10 Tips to Help You Succeed in High School



by Monet Boyd

It’s September again, and for a lot of young people in Richmond, that means it’s time to start high school. Whether it’s your first year or you just want to make this year better than last year, here are a few tips I’ve compiled from my friends, family and my own experiences to help you do well. These are the things I wish someone had told me when I was entering high school. I hope that by following these tips, you won’t have to make the same mistakes I did.


  1. Make sure academics are your priority

High school is a fun, scary and exciting place, all at the same time. Make sure to remind yourself that school is a place for you to grow and learn. There will be a lot of distractions, but you must continue to do your homework and projects on time. Make sure you find time to study by yourself and with friends. This way you will have folks around you that you can learn from.


  1. Procrastination = Stress

Try your best to stay organized and on top of your assignments. That way, you won’t have to rush to do assignments. Schedule certain times when you want to work on your assignments throughout the week. Doing things last minute can cause a whole lot of unnecessary stress, which as a high school student, you don’t need.


  1. Get to know your teachers/Ask for help

When your teacher asks for volunteers, make sure you raise your hand. This is how you get participation points and they will see you as a decent student. When you don’t understand something, it’s OK to ask your teacher for help after school or during passing period. Simply talking to your teacher will help them to get to know you. When they get to know you, they can write you letters of recommendation, and be more willing to mentor you and help you throughout your years in high school.


  1. Don’t spread yourself thin

I made the mistake of spreading myself too thin. The first semester of my junior year, I took honors physics and pre-calculus in the same semester, while working two jobs, being president of the Black Student Union, and assisting with junior class events. I had the option to take pre-calculus the next semester, but I thought I could handle the workload. I was absolutely wrong. I earned a C in both classes and did not accomplish all of the events I had planned for B.S.U.


When getting involved in clubs and taking honors or advanced classes, know what you can handle.  Give yourself a reasonable course load.


  1. Get involved

Join clubs, student unions, sports, leadership or an academy. These groups are ways for you to make friends, feel connected to your school community, and learn about yourself. Joining clubs, student unions or leadership will also allow you to have a say in your environment. For example, you could plan events in quad, plan rallies or initiate peer tutoring.

  1. Use resources on campus

Take advantage of your career center, find out about scholarships, tutoring for certain subjects, free SAT tutoring sessions, TRIO programs such as upward bound and education guidance. These programs can provide you with opportunities like internships, college visits and informational interviews.


  1. Make friends/Not everybody is your friend

The great thing about high school is that you can meet new people as well as grow relationships you have had since elementary school. Your friends are great when you need to vent, need help with a problem, and can give great advice; and you would do the same for them. Some folks in high school are still finding themselves, just like you, but some may not always have your best interest at heart. You can have as many acquaintances as you’d like, or people you are cordial with, but choose your friend group wisely.


  1. Apply for scholarships

Apply for scholarships throughout your high school career. There are scholarships available for seniors as well as freshmen. Scholarships not only get you money; they also enable you to gain a network of folks that care about your education and are willing to help you throughout your career.

  1. Relax and find time to unwind

Take time to hang out with your friends. Create good memories and enjoy your youth.

Mobile Mechanics Get Richmond Kids Back On Their Bikes



By Malcolm Marshall | Photos By David Meza


Angel Barrientos, 11, of San Pablo likes to ride his bike at least a couple times a week. His favorite part? “Just feeling the air on my face,” he said. But he hasn’t been able to ride for a while now, because his bike needed repairs — the tires have holes, the inner tubes damaged from sitting in the sun.

But today Barrientos will see his bike fixed for free, thanks to a program that puts kids and adults back on two wheels. Bay Area Bike Mobile services cycles in eight counties, educating riders at schools, libraries, and in low-income neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, the big green Bike Mobile van — stocked with parts like brakes, tires and tubes — set up shop in front of Richmond’s Bayview Branch Library, where about 50 people showed up to get their bikes fixed. Kids waited patiently while mechanics performed safety checks and repaired tires, grips, brakes and shifters at the Aug. 19 event.

“It’s really nice for the whole city of Richmond,” said Barrientos. “Lots of people aren’t riding their bikes because they are broken or the tires need air or something, so it’s nice that these guys are helping out and letting us bring our bikes and fixing them for us.”

