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Saturday Jan 10
3:30PM Central Valley Progressive PAC meeting
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On December 9, the Santa Cruz City Council voted 6-1 to approve the purchase of a $250,000 armored emergency response and "rescue" vehicle. The proposed purchase was placed on the council's consent agenda and was announced with very little notice, but the public quickly mobilized to protest. In response to the city council’s vote, members of the public broke out into chants of, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" and Mayor Lynn Robinson then had the chambers cleared by the police.
Nov Election: Why You Should Boycott the Statewide Partisan Races Proposition 14, passed by 54 percent of California voters in 2010, amended the State Constitution in a way that effectively excluded third parties from statewide general elections. Only the top two vote getters in statewide primaries now advance to the general election. Prop. 14 also removed the possibility of the write-in option. The Green Party of Alameda County recommends that voters boycott the statewide partisan contests in the November election, while still voting locally and for statewide propositions.

The Green Party of Alameda County writes: "We recommend that people BOYCOTT the statewide partisan contests in the November election. (Specifically, the following 7 statewide offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Insurance Commissioner.) And also most of the other partisan offices: U.S. Congress, State Senate, State Assembly (unless you decide to vote in the District 15 contest), and State Board of Equalization."

Likewise, the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Peace & Freedom Party of California refuses to endorse partisan candidates of the Republican and Democratic Parties in the California General Election.

Alameda Greens County Councilor Greg Jan told KPFA that proportional representation, in which any party that wins, for example, 10 percent of the vote, elects 10 percent of state legislators would be a more democratic and dynamic system.

photoRead More | audioAlameda Greens call for boycott of statewide elections excluding third parties
Chevron-funded Political Billboards "Corrected" in Richmond The Committee for Responsible and Accurate Posters (CRAP) writes: Chevron, in exercising their completely hard-fought right to defecate unlimited cash into a small-town election (thanks, Citizens United), has flooded Richmond with $3 million in propaganda both to support their own prop candidates and to shamelessly attack Team Richmond, a courageous slate of candidates from the Richmond Progressive Alliance. Why? Because progressive city council candidates Eduardo Martinez, Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles, and Mayor Gayle McLaughlin have a proven track record of holding Chevron accountable for polluting Richmond’s air, land, water, and democracy. Should Chevron elect its own candidates, perhaps the oil barons could avoid paying out hundreds of millions of dollars to settle this lawsuit filed by Richmond under those pesky progressives. From Chevron’s perspective, spending $3 million in a local election - amounting to a whopping ~$120 per voter, outspending their progressive opponents at least 25 to 1 - is chump change compared to what they’ll save by owning their very own city council.

Here at CRAP we call out bullshit when we see it. Richmond residents should know that Nat Bates isn’t running for Richmond’s mayor, he’s running to be Chevron’s puppet. And so are city council candidates Donna Powers, Charles Ramsey, and Al Martinez. Sorry Chevron, but Richmond’s election is not for sale.

photoRead More
"Sucked Dry: Drought and Privatization" Tour Shut Down by GMO Dean at UC Berkeley A Beehive Collective presentation originally scheduled as an event at the Gill Tract Community Farm was shut down with a week’s notice by Steve Lindow, the first researcher to do field trials of a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), who is now the Executive Associate Dean in the College of Natural Resources. Lindow claimed that the art show was “not relevant to the research at the community farm." According to a news release from Students for Engaged and Active Learning (SEAL), "The event highlights the privatization of water across Mesoamerica and the potential for water privatization in CA under Prop 1." Water bond opponents have criticized California's Proposition 1 as a sweetheart bill for water-intensive industrial agriculture.

