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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.
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) has embarked on an historic 28-day tour of the West Coast to organize a major offensive on the world’s largest berry distributor, Driscoll’s Berries. The local independent farmworker union, based in Burlington, WA, is touring the coast at a crucial moment in their campaign for a union contract at Driscoll's supplier Sakuma Brothers Farms. Driscoll’s and Sakuma are feeling pressure from a growing amount of boycott activity. On Thursday, March 31, there was a major action at Driscoll’s headquarters in Watsonville.
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.
Terrie Best of San Diego Americans for Safe Access writes: On March 1, the prosecution began its case against John Mazula, who was being charged with manufacturing medical cannabis concentrates. The case came down to whether the process John used to extract cannabis concentrate made use of butane gas or not. Without hesitation each juror at the table one-by-one pronounced John not guilty. Then they discussed why. The jurors blamed the police. They knew the case was poorly put together with no evidence to convict John.
The California Police Bill of Rights as it is known today could be on its way out if California SB1286 becomes law, shining increased light on police misconduct in the state. Police "unions" and lobbyists like the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) are expected to fight to maintain the secrecy that currently shields their bad behavior — and legislators historically tend to kowtow to their wishes. The public, however, clearly wants greater access to police records.
Sun Feb 21 2016 (Updated 05/03/16)
Anti-BDS Bills Introduced in California Legislature
Israel’s defenders in the U.S. have intensified their efforts to stifle criticism of Israeli government policies with new bills and laws seeking to censor or punish advocacy in support of Palestinian rights. In California, two anti-BDS bills were introduced by Assembly member Travis Allen. AB 1551, the “California Israel Commerce Protection Act”, would prohibit the state from investing in businesses and institutions that comply with boycotts against Israel or Israeli-controlled territories. AB 1552 would prohibit the state from contracting with entities that engage in what he calls “boycotts due to discrimination and bigotry.”
On February 18, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the reclassification of the Santa Cruz cypress from “endangered” to “threatened” status under the Endangered Species Act. The tree was protected in 1987 due to threats to its habitat, but now the habitat for all five populations is secure.
California:   2