Thursday - May 23, 2019

Congress urged to pass fast-track paper ballot legislation


­by Juliana Birnbaum Fox

Resolutions urging immediate passage of emergency electoral legislation were endorsed last week by the Sonoma County Democratic Party and the Sonoma County Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America. The goal is to require that paper ballots replace any paperless electronic voting systems in time for the upcoming November election.

“Paperless, electronic touch-screen (DRE) voting machines have been documented losing or miscounting significant numbers of votes in hundreds of reports all across the country,” said spokesperson Dan Ashby, cofounder and director of Election Defense Alliance, a multipartisan citizens’ action organization devoted to election integrity.

Caregivers strike to improve quality of care for residents at Windsor Nursing Home chain

Dozens of religious and community leaders joined nursing home workers on Sept. 16 for a candlelight vigil at Country Drive Care Center in Fremont to urge Windsor CEOs Lee Samson and Lawrence Feigen to adopt proposals that would improve the care of residents and the rights of caregivers at their nursing homes. Since July 2007, more than 360 violations of health and safety regulations were documented at Windsor facilities during regular federal surveys. Over the same period, 58 patient complaints against Windsor were verifi ed by the Department of Health and Human Services on issues ranging from short-staffing to fire hazards.

To address these conditions, more than 650 nursing home workers have been in contract negotiations with Windsor for more than a year in four facilities and several months at four others.

State Latino group charges Labor Secretary with hiding scandal

The California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is accusing Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao of engaging in “lulling tactics” to keep the lid on a scandal that has been brewing in her offi ce since 2005.According to Argentina Dávila Luevano, State Director of California LULAC, Secretary Chas assured National LULAC President Rosa Rosales that the threatened termination of Dr. Alberto Rocha, Assistant Bay Area District Director, would be “taken care of” at the highest levels.

Ironically, the OFCCP is charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws in federal contracting, yet Rocha has fi led a complaint against the department, charging that he has been harassed and retaliated against for his participation in efforts to fight discrimination. According to Rocha, his troubles started when he began taking a leadership role in a national non-profi t active in the fi elds of employment, education, civil rights and other issues which impact the Hispanic community.

Organizations file lawsuit seeking implementation of language access

Four community groups filed a lawsuit against the City of Oakland for failing to fulfi ll its obligations under the “Equal Access to Services Ordinance,” a groundbreaking language access ordinance passed in 2001. Public Advocates Inc. and civil rights attorney Luz Buitrago represent the groups. The ordinance, based on basic civil rights laws, requires translation of key documents and sufficient bilingual staff available in public contact positions for languages reaching a 10,000 threshold, currently including Spanish and Chinese.

New SFO Terminal designs are unveiled

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Airport Director John L. Martin today unveiled the designs for the remodel of San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) old international terminal, vacant since 2000, into a new domestic terminal that will emphasize customer service and sustainability practices.

“This design reflects a completely different way of thinking about air travel, environmental stewardship, and fi nancial responsibility,” said Mayor Newsom. “Our goal is to make this the fi rst LEED Silver certifi ed terminal in the country.”