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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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”