Wednesday, January 31, 2018

State Appeals Court Upholds Costa Hawkins Rule Used by Oakland Landlord to Increase Rents 125 Percent

by Darwin BondGraham
Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 3:17 PM

Kendahsi Haley (left) and Richard Wingart contend that the rent hikes are illegal. - FILE PHOTO BY BERT JOHNSON
  • File photo by Bert Johnson
  • Kendahsi Haley (left) and Richard Wingart contend that the rent hikes are illegal.

A state appeals court has ruled that California law allows landlords in cities with rent control — under certain circumstances — to convert apartment buildings into condominiums in order to exempt housing from rent control. The appellate court's decision, issued last week, involved a North Oakland property in which the landlord jacked up rents by 125 percent after the property was converted to condos.

The landlord, Arlen Chou, purchased the apartment building in 2015, two years after the previous owner converted the apartments into condos. That previous owner, Kenneth Kolevzon, lived in the building and wanted to convert it into condos and sell them at below market prices to his tenants. But Kolevzon's plans fell apart when he couldn't secure bank financing and he had to sell the building.

After Chou bought the property, he immediately demanded 125 percent rent increases from the building's three existing tenants. But two of the tenants, Kendahsi Haley and Criselda Cruz, asked the city's rent board to block the increases, arguing that they were illegal under Oakland's rent control ordinance.

The tenants contended that while their apartments were now legally condos, they were still protected by rent control because each unit hadn't yet been sold separately to individual buyers. Instead, a new landlord had simply taken over the entire building and was operating it as a rental property. Calling the condo exemption from rent control a "loophole" in their case, they asked for protection.

Chou countered that the state's Costa Hawkins Act, which places limits on local rent control ordinances, categorically exempts condos from rent control.

In fact, Chou purposefully bought the building because of its recent condo conversion. He believed it would allow him to dramatically increase rents on the existing tenants, or displace them and find renters who could pay higher amounts.

In an online forum Chou, bragged after buying the building "the best part of the property is that as they are condominiums, they are EXEMPT from rent control! I will soon own a little island of rent control free property in a rising neighborhood in Oakland."

One of the tenants, Richard Wingart, subsequently signed a move-out agreement. He later said he felt financially threatened and harassed and moved out in distress.

The city's rent board, however, ultimately found in favor the Haley and Cruz.

To support its decision, the board cited an obscure, but crucial section of the Costa Hawkins Act which states that rent-controlled apartments that are converted into condos only lose their rent control status after they have "been sold separately by the subdivider to a bona fide purchaser for value."

In the case of the small North Oakland building, all four units had been sold at the same time to Chou's company, Golden State Ventures. While Chou used separate checks to buy each condo, the rent board reasoned that the legislature hadn't intended to provide a loophole for landlords to circumvent rent control through condo conversion when it passed the Costa Hawkins Act back in 1995. The rent board ruled that because Chou purchased all the units at once and owned the entire building, the condos were not sold "separately," and rent control still applied.

Chou sought to overturn the rent board's decision in superior court, and prevailed. The city of Oakland then appealed the case up to the state appeals court in San Francisco seeking to have the rent board's interpretation of Costa Hawkins reaffirmed.

But while the appeals court judges wrote that they were "not unsympathetic to the tenants’ plight in this case," they still ruled in favor of Chou.

The appeals court ruled that the "sold separately" requirement merely means that condos have an individual title and units lose their rent controlled status once a landlord sells them after conversion.

Wednesday's Briefing: State Bill to Overturn Part of Trump Tax Plan Wins OK; California May Create Public Bank for Pot Businesses

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:59 AM

Stories you shouldn't miss for Jan. 31, 2018:

Kevin de León.
  • Kevin de León.
1. Millions of Californians would get a tax break under a bill that won approval in the state Senate and would overturn a portion of President Trump's tax plan, reports Katy Murphy of the Bay Area News Group$. Trump's new tax law, signed last month, greatly reduces tax deductions and write-offs on federal tax returns, thereby raising taxes on millions of California homeowners. But legislation by Senate leader Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, would circumvent the new law by turning most state taxes into charitable donations, which can be deducted on federal tax returns. The Trump administration is expected to challenge California's plan if it's enacted.

