Oakland Activists Occupy Park to Build Settlement
We heard it before we saw it: the thudding of nails on wood, an undercurrent of basketballs bouncing off asphalt, and the occasional growl of a generator. People had taken over Marcus Garvey Park, a small patch of grass under Grove Shafter Freeway at 36th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, and begun to build The Village. (Marcus Garvey Park has an official name designated by the city that activists encouraged us to ignore.) As far as squats and “intentional communities” go, The Village... more
Thousands Protest Travel Ban at Airports
Jan 30, 2017
It was precisely 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, January 28th when a wave of humanity poured into the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). In response to President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and reports that several immigrant families had been detained at the airport, groups like Resistance SF called upon San Franciscans to rally and demand their release. The protests began with a few hundred people occupying the sidewalk with a rainbow of... more
Bay Area Mayors United over Sanctuary City Status
Mayor Ed Lee joined Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in vowing to defend “sanctuary city” status in their respective cities. After President Trump signed an executive order to withhold federal funding from cities that do not cooperate with the ICE, many Bay Area activists and politicians redoubled on their commitments to keep local law enforcement from collaborating with deportation efforts. Though it is unclear what power, if any, the... more
San Franciscans Stand with Standing Rock
Jan 27, 2017
In the wake of a pair of executive orders, protesters gathered last night to protest ongoing plans to build the Dakota Access Pipeline and the KeystoneXL pipeline expansion. Before sunset, a phalanx of federal Homeland Security police cars and motorcycles outnumbered a half-dozen protesters holding signs for the Standing Rock Sioux in front of the Federal Building on 7th and Mission Street. By nightfall, over one hundred held signs and banners in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. Corrina... more
Farrell Proposes Ban on "Dark Money" in Affordable Housing Oversight
Jan 25, 2017
During yesterday’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Mark Farrell (District 2, Marina / Cow Hollow) announced plans to tighten regulations on affordable housing funds. Specifically, the ordinance will aim to prevent the use of public funds for anything other than “unrelated to the creation, development, or preservation of affordable housing.” Farrell’s proposal comes in the wake of revelations that John Elberling, Director of the nonprofit development firm TODCO,... more
Mountain View City Council Votes to Support Rent Control
Mountain View renters clinched a major victory in their municipal legislature last night when the City Council voted unanimously to defend a rent control measure. Previously, Mountain View’s City Council had voted in a closed session to comply with a restraining order against the recently-passed Measure V, filed by the California Apartment Association, a statewide real-estate lobbying group. In another vote behind closed doors yesterday, the council approved a resolution to defend Measure V... more
Oakland Delays Decision on Warehouse Eviction Protections
In an occasionally tense special meeting last night, Oakland’s City Council voted unanimously to delay any decision on the Emergency Tenant Protection Ordinance proposed by the Oakland Warehouse Coalition. In the wake of the fatal Ghost Ship fire, OWC has requested a 180-day moratorium on evictions, particularly “red-tagging” evictions caused by a lack of building code compliance. Among other policies, the Coalition is requesting that the city extend Just Cause eviction protections to... more
Wiener Proposal Brings Teeth to State Housing Goals
State Senator Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco) announced further details today on SB-35, his proposed “Housing Accountability and Affordability Act.” The bill aims to streamline and incentivize infill housing development to ease the state’s housing shortage, and mend the flaws that stalled similar efforts by Governor Jerry Brown last summer. Central to Wiener’s proposal is enabling California to enforce compliance with individual cities’ Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA), which the... more
Club Chai Celebrates First Year of Oakland Grooves
The popular term IDM, for “Intelligent Dance Music,” presupposes that simplicity of form is inherently dumb, or at least of lesser intelligence. But we all know that’s bullshit. The Oakland DJ collective Club Chai knows there’s zero correlation between complexity and depth, and they seem to exploit the very falseness of that dichotomy into a wild success—not to mention a treat for the listener/dancer. Club Chai’s new mixtape Club Chai Vol. 1 culls the best material from their sweaty,... more
Modular Supportive Housing Proposal Coming to Berkeley
On a rainy, gusty day in Berkeley, the city’s homeless residents huddled in alleyways, under tarps and in tents, struggling to withstand elements. During last week’s stormy nights, a homeless woman died of exposure one block from city hall. As I walked past Berkeley High, I spotted a group of tourists gawking at an alien-like metal cuboid parked beside the curb that I recognized at once: the MicroPAD had arrived at last. Far from an extraterrestrial spacecraft, Panoramic Interests’ 160... more