The non-profit group Local Motion, which runs the program, promotes safe riding, teaches beginners to transition from training wheels and donates refurbished bicycles to members of the community.

Along with fixing bikes, mobile mechanics instruct participants during the repair process, so they can leave more confident in making future repairs on their own.

“We’re here to fix people’s bikes and teach them how to fix their own, and keep people riding instead of [driving] their cars to work and to school,” said Steven Morris, head mechanic with Bay Area Bike Mobile.

Morris was one of three mechanics on hand working to get everyone onto a bike. He said he sees a need for bicycles in the community, and when the van comes to this location, the turnout has always been high.

“You know, this is a pretty bustling community of kids with bikes,” he said. “Every time, there’s a couple more, [and] the next time there’s going to be more kids each time. This place has always been really popular — a lot of kids ride.”

Morris can remember waiting to get his own bike fixed as a boy, and said he truly enjoys working on bikes and helping these eager kids.

“Kids and bikes go so well together,” he said. “It’s nice to just fix the kids’ bikes, because they’re all waiting for it. They all know how long they’ve had a flat.”

Out in front of the library, Morris changed a tire as a couple of kids watched closely, listening and learning.

“But if it’s coming off at an angle, what’s going to happen is your rim is a sharp piece of metal that’s going to cut into the valve,” Morris explains to a young girl as he repairs a Spider-Man bicycle for 5-year-old Tre.

“Oh, that’s probably what happened to my other bike,” she replies.

“If the valve looks like it got chewed on by the rim, then you know,” says Morris.

A few minutes later, Morris is done with the repair.

“All right, big dude, here you go,” he says to Tre, who’s eager to get back on his bike. A few seconds later, the 5-year-old is all smiles as he takes off riding — another satisfied customer, back on the road.

“A lot of people buy bikes from department stores and those bikes fall apart,” said Morris. “Then bike shops usually won’t fix them because it’s gonna be so expensive to fix. It’s nice to put those bikes back together and get them running so people can at least get a couple of rides out of their 150 bucks rather than having to throw it away.”

Local Motorcyclists Giveaway Hundreds of Backpacks to Richmond Kids

Photo Essay, David Meza

As long summer days wind down, parents and kids around Richmond are ramping up back to school shopping. But for around 300 children there’ll be a few less necessities to buy thanks to an unlikely partnership between Richmond’s Recreation Department and the One Richmond Motorcycle Association, a collective of several different motorcycle clubs based in the city.

The two disparate groups came together to show support for Richmond’s youth by giving out free backpacks and school supplies on August 8 to children who participated in the recreation department’s summer camps.

The motorcycle association paid for the backpacks and community members donated the funds for school supplies. Also included in each backpack was “Be a Change Agent for Your Community,” a children’s book by Andre A. Lewis about the work of the city’s Office of Neighborhood Safety.

“The best part was seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces,” said Dean Vigil, a summer camp program coordinator. “We allowed them to choose what kinds of school supplies they wanted; paper, pencils, file folders, staples… they were able to get what they wanted.”

Vigil said that the event seemed to be a success all around. “We had a long line,” he said. “The parents were very thankful and appreciative. You could tell people in Richmond really needed it.”

Darryl ‘Starchild’ Robinson, president of All Access VIPs and founder of the One Richmond Motorcycle Association said that the association decided to partner with the city to help build community.

“Richmond is a hard place to grow up,” he said. “We are trying to bridge the gap between our clubs and the kids of our communities.”

The Night My View of Richmond Changed


By Ronvel Sharper, age 16 ­|Photos by Ann Bassette

On July 17, 2015, I joined about a hundred other people taking to Richmond’s streets for a Ceasefire night walk through neighborhoods impacted by gun violence. The weekly walks are the community’s attempt to lessen shootings in the city. Each week a couple of dozen regulars come out to walk in support of the cause, but the walk this week was different—it was the first of two larger citywide walks and, on a personal note, it was the first time I took part in something like this.

One of the first things that struck me was the diverse group of people participating, including Blacks, Whites, Latinos and Asians, all holding signs promoting peace. I felt as if we were all a part of one huge family, as if we are all indirectly related. It was empowering and made me feel as if I could contribute more to my community.

The atmosphere was positive; everyone was chatting with one another, singing, playing instruments and having a good time. As we walked, we chanted, “Ceasefire, Richmond” and, “Alive and Free.” Throughout our walk countless drivers responded to our “Honk for Peace” signs, signifying their support for our cause.

