Equity Action In the Media

Facebook bus drivers unionize amid concern about work conditions

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:50pm

John Ribeiro

Drivers of buses that shuttle employees to Facebook’s campus have decided to unionize, reflecting an increasingly assertive contract workforce at tech companies in California.

The drivers, who are employees of Facebook contractor Loop Transportation, voted Wednesday to join Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro.


Press Release on Race Poverty & the Environment Relaunch, Feb 25, 2014 from CRPE, UH and MSC

Reimagine! is new home of the national journal of social and environmental justice.

Oakland, California (February 25, 2014) The Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE), Urban Habitat (UH), and the Movement Strategy Center (MSC) today announced the launch of a new collaborative publishing endeavor—Reimagine! —which will be the new home of Race, Poverty & the Environment (RP&E), the national journal of social and environmental justice. 

“The journal is as relevant for the environmental justice movement today as it was at its founding in 1990,” said CRPE Executive Director Caroline Farrell. “In fact, given the demographic shifts in the United States, it's more important than ever that policy and advocacy reflect the interests and goals of people of color.”
“Reimagine! will bring media professionals together with activists, policy advocates and academic experts to create print, web, and radio content,” said Reimagine’s Project Director Jess Clarke. “This will be media made by the people making change—not just media about them. It will bring a rare synthesis of analysis and on-the-ground experience to bear on environmental and social justice issues.”

Low-wage jobs drive Silicon Valley employment growth, forcing more workers into long commutes

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/05/2012 - 12:39pm

Jobs paying less than $50,000 a year make up the majority of Silicon Valley’s projected employment growth, according to a 2012 report, and that means many more workers will commute long distances because they can’t afford to live in the valley.

In a housing market inflated by high-salary technology jobs, the median price of a single-family residence in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties remains at nearly $700,000.

The cost of renting is often out of reach as well. The report, released by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and Urban Habitat, shows that the average Silicon Valley bank teller, paramedic, waiter or retail employee falls well short of the annual salary needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment: $69,560 in Santa Clara County and $82,400 in San Mateo County.

As a result, 98,000 cars commute to and from the valley each day, and more than one-third of the workers driving them earn less than $40,000 annually, the report said.

Some commute from Stockton or Modesto (both almost two hours east of Silicon Valley), others from Hercules (more than an hour north). Even though housing is much cheaper there, these long-distance commuters pay in other ways: They spend a big chunk of their income on transportation and also lose time with their families.

REDI's Christy Leffall on KPFA's Morning Mix - April 19, 2012

Listen to Christy Leffall, land-use program coordinator and coordinator of the Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) at Urban Habitat, on KPFA's Morning Mix hosted by Richmond Planning Commissioner Andres Soto that aired on April 19, 2012 at 8:00 am. Leffall gives a recap of the General Plan Rally at the Richmond City Council Chambers on April 17th and subsequent adoption hearing of the General Plan with the Environmental Impact Report, which REDI has been working on for over six years.

REDI members turned out in significant numbers to this meeting. The vote was tabled until next week because the general plan agenda took over four hours, one hour for the staff’s presentation, and another three hours for public testimony where 111 speakers had signed in to speak. The upcoming City council vote on Tuesday, April 24th, 6:30pm at Richmond City Hall. Listen to an edited version of the segment here (or download). Visit, KPFA to hear the full version.

Christy Leffall is currently a Land Use Program Coordinator working in Contra Costa County. Leffall is coordinator of the Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) in Richmond, CA, which advocates for the adoption and implementation of equitable elements within the city’s updated General Plan. 

First of city's major affordable housing projects goes to council tonight for final OK

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 04/18/2012 - 10:53am
High density apartment buildings will add more than 500 residential units to Hacienda Business Park's residential housing

The Pleasanton City Council will vote tonight on bids by BRE Properties to build high density apartment buildings with 498 units in Hacienda Business Park.

The Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) were approved earlier by the city's Planning Commission after more than a year of public hearings, workshops and task force considerations.

The project is an outcome of the settlement agreement between the city and Urban Habitat, an Oakland-based affordable housing coalition that successfully sued the city over its 1996 housing cap and lack of adequate affordable, workforce housing.

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.

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.


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