Earthquakes, Car Pollution, Hair Discrimination
KPBS Midday Edition / July 8, 2019
A UC San Diego seismologist says the recent earthquakes are unlikely to trigger the “Big One.” Also, Ridgecrest residents reflect after back-to-back earthquakes, a UCSD doctor has resigned after inewsource raised questions about his business ties to China, what an auto pollution standard agreement between Canada and California could mean for automakers. State Senator Holly Mitchell talks about California’s new law to end hair discrimination.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Many of us living in southern California haven't thought much about earthquakes recently. That's because it's been years since the last big one here, but that changed at the end of last week when rear back to back. Major earthquake struck near the town of Ridgecrest in the Mojave Desert 225 miles north of San Diego. Joining me to discuss what this might mean is Frank Vernon, he's a research geophysicist at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Frank Vernon, welcome to midday edition. Thank you for having me. Well, let's start with the magnitude of these earthquakes. The first was a magnitude 6.4 last Thursday morning, followed by a magnitude 7.1 on Friday evening. How unusual is it to have big quakes like these back to back? It's unreasonably unusual. It's about one chance in 20 as the usual percentages that you have an earthquake and then followed by a bigger earthquake. So this is about 5% chance on that just happened this time.
Speaker 1: 00:55 Now what's known about the nature of these two big quakes, a about the faults where they occurred? Well, these are actually occurring on false that we're not a well known beforehand. And so we're learning a lot about the faulting structure in this particular region right now based on the seismicity and where these aftershocks are occurring. And they were, uh, were they parallel or were they a perpendicular or the first earthquake? Looks like it was on a north east trending, a left lateral fault, which teed into what became the right lateral main 7.1 shock. And let's talk about, uh, we talked about the magnitude of those. How much bigger is a 7.1 and a 6.4 or five? I mean, it doesn't sound like much, it's just a few numbers in between, but the magnitude is quite different, right? Well remember that magnitude is on a logarithmic scale.
Speaker 1: 01:43 So if you actually translate that into energy, it's about 11 times more energetic than the previous, than from the 6.4. Okay. A much bigger one. We all talk and worry about the big one that would occur along the Senate. Dreyfus fault. Why is that fault? So worrisome? And these two quakes we're talking about, could they trigger something along the San Andreas? So what people can generally considered to be the big one that will we expect to happen at some point is on the San Andreas fault rupturing between Bombay beach and going up past um, Palmdale and now up into uh, along those Andres for a couple hundred kilometers. So, which would be our place in our a replicant of these 19 or 1857, a 7.9399999999999995 to honers quite for instance, this earthquake care is fairly far away. It's maybe 60, 70, 80 miles away from the San Andreas fault. And if you look at that in historical times, and in 1992, we had the landers earthquake, which was much closer, same size as this one effectively.
Speaker 1: 02:46 And in 1999, we had Hector mind, which was also much closer San Andres fault. Neither one of them did anything that actually were causative of any other earthquake followup on the San Andrea. So this earthquake being much further away, it would be as less likely that something is going to happen. Significant damage has been reported in Ridgecrest and the small town of Trona nearby have 7.1 quake were to hit in the middle of San Diego or the Los Angeles area. Well, there be a lot more damage. I mean, we can look at um, what happened in the North Ridge in San Fernando Worth Casey and Allie and the uh, and back in the last century now and then, uh, and thankfully we haven't had anything that big in San Diego and recorded history. All right. And these two earthquakes, especially the bigger one on Friday evening fell for hundreds of miles. Explain how some people fires ways San Diego to Ana did the South Las Vegas to the east, we'd Phoenix, uh, up, uh, farther north.
