Reports of racism among African American school administrators in Sacramento. How downtown businesses are navigating deadly gun violence and economic recovery. Inflation impact on California’s wine industry.
Reports of racism
Public schools have long struggled to reflect on the students they serve. From teachers to principals, staff has been disproportionately white, trailing behind the growing racial and ethnic diversity of school populations. In the past year, there has been growing attention to the number of Black teachers and administrators leaving education, including in the city of Sacramento.
The most recent public resignation came this spring as Elysse Versher stepped down as Vice Principal of West Campus High School, citing racist treatment that had gone on for years. Versher has since filed a lawsuit against the Sacramento City Unified School District. But advocates in the community say this resignation is far from an isolated incident and reveals the historic challenges African American educators continue to face in schools.CapRadio Race and Equity Reporter Sarah-Mizes Tan joined Insight to share her reporting on the story and provide a better understanding of these challenges.
Sacramento's downtown is relatively small, just shy of five square miles and 5% of the city's total landmass. But a 2017 study by the International Downtown Association shows it's Sacramento's economic engine accounting for nearly 40% of jobs and generating 46% of the city's total property tax revenue. The revitalization of the city's core means more than just economic benefits but a renaissance of culture, vibrancy, identity, and resiliency. But over the last two-plus years, downtown has been put to the test.
First, a debilitating pandemic that drove tens of thousands of workers from downtown offices and, most recently, two deadly mass shootings in less than three months. To gain a better understanding of how downtown Sacramento is navigating safety while caring for its employees and the challenges of recovering from the pandemic, Insight invited Scott Ford with Downtown Sacramento Partnership, Amanda Blackwood with the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and Mike Testa with Visit Sacramento to share how they're working together to find solutions to these challenges.
California's wine industry, the 4th largest in the world, has become used to rolling with the punches over the years. From climate change and drought to wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and now the inflation crisis, wine growers have endured a lot, especially recently. According to figures from 2021 by the California Wine Institute, the wine industry's economic impact on our state is over $57 billion. That's everything from planting to bottling and exporting. But along with the successes, significant challenges remain for an industry that has become used to innovating, adapting and maneuvering an ever-changing landscape, both physically and financially. Rick Kushman, a wine expert, New York Times bestselling author, former Sacramento Bee columnist, and regular contributor to Insight, joined us to provide more details about the industry and the challenges it's facing.