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Giving Machines Come to Oakland’s Temple Hill in ‘Light the World With Love’ Event

The Giving Machines are vending machines that, rather than dispensing drinks or potato chips, dispense love, hope and support to those in need. Three Giving Machines are available at Oakland Temple Hill through Jan. 3. These machines allow all to purchase a gift for one of six humanitarian organizations. Simply pick a particular gift such as a chicken for a family overseas or warm clothing for a local need, then use a debit or credit card to pay for the tax-deductible charitable donation.

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From left to right, Elder Jay D. Pimentel and Elder Steven C. Merrell of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Linda Ashcraft Hudak, CEO of George Mark Children’s House; Candace K. Andersen, Contra Costa County Supervisor and MC of the launch event; S.F. 49ers offensive tackle Corbin Kaufusi; daughter of Sheng Thao with Sheng Thao, Oakland’s District 4 Councilmember; Bobby Miller, director of Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program; Christine Dillman, associate director of Tri-Valley Haven; ECAP founder Nellie Hannon; and Bruce Bird of JustServe. Photo by Kourtney Jex Jarvis.
From left to right, Elder Jay D. Pimentel and Elder Steven C. Merrell of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Linda Ashcraft Hudak, CEO of George Mark Children’s House; Candace K. Andersen, Contra Costa County Supervisor and MC of the launch event; S.F. 49ers offensive tackle Corbin Kaufusi; daughter of Sheng Thao with Sheng Thao, Oakland’s District 4 Councilmember; Bobby Miller, director of Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program; Christine Dillman, associate director of Tri-Valley Haven; ECAP founder Nellie Hannon; and Bruce Bird of JustServe. Photo by Kourtney Jex Jarvis.

By Post Staff

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Oakland City Council President Sheng Thao and Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor President Candace Andersen were joined by San Francisco 49er offensive lineman Corbin Kafusi to launch Giving Machines on Oakland Temple Hill.

The Giving Machines are vending machines that, rather than dispensing drinks or potato chips, dispense love, hope and support to those in need. Three Giving Machines are available at Oakland Temple Hill through Jan. 3.

These machines allow all to purchase a gift for one of six humanitarian organizations. Simply pick a particular gift such as a chicken for a family overseas or warm clothing for a local need, then use a debit or credit card to pay for the tax-deductible charitable donation.

Participating nonprofits include three local and three global organizations. Tri-Valley Haven, the George Mark Children’s House (George Mark) and Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program (ECAP) serve adults and children in the Bay Area while UNICEF, Church World Service (CWS Global) and Water Aid address humanitarian crises around the world.

Councilmember Thao told those assembled, “It truly allows for thousands of people to come and actually touch the lives of so many people around the world.” She and her daughter helped heft the huge scissors to cut the ribbon.

All administrative costs of the machines, from construction to installation to operation and even the credit card fees are covered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “100% of all donations collected will be delivered to the nonprofits displayed in the Giving Machines,” Jay Pimentel, a spokesman for the Church, said.

The annual Temple Hill Christmas Lights and Days of Christmas Concert Series run concurrently with the Giving Machines. The Lights, Concerts and Giving Machines are all part of the Church’s 2021 worldwide campaign to Light the World with Love. Oakland Temple Hill is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 4780 Lincoln Avenue in Oakland. All are invited to come and enjoy the decorated grounds and to see if there are charities in the Giving Machines they would like to support.

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Activism

Moms 4 Housing Hold Sit-in Demanding County Supervisors Extend Eviction Protections

All formerly unhoused mothers, the Moms are risking arrest to demand that newly elected Supervisor Lena Tam uphold a previous vote for a strong package of permanent tenant protections for renters in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County as the end of the COVID Eviction Moratorium looms. Participants in the sit-in, are calling on all supporters to come to the 5th floor of 1221 Oak Street or outside the county building immediately to support the protest.

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Participants in the sit-in, which began Tuesday afternoon, are calling on all supporters to come to the 5th floor of 1221 Oak Street or outside the county building immediately to support the protest.
The Moms are prepared to hold this sit-in for 60 hours — for the 60,000 tenants who need these protections, which are set to expire.

By Post Staff

Moms 4 Housing held a sit-in in the nonviolent civil disobedience tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., to demand that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors uphold their original vote to pass permanent Just Cause eviction protections for the 60,000 tenants living in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County.

The Moms are prepared to hold this sit-in for 60 hours — for the 60,000 tenants who need these protections, which are set to expire.

All formerly unhoused mothers, the Moms are risking arrest to demand that newly elected Supervisor Lena Tam uphold a previous vote for a strong package of permanent tenant protections for renters in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County as the end of the COVID Eviction Moratorium looms.

Participants in the sit-in, are calling on all supporters to come to the 5th floor of 1221 Oak Street or outside the county building immediately to support the protest.

The Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), ACCE and EBHO, along with other local activists, are mobilizing outside of the Alameda County Administration Building to stand in solidarity with Moms 4 Housing, an organization focused on uniting mothers, neighbors, and friends to reclaim housing for the Oakland community from the big banks and real estate speculators.

