We’re in this for the long haul. Are you?

There’s no way to sugar coat it. Things right now are bad. We know that many of you are super energized to get involved and fight for our shared values, and we’re writing today with one idea for how you can do just that.

Transforming our current national leadership to one guided by progressive values is going to take time. The actions we invest now will pay off over the long haul. One of the most important things we can do is to engage deeply at a local level. By shaping our local and state governments, we can push for the change we need from the bottom up.

The following vacancies are coming up in 2017 through the City of Arcata. If you or someone you know lives or works in the Arcata Planning Area, please consider applying for one of these positions. More information here.

  • For the term beginning 5/1/2017 – 3 seats on the Open Space & Ag Committee (Members have knowledge of active and passive recreation, fish and wildlife, land trusts, local agricultural farming, watershed management, wetland/riparian ecology and economic land use policy.)
  • For the term beginning 5/1/2017 – 2 seats on the Parks & Recreation Committee (Members have knowledge in recreational activities, parkland development, local and regional trails, the arts and other related activities.)
  • For the term beginning 8/1/2017 – 2 seats on the Forest Management Committee (Members have knowledge of multi-resource forest management, which includes forest ecology, forest management, watershed management, wildlife, fisheries, botany and recreation.)
  • For the term beginning 8/1/2017 – 1 seat on the Historic Landmarks Committee (Members have knowledge of Arcata’s social, built and cultural environment, or of design and building technology. Members do not have to live or work in the Arcata Planning Area.)
  • For the term beginning 8/1/2017 – 1 seat on the Planning Commission (Members have knowledge of all areas of City planning and development.)
  • For the term beginning 11/1/2017 – 3 seats on the Energy Committee (Members have knowledge of energy usage, conservation, regulation and/or generation.)
  • For the term beginning 11/1/2017 – 4 seats on the Transportation Safety Committee (Members reflect, as much as possible, interest in all transportation modes, including pedestrian, bicyclist, mass transit and skateboarding.
  • For the term beginning 11/1/2017 – 2 seats on the Wetlands and Creeks Committee (Members have knowledge of wildlife, fisheries, watershed management, wetland ecology, wetland/riparian botany, water quality, Arcata’s creeks, riparian areas, or wetlands and tidelands.

2017: Resolve to Get Involved!

Chances are, since you’re reading this blog, you already care deeply about progressive issues like environmental protection, social justice, and equality. We are all painfully aware of the impending aggressive attacks on these values that we hold dear. Many ideals and individuals will be put in danger, so there’s never been a better time to step up your involvement and activism than now.

To that end, we have a few ideas and opportunities to share, right here in Humboldt County.

 

  • Join the newly formed local chapter of the national organization SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice).

 

Image result for 350.org logo

  • Join the newly formed local chapter of 350.org
    • Read about 350 National.
    • Attend the local chapter’s next meeting on January 10th at 6:00 p.m. at the Labor Temple in Eureka (840 E Street).
    • If you’d like to be added to the Google Group for 350-Humboldt to participate in online discussions between meetings, request to be added here, or just reply to this email and ask to be added.

 

  • Join the local ACLU Chapter

The local branch of the ACLU is hoping to expand to meet the challenges ahead, and is recruiting new members (especially for its Board of Directors, though all are invited to participate).

If you are an ACLU member or are interested in becoming one, and would like to become involved locally, please contact Peter Martin by phone at 707-268-0445 or by email at peter@petermartinlaw.com.The local chapter meets on the third Thursday of each month at noon at 1369 G Street in Arcata, so their next meeting is on 1/17. There is also an annual meeting scheduled for 1/23 at 6:00 p.m. at the D Street Neighborhood Center in Arcata.

 

Save

Bring Betty Home

Those of you who joined our Human Rights March last Saturday had the opportunity to hear Renee Saucedo speak at the Gazebo about her mother’s heartbreaking deportation. In case you missed it, you can find it on our Facebook page (scroll down to the video posted on 12/10 at the Gazebo – Renee’s portion starts around minute 14 or 15).

Renee’s mom, 82 year old Betty Flores, had been living with Renee, Renee’s husband Giancarlo, and their 7-year-old son, until she was detained in November at SFO and deported to Mexico. Betty has early onset Alzheimer’s, and requires the care of her family, who are devastated not to be with her. Please join Betty’s family to advocate for her humanitarian return.

Sign the petition today!

Follow/share ‘Bring Betty Home’ on Facebook.