Speaker 1: 03:42 A lot of people can feel quakes way far away and then others in the same area, same neighborhood almost don't feel anything. It's going to depend on what you're doing. It's going to depend on where you're situated, what the geology is, can dependent on how type of structure in and how high up in the structure you are. If you're in a tall building, you're more likely to feel it because of the shaking, the long period shaking from the surface waves. If you're near a sedimentary, really soft geology, you will be more likely to feel it. If you're up running around or driving, you won't feel it. So, okay. Just depending on real specific to where you are. All right. And in the aftermath of these earthquakes last week, a, what are you and other, uh, seismologists learning? What sorts of things are you looking for to help understand, maybe even predict a big earthquake?
Speaker 1: 04:27 Well, I don't see a whole lot in here that's going to lead me to a prediction. I see a lot that we're going to learn about the structure of the fault, how it evolves as a function of time between the two events. Why the seismicity evolved in a way did the evolution of the rupture pattern and the directivity of it. These are the types of basic physics problems that we're trying to address right now. And Are we a, in this day and age, have a lot more, uh, sensors and a lot more, uh, equipment to be able to gauge these quakes than in decades past? Absolutely. We've, uh, thanks to the, uh, USG gs and their, and their development towards an earthquake early warning system, they put a lot more centers out, a lot more. A data's coming in real time and that'll give us a, a real treasure trove of information that we can mind going forward.
Speaker 1: 05:12 And can we expect more earthquake activity in the Ridgecrest area following these two big events? Well, there's certainly going to be a good long aftershock sequence going on after that, but I mean, the expectation is that we'll be tapering off as a function of time over the next several months. I mean, but if you remember the 2010 earthquake at Kuka file, my or we also had aftershocks going on for six months or a year later that were actually noticeable. Okay. And that was the Easter Sunday [inaudible] people will remember from back then. All right. I had been speaking with Frank Vernon. He's a research geophysicist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Thanks, Doctor Vernon. Thank you.
Speaker 1: 00:00 A renowned ucs d eye doctor resigned last week after KPBS partner. I knew sourced, raised questions about his government and business ties to China. I knew source investigative reporter Brad Racino explains how this international issue is now surfacing in San Diego
Speaker 2: 00:18 more than ever. The adversaries targets are a nation's assets. Our information and ideas, our innovation, our research and development, our technology that was FBI director Christopher Ray speaking in April and no country poses a broader, more severe intelligence collection threat in China. The FBI says some of China's government programs incentivize scientists to illegally take intellectual property developed at u s universities to China. The goal to advance China's scientific, economic and military interests.
Speaker 3: 00:55 The thousand towns program is the one that is best known and may be the largest.
Speaker 2: 00:59 Michael Lauer is a deputy director at the National Institutes of health, the largest funder of biomedical research in the world. As of June, the agency had notified more than 60 universities and medical institutions about possible undisclosed ties by researchers to foreign governments, including the thousand talents program. Those NIH letters have prompted grant refunds, terminations, suspensions, and FBI investigations. Well, new at MD Anderson Cancer Center fires three scientists accused of sharing important research and yes,
Speaker 1: 01:33 data with China. It's for Chinese American professors at Emory university had been fired after failing to disclose financial and research ties to China while receiving federal, yes,
Speaker 2: 01:43 more than a dozen members of the thousand talents program work at research institutions across San Diego. Among them was Dr Kong Jong, who until last week was the chief of eye genetics at UC San Diego's Shailee eye institute by scouring Chinese business filings, archived websites in mandarin along with property and divorce records. I knew source was able to uncover the following. John joined the thousand talents program in 2010 two years later, he founded a biotechnology company in China that specializes in the same work he performed at ucs, SD. Then he set up us subsidiaries, signed a $5 million licensing deal and patented inventions in a dozen countries. There's no evidence. Zhang has illegally shared intellectual property with China, but I knew source did discover he has not properly disclosed any of his more than half dozen Chinese businesses to UCFD or the national institutes of health as required by university policy and federal regulations. He also hasn't mentioned his role in the thousand talents program,
Speaker 3: 02:47 not telling it is lying pure and simple and is unconscionable.
