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Feature Archives

Santa Cruz Progressives write: The official list of campaign donors confirms what has been no secret in this year's Santa Cruz City Council election: it's a battle between four big money conservative candidates and four grass roots progressives. All four of the conservative candidates have each raised about twice the amount of money the progressives have and they are funded by wealthy contributors. Progressive candidates Chris Krohn, Drew Glover, Steve Schnaar and Sandy Brown, also known as the "Brand New Council" slate, show moderately funded campaigns.
Many long-time Bay Area residents have been displaced over the last several years. The median rent in Oakland is now $3,000 a month and heartless landlords are taking extreme measures to boost their profit at the expense of tenants. In one recent case, an East Palo Alto property owner and his son were arrested for a plot to push tenants out of rent-controlled units by destroying their property. Tenant advocates across the Bay Area urge voters to support the strong renter protections in Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Burlingame, San Mateo, and Mountain View.
The Take Back Oakland Coalition is now gathering signatures to recall Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. On September 18, recall organizers handed out the first recall petitions all afternoon in front of Oakland City Hall. Primary among the objections to Schaaf are her inaction in the face of massive displacement of long-time residents, the deference she continues to show to the corrupt and murderous Oakland police department, and her failure to support local youth and job centers.
While previous attempts to reign in police seizures have failed in the California legislature, state lawmakers approved Senate Bill 443 in August with bipartisan support. On September 29, the bill limiting civil asset forfeiture abuse in California was signed into law, marking a victory for the larger asset forfeiture reform movement underway throughout the country. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2017, requiring a conviction in most cases before state and local law enforcement agencies may permanently keep people’s property.
Thu Sep 22 2016 (Updated 09/24/16)
Getting a Good Night's Sleep at Santa Cruz City Hall
Presently the only location in downtown Santa Cruz where people on the street are able to sleep regularly as a group is at the weekly community sleepouts organized by the Freedom Sleepers. Homeless sweeps conducted by the Santa Cruz Police Department beginning in January of this year have for the most part cleared the downtown area of groups of people sleeping together in other locations, such as at the post office. Since July of 2015, the Freedom Sleepers have gathered to sleep at city hall one night a week to protest local laws that criminalize homelessness. September 20 marked the group's 63rd sleepout.
Wed Sep 21 2016 (Updated 09/25/16)
East Bay Cops Charged with Sex Crimes and Corruption
Recent reporting exposed widespread crimes, corruption, and coverups in the Oakland police department. As more and more came to light about Oakland police sexually abusing and trafficking a teenage girl since she was a minor, community activists issued demands, protests turned up on OPD's doorstep, and calls for accountability came from all quarters. In this environment, it became untenable for Alameda County District Attorney O'Malley to do nothing. O'Malley has now charged five cops for the sexual exploitation of a teenager and related corruption. Two more are yet to be charged.
Sat Sep 10 2016 (Updated 11/26/16)
Three Federal Agencies Block Dakota Access Pipeline
On September 9, a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s motion to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. Minutes later, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement announcing a temporary halt to work on the pipeline. Actions in support of the Water protectors continue to be held across California in response to the global call for solidarity by the Standing Rock protest camps for September 3-17.