Posts Tagged ‘sb’

Jesse Jackson’s National Transit Roadshow Arrives Con Brio, Sans Jesse

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Well, this is what was promised for today’s noontime transit worker rally at the Old Federal Building on Golden Gate and Polk:

Turns out that Jesse didn’t show. (Here’s what you would have seen and heard.) 

But a couple-hundred or so transit workers and allies were on hand at the plaza in front of Big Blue:

And here’s how they got there. How apropropriate!

Here’s who was there. I see District 9 San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson, and TWU 250-a Union President Irwin Lum, for starters: 

Are riders and drivers really united? Not that I can see, not in San Francisco. I’m mean, I’m sure that all involved would like Uncle Sucker to rain cash down upon the City, but beyond that, there’s not much uniting these groups. It would be nice to cancel the already-useless Central Subway and use the extra billion (or two or three) that that would free up to pay for transit people are using today, but the system doesn’t work that way, obviously. Oh well.  

Here’s a take from Greg Dewar at the N Judah Chronicles.

On It Goes:

Anyway, here’s the spiel:

“Transit service cuts, fare hikes and layoffs affect millions of Americans every day. You can help save transit and counteract the nation-wide transit crisis by rallying with the Save Our Ride alliance.

Save Our Ride was formed by the Transport Workers Union, Amalgamated Transit Union and Reverend Jesse Jackson to raise awareness of the transit crisis and to rally for the passage of transit bills that will allow flexibility of federal aid for transit. The alliance is an advocate for more affordable and efficient transit systems, better air quality and a greener future for America.

You can download the full press release here.

Come show your support:

June 29, San Francisco: Noon, Federal Building on Golden Gate Bridge

July 1, Sacramento: Noon, Federal Building, 501 I street

July 7, Houston: 11 am, Mickey Leland Federal Building, 1919 Smith Street

July 9, Miami: 2 pm, Government Center Building

Download the San Francisco flyer here.

Speakers to include: James C. Little, President International TWU; Harry Lombardo, TWU Executive Vice President; Warren George, President of International ATU; Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Other speakers will include TWU and ATU local leadership, legislators, community and civil rights groups, riders who are suffering from service cuts and increased fares. (speakers subject to change)

Stay tuned to twu.org and ourride.org for speaker announcements and more information as the rallies approach.

The reason your fares have increased and your service has been cut is because the federal government has neglected transit for decades and the country’s on-going economic struggle that has slashed transit revenues has pushed transportation systems into their own crises.

“We can not allow our transit systems to crumble from financial neglect,” said President James C. Little. “We must work together to tell the federal government the neglect must stop.”

Federal subsidies to our country’s largest transportation systems do not allow enough flexibility for operating costs. So transit systems can use federal funds to buy news trains and buses (capital expenses), but not to pay the operators. If your bus doesn’t have an operator, you are not going to get to work on time.

Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have proposed bills, H.R.2746and S3189, that would allow transit agencies to flex funding to suit local needs. Also, eight senators from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee introduced a bill, S. 3412, to authorize emergency funding for transit agencies to help reverse fare increases and service cuts.

This legislation will help to save our transit systems, provide thousands of green transit jobs, and keep transportation affordable. If you take the bus, train, subway or streetcar to work and use public transportation to send your children to school and if you want to work towards a cleaner environment, less congested streets and green jobs, then come share your story and your voice and Save Our Ride!

Senator Leland Yee Wants a Clean Needle Program to Prevent Spread of HIV, Hep C

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Our Senator Leland Yee, Ph.D. is today calling for support for his Clean Needle Bill, SB 1029. It would permit all California pharmacists to sell up to 30 sterile syringes to drug users aged 18 and over. Why? To prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases that live in used syringes.

All the deets of today’s presser with Mark Cloutier, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Barry Zevin, MD, a San Francisco primary care and HIV clinician, below.

Senator Yee, PhD:

Yee Introduces Clean Needle Bill. Legislation would allow pharmacies to sell sterile syringes to prevent spread of HIV & Hepatitis C
 
Today, State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) was joined by doctors, pharmacists, and AIDS prevention advocates to introduce legislation that would allow pharmacies throughout California the discretion to sell up to 30 sterile syringes to an adult without a prescription
 
California is one of only three states that still prohibit pharmacists from selling a syringe without a prescription.  Most states amended their laws in light of evidence that criminalized access to sterile syringes led drug users to share used ones, and that sharing syringes spread HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases that can live in a used syringe.
 
This is an effective public health measure which is proven to reduce health care costs to taxpayers,” said Yee.  “It’s a moral, as well as fiscal imperative.”
 
