Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

BLOGS

The future of California electorate

From 2000 to 2012, California's demographic landscape changed significantly. The Latino and Asian populations drove the state's growth, increasing 32 percent (3.5 million) and 34 percent (1.2 million), respectively, while the white, non-Latino population, decreased 5.5 percent (-.9 million). The total Black population remained steady (adding 20,000) but declined as a proportion of the state's population as a result of faster growth among Latinos and Asians. By 2012, Latinos made up over 38 percent of the population, Asians, at 12.8 percent and Blacks 5.8 percent. By 2013, Latinos were projected to comprise nearly 39 percent of the state's population—for the first time, essentially reaching parity with whites with regard to their share of the state's total population. With these population shifts came substantial changes in California's voting electorate.

Future increases in the Latino and Asian populations will vary significantly in size and location across California, meaning that changes in the strength of Latino and Asian voter growth will be uneven across the state in the coming decades.

California's eligible electorate will dramatically change over the next 30 years. If projections hold, it will gain 8.3 million new eligible voters – 8 million of which will be people of color (non-white). By sheer population change, the state will shift from an electorate historically (and still currently) proportionately dominated by non-Latino whites. Already by the 2016 elections, California is projected to have a majority-minority electorate.

For the first time, non-Latino whites will fall below 50 percent of the state's eligible voters. By 2040, Latinos and Asians combined are projected to be just over 50 percent of California's actual voters (assuming parity with non-Latino and non-Asian turnout rates) – and over 60 percent of the vote in many counties within the state.

However, an increased share of the state's vote does not automatically mean a representative democracy for California. If disparities in eligible voter turnout rates remain, then Latinos and Asians in the state are projected to continue to hold a share of the vote that is not commensurate with their proportion of the eligible citizen voting age population. If new eligible non-white voters are not transitioned into actual voters at a rate that is at least on pace with their increasing proportions of the electorate then the state's voting population could become even less representative.

Mobilizing California's Eligible Non-Voters

As the landscape of the state's electorate shifts, it is likely that its political landscape will change as well. A larger political voice for historically underrepresented groups matters. Recent national level research supports the conclusion that those who vote in the current electorate often do not represent the views of those who don't vote, particularity on issues related to economic policy. Current voters tend to be more conservative on issues of resource distribution than non-voters. As the make-up of California's voting electorate changes over time, the interests and needs of its new members may push the state's political structure to adjust its issue priorities.

Achieving a fully participating electorate is critical to ensuring a fully representative and responsive democratic system for California.

Source: UC Davis Center for Regional Change, The California Civic Engagement Project, The Future of California Electorate (Policy Brief, Issue 7) by Mindy Romero, January 2014.

Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Lecciones que nos dejan las granjas urbanas de California

In English.

Pilar Rebar, granjera urbana, y el equipo de UC ANR recorriendo las instalaciones de su granja en Richmond, California.
Las granjas urbanas están surgiendo en todo el estado y un grupo de especialistas de ANR de la UC recientemente le echó un vistazo de cerca a la agricultura urbana de California. En particular, queríamos saber más acerca de las granjas en las ciudades y en las afueras de las ciudades que están vendiendo o distribuyendo sus productos. Visitamos granjas urbanas y entrevistamos a los granjeros para conocer acerca de sus operaciones, desafíos y sobre todo, qué podría ANR de la UC ofrecerles que les resultara más útil. Usamos lo que aprendimos para crear el sitio Web UC ANR Urban Agriculture un portal en el que los granjeros urbanos de California pueden encontrar la información que necesitan sobre una gran variedad de temas. He aquí algunas de las cosas que aprendimos durante nuestras visitas.

Las granjas urbanas de California son por lo general pequeñas, pero no siempre es ese el caso.

