Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Today's McDonald's protest

Stopped by the downtown McDonald's protest early (around 11am) & was happy to see one of the fired workers, her brother, Michael Delacour, and some other people already there holding up signs & passing out information.

I had to split for work around 11:15 or so, but if you showed up later let us know how it went! Seemed like a good early turnout for mid-day on a weekday since I was there before the announced starting time of 11:30!

P.S.- Here's the information about Dona Spring's public memorial service on Sunday August 10th.
The memorial for Dona Spring will be held
Sunday AUGUST 10th; 2-4 p.m.
at MLK JR Civic Center Park, by Berkeley City Hall;
followed by a reception 4 to 8 p.m. at
North Berkeley Senior Center, Hearst and MLK Jr Way.

Dona was an incredible human being and a great leader for Berkeley and
beyond. We will have a videographer present at the reception to record
YOUR remembrances of Dona.
If you have suggestions please call 548-8796. T

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jesse For Rent Board!

I need your help!

The Rent Board Convention- happening Sunday August 3, 4pm in Berkeley- will choose 5 candidates for the 5 open seats. This Rent Board slate has been the winning slate for the past several elections and has ensured that the Rent Board has protected tenants during the housing bubble as much as legally possible. It's also begun work on dealing with the foreclosure crisis as it relates to rental properties.

There are 13 people competing for the 5 seats- including myself. I will be honored to run for Rent Board if the Convention chooses me- but I will not run if it chooses other candidates. Since the slate is progressive & has been filled with common sense candidates, I'm not willing to distract from the slate's success by running an independent campaign.

I need you- Berkeley resident & Jesse Townley supporter- to attend this Sunday's convention at 4 PM at the North Berkeley Senior Center at 1901 Hearst (c/s MLK Jr. Way, 2 blocks from University Ave). It's open to all & accessible. A donation of $3-10 is requested to cover the cost of the room. Please vote for me - and every other candidate you prefer!

Berkeley Rent Board http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/DepartmentHome.aspx?id=9546

What do I stand for? Here's part of the questionnaire I submitted to the Convention's selection committee:

Q: Tell us about three or more issues that you consider important to tenants in Berkeley.

1. Providing comprehensive disaster preparedness & planning for apartment dwellers. Residents of single family homes are easier to contact, so our overworked & understaffed Office of Emergency Services has not been able to do anywhere near as much effective outreach to tenants of apartment buildings.

2. Ensuring affordable housing that’s actually affordable to residents and potential residents who are earning at or close to minimum wage. The further service employees have to travel to work, the more environmental damage is done to our planet, plus intelligent zoning of appropriate projects in existing neighborhoods will ensure economic & ethnic diversity.

3. Expanding environmental programs in cooperation with property owners & tenants- from solar power to composting to recycling- will ensure a healthier future for all.

4. Ensuring that the upcoming Mitigation piece of the Soft Story Ordinance results in structurally safer buildings for tenants while controlling the costs for both property owners & tenants. Also, ensuring that rental properties with less than 5 units are covered by this or subsequent legislation will lessen the amount of death and dismemberment after the next major earthquake.

5. Identifying non-property tax sources for City revenue. This will increase city funds for city programs benefiting tenants and property owners alike, since there will be less cause for anti-tax groups like BASTA to campaign against necessary revenue programs.

There's a lot more in the questionnaire- maybe I'll post more of it later? Let me know if you want to read more, thanks!

Hear me babble!

When I was back east a couple weeks ago, I made time to stop in Jersey City to meet up with Ronen Kaufman. Ronen produces & hosts the Issue Oriented podcast series. (A buddy describes him as the James Lipton of the punk podcast world) We did a 90 minute interview which he (thankfully) edited down by at least a third. We spoke about everything from how local politics is like starting a pit to how to tie art to real life and much more.

Also on the program is Brian Cook of These Arms Are Snakes, Botch, Russian Circles, talking about balancing art with business, punk versus metal and more.

The always-interesting Issue Oriented series has interviewed musicians like the Clash's Mick Jones & Operation Ivy's Jesse Michaels to punk porno star Joanna Angel & punknews.org founder Aubin Paul. The segments are in-depth & never lapse into stereotypical questions like "what are your influences?" Dig in!

Brian Cook/Jesse Luscious podcast:
Issue Oriented site
(You can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Google, AOL, PodNova, Odeo, etc)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dona Spring RIP

Dona was my political mentor. She was quite supportive & helpful when I was curious about getting involved with local politics and was one of the "good guys." She always stood up for what's right, even when she was in the minority.

Thoughtful, savvy, and caring- that's Dona. She'll be missed.


From Lindsay, director of the documentary mentioned below:
Dona Spring, died at 6:30 pm on July 13, 2008 at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, CA. She was still serving on the Berkeley City Council when she died and is the longest elected Green in the United States ( 16 years).

A memorial event and biography will posted in the next month or two.

A 70 minute film of her life completed in July of 2007, will be shown on July 18, 2008 see below for details.

Film -- Dona Spring, Courage in Life and Politics - film and discussion
Unitarian Church
Cedar and Bonita
North Berkeley
-- Dona Spring, Courage in Life and Politics --

The film, completed in July of 2007, is about Dona Spring sometimes called the "Conscience of Berkeley", who also happens to be the longest elected green party member in the United States (over 16 years on the City Council of Berkeley).

Among many others, the film shows Dona on TV shows, such as, Oprah Winfrey, Bill O'Reilly and CNN debating the worst elements of the status-quo. Also, Dona is shown with Ralph Nader, Al Gore and Barbara Lee and many local activists.

Dona has been the best vote on the council for environmentalists, peace activists, safe food activists, animal protection advocates and disabled advocates.

The film is 70 minutes and free or a small donation for those who can afford it, at the Unitarian Church at Cedar and Bonita in Berkeley. 7 PM opening remarks and 7:30 PM film showing, Dr. Michael Parenti, author and Berkeley activist will make some remarks before or after the film.

For more information contact: