered by trained professionals; the call is free and confidential.
If you need to be connected to mental health services in Riverside County, call the CARES Line at (800) 706-7500. You may also call or walk into a Riverside County 24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care location. Whether you are in crisis or just need someone to talk to, all services are voluntary. Counseling and nursing, as well as, psychiatric medications are available. All locations are open 24/7 and everyone is welcome regardless of insurance type or ability to pay.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth and young adults, ages 13–24, over the phone, online and via text. Trevor Lifeline (24/7): (866) 488-7386, TrevorText: Text the word “Trevor” to (202) 304-1200 to text with a trained counselor on Fridays from 1–5 p.m., TrevorChat: Confidential chat service with a trained volunteer counselor available 7 days a week, from 12 noon –6 p.m. Learn more at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
It Gets Better Project
This website is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support and learn about resources. Visit https://itgetsbetter.org/ to learn more. What’s Up Safehouse What’s Up Safehouse is a 24/7, free, anonymous mental health crisis texting line. Get immediate support from a licensed mental health professional. Dedicated to helping support the residents of Riverside County through issues surrounding anxiety, substance abuse, depression, school pressure, peer pressure, LGBTQ struggles, relational issues, suicidal thoughts, bullying, and any other issue that is causing trouble. Text SHHELP to 844.204.0880 24/7 for immediate support and resources. Learn more at https://safehouseofthedesert.com/what…