“Access to sterile syringes is a vital component of a comprehensive strategy to combat HIV and hepatitis,” said Yee.  “This approach has been evaluated extensively throughout the world and has been found to significantly reduce rates of HIV and hepatitis without contributing to any increase in drug use, drug injection, crime or unsafe discard of syringes.”
 
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) signed legislation in 2004 to create a five-year pilot to evaluate the safety and efficacy of allowing adults to purchase and possess a limited number of syringes for personal use.  Under the pilot program pharmacies in Los Angeles County, the Bay Area and some other parts of the state have been allowed to sell syringes.
 
Yee’s SB 1029 would remove the sunset and allow all pharmacists throughout the state with the discretion to sell sterile syringes without a prescription.
 
Sharing of used syringes is the most common cause of new hepatitis C infections in California and the second most common cause of HIV infections.  The state Department of Public Health estimates that approximately 3,000 California residents contract hepatitis C through syringe sharing every year and another 750 cases of HIV are caused by syringe sharing.
 
These diseases are costly and potentially deadly. Hospitalizations for hepatitis B and hepatitis C cost the state $2 billion in 2007, according to a report by the California Research Bureau.  The lifetime cost of treating hepatitis C is approximately $100,000, unless a liver transplant is required, and then the cost exceeds $300,000 per surgery.  The lifetime cost of treating HIV/AIDS is now estimated to exceed $600,000 per patient.
 
By comparison, a syringe costs about ten to fifteen cents retail.  The bill requires no appropriation of state funds, because it allows adults to buy syringes at their own expense.
 
Among health policy researchers speaking in favor of SB 1029, Alex Kral, an epidemiologist who has supervised several studies of HIV prevention said, “In light of over 200 studies worldwide that establish improved syringe access means less disease with no downside, to continue a policy of making syringe sales illegal would amount to health policy malpractice.”
 
The 200 studies Kral referred to were reviewed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008.  WHO concluded that the overwhelming scientific consensus showed improved syringe access reduced rates of HIV and hepatitis without contributing to drug use, crime or unsafe discard of syringes. 
 
“There is not one credible study from anywhere in the world that refutes these findings,” Kral said.
 
Among the numerous studies cited was one published in the American Journal of Public Health from 2001 that compared US cities that allowed pharmacists to sell syringes to adults without a prescription and those that did not.  The study found that the rate of HIV among drug injectors was twice as high in cities that forbid sale without a prescription than those cities that allowed pharmacists greater flexibility to provide syringes.
 
“This approach has been overwhelmingly supported by the health professions,” said Yee. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature, the Governor and the California Department of Public Health to craft the most efficient and cost-effective means of saving lives and public dollars by preventing HIV and hepatitis C.”
 
SB 1029 will be considered in committee in March.

Senator Leland Yee Addresses Richmond High Rape Case With a Must Report Law

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Last year’s rape case at Richmond High School in the City of Richmond, CA is getting some attention from the solons of Sacramento.

Item 1: Senator Leland Yee doesn’t cotton to the idea of people just standing around when 16-year-olds get raped, so he authored Senate Bill 840. It requires:

“individuals who reasonably believe that they have witnessed a murder, rape or lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 18 years to notify law enforcement officials.”  

Basically, SB840 would update the David Cash Jr. Law, aka the Sherrie Iverson Child Victim Protection Act that was authored by former Senator, current Assemblyman, and future Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Tom’s law already covers victims aged up to 14 years - Leland’s proposed law would add in victims aged 15 through 18. 

The California Senate’s Assistant President pro Tempore at the helm in Sacramento:

Here’s a brief rundown on non-Samaritan poster-boy David Cash, from Wiki’s entry on murderer Jerry Strohmeyer:

“Sherrice Iverson’s mother demanded that David Cash, Jr., be charged as an accessory, but authorities stated there was not enough evidence connecting him to the actual crime, and Cash was never prosecuted for any offense related to the murder. In the weeks following Strohmeyer’s arrest, Cash told the Los Angeles Timesthat he did not dwell on the murder of Sherrice Iverson. “I’m not going to get upset over somebody else’s life. I just worry about myself first. I’m not going to lose sleep over somebody else’s problems.” He also told the newspaper that the publicity surrounding the case had made it easier for him to “score with women.” Cash also told the Long Beach Press-Telegram: “I’m no idiot … I’ll get my money out of this.”

So that’s Item 1.

Item 2: Assemblyman Pedro Nava has authored AB 984, which would cover victims of any age.

So, those are California’s proposed witness crime reporting bills of 2010, so far.

