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News about the EJ movement, environmental issues and relevant political devlopments

Pleasanton's rezoning for affordable housing enters final stage

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 12/14/2011 - 10:31am

PLEASANTON -- The debate over where to rezone land to accommodate nearly 2,300 affordable housing units focused Tuesday more on sites left off the city's list than those included.

The city's planning commission and City Council met Tuesday to provide input on nine of 17 sites Pleasanton submitted to the state in July as part of its housing element and to comply with a legal settlement.

Alameda County TJ groups fight to shape 30-year transportation spending plan

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 12/09/2011 - 10:45am
Lindsay Imai - Measure BBefore the end of 2011, Alameda County will commit to a spending plan that will shape its transportation system for generations to come—and transportation justice advocates are working feverishly to ensure that the plan is fair, fiscally sound and environmentally friendly.

The half-cent sales tax enacted when county voters passed Measure B in 2000 supplies the county’s largest source of transportation funding. With that tax set to expire in 2022, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) is preparing to put a new measure before the voters in November 2012. The new proposition, if approved by a 2/3 vote, would double the tax to a full cent and make it permanent. ACTC expects to raise $7.7 billion with the expanded tax; this will represent more than half of the county’s total transportation funds. The 30-year plan for spending that money will be part of the measure on the ballot. If it is approved, county residents will not have another chance to shape transportation spending until 2042, when ACTC will submit another budget to the voters.

Fighting for Better Transit and Housing

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 11:22am

A group of low-income AC Transit riders are battling for more bus service and affordable housing.


With three young kids and no car, unemployed Oakland mother Alia Phelps was hit hard by recent AC Transit route cuts and fare increases. Getting where she needed to go suddenly took a lot more time and money. So when she learned about Riders for Transit Justice she became an active member, speaking up at AC Transit board meetings for more service with no fare increases.

Soon, though, the bus riders realized that AC Transit was broke, said Phelps, "and we realized that they didn't have the ability to get more money" because a large portion of their operating funds come from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. "Then, we found out MTC was working on a Regional Transportation Plan, deciding how to distribute money for the next 25 years."

That's how Phelps and her fellow bus riders entered the esoteric world of regional planning, attending public hearings and sitting down with planning staff. The bus riders learned that MTC and another regional body, the Association of Bay Area Governments, are developing a plan that will shape both transportation and housing in the Bay Area for 25 years to come: where we can afford to live, what our communities will look like, how we will get to work, how long the commute will be, and more.

A Climate Convergence in San Francisco

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 10/05/2011 - 3:09pm

Organizers call San Francisco “flagship” event for worldwide campaign

More than a thousand people marched down Market Street in San Francisco for the Moving Planet rally.
About a thousand people marched in San Francisco on Saturday, chanting slogans, carrying signs and wearing costumes. But unlike many demonstrations that frequent the City by the Bay, the Moving Planet rally was one of hundreds around the world, calling for action and awareness to halt global climate change.

Power Book Event with Veteran Organizer Eric Mann

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 2:49pm

Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer Eric Mann
Tuesday October 11th 6-8:30pm
at 518 Valencia Street
Hosted by POWER

OAKLAND Thursday October 13th 6-8:30pm
(Rescheduled - Date To Be Determined)
Hosted by Causa Justa::Just Cause
“Eric Mann has written an essential field guide for community organizers. His voice is crisp and clear, and his footsteps on the pavement are sharp. A pragmatic primer for all radicals.”?—Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World
An organizing manifesto for the twenty-first century, Playbook for Progressives is a must-have for the activist’s tool kit. This comprehensive guide articulates pragmatically what is required in the often mystifying and rarely explained on-the-ground practice of organizing. Here, Eric Mann distills lessons he learned from over forty years as an organizer, as well as from other organizers within the civil rights, labor, LGBT, economic justice, and environmental movements.

Come hear the author first hand and get your own copy of this exciting new book!!
Read more about the Playbook for Progressives here.
Eric Mann is a veteran organizer with the Congress of Racial Equality, Students for a Democratic Society, and the United Auto Workers Union. He is presently the director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles and a member of its Bus Riders Union and Community Rights Campaign.


Free Fast Pass would give San Francisco youth a ticket to opportunity

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 1:18pm
For immediate release
Sept. 20, 2011

Contact: Sheila Chung Hagen, Office of Supervisor David Campos, 415-554-5144;
Jaron Browne, POWER, 415-377-2822


Free Fast Pass would give San Francisco youth a ticket to opportunity
Bus riders, parents & community organizations rally, take proposal to Board of Supervisors

All young people in San Francisco would be able to ride MUNI for free under a proposal
put forward by a broad spectrum of community organizations and supported by many public
agencies and officials. Advocates for the free youth pass will hold a rally and press
conference in front of San Francisco’s City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 12:00 noon.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will introduce a resolution backing the project at its
meeting immediately following the event, at 2 p.m. Supervisor David Campos, San Francisco
Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia and other city officials will speak at the
rally, along with youth and adult representatives of several community groups.

Broad Coalition Calls on SFMTA to Provide Free Muni Youth Passes

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 12:06pm

Youth Passes

A broad coalition of community groups, youth leaders, transit advocates and elected officials called on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency today to initiate a three-year pilot program to give young people ages 5 to 17 free Muni passes. The program would cost an estimated $7 million a year and result in a 4.6 percent increase in Muni ridership.

“We believe that transportation is a human right,” said Alicia Garza of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER).  “What we’re seeing is that over the last few years the cost of (public) transportation has increased, and service and access is decreasing. Over the last two years, there’s been more than a 100 percent increase in the cost for Fast Passes for youth.”

“For families that are struggling to survive in San Francisco,” she continued, “that also means an increase in costs when wages are not increasing, when the number of jobs in San Francisco is not increasing, and when resources for public services, including schools, are not increasing. For families with more than one child this translates into an additional burden that’s being placed on working-class families and working-class communities of color in our city.”


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