- Newsmaker: Tobacco Tax Will Fund Preschools in LA
In 1998, Proposition 10 established county commissions around the state to distribute tobacco tax money for early childhood education. Today, the Children and Families First Commission voted for free all-day preschool for every toddler in LA County, a program with an annual cost of $ 100 million. Actor-director Rob Reiner, the force behind Prop 10, will head its implementation. He calls it a great investment with a myriad of benefits.
- Reporter-s Notebook: Fox Closes, Opens Agencies for Mexicans Abroad
Although September 11 ended Vicente Fox-s hopes for open borders with the US, northward migration continues to be a hot issue. Yesterday, the President closed one migration agency, and opened another, the National Council for Mexican Communities Abroad, which Fox will head himself. Ana Mar-a Salazar, a professor at Mexico-s Autonomous Institute of Technology, has more on the President-s project and promises.
Southland Gang Crimes on the Rise
Homicides in Los Angeles have increased by some 25 percent over what they were at this time last year. Fifty percent or more are said to be gang related. Yesterday-s shooting at a San Pedro Post Office left a 23 year-old man in critical condition. Both he and the shooter are suspected gang members. After losing two children, neither of whom belonged to a gang, to gang violence, Charlotte Austin-Jordan established Save Our Future in Los Angeles. The gang-intervention program now has a budget of $ 400,000, with support from Bill Cosby, the First AME Church, Toyota Foundation and others. Ms. Austin-Jordan talks about the recent increase in gang homicides, dissolving gang truces, and the ongoing need for community involvement.