Posts Tagged: communities

Opinion

Investment target: ‘Transformative Climate Communities’

A community with rooftop solar panels, a leading source of renewable energy. (Photo: Roschetzky Photography)

During the past June primary elections, the process of how the Legislature should allocate funds from California’s climate change program was front and center in Proposition 70. Voters were loud and clear in rejecting that ballot measure — which was born out of a nefarious deal with the oil industry. Now, the question of what those funds should be invested in still hangs in the balance, as the Legislature will soon decide on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) budget for the coming year. 

Opinion

A power grab by Caltrans?

A California freeway sign provides information for motorists. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

OPINION: Flashing Amber Alerts, public safety messages and directional traffic alerts – for decades, Californians have agreed this type of information is what belongs on the changeable outdoor message signs along our highways’ public spaces. Common sense and public policy says it is in the best interest of the public to keep this public right-of-way space limited to such content and free of blight.

Opinion

Helping communities cope with climate change

Skyline of downtown Los Angeles on a smoggy day. (Photo0: EvijaF via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Growing up in New Orleans, summertime brought mixed feelings. It meant the end of the school year and endless snow cones, but also the beginning of hurricane season. Here in California we experience extreme heat in the summer and floods and fires throughout the year, all made worse by climate change. Unless we take action now to prepare our communities, many will suffer, some more than others.

Opinion

California’s road to sustainable freight

A freight-laden train makes its way through a city's core. (Photo: Serjio74,. via Shutterstock)

When most of us receive a package at our door from Amazon or another delivery service, we rarely think about the complex system that brought it to us, from manufacturing and packaging to shipping, sorting and last-mile delivery. But California’s massive freight system is key to both our economy and our environmental health.

Opinion

Paint: Time to get the lead out

Two painters in protective suits remove lead paint from an old house. (Photo: Jaime Hooper)

OPINION: Seeing no way to prevail in the courts, the Big Three filed a ballot initiative that would nullify the court judgment holding them responsible for lead paint cleanup in 10 counties, and effectively pardon them by preventing any future suits. Perhaps worst of all, the toxic paint producers’ initiative would force taxpayers to clean up the companies’ own toxic paint mess, draining nearly $4 billion dollars from our state budget.  

Opinion

Transportation planning: People first, not cars

A rush-hour traffic jam on the approach to the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. (Photo: Aaron Kohr)

OPINION: If you’ve ever sat in traffic crawling at 5 miles per hour or been late to an appointment because of inadequate public transportation, I don’t need to tell you that transportation represents a constant challenge in California. Too many of those problems stem from a planning process that has consistently failed to put people first. California can do better. And let’s not kid ourselves about which people are most likely to get left out of transportation planning decisions: Low-income communities of color.

Opinion

Priority: Boosting Denti-Cal reimbursements

A youngster getting a dental exam. (Photo: Shutterstock)

OPINION: The increase in reimbursement rates for Denti-Cal providers – the first in 18 years – sent a clear signal that we may finally be within striking distance of increasing access to care for the state’s most vulnerable and underserved populations. For this, California’s elected leaders should be commended. But this is only the first step.

News

Oakland’s Libby Schaaf vs. the Feds

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. (Photo: Ben Margot)

Does Libby Schaaf have a political future outside of Oakland? Since her inauguration in 2015, Oakland Mayor Schaaf has worked assiduously on (and bragged about) programs aimed at reducing crime, improving transit and a host of other causes dear to the hearts of big-city mayors. Then came Saturday, Feb. 24.

Opinion

Oversight urged for 340B drug discount program

A woman shops for medications in a pharmacy. (Photo: Tyler Olson, via Shutterstock

OPINION: Mark Twain once proclaimed, “The government of my country snubs honest simplicity, but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two.” These humorous words may elicit a smile, but clearly ring true more than a century later, and most certainly apply to the 340B drug discount program.

Opinion

Be prepared: The key to handling disasters

Wind-whipped flames on San Miguel Mountain east of San Diego. (Photo: Kevin Key)

OPINION: The destruction in Florida, the cataclysmic floods in Houston, the massive erosion of the Oroville Dam and the ravaging wildfires up and down the Golden State are all real-time reminders of how vulnerable each one of us is to disaster, no matter who we are or where we live. It’s too easy to embrace the fallacy that these terrible things only happen to others.  Instead of hoping for the best, we should plan and prepare for the worst.  The safety of our families depends on it.

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