EL CERRITO CLIMATE EMERGENCY ACTION ALERT

 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

7:00 pm

El Cerrito City Hall, City Council Chambers

10890 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito

The El Cerrito City Council will be voting on a Resolution to Declare a Climate Emergency and to endorse emergency mobilization efforts to restore a safe climate.   The core elements of the proposed Resolution include:

– citywide climate emergency education and actions that can be taken to transition to zero greenhouse gas emissions;

-reduction of city greenhouse gas emissions to zero as quickly as possible within the forthcoming Climate Action Plan Update; and

– support for climate emergency mobilization and collaboration efforts to reverse global warming at the City, regional, state, national and global levels.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported last fall that we had 12 years to maintain the global temperature increase below 1.5C, and that to do this we needed to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.  Governor Brown issued an Executive Order in September 2018 to achieve Carbon Neutrality no later than 2045. We must ACT NOW to address the Climate Emergency!

Support the city council members in joining the 9 other Bay Area cities* and over 900 jurisdictions across the globe that are providing leadership and taking action to address climate change as the global threat that it is. Come to the meeting or write the Mayor and City Council members about why this issue is important to you and encourage the city to follow-up with actions as rapidly as possible:  Mayor Pardue-Okimoto rpardueokimoto@ci.el-cerrito.ca, and city councilmembers jabelson@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us;gquinto@ci.el-cerrito.ca.uspfadelli@ci.el-cerrito.ca.usglyman@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.   If you would like your letter to be part of the public record, cc it to the city clerk atcityclerk@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.

The link to the city agenda materials can be found here.

Toward a safe and sustainable climate for all,

The Environmental Justice Committee of the El Cerrito Progressives

*Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, San Francisco, Hayward, Fairfax, Petaluma, Cupertino and Richmond.  (Other CA jurisdictions include Santa Cruz and Mendocino Counties and the cities of Chico, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.)

Sign the Petition to Close the Camps

On June 28th, 2019 Congressman DeSaulnier wrote to his constituents,”Defunding the centers is not the answer – the answer is to make the processing more efficient so the centers are not needed at all. If we defund the centers, the children will have nowhere else to go.”  Untrue.

The administration has better options to enforce immigration and asylum laws but the Congressional approval of funding for the border camps perpetuates the human rights violations at our southern border.  In a recent  VOX post Trump doesn’t need to keep migrants in detention camps  Alexia Fernández Campbell, Jul 4, 2019 “…Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was running two alternative programs at the national level: the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), which involves electronic monitoring, and the less restrictive Family Case Management Program (FCMP), which relied on community monitoring. The administration ended one of the programs and has not expanded the other. The methods used in these programs are available to DHS, and are much cheaper than traditional detention — but the Trump administration is operating as if locking everyone up in squalid conditions is the only way.”

Detention is simply an act of malice, not a necessity.  Close the Camps!

Click herehttp://chng.it/HntVBHQXTx to sign the petition. Thanks!

Surveillance and Your Privacy- Policy Please?

An example of how facial recognition software can be used

There is a growing trend in the United States  towards using surveillance technology to cast a broad net over a community to protect public safety rather than developing methods that are more precise.  As a result, we are all subject to the scrutiny of law enforcement agencies regardless of whether or not our activities are against the law. The potential for abuse with this data is undeniable.  A rigorous ordinance can balance the tension between public safety, privacy, and civil liberties. In fact, El Cerrito’s recent process for a body camera policy provides an example of how use policies can be developed prior to implementation and with ample public input. 

We believe El Cerrito should implement a surveillance technology ordinance before obtaining these technologies so that privacy concerns and potential degradation of our civil liberties can be addressed from day one. Right now we know ICE is actively using these technologies to pursue undocumented immigrants. However, the facial recognition technology they are using is against drivers licenses which means most of our information is exposed to this. (1) San Francisco has just passed a ban on all facial recognition technology and other cities are following. (2)

There are many current types of surveillance technologies such as license plate readers, cameras, drones, cell site simulators, and new technologies are being developed every day. Many community members want to develop a policy that allows for public input before any such technologies are adapted by the city. Such a process was used for the body cameras the police wear and it was a great example of a balance between civil liberties and needs of the police. What do you think?