2. California cannabis businesses would be able to operate more safely under a banking plan proposed by state Treasurer John Chiang and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, reports James Rufus Koren of the LA Times$. Under the proposal, the state would create a public bank that pot businesses could use rather than having to deal in cash. Currently, weed businesses can't use regular banks because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

3. It will cost $34 million to retrofit Lum Elementary School in Alameda, which closed last year because it's seismically unsafe, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$, citing a new school district report. Alameda school officials said the district can't afford the $34 million pricetag. Building a new school at the same site would cost $33 million.

4. Walgreens agreed to pay $2.25 million to Bay Area counties "to settle a civil suit after inspections found the company sold expired infant formula and charged shoppers for items at higher prices than advertised," reports Jenna Lyons of the San Francisco Chronicle$.

5. President Trump said last night that he intends to release a highly disputed memo on the Russian-collusion investigation that was drafted California Congressmember Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, the Washington Post$ reports. Top Department of Justice and FBI officials have urged the president and Congressional Republicans not to release the memo because they say it's inaccurate and misleading. Republicans have refused to release a competing memo from Democrats that is designed to correct the record.

6. And President Trump's top health official - Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control - has resigned amid a conflict-of-interest controversy over her purchase of tobacco stocks, Politico reports.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Buy-Outs and Layoffs Hit East Bay Times and Other Bay Area News Group Papers

A total of 28 BANG journalists accepted buyouts today. Layoffs are scheduled for next week.

by Darwin BondGraham and John Geluardi
Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 1:29 PM

east_bay_times.jpg

The Bay Area’s local print media took another hit this week as multiple senior staff at the East Bay Times accepted buyouts ahead of a round of layoffs.

As many as seven East Bay Times reporters, photographers, and editors — about a quarter of the paper's metro East Bay editorial staff — accepted buyouts which were offered by its parent company, the Bay Area News Group. The buyouts are a first round of cuts and will be followed by layoffs starting next week.

Neil Chase, executive editor of the Bay Area News Group, said the buyouts were intended to reduce the number of layoffs that will be necessary.

“Revenue has been shrinking rapidly, and without the revenue you can’t do the journalism,” Chase said.

Chase declined to disclose the number of positions being eliminated, but he described this round of cuts as a “significant reduction in the news staff.”

According to sources, 28 BANG journalists took buyouts today.

The Bay Area News Group is owned by Digital First Media, a national media company that is owned by the Alden Global hedge fund.

This week’s newsroom cuts are only the most recent in a string of layoffs. Last year, just weeks after the East Bay Times’ staff won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Ghost Ship fire, Digital First Media and the Bay Area News Group cut the paper’s staff by 20 positions. The year before, the Bay Area News Group lost 11 copy editors.

One region that will be hit especially hard by this round of BANG cuts is West Contra Costa County. According to sources familiar with the layoffs, the Bay Area News Group closed its Richmond office and bought out the two remaining reporters who covered Richmond, Hercules, Pinole, and El Sobrante.

Reporters Tom Lochner and Chris Treadway had long histories of covering the region and their departure means a loss of institutional knowledge that is vital to meaningful coverage of government, crime, and culture. As a result, the western part of Contra Costa County will essentially be without regular and reliable news coverage.

Richmond Confidential, an online publication run by UC Berkeley journalism students, will provide some coverage, but the news is sporadic and student reporters change each new semester. The other widely read news source is the Richmond Standard, an online publication that is owned by Chevron.

The cuts continue a national trend of reductions in print media jobs. Despite the Bay Area’s booming economy, local newspapers continue to shed journalists. Labor department statistics show that 32 percent of reporter and correspondent jobs have been eliminated over the past 10 years across California. Meanwhile, the number of public relations specialists continues to grow. The bureau of labor statistic’s estimates there are 3,490 reporter jobs in all of California while there are 24,690 public relations positions.

