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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.
On June 20, over 500 advocates and Berkeley residents, including former mayor of Berkeley Gus Newport, packed the Berkeley City Council chamber to show support for withdrawing the city from the controversial and highly militarized Urban Shield SWAT training and weapons expo. Berkeley police officers violently cracked down on community members opposed to Berkeley’s participation in Urban Shield at a special hearing of the city council. Two people were arrested, and multiple people were injured. Two days later, the City of Berkeley decided to uphold the largely contested vote by the Mayor and City Council on the city's participation in the controversial Urban Shield program.
Joel Block writes: Clearly, there is a split in the California State Party, which reflects the split in the National Party since the beginning of Bernie Sanders' campaign and even earlier. The current issue splitting the California Party is over who won the recent Party Chair election at the State Convention in Sacramento, May 19-21. Everyone agrees the California State Convention Chair election between "insider" Eric Bauman and "outsider" Kimberly Ellis was extremely close. No official election vote report was made to the Convention Delegates. The ongoing informal "ballot review/audit" process to resolve the election and the challenges is clearly not working to unite the Party.
On Thirteenth Street in front of the Sacramento Convention Center where the Democratic Convention was being held on May 20, a group of activists held a mock “tug of war" between the people of California and the oil industry for the loyalty of Governor Jerry Brown. The skit depicted the contradiction between Jerry Brown the “climate leader,” who appeals to his Democratic base by preaching against climate change and for green energy, and the other guy, “Big Oil Brown,” who supports the expansion of fracking in California and the construction of the Delta Tunnels — and has received millions in contributions from the oil and energy industries.
Tue May 30 2017 (Updated 05/31/17)
Fuck Trump at the Oakland Coliseum
From the open-publishing newswire: Don the Con has admitted to obstructing justice, and he should be impeached. We tried to project just that on a billboard next to Oracle Coliseum, after a Warriors game (victory!). IMPEACH didn't fit the sign as well as Fuck Trump. As fireworks went up so did the chant, "Fuck Trump! Fuck Trump!" Security noticed. A policewoman asked us to leave, and we packed up. As we were on our way out, we were surrounded and seized by coliseum security. Some of us were handcuffed. Our projector tripod was broken. The coliseum security did not wear badges and refused to give their names.