We would like an El Cerrito Ordinance on the use of surveillance technology that includes the following:

  1. Each new surveillance technology shall have a developed policy that is approved by the City Council. This policy shall include a detailed description of what the technology is, how it will be utilized, how, when, why, and with whom data will be shared, and what the data storage policy will be. 
  1. Any surveillance technology used by law enforcement shall be held to a high standard of public accountability.  An annual report of how data is being collected and used shall be shared with the community. This report shall include what equipment was used, how it was used, and how effective it was in preventing or solving a crime. 
  1. Any surveillance data collected shall have stated requirements for how long data can be stored, and how it will be stored.  
  1. El Cerrito Police Department will develop strict guidelines for how information is shared will other law enforcement/government agencies. Information will never be shared with ICE.
  1. No contract for surveillance technology shall be entered into with any agency that shares their data with ICE (such as Vigilant). 
  1. A process shall be established to enable citizens to know if their data has been collected. 

We believe there can be a balance between the use of technology for crime protection and protection of civil liberties. Join us if you would like to see a reasonable policy that protects our privacy.

Links to Articles:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/07/07/fbi-ice-find-state-drivers-license-photos-are-gold-mine-facial-recognition-searches/?utm_term=.4df8b56d0acc

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/us/facial-recognition-ban-san-francisco.html


Action Alert: Pack the Court!

The East Bay Sanctuary Covenant are the lead plaintiff suing the Trump Administration regarding the Third County Transit Ban. There will be a hearing on their REQUEST FOR A TRO (TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER) ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, AT 9:30AM. The hearing will be at the Northern District courthouse in San Francisco, 450 Golden Gate Ave. Judge Tigar’s courtroom is on the 19th floor. They are asking supporters to show up. There are also some other action steps at the bottom of the info below. For more information https://ebsc.nationbuilder.com/?utm_campaign=ebsc_v_barr&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ebsc 

Facts about the Third Country Ban Lawsuit

According to Michael Smith, EBSC’s Director of Refugee Rights, “Trump’s policy is illegal and usurps the power of Congress to make laws. Seeking asylum is clearly protected under U.S. and international asylum law. EBSC’s asylum clients are fleeing horrific violence in their home countries. EBSC has one of the largest affirmative asylum programs in the U.S. and has successfully helped almost 4,000 people to obtain asylum.

Over 97% of EBSC’s asylum cases are approved, showing that these claims are meritorious. These are people fleeing persecution and seeking safety under the law. Contrary to what the administration is claiming, this population is not safe in Guatemala or Mexico, where they are vulnerable to their persecutors and other forms of oppression. Many of EBSC’s clients, including LGBTQ people and survivors of gender-based violence, are fleeing persecution in Mexico. Asylum seekers crossing the U.S. southern border are not only from Central America. They may be from Russia, Africa, and Asia; some have traveled through South America, the jungles of Panama and Central America, with the hopes of reaching safety. Nearly all of EBSC clients are victims of atrocious forms of persecution – 80% have been raped or sexually abused, including male and female children. Going forward, 80% of EBSC clients would be unable to apply for asylum.

The ramifications of the Trump administration’s actions will be long-reaching for people who are genuinely deserving of asylum protection. EBSC’s 37-year old asylum program reaching the most traumatized populations would be terminated. Act Now! Write your congressional representatives! Join EBSC’s social media networks. Share accurate news and articles so more people are informed of the detrimental impact of these attacks on asylum law. Support EBSC by volunteering or donating – your support matters!

Cookies Not Cages Launches this Weekend!

El Cerrito Progressives is working to help support East Bay Sanctuary Covenant to raise money for their work with unaccompanied minors. * Since 2014, EBSC has provided legal assistance to more than 600 unaccompanied children fleeing gang violence, human trafficking, and domestic abuse in their home countries. 

