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The Spirit of St. Mary’s Center

A giant puppet of Gandhi symbolizes the spirit of nonviolence and justice at this Health and Justice Fair 2005 held at St. Mary's Center in Oakland.

by Terry Messman owntown Oakland has the highest percentage of seniors in poverty of any urban area in California. Many of those seniors are homeless. On any given night, elderly citizens make up 17 percent of Oakland’s homeless populace. St. Mary’s Center in downtown Oakland is providing life-saving shelter and life-enriching services, recovery programs and […]

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St. Mary’s Center — On the Move for Justice

Joseph Shaw (at left) talks with Carol Johnson, director of St. Mary's. Lydia Gans photo

by Maureen Hartmann A giant puppet of Martin Luther King is being created today by the senior clients of St. Mary’s Center. The puppet will hold the “UN Declaration of Human Rights” or a quote from King, “It’s time to end poverty.” It is being put together for the End Poverty Procession planned for October […]

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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.