Hillcrest

Thumbnail image for “Not Far From Normal”: Book Release and Party, Friday September 19th

“Not Far From Normal”: Book Release and Party, Friday September 19th

by Jim Miller 09.17.2014 Books & Poetry

A compelling history of everyday life on the wild side of San Diego

By Jim Miller

This year’s San Diego City Works Press release is Tamara Johnson’s Not Far From Normal, a book that takes a unique look at our city. Just steps away from sponsored fun runs, endurance challenges, and ultra-marathons, in Johnson’s book San Diego’s hidden residents play games of survival side-by-side with official city events. However one feels about the rise of dark tourism, it has never been necessary to travel far to experience either the dangerous or the exotic.

Part poetry, part photo essay by Rachael Wenban, part field guide, Not Far From Normal relates the secret history of San Diego’s parks and missions as told by their current inhabitants. From the crash of PSA Flight#182 to the “I don’t like Mondays” school shooting and other dark episodes that don’t make it into San Diego’s official story, this book is a compelling history of everyday life on the wild side of Southern California.

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Thumbnail image for Battle Lines Are Drawn in Hillcrest

Battle Lines Are Drawn in Hillcrest

by Doug Porter 06.27.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

The leadership of the Hillcrest Business Improvement Association has come under fire following the dismissal of executive director Sonya Stauffer earlier this month.

At the heart of this unrest is HBIA President Jonathan Hale. Depending on who you talk to, he’s either a power-mad incompetent who’s leading the group towards disaster or the victim of a political witch-hunt based on his relationship as the significant other of ‘new Republican’ congressional candidate Carl DeMaio.

On one level the question is whether the event-centric HBIA, the driving force behind  the Hillcrest Farmers Market, Hillcrest Hoedown, CityFest, the Pride Block Party, and Mardi Gras, is really acting in the best interests of the estimated 1,300 businesses in the area. Critics of the  city-sanctioned group are calling for the resignation of Hale and asking for an audit of HBIA  finances

On a deeper level the controversy reflects divisions within the LGBTQ movement, which has historically been centered in Hillcrest.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Doctors, California’s Nurses Announce Support of Propositions B & C

San Diego Doctors, California’s Nurses Announce Support of Propositions B & C

by Source 04.24.2014 Battle for Barrio Logan

June 3 ballot measure saves Barrio Logan’s community plan, improves community health

By Mia Bolton

Yesterday at the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, a group of doctors, nurses and healthcare advocates announced their endorsement of the Yes on B & C campaign to protect children’s health in San Diego.

California Nurses Association members were there to support Yes on B & C that, if approved, will uphold the community and business supported, City Council approved Barrio Logan Community Plan Update.

In the first public media appearance by the campaign, the healthcare professionals reflected on Earth Day and the environmental health effects of polluting businesses next to schools, playgrounds and residences.

“Environmental health and justice in San Diego is being threatened,” said Georgette Gomez, of Environmental Health Coalition. “Kids in Barrio Logan have the same right to clean air and healthy neighborhoods as every other community in San Diego and the entire city should support Propositions B & C to protect all of our children’s health.”

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Thumbnail image for Saving San Diego from “The Paper Bag Tax” and Other Political Misnomers

Saving San Diego from “The Paper Bag Tax” and Other Political Misnomers

by Doug Porter 12.20.2013 Business

By Doug Porter

Paper, Plastic or Save The Planet? It’s about time we had that discussion in San Diego.

Apparently the approved strategy for the right wing in opposing just about anything these days is to call the thing that you’re opposing a “tax”. And, as is the case with the Neighborhood Market Association’s opposition to a proposed ban on plastic bags, any time the word “tax” is used is a good time to manifest a sudden concern for working class families.

It was this deep concern for the lives of “taxpayers, mothers, fathers, brothers and working class San Diegans” that prompted “community leaders, including Mark Arabo, president of the Neighborhood Market Association” to call a press conference yesterday in front of Rainbow Market in the Chollas Creek neighborhood.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Pride Parade 2013: Freedom to Love and Marry

San Diego Pride Parade 2013: Freedom to Love and Marry

by Doug Porter 07.14.2013 Activism

By Doug Porter

This year’s San Diego Pride celebration was extra special for many of its participants.  After years of political organizing, lawsuits and personal angst, the door are open once again in California for same sex couples to celebrate their love through the institution of marriage, following rulings by the Supreme Court last month.

Nearly 200 individuals, community groups, churches and corporations participated in this year’s Pride Parade.  Celebrities Brad and George Takei, along with LaToya Jackson did the honors as Grand Marshals. The theme for 2013 was “Freedom to Love and Marry”.

