“We obviously knew there were journalists in the building, so we did not attack other floors in the building. But my advice to journalists visiting Gaza is to stay away from any Hamas position, site or post for their own safety.”
Nearly nine million Californians - almost a quarter of the state’s residents - live in poverty under a newly devised federal standard, making the state’s rate by far the highest in the nation.
The stunning number will fuel California’s perpetual political debate over the state’s “safety net” of health and welfare services, which have been reduced sharply due to budget deficits. With voter approval of new taxes, advocates for the poor are demanding that some of the benefit cuts be rescinded.
California’s 23.5 percent poverty rate under the “supplemental poverty measure” (SPM) developed by the Census Bureau is approached only by the 23.2 percent rate in the District of Columbia. The highest SPM rate in any other state is Florida’s 19.5 percent.
Walk Oakland Bike Oakland asked city council candidates to fill out these pretty simple, brief questionnaires about their positions on pedestrian and cycling safety and infrastructure in Oakland. The answers aren’t very interesting at all. But the pattern that emerges from them is.
Fewer than half the candidates bothered to respond, but the ones who did were most likely to be white, second most likely to be Latino, and third most likely to be black. Only candidates from Districts 1, 3, and the at-large seat responded at all — the places where most of Oakland’s 28% black population does not live.
As documented extensively in transportation research, transit systems and advocacy have tended to take transit dependent communities for granted, focusing initiatives on seducing people who own cars to try other modes. As such, communities of color tend to have lower quality service than their corresponding level of ridership deserves. Biking offers a non-motorized mode with a critical level of mobility and access in communities with relatively low levels of car ownership and quality transit service. If for nothing else, bike ridership in communities of color is important to the general sustainability movement in raw numbers. While 7% of white households own no vehicles, 24% of Black households and 17% of Latino households own no vehicle.
For me, this little questionnaire was a stark reminder of how racialized transportation advocacy really is (read: really white) — something I’ll be keeping in mind in my work at Grist.
“The methods used to combat harassment are not entirely nonviolent. Selim sees a man he thinks has touched a girl. He grabs him and slaps him in the face. A brawl breaks out. One of the volunteers yells to the others not to hit anyone unless they’re sure he harassed a girl.”