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Congressman Jimmy Panetta, who represents California's central coast, was a member of a Democratic congressional delegation that visited Israel on March 26 to congratulate the nation on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of its government. Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the delegation, stated ahead of their visit, “There is no greater political accomplishment in the 20th Century than the establishment of the State of Israel." Also on March 26, Israel's army announced that “dozens of snipers" would be deployed in Gaza – and four days later, over 750 Palestinians were shot during Land Day demonstrations.
On March 26, proponents of Monterey County’s landmark Measure Z ballot initiative filed an appeal to restore the land-use protections that voters passed by an overwhelming majority in November 2016. The appeal challenges a Superior Court ruling in March that invalidated part of the ordinance, which aims to shield the county from fracking chemicals and oil industry pollution. Measure Z won with 56 percent of the vote.
Fri Mar 23 2018
Defend the Rent Freeze!
Movement for Housing Justice writes: Renters and community - Come out to the city council meeting next Tuesday to defend the rent freeze! Right now the city isn't enforcing our badly needed short term freeze on rents and eviction protections. They expect renters to take landlords to court to enforce the law if our rents are increased unfairly or we are unjustly evicted. They say it's a budgeting issue but we know that this is an issue of priorities. Let's remind the city council that 60% percent of Santa Cruz is renters. Our housing rights are non negotiable!
Mon Mar 5 2018 (Updated 03/10/18)
Campaign Launches to Repeal Costa-Hawkins
On March 10, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and other housing activists kicked off the campaign in the Bay Area for the Affordable Housing Act — a proposed ballot initiative that that will give cities and counties the power to adopt rent control measures necessary to address California's housing affordability crisis by repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. For the November 2018 ballot, the deadline for collection of 585,000 signatures statewide is May.
A broad-based coalition of community organizations and activists is championing a renter protection ballot initiative for the City of Santa Cruz on the November ballot. The initiative includes rent stabilization, eviction protections, and the formation of an elected “Rent Board” which will handle the regulation of rent prices and evictions. The rent control campaign kickoff will begin with a party at the Resource Center for Nonviolence on Sunday, February 11.
Approximately 4.4 million gallons of untreated wastewater flowed into the waters of Monterey Bay through an ocean outfall discharge pipe 2.5 miles offshore, the result of an “equipment control failure” at the Monterey One Water Regional Treatment Plant in Marina on January 19 and 20. In response, the Monterey County Health Department issued beach closures from Moss Landing to Stillwater Cove. All Monterey County Beaches have been posted with a rain advisory due to the current weather. The public is advised not to have ocean water contact for three days after the rain event on January 22. The department warns that contact with contaminated water may cause gastroenteritis and other waterborne illnesses.
Sat Jan 20 2018 (Updated 01/22/18)
Oakland Deports ICE
On the same day Homeland Security announced plans for major immigration raids in the Bay Area in response to sanctuary city laws, and the Department of Justice confirmed that it was looking for ways to arrest Sanctuary City mayors and other officials, the City of Oakland defied federal authorities. On January 16, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to eliminate any and all cooperation with ICE in both criminal and civil matters, except in a case of public emergency. The move arose in reaction to an ICE raid that took place on August 16, ostensibly as a criminal investigation into human trafficking, yet no charges were ever filed and an undocumented man is now undergoing deportation proceedings.