Civil Rights

Locals Help Displaced Homeless People During the All Stars Game – a Call for Volunteers

July 11, 2016 by Staff

City Cracks Down on Homeless While Most of San Diego Stands by Silently

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Global Photo Archive This is what happens when those in authority disparage a particular group of people.

Whether they mean to or not, their public expressions of contempt and disrespect give permission, and even encouragement, to those looking for an excuse to manifest their anger and hatred in violent actions against the most vulnerable.

I predict that future history books will call this the Trump Effect.

Every Monday our City sends out a team of a half dozen squad cards, sanitation vehicles, fire engines and ambulances to uproot our poorest neighbors.

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America at Crossroads: Time to Act Before Spiral of Racial Violence Increases

July 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

American flag upside down

Words are difficult to come by today in trying to describe what has just happened, and where we, as a city, as a country, as a nation, are right now.

What we have collectively experienced – as a nation – over the last 3 days – is very difficult to digest. Other stories, other tasks fall by the wayside as irrelevant and inappropriate.

We’re filled with sorrow from all the shootings, killings, and violence that we as a society have experienced just recently.

Dallas, of course, where so much blood was spilled last night, but also St. Paul, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana – and also right here in San Diego where we just went through a horrible period of nearly a week with the vicious attacks by a serial killer of homeless men.

There is also a sense of relief – relief that there was only one shooter in Dallas and he is no longer a threat as he was killed by a police bomb.

Relief because the suspected serial killer right here in San Diego has been caught.

Yet, there is heart-break and there is anguish.

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“They are not allowed to just kill people like this, Lord,”

July 7, 2016 by Source

Black lives st Paul screen capt

Cop Fatally Shoots Black Man in St. Paul – Victim’s Girlfriend Records Tragic Aftermath

A graphic video shows Philando Castile bleeding in the car while his girlfriend’s young daughter watches.

By Carla Herreria / Huffington Post / July 7, 2016

Police shot and killed a man Wednesday in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and his girlfriend recorded the aftermath in a graphic video shot using the Facebook Live feature.

The video shows the man bleeding from gunshot wounds as his girlfriend films from the driver’s seat. The police officer “shot him three times because we had a busted tail light,” the woman filming can be heard saying.

Officials have not officially released the victim’s name, but his family identified him as Philando Castile, local news station WCCO reported. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and relatives told The Star-Tribune he died at the hospital.

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The OB Green Activist Calendar

July 7, 2016 by Staff

Hands AcossSandPic2

July Events in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

July 14th Thursday 7 p.m. Film night “The Future of Energy” – Ocean Beach Green Center

July 21st Thursday 7pm – OB Historical Society” The OB Pier Turns 50!

ALSO EVENTS NOT IN OB OR POINT LOMA INSIDE …

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Reflections on What July 4th Means to the Working Class – 2016 Summer Chronicles 3

July 5, 2016 by Jim Miller

class

By Jim Miller

As the Fourth of July is the day when we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, it’s important to remember Jefferson himself believed that each new generation needed to make the American creed their own.

And everyone from slaves to women to working people did just that as we see in Frederick Douglass’s great speech “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?”, the early feminist manifesto “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Seneca Falls,” and the much lesser known “Working Men’s Declaration of Independence.”

This last is centrally important to remember because while Americans are largely aware that the battle for inclusion involved long and heroic abolition, civil rights, and women’s movements, struggles around issues of class have all-too-frequently been relinquished to the dustbin of history.

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Man Suspected in 3 Vicious Attacks on Homeless – Kills 2 – One in OB – Seriously Injures 3rd

July 5, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATED: One of the victims has been identified as Lorenzo. And the local NBC affiliate spoke with the clerk who sold gas cans to the suspect.

COME INSIDE FOR MORE OF UPDATE …

NBC 7 spoke to a Hector Roman who told them he knew the burned victim as Lorenzo. He told the media that Lorenzo came by his store often, and would buy sandwiches, soups and candybars:

Homeless attacks July 2016 map

There is a suspect in vicious attacks on three homeless men over the July 4th weekend – attacks that killed two – including one in Ocean Beach, and seriously injured a third.