Tuesday's Briefing: Berkeley Council May Cut Weed Tax; Little-Known East Bay Assembly Candidate Raises a Whopping $500K

Plus, drought concerns deepen as dry weather continues.

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 10:22 AM

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Stories you shouldn't miss for Jan. 30, 2018:

1. Berkeley cannabis businesses could get a boost tonight when the city council votes on a plan to cut the city's tax on recreational pot in half - from 10 percent to 5 percent, reports Sophia Brown-Heidenreich of the Daily Cal. The proposal, put forward by Mayor Jesse Arreguin, is designed to allow Berkeley weed dispensaries to be more competitive in the East Bay marketplace. The tax reduction, if passed, would mean that Berkeley's tax would become half of what Oakland charges - 10 percent.

2. Buffy Wicks, a little-known candidate for state Assembly in the East Bay, said she has raised a whopping $500,000 for her campaign, and she likely will easily outdistance her rivals in fundraising in the race to represent Berkeley, Richmond, and North Oakland in the legislature, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. Wicks, a former Obama and Clinton campaign staffer, is in a 10-candidate contest that includes Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb, Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett, Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles, Berkeley school board member Judy Appel, and East Bay MUD board member Andy Katz.

3. California may be heading into another drought as this year's dry winter season continues, the Sacramento Bee$ reports. The Sierra snowpack is 70 percent below normal, and climatologists are forecasting at least two more weeks of dry weather.

4. State water officials approved $34.4 million in grants to eight desalination projects, including one in Antioch, as efforts to secure a sustainable water supply continue, reports Paul Rogers of the Mercury News$. Six of the winning proposals are for desalination of brackish water, in which "salty water from a river, bay, or underground aquifer is filtered for drinking, rather than taking ocean water, which is often up to three times saltier and more expensive to purify."

5. The East Bay Regional Park District is taking another step toward helping complete the Bay Trail by building a $13.2 million bridge over railroad tracks in Pinole, reports Denis Cuff of the East Bay Times$. The bridge will expand "public access to a scenic but largely unknown stretch of coast in northeastern Contra Costa County with sweeping views of San Pablo Bay and the skylines of San Francisco and Marin counties."

6. The Trump tax plan, approved by Congress late last year, will make it more expensive for many people to buy homes in the Bay Area and could prompt them to rent instead, reports Louis Hansen of the Bay Area News Group$. The Republican tax overhaul greatly reduces tax write-offs and thus will make renting cheaper than homebuying in expensive regions.

7. State Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, introduced legislation that will require businesses to provide lactation areas at work, reports Trisha Thadani of the San Francisco Chronicle$. "Lactation facilities must be built into new construction larger than 15,000 square feet. For existing buildings, the bar is lower: As long as it is a private room that's not a restroom, with a couch, table, and nearby access to water and a refrigerator."

8. Immigrant children facing deportation do not have a constitutional right to a government-funded attorney, reports Maura Dolan of the LA Times$, citing a new ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. "Mandating free court-appointed counsel could further strain an already overextended immigration system," wrote Judge Consuelo M. Callahan, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.

9. And CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who was appointed by President Trump, warned that he expects Russians to interfere again in this year's national elections, yet nonetheless the Trump administration announced that it will refuse to implement Congress-approved sanctions against Moscow for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday's Briefing: Microorganisms May Be Eating Bay Bridge Welds; Lawmakers May Allow State-Chartered Banks to Service Pot Businesses

Plus, Oroville dam repairs surge to $870 million.

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 10:18 AM

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Stories you shouldn't miss for Jan. 29, 201

1. Key welds on the underwater foundation of the new Bay Bridge are showing signs of accelerated corrosion, and Caltrans is investigating whether microorganisms may be to blame, reports Jaxon Van Derbeken of NBC Bay Area. The corrosion of welds on the foundation could reduce the expected life span of the $6.4 billion structure from 150 years to 100 years. Divers recently found barnacle-crusted piles on the welds, which include bacteria colonies that leave behind highly acidic film that attacks steel.

