Articles & Op-Eds

Affordable Housing is a Human Right

October 28, 2015

Regarding “Vouchers fall short as rents skyrocket” (Oct. 21), Rachel Swan lays out the housing crisis tearing apart our community. Rents in Oakland have grown faster than anywhere else in the nation. If rents continue to rise at this pace, we risk losing our cherished East Bay culture. The solution is multifaceted and requires local, state and federal efforts. Federally, we need a “fair market rent” formula that accurately reflects the real housing costs in our community. Just this week, I sp… Continue Reading

Americans want to end the country's longest war. Why won't Congress listen?

October 20, 2015

America’s longest war continues to drag on with no end in sight. 14 years since the invasion of Afghanistan, our highly capable men and women in uniform have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They have done enough, it’s past time to bring them home. On 15 October we saw the ramifications of Congress’s blank check for endless war when President Obama announced that thousands of US troops would remain in Afghanistan through the end of his term and into 2017. This war has already cost o… Continue Reading

Health care isn't a bargaining chip

September 22, 2015

Conservatives and progressives don’t agree on much these days. Regardless of their party leanings, though, a clear majority of Americans believe that politicians shouldn’t meddle in a woman’s personal health care decisions. Yet for too long, women’s health care has been a political bargaining chip. Anti-choice politicians have worked to ensure that women enrolled in government health plans — including veterans and government employees — don’t get abortion care coverage. That needs to stop.… Continue Reading

President Obama’s Iran Deal Ensures American Security & Prevents War

September 07, 2015

In July, President Obama announced one of the most important foreign policy victories of his presidency. After years of tireless work and tough diplomacy, he and his team secured the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. According to a recent poll by the Cato Institute and YouGov, nearly 60 percent of Americans and more than 70 percent of African Americans support the President’s deal. While the Iran deal is a huge victory f… Continue Reading

Rep. Lee: San Leandro Moving In the Right Direction

July 29, 2015

Editor: Solar power is here to stay and that’s a good thing for our planet and for jobs. The 13th Congressional District is home to more than 70 solar companies, six of which are located in San Leandro. These companies employ more than 1,800 workers in the green economy jobs of today and tomorrow. Solar energy powers more than 18,000 homes in the 13th Congressional District. Most recently, the San Leandro Unified School District became connected to the city’s fiber optic loop because… Continue Reading

Time to end the Hyde Amendment

July 08, 2015

The war on women isn’t over. Nearly every day, there is a new unconscionable attack designed to restrict access to abortion. The oldest of these attacks is the Hyde Amendment, which Congress adds each year to strip women of their fundamental right to access all of their health care options. The amendment prevents women who receive their health insurance through the federal government from receiving abortion coverage. It is clear that these attacks have one goal: preventing women, especiall… Continue Reading

Underrepresented Business Owners Play Key Role in Mayor’s Economic Plan

June 16, 2015

At the center of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s economic policy is growth that doesn’t displace long-time Oakland residents through gentrification, but includes them through small business development, better jobs and affordable housing. Schaaf’s first budget, released last month, stated her two of her top four priorities as increasing public safety, which is essential to business growth, and creating more jobs and housing, which is central to protecting long-time Oaklanders. “Oakland will not grow … Continue Reading

House to Vote on Withdrawing Troops from Iraq, Syria

June 16, 2015

The House will vote Wednesday on whether to direct President Obama to remove troops from Iraq and Syria in the absence of a congressional authorization for using military force against Islamic State militants. Wednesday’s vote - after two full hours of floor debate - will serve as a test of whether the House has the will to pass a war authorization following months of stalled deliberations and an escalating U.S. campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Democratic Rep.… Continue Reading

Underrepresented Business Owners Play Key Role in Mayor's Economic Plan

June 14, 2015

At the center of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s economic policy is growth that doesn’t displace long-time Oakland residents through gentrification, but includes them through small business development, better jobs and affordable housing. Schaaf’s first budget, released last month, stated her two of her top four priorities as increasing public safety, which is essential to business growth, and creating more jobs and housing, which is central to protecting long-time Oaklanders. “Oakland will not grow … Continue Reading

US House Republicans Plan 'Fast-Track' Trade Vote Friday

June 10, 2015

CAPITOL HILL— Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are cautiously moving forward with plans to hold a vote Friday to grant “fast-track” trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama. The issue has most Republicans lined up with a president they usually oppose. On the other side of the issue is a broad coalition of tea party Republicans skeptical of giving the president too much power, progressive Democrats, labor unions and other groups. This unlikely group is f… Continue Reading