Entre las 27 granjas que visitamos, el tamaño promedio era de un acre (en otras palabras, la mitad de las granjas eran más grandes de un acre y la otra mitad más chicas). Y la variedad en tamaño era amplia. ¡La más pequeña tenía 3,000 pies cuadrados, mientras que la más grande mil acres! Excluyendo la granja de mil acres, el tamaño promedio era de 2.8 acres. Comparado con el tamaño promedio de una granja tradicional en California – 328 acres – de acuerdo con el Censo Agrícola del 2012 del Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos, las granjas urbanas son muy pequeñas.   

Pocos granjeros tienen experiencia, muchos son principiantes

Dos de las granjas han sido parte de la familia por generaciones y fueron establecidas en la década de los 50 por los padres o abuelos de los actuales granjeros, y estos granjeros tienen un alto nivel de experiencia. A pesar de que sus granjas operan ahora en un entorno urbano, no se iniciaron como granjas urbanas. “La ciudad se acercó a nosotros”, así lo explicó uno de los granjeros. Los otros granjeros que entrevistamos han aprendido acerca de granjas empezando por lo más básico.

Los modelos sin fines de lucro prevalecen

De las granjas urbanas que visitamos, la mayoría son parte de una organización no lucrativa o una agencia gubernamental con una misión más amplia. La agricultura urbana se usa como vehículo para alcanzar los objetivos de una organización, por ejemplo, enseñar habilidades empresariales a los jóvenes o mejorar el acceso a alimentos saludables entre las comunidades necesitadas.

Muchos desafíos al comienzo

Cuando se les preguntó sobre los desafíos a los que se enfrentaron al iniciar sus granjas urbanas, los temas más comunes que los granjeros mencionaron fueron la planeación financiera y empresarial, la búsqueda de mercados y el acceso a la tierra. Desde la perspectiva empresarial, la mayoría de las granjas urbanas estaban todavía aprendiendo cómo convertir sus granjas en empresas lucrativas. También tenían problemas con asuntos relacionados a la producción como la planeación de cultivos, plagas e irrigación. Y muchos se habían enfrentado a problemas de zonificación y reglamentos.

Los granjeros urbanos participan en la política local

De los 27 granjeros urbanos que entrevistamos, 19 estaban involucrados en abogar a favor de un cambio en la política local para facilitar la agricultura urbana. Cómo explicó uno de los entrevistados: “Para poder empezar una granja urbana, hemos tenido que involucrarnos en las políticas locales para ponerla en marcha”.

¿Cómo les puede ayudar ANR de la UC?

Uno de los temas que surgieron durante nuestras visitas y conversaciones con los granjeros urbanos es la necesidad de una fuente de información lista y fiable sobre todo lo que tiene que ver con empezar una granja, producción y las normas locales. Con decenas de expertos en todo el estado, ANR de la UC tiene acceso a una amplia variedad de investigación e información sobre granjas y temas relacionados. El sitio Web sobre agricultura urbana de ANR de la UC se creó como un recurso para granjeros urbanos en California, al que continuaremos agregando material útil, historias de granjas urbanas de todo el estado y actualizaciones sobre normas en nuestras áreas metropolitanas. Animamos a los granjeros urbanos y promotores de la agricultura urbana en California a conectarse. Sugiera ideas para nuestro blog, compartan información y fotos sobre sus granjas urbanas y hagan preguntas a través de nuestra página de Facebook y Twitter. ¡Esperamos escuchar muy pronto de usted!

Posted on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 3:52 PM

College of tomorrow: The changing demographics of the student body

Pick up a brochure or go to nearly any college web site – private, public, community college – and the first images you're likely to see plenty of images of fresh-faced white kids (and perhaps a sprinkling of black and Asian teens), huddled in a lab or hanging on the quad, representing the student body on their campus.

Talk to anyone who studies demographics for a living, however, and they'll tell you those images are rooted in the past. Young people seeking higher education these days, they say, are less likely to be white or male, more likely to be Hispanic, may be the first person in their family to continue an education past high school, and will likely need help paying for it.

The demographic shifts mean big changes for colleges, too, analysts say – perhaps including restructuring admissions requirements, boosting financial aid and providing remediation to bring students from under-performing schools up to speed.

