Jackie botts journ

Jackie Botts

Economic Inequality Reporter for CALmatters

Location icon United States

I'm currently a Report for America Corps Member, covering economic inequity and survival in California for CalMatters. Send tips to jackie@calmatters.org.

I've previously written for Reuters News, Pacific Standard, SFGate, Public Radio International, The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com, The Santa Barbara Independent and the Half Moon Bay Review. My multimedia and investigative stories have touched on a wide range of topics, including criminal justice, immigration, wildfires, voting machines, the arts and more.


State Politics and Policy

Orange County Register
New laws could make life a little easier for low-income Californians

Lawmakers have passed a suite of bills that aim to ease financial burdens for Californians living paycheck to paycheck. While several new California laws have sparked national attention - such as the law that will convert gig economy workers into full employees and another to cap large rent increases - state legislators quietly approved dozens of other bills that address challenges faced by California's poor.

Getting food stamps to poor Californians is surprisingly difficult | CalMatters

Pressure is increasing on counties to sign up more people for food stamps since the state's participation rate is one of the lowest in the nation. But greater enrollment may require more money or more state intervention. In May 2017, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors set an ambitious goal: enroll 70,000 new families in food stamps in two years.

California could get $1.8 billion in food stamp funding. It just needs people to sign up

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is a food assistance program that aids millions of low-income families and individuals. California, a state with the nation's highest poverty rate, consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to enrolling low-income people in CalFresh, the state's name for the federal food stamp program.

US News & World Report
ABCs of LGBTQ History Mandated for More U.S. Public Schools

Charley Parkhurst, a legendary stagecoach driver during California's Gold Rush, also known as "One-Eyed Charley" is seen in this illustration image, released by Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, California, U.S., on May 2, 2019.

Public Radio International
After the California wildfires, community leaders are trying to rebuild homes - and trust in...

On Oct. 21, when wildfires in Northern California were still smoldering, about 150 people gathered at a middle school gymnasium. Thousands more watched the livestream on Facebook. Officials in Sonoma County, the region most devastated by the fires, had put together a Spanish-language community forum to address the concerns of the Latino community - the first of its kind in the county.


Peninsula Press
Plastics are forever: Pacifica beachcombers still finding landfill fallout - Peninsula Press

Jeff Christner spots the folded credit card from several feet away. The white plastic pokes out from layers of crumbling sandstone, disintegrating cloth and glass. Christner brushes off decades of dust to reveal the card holder's name: HARRY HOFFMAN. The card expired in December 1959. Hoffman probably threw out the card with little thought.

Local: In The Peninsula
Experience Bay Area capoeira in 360 degrees

The fighters circle around each other, eyes locked. One throws a swift kick at her opponent, who spins and ducks away. The pattern continues: spin, kick, escape. They're ringed by onlookers who clap and sing to the rhythm of tall drums and the , a musical bow with one string that produces a thick twang.

Local News

Local: In The Peninsula
Speier dismisses Trump's response to Manafort indictment as 'spin'

U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-14th) said any attempt by Pres. Donald Trump to distance himself from his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who was indicted on Oct. 30 on money laundering charges, would be just "spin," since Manafort was in charge when there were reported contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Santa Barbara Humane Society Executive Director Fired

Jackie Botts Critics ask why there were only three cats sheltered at the Santa Barbara Humane Society's Patterson facility, which has the capacity to house 70 felines. It can't be money woes, they say, since the society has a $30 million endowment, making it among the top-10 richest local animal welfare organizations in California.

Santa Barbara Denounces White Supremacy

Over 300 Santa Barbarans denounced white supremacy at a Sunday evening Solidarity Rally held at De la Guerra Plaza, in response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that escalated into violence the day before. Heather Heyer was killed when James Alex Field, 20, allegedly rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters, striking Heyer and leaving 19 others seriously injured.

Across Town from Fiesta, El Centro Celebrates Community

This past Friday night, as thousands milled around downtown in their Old Spanish Days getups, smashing cascarones on each other's heads and getting smashed on margaritas, a very different scene took place at El Centro, a volunteer-run community center nestled within the lower Westside, which describes itself as a radically inclusive space "for the community, by the community."

Health-Care and Abortion Forces Meet on Garden Street

A crowd of about 65 pink-clad men and women gathered outside the Planned Parenthood health clinic in Santa Barbara yesterday evening, toting signs and T-shirts with the message "I Stand with Planned Parenthood," as funding for the national nonprofit women's health-care provider continues to be threatened by the Republican promise to repeal Obamacare.

California Hate Crimes Increase by 11 Percent

A report released by the California Department of Justice found that hate crimes increased by 11.2 percent between 2015 and 2016, from 837 to 931. Perhaps this report should come as no surprise, given it spanned a year with one of the highest levels of racial discontent since the 1992 Rodney King riots and a presidential candidate who routinely excoriated Mexican immigrants.

