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'Deep Cleaning': Public Works Dept. Says It Picked Up 55,000 Pounds of Trash, 4,000 Needles From Encampments

By Laura Waxmann, Mission Local

In response to increasing tensions between San Francisco’s housed and unhoused neighbors and an ever-growing stack of complaints about homeless encampments, the city’s Department of Public Works last week decided to take matters into its own hands by “deep cleaning” and essentially removing a number of them in the Mission and in South of Market.

Nuisance and public safety complaints made attending to the encampments a high priority.

Rachel Gordon, spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Public Works who was clearly frustrated with the number of calls the department is getting, said cleaning crews picked up some “55,000 pounds of trash and close to 4,000 needles” over the course of a week in mid-March. 

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

California Chief Justice Slams ‘Stalking’ of Undocumented Immigrants at Courts

By Scott Shafer, KQED News Fix/The California Report

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye says she is “deeply concerned” at reports that federal immigration agents are, in her words, “stalking undocumented immigrants” and arresting them at trial courts in the state.

The chief justice said courts should not be used as “bait” in the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws, adding that courthouses are full of vulnerable people seeking justice.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.

To Make Voters Care About Gerrymandering, Cast It as a Villain?

By Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

Grab a powerful political tool that few voters understand. Plan to fight in courts, statehouses and ballot boxes. Add an infusion of celebrity and more than a dash of cash.

It’s a recipe some activists are trying as they work to export to other states California’s model for drawing political lines — a change that ultimately could shake up Congress and the domination Republicans now enjoy.

Read the complete story at CALmatters.

Back to the ER — Republican Health Bill Expected to Hit Poor Families the Hardest

By Viji Sundaram, New America Media

The health care bill introduced by House Republicans on Monday will cause millions of people to lose their health insurance, according to experts.

Among the hardest hit will be low-income families, who will be forced to go back to the emergency room for their medical care, said Marty Lynch, executive director of LifeLong Medical Care, a 40-year-old federally qualified health clinic with 14 locations in the Bay Area.

Clinics like his — long the safety net for poor and undocumented families in underserved areas — are now bracing for the fallout from the planned repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Read the complete story at New America Media.



S.F. Restaurants to Offer Sanctuary to Employees

By Cesar Saldaña, KQED News Fix/The California Report

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is vowing to protect undocumented immigrant restaurant workers and their customers in San Francisco.

Joined by immigration lawyers and Assemblyman David Chiu last week, the association announced the Sanctuary Restaurant Program, their addition to a movement of the same name.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Valid Voter Fraud Complaints in California? Dozens, Not Millions

By Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

With President Trump alleging serious voter fraud in California, and the state’s top election official calling his claim untrue, how much voter fraud is actually under investigation in the Golden State?

Not much — certainly not enough to sway the election, in which California voters chose Hillary Clinton over Trump by 4.3 million votes.

Read the complete story at CALmatters. 

Trump Wants to Detain More Immigrants. He Could — With California’s Help

By Lisa Pickoff-White and Julie Small, KQED News Fix/The California Report

When his three young children woke up in their small house in Oakland one morning a few weeks ago, Maguiber was not home. That was not so unusual. The 27-year-old dad worked long hours, juggling three different jobs cleaning in two hotels and a restaurant.

But then the children’s mother told Kevin, 8, Gabriela, 4, and Christopher, 2, that their father had been taken away to jail. Before dawn that morning, two officers had knocked on the door. They said they were investigating a hit-and-run, and they asked to see Maguiber. (His attorney asked that we not use his last name until his immigration status is resolved.) He walked out to the driveway, while Yibi Heras, his wife, watched from the door.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.

Immigration Lawyer Warns of Scammers Exploiting Deportation Fears

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

With immigration enforcement rapidly becoming more aggressive, immigrants have a lot of questions and concerns, but they should be cautious about who they turn to for help, warns one immigration lawyer.

“There’s just people out there who are willing to scam or take advantage of the fear that people are experiencing right now,” said attorney Veronica B. Guinto at an immigration rights training session at Mission Hiring Hall organized by a job-placement startup called Instawork.

“Make sure you find reputable help,” she also said.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

See ICE in the City? Call This Number, Say Immigrant Rights Groups

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

Immigration nonprofits have sprung into action to respond to President Donald Trump’s threats to increase deportations and are now offering a 24-hour hotline in English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.

Anyone who sees Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity in San Francisco can call (415) 200-1548 at any time. A call to the hotline initiates a process that includes nonprofits sending their own staff to the scene of the report to verify what happened, remind people of their rights, and if necessary, provide legal support.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

Can’t Get Any Work Done? New Survey Reveals Politics Is Killing Productivity

By Sam Harnett, KQED News Fix/The California Report

Only one time before has CEO Andy Ruben seen his co-workers so distracted by the news, and that was a very different situation: 9/11.

Ruben is CEO of Yerdle, a San Francisco company that helps retailers resell used products. Since the election of Donald Trump and subsequent political turmoil, Ruben said it has been hard to keep his workers focused.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.