The suspect – as yet unidentified – is in photos here. He is described as a white male, 40 to 50 years old, who was wearing a tan or brown jacket or sweatshirt, a green Army hat or baseball cap and tan khaki pants, and carrying a backpack.

Here is what happened, as best as we can put together:

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Will California Legalize Marijuana in 2016?

June 30, 2016 by Doug Porter

If there’s any group capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in California, it’s marijuana activists.

AUMA 2016By Doug Porter

The polling has never been better. This year 60% of likely California voters are inclined to legalize the consumption of marijuana for recreational use, up from 54% last year.

The political prognosis has never been better. Four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized pot and another eight states are considering giving voter approval to the idea.

So California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act qualifying for the November ballot should be good news, right? Not so fast. We’ve been here before. In 2010 Proposition 19 started out with strong polling and had decent financial backing, as I recollect.

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OB Rag Editordude Quoted in “Ballotpedia” on Calif. Marijuana Initiative

June 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Rag Editordude Quoted in “Ballotpedia” on Calif. Marijuana Initiative

Hey, this is crazy! I – editordude of the OB Rag – am quoted in “Ballotpedia” – the “online encyclopedia of American politics and elections,” in their complete run-down and neutral analysis of California’s marijuana initiative.

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Stop Work Order on Emerson Project in Point Loma Issued by City

June 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Stop Work Order on Emerson Project in Point Loma Issued by City

Temporary Victory for Roseville – But Hurdles Remain

On Tuesday, June 28th, the City of San Diego issued a Stop Work Order on the controversial 40 foot structure at 3144 Emerson Street, near Evergreen.

Both Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Lorie Zapf issued a joint statement that stated:

Further review of the Municipal Code has determined that this project does not conform to the City’s development regulations.

This is definitely a victory for Roseville, Point Loma and all the neighbors who rose up and demanded action from the City to deal with an obvious violation of the spirit of Proposition D, the 30-foot height limit that passed overwhelming in the 1970’s. Although, it is a temporary victory.

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Hunger Strike Being Organized in San Diego Against Private Prison

June 29, 2016 by Source

Private PrisonOn July 5th activists and community leaders in Southeast San Diego will begin a hunger strike to protest the private prison Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)

By Mark Bartlett

Community Leaders and Local Activists will execute a hunger strike on July 5th at 6pm next to the Oceanview Facility located at 551 S. 35th St. San Diego, CA 92113. The hunger strike will continue until all action items requested by the protest organizers have been satisfied.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is the largest for­-profit prison industry in America and they currently operate three Correctional Facilities across San Diego County.

Two out of the three facilities are located in the heart of Southeast San Diego and Barrio Logan. Both centers are located in residential neighborhoods within close proximity of homes, churches, schools and businesses.

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Angry Point Loma Citizens Fill Town Hall Meeting About Emerson Project

June 28, 2016 by Source

PL Emerson proj meet 6-27-16

By Geoff Page

Last night there was a town hall meeting at the Portuguese Hall in Point Loma that was filled to capacity with a whole bunch of angry citizens.

The meeting was to discuss a project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville that is a 40-foot tall thumb in the eye of San Diegans.

But, the issue is much bigger than one project, it concerns all of the area affected by the 30-foot height limit.

Representatives from the mayor’s office, District 2, the City Attorney, and the Development Services Department (DSD) were supposed to be on hand. Not one single City official showed up. Let’s call that thumb in the eye number two.

The issue is the City’s new interpretation as to how the sacred 30-foot height limit is measured.

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The Homeless Artists Who Make Ocean Beach Rock

June 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Have you ever wondered who’s piling the rocks up – making artistic piles – along the entryway into OB? Have you even noticed them?

There’s these two guys – Corey and Greg – both homeless – who are making Ocean Beach rock with their rock art.

You can see it along the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard entryway into and out of OB. And Corey and Greg have been doing this for the past eight months – they told me. They work everyday, they say, 7 days a week, on their art.

