Saturday is April Fool's Day. Sadly this first item isn't a prank. The city of Hayward is celebrating the life of labor leader Cesar Chavez at City Hall on Saturday morning. Aside from Chavez's inspiring accomplishments within the labor movement, the event should have additional importance in Hayward, which has the East Bay's largest concentration of Latinos.
Here's why the ghost of Cesar Chavez might be restless since the Hayward City Council, save one member who was not on the council at the time, voted to impose wage cuts on nearly 300 of its city workers three years ago. The decision, hotly-contested by SEIU Local 1021, was later deemed illegal by the state. Nevertheless, expect many councilmembers to be in attendance Saturday to laud Chavez. In addition, it's almost a certainty Chavez would not take kindly to Hayward's embarrassing foot-dragging recently when it comes to declaring sanctuary city status.
--Back to City Halls across the East Bay -- Here's the highlights:
➤The rent issue that significantly roiled Alameda politics last year returns to the forefront this week. While rent control died at the ballot, there's signs the issue fomented a rise in progressive values on the island.
➤How will federal dollars from HUD affect Meals on Wheels in San Leandro and other affordable housing projects?
➤Fremont begins its startlingly quick path toward entirely changing its the composition of its city council and how residents choose their public officials.
➤A special election starts in Hayward next week. (Ignore the fact that it will cost $600,000 to administer.)
➤Over in Sacramento, Assemblymember Bill Quirk goes to war against helium balloons, while Rob Bonta goes toe-to-toe with the for-profit prison lobby.
ALAMEDA -- City Council meeting, Tuesday, April 4, 7 p.m. -- It's been a bit over a year since Alameda approved its rent stabilization ordinance. On Tuesday, the Alameda City Council and the public get the chance to assess the ordinance that gave renters more protections than they previously had, but much less than activists wanted. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--The city's annual report compiled by the Housing Authority recommends modest changes to the ordinance, led by the creation of a database to record "unit information, inquiries, submissions and status of cases." It also recommends full staffing, that it be housed apart from the Alameda Housing Administration, and additional training for the existing Rent Review Advisory Commission regarding mediation and conflict resolution. Also, don't forget getting on the Twitter.
--A city staff report is more specific in its recommendations: closing loop holes for the percentage of total units that could possibly be evicted annually without cause. "Under the Ordinance, in a six-unit building, there can be two “no cause” terminations in a 12 month period. The revised formula would fix the math so that a six-unit building would be limited to one “no cause” termination in a 12-month period. This revision is consistent with the Council’s intent to minimize the number of no cause evictions."
--Regulations for fixed-rate leases were absent from the original ordinance. The proposed addition would provide an end-run for landlords seeking to circumvent payment of relocation fees.
--There will likely be more contentious changes sought Tuesday night by renters. The Alameda Renters Coalition wants provisions prohibiting no-cause evictions and seeks to eliminate the RRAC and replace it with a mediation officer. Landlords, meanwhile, want the city to respect the 55 percent of Alameda voters who supported the rent ordinance's ballot measure last November. In other words, don't change a thing.
--RON COWAN DAY--the Alameda developer of Harbor Bay Isle and local legend (the guy crashed five choppers and lived to talk about it and later dated I Dream of Jeanie's Barbara Eden), who passed away Jan. 11 gets his due.
--HEALTHCARE DISTRICT OPENINGS-- Two seats on the Alameda Healthcare District Board of Directors opened up in late February following the resignations of Kathryn Saenz Duke and Jim Meyers. Applications for the appointments to the two-year short-term seat and four-year seat are due Friday, April 6, no later than 5 p.m. [MORE INFO HERE]
*****SAN LEANDRO -- City Council meeting, Monday, April 3, 7 p.m. -- San Leandro's annual action plan for social services and affordable housing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Alameda County is on the agenda.
--Under the draft HUD action plan, San Leandro estimates it will receive $650,261 in federal Community and Development Block Grants (CDBG), and $157,436 in Alameda County HOME Consortium grants used for housing opportunities for low to moderate income people. The entire HOME grant is earmarked for repayment of the city's loan to BRIDGE Housing for Phase 1 of the Marea Alta development near the San Leandro BART station for senior and affordable housing. [LINK TO ACTION. PLAN SPREADSHEET]
--One noteworthy entry in the HUD action plan is $26,591 set aside for Meals on Wheels, the popular social service to seniors potentially on the chopping block by the Trump Administration. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
*****FREMONT - City Council special work session and regular meeting, Tuesday, April 4, starting at 5:30 p.m. -- Tuesday's early work session is an update for Fremont's ambitious downtown Civic Center Master Plan that also includes a 175,000 square foot administrative building and 600-space parking structure. [ENTIRE REPORT HERE]
--Fremont's rush to avoid getting sued for violating the California Voting Rights Act continues Tuesday. On Mar. 21, the City Council quickly acquiesced to a letter from a Southern California attorney who claimed Fremont's at-large elections dilute the chances of Latinos to win seats on the council. Fremont's city attorney agreed, setting in motion the likelihood the five-member council will become seven and be chosen in district-based elections. But first, who will create the district maps and how will they be stocked?
