The Inland Empire Community Foundation announced on Thursday, July 22, 2021, the launch of its new Office of Policy & Engagement at its virtual event entitled Policy & Engagement Launch: Leading Together in the IE. With over 300 attendees, this unique gathering brought together elected officials, community partners, and philanthropic leaders on the opportunities to build policy capacity to ensure policymakers hear the needs of the IE at the local, state, and federal levels.
“IECF is incredibly thankful to our elected leaders for sharing this platform with us to advocate for a better IE,” said IECF President & CEO Michelle Decker. “This is a time of celebration, yet an important moment for action. Of particular importance is making sure this work is done in partnership with our communities and with a lens of equity.”
Leading with remarks were Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino), State Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), and Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) who presented IECF with an Assembly Resolution.
“One of the critical areas for impact is directly felt through public policy. Policy that incorporates our shared experiences, our hopes for the future, and solutions to problems that are unique to the Inland Empire,” said Majority Leader Reyes.
Participants also heard from a panel of nonprofit leaders on how tables and coalitions are growing to help different sectors work together on policy issues.
Shared Karen Suarez, Executive Director of Uplift San Bernardino, “We’ve known for a long time that collaboration, coalition-building, and sharing resources are effective and powerful. What I see different and exciting is the energy and passion for this region and the desire to work together.”
The second panel, moderated by IECF Board Member Dr. Dora Barilla, included State Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, and Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez in discussing the challenges and opportunities with the Inland Empire, and meeting the region’s growing needs for better jobs, housing and educational opportunities for all.
Moving this work also requires investing in regional partnerships and IECF is grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As a result, grants will go to the first cohort of organizations that were announced during the program. They are: Alianza, Autism Society of Inland Empire, BLU Educational Foundation, Inland Empire Community Collaborative, TODEC, TruEvolution, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE), Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) and Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective.
Said Julian Cuevas, IECF’s Director of Policy & Governmental Affairs, “Today’s event is just the formal beginning of this work. There will be workshops and strategy sessions announced soon as we prepare for the 2022 legislative and budget cycle. The goal is to have tangible asks by the fall, and pipelining them to our elected officials.”
Members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum urge support of SB 1338
Bipartisan Group of Riversiders Give CARE Court Stamp of Approval
How much longer can we humanely avert our eyes, ignoring the mentally incapacitated people languishing on our streets? In a recent poll conducted by Suffolk University, 90% of respondents believed that the U.S. is facing a “full-blown mental health crisis”, and in a California Health Policy Survey, Californians’ identified their top priority policy as ‘ensuring people with severe mental health disorders can get treatment” (2020).
Californians have an opportunity to address this seemingly bottomless crisis. The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment Act (CARE), also known as Senate Bill 1338, empowers family members, first responders, and behavioral health providers with an avenue to petition a civil court on behalf of a loved one or community member that is incapable of caring for themselves. This potentially allows families and local communities the ability to initiate a CARE plan to provide behavioral health care, including medication, housing, and other services, to adults with psychotic disorders and people who lack medical decision-making capacity. A critically important part of the plan is the appointment of both a public defender and a personal advocate to help guide participants and ensure individual rights are protected.
Californians across the political spectrum agree that it is time to make a bold commitment to transforming our broken mental health system to help our state’s most vulnerable residents and we have an opportunity to do so now. Arguably, California has not seen meaningful mental health reforms since 1972, partially because we continue to allow a quest for perfection to negate a commitment to incremental progress.
As diverse members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum, we urge you to join us in supporting this legislation. Please contact your state representative this week (https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov) to urge a yes vote on SB 1338.
In October 2021, Riverside’s Mayor, Patricia Lock Dawson, convened a group of 14 community members with differing political ideologies to help drive solutions for the crises amongst those in homeless situations with serious mental health conditions. The group felt passionate that state-level mental health reforms were needed, including tools that would allow families to compel their family members with psychotic and addiction disorders into treatment. The CARE Court legislation (SB 1338) is a step forward in this direction.
Members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum are: Dr. Cheryl-Marie Osborne Hansberger, Chani Beeman, Steve Johnson, Ana Miramontes, Rico Alderette, Tisa Rodriguez, Chuck Avila, Sheila Kay Riley, Ruben Ayala, Janice Rooths, Keith Sklarsky, Ana Lee, Dr. Regina Patton-Stell
Family Fun Month of Rides, Slides & Glides
Alpine Slide Big Bear Observes Family Fun Month with a Variety of Delights
August is Family Fun Month, and Alpine Slide Big Bear (Alpine Slide) is the premier spot in Big Bear that gives families an opportunity to soak up the joys of summertime fun together. Alpine Slide provides guests of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, a variety of family-fun offerings, which includes a double waterslide, a mountain coaster thrill ride, a zipline-style flight, the Alpine Slide bobsled experience, go-karts and miniature golf.
“The great thing about having a variety of attractions is it gives families a chance to pick and choose what best appeals to them,” said Alpine Slide Big Bear General Manager Julie Eubanks.