Greg – the self-admitted artist of the two – figures they have completed up to a quarter of a mile of their installations. Corey agreed that it takes a lot of time just to assemble one pile.

So, it’s constant.

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Big Win for Women’s Rights! Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Restrictions on Abortion Provider Law

June 27, 2016 by Doug Porter

supreme court building“Today women across the nation have had their constitutional rights vindicated.” —Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights

By Doug Porter

The Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt will affect millions of women in several states. The case, arising from a Texas law, is the most important abortion rights case in a generation.

Justice Steven Breyer penned the majority opinion, which said in essence:

Both the admitting privileges and surgical center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution.

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Let Them Eat Rocks

June 27, 2016 by Source

police ticket homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Last week was a helluva week for those of us helping people without a place to live.

There were plenty of tweets and Facebook posts about the heatwave, as well as the Border fire that was threatening several communities out in East County. But unlike the all-out effort to help residents, pets and livestock in the path of the fire, there was no effort to help the residents of downtown under direct assault from a relentless sun.

Except for access to the library which, for those living on the street, would entail leaving all of your few meager possessions outside, unattended, there was no Health and Human Services program to help them.

The week actually began last Friday for me when my friend Martha Sullivan called asking for help to provide a Cooling Station offering lifesaving hydration and shade for homeless people during the predicted heatwave.

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Protest Rally to be Held at 40-Foot Project on Emerson in Point Loma – Sat. 10 a.m.

June 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Protest Rally to be Held at 40-Foot Project on Emerson in Point Loma – Sat. 10 a.m.

Babita Souza, a Point Loma resident who lives near the 40-foot tall project at 3144 Emerson Street, is planning a protest rally at the site this Saturday, June 25th – at 10 a.m.

Souza was widely quoted in a recent San Diego Reader article by Julie Stalmer about the history of hers and her husband’s concerns as they watched the project rise from dirt level to what it is today.

They are being joined by members of the Peninsula Community Planning Board who have been publicly against the project. Those upset with the project believe the City has wrongly approved the project, which violates the 30-foot height limit – which applies to the neighborhood where the project is being constructed.

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Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

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Overpassing the Value of Public Space

June 24, 2016 by Source

FreewayOverpass Public Space

By Howard M. Blackson III / SanDiego.UrbDeZine.com

“Caltrans does not restrict the right of free speech with handheld banners, but attaching flags or banners is not allowed,” a Caltrans-Spokesman told the San Jose Mercury News.

He added, “We are concerned that people waving handheld banners could cause driver distraction — putting their safety or that of the motoring public at risk.” Today, we have prioritized the ‘motoring public’ over all other aspects of public life.

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‘The Emerson and Evergreen Project in Point Loma Is Where We Have to Draw the Battle Line for the 30 Foot Height Limit’

June 23, 2016 by Source

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City Planners Allow Developer to Measure 30 Feet From Top of Retaining Walls – the Call Goes Out to Shut the Project Down

By Geoff Page

This is it folks, this is where we have to draw the battle line for the 30-foot height limit.

Our own city, in the form of the Development Services Department, is leading the assault on the 30-foot limit. They are working for developers, not the citizens who pay their salaries. The project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville is a huge raspberry from the DSD to the community and here is why.

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Point Loma Murder Suspect Arrested in Downtown San Diego

June 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Point Loma Murder Suspect Arrested in Downtown San Diego

The suspect in a murder that occurred in Point Loma at Catalina and Voltaire has been arrested in downtown San Diego.

Thomas Burke was busted by police near F Street and 16th Avenue – which is very close to SDPD headquarters. This came down near 8 am Thursday morning.

The incident began around 11 pm Wednesday night when the murder victim – unidentified at this point – walked up to one of the apartments in the newly constructed Famousa complex at the corner of Voltaire and Catalina and was allegedly shot by Burke, who was reportedly inside the apartment.

First responders administered CPR to the victim but were unsuccessful.

A SWAT action ensued through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with police not certain whether Burke was holed up or not in the apartment, but believed he might be barricaded inside. Neighbors were evacuated as a precaution.