HAYWARD -- Ballots are coming! -- Hayward Unified School District's Measure A is a vote-by-mail-only affair that asks voters to approve an annual $88 parcel tax for the next 12 years. Ballots should begin arriving in mailboxes starting Monday. Voters have until May 2 to return the ballots, no postage required! The school district's measure is actually a renewal of the Measure G parcel tax. Proponents say proceeds from the parcel tax will go toward the classroom, not administration and salaries. Meanwhile, there's the cost of the special election coming just month's after the consolidated November election. There is no official opposition to the measure. [MORE INFO HERE]
--CANCELLED-- Hayward City Council's April 4 meeting is cancelled. The council returns Tuesday, April 11
OAKLAND -- City council meeting cancelled -- The Oakland City Council returns Tuesday, April 11, with a full slate of committee meetings. Thursday's Rules Committee is also on hiatus.
GATHERINGS -- Alameda County Democratic Central Committee monthly meeting, Wednesday, April 5, 7 p.m., San Leandro Library. On the agenda: copious amounts of trash talking.
--CA DEMS FUTURE-- California Democratic Party Chair debate comes to Alameda, Wednesday, April 12, Elks Lodge, 2255 Santa Clara Avenue (next door to City Hall). It's a North-South battle with Richmond's Kimberly Ellis and well-known Southern California Dem Eric Bauman.
STATE LEGISLATURE - Assembly hearings -- WATCH HEARINGS ON CalChannel.com
--Monday, April 3, Natural Resources Committee, 9:30 a.m. - Bill Quirk AB 771 (notification on a web site of prescribed burns of state forest lands). Business and Professions Committee, 9:30 a.m. Tony Thurmond AB 456 (healing arts; allows postgrad hours be credited for licensing of clinical social workers); Rob Bonta AB 602 (pharmacy; non-prescription diabetes test devices.)
--Tuesday, April 4, Health Committee, 1:30 p.m. Bonta AB 1643 (Health Care for All Commission.)
--"This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would create a blue ribbon commission that would study how the state can move toward ensuring health coverage for all Californians. create the 9-member Health Care for All Commission in the State Department of Health Care Services, for the purpose of investigating and making recommendations on improving health care access and affordability for all Californians."
Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, 1:30 p.m. - Kansen Chu AB 355 (water pollution, enforcement); Quirk AB 574 (specifies potable reuse); Quirk AB 1316 (childhood lead poisoning prevention); Thurmond AB 1529 (backflow prevention device inspectors; certification). Human Services Committee, 1:30 p.m. - Thurmond AB 432 (personal care services), AB 1164 (foster care placement; funding); Bonta AB 1227 (Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act).
Public Safety Committee, 9 a.m. - Quirk AB 1091 (balloons; electronically conductive material)
--The release of mylar helium balloons is already against the law when it occurs during a public event, but Quirk's bill broadens it to include everyone else, including, well, you know, theoretically--you know where there is going--the little kid bawling on the street after "Let It Go," her Frozen balloon escaped into the ether.
--"Bonta to for-profit prisons: 'They have a duty to shareholder, not to California.'" -- Bonta AB 1320.
Wednesday, April 5, Housing and Community Development Committee, 9 a.m. - Thurmond AB 45 (Cal school employee Housing Assistance Grant Program)
--"The bill would transfer $100 million from the General Fund to the California School Employee Housing Assistance Fund, which this bill would create, and would appropriate those moneys to the agency for the purposes described above and to reimburse the agency and the State Department of Education for costs incurred in the administration of the program."
--Bonta AB 423 (residential real property; rent control) -- "This bill, on and after January 1, 2018, would except from the Ellis Act residential hotels in the City of Oakland."
Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, 9 a.m. - Bonta AB 262 (public contracts; lowest responsible bidder); Communications and Conveyance Committee, 1:30 p.m. Quirk AB 1145 (compensation of utilities for relocation costs). Education Committee, 1:30 p.m. - Catharine Baker AB 1202 (diploma alternatives for exceptionally gifted students); Thurmond AB 1502 (free/reduced-price school meals). Elections and Redistricting Committee, 9 a.m. Quirk AB 1044 (campaign statements, filings),AB 1044 (state voter information guide; web site); Bonta AB 918 (California Voting for All Act). ; Local Government Committee, 1:30 p.m. - Quirk AB 549 (building permit; electric fence; notice).
--State Senate Hearings--
Monday, April 3, Appropriations Committee, 10 a.m. - Steve Glazer SB 274 (horse racing; fairs; funding).
Tuesday, April 4, Public Safety Committee, 8:30 a.m. - Nancy Skinner SB 312 (juveniles; sealing of records); SB 708 (supplemental security income and CalFresh; pre-enrollment). Judiciary Committee; 1:30 p.m. - Bob Wieckowski SB 157 (invasion of privacy; distribution of sexually explicit materials; protecting plaintiff's ID). Transportation and Housing Committee, 1:30 p.m.
Skinner SB 167 (Housing Accountability Act); SB 498 (vehicle fleets; electric vehicles).
Wednesday, April 5, Education Committee, 9 a.m. - Skinner SB 607 (pupil discipline; suspensions and expulsions; willful defiance). Governance and Finance Committee, 9:30 a.m. - Wieckowski SB 229 (accessory dwelling units).