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Health, Housing, & Public Services News

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According to a report by the Urban Displacement Project of UC Berkeley, between 2013 and 2015 the pace of gentrification and displacement in Northern California accelerated most quickly in Oakland’s low-income neighborhoods. Skyrocketing rents reveal the need for strong rent control and just cause eviction protections in Oakland and throughout the Bay Area. According to the New York Times, Oakland’s median rent during 2016 was among the highest in the nation, just short of the median rent in Manhattan. During August of 2017, the average market rate rent for a one bedroom unit was $2,400 per month in Oakland, but since then according to Zillow the current median rent in Oakland is up to $3,000 per month.
Sun Nov 19 2017 (Updated 11/28/17)
Police Action in East Palo Alto Displaces RV Dwellers
Seventy-five protesters blocked a street in East Palo Alto to protect families at a police action at 8 a.m. on November 15. A tow truck pulled up to haul away a dozen RV's occupied mostly by working people, some with children. The RV residents received less than 24 hours notice of an emergency eviction ordinance put in place by the city. That same evening many of the protesters and about 200 residents showed up to a Public Works and Transportation Commission meeting to face off with city staff and commissioners. On the agenda: a potential long term or permanent ordinance on RV parking on Weeks Street and a ban on all oversized vehicles on city streets.
Proponents of the recently passed No Camping ordinance in Fresno claim that homeless people who are sleeping on public and private property are doing so by choice. They say that if they wanted to get off the streets, there are plenty of places for them to go. They suggest homeless people should go to the Fresno Rescue Mission or the Poverello House. Homeless advocates say there are too few shelter beds and that the ordinance essentially criminalizes poverty. This matters because a lack of shelter space would make it impossible for all of the homeless people in Fresno to comply with the law and avoid arrest, even if they wanted to do so.
On November 1, SubRosa turned nine years old. SubRosa is an anarchist community space run by a collective of committed volunteers from the Santa Cruz area, freely giving of their energy and time. Located on the south end of Pacific Avenue, it is one of few places in Santa Cruz that is not focused on commerce. SubRosa has books and zines you can't find anywhere else, as well as the Anarchist Lending Library. Meetings, film screenings, music shows, art exhibitions, privacy workshops, and the increasingly popular Really Really Free Market all take place at SubRosa.
After being booted from downtown Santa Cruz and directed across the river to San Lorenzo Park, homeless people are being told to move again. The Hooverville-type camp on the benchlands in San Lorenzo Park now faces eviction. A posted notice announces that park will be closed for "maintenance" on Thursday, November 9. Homeless people began occupying the benchlands after the Santa Cruz police vowed to "clean-up the downtown area". Now City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation says it is time for folks to move along. The notice states, "All of San Lorenzo Park will be closed for maintenance on: Thursday 11/9/2017. Please vacate these grounds by the end of the day Wednesday 11/8/2017."
Fri Nov 3 2017 (Updated 11/04/17)
Day of the Dead Action Demands Ban on Chlorpyrifos
Spicing up their press conference with a Day of the Dead theme, health advocates from Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties rallied outside the central regional office of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) on November 1 in Clovis. Their action was part of a continuing campaign to get DPR to urge the state to suspend agricultural use of brain-harming chlorpyrifos. Last May, the deadly pesticide was implicated in a drift incident that sickened dozens of farmworkers near Bakersfield; health advocates say that more than twenty years of research links the pesticide to neurological disorders in children.
JP Massar writes: For nine months a stable, peaceful, law-abiding community of homeless people has resided at the HERE/THERE space on the west side of the BART tracks just north of the Oakland/Berkeley border, across the street from Sweet Adeline. They have had the support of the neighborhood and have recently obtained, through community support, the ability to access a porta-potty and a handwashing station. On Saturday afternoon [October 21], BART police put up notices demanding that they remove themselves from HERE/THERE area within 72 hours and threatening to confiscate their possessions. An Eviction Resistance Party has been called for Tuesday, October 24 at 4:30pm.