Speaker 2: 02:54 Dr. Ross McKinney is the chief scientific officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges. The nonprofit has been educating officials at universities and hospitals to be alert to foreign efforts to recruit or influence their faculty. McKinney says universities were skeptical at first
Speaker 3: 03:10 and only when they started getting into it and discovering that people were being dishonest. Did they go, oh, I actually think we have a real problem here. The, in this case, the NIH and the FBI are not exaggerating. There really is just a matic dishonesty.
Speaker 2: 03:25 Critics say the u s crackdown on researchers is unwarranted. Michael Zigmund is an ethics expert and retired neurology professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He's lectured at China's Fudan University for more than 15 years and has colleagues in the u s who came from China,
Speaker 3: 03:42 certainly country's spy on each other and the United States does its share of spying, but to, to, um, suggest that biomedical science is, is, uh, a target area for this kind of thing I think is, is crazy.
Speaker 2: 04:00 Ucs d would not comment for this story other than to say Zang resigned Thursday. Sean's attorney said most if not all of his companies have been long known to the university, though he did not provide that evidence
Speaker 1: 04:13 joining me or I knew source investigative reporters, Brad Racino and Joe Castillano. And welcome to you both. Thank you. Thanks. Now Brad. Dr Junge was also the subject of an earlier investigative report by I news source. Remind us about that.
Speaker 4: 04:28 We had looked into him months ago for his research, uh, practices. This is part of our larger series on risky research. Uh, the systemic flaws in the oversight of human research, uh, across the U. S Zhang is a doctor and researcher at UC SD. And what we had found was that for a long time he had been performing research that had a lot of problems in it. We had found an audit that found that he'd been enrolling patients who were under age, that he wasn't keeping proper records, that he had actually heard somebody during one of his eye injections. And this kind of arose out of that. We were not looking into thousand talents at that point. This kind of came out organically from that research.
Speaker 1: 05:07 Now, Brad, you were able to discover the doctor's background with a thousand talents and the company he set up in Shyna you, both you and Jill. So why wasn't UC San Diego able to discover that? Weren't they looking? Okay,
Speaker 4: 05:20 that's a great question. Uh, there's a lot that we don't know about what is happening at UC San Diego. Zhang is being investigated, uh, and has been for a while now. And as a result, the university is not talking to us about anything related to that. Uh, one of the experts I talked to when I asked him that exact question of how, how could you CST, and I know he said, well maybe they don't speak Mandarin, which is actually a pretty good thing, uh, to, to point out because we, neither Jill nor I speak Mandarin, we use translator services online to find this stuff. But there's also thousands of researchers just at UC San Diego and they have a very small, it seems a very small compliance at that university. So either, you know, if these things are not being disclosed, um, who even knew to go looking for it. So we don't really know. So in light of this concern by U s authorities about foreign scientists, jail is UC San Diego tightening up its vetting policies?
Speaker 5: 06:14 It's hard to say. Like Brad said, they are not talking to us. They're not telling us what they're discovering and their investigation and what they're planning to do. One thing that we just learned today actually is they are implementing a new program called the outside activity tracking system, which is supposed to help people file these disclosures, make them electronic and streamlined. This has been in progress for about a month now it seems like, and theoretically this should help prevent some of these kinds of problems in the future.
Speaker 4: 06:45 Brad, if doctor John did disclose to the university he opened this eye research institute in China, would that be okay with ucs? D is that within its ethics guidelines? It's certainly common for researchers and scientists to have their own companies be affiliated with different universities and hospitals, both here in the u s and outside. The disclosure part of it that's really important is that they have to be invested primarily at the university that is paying their salaries. So while they may be allowed to do some work outside, the point of disclosing that is is so that the university can say, okay, you're spending too much time over here, you're doing too much work over here when we're paying your salary. So it may have been okay if he was spending, you know, five 10 20% of his time doing something else and properly disclosing it. But it seems from us, from our research that he was spending a lot of time in China. It was always over there and as CEO and founder of a multimillion dollar biopharmaceutical company, he was at think it's safe to say dedicating a large amount of his time and resources to that endeavor. So, and Jill, to the fundamental question you say, I knew source was not able to discover evidence that young illegally shared intellectual property with China, but wasn't that the goal of China's 1000 talents program?
