California’s severe racial inequities: What can the state do with a $31 billion surplus? – The Mercury News – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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California is a state of contrasts. On the one hand, it is flush with a $31 billion budget surplus from the gains of the rich, enabling it to spend record amounts on schools and health care. On the other hand, a new study reveals that despite a progressive tax system, severe racial inequalities remain.

The study, Portrait of California by Measure of America, found that Native Americans’ average lifespan is 67 years, a decrease of over seven years since 2012. Black youth are more than twice as likely as White youth to be out of school and work in the years following high school. And, in the city of San Jose, Latinos earn $0.46 on every dollar White workers earn.

“These inequities didn’t come out of nowhere, they are the result of policy choices,” said Laura Laderman, chief statistician at Measure of America, referring, in part, to segregation and redlining that kept minority communities from taking out bank loans and accessing quality education. “That means that we can make different policy choices that lead to different outcomes

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