About 200 people went to Fresno City Hall on September 29 to demand an end to the criminalization of the homeless, following the passing of a No Camping ordinance. The demand for house keys, not handcuffs, was met by a large contingent of police who surrounded the protesters and threatened them with arrest. A statement about the event stated that Fresno needs “a safe and legal place where homeless people can go 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Homeless people need a place to go and the same basic public services that everyone else in this city has — drinking water, a place to go to the bathroom and trash bins. In short, the homeless need to be treated with dignity and respect, because they are our brothers and sisters and in some cases our mothers, fathers or children.”
Fri Oct 6 2017 (Updated 10/20/17)
Memorial for Bay Area Activist Kaye "Nana" Griffin
Fri Oct 6 2017 (Updated 10/20/17)
Indybay Co-Founder Kaye "Nana" Griffin Passes On
Kaye "Nana" Griffin, an Indybay co-founder, passed on in early August. Nana was involved in the Bay Area activism scene for decades, including queer liberation, housing and many other local struggles. Nana also carried one of the first Indybay press passes. Her memorial service is on Saturday, October 21, 2:00 PM, at the Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission St. in San Francisco. Keith McHenry recalls, "Kaye spent many hours volunteering with San Francisco Food Not Bombs and reported on the arrests and court cases posting on Indybay. She participated in nearly all the huge protests with her pet rat on her shoulder and I remember her insightful comments about a wide range of issues."
Sat Sep 30 2017 (Updated 10/03/17)
Water Protectors Resist Oil Pipeline Construction
The State of Wisconsin has violated the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe by allowing the Enbridge corporation to destroy wetlands, animal habitat, and their sacred rice lakes for a pipeline that the Minnesota Department of Commerce has deemed unnecessary and hazardous. In Cloquet, Minnesota, a growing front line camp of water protectors has become a base for launching nonviolent direct actions intended to shutdown construction on Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline. Every hour protesters stop work costs Enbridge thousands of dollars. This tactic of non-violent direct action is a last resort because the courts and regulatory processes have failed the people and mother earth.
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.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
Defend Aunti Frances! Emergency Eviction Defense Rally Self-Help Hunger Program Thursday Dec 7th 7:34 PM
Song for Net Neutrality Raging Grannies Action League Wednesday Dec 6th 8:00 PM
Homelessness and Mental Illness within Sonoma County Paula A, Jenna C, Dom R, B Louie, A Semenza, K Cruz Wednesday Dec 6th 7:51 PM
Homeless Services Center and Calamity's Cupboard -- and Art Show! Linda Ellen Lemaster (3 comments) Tuesday Dec 5th 5:51 PM
Santa Cruz City Council to Consider Rent Control Steve Pleich (2 comments) Tuesday Dec 5th 1:31 PM
Are the Mentally Ill Homeless Falling through the Cracks of Society? Paula Albertolli (SSU group) Thursday Nov 30th 10:34 AM
Nowhere to Go: Homeless in Sonoma County Jenna Cooper Tuesday Nov 28th 2:17 PM
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OP-ED on Homelessness and Mental Health in Sonoma County. Andrew Semenza Monday Dec 4th 3:19 PM
The Right to the City and the Greed of the Rich Julia Lis and Michael Hartmann (1 comment) Friday Dec 1st 3:37 AM
The Crisis of the Mentally Ill Homeless Bryan Louie Tuesday Nov 28th 9:48 PM
Republicans against the Poor and the Sick Detlef Umbauch and Constanz Weinberg (2 comments) Tuesday Nov 14th 4:21 AM
The Welfare State in Crisis Philipp Kramp Monday Oct 30th 7:02 AM
In Praise of Taxes by Nicola Liebert Nicola Liebert (1 comment) Wednesday Oct 25th 2:42 PM
"Trumpcare Kills" Projected on SF Federal Building Alan Marling Wednesday Sep 20th 8:55 AM
The Madness of Caligula Mr. Reese (from ancient-origins.net) Monday Aug 28th 12:44 PM
Why Tax Cuts for the Rich Solve Nothing Joseph E. Stiglitz Friday Aug 25th 9:40 AM
Video: After Words with Naomi Klein, 57 min www.booktv.org (1 comment) Sunday Jul 16th 6:34 PM
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