Here’s Senator Yee’s release from this morning, after the jump

(more…)

Speaking English: White Trash Los Angeles vs. San Francisco Senator Leland Yee, PhD

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

O.K. first of all, get up to speed on Senate Bill 242 from Leland Yee, PhD,the State Senate’s Assistant President pro Tempore, representing areas of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. This whole issue of language discrimination got kicked into high gear last year with some idiotic move from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), which apparently isn’t a pure sport – it’s “sports entertainment,” so there’s a high premium on having stars that speak English.

Anywho, Senator Yee’s bill to prevent language discrimination made it out of committee, so that put into the news, so that got some people down south a little riled up.

Listen for yourself (you might need to right click and then Save As…) to the message a caller left at Leland’s office:

sb_242_phone_message

“Hi. I just read an article, here in L.A. about Mr. Leland Lee (sic), about the English (sic) and all the language (sic). You know what? This is United States of America. If he don’t (sic) like it, tell him to go back to China. He’s an immigrant. This is the United States, we speak English.

“I had an emergency the other night. I use a radio. And the illegal immigrants kept talking, talking, and talking in Spanish and it was a serious emergency I had.

“English is our language – don’t like it, leave our country. Nobody’s begging you to stay. Stop coming to our country and try (sic) to change eveything to fit what YOU want. We created it, we like it the way it is, if you don’t like, YOU pack your bags and YOU go home.

Have a great day, Loo-eee…, Leland, which is a white name.”

So there you have it.

See the deets of SB 242 after the jump.

(more…)

Seantor Leland Yee Reforms Criminal Background Check Policy for Youth Organizations

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Over in Sacramento, San Mateo and San Francisco Counties’ very own Senator Leland Yee, PhD is still busy, busy, busy with new bills.

Senate Bill SB447 is no-brainer about reforming criminal background check policies for California youth organizations. It’s only a matter of time before this one becomes law. Read on below and after the jump. 

Bill would Reform Criminal Background Check Policy for Youth Organizations
Yee’s legislation would help protect children in youth programs from predators, violent criminals

SACRAMENTO – Last week, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) introduced legislation to help protect children involved in youth organizations from sexual predators and other violent criminals.  Senate Bill 447 would reform the criminal background check policy at the approximately 36,000 youth organizations and human resource agencies across the state that work with children and vulnerable populations. 
 
Such organizations, including the Boy Scouts and youth soccer leagues, are currently required to conduct criminal background checks of their staff and members.  Each group appoints a “Custodian of Records” to review the background checks for their organization and assess if a person’s criminal history poses a potential danger to the population the agency or organization serves.
 
However, there is a dangerous loophole in the law.  The Custodian of Records also reviews his or her own criminal record that is sent to the group by the California Department of Justice (DOJ).  This loophole may result in an individual who has been convicted of a violent crime or crimes against children serving as the Custodian of Records without others in the agency being aware of his/her criminal history.
 
“SB 447 will help protect children from predators and other violent criminals by closing an obvious loophole in the law,” said Yee.  “Those determining who can work with children should not be reviewing their own records and determining if they are fit to serve.  Parents deserve assurance that their kids are safe when they are dropped off at a soccer practice or scouts meeting.”
 
Specifically, SB 447 will close this loophole by creating a program in which the DOJ will review the criminal record information for Custodian of Records applicants and confirm if they are suited for the position. The DOJ will ensure that the people appointed to this position do not have a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or fraud. The program will be funded by a $30 fee for all Custodian of Records applicants.
 
In 1997, a student at Rio Linda High School was raped and murdered by a temporary janitor with a previous criminal record, including two strikes for voluntary manslaughter and armed robbery.  At the time, another loophole in state law existed that did not require temporary or substitute employees to go through criminal background checks.  The brutal murder of Michelle Montoya prompted the Legislature to change state law – banning the hiring of felons and requiring complete background checks of all school employees, including temporary and substitute workers.
 
“Unfortunately, it took the loss of an innocent life for the law to change regarding temporary school employees,” said Yee.  “It is vital that we are proactive and close the loophole regarding Custodians of Records before we have another unnecessary tragedy.”

(more…)

Engage in Human Trafficking, Lose Your House Under Leland Yee’s New Bill

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Over in Sacramento, San Mateo and San Francisco Counties’ very own Senator Leland Yee, PhD has been busy, busy, busy getting new bills in before deadline. SB 557 is today’s effort, below.

If we can get this into law, will this take some of the fight out of human traffickers in California? Doing a little stretch in the hoosegow is one thing, but losing a house or the rolling stock – well, that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

The California Senate’s Assistant President pro Tempore:

Here’s the new bill:

Yee Introduces Bill to Seize Property of Criminals Convicted of Human Trafficking
Funds would be used to assist law enforcement and victims

 
Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today introduced legislation to assist victims of human trafficking and support law enforcement by allowing courts to seize any personal property, such as house or automobile, of a person convicted of human trafficking.
 
SB 557 will bring much-needed resources to help fight human trafficking, while also ensuring victims receive the services they need to recover from this horrific crime,” said Yee.  Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year and enslaved for purposes of sexual or labor exploitation, and unfortunately many of the cases occur here in California.  Our state has led the way in combating human trafficking and exploitation, but we should not stop our efforts until all women, men, and children are free and safe from such an appalling offense.”
 
Under Yee’s legislation, funds accumulated from all property seized from those convicted of human trafficking will be split between funds to assist law enforcement in cracking down on the crime and funds dedicated to groups who work with victims.
 
Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide, according to the US Department of State. Victims are generally trafficked into the US from Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. Many human trafficking victims do not understand English and are therefore isolated and often unable to communicate with service providers, law enforcement and others who might be able to help them.
 
Research by the Human Rights Center at the University of California found 57 forced labor operations between 1998 and 2003 throughout California.  These operations – mostly in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose – involved more than 500 victims from 18 countries. 
 
The US Department of Justice recently announced that in the first 21 months of operation, the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS) recorded information on more than 1,200 alleged incidents of human trafficking.
 
According to the Justice Department, over 90 percent of victims in both alleged and confirmed human trafficking incidents were female. Nearly 60 percent of victims in labor trafficking cases were female and almost all (99%) victims in sex trafficking cases were female. 
 
Hispanic victims comprised the largest share (37 percent) of alleged sex trafficking victims and more than half (56 percent) of alleged labor trafficking victims.  Asians made up 10 percent of alleged sex trafficking victims, compared to 31 percent of labor trafficking victims.  Approximately two-thirds of victims in alleged human trafficking incidents were age 17 or younger (27 percent) or age 18 to 24 (38 percent).  Sex trafficking victims tended to be younger (71 percent were under age 25) and labor trafficking victims tended to be older (almost 70 percent were age 25 or older).
 
Nearly eight in 10 human trafficking suspects were male. US citizens accounted for 66 percent of suspects in alleged incidents.
 
If you are a victim of trafficking or an organization needing assistance, please contact the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
 
In 2004, Senator Yee also passed legislation to combat human trafficking.  Yee’s AB 3042 increased penalties to those who solicit children through prostitution.

Senator Leland Yee Acts Against Language Discrimination from the LPGA and Others

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Oh man, remember what the “bungling” Ladies Professsional Golf Association did last year when they double bogied by trying to introduce a learn-English-or-you’re-off-the-tour requirement? Depending on your punta de vista, the rule was straight up racist, mildly racist, or not racist at all.  

But then, with a quickness, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties’ very own Senator Leland Yee, PhD reacted and the LPGA dropped the idea. That’s your history lesson of the day, but it’s relevant in light of new Senate Bill 242, which will add language to California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

The Senate’s Assistant President pro Tempore:

So let’s say the WPGA (I just changed their name, how about that!) decides to try to go after the Seoul Sisters again, this new law could have the potential to take California courses off of the tour. Ouch.  

Is this the future of the LPGA? The Hooters Golf Team might average 30 over par, but it seems golf is now part of the “sports entertainment world” so putting the ball in the cup is only just one measure of success. Read on:

via skylarneil

Here’s the thing, when you go around talking like this:

According to Libba Galloway, the deputy commissioner of the tour: “We live in a sports entertainment environment…For an athlete to be successful in the sports entertainment world we live in, they need to be great performers on and off the course, and being able to communicate effectively with sponsors and fans is a big part of this.”

…then people might get the idea that women’s golf isn’t a real sport, right? If you’re somebody’s agent and you tell a golfer that she’ll make more money if she becomes more fluent in the world’s current lingua francaor if she expresses a manic depressive-ish, dramatic range of emotions, or if, well just take a look at this cosmetic surgery brochure, just take a look… well then that’s your right. But that shouldn’t be the right of the ridiculous LPGA.

Bill would Protect Language as a Civil Right
Yee introduces bill in response to discriminatory policy proposed by the LPGA 

While speaking one’s native language is protected in cases of employment and housing under state law, such protections are not provided under the state’s civil rights act, which prohibits discrimination within business establishments. 
 
As a result, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today introduced legislation to add the use of any language to the list of protections under the Unruh Civil Rights Act.  Currently, the Act prohibits business establishments from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Read on, after the jump.

(more…)