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The Loss of Community Is Still the Biggest Threat from Short Term Vacation Rentals

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB airbnb map
The Ocean Beach Town Council will have a presentation and discussion on short term vacation rentals tonight at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, June 22.

Representatives of the group that has been lobbying city government to “do something” about the disruption to residential neighborhoods, Save San Diego Neighborhoods, will be making at least one of the presentations.

They will be discussing how the hundreds of short term rentals in OB and other coastal communities are cutting into San Diego’s housing stock – and making rents higher and even more restrictive. They will demonstrate how neighborhoods are negatively impacted and disrupted. And even how the character of a neighborhood is altered.

This is all well and good – and necessary.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News and Notices

June 21, 2016 by Staff

OB OB Pier 50th Art Image
* OB Pier 50th Anniversary Art Show Reception – June 30th
* Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off set for June 25
* Point Loma Neighbors See Violation of 30 Foot Height Rule in New Construction
* Recent Research Showing Cabrillo as Spanish Ignites Local Controversy
* It’s Back! Artwork Cleaned-Up and Returned to Newport Ave.
* Is Amazon Taking Over the Old Midway Post Office?
* Pipeline Repair and Rehab Project Public Meeting – June 22nd
* Woman Rescued After Falling From Sunset Cliffs …
* Bicyclist Injured by SUV in Fleetridge Area of Point Loma
* PB Residents Argue Whether Crime Rates Gauged to Lack of Local Control Over Alcohol Licenses
* Imperial Beach Is Worried About Sea-Level Rise – Shouldn’t OB Be?
* Fiesta Island’s full-on dog party over soon?
* Americana group Dewey Paul Band will perform their Garcia Van Dylan tribute at Winston’s
* Thousands of Books Collected for Kids Summer-

COME INSIDE FOR ALL THE REST ….

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Another Ten Minute Acquittal Against DA Dumanis in Medical Cannabis Trial

June 21, 2016 by Source

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

cannabis logoThe thin-as-air manufacturing case against medical cannabis patient and collective operator, Shaun Smith swept so quickly through trial that, before we knew it, Attorney Michael Cindrich had queued up his third cannabis-related not guilty verdict in four months.

The Cindrich winning streak started with defendant John Mazula in El Cajon, moved north to LA and then touched down in San Diego County’s Vista yesterday – surely making waves in District Attorney’s office and changing the landscape for medical cannabis patients.

Shaun’s arrest occurred May 13, 2015, near his Oceanside home. He had been running a small legal cannabis collective out of his residence, providing flower, bubble hash, cannabis butter, tinctures and ointments to his members.

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ACLU Endorses ‘Adult Use of Marijuana Act’ Expected on November Ballot

June 20, 2016 by Source

In 2014, 73 percent of misdemeanor marijuana arrests are people under 20. Nearly 70 percent of arrests were people of color.

By ACLU San Diego / Imperial

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Citing the continued widespread criminalization of young people of color through marijuana enforcement, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California announced it has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”) to control, regulate, and tax adult use, sale and cultivation of marijuana in California.

The measure is expected to qualify for the November state ballot.

Low-level marijuana possession was reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction in California in 2011, but marijuana law enforcement still results in thousands of arrests each year.

In 2011 to 2014, according to the California Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies made 60,000 marijuana arrests statewide. In 2014, young people under the age of 20 accounted for 73 percent of all misdemeanor marijuana arrests in the state. Nearly 70 percent of all marijuana arrests were of people of color.

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Lori Saldana: Ask Mayor Faulconer to Stop Downtown “Cleansing” of Homeless

June 20, 2016 by Source

June 20th Is World Refugee Day and Day Mayor Authorized Sweep of Homeless Possessions

Today – June 20 – is World Refugee Day. It is also the day that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has authorized a massive “sweep” to clear tents, tarps, and other personal belongings from areas downtown.

Whether from economic or political crisis, displaced families with no safe, permanent housing face increased health risks on a daily basis. They are more likely to be victims of violent crime. Women and young people are more vulnerable to rape and sexual assault.

