Archive | January, 2011

The Martyrdom of Malcolm and Martin

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X meet on March 26, 1964. Both men had come to hear the senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Investigating the assassinations of Martin and Malcolm over the past decade has been a pilgrimage into martyrdom. From that journey, I have learned, first of all, how naïve I was about systemic evil. While there is nothing new about prophets being murdered by the system, I was not aware of how well our own system carries out such murders — and why.

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A Reverence for Life in the Midst of Death

Participants at st. Mary’s memorial put candles around a painting entitled “Heart of All” by artist and community member Leon Kennedy. Mina Gaskell Photo

  by Molly Woodward very winter, when freezing temperatures and wet weather make surviving on the streets even harder, communities across the nation take time to remember the people who died homeless over the past year, and to recommit to the fight for one of the most basic of human rights — the right to […]

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U.S. Mayors Warn of Deadly Rise in Homelessness

A homeless man in San Francisco, hungry and alone on the winter streets, holds up a sign bearing a single poignant word: “Famished.” Robert L. Terrell Photo

Lack of shelter threatens increases in hypothermia and death on the streets by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty “More and more people are experiencing homelessness, and they’re in grave danger with temperatures dropping. This is a wake-up call to stop the funding cuts.” — Maria Foscarinis, National Law Center on Homelessness & […]

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Organizing to Save the California Dream

“I was a client at a homeless shelter. I have been hungry. I have been afraid. I have worked hard to reach the place I am today and I am not going back to the life I used to lead.” — LaTanya Wolf, St. Mary’s Center by Paige Hustead spirited community forum held at St. […]

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Tax Increases for Workers with the Lowest Incomes

by Joan Clair great deal has been written about the tax bill signed into law by President Obama on December 17. “For Many Taxpayers, a Christmas Bonus,” reads the headline of one article about the new law by Stephen Ohlemacher in the West County Times. The article includes a table of “Tax changes by income” […]

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Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.