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Mayor says youth could see lower Muni cost Read more at the San Francisco Examiner

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 11:49am

The movement to make Muni free for San Francisco youth is gaining traction.

According to an activist group, proposals to be advanced at an April 3 hearing before the Municipal Transportation Agency’s board will include a reduced monthly pass cost of $5, free Muni for low-income youth and free Muni for all youth.

SF Muni should give students a free ride

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 11:45am
Letting students ride Muni for free is an appealing idea that City Hall is all but certain to adopt. Eliminating fares makes it easier for kids to get to school, cuts the bills for parents and helps reduce traffic congestion in San Francisco.

But the idea means a fare-box hit of $4 million to $7.9 million for the under-funded transit system facing a $23 million deficit. The money factor is giving the Metropolitan Transportation Agency, which runs Muni, pause while it searches for the right mix of funds and rules for the program.

Thousands of Kids Lost From Parents In U.S. Deportation System

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 02/29/2012 - 10:00pm

Clara’s eldest kid was 6 years old and her youngest just a year old when it happened. Josefina’s baby was 9 months. All three children were ripped from their mothers and sent to live in foster homes with strangers. Clara and Josefina, sisters in their early 30s who lived together in a small northern New Mexico town, had done nothing to harm their children or to elicit the attention of the child welfare department. Yet one morning last year, their family was shattered when federal immigration authorities detained both sisters. Clara and Josefina were deported four months later. For a year, they had no contact with their children.

The sun was rising on a late summer morning in Farmington. Clara (all parents’ names in this story have been changed) was asleep inside the trailer that she shared with the children and Josefina, who was finishing a night shift at the local restaurant where both sisters worked. Clara says she was jolted awake by the sound of banging and yelling. A group of uniformed officers, some marked with ICE, for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and others DEA, for Drug Enforcement Administration, burst through the door.

Free MUNI for Youth: SFMTA Must Seize the Day

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 02/23/2012 - 12:25pm

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) needs to vote on the proposal for a Free MUNI Youth Pass in March — or risk losing millions in transportation dollars that would improve the lives of San Francisco youth and their families. A broad community coalition led by young people has been campaigning for the free pass for more than a year, which would allow all San Francisco students to get to school, work, and to recreational and cultural activities.

OPINION: Keep the housing floodgates closed

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 02/17/2012 - 12:08pm
Pleasanton's two decades of managed slow growth policies ended Monday with the City Council's final approval of a new "housing element" that will become part of the city's General Plan.

By rezoning nine separate sites totaling 73 acres throughout the city for high-density housing, the council has authorized developers to build more than 3,000 units for low- to very-low to moderate income tenants.

Add to 840 more housing units previously approved on land rezoned for two-, three- and four-story apartment buildings in the Hacienda Business Park, Pleasanton has now met a March 1 deadline imposed by the Alameda County Superior Court and the Urban Habitat affordable housing organization to require Pleasanton to meet its current state housing obligation to provide more workforce/affordable homes.

BART Directors Approve Moving Livermore Project Ahead

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 02/17/2012 - 11:54am
BART directors unanimously authorized moving ahead to the next level of work on building an extension to Livermore.

At its meeting Feb. 9 in Oakland, the board agreed to proceed with a project-level EIR and the formation of a joint powers agreement (JPA) with Livermore and the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC).

Director John McPartland, whose district includes Livermore, made the motion, which was seconded by director Tom Radulovich of San Francisco.

Radulovich added an amendment that made clear the understanding that no capital improvement money for the Livermore extension would come from BART.

Directors from the older areas of BART service were worried that the Livermore project would have to tap into BART funds sometime in the future.

Directors said that BART has $30 million in reserves, which is a small sum compared to the overall budget. Further, BART faces the need for $7.5 billion in improvements for the entire current system. Much of it is for replacement of train cars that are 40 years old.

Occupy Wall Street and the US Social Forum Movement: Local and National Perspectives

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 02/17/2012 - 11:38am
As Occupy Wall Street initiatives around the country develop in response to the growing economic crisis, what opportunities and lessons present themselves for those of us working to transform our society? Below we report on inisights shared with us by Maureen Taylor, the State Chairperson of Michigan Welfare Rights Union and co-chair of the Detroit Local Organizing Committee for the 2010 USSF and George Friday, National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network and member of the USSF National Planning Committee.


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