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Quercki : 2019   13

Op-Ed: California’s wildfires revealed a fix for our housing crisis — if we’re willing to act - Los Angeles Times
City and county officials treated the aftermath of the Tubbs fire as the crisis it was. In the months after the blaze, they implemented programs to expedite the rebuilding of thousands of homes. Santa Rosa reduced the fees the city levies on high-density, multifamily housing and on accessory dwelling units often called granny cottages. And instead of taking years to issue rebuilding permits, the city processed thousands each month. Sonoma County also waived some housing fees and opened a Resiliency Permit Center to speed up permitting for those dealing with fire damage.

Their approach inspired me to introduce Senate Bill 330, which I call the Housing Crisis Act of 2019. The bill would accelerate housing construction in the state during the next half-decade by slashing the time it takes for developers to get building permits, limiting fees on housing and barring local governments from reducing the number of homes that can be built.
housing  Nancy_Skinner  CA  legislation  2019 
5 weeks ago by Quercki
Judge: Oakland police still far from meeting civil rights reforms, 16 years later - Story | KTVU
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - When 119 Oakland residents sued the city because of a band of rogue officers who planted drugs and beat up citizens, the deal made at the time (2003) was this: The police department would pay the plaintiffs $11 million and agree to be placed under federal watch for five years. Orrick didn't go so far as to say that the department is backsliding. But he tempered OPD's successes, telling Chief Anne Kirkpatrick that he does not believe the department's problems have been solved, especially in terms of racial profiling. He also said he believes the end of the oversight, technically called the Negotiated Settlement Agreement, is a long ways off.

"I want to see actual progress and achieve constitutional policing," Orrick said. "I have not seen significant progress in critical areas of the NSA."

Kirkpatrick told the judge that she disagrees with this view, insisting "there has been progression, not regression… The message at OPD is clear. Enough is enough."

She added that in her opinion, her biggest challenge is not unconstitutional policing, but rather "the narrative that we are not moving forward." She then added: "We have failed in explaining our progress.

Orrick didn't appear satisfied with Kirkpatrick's answer. "I'm not interested in PR releases or status reports," he said.
Oakland  police  oversight  2019 
8 weeks ago by Quercki
Sausalito agrees to desegregate schools after state attorney general's findings - SFGate
Just two taxpayer-funded schools serve the quaint town of Sausalito, California. There's a charter school where a plurality of the students are white, and a traditional district school where almost no one is.

That's no accident, according to California's attorney general, who alleges the school district knowingly created and maintained a segregated school, and starved it of funding needed for basic necessities while funneling extra money to the charter school.

On Friday, the Sausalito Marin City School District agreed to a settlement that orders officials to unravel the segregation, compensate graduates who were harmed by it and build a more equitable system. If the district fails, the charter school might lose its Sausalito campus.

"Every child - no matter their stripe or stature - deserves equal access to a quality education," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "That's what we say, what we believe, and what's required under the law. But what we say isn't always what we do. Certainly, it's not what the Sausalito Marin City School District did when it chose to segregate its students."
race  segregation  Sausalito  Marin  schools  charter  CA  Attorney_General  Xavier_Becerra  2019 
8 weeks ago by Quercki
Four Mass Shootings Have Been Thwarted Since the El Paso Massacre, Authorities Say – Mother Jones
All four individuals arrested since El Paso for allegedly plotting mass shootings were heavily armed young white men. At least three of the four appeared to harbor hateful far-right views, especially toward Jewish, African American, and LGBTQ people.
massacre  White  supremacy  solution  2019 
8 weeks ago by Quercki
(10) Angie Buchanan - Wow. Here’s your back up for the arguments about...
Michelle Martin, PhD Cal State Fullerton summed up the most important FACTS:

There is so much misinformation out there about the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" policy that requires criminal prosecution, which then warrants the separating of parents and children at the border. Before responding to a post defending this policy, please do your research...As a professor at a local Cal State, I research and write about these issues, so here, I'll make it easier for you:

