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Health, Housing, & Public Services News

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Erica Aitken of Reimagine Santa Cruz writes: The next City Council elections will decide the future of Santa Cruz. Do we open our doors to Silicon Valley with luxury rentals and our very own Santana Row? Or do we take control and build beautiful affordable housing for those who work and would like to live here? If we ask ourselves this question, it is because we have recently been the victims of a particularly galling breach of trust from our current City Councilmembers.
Thu Sep 24 2020 (Updated 09/25/20)
Facebook Blocks Wet’suwet’en Defenders
Facebook blocked hundreds of accounts days before a September 21 online event targeting the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The pipeline is set to cut through sovereign Wet’suwet’en land, defiantly ignoring hereditary chiefs of their rights, title, and consent for the project. The project would lock in decades of increased fracked gas and the impacts to climate, air, water and the risks posed to Indigenous camps built along the route.
Mon Sep 14 2020 (Updated 09/22/20)
"These Are Climate Fires"
President Trump has said little about the wildfires raging in California, Oregon and Washington for weeks, other than to suggest poor forest management was primarily to blame. “These are climate fires,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, an Oregon-based wildland fire ecologist and former wildland firefighter. “Though some scientists hesitate to attribute a single event to climate change, these are exactly the conditions predicted by climatologists.”
On August 28, tribal members and local residents protested outside the Mendocino Forest Products (MFP) wood pellet plant in Calpella, near Ukiah, calling for suspension of the plant’s operations during the Covid pandemic, now compounded by recent fires and extremely poor air quality. Organizers say the protest is needed to bring attention to demands for public transparency on air pollution and fire safety issues presented by the plant’s operations to date and especially under present conditions.
Sat Aug 29 2020 (Updated 09/02/20)
The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale
Despite limited concessions by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy following public outcry against mail delaying tactics, community members and postal workers rallied to demand that Congress save the US Postal Service in protests across the US. Naturally the San Francisco Bay Area was no exception. Many here have long been concerned about privatization schemes. A national day of action on August 22 drew protests throughout the Bay Area.
On August 21, protesters met at Crissy field for a march across the Golden Gate Bridge. The march was to honor those who have died from coronavirus and police brutality, to fight for the living, and to demand Trump's resignation in solidarity with marches across the Brooklyn Bridge and other bridges in U.S. cities on the same day. In San Francisco, shield training readied protesters for police confrontation when they were not allowed to cross the iconic bridge's pedestrian walkway. Organizers called it a taste of what is to come.
Wed Aug 12 2020 (Updated 08/14/20)
Protest Outside Chowchilla Women's Prison
On August 6, in front of the Chowchilla Women's Prison, protestors demanded those inside receive proper healthcare and medical treatment. They also demanded the release of medically vulnerable peoples, those with less than two years on their sentence, and individuals who have served more than twenty years. Prisoners spoke to protestors by cell phone about being locked down, and guards not wearing masks. Women inside asked for support in getting Governor Newsom to pass the bill that would grant many of these requests.
As San Quentin faces California's deadliest coronavirus prison outbreak, protesters are marching to demand that Governor Newsom grant mass releases. COVID-19 infections spread quickly amongst the incarcerated because of inhumane prison infrastructure, say demonstrators who have shown up hundreds at a time outside the prison gates. By continuing to detain men at the Marin County facility, activists insist, the Governor is giving them death sentences.
Fri Jul 31 2020 (Updated 08/03/20)
Oakland Creates "Reimagining Public Safety Task Force"
APTP writes: The people of Oakland moved one step closer to realizing the goal of refunding resources to the community. After weeks of sustained protest and direct action, City Council unanimously approved a resolution to create an official task force to determine how to cut the Oakland Police Department’s budget by 50% next year. In recent weeks, thousands of Oakland residents have joined what has become an international call to invest in services that truly keep people safe by divesting from police.
Sat Jul 25 2020 (Updated 08/01/20)
Native American Resilience During the Pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge, Native Americans are manifesting resilience, from the San Carlos Apache running to protect their sacred land from copper mining to the Kumeyaay standing to protect their sacred land from the border wall construction. Lakota are cooking hot meals for relatives in quarantine, while Dine' and Hopi raise their own funds and deliver food, water and supplies to those most in need. On the Navajo Nation, volunteers are the only ones bringing supplies to those in quarantine.
Tue Jul 21 2020 (Updated 07/22/20)
Libby Schaaf Gets a Wake-Up Call
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's Oakmore estate was hit with graffiti and a noise demonstration in the early morning on July 21. A communiqué posted to Indybay states, "We left a note on her garage, and treated her to a nice fireworks display and the musical notes of pots and pans and assorted noisemakers. Our message to Libby and other elected officials is simple: You have the power to take the boot off our necks — so we have the duty to struggle against you until that boot is lifted. You can't hide from your responsibility!"
Tue Jul 21 2020 (Updated 07/22/20)
Strike for Black Lives and Working People at McDonald's
On July 20, as part of the national Strike for Black Lives, protesters marched on a McDonald's restaurant in Oakland. The demonstration was part of a nationwide action called “Strike for Black Lives.” McDonald's and other fast food restaurants were targeted for not taking adequate precautions against Covid-19 for their workers, predominantly Black and Brown people. Protesters marched up Telegraph Avenue and into the parking lot at the McDonald's at Telegraph and 45th Street.
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