Proposition 14 asks California voters to approve a $5.5 billion bond to allow the institute to continue to provide grants for stem cell research, with the goal of creating new treatments for some of medicine’s most intractable problems. Jeff Sheehy has been a lonely voice on the board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where he stands in opposition to the state ballot measure that would fund the organization for years to come.
Californians were hit with power shut-offs last weekend and were told to conserve energy by minimizing use as power needs could exceed availability. But some energy experts are doubtful that unusually high demand led to the shutdowns, alleging mismanagement on the part of the state’s energy grid operator.
The Judicial Council of California, the rulemaking body for the nation’s largest court system, voted Thursday to end a temporary reprieve for California residents in danger of losing their homes. The move would lift the protections in less than three weeks, at midnight on Sept. 1, opening the door to evictions and foreclosures.
As workers head back to their jobs, they are navigating the new workplace safety reality of operating in a global pandemic. Labor organizers say the protections against catching the novel coronavirus on the job are insufficient at many workplaces, and lack enforcement. They allege that California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, is critically short-staffed. Erika Monterroza, a spokesperson for Cal/OSHA, said in an email the staff shortage doesn’t keep the agency from meeting its mandate. “We believe that this agency is not doing what it should be doing.
Tenants would gain a potential pathway into permanently affordable housing — to weather the COVID-19 pandemic — under a bill making its way through the state Legislature. Assembly Bill 1703 would require most owners looking to sell residential rental property to give the property’s tenants, as well as designated groups like nonprofits, the opportunity to make the first offer to purchase. If any of those outside groups bought the building, rents would be capped to help protect low-income tenants from displacement — a major threat as the state faces a recession and widespread job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill’s sponsors are trying to guard against a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis’ fallout. “If you mapped where most homes were lost, and who lost them, they were Black and brown communities,” said Peter Cohen, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations, one of more than 40 groups that sponsored the bill and brought the concept to the state Capitol, where Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) wrote and introduced it.
Uber and Lyft can no longer keep their safety reports quite so secret. Their California regulator reversed a rule shielding that data from public view.
Assembly member Phil Ting represents District 19, having been elected to that seat in 2012.
Facilities Construction at Public Schools — Proposition 13 would authorize a $15 billion state bond measure to provide matching funding to districts for renovation and construction of facilities. $9 billion are slated for K-12 schools, and $6 billion for public higher education institutions. The measure prioritizes districts that have health and safety needs, like lead in their water, or that are too small to raise adequate funds through taxes.
David Chiu, the state assembly member representing California’s District 17, the Eastern side of San Francisco, is running unopposed for re-election this year. He spoke with “Civic” about his recent legislative work.
If San Francisco adhered strictly to state laws that grant residential developers considerable flexibility, it could increase housing density in upcoming projects by up to 35 percent. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
The momentum to increase the minimum wage that is building in San Francisco and other localities across California has not caught on for similar statewide efforts. Part of the summer edition of the San Francisco Public Press. Get yours today.