Jobs (News)

Public Transit Investment Fuels More Jobs

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 11:35pm

Editor's Note: Investment in mass transit creates and sustains jobs far better than highway construction writes NAM contributor Carli Paine.

OAKLAND, Calif. – In response to the current economic crisis, the Obama administration has pledged to pass an aggressive economic recovery bill to create jobs and jumpstart the U.S. economy. President Obama requested that the proposed legislation be completed by the time he takes office.

Last week, Democrats in the House of Representatives revealed their economic recovery package, which calls for $90 billion in roads, bridges, waterways, and transit infrastructure investments. Public transportation capital investments would receive $10 billion under this proposal and $30 billion would go for highway construction.

Once a crime magnet, Richmond neighborhood changing

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 12:34pm

Battered old cars used to roll slow past Nevin Park, every inch dusty except for the gleaming new rims. When the sun went down — or any time, really — tired women dressed too skimpy for the weather peeked out from under dingy awnings.Richmond

The usual crowd sipped from bagged bottles, or leaned through the windows of scrapers stopped in the middle of the street, while homeless from the shelter down the block shuffled past.

John Spradlin, who manages the last surviving restaurant off Richmond's lower Macdonald Avenue, once regarded his stretch of Fourth Street as "a kind of barometer for crime" in the city. And the cinderblock facade of La Perla Mexican Deli did occupy a space in the backdrop of innumerable street crimes over the years, in the heart of the Iron Triangle neighborhood.

But not so much any more.

Reports of serious crime fell more than 15 percent in Richmond in 2008 from the previous year, evidence of persistent community effort, attentive policing and recent government emphasis on rebuilding the city's urban core. Nowhere does that change seem more palpable than the once-infamous corner of Fourth and Macdonald.


Contra Costa helps aged-out foster youths gain valuable work experience

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 11:36am

Last year about this time, 23-year-old Greg Jeffery Jr. worked for minimum wage in a 99-cent store.

And Kelly DeGraaf, 19, held down a retail mall job where she often worked late into the night and struggled to find time for her studies.

Today, these two Concord students attend college and work part-time for Contra Costa County in a new program, Project Yes, designed to help emancipated foster children successfully transition into adulthood.

As many as five additional former foster youths will start internships in January in the county planning department or its printing and mailing services division.


Why You Should Be Screaming for Higher Taxes

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 11:21am

US economic growth has been strongest when our taxes have been high. During World War II, then under Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy, our upper marginal tax rates were between 88-92%. Read those numbers again. They are astonishingly high. Those were our strongest growth years.

I never expected to say this. Pelosi's right, Obama's wrong.

Do keep in mind that we are talking about higher taxes on the richest members of society, the very richest. So, unless you're among that elite group, don't panic for personal reasons.

Keep in mind, also, that we are speaking only of income taxes.

You have certainly heard, several thousand times, that tax cuts lead to economic growth.

That's not true.

Moderate tax cuts lead to a flat economy. (The Johnson tax cuts, usually misnamed the Kennedy tax cuts, lead to 16 years of virtually no growth.)

East Bay incomes higher, but poverty rates not going down

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 3:53pm

If the East Bay economy could be judged by Pleasanton's median household income of $113,345, or its poverty rate of 2.1 percent, the region would seem to be doing fine.

The U.S. Census Bureau released statistics Tuesday that show the Tri-Valley city of about 68,000 people has regained its place as the most affluent midsize city in America.

"We're certainly in an enviable position and I'm not complaining," said Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman. "We're better poised than most to ride out these rough economic waves."

Forget the Banks: Bail Out the Poor

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 3:09pm

Ask anyone why the government doesn’t build housing for every person in this country who needs it, and you’ll get the answer you always receive. Ask why the government doesn’t turn around tomorrow and set up a universal healthcare plan and there’s that answer again. Ditto for making education and public transportation free. It’s always the same stock response: Our government doesn’t have the dough.

Yet this same government can spend trillions on two wars that were unprovoked, not to mention completely immoral. Government also has the loot to bail out banks in our current mortgage crisis. It’s already bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Millions of Americans are losing their homes because of predatory lending practices, and they don’t get any help. It’s not called welfare for the rich for nothing.

Oakland Workers Claim Contractor Underpaid Them

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 08/27/2008 - 10:00pm
More than 100 former employees of an Oakland construction firm that does extensive work for public agencies held a rally in Oakland today to allege that the firm didn't follow the state's prevailing wage law and forced them to sign false timecards.

The former employees filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court on July 17 accusing NBC General Contractors Corp. of ignoring state labor laws by paying them the minimum wage rather than a higher rate required for public works projects.

The suit is seeking millions of dollars in back pay.


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