Archive | October, 2012

Instant Runoff Voting in the Berkeley Election

In Berkeley, there is a strong movement among progressive activists to change the status quo in city politics. Progressive mayoral candidates are developing a new electoral strategy that utilizes Instant Runoff Voting, also known as Ranked Choice Voting, in an effort to influence the outcome of the mayoral race.

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Berkeley Tenant in Limited Equity Co-Op Faces Eviction

Ruby is still in shock over having to suddenly pack, sort out what she might store with a friend, and try to hang on in a world where most people dismiss you for having no address. Ruby is African-American, an older woman with severe disabilities. Can they do this in Berkeley?

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From the Streets of Oakland to the United Nations

Because his poem was published in Street Spirit, Jay Fernandez was invited to present it at the United Nations. After reading Jay’s poem in Street Spirit, the Fourth World Movement invited him to recite it at the United Nations on October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

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It’s Time for an Honest National Dialogue About Poverty

However bad conditions are for the middle-class, they are far more acute for the poor, who are trapped in squalid circumstances far below middle-class standards of survival. The “help-the middle-class-first” option, which might accurately be termed “trickle-down lite,” will not help those at the bottom of our society.

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Forbes List of 400 Richest Americans Ignores Role of Inheritance and Privilege

Forbes spins a misleading tale of what it takes to become wealthy in the U.S. by understating the overwhelming impact of birthright and privilege. Many of those on the Forbes 400 were “born on third base” but claim to have “hit a triple,” and the Forbes 400 list perpetuates this falsehood.

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October Poetry of the Streets

The common people should be free/ to lie on public commons grass/ in a democracy/ whether the sun is up,/ whether the sun is down,/ whether it’s day or night/ they should not be put to flight/ the common people should be free/ to lie on public commons grass/ in a democracy.

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People, Land and Justice

The Ecumenical Peace Institute’s Autumn Gathering focuses on “The Community Challenge to Protect Public Land.” Speakers will address the ways people relate to the land, beginning with the viewpoint of Native American peoples, then looking at current struggles relating to land and justice, and analyzing the concept of “the commons.”

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.