Public Policy

Incarcerated people, parolees can’t vote in California, but people are trying to change that

Californians who are incarcerated in state prison or on state parole are prohibited from voting—which affects 162,000 people across the state. Taina Vargas-Edmond is seeking to change that with a grassroots initiative to put the issue before voters. Her partner in the campaign is her husband, Richard Vargas-Edmond, a prisoner organizing signature gathering from within…

Nurses union, Oakland City Council push for single payer health bill

Most healthcare bills have a hefty price tag attached, but Senate Bill 562 may have one larger than some Californians are willing to take on—an estimated $400 billion a year, according to an analysis from the California Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill, commonly called a “single payer plan,” is being pushed by members of the…

EPA fines Oakland and municipal utility district for sewage discharge violations

Last week, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and five East Bay communities were fined $389,300 in penalties for violating the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 Clean Water Act settlement. Oakland was penalized the most harshly, collecting $226,500 worth of those fines for its failure to both repair its sewage system’s defects and to prevent…

May Day march through downtown Oakland calls attention to labor, immigration and police issues

Papery doves of peace hovered above Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, among people carrying colorful signs and banners demanding the end of immigration raids and deportations. “No ban, no raid, no wall—sanctuary for all!” people chanted from a flatbed truck as different groups from throughout the Bay Area gathered at the plaza on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate May Day, also known as International Worker’s Day.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee discusses tech economy in Oakland

On Monday afternoon, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who represents California’s 13thDistrict, which includes Oakland, stood in front of a stage at the Barbara Lee Science and Allied Health Center at Merritt College in Oakland. She was speaking at a media briefing with three other members of Congress who belong to the Congressional Black Caucus(CBC) Diversity Task…

In the Temescal, businesses push for a Telegraph Avenue pothole fix

A particular stretch of road is causing controversy in North Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood. Five blocks, from 45th to 51st Street, are facing scrutiny due to a recent campaign by the Temescal Business Improvement District to repave that portion of Telegraph Avenue. “We’re really eager. We want to get this repaved,” said Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner, executive…