By Doug Porter
You know it’s a slow news month when two non-stories (Eghazi & #47Traitors) seem to dominate news coverage. And, while I’ll get to those, the rise of activism in San Diego seems to be a more worthy story.
In the coming days and weeks protests, petitions and organized participation in public hearings for causes large and small are popping up all over town. It’s an amazing amount of activism for a non-electoral year and deserving of your attention.
Today I’ll try to provide as much information as possible about what’s happening. Some days I find myself compelled to write about what the media is (mostly) not covering.
Thursday, March 12: Marijuana Dispensary Hearing
Two medical marijuana advocacy groups, Citizens for Patient Rights and the United Patients Alliance, are calling upon residents to attend a planning commission hearing (Thursday, 9am-noon, City Hall) in support of a San Ysidro applicant being opposed by local business types. Facebook Page SDFP Article
Friday, March 13: “Drop In” Opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Fast Track
Activists with MoveOn Civic Action have organized a Drop-In at Congresswoman Susan Davis’ office. Leaks from the negotiations involving the proposed regional regulatory and investment treaty have environmental and labor groups concerned about a congressional effort to implement a simple up or down vote procedure.
While this is the approach used in the past (negotiating the minutae in a legislative forum would kill even the best of intentions), the less-than-spectacular results from the NAFTA agreement have convinced even those who supported such deals in the past to question putting the process before the substance.
From their call to action:
Across the country, activists have been working for months to make sure that our representatives are ready to say “no” to Fast Track. Only a handful of House Democrats haven’t yet made a public commitment to oppose any Fast Track bill that comes along.
Do your part to make sure that the GOP Fast Track bill never sees the light of day. Join activists all over the country in a National “Drop In & Hang Out” Day of Action. Quietly take a seat inside Representative Davis’ San Diego office to show solidarity in the movement against Fast Track. (10am-Noon)
Sign up for a shift here www.tinyurl.com/DavisDropIn
Saturday, March 14: The End for the Che Cafe (Not so fast…)
The administration at UCSD has set a March 14th deadline for the C.H.E. Collective to voluntarily vacate their campus location. A report from the University’s Facilities, Design and Construction Department has recommended razing the building. The UCSD Associated Students (AS) and the Graduate Students Association (GSA) offered up a resolution involving a temporary relocation, which has been rejected by the C.H.E. group.
While a court order supporting the university’s position is being appealed, the group has issued a media advisory, suggesting that the the 5-day notice posting of the court ordered eviction is imminent. Given the past efforts of the Cafe supporters which included sit-ins, it’s likely that protests are on the way. SDFP Background Story C.H.E. Collective Blog
Sunday, March 15: People’s Climate Walk and Rally for Mobilization
A coalition of groups including the San Diego County Democratic Party, the San Diego County Labor Council, The Environmental Health Coalition, The Sierra Club and The Peace Resource Center are staging a rally at City Hall (2-4pm)
They’ll also be walking to the Federal Building to petition the U.S. Government to immediately commence a national World War II-style mobilization to transition the U.S. from fossil fuels to renewable energy: solar, wind, hydroelectric and wave action.
Monday, March 16 & Thursday, March 19: Drawing District Lines in Chula Vista
Chula Vista’s City Council is switching to district elections and the Center on Policy Initiatives is running workshops to teach citizens the nuts and bolts of getting their voices heard by the Districting Commission.
The Monday meeting is 6 – 7:30pm, Meeting Room B, Chula Vista Public Library-South Branch, 389 Orange Ave, Chula Vista
The Thursday Meeting is 6 – 7:30pm, ACCE Office, Suite M (2nd Floor), 642 Third Ave., Chula Vista
(Food & Spanish translation will be provided – If other languages are needed, please contact Trinh.)
To RSVP please contact Trinh Le at email@example.com, 619.584.5744 ext. 24
Wednesday, March 18: Hearing on Civic San Diego and Community Benefits Policy
The Community Budget Alliance (CBA) is urging people to attend a 2pm meeting ((12th floor, City Hall) of the San Diego City Council Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee (PS&LN).