“‘Traditional student' – that's becoming such a hard thing to speak to,” says Peace Bransberger, a senior research analyst at Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, a Boulder, Colorado-based education policy center. Because of the rapid diversification already underway, she said, the definition of a “traditional” student has become obsolete.

“We'll need some new language,” Bransberger adds.

For years, the Census Bureau has forecast that the U.S. will have a majority-minority population by 2043. Whites remain the nation's largest racial group, but their birth rate is declining; meanwhile, non-white Latinos have already surpassed African-Americans as the nation's largest minority.

But the future may already be here.

In August, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that, for the first time, the total percentage of minority students – Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans combined – is larger than the percentage of whites in public grade-school classrooms this year.

Meanwhile, in California, the state's flagship, nine-school University of California system announced an eye-opening milestone: that it has admitted more Latino students (29 percent) than whites (27 percent) for the 2014 academic year. Thirty-nine percent of the Golden State's population is non-white Hispanic.

“We were perhaps even a little bit surprised in the uptick,” Bransberger says. This year, she adds, more minorities than whites will graduate from high school in several states, evidence of “a faster rate of change in the population overall than what was known before.”

The gender gap is widening, too, with women now making up about 57 percent of all college students, an exponential gain compared to around 40 percent in the 1970s, according to the NCES. Among African-Americans, however, the gap is more of a chasm: just 37 percent of black undergraduates are males.

Bransberger and others, however, say the anticipated boom in students of color carries some troubling echoes of long-standing, systemic problems that the higher education industry has not yet completely solved.

“The shift is most definitely happening. I think there's lots that can document that,” said Scott Jenkins, the education program director for the National Board of Governors. “I think it means a lot, and in particular, to colleges and universities themselves. They need to be thinking about the needs of these students.”

In its most recent survey, “Knocking At The College Door,” released in 2013, the WIHC reports that “20 to 45 percent of the nation's public high school graduates are projected to be non-White, up by more than 7 percent over the class of 2009.” At the same time, according to the report, the number of black, non-Hispanic high school graduates is expected to decline overall within the next few years before rebounding in the middle of the next decade.

The forecast is worse for whites, whose high school graduation numbers will continue to fall, and may not recover. “Meanwhile, the number of Hispanic high school graduates will increase in every region of the country by large magnitudes,” the report states.

Source: Published originally on U.S. News & World Report as College of Tomorrow: The Changing Demographics of the Student Body by Joseph P. Williams, September 22, 2014.

Posted on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Llegó octubre… ¡Llevemos los niños a la granja!

In English.

Antes del día de Halloween llega el festival de la cosecha y el huerto de calabazas

A pesar de que la mayoría de nosotros no vivimos en granjas o tenemos parientes que trabajen en ellas, los días más cortos y la frescura en el aire todavía nos recuerdan de alguna manera que es tiempo de cosecha. En toda California, los granjeros están abriendo sus puertas y compartiendo sus actividades durante la cosecha con el resto de nosotros.  ¿Qué mejor tiempo para asegurarnos que los niños saben de dónde provienen las calabazas, maíz y el resto de lo que comen?

He aquí algunas celebraciones familiares para ir durante la época de cosecha:

PlacerGROWN Harvest Festival, Rocklin – Sábado y domingo 18 y 19 de octubre. No se pierda el PlacerGROWN Harvest Festival, un evento familiar GRATUITO que incluye una huerta de calabazas, una exhibición de calabazas iluminadas al atardecer, una película en el parque, un concurso para construir espantapájaros, un mercado de granjeros.

Work Day & Barn Dance (Un día de trabajo y baile en el granero), en Pescadero – Sábado 18 de octubre. Celebre el espíritu de comunidad con Pie Ranch en este ritual mensual de pasear y trabajar juntos en el rancho, compartir alimentos cosechados localmente, usar un telar o pasar un rato divertido durante la noche.  

Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) Day at the Pumpkin Patch (Un día en la huerta de calabazas), en Nicasio – Domingo 19 de octubre. Escoja una calabaza orgánica, haga su propio queso, pruebe el vino y cerveza producidos localmente en Marin, compre uno de los sándwiches, ensaladas y hamburguesas hechos con ingredientes locales por el rancho The Farmer's Wife and Stemple Creek y deje a los niños divertirse con las manualidades durante el Día de MALT. Este evento es gratuito y abierto a todo el público.

Live Earth Farm Harvest Festival (Festival de la Cosecha Agrícola de Tierra Viva), en Watsonville – Sábado 25 de octubre. ¡Celebre la abundancia del Valle del Pájaro y el área de la bahía de Monterey! Únase a nosotros en la diversión para toda la familia en la granja. Honre el cambio de estación y celebre la cosecha con nosotros en la granja.

Puede encontrar estos y muchos más eventos en granjas y ranchos en el Directorio de Agroturismo de la UC en: www.calagtour.org. Este directorio es administrado como un servicio público del Programa de Pequeñas Granjas de la UC.

Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 3:25 PM

US immigration is associated with rise in smoking among Latinos and Asians

Immigration to the U.S. may result in increased smoking in Latino and Asian women, according to new research from sociologists at Rice University, Duke University and the University of Southern California.

The study, “Gender, Acculturation and Smoking Behavior Among U.S. Asian and Latino Immigrants,” examines smoking prevalence and frequency among Asian and Latino U.S. immigrants. The research focuses on how gender differences in smoking behavior are shaped by aspects of acculturation and the original decision to migrate. The study was published recently in the journal Social Science & Medicine and is available online.

“We know that after migrants come to the U.S., their health behavior and health status changes the longer they live in the United States,” said Bridget Gorman, chair and professor of sociology at Rice and the study's lead author. “Our study examined how time spent in the U.S., along with other aspects reflective of acculturation to the U.S., relates to smoking behavior among Asian and Latino migrants.”

The study found that smoking prevalence among Asian immigrant men was more than four times that of Asian immigrant women (30.4 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively); among Latino immigrants, men's smoking prevalence was more than twice that of women's (29.5 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively). For smoking frequency, Asian men on average smoked 2.5 more cigarettes per day than Asian women, compared with 1.5 more cigarettes per day that Latino men smoked than Latino women.

In addition, their analyses also showed that smoking increases with duration of U.S. residence among Asian immigrants (both prevalence and frequency) and among Latino immigrants (frequency only). However, the study also found that independent of time spent in the U.S., “immigrants who form strong connections to the U.S. through English-language proficiency and citizenship acquisition benefit in terms of reduced smoking.” Gorman said this may be because the stresses associated with adapting to the U.S. have declined; but since both English-language proficiency and citizenship are associated with higher socio-economic standing, this might also indicate that smoking is lower among the most economically well-off migrants.

Gorman also noted that although there “tends to be an uptick in unhealthy behaviors like smoking after migration, patterns differ across ethnic groups and between men and women. In particular, women's smoking behavior tends to increase more after migration to the U.S. than men.” Gorman said the uptick in smoking among women may be due to differences in smoking stigma that exist for women in Latin America and especially Asia. She said that the smoking stigma for women is significantly less in the U.S., so when gender differences in smoking between the native and foreign-born are compared, gender gaps tend to be much larger among migrant populations living in the U.S.

The current study found that accounting for gender differences in aspects of acculturation (including time spent in the U.S., citizenship status, and English-language proficiency) explained gender differences in smoking frequency for both Asian and Latino migrants.

The study used a sample of 3,249 Asian and Latino migrant adults aged 18 and older. The study examined how smoking behavior relates to age at migration, citizenship status and length of time in the U.S., how frequently they visit their home country and how proficient they are in their native language and in English.

Source: US immigration is associated with rise in smoking among Latinos and Asians, Rice University Office of Public Affairs by Amy Hodges, August 11, 2014.

Posted on Monday, October 13, 2014 at 8:05 AM
  • Author: Rice University Office of Public Affairs by Amy Hodges

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