Myth: This is not a new policy and was practiced under Obama and Clinton - FALSE. The policy to separate parents and children is new and was instituted on 4/6/2018. It was the brainchild of John Kelly and Stephen Miller to serve as a deterrent for undocumented immigration, approved by Trump, and adopted by Sessions. Prior administrations detained migrant families, but didn’t have a practice of forcibly separating parents from their children unless the adults were deemed unfit. https://www.justice.gov/…/press-rele…/file/1049751/download…
children  refugees  separate  ICE  Trump  2019  facts 
july 2019 by Quercki
A Good News Budget
To help communities respond to our homeless and housing crisis, the budget includes $2.4 billion in funds that will go to cities, counties, and community-based organizations to build new affordable housing, expand homeless services, and provide rental and legal assistance to people struggling to stay in their homes.

For schools, the 2019-20 budget contains much higher per pupil funding to put more money into our classrooms, pays down school pension debt, and reduces the pension contribution individual school districts have to make.

Funding in the budget will also help middle-class Californians cover their health care costs. And California families additionally benefit with two more weeks of paid family leave time, more funding for childcare and preschool, and no more sales tax on diapers and tampons.

Here are some additional highlights:

Boosts funding for higher education so that 15,000 more CA students can attend UC and CSU.
Increases per pupil funding for our K-12 schools to highest levels in state history.
Provides more school districts with funds for full-day kindergarten.
Supports 0-4 early care and education with funding to expand childcare facilities, improve affordability, and support workforce development for childcare providers.
2019  CA  budget  Nancy_Skinner  California 
july 2019 by Quercki
Michigan authorities drop all criminal charges relating to Flint water crisis
The office of Michigan’s attorney general dismissed every pending criminal case related to the water crisis in Flint on Thursday, effectively restarting an investigation that began three years earlier and grew to encompass charges against multiple state and local officials.

Authorities described the decision to dismiss without prejudice charges against eight people as a necessary corrective to an inquiry they said had been flawed until now. They also pledged a “vigorous pursuit of justice” and said their ongoing investigation had uncovered more information and evidence related to the crisis.

“We are now in the best possible position to find the answers the citizens of Flint deserve and hold all responsible parties accountable,” Fadwa A. Hammoud, who was named Michigan’s solicitor general this year and tapped to lead the Flint criminal cases, said in a statement issued with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy.

“Our team has already identified additional individuals of interest and new information relevant to the Flint Water Crisis,” they added. “These investigative leads will be aggressively pursued.”
2019  Flint  water  lead  criminal  investigation  restart 
june 2019 by Quercki
Homeless population jumps by thousands across the San Francisco Bay Area - Los Angeles Times
Farther south in the Bay Area, the number of homeless people living in Santa Clara County increased 31% over the last two years, from 7,394 to 9,706, according to preliminary results released by the county. San Jose saw a surge of 1,822 people, for a total of 6,172 homeless residents living in the county’s largest city.

“We all have a shared responsibility to address this crisis — every city and every neighborhood,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. “That means we must house homeless neighbors here, not the proverbial ‘somewhere else.’”

In the East Bay’s Alameda County, the numbers weren’t any better, with a 43% increase since 2017. The homeless population there numbers 8,022, of which 6,312 are unsheltered.

The full reports for both counties will be released in July as well. The organization that conducted Alameda’s count, EveryOne Home, says that about 1,500 people return to permanent housing every year, but that number is offset by the 3,000 people who fall into homelessness for the first time each year.
homelessness  data  2019 
may 2019 by Quercki
Assessing Occupy's legacy / Boing Boing
In 2011, activists began an occupation of Zucotti Park near Wall Street, starting a movement that spread around the world and changed the discourse around wealth, inequality, corruption and justice.

