Public Policy

The battle over rent control in the East Bay

As rents and home prices continue to skyrocket across California, a major ballot fight is brewing between tenants and the real estate industry over the state rent control law Costa Hawkins. Watch the video to learn more.

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 prisons, even though he can’t sign the petitions himself. This May, they fell short of their signature goal, but pledge to try again in 2020….

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 California Nurses Association, which is headquartered in Oakland. Should it pass, all healthcare costs would be covered under the expansive umbrella provided by the state…

Oakland prepares to move homeless to new “Northgate Cabins” site

In late April, in a formerly empty lot at the corner of Northgate Avenue and 27th Street in Oakland, the city installed 20 sheds that will house up to 40 people who are currently living on the street. This area, being referred to by the city as the “Northgate Cabins,” is supposed to serve as the first step toward transitional, and eventually permanent, housing for homeless folks who live in nearby encampments. According to officials in the City Administrator’s Office,…