Where California Workers Won and Lost in 2012

latina worker

Caitlin Vega: Labor accomplished big things this year that benefit all Californians but when it came to advancing worker protections, many of those bills were vetoed.

International Drive to Free Sara Kruzan, Directed at Governor Brown

saving-sara-wide

Our goal is to speed up the process of freeing Sara Kruzan. While we cannot make up for what has happened to her, we can fight for justice now.

Portantino Proposes Alternative to Early Release Prison Reform Efforts

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino

Anthony Portantino: Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced legislation that shifts the prison reform debate from an early release and sentencing reform emphasis to stopping the revolving door at California’s prisons.

Why Won’t Cities Fight Real State Budget Cuts?

Jerry Brown

Paul Hogarth: While some may see Jerry Brown’s proposal as a “power grab” by the state that tells local governments how to spend their money, the truth is that it can prevent some devastating budget cuts that have been afflicting localities for years.

Dear Terminator, Lay Off Our Executioners

David Holtzman

David Holtzman: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can help. In what very little time he has left in office, he can give his legacy a considerable boost by commuting the state’s hundreds of pending death sentences to life in prison without possibility of release. As a Los Angeles resident on the world’s stage, he should be sensitive to his image at home and abroad.

Overcrowding at Center of Landmark Prison Rights Case

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Carol Strickman: The best way to ensure that people successfully reenter society is to provide resources to support them upon release. Prisoners who have maintained family ties and have housing and employment opportunities awaiting them will do better than those who don’t.

Californians Need to Say NO to Big Oil

Tracy Emblem: Implementing clean energy in California now – not twenty years from now – is a not only a public health issue — it’s a matter of economic survival.

Beyond the Grim Sleeper: Cut Death Penalty to Fund Criminal Investigations

Aqeela Sherrills

Aqeela Sherrills: Why do we continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on the death penalty even though it has never been proven to deter murderers and even though 1,000 killers get away with murder each year?

Fast 4 Freedom

curb

Diane Lefer: AB900 was a huge victory for the prison-industrial complex. “People are making a profit out of putting people in cages,” said Geri Silva.

Friday Feedback: Prison Reform

Friday Feedback: People are understandably appalled when violent offenders get early release and go on to commit horrendous crimes, including the recent murder of Chelsea King for which a parolee has been arrested. What is less understood is that thousands of people — including juveniles as young as 13 — are being handed life sentences, including life without any possibility of parole.

Despise the Initiative Process? New York City Shows Why Progressives Need It

Yankee-Stadium

New York City provides a case study of a large, ethnically diverse, California-like entity where citizen ballot measures are not an option. The result? A profoundly undemocratic city where large real estate developers call the shots.

Schwarzenegger Could Veto California Out-of-State Couples Bill Any Moment

Gay Couple

Anti-LGBT organizations like Ron Prentice’s ProtectMarriage.com are trying to convince Schwarzenegger to veto SB 54, the Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act (Leno, D-San Francisco).

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Tea Bagging California

arnold cuts budget

Just as many of the neo-cons seemingly cross their fingers hoping for a mass-casualty terrorist attack on U.S. soil because they see it as political gold for them, they’re also cheerleading for the economy to remain stagnant

LAUSD Canceling Summer School: Do We Really Want to Go There?

Superintendent Ramon Cortines.

The Superintendent of the second largest school district in the United States, Ray Cortines, recently announced that the Los Angeles Unified School District will be canceling summer school as a cost-cutting remedy for the district’s $400 million dollar budget shortfall. Who thought of this bright idea? Can the School Board really be serious? The city [...]

Save $1 Billion in Five Years—End the Death Penalty in California

prison

In the market for a prime piece of real estate? Governor Schwarzenegger has the deal for you! Facing a $21.3 Billion budget deficit in California, Schwarzenegger has offered to sell state-owned property to make up the difference. The crown jewel of the proposed fire sale is San Quentin State Prison, home to California’s death row [...]

Arnold’s Legacy: Driving the State Towards Bankruptcy

arnold09

Governor Schwarzenegger’s May “budget revise” last week – which proposed more mass layoffs, more painful cuts and more reckless borrowing – had all the makings of the end of a Shakespearean tragedy, where the protagonist has run out of options due to troubles of his own making. One could also view it as the definition [...]

Activists, Reformers Now Control State Democratic Party

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom

Before the California Democratic Convention ended yesterday, delegates bucked the Party leadership on the May 19th ballot measures – by securing a “no endorsement” on Propositions 1A, 1D and 1E. State legislators and Party operatives pushed “yes” on all six measures, but enough of the grassroots who stayed for the tail end of the session [...]

Tenant Foreclosures Highlight Need for Statewide “Just Cause”

robins-nest

With the mortgage crisis leading to mass foreclosures, right-wing pundits are blaming one set of victims – homeowners who got into bad arrangements they couldn’t afford. But what about renters who suddenly lost their homes, because their landlord didn’t pay the mortgage? Unless they live in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Los Angeles or other California [...]

The Push to Do Away With State Boards

tires-people

Literally from the first moment I walked into the California Legislature, and, probably, for years before that, my colleagues “across the aisle” (that is, Republican colleagues) have unceasingly advocated for the elimination of any and all state oversight boards. Pressed to articulate their reasons, they cite the usual mantra of “waste”, and insist that it [...]

Governor’s Mental Health Proposal Would Cause Irreparable Harm to Clients and Communities

Patricia Ryan

A broad coalition of mental health advocates Tuesday blasted Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to permanently reverse parts of the state’s landmark Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), saying the plan would harm the more than 600,000 individuals who rely on public mental health services, exacerbate the cash crunch counties face during this economic downturn, and seriously set [...]

California’s Failure to Invest in Higher Education Gives the State Little Hope for Economic Prosperity in the 21st Century Global Economy

college students

As California’s leaders continue to wrestle with how to tackle the ever growing budget deficit, cuts to education and in particular public higher education, continue to be mentioned as a solution to economic tumult. Such cuts would be a blow to a State that already has fallen from “trend-setter” in terms of education and economic [...]

PDA Scores in San Jose

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With dramatic new language to end the war in Iraq added to the state platform, and a resounding vote against Proposition 98, which would end rent control, the California Democratic Party convention in San Jose Sunday was invigorated by new progressive spirit. Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown was among the local delegates aligned with [...]

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