The students said the event had been approved with strong support from community members, students, and the farm’s events working group. This was the first interference in farm events from the administration — and students feel that it is a clear example of repression against free speech on campus, with political motivation. Determined not to be silenced, students at the University of California, Berkeley brought the Beehive Collective’s art project on drought and Prop. 1 to the steps of Sproul Plaza, where 50 years ago students demonstrated for their right to disseminate political materials, kicking off what is known as the Free Speech Movement.

photoRead More | calendarEvent Announcement | BeehiveCollective.org
Santa Cruz Police Attempt to Discredit Leonie Sherman by Labeling Her an Anarchist Santa Cruz City Council Member Micah Posner writes: "In a shocking campaign development, Deputy Chief Steve Clark labeled Santa Cruz City Council candidate Leonie Sherman an "anarchist" on the evening news due to the fact that she hung a banner at the WTO protest 15 years ago. The courage and conviction that she displayed as part of this non-violent protest are just some of the reasons why Sherman will be an excellent City Councilmember. For those of you that don't remember the WTO protest, Sherman's action was part of a successful movement on the part of tens of thousands of activists in the US and abroad to end back room deals that encouraged the abuse of workers in the 3rd world."

Sherman has received endorsements from organizations including the Santa Cruz Sierra Club, Santa Cruz Desal Alternatives, and the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council.

Read More | Leonie Sherman's Statement on the Negative Campaigning Aimed at Her | Leonie Sherman for City Council | See Also: Santa Cruz Sierra Club Group Endorses Leonie Sherman and Bruce Van Allen for City Council
EastWest writes: Just so you don’t get it twisted, we want to let you know the facts about the new Colosseum Area Specific Plan. It is being financed with money from HayaH Holdings in Dubai and Colony Capital LLC in Los Angeles.... With help from Mayor Quan and the other good old boys, this development promises to completely transform East Oakland and start a process of gentrification worse than anything seen in West Oakland. They wish to call their new development Colosseum City.
Real Election Reform in Santa Cruz On Tuesday, June 10, council members Lane and Posner will introduce an ordinance that amends campaign finance rules in the City of Santa Cruz. They are proposing that donation limits for city council candidates be changed from voluntary to mandatory, and that the city implement a 1-to-1 match to campaign contributions if candidates agree to a $26,641 over-all expenditure limit. Former city council candidate Simba Kenyatta believes the ordinance does not go far enough and he is calling for real election reform in Santa Cruz.

Simba Kenyatta writes: "As a former city council candidate and as a poor, African American, my view of campaign finance reform is markedly different than what I hear is going to be proposed. I think that there should be no private money in public elections, at all. The city needs to come up with a way to finance our elections so that every candidate starts out with the same amount of money, and no more. Of course, the first reaction will be, we can't afford that, and our budget won't allow it. Well, I think we can't afford not to. Middle class people tend to have middle class friends, poor people tend to have poor friends, and there, is where the problem lies. Just because you put a ceiling on the amount of money doesn't do anything for people having a hard time raising any money because their friends and neighbors are as poor as the candidate, and raising money is much harder no matter how viable you might be as a candidate."

"We will have to be creative in financing the elections. I've often thought a quarter of a cent city tax on businesses would bring in enough money to finance it. I'm sure businesses will object but it would be a minor inconvenience, to support an actual democracy. They can pass that tax on to us because as a concerned citizenry we want to see the best candidates available, even if they are horrible at raising money. Sometimes as a candidate it felt way too close to begging. It would be nice to see businesses/corporations contribute toward a democracy instead of destroying it, as recent court rulings will allow them to do. I'm sure we have enough intelligent, forward thinking people to come up with a way to ensure equality in our electoral processes. Where there's a will, there is a way."