Speaker 5: 08:00 The Chinese government says the purpose of the program is to help advance the economic and scientific and military goals of the country. The accusation that American authorities are making is that it quietly incentivizes scientists to take intellectual property back from the u s to China because this program is supposed to recruit scientists back to China who are of Chinese descent. Usually now there are over 7,000 members. Nobody's claiming that every person in this program is illegally taking intellectual property to China, but the authorities are using this program to narrow in on people who may be committing those kinds of crimes.
Speaker 4: 08:40 Jill, the doctor now has an attorney. What does his lawyer say in his defense?
Speaker 5: 08:45 The lawyer says that there was nothing improper about his connection to the thousand talents program, Dr Song. And he says, you know, in there, there might have been some things that could have been done differently about doctor Zhang's disclosures that in the future he would do some things differently about what he would tell the university. Um, but that even if he had, there was nothing inherently wrong with him being involved in these Chinese companies. The other thing that he said to us is the reason that Dr John resigned is between the university and the doctor and not for us to know.
Speaker 4: 09:19 Okay. Then well, between the allegations of unethical research practices and now undisclosed ties to the Chinese government. Brad, what kind of legal jeopardy is the doctor in? And what about Ucs d? Are they accountable? So we've, uh, as you know, we're not lawyers, so we can't really say exactly what, what is going to happen or what could happen. We do know what has happened around the country, uh, with similar cases. So there have been researcher scientists at, um, Los Alamos National Laboratory at Emory university, um, at National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and, uh, MD Anderson Cancer Center who have resigned or been fired or even arrested for this behavior. Um, but we don't know exactly what is going to happen to the doctor as far as ucs d is concerned. They actually are accountable as recipients of federal funding the NIH, which the National Institutes of health, which funded Zhang's work for more than a decade to the tune of more than $15 million. Um, they require that their recipient institutions like UC ESD actually collect these conflict of interest disclosures. It's part of a federal policy. So you CSD is on the hook here for at least explaining why they did not do that. I've been speaking with I new source reporters, Brad Racino and Jill Castalano. Thank you both very much. Thank you. Thanks. To learn more about doctors Young's business interests here and in China, go to [inaudible] dot org I new sources, an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS.
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Speaker 1: 00:00 California got across border ally in the fight against a significant environmental rollback by president Trump Canada joints, California in the fight against Trump's decision to weaken auto pollution standards as part of coverage from the KPBS climate change desk. I interviewed Mark Jacobson, associate professor of economics at the University of California San Diego. He specializes in environmental regulation of the transportation and auto industry. Well, start with the regulation at issue here. The corporate average fuel economy or cafe standard. What is it and how did it change under President Barack Obama?
Speaker 2: 00:36 So the fuel economy standards been around for a long time. It's about the average fuel economy or miles per gallon that cars sold in the u s have to get under the Obama Administration early on a California was thinking about making the standards stricter than the rest of the country. Uh, we have a history of, uh, lots of policy in that direction and eventually, uh, the Obama Administration decided to make its national standards much stricter as well. Basically matching what California would have done had it acted on its own
Speaker 1: 01:05 in what did he want to do? What was the plan under Obama? W how much miles? How many miles?
Speaker 2: 01:10 Yeah. It was extremely ambitious. The stated target was about 54 or 54 and a half miles per gallon on average in about five or 10 years.
Speaker 1: 01:18 And they hadn't been right. Hadn't happened. Raised in a long time. The cafe standard, right?
Speaker 2: 01:21 That's right. It had been creeping up slowly for us SUVs and pickup trucks and had been more or less flat for cars for many years.
Speaker 1: 01:29 Now let's move on to the Donald Trump administration. What's he planning to do with the cafe standard?