Attend the press conference in San Francisco.


left-right: Clorinda (Giancarlo’s mom), Giancarlo, Renee, Carlo, Betty

It’s In Our Hands

This election season was a roller coaster ride of emotions for those of us who worked to influence its outcomes. Here in Humboldt, volunteers for the Bernie Sanders campaign had the complicated sensation of intense pride and happiness at the 70% victory we helped to secure for Sanders in Humboldt County’s Democratic primary, coupled with the crushing disappointment that came with Sanders’ overall defeat in California, and soon after, in the primary.

Many of the same volunteers who campaigned here for Bernie went on to lobby for progressive change at a local level, working as the North Coast People’s Alliance (NCPA) to help pass Measure P (True Ward) and Measure V (Mobile Home Rent Stabilization), and to get Austin Allison elected to Eureka city council. Once again, on election night we found ourselves overwhelmed with contradictory emotions – unable to wholeheartedly celebrate our remarkable victories on all three local campaigns in the midst of our devastation over Trump’s victory.

At NCPA, we’re all working through our individual reactions to the events of the past six months. For most of us, there is immense gratitude for the bonds we’ve forged, and the progress we’ve made locally for progressive causes. We are energized to continue this work well into the future.

But many of us are also experiencing intense fear and anxiety over what the future holds under a Trump administration. Some of us need to take time to heal and rejuvenate; others are more galvanized than ever and ready to fight injustice and inequality immediately and with renewed intensity.

One consistent theme throughout this year is a sense that our current system of government (and elections) is truly and fundamentally broken. Our government no longer serves the interests of regular people; it’s become an out-of-control monster whose only purpose is to increase power and wealth among elites, at the expense of the well-being, safety, and happiness of the rest of us. Our electoral system silences meaningful debate, excludes innovative candidates and ideas, and doesn’t even ensure that the candidate with the most votes actually wins. How can we even call this a democracy?

One thing is painfully clear – we can’t look to our newly elected national leadership to save us from the climate crisis, or to lead the way toward justice and equality. We’re on our own. This is The People’s fight now.

Critically, each and every one of us must plug in however we can. This is no time for standing on the sidelines. Engagement will look different for everyone, but it’s vital that you, yes-YOU, do engage, in whatever ways make sense to you. Here is a list, by no means exhaustive, to spark your own ideas and plans.

Change Begins At Home –

  • Plant a garden or connect directly with local farmers.
  • Turn off lights and electronics when you’re not using them.
  • Install solar panels on your home (cheaper and easier than ever).
  • Divest from fossil fuels and the associated banks.
  • Walk, bike, carpool, or use transit instead of driving alone.
  • Support local nonprofits.
  • Check in on a neighbor or visit a nursing home.
  • Visit a place of worship that’s not your own.
  • Ditch mainstream media – US corporate media is complicit in what has gone wrong. Find and support reputable alternative sources for news such as Democracy Now, the largest public media collaboration in the US, which refuses both corporate and government funding.
  • Think about the vulnerable people in your life, and ask them what they need to feel safe. Then fight for that.

Engage With Movements –

  • Wear a Black Lives Matter or Native Lives Matter shirt – especially if you’re white.
  • Attend a protest.
  • Go to Standing Rock.
  • Write a letter to the editor.
  • Donate to NAACP, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, 350.org, etc.
  • Join a group – the North Coast People’s Alliance, the Humboldt Democrats, the Humboldt Green Party, True North, Humboldt Move to Amend, etc.
  • Start a group – one is in the works for SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) in Humboldt – how about a local chapter of 350.org or Black Lives Matter?

Engage With Politics –

  • Find out who your state and local representatives are, and let them know what’s important to you.
  • Serve on a school board.
  • Attend a city council meeting, county supervisors meeting, school board meeting, or local partisan central committee meeting. Listen closely and use your voice.
  • Run for office, or volunteer for a quality candidate you believe in.

Analysts and scholars have drawn frightening parallels between the rise of Hitler, and Trump’s own ascent to power. This is not hyperbole; the similarities are terrifying. I would venture to guess that most of us, at one time or another, have pondered the rise of Hitler, asking ourselves or others, “Why didn’t good people stop this disaster before it took root?”

We are in that kind of moment today. We can choose to act now – swiftly, collectively, with courage, compassion, and solidarity – and we just might have a chance to stop the atrocities Trump has already begun to inspire, and avoid some of the most catastrophic effects of climate change. But our window of opportunity is small, and in order to succeed, we must avoid the pitfalls of perceived helplessness, despair, and petty infighting.