At the time (and ever since), critics have dismissed it as a stunt, a flash in the pan, an anarchist boondoggle whose lack of crisply defined demands doomed it to peter out into irrelevance.

But eight years on, Occupy's legacy is alive and well, with Occupy organizers and veterans playing key roles in the Democratic Socialists of America, Justice Democrats, the anti-student-debt movement, and other radical organizations that have changed what is considered "mainstream politics" in America and around the world.

Vox's Emily Stewart does a deep dive into Occupy's legacy, and shows how the Movement for Black Lives' critique of race and politics has merged with Occupy's more class-oriented critique to produce a more inclusive, radical politics.
Occupy_Wall_Street  history  2019 
may 2019 by Quercki
How Occupy Wall Street animated Bernie Sanders, AOC, and the left - Vox
In a lot of ways, it did turn out to be the beginning of a new era.

Many of those I spoke with connected the Fight for 15, a national movement for a $15 minimum wage and union rights, to Occupy. New York City fast-food workers walked off the job in protest for higher wages a year after the first Occupy protests. It was orchestrated by a number of community and civil rights groups, including New York Communities for Change, a community coalition and an early public backer of Occupy.

Strikes and militancy have deep roots in the labor movement, but as journalist Sarah Jaffe in her book, Necessary Trouble, noted, Occupy had “added vigor” to labor campaigns throughout New York and had galvanized them to make bigger, bolder demands.
Occupy_Wall_Street  2019  history 
may 2019 by Quercki
California pushes talks on 1st-in-US police shooting rules
The police-backed measure would set a national precedent by creating statewide guidelines on when officers can use lethal force and requiring that every officer be trained in ways to avoid opening fire.

As part of the compromise effort, Caballero stripped her proposal of a section to enshrine in law current standards that let officers kill if they reasonably believe they or others are in imminent danger.

Since that standard has been set by the courts, it would remain if no compromise is reached.

“We clearly have ... many, many, many people up and down the state, and experts, who feel that California’s use-of-force standard should be revised,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley who chairs the Senate public safety committee and engineered the surprise development to combine the measures.
police  force  shooting  legislation  AB392  SB230  2019 
april 2019 by Quercki
Flint Receives $77 Million to Fund New Water Projects | Colorlines
On Monday (April 15), the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality provided Flint with the money, which the city’s Department of Public Works Director Rob Bincsik said is not “new funding.” MLive reports that it is actually from “a $120 million federal and state loan granted to Flint in March 2017 by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016.”

Although it is called a loan, the $77 million carries zero interest and was 100 percent forgiven, meaning it does not have to be repaid. Flint intends to use the funding for various projects, including water meter replacements for homes, installation of water quality monitoring panels, construction of a new chemical feed building and completion of a pipeline that will connect to a secondary water source.
Flint  water  lead  2019  repair 
april 2019 by Quercki
Renovated Kaiser Convention Center could open next year
2019 at 11:10 am | UPDATED: February 1, 2019 at 4:10 am

OAKLAND — After lying vacant for more than 13 years, the historic 105-year-old Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center at Lake Merritt could open its doors again next year as a restored theater, office, retail and restaurant space, with a terrace overlooking the lake and a new promenade.

The city-owned convention center — built in 1914 and designated a historic landmark — once hosted Martin Luther King Jr., as well as performances by Elvis Presley, James Brown and the Grateful Dead. It closed in 2005 as concert promoters started booking it less and the city lost money. The building has since fallen into disrepair.

The city in 2015 authorized Orton Development of Emeryville to renovate the building and today — a couple of years after an exclusive negotiating agreement between the two expired — the developer is seeking approval of its proposal and hopes to break ground this summer, with a completion target of late 2020. The proposal was discussed at a Design Review Committee meeting Wednesday and is scheduled to go before the city’s planning commission March 6, then to the City Council.
Oakland  Kaiser  auditorium  renovation  2019 
february 2019 by Quercki

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