Feature Archives

Nothing better illustrates the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party — for all progressive intents and purposes — than California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s announcement on June 26 that he was going to put a “hold” on the single-payer health care bill (SB 562) for the state, effectively killing its passage for at least the year. Democrats like Rendon, who “claims to be a personal supporter of single-payer,” will make sure that the governor is not put in the embarrassing position of having to reject what he’s been ostensibly arguing for for twenty-five years.
Fri Jun 30 2017 (Updated 07/01/17)
Agreement Reached to Close Cemex Sand Mine in Marina
On July 13, the California Coastal Commission will consider an agreement that would close the Cemex Lapis Sand Mine in Marina. The mine has been linked to severe coastal erosion in southern Monterey Bay, which is losing more coastline than anywhere else in the state. Cemex mines about 300,000 tons of sand each year from a self-made pond right on the beach in Marina. This is essentially like carrying away one 14-yard dump truck full of sand from the beach every 40 minutes, around the clock. And this has been going on at the plant for decades — although at lower quantities when operations began — without a requisite Coastal Development Permit.
Fri Jun 30 2017 (Updated 08/06/17)
Critical Time to Defend People's Park
From the open-publishing newswire: Berkeley's new mayor, Jesse Arreguin, has been meeting in private with UC Berkeley's new chancellor, Carol Christ. The new mayor and the new chancellor are in agreement: People's Park must end. According to Berkeleyside, the mayor "is enthusiastic about the plans" to develop housing on People's Park. This is a crucial time to defend People's Park, through occupy tactics, and other methods of public support. The development plan includes two large buildings: a unit for student housing and allegedly a unit to house the homeless. Increasing housing is a noble cause; however, the city of Berkeley has a shortage of truly public open space.
Thu May 25 2017 (Updated 06/22/17)
Hunger Strike Begins at Folsom State Prison
The men at Old Folsom State Prison in the ASU and Ad-Seg will begin a hunger strike on May 25 due to ongoing issues with the conditions of confinement that violate the Eighth Amendment. All the prisoners held in Folsom’s ASU and Ad-Seg are without food bowls, therefore having to eat out of ziplock bags. They have no cups, needing to drink water from an old milk carton. They have no TVs, no property at all. The mail is sometimes withheld for no reason — up to a month for some prisoners, for others even longer. All they’re asking for is to be given day-to-day necessities. So, in order to have their voices heard, they feel they have no choice but to hunger strike.
Wed May 17 2017 (Updated 05/19/17)
The Poverty, Politics and Profit of Section 8 Housing
More than 2 million families now use Section 8 vouchers to keep from becoming homeless. It's the government's largest program to help low-income families pay their rent. However Section 8 housing proposals face stiff opposition in cities across the US, including the McKinney and Frisco suburbs of Dallas, Texas. Nicole Humphrey, an opponent, proclaimed, "In this neighborhood, most of us are stay-at-home moms with young kids. The lifestyle that goes with Section 8 is usually working, single moms or people who are struggling to keep their heads above water. It's just not people who are the same class as us."
Defund OPD writes: The process of allocating Oakland’s 2.6 billion dollar budget for 2017-2019 has begun. We believe that the scandal-ridden and dysfunctional Oakland Police Department consumes far too many of our city's resources. It’s time to audit police spending and performance, and redirect wasted funds to community-building, constructive strategies for making Oakland a safer and better place to live. The people of Oakland know that policing is the wrong framework for bringing true security to our communities. Oakland’s budget needs to reflect our values and our priorities.
Fri May 5 2017 (Updated 05/10/17)
Affordable Housing Crisis in Sonoma County
The bay area's affordable housing crisis continues to expand, and students at Sonoma Student University are trying to cope with the implications. Kendyl Saxby writes: Sonoma County is in a rent crisis that is negatively effecting everyone and it is only growing. People are stuck living in squalor due to the 1% vacancy rate in Santa Rosa. Families can no longer afford extracurricular activities for their children. College students cannot afford rent and end up living at home with their parents or homeless. Employers are losing workers who can no longer afford to live here.