Read More: Real Election Reform | See Also: imc_video.gifVideo: Simba Kenyatta on Election Reform | Santa Cruz City Council to Consider Campaign Finance Reform Initiative

Tuesday, June 10: imc_calendar.gifBring Campaign Finance Reform to Santa Cruz
Residents and representatives of community organizations in Santa Cruz rallied outside of the court house on May 14 to voice their strong opposition to the Governor's May revise budget, which calls for an increase in spending for jail and prison expansion. According to Californians United for A Responsible Budget (CURB), spending on corrections in the state will rise 2.9%, and total spending on prisons will top $12 billion if the budget revision is adopted. Similar rallies were also held in San Francisco, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
California is a state where many powerful corporate interests are based, ranging from corporate agribusiness in the San Joaquin Valley to the computer and technology industry in the Silicon Valley, but none are more influential in state politics than the oil industry. Stop Fooling California recently released a chart revealing that the oil industry, including the Western States Petroleum Association, Chevron, BP and other oil companies, spent over $56.63 million on lobbying at the State Capitol in the five years from 2009 through 2013.
Historic Post Offices Should Not Be For Sale JP Massar writes: On April 17th, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation issued its Preserving Historic Post Offices report to Congress "on compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for the closure and disposal of its historic postal facilities." This report was requested by legislation initiated by Berkeley's United States Representative in Congress, Barbara Lee.

Massar says that Berkeley residents' experience attempting to interact with postal service management demonstrates a total lack of consideration for the community's concerns. He writes that USPS management, "ignores the law when it is inconvenient to their purposes; and we know that they are hell-bent on selling Post Office assets in pursuit of immediate revenue..."

On April 24, postal workers protested USPS privatization at a Staples store in San Francisco.

photoRead More | See Also: Workers Protest Postal Privatization At Staples In San Francisco (4/24/14)

Previous Related Indybay Feature: Community Groups Push to Save Berkley Post Office from Being Sold to a Commercial Business
Advance the Struggle writes: What follows is a critique of the West Oakland Specific Plan – WOSP – which the city of Oakland hopes will help in “developing” West Oakland and is attempting to pass in the coming weeks. The development that’s presented is about attracting an influx of capital investment – retail, industrial, and high wage residents – and transforming West Oakland into a center of commerce for a new set of residents. New growth is about raising property values and attracting new residents and businesses, not improving the situations of those who already live there.
One-Fifth of U.S. Foreign Aid Budget Goes to Israeli Military Community members gathered in downtown Santa Cruz on Tax Day, April 15, to protest the U.S. government's subsidy of $8 million a day in military aid to Israel. Tax Day is when federal income tax returns are due in the United States, and demonstrators held signs that indicated what the government should be spending citizens' hard earned dollars on, if the money wasn't wasted on military aid to Israel. They also held signs that read, "Apartheid: Wrong for South Africans, Wrong for Palestinians."

According to If Americans Knew, Israel has been the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid since 1976, and in the last 20 years economic aid to that country has been slowly phased out in favor of military aid. Israel receives about $3 billion ($8 million a day) directly from the United States in military financing each year, which is about one-fifth of what is allocated for the entire foreign aid budget.

photoRead More | If Americans Knew | Palestine-Israel Action Committee Santa Cruz
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House Passes Salmon-Killing Drought Relief Bill Dan Bacher
Wednesday Dec 17th 9:58 AM
Here is how we are going to win Mike Rhodes
Tuesday Dec 16th 4:09 PM
Cannabis Advocates Alliance meeting (1 comment)
Thursday Dec 11th 3:33 PM
Stay Away Stupidity, Oppose Police Violence & Chomp Coronation Treats ! Robert Norse (4 comments)
Tuesday Dec 9th 11:32 AM
House 'Drought Relief' Bill Would Eviscerate Environmental Protections Dan Bacher (2 comments)
Friday Dec 5th 11:22 AM
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Tuesday Dec 2nd 8:13 AM
Why I won't step foot in a Walmart Dan Bacher (1 comment)
Saturday Nov 29th 12:24 PM
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Wednesday Nov 26th 11:04 AM
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Tuesday Nov 4th 8:29 AM
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Friday Oct 17th 6:15 AM
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Tuesday Nov 25th 3:58 AM
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Friday Nov 14th 10:56 AM
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