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Center Column Archives
Over 400 people organized by Californians for a Fair Water Policy, a statewide coalition opposing Gov. Brown’s massive water export tunnels, attended a rally on December 13 at the State Capitol protesting the Bay Delta Conservation Plan as the 120 day comment period for the BDCP and environmental documents began. Tunnel opponents pointed out “fatal flaws” of the tunnels they said would be too costly, create no new water and do nothing to increase regional water self-reliance.
Gentrification is a growing issue in neighborhoods across the Bay Area. Many areas in San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities look completely different now than even ten years ago, and the process appears to be accelerating. The East Bay Solidarity Network has produced a 79-page pamphlet entitled Evict This!
which breaks down the history of displacement in Oakland and the resources available to fight the ongoing gentrification.
Thousands gathered in the pre-dawn hours for the Indigenous Peoples Annual Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz Island sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) on November 28. This was the 44th year that the event was held to commemorate the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz from 1969 to 1971. “As we gather today to celebrate, we do not celebrate the re-write of history that has become Thanksgiving," said Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of the IITC. "We celebrate our survival as indigenous people."
Steve Schnaar writes:
"The Santa Cruz Public Safety Task Force has completed their work and is presenting their recommendations to City Council on Tuesday, December 3rd at 7pm. The recommendations include some positive, proven ideas like funding drug treatment and after-school youth programs. However the report also recommends ideas which are not evidence-based, such as misdemeanor charges for multiple infractions, restricting the needle exchange program, and increasing the size of the police force based on sloppy statistics."
In March of 2013, the city of Oakland signed a contract with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for design and construction of the first of two phases of a city-wide surveillance system called the Domain Awareness Center, or DAC. Recently, however, the Oakland city council learned that its prime contractor for the project is involved in the U.S. nuclear weapons program, a fact that violates Measure T, a city voter proposition that makes Oakland a nuclear free zone.
Despite a second round of public comment against the DAC at the November 19 Oakland City Council meeting, as well as the ongoing controversy with finding non-nuclear contractors, council members voted yet again to continue with the city-wide surveillance project.
After spending $17 million, Santa Cruz City officials now want to re-engage the public by backing off on their promised desal vote in 2014. In response, the Desal Alternatives steering committee has issued a call to all citizen supporters to advocate that the City Council adopt water security measures that can be implemented immediately.
Assembly member Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) and eight other California lawmakers are calling on the Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency to investigate reports of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) beneath the seabed floor off the California Coast. Assembly members Mark Stone, Marc Levine, Richard Bloom, Adrin Nazarian, Bob Wieckowski and Senators Fran Pavley, Noreen Evans and Hannah-Beth Jackson have signed on in support of Williams' letter to federal regulators.