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Ellie Lightfoot

Oakland group connects youths with disabilities to internships

On Tuesday evening, about 15 new high school graduates with various developmental and intellectual disabilities gathered in an echoey elementary school auditorium in Oakland for an event called Ramping Up Independence. For many, it was the first time meeting staff from the organizations that would help them transition out of special education classes and into the next phase of their lives. The event was organized by East Bay Innovations (EBI), a nonprofit that helps disabled adults work and live independently….

Kaiser mental health clinicians and patients protest long wait times

On Sunday afternoon, over 100 therapists, patients, and their supporters from across Northern California gathered in downtown Oakland to stage a vigil in front of Kaiser Permanente’s corporate office—one they said they’d run indefinitely until the corporation’s leadership takes big steps to make their clinicians’ jobs more sustainable and improve access to mental health care. Protesters in bright red shirts chanted “Mental health, not corporate wealth!” into the hot, empty plaza. They unfurled a 60-foot banner onto a low barbed…

Oaklanders get ready to face PG&E power cuts

On Wednesday afternoon, Oakland residents prepared for the power to go out, anticipating cuts that were initially expected to begin in Alameda County at noon. Parts of the Oakland hills and East Oakland are the most likely to be affected by the outages, which Pacific Gas and Electric estimates will affect 32,680 county residents. PG&E officials plan to cut power to parts of more than 30 Northern California counties as a wildfire prevention measure. This decision followed the last two…

At California Nurses Association headquarters, an art show highlights “recognition”

As the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, and the daughter of two proud union workers, Bonnie Castillo’s understanding of the world was forged in an atmosphere that celebrated people power through art. Growing up in Sacramento, Castillo volunteered with her mother at La Raza bookstore, a hub for Chicano community. Her family friends were members of The Royal Chicano Airforce, an artists’ collective founded in 1969 to express the goals of the Chicano civil rights and agricultural labor movement in rural…

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