In the Media
A few years ago, Laurie Jones Neighbors wanted to know whether the Bay Area's rich cultural diversity was reflected on local boards and commissions, the sort that deal with apartment rents, public buses, air pollution and other realities of everyday urban life.
"There was very little representation of people of color and low-income people," she said after canvassing dozens of agencies. "We're not going to arrive at a just society that way."
The financially struggling AC Transit offers one of the best public transit bargains in America for riders 18 and younger: $15 per month for a youth pass good for unlimited local bus rides.
The deal may not last much longer, though. Bus system administrators have proposed increasing the pass price to $20 per month in August as the first step toward tripling the charge to $45 per month over eight years.
The proposal -- to be aired in a fare increase public hearing 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in Oakland -- has sparked debate over the district's competing goals. District officials say they want to offer a break to students, but also face pressure to act more frugally in hard financial times that forced the district to cut service twice last year.
Press Release: Urban Habitat Names New Executive Director
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 11, 2011
For just the third time in its 22-year history, Urban Habitat will have a new executive director. Allen Fernandez Smith will take over leadership of the Oakland-based environmental and social justice group May 2, 2011. He succeeds Juliet Ellis, who left at the end of October 2010 to become the Deputy General Manager for External Affairs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and Carl Anthony, who co-founded the organization and led it for its first 12 years.
“I’m delighted to pass the torch to Allen Fernandez Smith,” Ellis said. “He will bring vision, practical experience, passion and commitment to an organization that is moving on the key issues of equity in the Bay Area and beyond.”
East Bay Transit Activists, Listener call-ins, East Bay Bike Party, Film: “Jashn-e-Azadi” AC Transit is planning to raise the bus fares again. With gas prices up and wallets tight, some bus riders don’t think this is a good idea. We also discuss the 25 year regional dividing of the transportation tax money which is going on now. Guests: Lindsey Imai of Urban Habitat (http://www.urbanhabitat.org) and Alia Theltz of ACCE Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (formerly ACORN, http://www.calorganize.org), KPFA listeners talk about the effect of the ongoing economic meltdown on their lives and in their community. Sam The Shaolin B-Boy joins an East Bay Bike Party. Here are the sights and sounds. http://eastbaybikeparty.wordpress.com/ Filmmaker, Sanjay Kak, talks about "Jashn-e-Azadi" (How We Celebrate Freedom), his film about Kasmir, arguably the most militarized country in the world (http://www.kashmirfilm.wordpress.com). Hosted by Adrienne Lauby & Leah Gardner.
How much did Oakland and Alameda's population shift over the past 10 years? This week, we're about to (finally) find out. Yesterday, the Census Bureau shipped local 2010 Census data to the governor and leadership of the state legislature in California. Today, at 12:30 p.m. PST, the full set of data for every county in California will be available via FTP download at http://www2.census.gov/census_2010/01-Redistricting_File--PL_94-171/. By Wednesday afternoon, the data will be posted on the Census Bureau's new American FactFinder site http://factfinder2.census.gov
The data will include summaries for Alameda County and all other Cali counties of population totals, as well as data on race, Hispanic origin and voting age for multiple geographies within the state, such as census blocks, tracts, voting districts, cities, counties and school districts.
PLEASANTON -- Pleasanton officials want residents to help plan for nearly 2,000 new homes in town, with 80 percent or more for either low- or very low income households.
As part of a court settlement with Urban Habitat -- an organization that won a suit challenging the city's voter-approved housing cap limiting the number of homes here to 29,000 -- the city agreed to provide a housing plan update to the state by August. The update includes plans to accommodate 1,992 new units, of which 1,661 must be income-restricted.
In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, low-income housing is designated for families with a maximum annual income of a $72,240 for a family of four; families making up to $45,150 qualify as very low income.
If the city fails to meet is Aug. 16 deadline, it could face additional sanctions from the court, including loss of its power to issue building permits and to zone property.
The city established a housing element update task force in October. Over the past four months, it has developed a citywide list of 17 potential sites, with a combined 108 acres of land that could accommodate at least 30 housing units per acre. The city estimates it would have to rezone 70 acres to meet its requirement.
The project first came to the Planning Commission in May 2008 and was approved 4-1 in September.
Many residents opposed the proposal because of concerns about parking, traffic, density and historical preservation.
The project calls for building 14 two-story homes on a 1.17-acre lot across the street from the Pleasanton Mobile Home Park and bordering the Union Pacific Railroad.
Not Drivers' Fault
THIS IS regarding the Nov. 24 editorial, "AC Transit gets relief, but cuts still likely misses the mark:"
AC Transit's financial woes are not primarily due to drivers' salaries. (In fact, a regional and national comparison done in September of transit wages by MTC puts AC's toward the bottom of the spectrum.)
AC's deficit is mainly due to discriminatory funding decisions at the regional, state and federal levels, which prioritize highway expansion and costly rail expansion at the expense of operating bus service. And, as pointed out, the drawn-out recession doesn't help AC either.
California's first-ever citizens redistricting commission came alive today with the random drawing of eight initial members who were finalists from a pool of nearly 31,000 applicants.
The independent commission is charged with a once-a-decade task that lies at the heart of political power, determining boundary lines for legislative, congressional, and Board of Equalization districts.
Urban Habitat’s Connie Galambos Malloy Tapped for California’s New Citizens Redistricting Commission
“I’m honored to be chosen as a Commissioner,” Galambos Malloy said. “I will strive to collaborate with my colleagues, and with the public at large, to fulfill the intent of the California electorate: ensuring that our state’s electoral system provides representation for all. Our work will be vital in protecting civil rights and securing a voice for each of us--and someday for our children--in the political process.