Photos by Haley Joy Porter

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Thumbnail image for Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Congressman Scott Peters Faces a Tough Reelection Battle

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Congressman Scott Peters Faces a Tough Reelection Battle

by Doug Porter 07.10.2013 Activism

By Doug Porter

It’s hard to imagine why anybody would want the job of Congressman these days, let alone mount an early balls-to-the wall campaign for the job, but Republican Carl DeMaio is taking no chances. After all, the legislative body is less popular than cockroaches, having passed a mere 15 pieces of legislation so far this year.

This week the former City Councilman and failed Mayoral candidate spent a day trumpeting the fact he’d raised nearly half a million dollars for his campaign in one month.

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Thumbnail image for History is Made: Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal, California Laws Limiting Same Sex Marriage

History is Made: Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal, California Laws Limiting Same Sex Marriage

by Doug Porter 06.26.2013 Columns

5-4 Ruling Says Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional, California Decision Limited to in-State Unions

By Doug Porter

The opinion on DOMA was by Justice Kennedy, joined by the four liberal Justices — Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

“DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.”

Here’s a  copy of the opinion. The impact of the case is the federal govt will have to re-work all their regulations to make benefits available to same sex couples. Note that Section 2 of DOMA was not struck down, meaning this ruling has no direct impact on State that ban same sex unions.

Politicians react on Twitter:

Great to hear #DOMA is ruled unconstitutional. Federal recognition of equal rights.

Carl DeMaio ‏@carldemaio2m
I’m very pleased with the decision to strike down DOMA. All Americans deserve equal protection under the law.

Barack Obama  @BarackObama: Today’s DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove

Right wing reaction:

Supreme Court overrules God…. Won’t be long before they outlaw the Bible as hate speech… How long before federal agents haul pastors out of the pulpit?

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Thumbnail image for University Avenue: The Best Opportunity to Show What Cycling in San Diego Can Be

University Avenue: The Best Opportunity to Show What Cycling in San Diego Can Be

by John P. Anderson 06.24.2013 Activism

North Park – Mid-City Bicycle Meeting – Tues., June 25 6pm

SANDAG seeks community input for selection of route and infrastructure to make East-West bicycle connections

By John P. Anderson

Tuesday evening SANDAG (San Diego Associations of Governments) will host the 3rd Community Advisory Group Meeting to discuss the North Park – Mid-City (NPMC) Bicycle Corridors Project.  Members of the public are invited to attend and voice their opinion on which routes would be best and which type of infrastructure is preferred (sharrows, bicycle lanes, cycle tracks, etc.).  The meeting will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:30pm at 5450 Lea Street, San Diego, CA 92105 (Teen Challenge Center).

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Thumbnail image for Downtown Doublecross Foiled– Mayor Filner Calls Out Hoteliers Attempt to Sabotage Tourism Deal -UPDATED

Downtown Doublecross Foiled– Mayor Filner Calls Out Hoteliers Attempt to Sabotage Tourism Deal -UPDATED

by Doug Porter 05.31.2013 Business

‘The City of San Diego will not be held hostage”

By Doug Porter

Once again we’re seeing headlines proclaiming Mayor Filner to be responsible for causing the San Diego Tourism Authority to close down. 

We’re hearing about how people’s jobs will be affected by a “squabble”.

We’re being told via the Daily Fishwrap editorial about a “crippling blow to a major pillar of the San Diego economy.”

Hogwash.

Mayor Filner has demanded that the tourism agency live up to its end of a bargain struck back in April that, among other things, directed 5 percent of Tourism Marketing District (TMD) revenue to the upcoming celebration of Balboa Park’s centennial. That deal came after several months of very public and ugly struggle.

UPDATE: TMD agreed to fund Balboa Park celebration; Mayor agreed to release funds. I’m not sure whether Balboa Park got the funding they expected. TMD officials claimed revenue shortfall. (I predict a One Exclamation Point! press release from Filner shortly)

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Death by Street Planning on El Cajon Boulevard

The Starting Line – Death by Street Planning on El Cajon Boulevard

by Doug Porter 04.11.2013 Activism

By Doug Porter

It was late Wednesday night on the 2800 block of El Cajon Boulevard. A 53 year old man jaywalked as he walked out from a Wendy’s fast food restaurant and was struck by a white Nissan sedan. Despite attempts by EMTs called to the scene, the man died. Police say alcohol was not a factor in the accident and that charges are unlikely to be filed against the driver of the vehicle.

This might seem like a straightforward argument against jaywalking, but it is actually indicative of a much larger problem. El Cajon Boulevard is one of the most pedestrian-unfriendly streets in San Diego.

