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A provision empowering the Board of Supervisors to amend San Francisco’s voter-enacted government-transparency law, the Sunshine Ordinance, is prompting at least two journalist organizations, the First Amendment Coalition, the local League of Women Voters, the San Francisco Labor Council and many other sunshine advocates to oppose a city Charter amendment, “Privacy First,” that will appear as Proposition B on the local ballot this November.
On March 27, the San Francisco Bay Area’s Stop Urban Shield Coalition claimed victory in its four-year battle to stop Urban Shield, a war games and weapons convention for cops held in Alameda County every year since 2007. I spoke to Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance and co-facilitator of Oakland Privacy, a citizen’s coalition that works regionally to defend the right to privacy and enhance public transparency and oversight regarding the use of surveillance techniques and equipment. She has worked with the Stop Urban Shield Coalition since 2014.
It’s 2016, 40 years since Muhammad al-Kareem founded the New Bayview, now renamed the San Francisco Bay View, in 1976. Inspired by Malcolm X, he wanted to bring a newspaper like Muhammad Speaks to Bayview Hunters Point. He’ll tell the story of those early years, and I’ll pick it up now at the point when my wife Mary and I took over in 1992. Watching our first paper roll through the huge two-story tall lumbering old press at Tom Berkley’s Post Newspaper Building on Feb. 3, 1992, was a feel-like-flying thrill we’ll never forget.
As part of a larger effort called the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, a delegation representing Bay Area organizations is petitioning Conngresswoman Barbara Lee to ask the FCC to address the high cost of prison phone calls by passing the Wright Petition.
AB 1270, legislation that would increase transparency and media access to California’s notorious state prison system, is currently facing opposition in the Senate Appropriations Committee. CDCR is formally opposing the bill, citing cost as their main concern. There are two ways that you can help: Attend a Lobby Day on Aug. 9 or phone committee members from home before Aug. 13.
Today, residents throughout the state celebrate as AB1270, a bill to lift the media access ban in California prisons, passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety in a 4-2 vote. Since 1996, media have been prohibited from choosing their interview subjects inside prisons, and nine versions of this bill have been vetoed by three different governors.
There’s more mischief underway at community radio station KPFA. KPFA subscribers will soon be receiving ballots in the mail asking them to vote on whether media activist Tracy Rosenberg should be recalled from her seat on the KPFA board. This swiftboat-style attack on the station’s hardest working board member must be defeated!
We, the undersigned paid and unpaid KPFA staff, do not have confidence in the management of KPFA's Interim General Manager Lemlem Rijio. Rijio's actions during the past two years have caused the alienation of a large number of staff members, have created turmoil within the station and have resulted in her losing credibility with many staff members. Her shift of KPFA's culture away from one of collaboration and mutual support helped create the climate leading to the tragic and unnecessary police arrest of unpaid staff member Nadra Foster.
At 4 p.m. on her very last day of employment as the executive director of the Pacifica Foundation, Nicole Sawaya permanently appointed Lemlem Rijio as the general manager at KPFA-FM, a position Rijio has been occupying on an interim basis for two years. Rijio has been under fire as of late, with Berkeley police violently arresting a station programmer who had allegedly been banned in a dispute over copier usage. Seventy-four of 215 station staffers have signed a statement of no-confidence in her leadership.