Feature Archives

The California Apartment Association (CAA) has been meddling in the affairs of city after city in Northern California in an effort to stop any and all renter protections being promoted by renters, tenant activists, and their supporters. The same day that Oakland tenant activists filed a ballot initiative to strengthen renter protections called the Renters Upgrade, the CAA announced that they were keeping an eye on things, and are coming up with their own plan to counter the tenants' movement efforts.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation released the results of annual pesticide use reporting – the only reporting like it in the country – offering a glimpse into what potentially hazardous pesticides are being used in the state. Despite fewer plantings and crop loss due to the drought across the state, hazardous pesticide use increased in some counties. From 2013 to 2014, in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, such pesticide use increased 10.0% and 9.4%, respectively.
Wed Mar 23 2016 (Updated 04/21/16)
Chemicals Used in Acidization Threaten Water Supplies
Oil companies use dozens of extremely hazardous chemicals to acidize wells in California, raising water contamination and public-safety concerns, according to a new study in the Journal of Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry. The University of California-Los Angeles study, which has national significance because it seems to be the first ever to examine the toxicity of acidization chemicals, finds that almost 200 different chemicals have been used in the process.
Tue Mar 22 2016 (Updated 04/18/16)
Oakland Real Estate & Business Conference Shut Down
Before 8am on March 18, over a hundred housing activists caught the Oakland Chamber of Commerce off guard at their "Oakland is open for business" breakfast for real estate developers. Protesters were able to completely shut down the 2016 Economic Development Summit at the Kaiser Building on Lake Merritt before Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf could even give her opening remarks.
On March 15, the Oakland City Council approved moving forward with the latest iteration of luxury housing at the E12th Street parcel, public land that was created when the roads and bridges around the south end of Lake Merritt were recently reconfigured. Housing activists showed up at City Hall and successfully shut down the meeting, but the council then held their discussion and vote privately in Mayor Libby Schaaf's office. Critics vow to keep the fight alive for "public land for public good." A final vote on the proposed sale to UrbanCore will happen later this year.
UPDATE: On April 15, UC Davis students ended their sit-in, saying they had accomplished their goal of bringing attention to the need to fire Katehi. On April 27, Katehi was placed on leave while the university investigates her misconduct.

Students at UC Davis have been occupying Chancellor Linda Katehi's office and holding tight since Friday, March 11, demanding that Katehi resign or be fired. Administrators escalated their response with threats of suspension and even expulsion if occupiers do not vacate the building. Demonstrators are also calling for the hiring process to be redesigned "so that UC Davis students and workers are not only a part of this process, but a major deciding body in the selection and confirmation of a new Chancellor."
On March 8, the Santa Cruz city council voted 5-2 to oppose an amendment to municipal code 6.36.010, also known as the camping ban. The proposed amendment would have removed references to sleeping and covering up with a blanket from the text of the law, as well as removing references to sleeping in cars. Effectively, these changes would have made it legal for people sleeping outdoors to do so without fear of citation by police.