California

Imagining the Zero Waste City of Tomorrow

Around the world, cities are committed to becoming Zero Waste communities by adopting new principles and changing the way they manage waste. And they are finding that eliminating waste is not only environmentally beneficial but also economically advantageous.   The San Francisco Experience In the US, the city of San Francisco, California is leading the charge to become a truly zero waste city. Already, it has developed a comprehensive waste management strategy that city officials believe will enable it to keep 100 percent of its waste…

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Urban Farming is Coming to Los Angeles

In the wake of the landmark passing of California’s Neighborhood Foods Act, urban farming is flourishing in Los Angeles. In October, City Councilmen Felipe Fuentes and Curren Price filed a motion to allow owners of vacant lots in the city to qualify for tax relief if they make their land available for agricultural use. Los Angeles has about 8,600 such lots. “By converting empty parcels into urban farms, we can encourage local economic development, green our more closely knit communities and provide produce…

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New Gun Control for California Works to Advance Public Safety

California is once again leading the nation in enacting more sensible gun control regulations. This week the state Congress is continuing to draft legislation that would create a comprehensive database for the purchase of ammunition, as well as require all guns to remain locked up when they are not in use, and extend how long a person is prohibited from owning weapons after they have made violent threats against someone.

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California Senate Passes Sweeping Gun Control Reforms

This week the California State Senate approved seven related gun control bills, which include universal background checks for anyone who wishes to purchase ammunition. People in the state who have a criminal record, severe mental illness, or a restraining order filed against them, would also be disqualified from owning firearms.

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Popular GMO Labeling Mandate Makes California Ballot

The right of consumers to know whether the foods they eat have been genetically engineered is moving closer to being law. This November the California Right to Know Act will appear on the state ballot as Proposition 37. If passed the measure would be the first U.S. law that requires GMO foods to be labeled.

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Sunday Streets Shines in San Francisco’s Mission District

Yesterday the sunny streets of San Francisco were swarming with thousands of happy residents during another regular Sunday Streets event. Rivers of happy families filled the car-free avenues, listening to live music, biking, dancing, playing football, skateboarding, walking dogs, socializing with their neighbors, and just soaking up the beautiful spring day.

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Will Los Angeles Plastic Bag Ban Lead to a State Law?

Los Angeles is now one of 49 California cities to ban plastic bags. It took four years to convince nearly all of the local supervisors to vote (13-1) in favor of the prohibition. As the largest city to finally get rid of plastic — the region is responsible for about 2.3 billion of California’s total consumption of 12 billion plastic bags — the ban is expected to spark state-wide legislation.

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Jerry Brown Closes California’s Child Prisons

This week Governor Jerry Brown announced that all youth prisons in the state will be permanently closed. These historic child jail closures are being partially driven by budget crisis concerns, and partly as one component of larger progressive prison reforms that will be implemented throughout California.

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New California Law Helps Make Dreams Come True

This new year my home state of California has strengthened my faith in our culture, and in humanity, by passing the California Dream Act, which becomes law today. This intelligent new legislation allows for any academically qualified student, who has graduated from a California high school, to be able to receive financial aid to attend college in the state, regardless of their immigration status.

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Hundreds of Police Attack Occupy Oakland Again

Hundreds of police have attacked the Occupy Oakland camp in the early morning hours today, though it appears with not quite the same ferocious degree of brutal violent and excessive force that was used on the peaceful protesters last month. Dozens of activists have been arrested, as authorities futilely attempted once again to dismantle the camp and disperse the demonstrators.

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Happy Indigenous People’s Day: Rethinking Celebrating Genocide

California’s progressive city of Berkeley is celebrating Indigenous People’s Day today, and Native American Day is being honored in South Dakota — hopefully soon the entire nation will follow suit. It makes me sick that we still have a federally sanctioned holiday that celebrates the slaughter, rape and enslavement of millions of indigenous people. Celebrate the people who were here first; join the many activists who are now petitioning for a nationally recognized indigenous holiday.

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Lonnie Millsap: Twisted Comic Genius or Just Weird?

I met the cartoonist Lonnie Millsap over a twenty five cent can of Pabst Blue Ribbon last month in Culver City. How could such a miraculous thing be possible, you ask? In the magical city of angels, Los Angeles, California, apparently anything can happen. Lonnie gave me his first two books to read, and I was immediately engrossed; I even laughed out loud reading a few of the cartoons.

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