The place where the jaywalker died lacks pedestrian crossings at nearby intersections. It’s unsafe at any speed for pedestrians and, at 40 miles per hour (the speed most people, including me, drive on EC Blvd), a pedestrian has only a 15% chance of surviving an accident.

Inside: Cindy Marten’s Laptop Stolen, Burning Down Kansas, Gun Control and Hollyweirdness

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Score One for the Taxpayers; Hoteliers Reach Agreement with Mayor Filner

The Starting Line – Score One for the Taxpayers; Hoteliers Reach Agreement with Mayor Filner

by Doug Porter 03.29.2013 Columns

Oh, the sweet, sweet irony. Mayor Bob Filner’s refusal to sign off on an operating agreement for the San Diego Tourism Marketing District has led to a firestorm of criticism over the past two months. He’s been vilified at the UT-San Diego, which just this week ran an editorial cartoon depicting the Mayor as The Joker, a villain from the Batman comic/TV/Movie series.

Letters to editor have claimed Filner hates the tourism industry, that he’s purposely tried to cause job loss and even demanded a recall election.

Yesterday, after much posturing and pressure, the City Council endorsed an agreement that protected San Diego taxpayers, created more transparency and encouraged funding for the Balboa Park Exposition Centennial. It wasn’t everything Filner asked for, but his point was made. Business as it used to be conducted downtown will be operating under a different set of rules during his administration.

Credit goes to City Councilman David Alvarez, whose intervention led to the settlement. The “Joker” just saved San Diego taxpayers $30 million should the TMD scheme be ruled illegal.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Origano

Restaurant Review: Origano

by Judi Curry 03.05.2013 Culture

Origano
3650 5th Ave., Suite 103 
San Diego, CA 
619-295-9590

Headed out today to do a review of “Carnitas Snack Shack” in North Park with a new acquaintance but the line was so long that we decided to go somewhere else and I will do the review on a weekday, not a Sunday.

Phil knew of a few places near where he lives – Balboa Park area – so we took a drive to the Hillcrest area looking for a place to eat.  Several of the places he wanted to try were closed, and we settled at “Origano”. The inside was very crowded – and very noisy – so we elected to eat outside instead.

The menu started out with Breakfast specials; salads and soups; lunch specials; pizza’s; Panini; pasta; small plates and large plates.  Additionally there was a list of daily specials on the table. The special for Sunday was “bottomless Mimosa’s” for $10.  The special soup du jour was Pasta e Fagioli

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – We’re Number Three! San Diego’s Homeless Population Soars

The Starting Line – We’re Number Three! San Diego’s Homeless Population Soars

by Doug Porter 12.13.2012 Business

A report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development documents San County’s homeless population as the third largest and among the fastest growing in the United States.

While the number of homeless fell by nearly 6% nationally, San Diego’s increased by 6.1% over the past year. The report indicated that there were 10,013 homeless people living in our region. Only New York and Los Angeles had more people living on the streets. And LA showed the largest decrease nationally.

Come inside for more of today’s daily news digest…

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Thumbnail image for Sex In San Diego: It Happened in Hillcrest

Sex In San Diego: It Happened in Hillcrest

by Steve Burns 12.12.2012 Encore

In June 2011, I received a telephone call. The source of the call was as unexpected as the call itself. The caller identified himself as a deputy prosecutor from a small northern Colorado town and he asked me to confirm I was indeed who I was. Hesitant, I asked why before I said, “I am.” I had not been to Colorado since I was thirteen on a family vacation, and I am certain anything I did there was past the statute of limitation. I am still, however, very wary of prosecutors from anywhere. What he related to me was nearly unbelievable.

Seems the authorities had arrested a fella for rape. As abhorrent as that is, it did not really shake me, until he told me the name: Stephen Morehouse. I actually said the last name in unison with prosecutor, as the memory came flooding back. He did not need to ask if I recalled my encounter with Morehouse. He did ask, however, whether or not I would be willing to fly back to Colorado to testify against Morehouse. Here’s why.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Grover Norquist, Pink Unicorns and A Ray of Hope

The Starting Line – Grover Norquist, Pink Unicorns and A Ray of Hope

by Doug Porter 11.28.2012 Columns

As (largely untrue) reports fly through the blogosphere and interwebs about reports of movement between the Congressional political blocs on various aspects of the impending ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis, the man at the center of it all, Grover Norquist is certainly having his moments in the spotlight.

