In the ethnically and racially diverse Bay Area, local politicians have long been disproportionately white. Research shows that while more people of color have been running for and winning seats, they make up only slightly more than a third of the region’s elected officials. Some city councils are entirely white.
A new documentary, “Homeroom,” shows how Oakland High School’s Class of 2020 faced a year of pandemic uncertainty with resilience and perseverance, amplifying calls to end policing in schools even as those schools shut down and their personal milestones were relegated to virtual spaces.
There have already been attempts to challenge vaccine mandates around the nation in court. Dorit Reiss, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law who researches legal considerations around vaccines and vaccine mandates, talked with “Civic” about what employers and governments must weigh when it comes to requiring immunization.
In the streets, in jails and other detention facilities and at its program sites around the Bay Area, the Young Women’s Freedom Center provides resources and support to girls, women and transgender and gender non-conforming people. It also provides training, internships, fellowships and jobs that pay to help people affected by poverty, exploitation and violence develop their voices.
Sean Nozzari, deputy director of traffic operations for the California Department of Transportation in the Bay Area told “Civic” that when the spring 2020 lockdown began, “the amount of travel initially dropped maybe 80%. But it started building up, and around December of 2020 it started going up steadily to a point that the amount of travel that takes place on our freeways is pretty much about what we had before.”
A group of civil rights organizations filed suit against the city of Mountain View over an ordinance that restricts oversize vehicle parking on most city streets, describing it as unconstitutional and inhumane.
Ridership on BART is slowly returning at about 20% of pre-pandemic levels. Starting next week the transit agency will begin adding trains with a return to a near normal train schedule by August 30. “Civic” learns more about BART’s plans, ongoing budget problems, new trains, the homeless and how BART is prepared for a mass shooting like the one at a light rail yard in San Jose last month.
Jeff Chang, author of several books including “Who We Be: The Colorization of America and We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation,” has written extensively about this history and talked with “Civic” about the legacy of white supremacy and how it has influenced the discussion of recent anti-Asian violence: quietly rather than overtly.
The Bay Area’s Tigrayan community has been calling attention to what has become a humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. An internal U.S. government report on the situation, according to the New York Times, described a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing.
North East Medical Services has multiple clinics in San Francisco and around the Bay Area, serving some 70,000 patients at 10 clinics in the region, many of whom are low-income Chinese speakers. Kenneth Tai, chief health officer, and Jessica Ho, government affairs and community liaison for North East Medical Services, talked with “Civic” about their vaccine distribution strategy.
A series of violent crimes against Asian seniors in the Bay Area has sparked concern and calls to action, including public gatherings. In San Francisco and Oakland, organizers arranged for socially distanced events over the weekend to emphasize the need for additional resources and services to advance public safety.