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News Briefs — May 11, 2018

Junior Achievement celebrates 1 millionth student

On April 24, Junior Achievement (JA) of San Diego County celebrated its “1 Millionth Student” served since the nonprofit opened in 1950. To honor the milestone event, 150 JA supporters including JA board of directors, Young Executive Society members, students, educators, volunteers, alumni and community leaders, attended a press conference and special event. As part of the festivities, students and alum shared their own personal stories on how JA has inspired them to dream for a bigger and brighter future.

“JA has given me a head start to pursue my dream job. At age 11, I will be the youngest intern at Brown Law Group, an award-winning law firm in Downtown San Diego this summer,” said Logan Buser, JA ambassador and fifth-grade student at San Elijo in San Marcos.

Junior Achievement staff and volunteers celebrate the group’s 1 millionth student. (Courtesy JA)

“Thanks to JA, I now have the confidence to walk across the room, look a stranger in the eye, shake their hand and ask for their business card,” said Emily Rodriguez, JA alum and SDSU student.

During the event, JA officially launched the “1 Millionth Student Campaign.” The goal of the fundraising initiative is to raise 5 million dollars to impact 20 percent of the student population by 2020. The financial support will enable the nonprofit to reach more students, including over 56 percent of those in low-income areas, reflecting JA’s priority on removing barriers to student achievement.

To help launch the campaign, The Alexander & Eva Nemeth Foundation made a generous gift to name the “Circle of Life” in Mission Fed JA Finance Park.

“I want to thank the members of The Nemeth Foundation’s board for their extraordinary support. The launch of the ‘1 Millionth Student Campaign’ ensures our programs will reach even more San Diego children for years to come,” said Marla Black, president and CEO at JA of San Diego County.

Keynote speakers at the event included Debra Schwartz, president and CEO at Mission Federal Credit Union and JA executive board member; Brian Cahill, president at Balfour Beatty and JA executive board member; Dr. Karen Janney, superintendent at Sweetwater Union High School District; and JA alum and Lifetime Laureate, Wendy Gillespie. Each expressed their support for the nonprofit and spoke to the impact that JA has on more than 81,000 K-12 students each year by teaching them how to get a job, start a business and manage their money.

“As we celebrate the 1 millionth student, we are reminded that each one of those million students came to JA with their own dreams for the future,” said Schwartz. “It’s inspiring that another 1 million students will benefit from JA’s life-changing financial literacy programs.”

Thousands volunteer for cleanup

On April 21, I Love A Clean San Diego’s (ILACSD) 16th annual Creek to Bay Cleanup had an estimated 6,000 volunteers at 113 cleanup sites around San Diego County in honor of Earth Day. Volunteers, including residents, corporate groups, and civic organizations. During this three-hour cleanup, volunteers removed more than 175,000 pounds of trash and debris from San Diego County.

Volunteers also restored the local environment by painting park structures, planting native plants and trees, mulching, and weeding. Creek to Bay is one of two annual countywide cleanups hosted by I Love A Clean San Diego. In 2017, ILACSD mobilized over 31,000 volunteers who removed nearly 400,000 pounds of debris from San Diego County.

For more information, to volunteer or donate, go to www.cleansd.org or call 619-291-0103.

 

Classic car show in Allied Gardens a success

The Tremble Clefs Fighting Parkinson’s Disease second annual Classic Car Show was held at the Palisades Presbyterian Church in Allied Gardens on Saturday, April 14, and attracted 115 vehicles along with auto enthusiasts from 20 different San Diego car clubs.

The hundreds of onlookers enjoyed music by the Tremble Clefs, the Caprice Strings, a classical quartet, and The Ideas, a classic-rock trio. Two restaurants, the La Mesa Barbeque Pit and the Mexican food caterer Paradise Creations, served food at the event. All proceeds benefited the Tremble Clefs of San Diego.

The Tremble Clefs program helps people living with Parkinson’s fight some of the effects of the neurodegenerative disorder. The goal is to engage the Parkinson’s community in voice therapy and mutual social support through singing, performing and the power of making music together. Thus, participating in Tremble Clefs helps alleviate certain symptoms including poor voice volume and swallowing issues, as well as isolation and depression.

The San Diego Tremble Clefs meet every Thursday 1–3 p.m. at the Palisades Presbyterian Church in Allied Gardens. More information is available at trembleclefs.com/san-diego.htm.

 

EEOC sues San Carlos Albertsons

On May 3, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit alleging that Albertsons, Inc., a national retail grocery chain, violated federal law when a class of Hispanic employees in its San Carlos store were subjected to harassment and a hostile work environment through the implementation of a no-Spanish policy.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, beginning in late 2012, the grocery retailer prohibited Hispanic employees from speaking Spanish around non-Spanish speakers or Spanish-speaking customers and during breaks. The EEOC argues that the managers publicly reprimanded Hispanic employees caught speaking Spanish and that no corrective action was taken, despite numerous employee complaints, forcing employees to transfer.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC’s lawsuit seeks monetary damages for the class of affected employees, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent and correct discrimination in the future.

“Employers have to be aware of the consequences of certain language policies,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office in a press release. “Targeting a particular language for censorship is often synonymous with targeting a particular national origin, which is both illegal and highly destructive to workplace morale and productivity.”

Christopher Green, director of the EEOC’s San Diego Local Office, added, “It is extremely important for workers to feel safe in coming forward to report harassment. It is equally important for employers to make certain that harassment is investigated and addressed appropriately.”

Preventing workplace harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at eeoc.gov.

 

Amazon expands grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market to San Diego

On April 24, Amazon and Whole Foods Market launched free two-hour delivery of natural and organic products through Prime Now in San Diego. Prime members can shop through Prime Now for bestselling items including fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, everyday staples, a selection of alcohol and other locally sourced items from Whole Foods Market. Prime members receive two-hour delivery for free and ultra-fast delivery within one hour for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more. The service launched earlier this year with plans for continued expansion across the U.S. throughout 2018. Customers can start shopping from Whole Foods Market selection at primenow.com or by using the Prime Now app available on Android and iOS devices.

“We’ve been delighted with the customer response to free two-hour delivery through Prime Now, and we’re excited to bring the service to our customers in Denver, Sacramento and San Diego,” said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market executive vice president of operations in a press release. “Today’s announcement is another way that we are continuing to expand access to our high-quality products and locally sourced favorites.”

Delivery from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Customers can visit primenow.com or download the Prime Now app and enter their zip code to see if they are in the service’s delivery area.

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