District Attorney's Office Receives a Loving Makeover

Paul Wellman From left: Girl Scouts Lorraina Uyeno, Emma Gorman, Hannah Henderson, and Reagan Rauchhaus Monday, July 31, 2017 Above a cozy blue couch overflowing with stuffed animals and pillows, an enormous heart constructed from brightly colored hand-folded origami hearts hangs on the wall.

Inside Fire City, Population: 1,612

Jackie Botts Tents dot the campus at unified command headquarters as firefighters try to get some rest between bouts with the Whittier Fire. Dos Pueblos High Transforms into Whittier Fire Base Camp Saturday, July 15, 2017 Usually a ghost town during the sleepy summer vacation, Dos Pueblos High School is now a bustling city, a temporary home to the 1,612 firefighters, U.S.

Whittier Fire Threatens Pets and Cattle

Two snakes and one iguana died when the Whittier Fire raged through the grounds of Rancho Alegre Saturday afternoon, July 8. Ten staff members were able to escape with four cats by literally stepping through flames of the encroaching fire, said Scout Executive Carlos Cortez for the Los Padres Boy Scouts Council.

Arts & Magazine

'What Are We Going to Build?' - Stanford Magazine - Medium

Who We Are By Jackie BottsPhotography by Toni Bird Y eji Jung, '18, who grew up outside of Dallas, entered Stanford feeling activated. Protests against police killings of unarmed black Americans were sweeping the country, pushing Jung to question the more idyllic view of modern race relations she'd learned in high school.

The Allure of the Roaming Party - Stanford Magazine - Medium

On the night before the end of finals, you hear the rumble of a boombox and the shrieks of students outside your dorm. You run outside to join the parade. The crowd grows as you all meander through the Row, the dorms, Green Library and the Quad, and end up at Terman Fountain, where people splash each other in the calf-deep water.

A Trip to Totality Town, North Carolina

Jackie Botts As the moon moved past the sun on its way out of totality, the moon's rugged topography allowed beads of sunlight to shine bright, an effect known as Baily's beads.

Mariel Bildsten and Phillip Menchaca Share SOhO stage

Santa Barbaran Trombonists Channeled J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding Wednesday, September 6, 2017 On Monday, August 28, two Santa Barbara-born musicians, Mariel Bildsten and Phillip Menchaca, reunited in front of a packed crowd at SOhO Restaurant. Between two sets of bebop classics and American songbook standards, the pair showcased big chops, impressive technical solos, and melodic harmonies.

Fleet Foxes Return to Santa Barbara

As soon as Fleet Foxes reunited after a six-year hiatus, the woodsy indie-folk band got busy. In June, the band released a sonically expansive new album, Crack-Up, and embarked on a six-month world tour, which includes a stop at the Arlington Theatre on September 20.

James Vincent McMorrow Plays the Lobero

"I'll be your opening act," said James Vincent McMorrow by way of introduction, before playing his new, brooding, experimental album True Care from start to finish. Looking eerily like a Van Gogh self-portrait, with his ginger facial hair and broad-brimmed straw hat, the Irish singer/songwriter received a boisterous reception from the audience.

'Stepping into the Unknown' Explores Political Anxiety

Max Gleason, "Wish You Were Here" Silo118 Gallery Features Nine S.B. and D.C. Artists Wednesday, August 9, 2017 An information onslaught awaits whenever I tune back in: breaking-news tweets, distressing headlines, discourses on our country's deepening divides.

Flamenco's Daniela Zermeño-Sanchez

In the moments before she begins to dance, performer and instructor Daniela Zermeño-Sanchez always closes her eyes. "I let go of the audience, and the kids, what I'm wearing, how much I'm sweating, and how tired I am," said the 28-year-old of her process.

Linda Vega and Rose Marie Cruz on Fiesta

Jackie Botts from left: Rose Marie Cruz and Linda Vega Santa Barbara's Grand Dames of Flamenco Talk About Their Art Wednesday, August 2, 2017 Between trips down the coast to buy fabric, hectic phone calls with dressmakers ("You don't argue with the seamstress!"), and countless hours of rehearsals, dance studio directors Rose Marie Cruz and Linda Vega took an hour last week to catch their breath and catch up with the Santa Barbara Independent regarding their Fiesta preparations.

Sara Serena: Spain's Rising Pop Star Stops in Santa Barbara

In the midst of a dizzying promotional tour, rising pop star Sara Serena from Zaragoza, Spain, met up with Indy staff on the Santa Barbara wharf to talk about her whirlwind career. The next day she would drive to San Francisco, and the following week she jetted to Mexico City and then Bogotá, Colombia, for the Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards.

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