I was astonished to see people in cars waving and cheering for us. Going into this, I thought no one would have cared and would have just driven past. But they did care and hearing them blare their horns was breathtaking. The support they showed opened my eyes to the kind of people that live here in Richmond. There were people talking and hanging out, no one was alone or being a loner. Everyone was happy. They exhibited a different future for Richmond as a happier place to be.

Equally significant to what we chanted was where we were when we chanted, as Tamisha Walker, a frequent Ceasefire participant and founder of the Safe Return Project, a nonprofit that helps people in the area coming out of jail or prison, pointed out.

“We start in North Richmond and it’s really important to walk through Las Deltas projects to show folks that we’re around and we’re here for folks,” she said.

“Then to cross under the train tracks into the Iron Triangle, right in heart of Richmond, and be able to run into folks who’ve lived in Richmond honking and saying, ‘Thank you, we really need this’…and be able connect Richmond to say, ‘We can cross these barriers and feel safe,’ it was just amazing.”

Leaving the experience, I feel as if Ceasefire walks make a difference in the community, or at least can in the future. The sheer number of participants signifies that people are willing to make a change.

Luckily, I wouldn’t say the violence in Richmond has affected me directly, but before this I always thought that no one would help. That if something did happen, you and a small group of friends would have to tackle it alone. Participating in this event has shown me otherwise. Being a part of the walk has opened my eyes to what Richmond can be, if we continue these nonviolent events. Richmond can be a peaceful, safe and friendly community—a town with a bad past, and overall horrible environment, can become a safe and beautiful place.

At this rate, I think, it’s only a matter of time before Richmond becomes a city no longer plagued by a bad reputation and negative stereotypes. Perhaps in Richmond we will see a prime example of the powerful impact people can make when they come together and push for change.


Remembering Fontino Jr. Hardy


By Corey Monroe

When I heard that Fontino Jr. Hardy was shot and killed in Richmond on July 15, at 29 years old, I cried, big time. Losing this cool, young brother hurts.

I first met Hardy in 2004, when he came through Omega Boys Club, a youth development and violence prevention organization in San Francisco with some friends. He and his buddies were from Richmond and they bought a new flavor to Omega. A few of us soon became like big brothers to him.

Hardy’s energy, attitude and big heart drew people to him. He cared about getting his friends out of the neighborhood and he went on to bring more people through the club than anyone else I knew. He always brought three or four people to attend meetings with him, rarely coming alone.

In 2005, with the support of the Omega Boys Club, I went with Hardy and his friends on a trip to visit colleges in the South. Dr. Joseph Marshall, executive director and co founder of the program, paid for the tour. Hardy and his buddy were part of a group of 20 youth we took to on the tour in the hopes that they’d be inspired to get out of the Bay Area and into schools.

I remember the look of amazement on Hardy’s face when we stopped at Clark Atlanta University in Georgia and he saw all these black people going from class to class. At Spellman College he kept saying, “I have to go to college in the South.” We also visited Morehouse and Morris Brown College. Hardy was blown away, he said he liked the food, he liked the way everything was green, not to mention all the beautiful sisters walking around and the brothers with books in their hands.

After the tour, he didn’t even want to come home. I’ve never seen anyone so excited on a college tour. He said it helped him see black people in a whole new light, he saw black people motivated to go to school and take their time achieving their life goals.

Eventually, Hardy achieved part of his dream, graduating from Tennessee State University with a degree in criminal justice.

He used to call me on the phone and say, “Monroe, let’s go speak to the youngsters and encourage the youth to go to college and get a trade.”

When he spoke at community colleges or conferences he would pack the rooms. He also had a way with getting women to attend our groups. He would walk around saying, “Come to our group.” I would cry from laughing.

Over the years, we grew apart and though I heard from him occasionally we were never as close as in the early 2000s when I was helping to show him around colleges. I’m not sure what happened in the in-between years, but I wish he had stayed in the South.

Khalid’s Corner: Escaping


by Khalid Elahi


Why does letting go of the hood seem like the hardest thing for some people to do?

The attraction to SELF DESTRUCTION, the interest in the SHINE and the fascination with the ILLITERATE, is unbelievable to me.

To watch the best of the best go down a path and get murdered brings me to a question, “What makes you think you can walk that path and survive it?”

