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County Offering Internships for Young People

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Career Explorer Youth Program designed to assist those aged 16-22

With a strong motivation to fostering equity and fair opportunity, the County of Marin’s Career Explorer Youth Program is embarking on its fourth year of teaching vocational skills and offering work experience for young people between ages 16 and 22.

Recruitment is underway through May 31 for an eight-week summer paid internship opportunity with various departments at the County of Marin. The application is online.

The Marin County Probation Department collaborates with the County’s Department of Human Resources and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer the program. Internships are available in those three departments plus the Fire Department, the Marin County Free Library, the County Counsel’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the Community Development Agency, the County Administrator’s Office, Marin County Parks, the Department of Public Works, and the Board of Supervisors’ Office.

“We’re really proud of this program,” said Luis Luciano, Employment Development Counselor with the Probation Department. “Last year we received more than 120 applications. It’s a competitive system, so these young people can learn a lot just by going through the application process. Those selected for internships will get an amazing chance to see what it’s like in the workforce and possibly steer them toward a certain career.”

One of the most valuable facets of the program is introductory employment training such as resume writing, interview preparation, public speaking, and best practices for completing job applications. The young people learn about cultural competency, bias, generational differences in the workplace, conflict resolution, and financial literacy. Luciano said four past interns have continued contributing for the County in part-time paid capacities.

Interns generally work weekdays between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., excluding holidays, and start with an orientation period. All participants receive $100 per week during the two-week orientation. Host departments then welcome selected interns and get them involved with projects that work well with their existing interests and skills. The interns are paid between $13.35 and $14.44 per hour.

A key objective of the program is to provide opportunities to youths who reside in communities and/or circumstances that traditionally present barriers to employment. That may include personal experiences with the juvenile justice system, family members with experience in either the juvenile or adult justice systems, or residence in neighborhoods often impacted by crime.

The program was borne from the County’s 5 Year Business Plan, which includes the focus areas of “diversity and inclusion” and “growth and development.” The Career Explorer program creates a diverse, skilled, and local candidate pool for employment opportunities in a manner that promotes growth and development. Those who complete the internships are recognized in a graduation ceremony in the Board of Supervisors’ chamber at the Marin County Civic Center.

The Probation Department uses funds from a state grant to cover the costs of stipends, work uniforms, food, transportation and supervision for the interns. Departments that employ the interns also contribute to the cost of the program.

To learn more about the program or to obtain a printed application, contact Development Counselor Luis Luciano.

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Activism

Hundreds Come to Marin Rally to Stop Asian Hate

“We are here to stand against race-hate and crime against Asian Americans, and against official policies that do not recognize Asian Americans as equal members of society.” Asian Americans need to stick together to fight the many biases, violence, and hate that is directed toward them, Phan said.

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Left: Jean Chan, Nhan Phan. Right from top: Sage Shih Kushner, Mary Jane Burke, Rev. Floyd Thompkins (Photos by Godfrey Lee)

Several hundred people gathered at the Rally to Stop Anti-Asian Hate to protest against the hatred and violence against Asians. They gathered on March 26 next to the Arizmendi Bakery in the San Rafael Courthouse Plaza.

The Asian American Alliance of Marin (AAAM), along with 17 other community organizations, organized and sponsored the rally. 

The demonstrators shared a moment of silence to mourn and honor the eight victims, many of Asian heritage, who were slain at the spa massacres in Atlanta, Ga., on March 16. They are Soon Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.

Jean Chan, the founder of the Asian American Alliance of Marin, said “We stand with all communities for justice because any violence against a fellow human being is an act of violence against all of us.”

Nhan Phan, co-president of AAAM, said that “We are here to stand against race-hate and crime against Asian Americans, and against official policies that do not recognize Asian Americans as equal members of society.” Asian Americans need to stick together to fight the many biases, violence, and hate that is directed toward them, Phan said. 

Sage Shih Kushner, a San Marin High School student, said “We need to contact and educate others about the culture of Asian Americans, what they have gone through, and what people have achieved to stop racial hate.”

    Kushner is trying to create a community where Bay Area youth can learn what is harmful and hate is not OK. She is reaching out on social media to bring awareness.

 Marin County Supervisor of Schools Mary Jane Burke said that Marin schools and teachers will put forward an ethnic studies requirement. Students will be required to take a course in order to graduate from high school.

“It is time that unless we stand up (for) democracy, we will lose it,” said Rev. Floyd Thompkins, the new pastor of St. Andrew Church in Marin City. “Unless we stand up (for) right, wrong will win.” 

Thompkins said that Asians have experienced hatred in the past. Wrong things have been said about them, such as the myth of the Chinese being the ‘Model Minority.’ The reality is that the Chinese are just people trying to love and care for one another, like those eight people killed in Atlanta who were worked hard to support their families, Thompkins said.

Everyone has the right to live, be whole, and have liberty. We need to stand up and say ‘no’ when we hear negative mean spirited small ugly, violent things said toward others, he said. 

“We need to create community, be politically proactive, and be a voice to the local legislator, or the school board, to stop Anti-Asian hate where it exists,” Thompkins said, “We must also stop the fetishism of Asian American women (who are often stereotyped and sexualized as being subservient, passive, and quiet).”

