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Health, Housing, & Public Services News

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Wed Sep 6 2017 (Updated 09/08/17)
An Appeal to Support MHCAN
Mental Health Clients Action Network (MHCAN) is the only peer-owned, peer-staffed and peer-operated provider of mental and behavioral health services and support in Santa Cruz County. The mission of MHCAN is to provide mutual support and networking, give clients a voice in all matters which affect them, create programs controlled by peers, advocate for the right of clients to choose their own life paths, educate the public from client perspectives, work to eradicate treatment disparities and confront discrimination.
Called by prisoners to give voice to their demand to remove the prison slavery clause from the 13th Amendment, thousands turned out in as many as 16 cities on August 19 to abolish slavery and end mass incarceration. At the main march in Washington, D.C., a speaker from Leonard Pelitier's support committee read Leonard's statement of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal. In San José, about 200 people marched to the county jail for a rally with speakers who saluted the prisoners and inspired the crowd. Every year for decades Black radical prisoners and liberationists have identified August as a month for organized resistance and commemoration.
Chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide linked to IQ loss and autism, has been found in the air in Kern County in amounts far in excess of the level of concern established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pregnant women, according to 2016 air monitoring data released on August 17 by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California officials are now weighing a statewide ban based on the assessment by EPA scientists. A ban can’t come soon enough for residents of California’s farming communities, who worry about the effect of chronic exposure on the wellbeing of their children.
During July 22 through July 29, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), nonprofit housing organizations, and tenant groups organized a National Week of Action, with rallies in San Francisco, San Rafael, and across the nation in support of federal subsidized housing programs that are under attack by the Trump regime and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson. Trump’s $7.2 billion in proposed budget cuts to HUD will result in over 5,000 new cases of homelessness in the Bay Area alone.
Mon Jul 31 2017 (Updated 08/01/17)
Push for Single Payer Plan as Lives Are on the Line
Last week, the Senate blocked a proposal by Republicans to repeal much of the the Affordable Care Act, but many people in the U.S. worry Republicans in Congress remain determined to take away health care. A recent study shows a majority of Americans say it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage; a growing number now supports a single payer plan. On Saturday, July 29, demonstrators called the win in the Senate a “temporary victory." and said they are not waiting for the next Republican attack.
Nothing better illustrates the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party — for all progressive intents and purposes — than California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s announcement on June 26 that he was going to put a “hold” on the single-payer health care bill (SB 562) for the state, effectively killing its passage for at least the year. Democrats like Rendon, who “claims to be a personal supporter of single-payer,” will make sure that the governor is not put in the embarrassing position of having to reject what he’s been ostensibly arguing for for twenty-five years.
Fri Jun 30 2017 (Updated 07/01/17)
Agreement Reached to Close Cemex Sand Mine in Marina
On July 13, the California Coastal Commission will consider an agreement that would close the Cemex Lapis Sand Mine in Marina. The mine has been linked to severe coastal erosion in southern Monterey Bay, which is losing more coastline than anywhere else in the state. Cemex mines about 300,000 tons of sand each year from a self-made pond right on the beach in Marina. This is essentially like carrying away one 14-yard dump truck full of sand from the beach every 40 minutes, around the clock. And this has been going on at the plant for decades — although at lower quantities when operations began — without a requisite Coastal Development Permit.
Fri Jun 30 2017 (Updated 08/06/17)
Critical Time to Defend People's Park
From the open-publishing newswire: Berkeley's new mayor, Jesse Arreguin, has been meeting in private with UC Berkeley's new chancellor, Carol Christ. The new mayor and the new chancellor are in agreement: People's Park must end. According to Berkeleyside, the mayor "is enthusiastic about the plans" to develop housing on People's Park. This is a crucial time to defend People's Park, through occupy tactics, and other methods of public support. The development plan includes two large buildings: a unit for student housing and allegedly a unit to house the homeless. Increasing housing is a noble cause; however, the city of Berkeley has a shortage of truly public open space.