Civic San Diego, a city-owned non-profit, is making decisions on local development with little to no oversight from the public or City Council. Lack of oversight has in the past resulted in projects that did not optimize the public good.
As part of their mission, the CBA has been advocating for responsible use of any public resource, such as land or tax credits used by Civic San Diego. Civic San Diego is tasked with economic development in neighborhoods that are important to the Community Budget Alliance, like City Heights and Encanto.
CBA is advocating a Community Benefits Policy holding Civic San Diego accountable to the City Council. Facebook Page
March 23 & 24: Mexico Human Rights Caravan at City College
A caravan will arrive in San Diego on March 23 including parents and classmates of 43 students who vanished in the south of Mexico.
The caravan is one of three that will cross the border through El Paso on March 16 and fan out in different directions across the country. They will visit at least 45 U.S. cities.
The group coming to San Diego includes a mother, a father, and two students who survived a police shooting the night their classmates disappeared from Iguala, Guerrero…
..The caravan will hold events in San Diego for two days, including a protest march starting at the San Diego City College at 3 p.m. on March 24. The following day, the group will head to the North County and continue up the coast.
Enrique Davalos, a professor of Chicano Studies at San Diego City College who spoke at the Tuesday press conference, said the caravans want to spread international awareness about the missing students.
April 15th: National Fast Food Day of Action
It looks like there is organizing going on for another day of action here in San Diego. The graphic below is all I’ve received thus far (hint,hint), so it will have to tell the story.
Eghazi, Eghazi, Eghazi!
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a press conference yesterday where she talked about taking international action on this issue of gender equality.
And, oh yeah, there was something about an email.
From Laura Clawson at Daily Kos:
The Hillary Clinton email story is getting ugly, showing the nasty side of a longtime D.C. institution. Not Clinton herself, though. The political media. Political reporters are in an orgasmic frenzy at the chance to play out the tired narratives about the Clintons that they long ago bought from Republican operatives. They’re outraged about the difficulties of getting last-minute press credentials at the United Nations. And because it’s Hillary Clinton, they feel confident in explaining what’s in her head, what this story Tells Us About Hillary, as if it’s not a story that basically only a certain class of political reporter gives a shred of a damn about….
…Serious question, guys: Watching this media circle jerk, who the fuck could blame her? I’m not some giant Clinton fan, but the spectacle of hundreds of reporters wetting themselves over this nothing-burger of a story inspires visceral disgust. A tinge of shame at being a person who writes about politics, even though I do so from outside this system. The most visible thing here is the glaring entitlement of the media. Take the smugness of, for instance, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman’s tweet that “If the goal was to […] wear out reporters, that didn’t happen.” No, Beltway political reporters are infinitely energized by a Clinton personality story. They will never be worn out with that red meat to feed on. But stories that matter … those they all too frequently get all jaded about, and let slide without serious investigation.
Senate Iran Letter Maybe Not Such a Good Idea
This is also much ado about nothing. But.. …while polls show that nobody gives a rat’s ass about Eghazi, the letter to Iran signed by 47 GOP Senators isn’t playing so well.
The blowup reminds me of the last letter from Republicans to Iran, which I think was asking them what weapons they’d like in exchange for the US hostages they were holding.
From The Hill:
A letter from Senate Republicans to Iran’s leadership has divided the GOP and forced it to play defense, endangering the party’s chances of passing a new round of sanctions that would kill President Obama’s nuclear talks with Tehran.
The talks have long divided Democrats, and just last month it appeared nearly certain that Republicans would have enough votes in the Senate to override a presidential veto of new sanctions.
That has quickly changed, and the outrage over the letter from 47 Republicans to Tehran is threatening to scuttle Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) hopes of winning Senate approval of two bills that would hem in Obama’s talks with Iran.
And then there’s this poll from UT-San Diego:
The numbers have changed since this was screen-grabbed from the UT, but the ratio remains about the same.
On This Day: 1811– Luddites smash 63 “labor saving” textile machines near Nottingham, England. 1907 – President Theodore Roosevelt induced California to revoke its anti-Japanese legislation. 1930 – Babe Ruth signed a two-year contract with the New York Yankees for the sum of $80,000.
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