Thursday, September 22, 2016

Environmental Justice Activists Oppose Cap & Trade Program

State regulators are preparing to extend California’s cap and trade program to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. Environmental justice activists are mobilizing to oppose the cap and trade extension, saying the program is ineffective and places a pollution burden on vulnerable communities. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SF Homeless Man Critically Injured by Paintball Shooter, Advocates Say It's Result of Anti-Homeless Propaganda

San Francisco homeless advocates say a recent attack on a homeless man who sustained critical injuries and possible brain injury, is a result of political fear mongering and anti-homeless campaigns around ballot measures this November.

Reported by Corinne Smith. Photo by Jason Henry SF Chronicle

Activists Call for Diapers Not Detention

A coalition of interfaith activists is protesting the detention of women and children at three immigrant detention centers around the country. Mothers at one center in Pennsylvania are holding a hunger strike to protest what they call prolonged detention of them and their children. Religious activists held a series of “diapers not detention” events across the nation, including one at the San Francisco office of Representative Nancy Pelosi. Christopher Martinez files this report from San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Right to Jail Visits Awaits Governor's Action

Prison rights and family advocates are urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign a bill protecting the rights of jail inmates to have in-person visits with their families. The measure bucks a trend of jails moving toward video visits, especially in counties that have built new jails, often without visiting rooms. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Monday, September 19, 2016

UC Berkeley Palestine Course Suspended, Reinstated

The University of California Berkeley has reinstated a controversial student-led course on Palestine and colonialism, days after a dean suspended the course. The actions have sparked debate over antisemitism, academic freedom, and how to discuss Palestine and Israel on campus.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Governor Brown Signs Landmark Labor Legislation, Expands Immigrant Rights

Governor Brown signed several historic bills into law this week, expanding labor protections for millions of workers in key industries largely dominated by immigrants. The Governor signed legislation to grant overtime pay for farmworkers, another ensures permanent overtime pay protections for nannies and domestic workers. A 5 day hunger strike by janitors ended with the Governor signing legislation to protect against rape on the night shift. And on Thursday, the Governor signed the Nail Salon Worker Protection Bill strengthening health and labor protections for thousands of workers. The new laws were a hard fought win by many immigrant rights groups organizing across the state, confirming immigrants as an important and growing demographic in California.

Reported by Corinne Smith (Photo: Asian Journal)

'Big Soda' Lobbying to Defeat Bay Area Soda Tax Measures

As a controversy looms over tax initiatives in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, a new report shows the sugar industry's influence on health research to discount sugar as a contributing factor of heart disease. The proposed tax would place a penny per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages. But the beverage industry is lobby is spending over $10 million to defeat the initiatives in the Bay Area. But newly released released documents show the sugar industry has long sought to steer public health policy.

Reported by Corinne Smith (Photo: Sam Hodgsen/Reuters)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Teen Ready to Testify in Police Sex Trafficking Scandal

The 19 year old woman who called herself “Celeste Guap” is back in the bay area, ready to change her life, to pursue her education, and to testify about sex crimes alleged against Oakland and other police officers who had sex with her. The teen, who now uses her real name Jasmine, was sent to a Florida rehab facility. Her lawyers say they want to know why she was sent 3,000 miles away while investigations were roiling police agencies in the bay area. Christopher Martinez reports from Oakland.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Brown Signs Climate Bills to Help Poor Communities

Governor Jerry Brown has signed landmark climate legislation aimed at helping low-income and vulnerable communities that are hardest hit by the effects of climate change. The measures would allocate $900 million in money from polluters, earmarking the funds for things like clean mass transit, home weatherization and solar power for low income families. Christopher Martinez reports.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Activists Fight Sheriff's Immigration, Urban Shield Policies

Immigrant rights activists in Alameda County are celebrating a victory, after a vote by county supervisors on a measure aimed at getting the county out of the business of cooperating with a federal deportation program. The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution aimed at protecting the civil rights of undocumented immigrants, a symbolic move that goes against county sheriff Greg Ahern’s policy of cooperating with federal immigration officials. The board meeting also saw criticism of the sheriff for his backing of a controversial “Urban Shield” expo critics say leads to the militarization of police. Christopher Martinez reports from Oakland.