Because People Matter

Progressive News and Views May / June 2009

¡Si, Se Pudo!
By Susan Scott

Notes from an election observer
Yes, we could! That is the new slogan of El Salvador’s FMLN (Faribundo Marti para la Liberación Nacional)—the party that led the guerrilla opposition through the right-wing repression of the 1980s. The March 15th victory for the FMLN’s presidential candidate, Mauricio Funes, marks the first time since the Peace Accords of 1992, halting a 12 year civil war, that the right wing These articles also claimed that an FMLNheaded government would be declared a “Terrorist State”—effectively preventing Salvadorans living in the US from sending remittanc“Saturday papers duly reported es to their families in El Salvador. Given that US the US pledge of neutrality remittances constitute [over presidential candidates] 18% of the Salvadoran GDP and that an estiand the FMLN went on to mated one quarter of the win the election by three Salvadoran population is living and working percentage points.” in the US, this packed Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA) party has a powerful punch. This been defeated. It is also the first time in El Salvador’s hiswas the same message Victory night celebration. tory that the left has achieved true political power. A prethe US ambassador in Photo: Ted Lieverman cious victory indeed, but the FMLN has yet to achieve a 2004 had used to derail majority in Congress and ARENA and other right-wing El Salvador’s last presidential election and it was starting parties still have control over much of the country— to look like déjà vu. including the majority of its capital, San Salvador. But CISPES (Community in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) and other US groups were hip to what was happening; the State Department was flooded with complaints and demands that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Charge D’Affaires in El Salvador Robert Blau declare US neutrality and its intention to work with whichever party was elected. Our delegations of election observers held a press conference denouncing the media’s fear campaign, explaining how two right-wing Congressional Chief Wiggum of The Simpsons says “Vote with wisdom [the ARENA outliers could not affect TPS or interfere with remittances, and slogan]—don’t vote for the ex-policeman [Avila]. demanding that Blau and the US Photo: Susan Scott State Department speak out clearly March 15, 2009 was a gratifying time for international and forcefully. The same afternoon—two days before the solidarity allies to be in El Salvador. Our 20 member election—a strong statement of neutrality came from delegation from the National Lawyers Guild joined the US embassy, distancing the Obama administration thousands of other international election observers and from the threats of the two Congressmen and promising thousands more national observers for several days of to work with whichever party won. The Saturday papers training and certification by the ARENA-controlled duly reported the US pledge of neutrality, and the FMLN Supreme Electoral Tribunal. We were part of the largest went on to win the election by three percentage points. number of election observers in El Salvador’s history. While on lunch break at the voting center, we met a When we arrived at the polls at 5 am, the situation was woman from Washington DC, several of whose Salvatense due to weeks of an escalating fear campaign in the doran family members had been told by their employers media. The US embassy was predicting a close election that they would lose their jobs on Monday if the FMLN and widespread violence in the streets for the day followwon the election. We wondered how many families ing the election. FMLN’s comfortable lead in the polls shared the same experience. had shrunk to almost nothing. We will probably never know the true scope of the But the election was uniformly peaceful and Funes’ FMLN victory. In addition to an orchestrated fear camvictory was accepted by the ARENA candidate within paign, the ARENA party is believed to have arranged for hours after the polls closed Sunday. Monday looked like massive fraudulent voting. ARENA retains sole access to any other day in San Salvador, except for the noticeable the formation of the Electoral Registry (the Organizaincrease in smiling faces and cars flying FMLN flags tion of American States severely criticized the ARENA despite the fear campaign waged before the election. government for its lack of transparency in the registry) This was a welcome surprise, since when we arrived in and to the technology used for the national identity cards San Salvador the Tuesday before the election; we woke used for voting called Documentos Únicos de Identidad up to headlines on the three major daily papers full of US or DUIs. Because over one third of the population lives threats. The front page of the right-wing Diario de Hoy outside the country and cannot vote in the elections, had two-inch high headlines warning: “EEUU: Para a there was a golden opportunity to bring foreigners from TPS con FMLN!” [US: Stop TPS (temporary protection neighboring countries to vote using fraudulent DUIs. status) with the FMLN!] The articles went on to describe In the days before the election, FMLN partisans set how Congressmen Dana Rohrbacker (R-CA) and Dan up barricades across the roads leading into El Salvador Burton (R-IN) were threatening that if the FMLN won, from Nicaragua and Honduras, stopping busloads of the US would eliminate temporary protected status people with phony DUIs. One member of our delega(TPS) for Salvadoran residents in the US despite the fact tion went to the border area to observe the barricades. I that according to the US Citizenship and Immigration spent much of the night before the election with a local Services, TPS is safe for Salvadorans through September journalist who interviewed an ARENA official whose of 2010 when it will likely be renewed. TPS agreements van was stopped by FMLN activists outside ARENA exist with countries like El Salvador to grant temporary headquarters in central San Salvador, allegedly full of status to those in the US that can prove it would be Nicaraguan “workers.” unsafe to return home due to armed conflict, natural While waiting to be interviewed at the studios of disasters or other extraordinary temporary conditions. Radio Cadena Mi Gente, I heard dozens of indepen-

