Independent ProducerCaitlin Esch is an independent radio journalist in Los Angeles, Calif. Her work has aired on APM’s Marketplace, NPR News, NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered, KQED News, The California Report, KCRW, KPCC’s Take Two and Philosophy Talk. Caitlin has a Master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in English literature from George Washington University.
FROM Caitlin Esch
20 years since welfare reform, are the poor better off? When President Bill Clinton spoke in the White House Rose Garden on August 22, 1996, he claimed, “today we are taking an historic chance to make welfare what it was meant to be. A second chance. Not a way of life.” Then he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a radical overhaul of the nation’s welfare law. Instead of giving poor people cash assistance for however long they needed it, the new law implemented strict requirements. People had to work or be in some kind of training program in order to receive their benefits, and a five year lifetime limit on benefits was instituted. The result: the number of people receiving cash assistance was slashed from more than 12 million in 1996 to around 4 million today. Is that a good thing? Did the law spur people to get jobs or are poor people in worse shape now, a generation later?
How California gave birth to Trumpism California served as an incubator for the hard-line conservative thinking that helped propel Donald Trump to the White House. It’s an ideology birthed out of opposition to the liberal politics and multiculturalism that now dominate the state.
What's at stake if Hollywood writers strike? Writers in Hollywood just finished voting yay or nay to go on strike. The vote is expected to be in favor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll walk off the job. We get the details and look at the effects of the last strike.
Lead poisoning hits LA County It’s been three years since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan began. Flint residents are still drinking bottled water. In LA County, there are areas with even higher rates of lead contamination, and in places you wouldn’t expect, like wealthy San Marino.
With first DREAMer deported, what's the future of DACA? The first DREAMer has been deported since Donald Trump took office. That’s according to a lawsuit filed in San Diego on behalf of Juan Manuel Montes, who has DACA status. Border agents picked him up in Calexico in February. He was deported after he wasn’t able to produce an I.D.