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Activism

Following More Mass Shootings Democrats Introduce Assault Weapons Ban

On January 22, a gunman opened fire on a crowd celebrating the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, California, killing 11 and wounding 9. The Democrats’ proposed Age 21 Act would make it illegal to sell or buy an assault weapon to anybody under 21, bringing it in line with the legal age for purchasing handguns. President Joe Biden has publicly stated his support for the legislation.

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The assault weapons prohibition “passed the House last year with bipartisan backing, but was blocked by Senate Republicans
The assault weapons prohibition “passed the House last year with bipartisan backing, but was blocked by Senate Republicans.

By Stacy M. Brown,NNPA Newswire

Two proposals aimed at curbing the spread of assault rifles were submitted today by Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein of California, and Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

The Assault Weapons Ban seeks to prohibit the commercialization, distribution, production, and importation of assault rifles and other firearms designed for use in military operations, as well as high-capacity magazines and similar devices.

On January 22, a gunman opened fire on a crowd celebrating the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, California, killing 11 and wounding 9.

The Democrats’ proposed Age 21 Act would make it illegal to sell or buy an assault weapon to anybody under 21, bringing it in line with the legal age for purchasing handguns.

President Joe Biden has publicly stated his support for the legislation.

Biden said that the number of mass shootings declined during the decade that the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect.

“In the 10 years that the Assault Weapons Ban was on the books, mass shootings went down,” Biden remarked.

“After Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled,” he declared.

Both houses of Congress were urged to take quick action by the president.

According to Biden, “the majority of American people agree with this rational measure.”

“There can be no greater responsibility than to do all we can to ensure the safety of our children, our communities and our nation,” he insisted.

In the House of Representatives, Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline said he plans to introduce a companion bill to the Senate’s Assault Weapons Ban.

Feinstein said assault rifles “seem to be the unifying denominator in the seemingly endless number of horrific shootings.”

“Because these firearms were created for maximum efficiency in mass murder,” the senator noted.

“They have no place in our society or educational institutions. It’s time to take a stand against the gun lobby and do something about getting these lethal weapons off the streets, or at the absolute least, out of the hands of our youth.”

Blumenthal added, as the gunman at the Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park demonstrated just days ago, assault weapons are designed for one and one purpose only: to murder or hurt human beings.

“These military-style combat weapons – built for the battlefield and designed to maximize death and destruction – have brought bloodshed and carnage to our streets and continue to be the weapon of choice in countless mass shootings,” Blumenthal said.

“Guns don’t respect state boundaries, which is why we need a national solution to restricting the ownership and use of assault weapons. Now is the time to honor gun violence victims and survivors with this commonsense action.”

Rep. Ciciline argued that it is long past due to reinstate an assault weapon ban and remove these “weapons of war” from civilian areas.

The assault weapons prohibition “passed the House last year with bipartisan backing, but was blocked by Senate Republicans,” Ciciline noted.

“We need to come together to enact this commonsense, effective, and proven policy to reduce gun violence and save lives. I thank Senator Feinstein for her partnership in this fight and look forward to introducing the House companion bill in the coming weeks.”

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Activism

With a 97.3% Strike Vote, More Than 500 Richmond Educators Rally Before School Board Meeting

“We don’t want to strike, but we will if it means doing what is best for our students. Over 90% of all union members who participated in the strike authorization vote are ready to meet this crisis created by a board and management team not working in the interests of the district. We are hoping our actions through the fact-finding process will show WCCUSD that we are serious about fighting for the best resources for our students. They deserve the best, and nothing less,” UTR President John Zabala said.

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Educators across the district have weathered crisis after crisis: from budget cuts due to poor financial management, to building new virtual learning systems during the pandemic, or giving up countless prep or non-contractual hours to ensure students are with a credentialed adult every day
Educators across the district have weathered crisis after crisis: from budget cuts due to poor financial management, to building new virtual learning systems during the pandemic, or giving up countless prep or non-contractual hours to ensure students are with a credentialed adult every day

By Post Staff

United Teachers of Richmond (UTR) held a rally urging West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) officials to reach a “fair settlement” and avoid a strike.

Teachers, school psychologists, school nurses, school counselors, program specialists, librarians, and speech-language pathologists are calling for a settlement that includes community schools, shared decisions, and competitive compensation that keeps outstanding educators in the community — and brings the next generation of educators to the district.

The rally was held at Lovonya Dejean Middle School, 3400 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond.

“We don’t want to strike, but we will if it means doing what is best for our students. Over 90% of all union members who participated in the strike authorization vote are ready to meet this crisis created by a board and management team not working in the interests of the district. We are hoping our actions through the fact-finding process will show WCCUSD that we are serious about fighting for the best resources for our students. They deserve the best, and nothing less,” UTR President John Zabala said.

In mid-November last year, the Legislative Analyst Office of California announced additional guaranteed, ongoing funding for the 2023-24 school year. The district intends to only provide less than half of the percentage of ongoing permanent funding it receives from the state for educator compensation, according to a statement released by the UTR.

Despite that projection of continued funding by the state, the school district declared an impasse in negotiations with UTR. Educators across the district have weathered crisis after crisis: from budget cuts due to poor financial management, to building new virtual learning systems during the pandemic, or giving up countless prep or non-contractual hours to ensure students are with a credentialed adult every day.

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