Steve Inskeep of NPR gave Norquist air time this morning to prattle on about how it really isn’t true that Republicans are lining up to jump ship and break their pledges not to raise taxes. He likened talk of accepting tax increases in exchange for spending cuts by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to believing in a pink unicorn.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Women Occupy Lead Prop 37 Rally and Bannering on 163 Overpass

San Diego Women Occupy Lead Prop 37 Rally and Bannering on 163 Overpass

by Source 09.18.2012 Activism

Hillcrest Banners Favor Prop 37 On Robinson Street Overpass

By Nadin Abbott and Frank Gormlie

It was close to 4pm on the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street – Monday, September 17th – and the mood at the Canvas for a Cause headquarters in Hillcrest was expectant. As people started to arrive for the programed rally in favor of Proposition 37, Nadine Abbott had a chance to talk to Doctor Norrie Robbins of Women Occupy San Diego and a member of the singers Occapellas. Robbins is also Adjunct Professor at the SDSU Dept of Geological Sciences, and is retired from the United States Geological Service, DC office.

Robbins said: “I am worried about my food. I’m beginning to get weird allergies that do not run in my family.”

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – ‘Occupy’ Anniversary Protests in New York, San Diego & Around the World

The Starting Line – ‘Occupy’ Anniversary Protests in New York, San Diego & Around the World

by Doug Porter 09.17.2012 Columns

3:30 PM (PDT) As the press reports that OWS is all over for the day, here’s a picture taken a moment ago in Liberty Square

(For info on what’s happening in San Diego, come inside

3pm- Word from New York is that the late day actions were peaceful with few arrests. Thousands of people remain in Liberty Park. We’re headed out shortly to cover San Diego Occupy events. Check out our live feed from NYC below.
1 Pm This next hour will probably be the most dramatic part of the day for Occupy Wall Street. The activists gathered in Liberty Park are getting ready to march on Wall Street; the cops are massed and blocking the way.

Also It would appear that Anonymous has taken the Monsanto website down for the afternoon. Occupy groups in California have been targeting Monsanto for demonstrations as part of a campaign to support a ballot initiative that would require labeling of GMO foods.

NYPD reports 143 arrests as of 12:30 PDT.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line — Occupy goes after Monsanto, GMOs; San Diego demonstration slated for Monday

The Starting Line — Occupy goes after Monsanto, GMOs; San Diego demonstration slated for Monday

by Doug Porter 09.13.2012 Columns

Yesterday a dozen activists calling themselves the Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU) shut down shipping and receiving access points at Monsanto’s Oxnard, California seed distribution center. Although nine members of the group were arrested in the non-violent protest, the protesters effectively shut down the distribution of genetically engineered (GMO) seeds for a day.

The group blocked all three shipping and receiving entrances to the Monsanto facility, using flashy theatrics including a car with a giant “fish-corn” on top of it and a 6-foot high jail cell holding an individual dressed as Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant.

Monsanto is the largest producer of GMO seeds and is being called out for their genetic crimes by a network called Occupy Monsanto. Wednesday’s protest, according to a statement released by the group, is the beginning of a series of over 65 different autonomous actions that officially start on September 17, commemorating the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Supporters of Proposition 37, led by Women of Occupy San Diego, have announced a rally and demonstration in support of the initiative, which would require that labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). The group will meet up at the offices of Canvass for a Cause, located at 3705 10th Avenue, at 4 pm on Monday, September 17th

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – The San Diego Public Market is on Its Way; Overwhelming Public Support Makes It Happen

The Starting Line – The San Diego Public Market is on Its Way; Overwhelming Public Support Makes It Happen

by Doug Porter 08.20.2012 Columns

San Diego Public Market is on its way to becoming a reality, having surpassed its kickstarter.com crowd-sourced goal of raising $92,000 in half the time (seven days) allotted. As of this morning 1130 backers had pledged $116, 643 towards rehab costs for the two acre plus space, located in Barrio Logan, not far from Petco Park. The additional funds over the original target will be used towards the launch of the Food Hall and the Market Kitchen at the market.

Plans for the market include two days a week with farmers’ stalls, booths with local crafters and artists, music festivals, movie nights and quinceañeras, chef’s tasting events and art exhibits, along with the occasional Chaldean Festival, Chinese New Year’s parade, Filipino fiesta or charity fundraiser. The weekly farmers markets in the space will begin within a few weeks. The idea is to create a City Public Market along the lines of Seattle’s Pike’s Place, San Francisco’s Ferry Building or  Barcelona’s La Boqueria.

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Thumbnail image for Duffy Hoax Revealed – Medical Marijuana Advocates Tell All

Duffy Hoax Revealed – Medical Marijuana Advocates Tell All

by Source 08.18.2012 Activism

By Eugene Davidovitch / Americans for Safe Access

BACKGROUND: On October 7, 2011, at a press conference in Sacramento, US Attorney Laura Duffy, along with several other US Attorneys, announced a statewide crackdown on medical cannabis cooperatives, collectives, gardens, and others.

Without citing any specific violations in state law, Duffy’s office claimed all were out of compliance and would be targeted for eradication including those fully licensed and regulated by local government and law enforcement.

Since this proclamation of war on California’s medical marijuana program, Duffy’s office sent hundreds of letters to landlords threatening asset forfeiture if they did not immediately evict their dispensary tenants. As a result of these backhanded tactics, many landlords were forced to comply. Within six months, Duffy closed over 200 dispensaries in San Diego alone.

These closures forced thousands of employees into unemployment, left hundreds of properties vacant and most importantly, left the 70,000 plus medical marijuana patients in San Diego county wondering where to get their medicine.

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Thumbnail image for Starting Line – The Spirit of Stonewall – Along with Some Actual Protests – to Highlight San Diego LGBT Pride Weekend

Starting Line – The Spirit of Stonewall – Along with Some Actual Protests – to Highlight San Diego LGBT Pride Weekend

by Doug Porter 07.20.2012 Activism

In case you haven’t heard, this is LGBT Pride weekend in San Diego. It’s a really big deal. The biggest event will be the Pride parade, attracting a projected 250,000 spectators along its route, and lasting two hours. Starting off at the intersection of Normal & University (11am) it will proceed west on University to Sixth Avenue, turning south to Balboa Park. Literally hundred of groups will be participating in this year’s parade, and we’d like to bring your attention to two contingents in particular. Gay pride events around the country started out as acts of defiance and protests against discrimination, and this year’s event in San Diego has revived some of that original spirit, along with the social events and pageantry that are commonplace in modern day celebrations.

Marching under the banner of ‘Join the Struggle, Not the Wars’, the San Diego coalition for Peace and Justice will join the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality(SAME) and Canvass For A Cause(CFAC) at this year’s LGBT Pride Parade. Joining them will be the San Diego Green Party, UniteHere Local 30, the Peace Resource Center, the International Socialist Organization, and others . They are marching as an open contingent (#113) this year, and are inviting like minded folks and organizations to march with them. More info on Facebook.

While politicians of all stripes are part of the annual Pride Parade, Mayoral candidate/City Councilman Carl DeMaio’s participation (#81) has sparked plans for a protest and counter-protest.

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Thumbnail image for Pictorial: Sunday at the Hillcrest Farmers Market

Pictorial: Sunday at the Hillcrest Farmers Market

by Doug Porter 07.15.2012 Business

In our house we much of the grocery shopping on the weekends, and this includes regular trips to the Hillcrest Farmers Market. It’s always a thrill to come down the hill from Washington Street to the point where you can see the magnificence of the market spread out along Normal Street. Typically there are more than 140 vendors, selling everything from raspberries to falafel to hand puppets. Much of the produce is locally grown and virtually everything is sold with the kind of pride that only comes from having a personal connection with your product.  There are Farmers Markets throughout San Diego County every day of the week and even a magazine (Edible San Diego) that keeps up with all the seasonal events associated with locavorism. Here’s a handy list of those markets and their days/hours of operation.

This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Hillcrest Market. Besides being one of the larger markets in town, they have a robust web site, complete with a list of all their sellers and even a blog that shares impressions of the weekly event.  I took a boatload of photos last Sunday that I’d like to share with you here. Bon appetit!

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Negotiators to Face a Week of Protests

The Starting Line – Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Negotiators to Face a Week of Protests

by Doug Porter 06.26.2012 Activism

June 26, 2012 – A diverse coalition of groups has announced plans for ongoing protests aimed at trade negotiators meeting in San Diego next week for the 13th round of talks aimed at the creation of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade zone that would include the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, with a “docking agreement” that other countries can join over time. Canada, Japan and Mexico are currently pressing to do so.. Describing the proposals being discussed at the confab as “NAFTA on steroids”, the Citizens Trade Campaign is seeking to draw attention to the fact that approximately 600 corporate lobbyists have access to the TPP negotiating texts, while the public has been barred from reviewing what trade negotiators have been proposing.

A leaked TPP document demonstrates that the group is considering a dispute resolution process that would grant transnational corporations special authority to challenge countries’ laws, regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems. Of further concern is the impact of the agreement on jobs, wages, agriculture, migration, the environment, consumer safety, financial regulations, Internet protocols, government procurement and more. Negotiations on the proposed pact will be held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel from July 2 – 10.

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