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The state agency charged with regulating California’s pesticide industry allows manufacturers to make up their own usage rules, continues to allow a brain-damaging chemical to be used on food crops, is slow to hold applicators accountable when workers are poisoned, and routinely ignores community input in its rulemaking process. That’s according to the California Environmental Justice Alliance’s 2017 Environmental Justice Agency Assessment.
Tue May 15 2018 (Updated 05/16/18)
California Communities Demand "Rent Control Now!"
Efforts to stabilize communities in California with with much needed rent control measures and just cause eviction protections are presently occurring in ten cities throughout California, including Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Santa Ana, Sacramento, Pomona, Pasadena, National City, Long Beach, Inglewood, and Glendale. Big money is gearing up in opposition to the statewide effort to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.
Justice Teams Network launched on May 2 to build power against systemic State Violence in all its forms. The Network is a statewide coalition of rapid response organizations across the state of California that will mobilize communities to respond radically to state violence. The Network will focus heavily on legislation as well as a public information campaign around the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights, the single largest obstacle to police accountability.
California lawmakers have introduced a measure that would alter the standard for when law enforcement officers can use deadly force. The Police Accountability and Community Protection Act (AB 931) would change the standard of firearm use from "reasonable use" to "necessary force." SB 1421 will give the public access to police records related to use-of-force investigations and complaints against officers for sexual assault or other serious job-related dishonesty.
Park Advocate reports: The foliage in People's Park is thinner this year. Another tree is gone, and various bushes and shrubs have disappeared. UC Berkeley has further whittled away at the park, and a new press release states that development plans are to be revealed after this academic year ends. The University of California is well aware that as the 49th anniversary of People's Park has passed, eligibility for historical protection is right around the corner.
Agricultural pesticide use in California remains at a near-record high, according to data released by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. DPR's latest numbers paint a grim picture of the state’s continued reliance on vast quantities of agricultural pesticides — 209 million pounds in 2016. That’s the third highest since reporting began in 1990. The greatest burden continues to be borne by the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast.
Wed Apr 25 2018 (Updated 04/26/18)
Urban Shield As We Know It Ends After 2018
At the March 27 Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting, five-plus hours of discussion ended with a decision that Urban Shield as currently constituted would end after the 2018 war games and exposition. The vote left open-ended what Alameda County’s regional disaster preparedness activities would be in future years, but the Supervisors were decisive that it would not be the Urban Shield event, which began in 2007.
Sat Apr 21 2018 (Updated 04/23/18)
Governor Brown, Please Step Up
A broad coalition kicked off a campaign urging Governor Jerry Brown to stop the build-out of dirty fossil fuel infrastructure, keep oil and gas in the ground and take immediate action to protect those most vulnerable to climate change. If Brown doesn’t act, the groups say, the governor will lose their support for the global climate action summit that he will host five months from now in San Francisco.
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.
On March 14, thousands of San Francisco Bay Area students participated in a national walkout against gun violence, with 1,500 marching in the suburb of Menlo Park alone. However, not all went smoothly for some Bay Area students seeking to express themselves. One district superintendent in the South Bay accused students of not thinking things through, and stated that “Organizations have their own agendas and they’re using kids as pawns."
Fri Mar 23 2018 (Updated 04/01/18)
March For Our Lives
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives took to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that gun violence comes to an end. Northern California is marched in solidarity. The national mission statement declared: March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.
Fri Mar 9 2018 (Updated 03/12/18)
Fortress Bay Area
Joshua Shepherd writes: I have a self-inflicted wound. I joined the United States military. I didn't know. I couldn't see. I couldn't hear. I was borne of wounded folk. I became wounded myself. Let us heal. I am currently using a Twitter account @FortressBayArea to name militarisms past and present. I aspire to a kind of community solidarity where we challenge our neighbors to stop inflicting wounds for their own sake and that of others. The foundation of the modern Bay Area was laid on conquest. Of land, of people, of spirit. One of UC Berkeley's cornerstones was shifted 5° to align with the Golden Gate and mark the coming conquest of the Pacific.
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.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
5PM Friday Jul 20 Wine Tasting & Fundraiser
Fragile No More! David Michael Sat Jun 30th 6:38pm
Lawsuit Challenging Ban on Living in Vehicles Moves Forward National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty Mon Jun 25th 12:15pm
2018 Juneteenth - US Census of Agriculture Khubaka, Michael Harris Fri Jun 15th 7:08pm
Bay Area News Group article on the Governor's race ignores Delaine Eastin Stanley Sokolow (3 comments) Tue May 22nd 9:27am
Coastal Trapping Ban Sought to Protect Oregon's Vanishing Humboldt Martens Center for Biological Diversity Wed Apr 4th 10:33pm
Indefinite Detention Is Torture Curt Wechsler Tue Apr 3rd 3:45pm
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 Michael Steinberg Sat Mar 31st 6:49pm
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