Forcing people away from shelter, and/or to pack up their belongings and move on the hottest day of the year, will add to physical and emotional stress that may result in more emergency responders being called to manage their care. That cost falls on all San Diegans- both in economic and humane ways.

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Honoring the Victims of the Orlando Attack

June 17, 2016 by Source

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Flags throughout San Diego and the rest of country have been half-staff this week to honor the victims of the attack in Orlando, Florida.

The Ocean Beach Recreation Center has had flags at half-staff this week. And the OB Elementary also had flags half-staff all week.

Flags were half-staff until sunset Thurs. June 16. Per President Obama’s proclamation. Flags were half-staff until sunset Thursday, June 16, per President Obama’s proclamation.

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Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego: Rocks for the Homeless?

June 17, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti homelessBy Doug Porter

The infamous rockscaping in and around East Village was installed as part of the city’s preparation for Major League Baseball’s 2016 All-Star game on July 12.

The wishes of the surrounding community, the supposed reason for the installation, were actually not considered.

Even as emails on the situation were made public on Wednesday by Kelly Davis at Voice of San Diego , local gendarmes were rousting homeless people who’d moved to surrounding neighborhoods as a result of the city’s actions.

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The Sordid History of the OB Rag – the First Issue – September 1970

June 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag cover vol 1 no 1Editor:

Most of the following is a repost of an article published on September 8, 2015, in celebration of the OB Rag’s 45th anniversary.

It was September 1970 when the very first issue of the OB People’s Rag hit the streets of Ocean Beach.
With the banner date of September 17 1970, Volume 1 No. 1 was published on a mimeograph machine, it included 4 pages, back and front, stapled together.

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The San Diego U-T Looks at Short Term Vacation Rentals – and Still Misses Major Point

June 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

SD U-T stvr 3

By Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune had veteran reporter Lori Weisberg write an extended piece on short term vacation rentals in Sunday’s “SD In Depth” entitled “Opportunity or Nuisance” (June 12, 2016). Weisberg looked at the impact of short term rentals on San Diego’s housing market and wrote based on her research into who exactly was profiting “from the rise of the home sharing.”

Two of the immediate take-aways from her article are that more and more commercial rental agencies are dominating the short term market and that the available housing stock in San Diego is being affected.

Yet, she still has not focused on one of the key effects of the short term vacation rental industry: the loss of community.

Weisberg’s piece showcases Ryan Scott, who – as Weisberg explained – owns or sublets a dozen STVR dwellings and manages another 10 – many in the beach area and including Ocean Beach.

“The reality is,” he told Weisberg, “you’re leaving money on the table if you’re renting to a long-term tenant.”

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3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

The City of San Diego has sent out notice that the construction of a three-story dwelling unit is being planned for 4768 Del Mar Avenue in Ocean Beach. A process 2 Coastal Development Permit has been applied for by Justin Salbato for the project.

The permit calls for the demolition of a “non-habitable accessory structure”. The site contains an existing single family residence at the front of the lot, which is 0.16 acres. The new dwelling unit design includes a garage, with the unit having 2,226 square feet.

Plus – following a new trend – the new building design incorporates a roof-mounted photovoltaic system with solar panels “sufficient to generate at least 50-percent of the project’s projected energy consumption”, in conforming to the City’s new, so-called Affordable / In-fill Housing and Sustainable Buildings Expedite Program.

There appears to be several trees on the property, including a large pine tree (possibly Torrey Pine) in the back portion of the lot. It’s assumed that if the project is given the go-ahead, this tree will also be demolished.

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City of San Diego Ballot Proposals Promote Police Transparency, Human Services

June 13, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Women Occupy San Diego address Citizens Review Board
on Policy Practices inadequacies (again);

Democratic Woman’s Club advocacy for City of San Diego
Department of Public Health and Social Welfare

Women Occupy San Diego

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Keep an eye on some of the new ballot proposals that have been filed recently with the San Diego City Clerk.

These proposals reflect focused citizen participation that offer correctives to the city’s Citizen Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) and the county’s meager health and human services. These small “d” democratic efforts also happen to be spearheaded by women.

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