“This rally is a beginning point because in San Rafael, Marin County, we will not allow and accept hate as a way of life, as a rhetoric, or accept hate against any community, and that includes the Asian American community,” concluded Thompkins.

For more information on the rally, go to aaamarin.org/2021/03/26/official-press-release-rally-to-stop-anti-asian-hate/ 

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Activism

Jeannie Mai Fights Against Human Trafficking

Mai first learned about human trafficking eight years ago when she visited a close family friend in Vietnam who was sold into prostitution by her uncle to work at a brothel. Mai took care of her, helped her pay off the debt, and connected her with housing and resources provided by a group that aids human trafficking survivors.

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Jeannie Mai speaking, via zoom, at the 2021 Annual San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking’s Teen Power Summit Award Ceremony which took place on Feb. 24, 2021.

Jeannie Mai, 42, an Emmy award-winning host, is also an international activist working against human trafficking in the United States and Vietnam.

She was born in 1979 and was raised in San Jose, CA. Her mother, Olivia, is Vietnamese, and her father, James, is Chinese-Vietnamese.

Mai is a style expert and producer, have co-hosted the syndicated talk show “The Real,” and is a sideline correspondent for ABC’s extreme mini-golf competition series “Holey Moley.” Mai recently competed on Season 29 of the hit series “Dancing with the Stars.”

Mai was abused as a child and was traumatized. She went through therapy to heal from her trauma when she was 22.

Mai first learned about human trafficking eight years ago when she visited a close family friend in Vietnam who was sold into prostitution by her uncle to work at a brothel. Mai took care of her, helped her pay off the debt, and connected her with housing and resources provided by a group that aids human trafficking survivors.

Mai began signing up on different mission trips through Asia to learn more about human traffickings, such as living for six months in a shelter that protected women in Taiwan. She also lived, with two undercover girls, inside a brothel for about two months to learn about prostitution. 

“It just stopped me dead in my tracks because I had no idea something like this could even exist, and when I probed more into it, I found so many more heart-wrenching facts happening all around the world,” Mai told NBC News.

A few years later, Mai produced “Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex Trafficking,” a documentary that investigates the international crisis of human sex trafficking, especially in Vietnam, from a deeply personal point of view in 2017. Mai decided to work to end human trafficking, speaking about it on TV and hosting events supporting anti-human trafficking organizations.

Mai is an ambassador for the Milpitas-based Pacific Links Foundation, an organization committed to rescuing women and children from sex trafficking and slavery in Vietnam, providing employment and vocational opportunities; and for empowers them by improving their life skills, raising their self-awareness.

Mai also worked for Step Up, which propels girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their career potential. She has served as a missionary and ambassador for organizations such as Nightlight International, Not for Sale, and Heartbeat Vietnam.

In 2016, Mai was honored as a 2016 Women of Empowerment by Ciroc, Variety, and Women’s Wear Daily.

To learn more about Mai’s story, go to one of her YouTube videos “My Fight Against Human Trafficking.”

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Marin

Measure P to Help Modernize SMCSD Schools

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Top: Asphalt paving adjacent to the Bayside MLK School’s Annex building is in need of repair or replacement. The Annex building should be demolished. Bottom: Examples of dry rot and failed sidings at the Willow Creek Academy (Photos by Greystone West, 2019.)

The Sausalito Marin City School District (SMCSD) provides quality education for the children of our community. To help support the unification and integration process and address outstanding facility needs, the Board of Trustees of the district voted to place Measure P on the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot. 

This article is a summary of Measure P. Detailed information on the measure can be found at www.smcsd.org/domain/110. 

Measure P is a General Obligation (G.O.) Bond that, if approved by voters, will authorize $41,600,000 in bonds to be sold to improve our local schools. 

School facilities at both Bayside MLK School and Willow Creek Academy need improvements as SMCSD becomes unified and integrated. The district contends that a local bond measure can be effectively used to support this effort. Our local schools have given our students an excellent education for many years, and their facilities now need improvements that go beyond the district’s annual budget. 

Measure P will update classrooms to 21st-century models at both the Nevada Street and Phillips Drive campuses in order to provide students with technology, wireless infrastructure, and flexible classroom furniture. Outdated portable classrooms will be replaced with modern, permanent facilities. Other safety improvements will be done for plumbing, heating, ventilation and filtration systems. 

It would also fund the modernization of school support facilities and provide specialty classrooms for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Marker spaces, robotics, video and visual and performing art spaces will be provided to enhance learning opportunities, and improve classroom facilities at both campuses to provide 21st-century classrooms including the 

All district projects funded by Measure P will be in compliance with all applicable state building codes and regulations including California’s Building Standards Code Title 24,  that addresses the state’s green building standards. 

G.O. bonds are typically repaid over 30 years.

The loan repayment comes from a levy on all taxable property located within the district’s boundaries: residential, commercial, and industrial. This funding method is widely used by school districts in Marin County and throughout the state. Currently, SMCSD maintains one of the lowest bond tax rates for facility improvements of all districts in the County at $16 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

By law, Measure P requires a citizens oversight committee to ensure funds are spent on only the voter-approved projects, with additional safeguards to ensure that funds are being properly allocated.

If Measure P fails, the district’s capital projects would continue to go unimplemented and the district will not be able to provide the improvements necessary to modernize school facilities.

For more information, contact the SMCSD District Office at (415) 332-1024.

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