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By sharing her soul, Cynthia Altamirano helps survivors heal.

Eyes slightly gazing over the steering wheel, 11-year-old Cynthia Altamirano drove around her family farm in southern Illinois. She started the day around 3:30 a.m. checking on the well-being of the animals.  It was not a for-profit farm. It was a farm to help her poor household survive. By the time the sun was rising, Altamirano had been up for several hours, but it was time for her to rush back home and start getting ready for her school day….

Richmond’s former prisoners get out the vote

This year, California had the largest number of people registered to vote in the state’s history, with nearly 20 million ready to hit today’s polls. Formerly incarcerated people in Richmond, some of whom are voting for the first time, helped the state reach that record. In the lead up to the election, organizations across the city worked to educate formerly incarcerated people and their families about their right to vote. Laws vary across the country on voting rights for those…

Community-oriented process to monitor air quality kicks off tomorrow

Richmond is about to begin a unique process to identify a group of community leaders to work with the state and local air resources boards to determine key drivers of the city’s pollution and put together a plan to reduce it. This Wednesday, Nov. 7, leaders of community environmental organizations and other members of the public are invited by County Supervisor John Gioia to attend a meeting on the new plan at the Richmond City Recreation Complex on MacDonald Avenue….

UC strike organizer draws from immigration struggle in fight for campus workers

Maricruz Manzanarez grabbed tight to weeds and scrub brush growing out from the dirt ridge on one side of the tracks, bracing herself as the train approached, afraid. She worried that the train was going so fast it would suck her in as it went by. She felt its pull on her as it sped past. Caught between the railcars and the ridge, between Mexico and the United States, Manzanarez held on tight. Just a few years ago she had…

How Richmond rebuilds abandoned homes

The house on South 37th Street is the ninth one rebuilt under the housing renovation program that turns abandoned, uninhabitable homes into livable ones and sells them to local, lower to medium income, first-time homebuyers.

Small businesses along Albany’s commercial corridors struggling to find employees

Located at the intersection of Albany and Berkeley, the Tokyo Fish Market is never empty. Customers buying salmon, sushi or Japanese rice desserts fill the large room, and workers carrying, cutting, and wrapping fish abound. Or so it seems. The market needs more workers, said Li Nakamura, who has been running it since 1990. “Every business has a hard time right now finding workers,” he said. “We do not know why.” Up and down Albany’s commercial district of Solano and…

Tales of Two Cities – Where Are You From?

Welcome back to the Tales of Two Cities podcast! We’ve missed coming to you through your headphones the last few months. This episode’s theme is “Where Are You From?” It’s a broad topic that encompasses the idea of home. This week you’ll hear all kinds of stories about what home means to people in Richmond and Oakland, and the types of things that make these two cities feel like home. This episode was produced by Kaitlin Benz and hosted by…