2. State lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow cannabis businesses in California to use state-chartered banks, reports Peter Fimrite of the San Francisco Chronicle$. Because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, banks won't service pot businesses in the state, even though they're legal here. That means weed businesses must deal in cash, creating dangerous conditions for workers who must then deliver cash tax proceeds to state collection offices.

3. The cost to repair Oroville dam's badly damaged spillways has surged to $870 million, reports Ralph Vartabedian of the LA Times$. Last winter's heavy rains severely damaged the spillways, which were poorly designed in the first place. The federal government is expected to pay 75 percent of the repair costs.

4. The Alameda Planning Board rejected a proposal to build a 100-room hotel at the Harbor Bay Business Park, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The hotel proposal, which required a rezoning of the property, was similar to a plan that the Bay Conservation & Development Commission rejected last year.

5. An Oakland property owner is offering to sell his home for bitcoins or other forms of cryptocurrency, reports Erin Baldassari of the East Bay Times$. The property at 2559 Oliver Ave. has already received an "overwhelming" response.

6. And much of Southern California is under a red-flag warning due to unusually high temperatures and strong Santa Ana winds, the LA Times$ reports.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday's Briefing: Oakland Police Violated State Immigration Law; Trump Administration Targets Berkeley and Other Sanctuary Cities

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 10:03 AM

oakland_police.jpg
Stories you shouldn't miss for Jan. 25, 2018:

1. Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick acknowledged that the department violated state law by denying visas to at least two undocumented immigrants who were crime victims and were willing to cooperate with police, reports David DeBolt of the East Bay Times$. In addition, OPD likely violated the same state immigration law in hundreds of other cases in the last few years, reports Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The state law, which went into effect in 2016, requires local law enforcement agencies to provide so-called U-visas to undocumented victims and witnesses who cooperate with police - even if those people are suspected of committing other crimes. But OPD said it was unaware of the law and is conducting an internal audit to find out how many visas it wrongly denied.

2. The Trump Department of Justice is threatening Berkeley and other sanctuary cities that have refused to cooperate with federal immigration actions, reports Hamed Aleaziz of the San Francisco Chronicle. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also threatened the cities of San Francisco and Fremont, along with the state of California, but has yet to target Oakland and Alameda even though they are also sanctuary cities.

3. The largest affordable housing project in four years in Oakland broke ground near the Fruitvale BART station, reports Roland Li of the San Francisco Business Times$. The 94-unit, $60 million project is being built by nonprofits East Bay Asian Local Development Corp. and the Unity Council. "Units will be reserved for tenants making up to 60 percent of the area median income. At least 21 percent of the units will be reserved for formerly homeless military veterans."

4. The UC Regents postponed a vote to raise tuition next fall following a fierce pushback from students who said that hikes would derail their college dreams, reports Emily DeRuy of the Bay Area News Group$. "The regents had been slated to vote on increasing in-state tuition and fees by nearly $350 for the 2018-19 school year, raising total annual tuition to just shy of $13,000. The proposed increase for out-of-state students was even greater, nearly $1,000 to about $29,000."

5. Bay Area transportation officials voted to place a $3 bridge toll hike measure on the June ballot, reports Erin Baldassari of the East Bay Times$. The measure calls for increasing bridge tolls in $1 increments every few years through 2025 in order to generate billions for transportation projects throughout the region.

6. A businessman seeking a cannabis permit in Oakland offered a city official a trip to Spain, reports Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle. The businessman, Dorian Gray, defended his offer to Greg Minor, who heads up Oakland's pot permitting program. Minor said he reported the offer to City Administrator Sabrina Landreth. Under city ethics laws, it's illegal for someone to offer a gift "when it is reasonably foreseeable that the public servant or candidate could be influenced by the gift in the performance of an official act."

