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.
Jane Martin, POWER’s political director, said the options were discussed this week with Mayor Ed Lee and MTA Executive Director Ed Reiskin as part of a two- to three-year pilot program. Thursday, Lee told a group of students that he’s working hard to lower the cost of transit for them, adding that they should avoid buying a car.
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.
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.
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.
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.
USSF News: Do you see a connection between the past work done by the US Social Forum in 2007 and 2010/ WSF and the Occupy Movement?
The city has already paid $26 million to Goldman Sachs, and local activists say the deal is unfair gift of public funds and should be terminated.
By Darwin BondGraham
Although last week's $26 billion settlement between the Obama administration, attorneys general from 49 states, and five large banks over unscrupulous lending practices appears to have been deeply flawed, it may provide a modicum of relief for two million homeowners nationwide, including a half-million Californians. The agreement, however, does nothing for cities like Oakland that are trapped in expensive and toxic financial deals with some of Wall Street's biggest players. Oakland's bad lending deal is with Goldman Sachs, and it's already cost the city $26 million. By 2021, the total pricetag for local taxpayers could reach $46 million.
Park Oakland loses a $1 billion a year to other cities, and without redevelopment, the city's plans for a major shopping district in Upper Broadway may be history.
Glenda Barnhart and her partner Clay Wagers dreamed of opening a bicycle shop. In 2008, as the economic meltdown started to spread nationwide, she feared that she would lose her income as a consultant and noticed that a bike shop was for sale around the Valdez Triangle. She took one look at bike shop and walked out. The area also known as Upper Broadway — failing auto dealerships, vacant storefronts, desolation — reinforced the thought it would be a horrible idea to buy that shop.
Six months later, Barnhart noticed the bike shop was still for sale. But this time she saw signs that the area was springing back to life. The nearby Whole Foods on 27th and Harrison streets had become a vibrant attraction for area shoppers. Condos were popping up close by, new restaurants were opening, and a nascent art community was blooming. It was time, she concluded, to buy that shop — Bay Area Bikes. "If we do this now," Barnhart recalled thinking, "we will be getting on the ground floor of something big. It was my dream to retire and do what I love."
OAKLAND, Calif. - A new chapter opened Feb. 7 in the long saga of efforts to redevelop the former Oakland Army Base, as the City Council approved guiding principles to assure Oakland residents priority for construction jobs and for the warehouse and goods movement jobs that are to follow.
The base is especially important to the city's economic life because it is next to the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth busiest port, in a working-class area where unemployment is high.
Agreement on the provisions came after years of discussion, and a nine-month process that brought together labor, community members, environmentalists and the business community, with Councilmember Jane Brunner playing a major role. Participating in the discussions was the 30-organization Revive Oakland! coalition of clergy, workers, youth, and neighbors from West and East Oakland.
Besides construction jobs, the project is expected to create some 2,500 to 3,000 permanent jobs.
Workers nationwide are losing millions of dollars each week to wage theft as their employers, some unscrupulous, others scrambling to keep their businesses afloat, fail to pay the mandated minimum wage or overtime wages, or, in some cases, don’t pay their employees at all.
Wage theft is far more common than was known just a few years ago, according to a new report from the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University.
“Employers are under a tight squeeze and looking for different ways to save money. Some are using wage theft as a business model to cut costs,” said Cynthia Hernandez, co-author of the report.
The research institute’s study comes just as Florida is debating how to handle wage theft allegations. The state hasn’t had a labor department since former Gov. Jeb Bush dismantled the department a decade ago.