Speaker 2: 01:34 So we got news last summer that the plan was to roll back the standard, uh, essentially freezing them at the 2020 levels. So next year would be a little bit better fuel economy than this year on average. And then it would just be flat from there on out. So we want to further improvement.
Speaker 1: 01:48 We weren't going to get anywhere near 54, right?
Speaker 2: 01:50 No, no. It would be a 30 year or so.
Speaker 1: 01:54 All right. And now, so how is California trying to fight back against Trump's, uh, action regarding the cafe standard?
Speaker 2: 02:00 Well, so it's interesting because California had, had had its own standard, a sort of ready to go and then it got preempted by the Obama administration standards that sort of satisfied with California was looking for. And uh, it's sort of, uh, in the cards that as soon as the rollback, uh, is made official, which is likely to happen here pretty soon, that California will say, well, it wants to do what it always wanted to do, which was to have more, more efficient cars and that will do that sort of, anyway, now that fly in the ointment of that is that as part of the rollback of the standard that Trump administration is also attempting to remove California's ability to regulate fuel economy on its own, uh, for this date.
Speaker 1: 02:38 But now Canada has agreed to join California and fighting back against the change in these fuels standards, what's been agreed between our state and Canada.
Speaker 2: 02:47 So of course the state doesn't enter in foreign policy particularly directly. But what's happened here is that Canada has for at least 20 years, been following exactly what the u s does on fuel economy. And this, it kind of makes sense. We're pretty much the same auto market, the same models of cars are sold in both places and so on. Now the looks like there might be a split between what the federal government is doing and what California is doing. Canada kind of had to make a choice and that choice was to stick with California's version of, of what fuel economy should be. Um, and so they, they haven't, it's not a treaty or a binding agreement or anything, but, but Canada's has said that they're gonna follow us rather than follow the follow. We're with you a, yeah. I want to say there, are there other states also wanting to join with California in this and kind of a block of states to fight this rollback or these standards?
Speaker 2: 03:39 That's right. So there's about 13 states. There's, I think 16 are currently suing the EPA. Some something on that order. It's about 40% of us car sales are in a, this block is the western states and most of the northeast of the u s are trying to come together in a block to regulate their fuel economy separate from the federal government. And now that we've got Canada and now we've got Canada big market we're talking about, that's right. California has had almost exactly 2 million car sales, uh, 2 million new cars sold just in the state of the last four or so years running each year. Yeah. In Canada, it turns out their market is almost identical in size to California as market. It's almost exactly 2 million vehicles a year. Uh, so we're ended, of course, California is the largest car market in the US. And so it's sort of an equal player, I guess, in the, so living in California without the beach boys and the curse.
Speaker 2: 04:29 Uh, so it seems the auto makers, they're facing tough standards and markets as big as California, Canada, and these other states. Witness simply makes sense for the auto makers to make the cleaner cars and sell them to anybody regardless of what the Trump rollbacks is. That's right. One interesting thing about it is it's an average standard. And so this creates some, some potential problems with overlaps. So carmakers make course lots of different types of cars. I'm very efficient and hybrid and electric and so on. And some very inefficient. And if they're trying to meet an average for the u s as a whole, but they have to hit a tighter target in California, its partner states and now Canada, what they could end up doing is selling more of their fuel efficient models here and in the group of partner states and then other cars and the rest, right.
Speaker 2: 05:17 Uh, the larger cars presumably in the rest of the country. Um, and that the gray box and to the extent there is demand for them there, they could be sold there. Uh, and, and this makes it, um, difficult for the, the u s and the, and this other group of states to try and act in, um, all sort of at odds in, in fuel economy. Well, let's talk about the auto makers themselves. What's their reaction been to a Trump turn to roll back these higher mileage standards? Like any industry, they don't like being regulated as much as they would like not being regulated. Uh, but at the same time they've designed cars for five years or more out into the future and they, they know how they were going to get to these fuel economy, tried against and now to have them pulled out from under them all of a sudden has made them sort of unhappy with that.