dent radio correspondents calling into the station from around the country with reports of an “invasion” of presumably fraudulent Nicaraguan and Honduran voters. Because ARENA had refused to supply equipment allowing poll workers to verify DUIs, there was no way to check the real identity of any voters. We may never know how many ARENA votes were fraudulent. See Victory for FMLN, page 7

Mauricio Funes and his wife, Vanda Pignato, celebrate the election victory.

Inside this issue:

Editorial .................................................... 2 Take the Pledge With Code Pink ............... 2 Peace Needs Truth..................................... 2 She Works Hard for Her Housing ............ 3 California Universal Health Care Act ...... 3 Life Under Occupation ............................. 4 The Drought Snow Job.............................. 5 Hate Crime Protested ................................ 6 Bloody History of “Race Management” ... 6 Constitutional Convention ....................... 7 Location, Location, Location! .................... 7 Because Raza Matter .............................8-9 Sacramento Area Peace Action: Apartheid and Racism: Legacy of the Nakbah ..... 10 Educational Homestay Programs ........... 11 Book Review: Ayatollah Begs to Differ ... 11 The Green Gov? Think Again! ............... 12 Lemon Hill Neighborhood ....................... 13 You Said It—BPM reader commentary .. 14 Calendar .................................................. 15 Progressive Media ................................... 16

2 Because People Matter May / June 2009

People Matter


Editorial Page

Volume 18, Number 3

Published Bi-Monthly by the Sacramento Community for Peace & Justice P.O. Box 162998, Sacramento, CA 95816 (Use addresses below for correspondence) Editorial Group: Jacqueline Diaz, Jeanie Keltner, JoAnn Fuller Coordinating Editor for this Issue: Jacqueline Diaz Design and Layout: Ellen Schwartz Calendar Editor: Chris Bond Advertising and Business Manager: Edwina White Distribution Managers: Jean Hammett, Britney Wright. Distribution Manager Emerita: Paulette Cuilla Subscription Manager: Gordon Kennedy

Why BPM?

Jacqueline Diaz, Coordinating Editor for this issue

How I found my way to the editorial table
When I moved to Sacramento from the Bay Area, friends and family both told me to prepare myself for neighborhoods full of right-wingers and racism. Once here, I checked out signs, news stories, attitudes, bumper stickers and other “data” to see if they matched up with the stories I’d been fed. After a few months, I realized these claims were at least partly true. One neighbor described her house to me as “the one between the Mexicans and the Blacks,” which I didn’t find overtly racist, but did make me wonder if that was the only way she could have explained where she lived. And the first time at my new polling place a “decline to state” voter was offered the choice between party ballots and responded, “Republican of course, I’d never vote for Democrats— they’re communists.” We’d also had our car broken into and found the Sheriff ’s office less than helpful, and walked into countless places where we were the only people of color. An MA student at Sac State, I’d sent my résumé out for internships I was more than qualified for and heard nothing back. And then, thumbing through more places to intern, I found a file on BPM. I read the paper, spoke with an editor, Jeanie Keltner, and decided it would be a good fit for me and a welcome experience. My first editorial meeting was oddly like walking into my own family room back home—smart people, political debate and general arguing about the best way to do things—a little progressive oasis in Republican country! So seven years later, BPM is still a good fit for me. The editorial board and volunteer staff have become my local progressive family. My 6-year-old loves Jeanie Keltner’s toy collection and my new baby loves Jeanie’s soup. Layout person Ellen Schwartz has abandoned editorial meetings for “story time” in the next room on several occasions. These are just a few