Family Fun Month occurs every August, and undoubtedly August happens to be one of the hottest months that many Southern California communities have to face each year. However, Big Bear is a great place to escape the daunting heat. Not only is Big Bear 20 to 30 degrees cooler than most of Southern California’s hot zones, but Alpine Slide’s double waterslide gives families who seek refuge from the heat an extra bonus to cool off. Kids can splash all day on two flumes of cascading water, turning and banking on the way to a 3 ½ – ft. deep, heated splash pool. Parents can spread a blanket out on the grass, or relax on the shaded, wrap-around deck at the base of the double waterslide.
“Alpine Slide is also home to three attractions that are the first and only in California, which includes the Mineshaft Coaster, the Soaring Eagle, and the Alpine Slide,” added Eubanks. “Each of these rides offers something unique and suitable for all ages.”
Mineshaft Coaster, which is the first and only mountain coaster in California, is an amusement-style, thrill ride that stretches over one mile long on a stainless-steel-tube track. It has all the bells and whistles of a roller coaster such as steep descents, hairpin turns, tunnels, bridges and 360-degree corkscrews. Here’s the kicker…the rider actually controls the speed of the coaster cart, which can reach max speeds of 30 mph.
The Soaring Eagle is a one-of-a-kind ride not seen anywhere else in California either. The Soaring Eagle has dual seats so a parent and child can ride side-by-side. It starts by lifting riders backwards on a zipline cable to a 70-foot tall launch tower. Once it reaches the top, it then catapults forward at 26 mph, on a 100-foot long vertical drop, that travels 500 feet back to the base. The Soaring Eagle not only offers folks an opportunity to experience the sensation of flying, but they are treated to a bird’s eye view of Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountain vistas, too.
Another distinctive attraction on site is the Alpine Slide, which is the only authentic bobsled /luge experience in California. Riders navigate their own individually controlled sleds down a quarter-mile long concrete track with high-banked turns and long straight-aways. Each sled is equipped with Teflon runners, ball bearing wheels, control handle and brakes. Youngsters who meet the height requirements can ride with their parents on this fun-filled feature ride.
Rounding off the family-fun activities at Alpine Slide is a go-kart track, putt-putt golf and video arcade. When it’s time for a break, head inside for an ice-cream cone. An ice-cream bar located at the snack bar offers 12 different tasty flavors to choose from, such as Banana Split, Cotton Candy or Birthday Cake!
Alpine Slide, located at 800 Wildrose Lane (just off Big Bear Blvd.), is open daily. The Summer hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For general information, height requirements, pricing and specific hours for each attraction, please visit AlpineSlideBigBear.com or call 909-866-4626.
Founders First CDC introduces its new Job Creators Quest Grant to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire area
Q&A with Shaylon Scott, Executive Director of Founders First CDC
Q: Talk about Founders First CDC non-profit and why it’s so important?
A: Founders First CDC is a non-profit based in the San Diego area, but we’ve been expanding nationwide. We empower diverse founders who want to grow their company through our stellar business growth accelerator programs that combine executive education, coaching, access to partner resources, pitch events and potential funding. By building recurring revenues, tech-enablement, and essential solution focus, Founders First serves as a catalyst for positive change to entrepreneurs of color, female and veteran founders to become leading employers in their communities.
Q: Who does your nonprofit serve?
A: We’re a platform that focuses on working with diverse founders of small businesses that are looking to grow. So we’re not focusing on people starting new businesses, but we want to see established businesses grow and expand to where they can provide premium wage jobs to employees. We focus on the critical growth stages after a company has launched, helping founders scale and build sustainable companies that can reach $1M, $5M or $10M+ in revenue.
Q: You are giving away 10 grants. Tell us more about that.
A: A total of $30,000 will be awarded across ten local businesses in Southern California. The companies must have revenues between $100,000 and $3 Million, between 2 and 20 employees and the founder must be Black, Indigenous, a Person of Color, LGBTQIA+, Military Veteran, Woman or located in a low to moderate income area. We want those businesses to have sustained their operations despite the pandemic and have the ability to create 1 to 2 net new employees and premium wage jobs within the next 12 months. They also should be willing to learn because we’re pairing this with our accelerator program. So education and funds. You can’t beat that.
Q: Why is this so important?
A: Many founders end up working more in their business than on their business. We want to help give them resources to grow, becoming premium wage job creators within their community. Investing in diverse founders is an impactful way to drive job and wealth creation in underserved communities. The Job Creators Quest Grant is more than a dollar amount, it’s a celebration of their success.
Q: Have any community partners helped make this happen?
A: Funding for this program was facilitated by a $1 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, in conjunction with Founders First Capital Partners’ recent $9 million Series A financing. Additional support is being provided by Union Bank, Pacific Western Bank, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Majority and Inland Empire Black Chamber of Commerce.
Q: How can they apply?
A: Go to foundersfirstcdc.org and you’ll be able to find out everything about the grants and our accelerator programs.
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