Politics Rundown: Ukraine-Russia conflict, issues with California’s Article 34, mask mandates in LA schools lifted

Catch up on local and national news.

Julianne Foster, Staff Writer

U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN UKRAINE-RUSSIA CONFLICT

Even as Russia and Ukraine continue peace talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to bombard Ukrainian cities and its capital, Kyiv. City streets became battlegrounds where volunteers struggle to be drivers, caregivers and caretakers of those fleeing death and destruction. 

In the face of Putin’s determination to upheave border security in Europe and expand Russia’s power, the United States may increase military presence and power in Europe. Recent bombings 10 miles from Poland’s border sparked this increase in need for military presence. These troops would come in support of NATO.

THE STRUGGLE TO REPEAL ARTICLE 34 

Article 34 of California’s Penal Code allegedly stifled affordable housing plans from successfully impacting communities for decades. This state constitutional provision restricts officials from purchasing low income housing without the approval of voters, unlike any other state. 

This article was deemed racist based on its founding campaign in 1950. The campaign mentioned concerns around racially integrated neighborhoods and supporting socialism ideals. The bill was created to ensure voter’s rights in the decision; making process of publicly funded infrastructures.

Due to restructuring funding protocols, Article 34 is less of a blockage, however, state legislators are still attempting to remove it completely. Hesitation comes from lack of funding for the campaign. 

MASK UPDATES IN L.A. COUNTY SCHOOLS

Excluding the Los Angeles Unified School District, students on Friday were able to choose to remove masks in L.A. County schools for the first time since they reopened in Spring 2021. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, data indicates “children are far less susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19 and are frequently asymptomatic, but they can still pass on the infection to others of all ages.”

Although L.A. County is not tracking the amount of schools relaxing mask mandates, many are, even among the most strict. Students are beginning classes mask-free while officials ensure they are pushing to end the mandates for students in LAUSD.

 

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