Connect with us

City Government

Bill Giving Oakland Council Control Over Gun Laws Passes Legislature

Published

on

By Steven Tavares

A bill giving the Oakland City Council a blank slate to enact stronger gun control measures than the rest of the state heads to the governor’s desk. The legislation authored by Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta, passed Friday by the State Senate, allows the city stricken by gun violence to potentially offer gun laws along the lines of federal regulations, which are more restrictive than the state’s current laws.

The bill’s primary focus rests with the registration and licensing of commercial firearms, but contains does not contain specifics for how public officials in Oakland should implement the new rules. That will rest with Oakland City Council, a body known for its infighting, but regarding the issue of gun violence, have typically been unified in recognizing its corrosive effect on the city.

“No one can deny that Oakland is suffering from among the highest levels of gun violence in the state and in the nation,” Bonta said in a statement late Friday. “AB 180 is a smart and sensible bill that empowers Oakland and provides local control in addressing gun violence–where it is needed most.”

Budget cuts at the statewide level and locally have created a disastrous situation in Oakland as steep cuts in the number of cops on the street has exacerbated its problem with crime, Bonta added.

Gun rights advocates fear Bonta’s bill could set a precedent for tighter gun control measures across the state. During a discussion o then topic last May, Republican Assemblymember Tim Donnelly said the bill’s unintended consequences threaten law-abiding residents.

“It is going to deny every citizen in Oakland the right of self-defense,” said Donnelly, who added, “This is really a poll tax on your right to defend your own life.”

Cross posted from Oakland Local

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Bay Area

Alameda County Educators Call Out Schools Chief Over Unauthorized Stipends

At least half of the staffers who received large COVID-19 stipends also contributed to Supt. Monroe’s re-election campaign. In all, 11 ACOE employees made political contributions to Supt. Monroe’s campaign, and she awarded the stipend to nine of them, the media release said.

Published

on

Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown and Alameda County Supt. of Schools L.K. Monroe.
Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown and Alameda County Supt. of Schools L.K. Monroe.

Supt. L.K. Monroe Failed to Inform Trustees of Payments to Managers Totaling $600,000

By Post Staff

Teachers’ unions in Alameda County are criticizing Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. K. Monroe for paying more than half a million dollars in COVID-19 related stipends to employees without informing the Alameda County Board of Education (ACBOE).

The unions, which are backing Monroe’s opponent, Alysse Castro, in the upcoming June election, are saying the payment of these stipends is unethical, lacks accountability and adds doubt to her credibility as a leader.

According to a union media release, the superintendent’s office has resisted publicly accounting for these expenditures, violating Ed Code 1302, which says a county superintendent cannot provide stipends of more than $10,000 without first bringing it to the board for discussion.

At least half of the staffers who received large COVID-19 stipends also contributed to Supt. Monroe’s re-election campaign. In all, 11 ACOE employees made political contributions to Supt. Monroe’s campaign, and she awarded the stipend to nine of them, the media release said.

“This is a blatant disregard to educators, parents, and community members who have been advocating to keep schools in Black and Brown communities open. The Alameda County Office of Education oversees the Oakland Unified School District’s (OUSD) budget, and them handing out stipends to management like nothing shows where their loyalty lies,” said Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown.

“Together, we are united in keeping accountability in Alameda County. Superintendent Monroe’s attitude with all of this is a failure on her end as a leader. The irony in all of this is that the funds have been there all along to support our classrooms and students, and instead the funds are given to employees who have the least contact with our students,” said Castro Valley Teachers Association President Mark Mladinich.

“It’s a true shame this is what our leadership has decided to do with public education. As educators, we are going to do what we have always done – which is fight back to win the school students deserve,” said Dublin Teachers Association President Robbie Kreitz.

“Accountability matters. If it is not educators and parents who are going to do the work in supporting ethics in our classrooms, who will?” said Fremont Unified District Teachers Association President Brannin Dorsey.

“This is taxpayer money that is being used without accountability, and it is extremely unfair to families in Alameda County who expect these funds to go towards where they are meant to go – to support the educators and staff who are actually with the students every single day,” said San Lorenzo Education Association President Karen Rosa.

At press time, the Oakland Post had not received a response to these allegations from Supt. Monroe.

A recent EdSource article reported that Monroe apologized last week after her office spent the COVID relief money on stipends for her staff, mostly for managers who took on extra duties during the pandemic.

Stipends ranged from $200 to over $26,000, depending on the amount of extra work employees did, which included COVID testing, contact tracing, distributing masks and overseeing logistics, the article said.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

Ida Times-Green Running for State Assembly District 12

Ida Times-Green became a voice for Marin City schoolchildren over the segregation in their school. She was appointed as a Sausalito Marin City School Board Trustee in 2014 and subsequently won election as the top vote-getter in 2018.

Published

on

California State Assembly District 12 after 2020 redistricting cycle (From ballotpedia.org). Lower left of map: Ida Times-Green.
California State Assembly District 12 after 2020 redistricting cycle (From ballotpedia.org). Lower left of map: Ida Times-Green.

By Godfrey Lee

Ida Times-Green, a resident of Marin City, is running for California State Assembly District 12 of California in the upcoming June 7 election.

Times-Green promises to fight for affordable housing, single-payer healthcare, living wages and union workers, resilience to wildfires, climate justice policies, reforming law enforcement, public education and student debt relief.

“There are numerous issues facing our state that I believe are critical — single-payer healthcare, affordable housing, homelessness, wildfire resiliency — with the climate crisis being an existential threat and dealing with that must underlie everything we do.

It’s about more than just this district — it’s about the future of California,” Times-Green wrote on her Facebook page.