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memories of working with people from BPM. Over the years, I’ve had the honor of working with many editors. Some were John Rowntree, Mary Schleppegrell, Dorothy Wake, JoAnn Fuller, Charlene Jones, Seth Sandronsky and Rick Nadeau. Today BPM is in transition. We are working to find and integrate new editors, distributors and writers. We are working to renew the paper so that it continues to thrive and carry on a near-20year tradition of providing the Sacramento region with a local progressive news outlet for free. In this issue of BPM, as always, you will find the voices of activists, advocacy groups and Sacramento writers whose viewpoints are left of mainstream media. BPM isn’t a traditional community paper since we cover national and international topics, but it is a paper made by the community and that’s what is most important. What do you care about progressive Sacramento? BPM is still looking for new volunteers, hands and voices. Will it be a new home for you?

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Take the Pledge with Code Pink
Be a mother for peace
This Mother’s Day, we are standing up for peace by creating a “Virtual Mother’s Day Quilt”—an online photo mosaic—that weaves our strength as mothers and women together to declare peace! Join us by submitting a photo Mother’s Day pledge! Over 130 years ago, following the American Civil War,

We start planning the next issue of BPM the day the current issue hits the streets. Let us know by e-mail as soon as you have an idea for a story so we can consider it early in the process.

Julia Ward Howe wrote the Original Mother’s Day Proclamation calling upon the women of the world to unite for peace. Today, with war and violence igniting across the globe—from Iraq to Darfur, from Gaza to Somalia, from Afghanistan to the US-Mexico border—the call for peace has never been more pertinent. Join us in declaring: “We will not raise our children to kill another mother’s child.”

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For the July / August 2009 Issue: Articles: Please tell us about your article by May 20; article must be received by June. 1, 2009. Calendar Items: June 10, 2009 Cultural events welcome! For details, see our website,

Peace Needs Truth
(9/11 truth that is)
By Jeanie Keltner, Editor-at-Large
It hurts to hear Obama playing the 9/11 card just like George Bush, as he intensifies the war he was elected to end: “Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” “AlQaida and its allies—the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks….” We must fight the Taliban and al-Qaida or Afghanistan “will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can”—all Obama quotes. These wildly oversimplified words aim to rekindle the horror of that fateful September 11th—that nineteen minimally armed terrorists could bring down the center of New York and hit the Pentagon. I desperately want Obama (and you, dear reader) to go to where over 2000 extremely qualified experts—architects, engineers, firefighters, lawyers, medical professionals, military and intelligence officers, religious leaders, scientists, and pilots—speak out about radical discrepancies between the official 9/11 account and what they, as independent researchers, have learned—establishing beyond reasonable doubt that the official account is false and official “investigations” were cover-ups. On that site William Christison, a 29-year high level Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) veteran, writes, “There is now a strong body of evidence showing the official US government story of September 11 to be almost certainly a monstrous
BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER is an allvolunteer endeavor to present alternative, progressive news and views in Sacramento. We invite and welcome your responses. To discuss a proposed article, or help distribute the paper, inquire about ad rates, or help out in some other way, call or write using the phone number and address listed under ”How to Reach Us” above. Please reproduce from any of the written contents, but do credit the author and BPM. Printed at Herald Printing by Graphics Communication Union DC2 pressmen.

