Assembly Bill 1506 — the bill, cosponsored by Alameda’s representative Rob Bonta, to repeal The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — is dead. Some 800 people showed up in Sacramento last Thursday, Jan. 11. Some spoke before the Housing and Community Development Committee. They voiced both support and opposition (about evenly split, according to one observer) to repealing the law that has been on the books since 1995.
In the end, the bill needed four “yes” votes to escape committee. It tied 3-3 with one member abstaining. The abstaining vote killed the bill.
Natel, a company at Alameda Point, is developing small-scale turbines that can harness water flow to produce electricity without a dam. Rivers have been harnessed for the production of electricity since 1882. That’s when the world’s first hydroelectric dam was built across the Fox River in Appleton, Wisc. But dams are costly public works projects with negative environmental consequences, including the flooding of vast watersheds and blocking fish migration.
Last Friday, as part of the Second Friday Artwalk in Alameda, Alameda City Hall debuted the first-ever art exhibition on its walls. A joint effort of the City of Alameda and the Chamber of Commerce, Art at City Hall was inspired by Mayor Trish Spencer and her appreciation for the local arts community. Above, artist Michael Sibio takes a moment to stand with his piece, “Black and White Butterflies.”
I am humbled standing before you addressing this crowd at Alameda's NAACP Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and rally. To Alameda's Black community, and all her communities of color I offer my heart and support. My message however is for my White brothers and sisters.
I fully recognize the fragility of our community around race issues, that delicate sensibility that mutes us when it's time to speak up. Today however, is the day to speak up.