With EBSC help, these youth are often able to obtain asylum, reunify with their family members, and finally, feel safe. 

In 2018, more than 50,000 unaccompanied children were stopped at the border; in January 2019, apprehensions of minors traveling alone had increased by 40%.

 There are currently not enough lawyers to meet the needs of the growing numbers of unaccompanied children seeking legal services.  We are helping raise money so that EBSC can hire additional staff to assist with the legal cases of these minors. 

El Cerrito Progressives has a goal of raising at least $10,000 for EBSC through this gofundme and our community bakes sales Cookies Not Cages. 

We have all seen the pictures of these poor children being detained. Help us support them in being reunited with their families and obtaining sanctuary in the United States. 

Bake Sales are occurring this Saturday the 20th at EC Plaza near the Traders Joes and this Sunday at the Kensington Farmers Market. Sales will be active from 10-2pm. We have already raised over $2500 towards our 10k goal and this weekend we have a generous match of $500 for each sale!  We hope to see lots of our neighbors there. Enjoy delicious baked goods made by your neighbors and we usually have some vegan and gluten-free treats too!

If you want to donate and can’t attend the bake sales you can do so here https://www.gofundme.com/f/cookies-not-cages

*Unaccompanied minors are children under the age of 18 who come to the border without a parent. If they come with a grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle or other relative they are considered to be unaccompanied, separated from their relatives and placed in detention.

STOP COAL IN THE EAST BAY

Come support Richmond residents suffering from health problems aggravated by coal and petroleum coke dust! On Thursday, July 18 at 5:30 pm, No Coal in Richmond will hold a rally and press conference on City Hall steps at 5:30 pm before the 6:30 pm Richmond Planning Commission meeting.

WHAT: No Coal in Richmond rally & Richmond Planning Commission hearing
WHEN: Thursday, July 18: rally & press conference 5:30, Planning Commission 6:30
WHERE: Richmond City Hall steps, 450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond CA 94804

The Planning Commission meeting will consider the Richmond Coal Ordinance, which prohibits new coal operations on private land in the city, prevents existing facilities from expanding, and provides for a graduated phase-out of coal operations. It relies on the city’s police powers to regulate businesses in the interest of residents’ health and safety.

No Coal in Richmond is urging the Planning Commission to recommend approval of the ordinance with a phase-out period of three years. A three-year phase-out will safeguard terminal workers’ jobs and allow the terminal enough time to convert their operations to safer bulk commodities. The commission’s recommendation will go before the City Council in September.

If you are a Richmond resident and want to speak at the hearing, please contact action@sunflower-alliance.org and put “Planning Commission testimony” in the subject line. This is your chance to voice your experience, or that of family members, of suffering health problems such as asthma and COPD.

No Coal in Richmond has collected 1,600 signatures on a letter to the City Council urging them to act to end coal and petroleum coke handling and storage at the Levin-
Richmond Terminal. We already suffer from the areas’s highest levels of asthma and other health problems caused by bad air quality.

To read the ordinance and learn more about the health effects of coal and petroleum coke dust, please visit the No Coal in Richmond website: https://ncir.weebly.com/

Original Post: https://nocoalinoakland.info/event/rally-to-get-coal-out-of-richmond/

Over 600 communities join Lights for Liberty

FRIDAY – JULY 12th – 8:00 – 9:00 PM

Berkeley Pedestrian Bridge

NOTE: The vigil will occur on the pedestrian crossing over I-80, see this google map below, NOT on University Avenue. Parking options: there’s a dirt parking lot on West Frontage Road, just south of University Ave. From there, you can walk or roll up to the pedestrian bridge. There’s also a little parking on the east side of I-80, near the Berkeley Animal Services building.

Map to the pedestrian bridge:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/San+Francisco+Bay+Trail+Pedestrian%2FBicycle+Bridge/@37.8644908,-122.3053014,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80857ee7650686b5:0xd8c799f1d2b78750!8m2!3d37.8644908!4d-122.3031127?hl=en&authuser=0