We must each find solutions and actions for our own lives to ensure that decades from now, we can tell our grandchildren exactly what we did to divert catastrophe. Our actions must be bold, loving, and brave to withstand history’s judgment.

Tamara McFarland

North Coast People’s Alliance

NorthCoastPeoplesAlliance.org

hello@NorthCoastPeoplesAlliance.org

 

The Latest & Greatest

Update time!

We currently have two active working groups – one for local issues and candidates, and one for education. Here’s what each group has been up to lately..

Local Issues & Candidates Team

This is a dynamic group of folks who are committed to enacting progressive change at a local level. There are several projects currently underway.

Measure V – Mobile Home Rent Stabilization Initiative

Earlier this week, our county supervisors voted to include this initiative on the ballot in November. The North Coast People’s Alliance is endorsing this measure as an important protection for low income citizens of our community. We will be supporting this campaign through phone banking and canvassing in Eureka.

HELP NEEDED! – Measure V campaign leadership is currently looking for people to help with the following:
  • Campaign bookkeeping and Fair Political Practices Department reporting
  • Simple website setup
  • Facebook page
  • Video production
If you can help with any of the tasks listed above, please contact Hilary at hilmosh@gmail.com.

Measure P – True Ward Initiative

The North Coast People’s Alliance is also pleased to support the True Ward initiative, which will also be on this November’s ballot. The current ward system in Eureka makes it difficult for regular working people to run for (and win) city council seats, and gives an advantage to moneyed corporate and special interests. The passage of Measure P will make Eureka city council seats more accessible to high quality working class candidates who will work for the interests of the people, not the 1%.

As with Measure V, we will also be providing support to Measure P through phone banking and canvassing in Eureka.

If you would like to join our Local Issues & Candidates team, please come to our next meeting on Thursday, August 25th at 5:15 at Rita’s (1111 5th Street, Eureka).

If you would like to sign up to phone bank or canvass for the local issues listed above (our anticipated kick-off for these activities is 8/28) in Eureka, please email Tamara at mcfarlanddesigns@gmail.com.

Education Team

This group of volunteers has just begun to meet, with hopes of creating a variety of useful educational opportunities for community members and activists.

We have started a book club, and the first meeting is on Tuesday, August 16th at 6:00 at Ramone’s on Harrison in Eureka, where we will discuss Naomi Klein’s book ‘This Changes Everything.’

If you would like to join our Education team, please come to our next meeting on Tuesday, August 23rd at 6:00 at the Labor Temple (840 E Street, Eureka).

Other

HELP NEEDED! – If you have experience with designing WordPress websites, Tamara could use your help. Please email mcfarlanddesigns@gmail.com.

This Thursday, August 17th at 6:00 at the Labor Temple (840 E Street, Eureka) there will be a meeting to revitalize Move to Amend in Humboldt. [more info].

We’re working on getting our website up and running – it’s pretty bare-bones for now, but we’re working on getting a calendar of upcoming events added – in the meantime you can access that information at www.tinyurl.com/NCPA-calendar.

Stay tuned for ongoing information about these exciting projects, or better yet, join us and help shape the future of our group!

ACTION ALERT – Speak up to protect affordable housing in Humboldt!!!

It’s been a rough couple of months for those of us who supported Bernie, hasn’t it? Emotions and opinions are all over the map, and that’s okay for now. We all need to support each other through this difficult time, and allow ourselves time to grieve. What we must NOT do is allow ourselves to become divided, disillusioned, apathetic, or complacent in the face of this disappointing outcome.

become-the-bernPerhaps, like me, you’re feeling pretty pissed off about the difficulty in making our voices heard at a national level. It’s hard to compete against the moneyed, powerful forces that oppose the best interests of the people, and that really sucks. One way I’m hoping, personally, to battle the overwhelming feelings of anger and helplessness that this brings up for me is to re-focus my efforts closer to home. That doesn’t mean I don’t still care about national and global issues – far from it – but there are also issues much closer to home that matter a lot – to a lot of people – and are going to be decided with this November’s ballot! I feel a sense of purpose (and relief from my Bernie-related sadness) in knowing that I can continue to fight – right now (not in another two or four years) – to make a difference, and implement some of the ideas and policies that Bernie so courageously championed alongside us this past year.

I’m writing today about one such issue – a manufactured housing lot fee stabilization ordinance to take effect in the unincorporated areas of Humboldt County (and hopefully serve as a model for cities to also adopt in the future). Our newly re-named group (North Coast People’s Alliance) is pleased to endorse and support this initiative, and we hope you will join us in fighting to have it approved!