Some say there is love, loyalty and dedication in the hood. I say that’s a lie.

I saw the most disloyal, undedicated, hateful cats in the hood. It is a dream eraser and a life taker. A producer of lies, deceit, fraud, weakness, pain and sorrow.

Young people, if you get a chance to leave the hood — not by ambulance or coroner’s car but by education or occupation — then leave.

Leave to gain experience and success. If later you want to, then come back and help strengthen your hood.

This world is bigger than the block.

How I Learned to Stop Littering… and Start Composting


Commentary • Ronvel Sharper

Many teachers helped me through my sophomore year at Richmond High, two of them especially: Mr. Angel Ponce-Larsen and Mr. Richard Seeber. They tried their best to prepare students for the future in different ways, though students don’t see that most of the time.

Mr. Ponce assigns loads of work, pushing you to your limit, to help you reach or exceed your potential. For some, that’s absolute torture, but I really enjoyed being his student. I would have deliberately failed his class just so I could take it again — but that would have looked bad on my record, and my parents would have given me a huge lecture before taking away my phone (which is my life).

The same goes for Mr. Seeber. He isn’t a strict teacher — compared to Mr. Ponce, anyway — but he’s one who’ll never hate you at all. He stays laid back and even allowed us to use our phones during certain activities — like one time when he let us listen to music as we wrote essays.

They both emphasized two things: Mr. Ponce always hinted that he wanted us to push ourselves to great heights and be the best we could, while Mr. Seeber always told us to be positive, because there are many things to look forward to in life.

But together, they helped me get involved in making Richmond a more environmentally friendly place.

They introduced me to the Y-PLAN program, which stands for Youth — Plan, Learn, Act, Now! Y-PLAN engages teens in city planning projects and gives them an opportunity to research and present ideas to city officials.

Along with my biology teacher Clare Sobetski — who’s passionate about this kind of stuff — Y-PLAN has made me more aware of my environment.

I’d already worked with another environmental group called Earthteam, so I thought this would be all review to me. I was wrong.

Through Y-PLAN, I learned that environmental sustainability is about maintaining the conditions that let nature and human beings exist together — basically, peacefully coexisting with what we need for human life. But we also learned about individual subjects, dividing into groups that researched topics like “maintenance” and “compost.”

My group created a presentation about why composting has become important for the environment and sustainability, and how it can help make Richmond a more eco-friendly city. I knew from the start that we would create presentations based on our subjects — but I didn’t have a clue we would present to the mayor.

I suck at presentations, but we practiced and I improved my oral presentation skills a bit. When the big day came, my nervousness almost overcame me, until my group members “helped” by giving signs not to forget what I was supposed to say (such as dirty looks every time I stuttered). Now I’m always striving to help make Richmond a better community, and it was really fun, too.

Without these teachers to introduce me to Y-PLAN, I wouldn’t have known how bad the environment had become, wouldn’t have begun to care for it, and would probably be littering to this day.

Richmond Seeks to Bridge the Digital Divide

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News Report • Nancy Deville

The days when homework only required lined notebook paper, a No. 2 pencil and a bulky thick textbook are long gone. Now teachers assign homework that requires Internet access.

But when parents like Lourdes Avila can’t find room in the monthly budget for Internet service, they fear their kids will fall behind.

“We looked into getting Wi-Fi but it’s just so expensive,” said Avila, whose son Alejandro is a rising sophomore at Richmond High School. “Even if there’s a special when the prices go up after a month, it’s just not affordable for us. So far my son’s teachers have been pretty understanding but I worry about what will happen next school year. I try and get him as much help as I can.”

When Alejandro needs Internet access to finish a homework assignment, he’s forced to stay late after school or wait in line at the Richmond Public Library to use a computer.

City officials are working to help ease Richmond’s digital divide by providing free Internet service in underserved neighborhoods. One million dollars will be drawn from Chevron’s $90 million community benefits package to fund the initiative. No timeline is set for when the community Wi-Fi project will launch, as it will depend on when the funds will be allocated, city officials said. But the first phase will start in the Iron Triangle where more than 2,000 homes, or 40 percent of the neighborhood, are without broadband.

“There is a saturation of homes that are already paying for service, but we are looking to assist the community members that currently don’t have Internet access,” said Sue Hartman, information technology director for the city of Richmond.

