California homeless crisis: cities crack down on camps
Hello, California. It’s Thursday July 1st.
The uneven toll of the pandemic
Today, thousands of California families could have been at risk of losing their homes if Gov. Gavin Newsom and the legislature had not concocted a last-minute extension of the state’s eviction moratorium.
But even with those protections in place, the sheriff’s services have locked out at least 10,000 households amid the pandemic, with evictions increasing dramatically in the first three months of 2021, according to an analysis by Manuela Tobias of CalMatters, Nigel Duara and John Osborn D’Agostino. Residents were evicted at higher rates in the Central Valley, the Inland Empire and Los Angeles than in the Bay Area, where some counties had additional protections for tenants.
The numbers – which offer the most comprehensive snapshot yet of the pandemic’s effect on the housing stability of Californians – come amid an increasingly tense debate over the homelessness crisis in the ‘State.
In a sudden change in policy, Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday passed draft rules prohibiting homeless people from camping near key public facilities. The federal government is pushing San Jose to clean up a homeless camp with at least 600 residents near the city’s airport. Equipped with a bulldozer, Sausalito police on Tuesday dismantled a homeless camp whose new location forced the city to cancel an arts festival. And in the face of an increase in the number of people sleeping rough, Sacramento’s Democratic Mayor Darrell Steinberg on Wednesday announced a plan that would force homeless people to accept shelter when beds are made available – a similar proposal to that unveiled the day before by the reminder of the governor of the GOP. candidate Kevin Faulconer.
- Steinberg: âSometimes the pendulum swings too far. â¦ There is no freedom to die alone in the street.
But even as the pandemic pushed thousands of low- and middle-income Californians to the brink of collapse, the state’s wealthy got richer – giving Newsom and lawmakers the resources to funnel $ 12 billion into homelessness. over the next two years.
In a breathtaking and heartbreaking project, “A Tale of Two Zip Codes,” CalMatters’ Jocelyn Wiener explores this highly uneven toll on two Oakland communities – a poor area with the city’s highest COVID case rate and a richer area with the lowest – through the experiences of three high school students.
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The net result of the coronavirus: California had 3,710,454 confirmed cases (-0.1% compared to the day before) and 63,023 deaths (+ 0.04% compared to the day before), according to a CalMatters tracker.
California administered 41 603 652 vaccine doses, and 59% of eligible Californians are fully immunized.
More: CalMatters regularly updates this pandemic timeline by tracking the state’s daily actions. We’re also tracking state coronavirus hospitalizations by county and lawsuits against COVID-19 restrictions.
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Other stories you should know
1. The threat of fire continues to grow
Hours after President Joe Biden’s Wednesday meeting with Newsom and governors of other Western states to pledge to pay higher wages for federal firefighters – which could help California alleviate significant staff shortage – PG&E asked state regulators to approve an 18% rate hike to help cover forest fire prevention costs. If all were OK, the average California residential bill would increase by $ 36 per month for gas and electricity, according to the Sacramento Bee.
As policymakers wonder who should pay the brunt of the damage caused by forest fires, the damage continues to grow. Containment fell on the fast-growing lava fire on Wednesday, even as the number of firefighters rose from 800 to nearly 930. Siskiyou County’s more than 8,000 residents forced to evacuate were angered by the fire. learn that fire crews left the blaze on Friday, thinking it was out, only to reignite it an hour later and spread to more than 17,000 acres on Wednesday. Evacuation orders were also in place Wednesday for the Salt Fire in Shasta County and the Blue Fire in Fresno County.
2. Are counties ready for young offenders?
Today, California state-run juvenile prisons will stop accepting newly convicted juvenile offenders as part of a plan to completely dismantle the system by 2023. Responsibility of the most serious young offenders of state is now transferred to 58 counties – but many still don’t have concrete plans in place, and some don’t have their own juvenile wards. To further complicate matters, some cities are reforming their own juvenile justice systems – San Francisco, for example, is set to close its juvenile room this year and enroll most young people in programs. community-based rehabilitation. But he has yet to find a facility to house the more serious offenders – and now he will also be responsible for additional young people who would otherwise have entered state prisons.
This change comes as the costs of state prisons continue to rise, even as the number of inmates is rapidly declining. In a scathing column on Wednesday, the editorial boards of Mercury News and East Bay Times attributed the discrepancy in part to wage increases by the powerful prison guards union, which Newsom and lawmakers are set to approve without leading. a legally required study to see if they were justified. The state last conducted the study in 2013, when it found that union members received 40% more total compensation than their peers in local government.
3. Increase in reported hate crimes
Hate crimes reported in California reached their highest level in more than a decade in 2020, Attorney General Rob Bonta said on Wednesday. Bonta, who Newsom appointed state supreme prosecutor in March amid an upsurge in anti-Asian harassment and violence, has pledged to crack down on hate crimes and restore trust between the forces of the order and communities of color. The two reports released by Bonta on Wednesday show that anti-Asian hate crime events increased 107% from 2019 to 2020, while anti-white events increased 110%, anti-black events by 88% and anti-Latino events by 38%. You can take a closer look at the data here, although Bonta noted that it likely underestimates the scope of hate crimes in California. To help get a more accurate tally and ensure victims get justice, Bonta has published brochures in 25 languages ââon how to identify and report hate crimes and issued guidelines on how the forces of the law and prosecutors should manage activities related to hate crimes. One recommendation is to identify other forms of penalties for hate crime prosecutions, such as restorative justice.
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July 13: How can California support its small businesses as they recover from a recession and a global pandemic? Join a CalMatters and Milken Institute virtual conversation with leading policy makers, including Isabel Casillas Guzman, Small Business Administration Administrator. Register here.
CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: The California state budget now frequently comes with “footnotes,” which allow special interests to include selfish elements that have little or nothing to do with the budget.
Make online meetings permanent: California should require state boards and commissions to provide remote access to their meetings – this would save money and allow more citizens to participate, argue Pedro Nava and Bill Emmerson of the Little Commission Hoover.
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Other things are worth your time
Why California taxpayers might be forced to pay hefty bills if Newsom’s recall fails. // Weekly Capitol
“Not a healthy environment”: Kamala Harris’s office is rife with dissent. // Politics
Mia Bonta, Janani Ramachandran lead in the East Bay Assembly District race. // Chronicle of San Francisco
Facebook and YouTube fuel the post-Trump right-wing movement in Southern California. // Washington Post
How the left launches a war against gifted children, including in California. // Atlantic
San Jose plans to be the first American city requiring gun owners reimburse taxpayers for gun violence. // Chronicle of San Francisco
San JosÃ© makes it a crime to organize shows, street racing. // Mercury news
California advances in decriminalization of psychedelics after withdrawing the date rape drugs. // Associated Press
California is testing off-grid solutions to power outages. // Associated Press
Los Angeles no longer has the worst traffic in the country, says a new report. // NBC Los Angeles
California Consumer Confidence Index at the highest of 28 months. // Mercury news
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