What you can do today:

1. Read about the initiative here, and in the details below this message.

2. Contact your supervisor by phone and/or letter.
3. Write a letter to the editor.

  • Here are some helpful talking points-
    • Humboldt already has a problem with homelessness.
    • Without rent control in MH Parks seniors, the disabled, veterans and low-income families could become homeless due to rent increases.
    • When people lose their housing, they increase the demand on the county’s social services.
    • The county’s general plan requires the preservation of MH Parks as an “important source of affordable housing.”
    • 9% of Humboldt’s  housing is in MH Parks. That is 76 parks with potential 2800 residences.
    • MH parks are the only source of unsubsidized low-income housing in Humboldt.
    • This ordinance provides funding for the county to administer the law.
    • 76 affordable housing units have been added to Humboldt since 2012 at a cost of $11.3M. How many mobile homes could be saved for that much money?
  • Times-Standard – email your letter to mvalles@times-standard.com and/or kwear@times-standard.com
  • North Coast Journal  – email your letter to letters@northcoastjournal.com
  • Mad River Union – email your letter to opinion@madriverunion.com
5. Attend the Board of Supervisor’s meeting on 8/9.

The ballot initiative will be on the agenda at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 9th at 9 A.M. at the County Courthouse, 825 5th Street, Eureka. The Board may decide to approve the ordinance and implement it as is, they can order a report which they have up to 30 days to complete, or they can submit it to the voters for the November ballot. Please come to this meeting to demonstrate support for the initiative.

Let’s continue to work together to leverage the same skills, passion, and power that earned 70% of the primary vote for Bernie in Humboldt towards fighting for some of the MANY other urgent issues of our time. I am proud to continue to work alongside you all, and look forward to seeing what we can do together, now that we are united and awakened to our potential!

In Solidarity and Hope,

 

Tamara

P.S. – If you want to take an active role in working on issues like this one, please consider joining our ‘Local Issues & Candidates Team’, which meets next on Thursday, August 11th at 5:15 p.m. at the Labor Temple (corner of 9th & E, Eureka).

________________________________________________________________

Humboldt County Counsel Prepared Ballot Title and Summary

For Proposed Initiative Measure

Title: Mobile Home Park Space Rent Stabilization Ordinance

County Counsel Summary: The proposed initiative would adopt an ordinance to regulate rent increases for spaces in mobile home parks with ten or more spaces in the unincorporated area of Humboldt County. The ordinance allows for five types of rent increases.

1) Beginning in 2017, the ordinance provides for the allowance of an annual rental increase equal to the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index as of January 30th of each year over that reported for the prior year. The County Board of Supervisors is required to calculate the allowable annual increase by February 15 of each year and post it at the County Building and on the County website, and to mail the notice to each mobile home park owner and to an elected tenant representative in each park. The mobile home park owner may implement the increase each year by legally required notice, or bank the increase to be added to the rent at a future date, and provide a notice to mobile home owner tenants of the park owner’s election to defer the allowable annual increase.

2) California Civil Code section 798.17, exempts mobile home park leases to home owners for their personal residence, with terms in excess of 12 months and meeting other criteria specified in the statute, from local rent control ordinances. The ordinance provides that upon the expiration of such a lease, the base rent for any future rent increases shall be the rent in effect as of that date.

3) Rent increases allowable upon sale or transfer of a mobile home to a new owner with the home to remain in place in the same space are limited to five percent (5%). No increase under this section would apply if title passes to a parent, sibling, child, niece or nephew of the prior owner or someone who was a lawful, authorized resident of the mobile home.

4) The ordinance establishes a presumption that net operating income in the base year provides the park owner with a fair return. The ordinance provides standards for a determination of the circumstances that would allow the park owner to rebut the presumption of a fair return. The ordinance specifies a detailed process to determine if a fair return adjustment should be allowed, including a right to a hearing before an impartial hearing officer that is open to the park owner or representative and tenants and their representative.

5) Rent increases for new capital improvements to the park are allowed after consultation with mobile home owners as to the nature and cost of the improvements, and written consent of 50% + 1 of the mobile home owners.

The ordinance also allows tenants to request a rent reduction if services provided by the park are reduced.

The County may charge up to $5.00 per month administrative fee for each occupied mobile home park space to pay the costs of the rent control program. Park owners would collect the fee and remit to the County quarterly.

Save