Flake, Kaine Push for Debate on Anti-ISIL War

June 09, 2015

Sens. Tim Kaine and Jeff Flake are introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that pushes for a congressional say in the U.S. fight against the Islamic State. The amendment to the NDAA - which authorizes budget authority for the Defense Department and is currently being debated on the Senate floor - does not specify policy points about an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Kaine said, but rather indicates that it’s the “sense of the Senate” that it should deb… Continue Reading

On Trade, Obama's Most Loyal Allies Are Abandoning Him

June 08, 2015

Washington — At the grocery store, at church, and at the local Lowe’s hardware store, people stop Rep. Marcia Fudge (D) of Ohio to tell her they support the president, but not the bill to give him one of the things he wants most: the authority to more easily negotiate the largest trade deal in United States history. This is not the North American Free Trade Agreement, the president says. It includes enforceable labor, environmental, and human rights standards. It’s a job creator that will ope… Continue Reading

Rep. Marcia Fudge Makes Sweet Bet on Cavs in NBA Finals

June 08, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. - LeBron James isn't the only one with plenty at stake in the NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge has placed a sweet bet on the series with California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee. If the Warriors win, Fudge will give Lee chocolates from Malley's, peanuts from Peterson's and pastries from Davis Bakery. If the Cavaliers win, Lee will supply Fudge with California treats including Clif bars… Continue Reading

Congress Calls For Debate On ISIS War Authorization

June 07, 2015

In a rare showing of bipartisanship, three lawmakers have crafted a resolution that would force the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on allowing military action fighting Islamic State group to continue. Despite the U.S.-led attacks on the terrorist group regularly occurring since August 2014, Congress has yet to officially authorize the airstrikes and bombing campaigns, which has some lawmakers worried about the possibility of the campaign lasting years into the future. The resolution… Continue Reading

Congress failing to ‘fulfill the bare minimum’ on ISIS

June 03, 2015

Just last week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was unusually blunt while chiding Congress for failing to authorize the U.S. military offensive against ISIS. Lawmakers, Earnest said, have “been AWOL.” “They haven’t been willing to stand up and do their job. Their job doesn’t require putting themselves at great personal risk. Their job doesn’t require making difficult strategic decisions. Their job requires holding some congressional hearings, writing legislation, and casting a vote. … Continue Reading

Drug War Takes A Shellacking As Congress Okays Several Canna-Bills

June 03, 2015

The drug war took a one of its biggest shellackings in history this week as the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives voted to cement the federal cease-fire on medical marijuana, and nearly gave up the weed war entirely. Under the medical marijuana amendment — which has to pass the Senate — the Department of Justice would remain barred from using funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws. A more far-reaching amendment to protect state-legal recreational cannabis fail… Continue Reading

Dem: Obama needs 'more elbow grease' for trade vote

June 02, 2015

A House Democratic lawmaker tells The Hill that President Obama needs to get more involved to win Democratic votes for fast-track trade authority. "I think the President needs to do a lot more than what he's doing now. I don’t think he’s doing enough, to be quite honest," moderate Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said in an interview with The Hill. "He sees this as a very important issue, but I think he needs to put a little more elbow grease into this work." House GOP leaders and the Obama … Continue Reading

Congress Takes Tiny Step Toward Authorizing Anti-ISIS War

June 02, 2015

U.S.-led campaign has killed “more than 10,000” since last summer without lawmakers’ assent There’s nothing that interests Congress more than self-preservation. That, for example, is what keeps the pork flowing back home. But the nation’s recent wars—messy, lengthy and inconclusive—have become radioactive. The public has turned on them, which has led lawmakers to go to great lengths to keep their fingerprints off of them. The GOP-controlled Congress has refused to authorize the near-daily … Continue Reading

Obama's trust-me approach falls flat with Democrats

June 02, 2015

President Obama’s argument that Democrats should trust his vision on trade is falling flat on Capitol Hill. Democrats — even some of Obama’s closest allies — say it’s not enough for the president to pronounce his trade agenda the most progressive in history. The lawmakers want assurances that the agreements under negotiation, particularly a huge deal being finalized with Pacific Rim nations, will protect U.S. jobs — assurances many say they simply haven’t gotten. “I take the president … Continue Reading

Barbara Lee bets on Golden State Warriors win

June 02, 2015

Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Marcia Fudge have laid a friendly bet over the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. If (ed. note: WHEN) the Warriors win, Fudge, D-Ohio, will send Lee chocolates, peanuts and pastries made in the heart of Cleveland. If (ed. note: impossibly) the Cavaliers win, Lee, D-Oakland, will supply Fudge with Clif bars, Ghirardelli chocolates, Peet’s coffee and an autographed photo of Stephen Curry, all in anOaklandish tote bag. “The Clev… Continue Reading

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