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On October 19, the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Right to Adequate Housing, Lelani Farha, released her new report documenting the “global scandal” of homeless encampments. In January of 2017, Farha spent time in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California to meet with unhoused residents and housed advocates and described the conditions as "cruel and inhuman." The only U.S. cities explicitly called out for violations in the UN’s report on global homelessness are San Francisco and Oakland.
Sun Oct 28 2018 (Updated 11/15/18)
Campground Crisis as Winter Approaches
The River Street campground in Santa Cruz is slated for dispersal at the end of November, breaking promises from city staff that it would last through the winter until April. The only option the city is offering in its place is a small night-time only shelter. Massive new fences were raised around San Lorenzo Park, Grant Street Park, and the downtown post office. In anticipation of the River Street campground closure, homeless activists are organizing to establish a community survival campground on Thursday, November 15.
Tue Oct 2 2018 (Updated 10/09/18)
Bay Area Cries Out: "We Believe Christine!'
The country was transfixed when Christine Blasey Ford testified against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh on September 27. On the same day in Palo Alto, neighbors, friends, and colleagues of Dr. Ford rallied to her support. Actions in Berkeley, San Francisco, Mountain View, and San Mateo demonstrated the Bay Area's commitment to supporting victims of sexual assault and protested what they called Republican rape culture. A major demonstration in the nation's capital will be held with a sister rally in San Mateo on October 6.
UPDATE 9/18: Governor Brown signs AB-2178 into law.

The California Assembly and Senate have passed AB-2178, which would impose new restrictions on individuals and community groups like Food Not Bombs that share free meals. Volunteer groups feeding the poor and homeless pose little food safety risk. These grassroots groups have operated for decades and follow strong private food safety practices. They fill a critical gap that the state itself struggles to address.
The Trump administration will close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in D.C. This follows a State Department promise to cut more than $300 million in funding for humanitarian assistance. These moves appear intended to force Palestinians into a "peace deal" that would deny them a state, as well as denying the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers storm the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis to push forward their plans to build the so-called “Third Temple.”
Sat Sep 8 2018
Fake Rent Control Alert
The Santa Cruz City Council's "Non-Protections for Renters" proposal, as rent control advocates have described it, is scheduled for a first reading during the 2:00 p.m. session on Tuesday, September 11. The ordinance would require relocation fees for tenants who experience rent increases of 10% in one year or 15% over two years, which would still allow a 42% rent increase every five years. Yes on M: Santa Cruz for Rent Control writes: We need REAL rent control: No Rent Raises over 3% once a year, Just Cause for Eviction for all renters - and heck, the city didn't even enforce its own rent freeze so of COURSE we need a Rent Board.
Despite California’s image as a “green” and “progressive” leader, there has been a massive expansion of oil and gas drilling in the state under Governor Jerry Brown — and most of these new wells are located in communities with above average poverty rates and/or communities of color. On August 7, 35 youths held a sit-in at Governor Jerry Brown’s office demanding a plan to phase out oil and gas extraction.