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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Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.