“Internet shouldn’t be throttled with limited bandwidth for underserved communities and greater bandwidth for the folks that can afford it.”

Last year Building Blocks for Kids provided antennas that offer free Internet to a few households in the Iron Triangle. The city’s program would expand the Wi-Fi offerings.

The city’s broadband program will coincide with West Contra Costa Unified School District’s plan to distribute tablets to students starting in 2016-17 school year.

“Several other Bay Area cities have focused on external community Wi-Fi but Richmond is working to bring free wireless Internet inside the home,” Hartman said.

While the digital divide has narrowed dramatically in the past decade, one in five households in California still doesn’t have Internet access at home, according to a statewide Field Poll released last month. The findings reveal that those least likely to have Internet access at home are adults who have not graduated from high school, seniors, adults with disabilities, Spanish-speaking Latinos, low-income households and non-citizens. According to the poll, 79 percent of California adults have high-speed Internet at home, which is up from 55 percent since 2008.

The divide can also be traced to educational outcomes, a problem known as the “homework gap.” It’s an issue teachers are trying to balance. As they work to integrate technology into the classroom to better prepare students for the real world where computer skills are mandatory, teachers also don’t want to penalize those whose parents can’t afford Wi-Fi service at home.

“The district has done a lot to make sure students have equitable access to technology in schools so that gap is closing,” said Ben Gill, who teaches information technology at De Anza High School. “At-home Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity and it really comes down to the haves and have-nots.”

Gill says he runs a paperless classroom and it can be hard for some to keep up.

“Those students that don’t have that broadband connection at home, they get creative and use their smartphones for a lot of stuff. But a lot of time, they can’t. So they end up behind and have to stay after school and have to give up other extra-curricular activities.

“A kid shouldn’t have to make the choice of playing football or doing their homework after school just because they don’t have broadband access at home.”

Terror in Charleston: Anger, Sadness and a Time of Bitter Reflection

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Commentary, Various Authors

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last Wednesday, a young, white male entered a Charleston, South Carolina Church and did the unspeakable. While a small group of African American churchgoers prayed and worshipped, Dylann Roof sat for one hour, stood up, and opened fire, killing nine people, aged 26 to 87.

Many are desperately trying to understand why Roof took the lives of so many innocent African Americans, all who wanted nothing more than to spend their evening in quiet prayer and reflection. The following commentaries from our youth and young adult reporters offer three different perspectives on the tragedy and the killer.

Exactly 150 years ago, my ancestors learned that they were finally freed from the bondage of slavery in America. Juneteenth, the celebration of that wonderful event, is one of my favorite days of the year.

In an act of senseless racism last week, nine people were killed in the house of the Lord. So this year, I will not celebrate.

I won’t write an article about how America has shocked me with its racist acts, and I won’t summarize the story for you. I will share that I’m surprised that a young, white terrorist felt the freedom to kill my people in a sacred, holy place.

I mourn with the families of Charleston, but we can no longer simply weep and march in the streets. It’s time for a different solution.

It is time that we police our own communities like the Black Panthers and exercise our Second Amendment rights. We must boycott businesses that fund racist police departments. We must practice group economics and make black Wall Streets all over America. We must come together as a collective and protect, support and serve one another. We must become self-sufficient, as a people.

If I sound militant and angry, I apologize, but I am simply tired of people complaining and offering no solutions while people are losing their lives.

In honor of Juneteenth, I would like for us all to remember how our ancestors revolted, knowing how their peaceful and strategic actions would affect the economy of their oppressors. It was then that our ancestors realized that they were equal – if not better – than their slave masters. We must aspire to that.

–Monet Boyd

In the wake of the tragic Charleston tragedy, my heart goes out to the victims and their families. Unfortunately, this massacre illustrates that all that rhetoric that we live in a post-racial era in America couldn’t be further from the truth. Statistics show that blacks are still the #1 victim of racial hate crimes in America.

The language of the media shows a huge dichotomy between identity descriptions of blacks and whites. Last month, when the citizens of Baltimore rose up, both the city’s mayor and President Obama said that the young, black boys and girls involved were criminals and thugs. And yet, not a single killing took place during these protests.

