California Extremism Report | Ongoing EDD Unemployment Challenges | Best of Insight “Aloha Vietnam”
To play audio, update browser or Flash plugin
People gathering on a street corner hold signs in support of the victims of Saturday's shooting at Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif.
AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File
The Anti-defamation League’s latest report is revealing the alarming rate of hate crimes and anti-semitism in California. The ongoing challenges facing the Employment Development Department. Revisiting one of our best conversations 2023 with Dr. Elizabeth Nguyen, author of “Aloha Vietnam.”
California extremism report
The Anti-Defamation League is known as the leading anti-hate organization in the world, formed more than a century ago. Part of the ADL’s work is tracking extremist activity and hate crimes. This year, the non-profit is reporting California has dealt with a significant increase in anti-semitic and extremist activity with incidents at campuses, bars, and school board meetings. At a time when ADL tracked the highest-ever number of antisemitic incidents nationwide. Teresa Drenick with the Anti-Defamation League’s Central Pacific Region joined Insight to help provide a better understanding of the report and root causes.
EDD unemployment challenges
During the pandemic, millions of Californians became well aware of the struggles of the Employment Development Department (EDD). Many did not receive benefits in a timely manner, and for many of them, that's an understatement. Backlogs and overwhelmed call centers led to delayed payments for an estimated five million people. From weeks, to months, and in extreme cases, years continuing to today. But fraud also was rampant during this time, most notably organized identity theft involving prisons across the state totaling tens of billions of dollars. This deservedly received widespread attention and coverage in 2020, but as time went on, easily accessible updates began to dwindle. Lauren Hepler, an investigative reporter for CalMatters has been reporting on EDD’s painful issues since the start of the pandemic and joined Insight to share new reporting that found that problems still exist for the state’s employment department. Lauren is also joined by Nicolas Allen, who has been fighting for unemployment benefits for 22 months and is still going through an appeals process.
It’s a journey of self-identity spanning the world’s largest ocean. A personal voyage to overcome mental illness, and the grief that comes with the loss of one’s culture. That is the basis of “Aloha Vietnam” a novel about a Vietnamese-American family’s Odyssey through the world of mental health treatment, and navigating life in a new country as they cope with the cultural loss and grief of leaving their homeland. The novel is the first written by Dr. Elizabeth Nguyen, a psychiatrist based in Davis. The book is a love letter of sorts to the land and people of her cross-cultural heritage: Vietnam and Hawaii. She hopes this novel can help heal the wounds of generational trauma and be a beacon of hope to those suffering from mental illness. Dr. Nguyen joined Insight to tell us more about her novel and the healing power of art and nature.