Times-Green is also concerned with women’s reproductive rights, wildfire resiliency, and post-COVID revitalization. Her position on these issues can be found at Idatimesgreenforassembly.com

Times-Green showed her concern for the community when she and her late husband, Edward Lee “Boone” Green. Boone Green, the founder of the Marin City Boxing Club, founded One Kid at a Time, a nonprofit dedicated to mentor at-risk children and young adults in 2013. The couple believed that with support, these young people could be steered in the right direction despite prior risky behavior. It was a belief that led them to help many young adults find homes and graduate from high school.

Times-Green became a voice for Marin City schoolchildren over the segregation in their school. She was appointed as a Sausalito Marin City School Board Trustee in 2014 and subsequently won election as the top vote-getter in 2018.

Today, Times-Green is in her eighth year as a board trustee with the Sausalito Marin City School District (SMCUSD). She is fulfilling the desegregation mandate handed down by former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in August 2019 and creating a multicultural learning environment for all children in the district. She also helps the community every day through her full-time job as a social worker for the County of Marin.

She is an active member of the faith community at the Cornerstone Community Church of God in Christ in Marin City. She was previously a member of Village Baptist Church in Petaluma. Times-Green’s heart for her community is large, with a strong desire to serve for many years to come.

Times-Green’s many endorsements include the Health Care for All (HCA), California State Superintendent of Public Education Tony Thurmond, Marin County Supervisors Susan Adams (ret.) and Kate Sears (ret.), Marin County Office of Education Deputy Superintendent Terena Mares, San Anselmo Vice Mayor Steve Burdo, Tiburon Councilmember Noah Griffin, Sausalito Marin City School District Superintendent Dr. Itoco Garcia, and SMCSD boardmembers Lisa Bennett and Bonnie Hough, Esq., California Democratic Party Senior Caucus Chair Ruth Carter and 1W Regional Director Pat Johnstone. Ida Times-Green can be reached at idaforassembly@gmail.com or call (415)231-8807.

Continue Reading

Activism

OPINION: Why Every Californian Should Support the Prescription Drug Pricing Bill

For 30 years CHCs have used those savings to provide free medications to patients experiencing homelessness, free transportation vouchers, free nutrition classes, and hire provider types (like community health workers) who are not billable within Medi-Cal. Today, there are over 1,300 health centers in California that provide care to 7.2 million people — that’s 1 in every 5 Californians and 1 in 3 Medi-Cal patients.

Published

on

Dr. Oliver Brooks is chief medical officer and past chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Watts Healthcare Corporation in Los Angeles.
Dr. Oliver Brooks is chief medical officer and past chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Watts Healthcare Corporation in Los Angeles.

By Dr. Oliver Brooks, Special to California Black Media

In 1992, the federal government enacted the 340B Drug Discount Program. It afforded community health centers (CHCs) the ability to provide pharmacy services to their patients, a service that many CHCs did not have the resources to provide otherwise.

The program protects safety-net providers, including CHCs, from escalating drug prices, allowing us to purchase drugs at a discounted rate from manufacturers and pass those discounts directly to the patient. This program is presently under threat.

That is why I support Dr. Richard Pan’s Senate Bill (SB) 939. This bill, currently being reviewed by the Senate Committee on Health, would prohibit discriminatory actions by drug manufacturers and administrators when providing 340B drugs to health centers and the patients they serve.

It provides important consumer protections that are necessary to protect 340B savings and ensure that the savings remain with health centers and their communities, creating greater access to health care and equity for all.

The 340B Program also allows safety-net providers the ability to accrue savings that must be reinvested directly into patient care and services. Thus, the program enables covered entities to stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.

For 30 years CHCs have used those savings to provide free medications to patients experiencing homelessness, free transportation vouchers, free nutrition classes, and hire provider types (like community health workers) who are not billable within Medi-Cal.

Today, there are over 1,300 health centers in California that provide care to 7.2 million people — that’s 1 in every 5 Californians and 1 in 3 Medi-Cal patients.

Additionally, 68% of CHC patients are from BIPOC communities. CHCs are often the only source of primary and preventative care for California’s most diverse communities, including those experiencing homelessness, immigrants, and agricultural workers.

Anyone who walks into our health centers today can access a variety of services from primary care to dental to behavioral health care and a variety of wraparound services, regardless of whether they have health insurance, or an ability to pay for care. A large part of why we’re able to offer those services is thanks to savings we receive from the 340B program.

In recent years the 340B program has been under assault by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), drug manufacturers, and others within Big Pharma.

Through the expansion of the Affordable Care Act & Medi-Cal, more low-income patients can access healthcare in California, meaning more are also able to access medications, causing the 340B program to expand. Given this fact, manufacturers have put practices in place that limit patient access to 340B priced drugs while PBMs focus on trying to take 340B savings away from CHCs, and out of the local communities that need them, threatening patient access to critical medicines made available through the program.

Health centers were born out of the Civil Rights Movement to ensure that all communities, particularly communities of color, would have access to high-quality care that is provided in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. This program has allowed covered entities, including CHCs, to contract with local pharmacies so that our patients can access low-cost medications in a convenient manner. The continual acts of greed by pharmaceutical companies and PBMs threatens equity and access that CHCs were designed to create.

Community health centers around the country are sounding the alarm over Rx drugs manufacturers’ attacks on the federal 340B program. Since 2019, 21 states have passed laws addressing PBM discrimination against 340B covered entities.

It’s time for California, the policy trendsetter, to become the next state to protect the 340B program so it can operate as intended.

That is why Dr. Richard Pan’s SB 939 is so important and why I so fervently speak in favor of this legislation.

Dr. Oliver Brooks is chief medical officer and past chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Watts Healthcare Corporation in Los Angeles.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending