Civil Rights

Robert Reich: Advice for Divided Democrats

June 2, 2016 by Source

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Plus: Bernie’s Policies Are the Answer to the Rise of the Far-Right

By Robert B. Reich / RobertReich.org

With the Democratic primaries grinding to a bitter end, I have suggestions for both Clinton and Sanders supporters that neither will like.

First, my advice to Clinton supporters: Don’t try to drum Bernie Sanders out of the race before Hillary Clinton officially gets the nomination (if she in fact does get it).

Some of you say Bernie should bow out because he has no chance of getting the nomination, and his continuing candidacy is harming Hillary Clinton’s chances.

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Obama Administration Approves Resumption of California Offshore Fracking

June 2, 2016 by Source
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By Dan Bacher

Claiming that fracking poses “no significant impact” to the environment, Obama administration officials on May 27 finalized their plans to allow oil companies to resume offshore fracking and acidizing in California’s Santa Barbara Channel.

The announcement from the two agencies responsible for oil drilling, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), ended a court-ordered settlement placing a moratorium on offshore fracking and acidizing for oil in the fish and wildlife-rich federal waters off California.

The two agencies reported they have completed a comprehensive environmental analysis evaluating the potential impacts from the use of “well stimulation treatments” – acidizing and fracking operations — on the 23 oil and gas platforms currently in operation on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore California.

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OB Latino Possible Victim of Local Nazi Vandalism

June 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Latino Possible Victim of Local Nazi Vandalism

Channel 10 News is running a story about somebody carving racist and nasty messages into freshly poured concrete in Ocean Beach – near the residence of Juan Viella, a five-year resident.

The messages were racist and political and were signed “OB SS” – “SS” being a Nazi reference.

Here are the messages that Viella found (WARNING: vulgarity approaching):

Trump 2016,” “F*ck Bernie”, “Build the wall,” “No F**s, OBSS”

Viella has since scraped most of the hateful messages off the concrete on Lotus Street near Sunset Cliffs .

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San Diegans Condemn Militarization of Barrio Logan by Mayor Faulconer and Chief Zimmerman

June 1, 2016 by Source

By Alliance San Diego

 

Phalanx of San Diego police confront lone citizen on Harbor Drive

(Photo by Gabriela Martínez Córdova)

Editor: Following last Friday’s anti-Trump demonstrations at the San Diego Convention Center, local police and other law enforcement agencies descended on Barrio Logan in an unnecessary show of militarized force, corralling a community and making over 2 dozen arrests. This is a statement in response by Alliance San Diego. After the statement, we publish an update by Doug Porter from today’s San Diego Free Press.

Community leaders were shocked by the unwarranted show of force that law enforcement used during the peaceful rallies and marches that took place on Friday May 27 in response to the visit of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

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Ocean Beach Landlord Michael Mills Targeted by Tenants’ Rights Activists

June 1, 2016 by Source
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OB Residents to Protest Mills’ Outrageous Rents at Saturday June 4th Rally

By San Diego Tenants United

San Diego is currently facing a massive Housing Crisis: rents have increased 25% over the past decade and are expected to increase by 19% in just the next five (5) years, while wages have actually decreased for many San Diego residents.

A February 2015 KPBS article exposed multiple shortcomings with the current system in San Diego for ensuring basic living standards for tenants, making the case that slumlords are not held accountable in San Diego.

Fortunately, tenants in Ocean Beach are fighting back against one such landlord: Michael Mills.

“In the apartment complex I am in, almost half of the apartments are empty because he [Michael Mills] just keeps raising the rent,” explains one displaced Ocean Beach resident.

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Nuclear Shutdown News May 2016 : Ripped Off California Ratepayers Struggle for Fairness Over San Onofre

June 1, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News May 2016 : Ripped Off California Ratepayers Struggle for Fairness Over San Onofre

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future. Here is our May issue:

California Nuclear Ratepayers Still Struggling For Justice Over San Onofre Shutdown Costs

On May 17, the Orange County Register ran the story, “How much should consumers pay for the San Onofre shutdown?”

As previously reported by Nuclear Shutdown News, in June 2003, the San Onofre nuclear power plant, located in northern San Diego County, permanently shut down, 20 years ahead schedule.
This followed a scandal involving gross mismanagement and duplicity by its majority owner, Southern California Edison.

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The McMansion Coming to an Ocean Beach or Point Loma Lot Next to You

May 31, 2016 by Source

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The Saga of the Controversial Froude Project at the San Diego Planning Commission

By Tom and Judy Parry

The decision by the San Diego Planning Commission was pretty clear: Five votes to allow a McMansion to go forward on our quiet Ocean Beach block of Froude Street, one vote to stop it.

Amid our disappointment, we’re allowing the lessons we learned to sink in. The one most frightening is that it can happen on any O.B. street with similar zoning, even if no McMansions are present, even if the entire block is dead set against it.

We live on Froude Street, between Voltaire and Greene streets. As we blogged before, a 50-parcel with one single-family house is about to be split into two 25-foot lots, each with a three-level residence filling the lot and pushing the 30-foot height limit.

Froude sits on the boundary of the Peninsula and Ocean Beach advisory planning boards. We live in the Peninsula district, where the planning board voted against the project 9 to 1. The Ocean Beach board, though their boundary line down the middle of the street is just 20 feet away, was never notified by the city and not allowed to vote. The reason? “We’re not required to [notify them].”

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OB Planning Board Meets Wed., June 1: Round-abouts, “Citizens Plan”, and Vets’ Plaza

May 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBPB Meet 5-4-16 board
The OB Planing Board meets Wednesday, June 1st, at the OB Recreation Center. And at the top of their agenda are a series of presentations and updates, with no new development projects up for review by the Board.

Instead, the Board will receive a presentation about the so-called “Citizens Plan for San Diego” by veteran politico, Jeff Marston. This is the plan backed by the Chargers and some environmentalists and public-interest lawyers to construct a new stadium and convention center downtown.

Next up, is a presentation by Joe LaCava, head of the Committee of Planning Committees – a body of all the planning boards and committees across the city – about the City’s goal to install twenty round-abouts throughout the city. We know the City and OB planners have been considering a round-about at the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon.

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We’ve Got to Get Out and Vote Folks!

May 31, 2016 by Ernie McCray

People lined up to enter building to vote

By Ernie McCray

What’s up with us liberals? We’ve freaked out over a chair supposedly being thrown in protest of shenanigans involving voting in Nevada. And we’re beside ourselves that Hillary got booed and hissed by folks whom we say “aren’t really democrats.”

I don’t like all that but I’ve learned over the years that politics can get rather mean and we democrats are proving that based on how we’re treating each other just discussing matters I’ve just described: talking to each other in caps and exclamations, littered with a few vulgarities.

Shouldn’t we be celebrating a campaign that’s been marvelous if, for no other reason, because of the important questions that are being raised regarding and by two very passionate democratic candidates?

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Your Right to Protest In San Diego

May 27, 2016 by Source

Free Speech Rights, Free Speech Zones, Interactions with Police, Resources and MORE

By the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

peaceful protestThe right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy.

But it is also unfortunately true that governments and police can violate this right—through the use of mass arrests, illegal use of force, criminalization of protest, and other means intended to thwart free public expression.

Standing up for your right to protest can be challenging, especially when demonstrations are met with confusion, excessive force, or violence. But knowing your rights is the most powerful tool you have against the stifling of your voice.

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#NeverTrumpSD Live Blog: Anti-Trump Day In San Diego

May 27, 2016 by Annie Lane

Trump free speech zones map from the San Diego U-T

Editor: In an important update, San Diego Police have backed off their earlier threats of arresting any demonstrator outside the so-called “free speech zones”, and now say people can demonstrate outside of the designated zones, but they must follow laws and cannot block traffic.

The day has come.

Donald Trump is rallying in San Diego at the Convention Center at 2 p.m. (doors open at 11 a.m.). The San Diego Free Press – the OB Rag’s associates – will be live blogging today’s events. We’ll be pulling pictures and updates from people on the front lines who use the hashtag #NeverTrumpSD or you can send them directly to contact@sandiegofreepres.org.

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The Very Latest on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day” on Friday

May 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Here is the very, very latest in what’s happening on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day”, Friday May 27th.

More groups have announced they are mobilizing their members to protest Trump’s appearance in downtown. They include the LGBT community, San Diego Human Rights organizations and our very own Light Brigade – which is shining on tonight, Thursday.

The seven-or so networks that have been organizing their protest continue to mobilize, and are showing signs of cooperating with one another.

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A Chicano Response to Donald Trump

May 26, 2016 by Source

“Pa Pendejo No Se Estudia!”

By Herman Baca

Herman Baca 1977Many persons have asked me what my political opinion is of presumptive Republican (the white) Party Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

My response is the old Mexican saying, “Pa’ pendejo no se estudia’!” For Trump’s Republican voters & supporters, Winston Churchill’s quote; “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

However the real opinion is what does the Chicano/Mexicano/Latino community say of Donald Trump? In casual conversations with every day people their response is one of personal anger, fury & hatred for Trump. Some of the comments expressed to me are: “Es un pendijo, idiota, pinche gringo, where’s El Chapo when you need him, kiss my brown a#s, and a graffiti wall off I-5 in Logan Heights declaring… F%&K Trump!”

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‘Love Trumps Hate’ Rally Outside Trump Speech at San Diego Convention Center

May 26, 2016 by Source

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“Tear Down the Walls!” Noon rally sponsored by the ‘Love trumps Hate Solidarity Network’

By Martin Eder / Activist San Diego

The Friday May 27 rally outside the Trump speech will be part of a mobilization of several thousand. This noon-time rally at 5th and Harbor Drive, across from the San Diego Convention Center will focus on the theme “Tear Down Walls Between Peoples: Unity/Unidad and Solidarity”.

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School Board Approves New Stadium Lights and Library at Pt Loma High

May 25, 2016 by Staff
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Tuesday night, May 24th, the school board voted to approve bright lights and other improvements to Point Loma High School which include a new library, despite opposition from some local residents.

In an unanimous vote, the San Diego Unified School District Board moved forward on the improvements,which include:

  • 7 new poles with speakers mounted at the top;
  • Four 70 foot light poles around the field;
  • four 20-foot light poles in the grandstands;
  • a new classroom building
  • a new library
  • upgrades to existing campus structures.
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ACLU Report: Alarming Cases of Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse by California Police Departments

May 25, 2016 by Source

Policy Brief Exposes Loophole that Police Use to Profit from Innocent, Vulnerable Californians

By ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

aclu twitter logoThe American Civil Liberties Union of California released a policy brief on Thursday, May 19, Civil Asset Forfeiture: Profiting from California’s Most Vulnerable, examining civil asset forfeiture abuse by California law enforcement agencies, a practice that greatly impacts communities of color and low-income Californians.

Under federal asset forfeiture laws, the government can legally and permanently forfeit a person’s property and money without charging the person with a crime, or seeking a conviction.

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Peering into the Heart of Darkness: Why I Oppose Mayor Faulconer’s FY’17 Budget

May 25, 2016 by Anna Daniels

homeless w signBy Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The following is the public testimony that I provided at the May 16 budget hearing before the San Diego city council.

Good Evening. My name is Anna Daniels and I am a resident of City Heights. I have attended close to a decade of budget hearings, always as an advocate for our library system.

But this year is different. I stand here before you as a person of conscience who has been witnessing first hand a burgeoning and permanent underclass of the dispossessed in City Heights and San Diego.
homeless sign vet one in 4

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“Friday Is Going to Be One Crazy Anti-Trump Day in San Diego”

May 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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NEW UPDATES (as of 5/26/16) – see “The Very Latest ….”

It’s going to be literally one crazy, anti-Trump day in downtown San Diego on Friday, May 27th. So much is going on that it boggles the mind to try to imagine everything.

First, of course, Donal Trump is arriving at the San Diego Convention Center to speak to his throngs around 2pm. And coming out to see and hear him, of course, will be probably thousands of ticket-holders. There will be long lines of them snaking around the Convention Center – which undoubtedly will be off-limits to protesters. Except those protesters in line with tickets.

Second, there will be thousands of protesters coming out to demonstrate against Trump and all that he stands for. There’s at least six different networks or groups mobilizing their supporters to show Trump that San Diegans will not stand for him.

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OB Town Council – Presentations on OB’s Controversial Private Cops and Women’s Self-Defense – Wed., May 25th

May 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB security patrolThis Wednesday, May 25th, the Ocean Beach Town Council will hold its monthly public meeting at the Masonic Center, located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, at 7pm as usual.

Besides the usual reports from the different politicians’ reps, reports from the public agencies that serve OB: fire department, police, lifeguard, elementary school, and library, and after all the Board members give their reports, the Town Council will move into its main agenda item: ‘OB public safety – engagement and empowerment”.

At the top of the public safety element, is a presentation of the OB Mainstreet Association’s “OB Security Program”- the enlistment of private security team patrols of a company called the National Public Safety (NPS). Reportedly, NPS teams “patrol the business districts of OB and work closely with SDPD to get positive results for the entire community.”

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Planning Commission to Hear Appeal of City’s Approval of Controversial Project on Froude Street – May 26th

May 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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This Thursday, May 26th, the San Diego Planning Commission will hear an appeal of the City’s decision to approve a controversial project slated for the 2200 block of Froude Street in Ocean Beach.

The project – two multistory residences – has outraged neighbors enough that they have supported the effort to appeal the decision by the City’s Development Services to okay it. The project includes:

“the demolition of an existing single-family structure and the construction of two new 1, 814 square-foot homes each over a 1,073 square-foot basement/two car garage on two legal lots.”

This is at 2257 Froude Street between Voltaire and Greene.

Here’s why there’s controversy – besides the bulk, style, etc of the project itself – :

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UPDATED: San Diego Mobilizes Against Trump – Due Here Friday, May 27

May 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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NEW UPDATES (as of 5/26/16) – see “The Very Latest ….”

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UPDATED: Four San Diego Networks or Groups Planning Protests for May 27th Trump Rally

San Diego is mobilizing against Donald Trump’s appearance later this week, when he stages a rally on Friday at the Convention Center.

At least four networks or groups are organizing protests outside the Trump rally. One of the 3 has also stated its intention of organizing something inside his event. One of the groups is mobilizing protesters from the LA area as well. And, of course, each network has their own facebook page.

The networks include:

The Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network

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Ocean Beach Airbnb Listings Rose 64% Since Last Year

May 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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New data from Airbnb shows that their short term vacation rentals listings in Ocean Beach have risen 64% since last year. This equates to 230 units, according to an article from Voice of San Diego.

The Voice article by Ashley McGlone, relies on new information from Airbnb analytics company Beyond Pricing, and says that “the number of Airbnb listings is rising in nearly every neighborhood across San Diego,”yet, “Ocean Beach and La Jolla saw the greatest gains.” (While OB had a rate of 64%, La Jolla rose to 58 percent with 404 rentals.)

And once again, Ocean Beach joined 5 other neighborhoods this year as well as last year in being the locations of almost half of all San Diego’s Airbnb listings. The other neighborhoods: Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, North Park and East Village.

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Progressive San Diego Voter Guide for June 2016 Primary

May 19, 2016 by Doug Porter

imageBy Doug Porter

Over the past few months the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag have reported on the candidates and causes central to the June 2016 primary elections.

We have combined our research and analyses with information from public sources to create a progressive voter guide for electoral contests appearing on ballots in the San Diego region.

This guide includes links to candidate websites, symbols indicating endorsements and a short overview of contests, along with links to our reporting.

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The Pot Wars 2016: The End to Marijuana Prohibition in California Is Near

May 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The war on marijuana continues even at mid-point of 2016 – the year that California voters will end the marijuana prohibition in the state. While California voters get set to vote to legalize the recreational use of pot, there are good signs and bad signs around the state as the Pot Wars continue.

Right now, a majority of Californians favor legalization.

The folks who have been organizing the more successful of the legalize recreational marijuana initiatives have gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It’s a certainty that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will be on California’s November ballot. This is the initiative that has support from California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker. And many marijuana policy reform groups also support it.

So, what does it do?

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Local San Diego Anti-Trump Emergency Response Network Forms

May 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The “Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network” Commits to Counter-Protest at Trump’s San Diego Rally

Two-dozen San Diegans met at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest last night, May 16th, and formed the skeleton of a local anti-Trump emergency response network.

So, once it’s announced that the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee is coming to town, a coalition has already began organizing a counter-protest. The same if Trump waits to visit San Diego until after he is nominated, San Diegans are getting ready now.

Called together by a well-known group, Activist San Diego, and chaired by Martin Eder, a long-time mobilizer for that organization, the meeting included at least one Republican, a bunch of socialists, Democrats, Bernie supporters, a Green Party person, a few independents, some just curious – and yours-truly, the rep from the OB Rag / SD Free Press.

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Much Ado About Raised Fists

May 17, 2016 by Source

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By Denise Oliver Velez / Daily Kos

Here we go again, with yet another “incident” fueling right-wing outrage about black people and symbolism. The latest was over a photograph of 16 black female cadets who had come together to celebrate their upcoming graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The New York Times reported:

The gesture, posted on Facebook and Twitter last week, touched off a barrage of criticism in and out of the armed forces as some commenters accused the women of allying themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement and sowing racial divisions in a military that relies on assimilation.

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The Gentrification Machine Marches On – 5 Condos Planned for Lotus Street

May 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Residents in and around the 5000 block of Lotus Street have just been notified of a development application to build 5 condos on a lot currently holding a single-family residence. Some of those residents contacted the OB Rag out of extreme concern.

In the Notice of Application, see inside, the City announced that an application has been filed for the construction of 5 residential condominiums on the .15 acre site at 5064 Lotus. The five condos will total 10,560 square feet. The application also requests that the requirements to underground existing utilities be waived.

No reason for the request for a waiver was on the face of the Notice, but new developments these days are encouraged by City staff to obtain “waivers” on code requirements if they conform to the City’s Green Building Program.

The existing structure, a single-family residence with attached garage, would presumably be demolished – although there is no mention of that in the Notice. There is a large backyard and in the front there must stand one of the tallest Palm Trees in all of Ocean Beach.

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The California Way of Poverty

May 16, 2016 by Jim Miller

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By Jim Miller

Last week, I pondered the obscene spectacle of holding a mega-concert catering to the wealthy in the Southern California desert town of Indio where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

The truth is that events like this that underline the contrast between the heedless luxury of the affluent with the deprivation of the poor are not the exception to the rule, but rather, a basic fact of everyday life in our era of historic economic inequality. It’s just the way we live now.

And in sunny California, San Diego in particular, the poor are accustomed to watching the party from the outside.

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Is Affordable Housing In the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 4

May 16, 2016 by John Lawrence

Section 8 Rental Assistance is a Cruel Jokesection 8

By Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

Approximately 46,000 households in San Diego are on a waiting list to obtain a federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). The average wait time to obtain a housing voucher is 8 to 10 years.

Nobody’s housing needs remain constant over a period of time that long. Many people on the waiting list will have died before they are called for their Section 8 rental assistance voucher. Cruel irony.

In theory, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program will pay the balance of a rent payment that exceeds 30% of a renter’s monthly income.

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“As a California Primary Voter – I’m Pretty Pissed Off!”

May 13, 2016 by Source
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By OB Joe

You know it. I’m a California Primary voter and I’m pretty pissed off!

The Primary is already over – and I haven’t even voted yet. And neither have my fellow 8 million California voters.

The candidates have been selected – yet, the largest state in the Union has not spoken.

Oh, I know, there are some who still think Bernie can get the nomination – but the real math is not there – and I’m a Bernie supporter! I observed an MSNBC breakdown of the numbers – and Sanders would have to score REAL big in all the remaining primaries – short of a miracle – it will be Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.

I really wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist – and I was among the 13,000 San Diegans who came out to support him when he was in town not too long ago. But by now, it’s been decided.

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