Speaker 2: 06:03 I think that that it's hard to know what's what's in their minds, but I think what they had most been hoping for is a relaxing, a bit of the standards and maybe some free giveaways of credits and things that others might call loopholes or credits. Um, in order to meet the standards that somewhat lower cost to themselves, but to go all the way to a rollback was, I think took them somewhat by, by surprise. And there seems to be, uh, some sort of mixed messages coming out of, uh, automobile manufacturing about this show. Detroit's not that crazy, but yeah, no, no.
Speaker 1: 06:39 Um, no, and like most of like something in between and having lower cafe standards or, or conversely trying to increase them and having far more ambitious ones as the Obama administration was, was trying to do that has a big impact as it not on CO2 emissions and a heat trapping pollution that a, we're trying to, to combat in this age of climate change.
Speaker 2: 07:01 Right. I think that's actually the most important message here is that just in the last few years, the private automobile sector has become the largest producer of CO2, uh, in the u s it's been the largest producer of CO2 in California for a long time, but it's now the largest producer in the u s uh, it passed electric power, right? It used to be electric power was the sort of the big target and the big source of CO2. Now it's cars. I think the most interesting thing about this whole case and the politics that are likely to kick off here is that the question fundamentally becomes, do states have the right to regulate their own to, to, to regulate their own carbon economy? Because cars are the biggest piece. And so to the extent that, that is fully controlled by the federal government as opposed to the states, the states no longer sort of have the ability to do things on climate that, or do some of the most important things on climate that they, they could.
Speaker 1: 07:56 Okay. I've been speaking with Mark Jacobson, associate professor of economics in the University of California, San Diego. Thanks very much, professor.
Speaker 2: 08:03 Thanks very much for having me.
Speaker 3: 08:07 Uh.
Speaker 1: 00:00 California is now the first state to ban discrimination against the natural hair texture of many black Americans. For years, braids, twists, locks and Afros were not welcome in workplaces, in schools, and often thought of as unprofessional. The new law called the Crown Act will go into effect next year, midday edition cohost Jade Heinemann spoke with state Senator Holly j Mitchell, who introduced the crown act. Senator Mitchell, welcome.
Speaker 2: 00:27 Thank you so much for having me.
Speaker 1: 00:28 So what inspired the Crown Act, and I should say that that crown is an acronym for create a respectful and open workplace for natural hair. So what inspired you to create this law?
Speaker 2: 00:40 Well, you know, there are a number of things. First of all, I've worn my own hair natural. I, uh, have locked for about 15 years now. Was natural before that for about five years. Are there were a number of things. I was attending a policy conference convened by the National Black Caucus. The state legislators and a senior VP was, dove was there talking to legislators about this concept that they've had in the beauty industry about really trying to change this law. And they were encouraging us to consider introducing resolutions in our various state houses across the country. Literally just a few weeks after that experience, last December, I, along with many Americans, saw the horrible video of the young high school wrestler in New Jersey who the referee determined that his locks were not appropriate for wrestling, didn't fit. There are rules and regulations, and we all witnessed him having his hair viciously cut off right there on the mat in front of all of his teammates, et cetera. And that those two experiences came together. We thought about what we could do here in the state of California and, uh, decided that we would amend the fair employment and Housing Act and education code, um, to make sure that the definition of race is inclusive of traits historically associated with rights. That would include hair texture and what we're calling protective hairstyles, as you stated, locks, braids, and twist. That's how the Crown Aq was born.
Speaker 1: 02:10 And this legislation has had a lot of support. Why do you think it struck such a deep personal chord with people?
Speaker 2: 02:16 I think it's a deep personal issue with many people. Uh, I have been blown away by the numbers of letters and calls that I've received from parents, not only in California, but across the country whose daughters largely have either been reprimanded, sent home, or even suspended, um, because school officials deemed that their here was, uh, a distraction to others or unruly and the number of, um, California residents who've reached out through social media and direct contact with my office to tell us horror stories about, um, employers who, uh, either through kind of implicit or explicit bias suggested to them that their natural hair, uh, lacked professionalism. And so it's really spurred this conversation about what constitutes professionalism in the workplace and, and what standard by which are we measured. And this notion that, you know, a Eurocentric standard of straight hair should be perceived as the norm and as professional and through this bill and through our life experiences, we're challenging that.