7. And Michael T. Reynolds, the acting director of the National Park Service who came under fire from President Trump for refusing to produce photos of his inauguration to show a larger crowd than actually showed up, has been assigned by the administration to be the new superintendent of Yosemite National Park, reports Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle$.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday's Briefing: San Leandro City Manager Put on Leave Amid Sex Harassment Charges; Raiders Fans and Local Officials May Sue Team Over Vegas Move

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jan 24, 2018 at 9:58 AM

Stories you shouldn't miss for Jan. 24, 2017:

Chris Zapata
  • Chris Zapata
1. The San Leandro City Council placed embattled City Manager Chris Zapata on administrative leave pending an investigation of allegations that he sexually harassed the head of a local nonprofit, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. Davis Street Family Resource Center CEO Rose Padilla Johnson, who is seeking to open a cannabis dispensary in San Leandro, has called for Zapata to resign. Zapata has denied wrongdoing.

2. Oakland Raiders fans and some local officials say they may sue the team and the NFL over the Raiders' planned move to Las Vegas, reports David DeBolt of the East Bay Times$. Oakland City Councilmember said the NFL should pay the $83 million in outstanding debt on the Coliseum. The debt was incurred to rehab the Coliseum for the Raiders in the 1990s. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley said law firms have approached him to represent the city and county in a suit against the Raiders and the NFL.

3. A coalition of small cannabis growers sued the state to block the proliferation of mega farms of marijuana, reports Michael R. Blood of the Associated Press (via KPCC; h/t Rough & Tumble). The coalition contends that new state rules on cannabis favor larger growing operations that could put them out of business.

4. It could take weeks for a judge to decide the outcome of Oakland developer Phil Tagami's suit against the city over his planned coal terminal at the former Army Base, reports David DeBolt of the East Bay Times$. A trial concluded earlier this week on Tagami's effort to overturn Oakland's ban on coal, but U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria indicated that he might not make a decision until March.

5. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said he is rescinding his offer to include a border wall in a deal on DACA, the Washington Post$ reports. Schumer had made the offer to President Trump during negotiations over the government shutdown, but Trump said the proposal didn't go far enough. Trump's proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico is deeply unpopular with Democrats, but the president said he won't agree to a deal on DACA unless the wall is included.

6. And Berkeley-born author Ursula K. Le Guin, who wrote The Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea series, died on Monday at her home in Portland, Ore. She was 88.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday's Briefing: Trump Delivers Blow to Solar Power; San Leandro City Manager to Face Sex Harassment Suit

Plus, California Sens. Feinstein and Harris vote against deal to reopen the federal government.

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 10:16 AM

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Stories you shouldn't miss for Jan. 23, 2018:

1. The Trump administration delivered a serious blow to California and the nation's solar energy industry by slapping a 30 percent tariff on Chinese-made solar panels, reports David R. Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The big tariff will translate into higher prices that threaten to block the growth of solar power in the state and around the country because most solar panels are made in China. The solar industry employs about 100,000 Californians and green energy experts estimate that the administration's decision could cost about 23,000 solar jobs in total.

2. The head of a nonprofit who says San Leandro City Manager Chris Zapata sexually harassed her plans to sue the city for damages, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. Rose Padilla Johnson, CEO of the Davis Street Wellness Center, also called on Zapata to resign. The San Leandro City Council has scheduled a special closed-door meeting tomorrow night to discuss whether to discipline Zapata. He maintains he's innocent and that Johnson levied the accusations in an attempt to force the city to award her and her partners a cannabis dispensary permit.

3. California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris voted against the deal to reopen the federal government, arguing that the Democrats should not have backed down from a demand for an agreement on DACA, the federal program that protects young undocumented immigrants, reports Emily Cadei of the Sacramento Bee$. Feinstein, who is facing a tough reelection fight this year, said she was "very disappointed," because the deal to reopen the government contained no guarantees of a pact on DACA.

4. A federal judge ruled that a homeless group can go forward with its lawsuit against the city of Berkeley alleging that the city repeatedly ousted them from their encampment because of their criticism of city policy, reports Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle. U.S. District Judge William Alsup also ruled that lawsuit by First They Came for the Homeless "plausibly suggests that plaintiffs have no choice but to sleep, eat, and otherwise live in Berkeley's public spaces" because of the city's extreme housing shortage.

5. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for hours by investigators from the office of special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is probing possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump presidential campaign last year, The New York Times$ reports. Mueller's interest in Sessions, who was forced to recuse himself from the DOJ probe because of his ties to Russia, also indicates that the special prosecutor is investigating whether President Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI director James Comey for his examination of Trump-Russia collusion.

6. FBI director Christopher Wray has resisted pressure from Sessions to fire FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the Washington Post$ reports. President Trump and Fox News pundits have accused McCabe of being biased toward presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the FBI investigation of Clinton's email server and biased against Trump during the Russia collusion probe.

7. Rapper Too Short, who began his career in East Oakland, has been sued for alleged sexual assault by a Los Angeles woman named Teana Louis, TMZ reports. Too Short denies the allegation and is threatening countersue Louis.

8. And The Shape of Water led the Oscar nominations with 13, Greta Gerwig, director of Lady Bird, became just the fifth woman nominated for best director, and Mudbound director of photography Rachel Morrison became the first woman to be nominated for best cinematography.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday’s Briefing: Federal Government to Reopen Today; Oakland Women’s March Draws About 50,000

Plus, managers at Boot & Shoe Service quit over Hallowell’s refusal to divest.

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 9:58 AM

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Stories you shouldn’t miss for Jan. 22, 2018:

1. The federal government will reopen today after Democratic and Republican Senate leaders agreed to continue talks on an immigration deal to protect young undocumented immigrants, commonly known as Dreamers. The government shut down over the weekend after a tentative deal on immigration between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and President Trump unraveled — even though Schumer offered to include the president’s controversial plan for a border wall in the pact. Trump steered clear of more negotiations over the weekend and remains unsure what he wants in an immigration deal, The New York Times$ reports.

2. The Women’s March in Oakland drew about 50,000 demonstrators on Saturday, and a more than a million people took to the streets in cities nationwide to protest against President Trump and his policies. Tens of thousands of people took part in Women’s Marches in San Francisco, San Jose, and Walnut Creek, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “Not Our President — Illegitimate,” read a giant banner in the Oakland march.

3. Three managers and chefs at the popular Oakland restaurant Boot & Shoe Service resigned over the weekend in protest of owner Charlie Hallowell’s refusal to divest from the company in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, reports Tara Duggan of the San Francisco Chronicle$. At least three more managers of Boot & Shoe said they will quit in the coming days, although no one at Hallowell’s other restaurants — Pizzaiolo and Penrose — have said they plan to resign.

4. ICYMI: A United Nations representative described Oakland and California’s homeless situation as "cruel" after a tour of Oakland on Saturday. UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Leilani Farha also questioned why wealthy states like California don’t spend more to provide affordable housing for low-income and jobless residents.

5. UC Berkeley student Luis Mora, who was detained by immigration officials in Southern California during the holidays, returned to the Bay Area on Sunday night, reports Benny Evangelista of the San Francisco Chronicle. Mora was released on bond after his detainment, which sparked outrage in the East Bay’s immigrant rights community.

6. And President Trump made 2,140 false and misleading statements during his first year in office, according to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Voices from Saturday’s Women’s March in Oakland

We asked participants why they marched.

by Gabrielle Canon
Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 3:43 PM

PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
David and Sophie Zizmor
David Zizmor with his daughter Sophie, 6. "I want Sophie to learn that we can fight back when we need to and I want her to see that there are a lot of people here working to make change."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Sheryl Walton
Sheryl Walton, sporting a #MeToo name tag, said she joined the march because of Trump's actions against women.
"Trump is anti-women, he is the worst president in the history of the United States. I am among my sisters to march for freedom and unity and respect."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Devin & Family
Dominique, Dana, and Devin, 7, said they were marching as a family to "protect our future—and get Trump out of office."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Hear Our Vote
Nikki Ludke, 16, joins others from March For Our Future, a youth-led organization that led the march. "We are here to elevate youth voices and inspire more young people to get out and be involved in politics and involved in their community."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Jancy James
"I am out marching so women can be represented. We have the power to make change and it's important for us to represent ourselves—because we are not going to be represented otherwise."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Jess and Jaze Magallon
Jess and Jaze Magallon said they are marching to support women's issues and intersectionality.

