Tuesday - Jul 23, 2019

U.S. Congress invests in San Francisco’s Community Justice Center

by Elisabeth Pinio

Kamala HarrisKamala Harris: Photo by Marvin J. Ramírez

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee unanimously passed a bill containing $1 million for San Francisco’s Community Justice Center last Thursday. Mayor Gavin Newsom and District Attorney Kamala Harris commended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her support.

“Nancy Pelosi deserves credit for prioritizing the Community Justice Center in Congress. It’s an investment that will reduce crime and provide an array of services to rehabilitate offenders,” said Mayor Newsom.

“The Community Justice Center will address the underlying causes of crimes by steering people directly into the services they need—mental health services, substance abuse treatment and housing,” said District Attorney Harris.

Antioch Police Department accused of discrimination

In Antioch, advocacy organizations Public Advocates Inc. and Bay Area Legal Aid have announced an investigation of African-American discrimination by Antioch police. African-Americans participating in the Section 8 housing program have complained that the Antioch Police Department are attempting to force them out of town, using such tactics as unlawful searches, surveillance and other forms of intimidation.

The organizations have submitted a formal request to the Antioch police for information related to the activities of the department’s Community Action Team (CAT). Under the California Public Records Act, the Antioch police must respond to the request within ten days.

“Civil rights laws prohibit any interference with a person’s right to housing opportunities based on his or her race or ethnicity. That includes police activity,” said Elisabeth Voigt, an attorney with Public Advocates. “A police program that targets law-abiding African-American families would carry serious legal implications.”

Mortgage Bankers Association announces new resource for Hispanic home buyers

Mortgage Bankers Association has announced a new home buying resource for Hispanic consumers. With the launch of its new website for Spanish speakers, www.HomeLoanLearningCenter.com. Prospective buyers will have access to all aspects of home buying and ownership, including: the basics of home buying, the importance of credit records, how to find the right home, finding a mortgage lender and identifying the best type of loan for each individual’s financial situation.

“The Mortgage Bankers Association is committed to helping all Americans realize the dream of homeownership,” said Cheryl Crispen, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing.  “This new educational resource will give Spanish-speaking Americans who want to become homeowners the knowledge they need to confidently begin planning the purchase and financing of their new home.”

San Francisco is one step closer to having the nation’s toughest gun laws

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and District Attorney Kamala Harris proposed legislation that will regulate the increase of handguns in San Francisco. Co-sponsored by Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Sophie Maxwell, the bill passed through the City’s Public Safety Committee Monday, and will continue to the entire Board of Supervisors for a final vote.

The bill proposes to prohibit the possession and sale of firearms on County property, thus banning them from local parks, community centers, schools and government buildings. Gun shows will be outlawed as well.

“It’s all about keeping guns out of the wrong hands: away from children, out of schools and parks, off the black market, and out of the hands of criminals,” said District Attorney Harris.