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Center Column Archives
On February 13, a protest of more than one hundred people, including dozens of family members of Californians murdered by police, was held outside A.G. Kamala Harris’ office at the State Building in Oakland in order to deliver a letter to Harris. Family members from the following police murder victims were present: Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, Gary King, Jr., James Rivera, Jr., Ernest Duenez, Jr., Kenneth Harding, Kayla Moore, Lamarr Alexander, Andy Lopez, Jessie Hamilton, and Mario Romero. Ten people were arrested for refusing to vacate the building.
Civil rights attorney Dan Siegel announced his candidacy for mayor of Oakland on January 9. Siegel spelled out an ambitious agenda focused on social and economic justice which includes a $15 minimum wage, public schools to develop into community centers, neighborhood gardens to flourish throughout the city, Oakland police to stop abusing citizens, and the Domain Awareness Center to be shut down.
The City of Richmond, California voted to continue its groundbreaking effort to save resident homeowners from foreclosure on December 17, 2013. The City Council voted 4 to 2 in favor of moving forward with its plan to use its right of eminent domain to protect homeowners and to "prioritize those neighborhoods that have been particularly hard hit by the housing crisis." Before the meeting began, approximately seventy-five supporters of Richmond's initiative rallied in front of Richmond City Hall.
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."