"I hope the march gets people to vote. I hope we keep growing as a community. I feel like it has been more inclusive and that's really important.

It makes you feel connected. Sometimes it can feel like there aren't a lot of people who support these causes and it's great to see them." —Jess Magallon.
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Kianna Williams
Kianna Williams and her daughter Drea. "We are here for women's rights. We want to come together and stand for what's right."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Lauren Phipps
"I am here to connect some of the dots that not everyone is here connecting. It's great that so many people are coming out but it can be a disservice to the work that we are doing if we are not elevating everybody and we are just elevating certain narratives. So I am here to bring in more conversation around intersectionality and bring in more conversations about racial justice at a women's march because those two are inextricably linked. If we are not talking about white supremacy in the same breath as feminism then we are only making the problem worse."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Maddy and Isabell
Maddy, 10, and Isabell, 8, say they came to the march to "support women all over the world."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Nina Legaspi
Nina Legaspi, 19: "I am here to support women's rights. Ever since I started college it has opened my eyes to how often women are not respected the way that they should be. We have done so much and it sucks to realize how much shit we go through and how it goes unrecognized.

I think that the more that we continue to protest it's going to make a big impact—hopefully in a good way."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Osunfemi Wanbi Njeri
Osunfemi Wanbi Njeri, a singer who performed at the opening rally, stands with her family after the march.

"I thought it was incredible. All the women and men in support of women. It was beautiful. I got to perform, which was amazing, and I hope that I uplifted and touched some of the women out there. That many women, who came out—it's powerful. It's important for our voices to be heard and to really step up to the front lines and start making some action happen. So it was beautiful to see all those women who came, and who took the stage, and who were in charge of different groups. I had a fabulous time."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Peni Hall
Peni Hall said she thought the march was wonderful. "I marched with the disability contingent, which was organized entirely by disabled women. I think that this is a blueprint that we hope other organizations will look at in terms of making marches and march events accessible. Mostly, we get lost and nobody thinks about it. So this disability-centric one has been great—a very rare but wonderful experience.

"As many groups, we are under attack. For us, it is a question of staying alive. They are trying to take away the things that keep us alive."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Randy Thomas
Randy Thomas said he came out because of "the whole nastiness of everything that's been going on. People aren't being kind to each other anymore and people aren't listening to each other. Women are totally not being listened to right now and everybody else, minorities especially—we just have to come together and not let mistakes like this administration has been happen anymore. We have to stand up and do something to make it right."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Ryan Duncan
Ryan Duncan came to the march for one reason: "Love."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Sherri McMullen and Friends
Sherri McMullen, Taylor Davis, India Swearingen, Valerie Williams, Aleenah McMullen. "I am marching for my son and his future. This is about everything I believe in. I am marching for our rights." —Sherri McMullen
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Sistah Boom
Mar Stevens and Sandy Mills performing with their group Sistah Boom, which has been around since the 1970s.
"We are women, we come together, we drum, we have a good time and we are political and positive. It is a beautiful group of women and we are here for women's rights—all rights, human rights." —Mar Stevens
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Benjamin, Ethan, and their Mom
Benjamin and Ethan, both 6, marching with their mom. They said they were marching "to fight for women and peace and justice," and "to help women feel fair."
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE CANON
  • Photo by Gabrielle Canon
Leilani Bustamante
"This is my third march in one year. I am here supporting all the ladies and equal rights. I hope we get out the vote. I hope the 43 percent of Americans who didn't vote actually come out an do, in order to change things"
wans-bourdoiseau-familye.jpg
Wands-Bourdoiseau Family
Alan and Julie, with their daughters Jeanne and Claire, both 8.
"We believe it is time for resistance in this country. We want our daughters to grow up with this idea, we want our son to grow up with this idea—that when there is injustice you stand up against it. You don't stay silent." —Alan Wands-Bourdoiseau

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