Speaker 1: 03:18 And this discrimination doesn't just affect the way someone's hair looks in the workplace or school. And for many people, this impacts their overall wellbeing. Can you talk to me about that?
Speaker 2: 03:28 Yeah. There, there are are many, um, um, people who've talked about really the health, um, um, impacts of chemical Lee straightening your hair. Uh, my chief of staff for example, and many women have talked about, uh, when they were pregnant, how their doctors and cosmetologists have strongly suggested that they not use chemical relaxer to perm or straighten their hair. Um, because it basically, most of those relaxers contain lie. It is a chemical that alters the core structure of your hair and the texture of your hair. Um, and so there are health ramifications, but fundamentally the bill is about personal choice that I should not be penalized because I don't choose to straighten my hair as when I first ran for office in 2010. Uh, I was clear that, you know, the electorate would make their decision about voting for me based on what was inside my head, not how I choose to wear my hair. And I think that applies to workplaces across the board.
Speaker 1: 04:31 And so have you had your own experiences with discrimination based on how you wear your hair?
Speaker 2: 04:35 You know, I have to say that I'm fortunate and I say, I don't think I have. When I decided to lock 15 years ago, I was the CEO of an organization and I was conscious of the fact that I was making both a political and social statement by choosing to wear my hair natural and lock it. And I was, you know, um, very, um, mindful and that was an intentional act for me. I think when I decided to run for office, it then became a part of a broader strategic conversation around electability. And that's when I chose to challenge that notion. And again, um, um, have not experienced the fact that voters or people elect me, um, um, at least have not overtly expressed, um, their opinion about it. Again, I was elected that first time in 2010 and had been reelected every election since
Speaker 1: 05:25 on the surface. You know, this law appears to just enable everyone to wear their hair in its natural state, but it's bigger than that. In what ways does this legislation redefine what racial discrimination is?
Speaker 2: 05:38 Uh, I think, you know, uh, hair, um, particularly for the African American community has really been political. If you think about the symbol of, um, um, the black power movement in the 60s and big Afros, uh, and the natural hair is indeed a movement. Um, it's a trend that's been going on for a good number of years and you see more and more people with natural hair. You know, when the women's filed suit and unfortunately lost in the u s supreme court in the early eighties, women who were in the banking industry and the airline industry, um, you know, we didn't have kind of critical numbers. All you have to do is look at the new marketplace, the new marketplace for natural hair products to know that, you know, supply certainly meets demand. And so there is a growing movement in there. Um, you know, significant numbers every day of people choosing to lock, twist, or braid their hair. And so this will, uh, inevitably be a culture shift. You know, for me, it is a reflection of my sense of pride and clarity and confidence in who I am as a black woman. That's what I think made that video of the young wrestlers so deeply offensive. Um, because no one cared to ask him why he locked his hair and what that represented to him. They simply cut his hair.
Speaker 1: 06:58 And now that the Crown Act is state law here in California, do you have a sense of if this legislation will be created in other states or even on a federal level?
Speaker 2: 07:06 Uh, we've already heard from, uh, colleagues led set of colleagues in New York, in New Jersey. I understood today that there is a interest in Congress to introduce a similar piece of legislation. My colleagues and other state houses have called us to actually ask that we share our language with them. And so we believe this is just the beginning of the end to, uh, um, hare discrimination, a another kind of chink in the armor, uh, ending racial racial discrimination in this country. And I'm just proud to be a part of that movement.
Speaker 1: 07:42 That was California state Senator Holly j Mitchell speaking to midday edition cohost jade hangman.
Speaker 3: 07:55 Okay.