Thu May 25 2017 (Updated 06/22/17)
Hunger Strike Begins at Folsom State Prison
The men at Old Folsom State Prison in the ASU and Ad-Seg will begin a hunger strike on May 25 due to ongoing issues with the conditions of confinement that violate the Eighth Amendment. All the prisoners held in Folsom’s ASU and Ad-Seg are without food bowls, therefore having to eat out of ziplock bags. They have no cups, needing to drink water from an old milk carton. They have no TVs, no property at all. The mail is sometimes withheld for no reason — up to a month for some prisoners, for others even longer. All they’re asking for is to be given day-to-day necessities. So, in order to have their voices heard, they feel they have no choice but to hunger strike.
Wed May 17 2017 (Updated 05/19/17)
The Poverty, Politics and Profit of Section 8 Housing
More than 2 million families now use Section 8 vouchers to keep from becoming homeless. It's the government's largest program to help low-income families pay their rent. However Section 8 housing proposals face stiff opposition in cities across the US, including the McKinney and Frisco suburbs of Dallas, Texas. Nicole Humphrey, an opponent, proclaimed, "In this neighborhood, most of us are stay-at-home moms with young kids. The lifestyle that goes with Section 8 is usually working, single moms or people who are struggling to keep their heads above water. It's just not people who are the same class as us."
Defund OPD writes: The process of allocating Oakland’s 2.6 billion dollar budget for 2017-2019 has begun. We believe that the scandal-ridden and dysfunctional Oakland Police Department consumes far too many of our city's resources. It’s time to audit police spending and performance, and redirect wasted funds to community-building, constructive strategies for making Oakland a safer and better place to live. The people of Oakland know that policing is the wrong framework for bringing true security to our communities. Oakland’s budget needs to reflect our values and our priorities.
Fri May 5 2017 (Updated 05/10/17)
Affordable Housing Crisis in Sonoma County
The bay area's affordable housing crisis continues to expand, and students at Sonoma Student University are trying to cope with the implications. Kendyl Saxby writes: Sonoma County is in a rent crisis that is negatively effecting everyone and it is only growing. People are stuck living in squalor due to the 1% vacancy rate in Santa Rosa. Families can no longer afford extracurricular activities for their children. College students cannot afford rent and end up living at home with their parents or homeless. Employers are losing workers who can no longer afford to live here.
The City of Santa Cruz is considering a number of new policies that would impact local homeless people. There is an effort by a handful of property owners and their allies at City Hall to end the Food Not Bombs meals outside the downtown Post Office. Officials may implement a number of new restrictions and architectural changes to make the lives of those without housing more painful. One unhoused person, Greg Mercado, died of complications from an old surgery twelve hours after the police kicked him out from the City Hall grounds and gave him a ticket for being in a park after hours.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
10AM Sunday Oct 1 World Veg Fest
10:30AM Saturday Oct 7 Learn About Walk-Ability
6PM Wednesday Oct 11 25th Annual TNDC Pool Toss
7:30PM Thursday Oct 19 What Donald Trump is Doing to You
Health Care Protest: Save ACA "Die" in TWW: Together We Will, Palo Alto Mtn. View Monday Sep 25th 6:19 PM
Comprehensive Housing Strategy Must Be Supportive Steve Pleich (1 comment) Sunday Sep 17th 8:36 AM
Time to hit ‘pause button’ on brain-harming pesticide, farmworker communities say Safe Ag Safe Schools/Lucia Calderon Saturday Sep 16th 3:19 PM
Tenants Fight Back rally in front of Santa Cruz City Hall AutumnSun (1 comment) Wednesday Sep 13th 8:29 PM
Stacked Deck Stay-Away Law Expansion Promises More Pain for Poor Outside Robert Norse (2 comments) Tuesday Sep 12th 9:41 AM
Santa Cruz ROLLING FAST to Repeal Sleeping Ban DavidMinton Silva (1 comment) Monday Sep 11th 1:26 PM
A Chicken in Every Pot and a Cell Tower on Every Garage jenny miller (1 comment) Monday Sep 11th 6:27 AM
Rehire HOPE Services for Downtown Salinas Rehire HOPE Services (1 comment) Wednesday Sep 6th 7:34 PM
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