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SF Bay Area

DOT approves separate goals for women and African American businesses

February 3, 2017

On Jan. 19, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx approved a waiver of U.S. Department of Transportation regulations to allow the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to provide group-specific race-conscious DBE contract goals for firms owned and controlled by women and African Americans. This was in response to the lack of participation of women and African Americans on SFMTA projects.

Hypocrisy in high places: Contra Costa DA Mark Peterson must resign

February 1, 2017

The Coalition to Restore Public Trust and the Contra Costa Coalition for Racial Justice call for the immediate resignation of District Attorney Mark Peterson. Elected in 2010, DA Peterson has violated the public trust. According to charges pending before the California Fair Political Practices Commission, over a five-year period, DA Peterson used more than $66,000 of campaign contribution money for his personal expenses.

City should reject Homeland Security SWAT training

January 31, 2017

As the Trump government rolls out executive orders against refugees and other immigrants, Bay Area leaders and residents are bracing for possible cuts in federal grants to sanctuary cities. In our region, these include San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda, which do not turn undocumented immigrants over to federal authorities if they have not committed a crime. But there is one area where we should welcome cuts and reject federal funding: militarized counter-terrorist police training.

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Third Street poles get red, black & green stripes in honor of Bayview’s Black heritage

January 31, 2017

Sunday morning, Jan. 29, San Francisco Public Works began a Bay beautification initiative, painting the poles along the Third Street commercial corridor, from Evans to Jamestown avenues, with red, black and green stripes to celebrate the neighborhood’s African-American heritage. The project was spearheaded by District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who issued a statement explaining the reasoning behind the painting.

In search of human rights: Is homelessness a crime punishable by lockouts?

January 29, 2017

The Concerned Network of Women partnered with the United Council of Human Services, governed by Gwendolyn Westbrook and Dr. Betty McGee, to issue hand warmers and hot chili to homeless people. On New Year’s Eve, we visited the homeless living under the Cesar Chavez Freeway exit. While under the freeway, we witnessed an eviction notice dated Dec. 29, 2016. Evicting the homeless serves little purpose, other than further implying that homeless people have no human and/or civil rights. Here is one solution: Bring services to the encampment, not locks and chains.

Berkeley: Toying with police accountability

January 29, 2017

It was the first time I’d ever attended a Police Review Commission meeting in Berkeley. Together with nine other community members, we went to express our opposition to three terrible policies of the city government and its police department: 1. Repeated police raids on homeless encampments, 2. City participation in the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center and its domestic spying operation, and 3. City participation in the Urban Areas Security Initiative.

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Marcus Garvey Park in Oakland reclaimed for community housing and services by homeless residents, activists

January 27, 2017

At 4 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, a network of Oakland community members took over Marcus Garvey Park, moving in small homes, a hot shower, a healing clinic and other services – declaring it a people’s encampment for those who need housing and basic services. The group, which includes folks living on Oakland streets, activists from #FeedthePeople and #Asians4BlackLives and individuals from the community, said the move-in demonstrates their ability to provide what the City of Oakland cannot to its most vulnerable residents.

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Fleeing family or teen dating violence? Here’s A Safe Place for you

January 26, 2017

A Safe Place is Oakland’s oldest domestic violence agency and Oakland’s only shelter for those who are suffering from intimate partner violence. The mission at A Safe Place is to end domestic violence by providing battered victims and their children with a safe shelter and resources to break the cycle through outreach and education. We also have a burgeoning Teen Program in which we hope to provide education and preventative services to youth about teen dating violence and family violence.

Following community pressure, SF Supervisors postpone vote on controversial Urban Shield, citing concerns of militarization and Trump administration

January 26, 2017

In a small victory for the Stop Urban Shield Coalition earlier today, the Budget and Finance Committee postponed voting on an item to allow San Francisco to apply for federal funding that ultimately goes toward the militarized SWAT training program and weapons expo known as Urban Shield. The program is funded by the Department of Homeland Security through the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant.

Lighthouse Bank vice chairman leads assault on Richmond and Mountain View voters and renters

January 24, 2017

Stephen D. Pahl of the Pahl & McCay law firm, who is also a founding organizer and vice chairman of Lighthouse Bank in Santa Cruz and an ex-officio member of the board of directors of the California Apartment Association (CAA), is directly involved in the assault against Richmond voters and the voters of Mountain View who voted to approve rent control and just cause eviction protections last November.

Camp 120 in front of City Hall is protesting Mayor Lee and DA Gascón’s failure to charge SFPD killer cops

January 20, 2017

To honor the call for 120 hours of direct actions to uphold the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., local community organizers have been camping out in front of San Francisco’s City Hall until Jan. 20, 2017. Camp 120 is occupying space in front of City Hall to highlight the ineffectiveness and inaction of DA Gascón and Mayor Ed Lee regarding the heightened policing of Black and Brown residents by the San Francisco Police Department.

Citywide homeless people’s assembly Tuesday to honor Martin Luther King

January 15, 2017

Homeless people and their allies will be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign and Resurrection City on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 12:00-2:30 p.m., at Civic Center Plaza. They are gathering as part of Martin Luther King Day protests occurring across the West Coast, including Denver, Sacramento, Salinas, Oakland and Portland, to highlight increased criminalization of homeless people and to protect the rights of poor people, along with the Reclaim MLK Day 120 Hours of Action.

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We did it! City College regains full accreditation

January 14, 2017

City College of San Francisco today announced that its accreditation was reaffirmed for seven years by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). “This is a great day for City College, for San Francisco and for the California community college system,” said Rafael Mandelman, president of the City College Board of Trustees. “So many people at the college have done such incredible work to achieve this result. San Franciscans should be very proud.” Before ACCJC threatened its accreditation, City College was renowned as the nation’s largest community college, with 95,000 students.

Heartless San Francisco demolishes ‘Box City’ encampment in pouring rain

January 10, 2017

In pouring down rain, city officials started clearing “Box City” at 7 a.m. this morning. City workers threw belongings into dumpsters and crushed previously occupied boxes. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness released best practice guidelines for municipalities recommending that individuals in encampments should have access to housing before they are removed from said areas and, if no such housing exists, to provide temporary shelter that leads to housing. San Francisco is violating those guidelines.

Judge denies TRO against Measure L renter protections in Richmond

January 8, 2017

In a huge victory for the voters and renters of Richmond, earlier today Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith S. Craddick rejected a temporary restraining order (TRO), sought by the California Apartment Association (CAA) to block rent control and just cause eviction protections passed by the voters on Nov. 8, 2016. The City Attorney’s Office in Richmond mounted an effective defense against the TRO, and it was rejected at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan 6.

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Disgraced former HUD secretary vouches for Trump pick Ben Carson to run HUD

January 4, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Ben Carson as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and, former disgraced HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson supports and vouches for Ben Carson to take his old job, according to the Dallas Morning News. Having Jackson endorse Carson is troubling. In May 2004, as secretary of HUD, Alphonso Jackson made headlines across the nation when he stated “being poor is a state of mind, not a condition.”

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Bayview community celebrates newly renovated Hilltop Park

January 2, 2017

Community members and public officials gathered Saturday morning, Dec. 3, to celebrate the completion of a $6.9 million renovation of Bayview’s Hilltop Park, which neighbors the Westbrook public housing complex. The project, managed by Rec & Parks, was primarily funded by the statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Act of 2008, which set aside $368 million to improve parks and recreation facilities in underserved communities throughout California.

Candlelight vigil marks year since Mario Woods was killed by police

January 1, 2017

A Mario Woods candlelight vigil in the Bayview commemorated his death a year ago at the hands of San Francisco police on Dec. 2, 2015. The community response made headlines all year. A group of community members supported by the Justice For Mario Woods Coalition and Mario’s mother, Gwen Woods, kicked off the ceremony at Martin Luther King Park in Bayview on Third Street between Armstrong and Carroll at 3:30 p.m.

The Auset Movement: Loving humanity into wholeness on Christmas

December 29, 2016

The Auset Movement: Loving Humanity into Wholeness reluctantly celebrated its one year anniversary today, Sunday, Dec. 25. The group, made up of concerned citizens, have been serving hot meals once a month since Christmas last year. If there is a holiday, we show up that day with hot breakfast, today, the menu was Wanda Ravernell’s homefries, Jovelyn’s delight – fresh greens, Tobaji’s beans and rice, Kwalin’s sausage and pumpkin spice bread.

Second annual Christmas tree lighting brings joy and love to Double Rock – activities continue through the year

December 27, 2016

Together we stand and divided we shall fall! That’s the wisdom that brought together two men, Ron Whittenberg of Brotherhood Keepers and Dwayne Gaines of Just Stop the Killing, and the Double Rock community is the better for it, during the holidays and all year ‘round. Together, for the second year, they organized the Annual Double Rock Christmas Tree Lighting on Nov. 26. It was a hit that folks are still talking about.

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