A registered nurse with the Florida Department of Health explains the process of specimen collection to a nursing home resident in Northeast Florida, May 1, 2020.

Senior, Disability Advocates Mobilize to Ensure Care Facility Residents Vote

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed elections, and for people who live in residential care facilities like nursing homes, that may be creating barriers to participation. Last week, organizers with Senior and Disability Action called together advocates and experts to lay out what rights these residents have and how to ensure they are able to exercise them.

Workplace Inclusion Expert Reflects on Federal Diversity Training Ban

In September, news broke that diversity and inclusion trainings at two research labs in the Bay Area were being suspended at the direction of the White House. President Trump issued an executive order characterizing trainings about racism, sexism and white privilege as anti-American propaganda. Federal employees and contractors, including researchers at federally funded labs and immigration judges, are now prohibited from engaging in that kind of training. Lauren Aguilar, who holds a PhD in social psychology and is president and founder of the inclusion and diversity practice at the consulting group Forshay, described the language in the executive order as Orwellian and said the ban ignores evidence that everyone has biases which influence decisions about workplace diversity and inclusivity. Eliminating workplace programs designed to address those biases, Aguilar said, can result in highly skilled employees leaving their workplace, or their field entirely, when discriminatory work environments are allowed to persist. 

“In the federal government’s eyes, unconscious bias is like a dirty word.

Activists join the ACT UP 30th anniversary gathering rally in March 2017 at St. Vincent Triangle Park in New York City.

Long-Term AIDS Survivors Launch Advocacy Movement

AIDS2020: Virtual, the biannual conference of the International AIDS Society, held in early July, marked a turning point for long-term HIV/AIDS survivors — and not a good one. Five of us in San Francisco who have been on the front lines of the fight for our LGBTQ and HIV communities from the very beginning, left the event feeling sidelined and fed up. So, we met to discuss the myriad issues confronted by us long-term survivors. The result: The San Francisco Principles 2020, which we hope will be the seed for a new movement.

Word for Wordcast logo

Theater Artists Turn Dystopian Sci-Fi Story Into Podcast Performance Series

The Word for Word performing arts company at Z Space, which brings short stories to the stage while staying loyal to both the letter and the spirit of the written work, is turning to podcasting during the pandemic, when audiences aren’t allowed to gather. “WORD for WORDcast,” which turns short stories into podcasts with theatricality and rich sound design, will also be broadcast on the radio station operated by the San Francisco Public Press, KSFP 102.5 FM, on Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.

An aerial rendering shows the proposed BUILD development at 700 Innes in Bayview-Hunters Point, with the city's proposed park at 900 Innes at bottom right.

Is This the Bayview’s Big Park Moment?

The Bayview has the city’s attention – for better or for worse, depending on whom you ask. If voters approve a $487 million open-space bond measure in November, it will help fund a park at 900 Innes Ave., the first waterfront land the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks has ever owned. Yet, despite efforts to include the local community in the planning and the benefits, many are skeptical.

George Koster

‘Voices of the Community’ Begins Airing on KSFP

A new radio series examining how nonprofit organizations in San Francisco are managing challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic begins broadcasting today on KSFP 102.5 FM in San Francisco. “Voices of the Community” is produced by George Koster and will air Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

WeCopwatch trainer David Whitt teaching a copwatch college session in San Francisco in 2018. Now, due to social distancing guidelines, the curriculum that is normally taught in person during copwatch college has been made available online.

Interest in Community Police Watch Training Soars as Courses Go Online

Berkeley Copwatch is one of several Bay Area organizations that instruct observers in how to record interactions between the public and law enforcement officials that are seeing a surge in demand for their services. The groups have shifted their tactics and focused more resources on online course delivery in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the surge in protests. They’re also ramping up misconduct tracking efforts and social media campaigns as the public focus on police brutality heightens.

Wildfires, like the 2018 Carr Fire pictured, are one of the climate threats California may increasingly face in the coming years and that climate action plans are meant to address.

Oakland Approves Climate Equity Plan, but Organizers Say Funding Needed

Community-centered approaches are key to Oakland’s Equitable Climate Action Plan, approved unanimously by the City Council in July. It is designed to “bring about a just transition to a low carbon future” with green jobs and measures to mitigate the disparities felt by communities affected by climate change, according to a statement by Mayor Libby Schaaf.
But the plan doesn’t have guaranteed funding from the city government. For organizers, that’s a problem. “We need money to pay people to do work,” said Phoenix Armenta, who works with an environmental justice group.

Oakland Activists Launch Mental Health Hotline as Alternative to Police

In response to the disproportionate law enforcement violence against people with mental illness and amid ongoing calls to defund or reform police, activists with the Anti Police-Terror Project on Friday night will launch an initiative in Oakland designed to offer an alternative to calling the police in mental health crises. The initiative, called M.H. First Oakland, will begin operations as a hotline with the number (510) 999-9MH1.