With the Charleston shooting, President Obama did not refer to the white, young shooter as a thug, criminal or even a terrorist. Some media outlets have referred to the shooter as quiet and soft-spoken, and this narrative will most likely frame him as a troubled child. It’s more likely that he’s a troubled child born from a troubled mother: America.

–Asani Shakur

Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old Caucasian male, is accused of walking into a South Carolina church, a well-known black congregation, and killing nine people.

Roof entered the church, waited for more than an hour, and began shooting. This was a premeditated act, one used to spark fear and terror within the black community. It’s the only way I can define it.

To me, this heinous act was about power, fear and control. What better way to scare people than by showing them that they are not safe, even in their place of worship?

This killer wants to show the world how dominant and aggressive he is, not just by committing the act, but facing the charges based on the crimes committed. Many other killers commit suicide or go on the run. Roof was caught within 24 hours. I believe he wanted to get caught. He wanted the fame and he wanted the notoriety.

Many of these crimes stem from a lack of acceptance within society. People who knew Roof describe him as weird, and say that he only had a few friends. No girlfriend, no frat brothers, no college pals.

So his loneliness and his longing to be accepted drove him to commit an act that not only made the world notice him, but acknowledge what he’s done. With these murders, he got the attention he wanted.

This is a disorder that many people have. They don’t care what type of attention they get, as long as they get the attention.

After being arrested for suspicious behavior at Columbia Mall, and being arrested again for trespassing when he returned a few weeks later, he chose a less secure target – a black church – where anyone can enter. Where people were worshipping. No one would suspect a thing.

I don’t see this as being totally racial — that’s a ploy to get everyone to follow the story. This is a boy who was just trying to be seen. And he succeeded.

— Sean Shavers

Undocumented Kids to Get Health Coverage in State Budget

Calling it one of the “best” budgets the state has ever had, California Gov. Jerry Brown said the $167.6 billion dollar budget the legislature passed Tuesday would pump more money into child care and education, pay down the state’s debt by $1.9 billion and provide health care for its undocumented children.

“This is just one step and we need to do more,” Brown said during a press conference, referring to the $40 million budgetary allocation for providing health insurance to an estimated 170,000 undocumented children in the state  through Medi-Cal – California’s name for Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people.

A jubilant Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, called the $40 million allocation a “modest investment in health care that will be transformational in the lives of not only children,” but also their families and the community as a whole.

He noted that the budget deal “affirms our commitment to embrace and integrate our immigrant community, to lead where the federal government has failed and to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice of a community that contributes billions of dollars” to the state’s economy.

“This expansion of coverage to all children regardless of immigration status would make California’s children healthier, our health system stronger, and our families and communities more financially secure,” asserted Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.

Lara’s own Health for All bill (SB 4) will provide health insurance for all Californians regardless of their immigration status. It is now before the Assembly, after it cleared the Senate last month. If it is signed into law, California would be the first state in the country to provide state-funded health insurance to its undocumented residents.

The original intent of SB 4 was to provide health care for the state’s nearly 1.5 million undocumented residents, both adults and children, either through Medi-Cal or by allowing them to purchase health insurance on the state’s exchange. But the state must first seek a waiver from the federal government to allow them to purchase health insurance on the state’s exchange, Covered California. The Affordable Care Act prevents undocumented U.S. residents from any federally funded health insurance program. The waiver will be sought if SB 4 passes.

According to researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and University of California in Los Angeles, expanding Medi-Cal to undocumented California residents, under Lara’s bill,  would  have cost the state between $353 and $369 million annually, representing a 2 percent increase from what it currently spends. But now that the state has approved $40 million in its budget to provide insurance for its undocumented children, the Medi-Cal cost in Lara’s bill will go down.

“It would also provide the momentum for SB 4 to move forward,” Wright said.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, who participated alongside the governor in the press conference and had backed SB 4 since it was introduced in the Senate late last year, said Washington’s inaction has caused “financial consequences throughout the country.”

Lara’s bill, he said, will send a “very strong message” to lawmakers in Washington who have “dithered” on immigration reform.

The governor’s remark that more needs to be done, including how to address the low Medi-Cal reimbursement rates – among the lowest in the nation — will be discussed in a special session in a few weeks.

Brown said that his office would be hiring an immigration coordinator to assist youth who have been granted temporary relief from deportation under President Obama’s executive action of 2012. One million more California residents could become eligible for deportation relief if the federal courts allow Obama’s 2014 executive action to move forward.