series of lies,“ which, Cristison continues, has trol of energy resources and pipeline routes and tragically determined the entire course of US the violent worldwide projection of US military foreign and domestic policies since that date. A force that keeps military contractors happy and quickly growing list at rich. “I desperately want And victory in Afghanof top foreign military, istan is impossible. Or at Obama (and you, dear intelligence, business and least no other great power government figures shows reader) to go to www. of the many who’ve tried widespread urgent” has achieved it, no matnational concern at this ter how enormous their expanding, endless US war that is now returning military investment—which is why Afghanistan focus to Afghanistan. is called “the graveyard of empires.” This is not to say that terrorism is not a threat. Osama Bin Laden was helped by the CIA and But turning the Middle East and Central Asia Zbigniew Brzezynski under President Carter to into battlefields is not the way to deal with it. create al-Qaida to fight the Soviets in AfghaniQuite the opposite! The nation’s most seasoned stan. But the deeper strategy was to bleed the high level intelligence analysts in a 2006 National USSR of money and manpower in an unwinnable Intelligence Estimate on Global Terrorism said war—which, Brzezynski later bragged, ended by invasions and occupations, as in Iraq, not only bringing the Soviet Union down (www.globalredid not make us safer but led instead to an upsurge in terrorism (McGovern, www.informaOsama Bin Laden predicted a similar fate for the US. Our increased military attacks in Afghanistan There’s still time to stop this horrendous and Pakistan are creating ever more terrorists. As mistake—but we must act. We can’t continue the bumpersticker said, “We’re making enemies to wage wars rooted in the 9/11 folklore. See faster than we can kill them.” Robert Greenwald’s brilliant short video at www. But then Afghanistan was never about 9/11— for the history, ramiwar was planned for Afghanistan and threatened fications, and necessary actions. months before 9/11. Like Iraq, it was about conCall the White House: 202-456-1414.

On the cover
Chuy Ortiz-Ocelotl, Director of Quetzalcoalt-Citlalli. See pages 8-9 for story. Photo: Chris Duran May / June 2009 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 3

She Works Hard for Her Housing
Sacramento County’s rent too high for hard workers
By Rachel Iskow
needed to earn $3,273 monthly or make $39,280 One third of US households are renters, yet we annually. Assuming a 40 hour work week, 52 continue to hear about the crisis for homeownweeks per year, this level of income translates ers. What about renters? How are they faring? into a housing wage of $18.88. The housing wage At least one nonprofit orgais the hourly wage a worker nization looks at data to help “According to NLIHC, must earn to afford a two bedanswer these questions. Each room apartment. in Sacramento year the National Low Income In Sacramento County, a County last year Fair minimum wage worker earns Housing Coalition (NLIHC) publishes a report called Out Market Rent for a two an hourly wage of $8.00. In of Reach. The report compares order to afford the FMR for bedroom apartment a two bedroom apartment, a wages and rents in localities throughout the country. The minimum wage earner would was $982.” stark reality for families seekhave to work 94 hours per ing rental housing in our region was revealed by week, 52 weeks per year. Or a household must these numbers. include 2.4 minimum wage earners working 40 According to NLIHC, in Sacramento County hours per week year-round to afford a FMR two last year, Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bed- bedroom home. This is an unrealistic expectaroom apartment was $982. In order to afford this tion, particularly since some families in need level of rent and utilities without paying more of two bedroom homes are single mothers with than 30% of income on housing, a household modest incomes. The estimated mean (average) wage for renters living in Sacramento County is $14.40 an hour. This is still not enough to afford the FMR for a two bedroom apartment. At this wage, a renter would have to work 52 hours per week to make rent. The situation is more alarming for the disabled. Monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for an individual last year were $870 in Sacramento County. If SSI represents an individual’s sole source of income, $261 in monthly rent is affordable, but the FMR for a one bedroom home is $805. For the full report and to research the situation in other counties throughout the US, go to Out of Reach on the NLIHC’s web site Rachel Iskow is the Executive Director of Sacramento Mutual Housing Association which provides housing for 2,600 low income individuals. Other programs include foreclosure intervention, financial education, urban farm stands and youth development.

It’s Back! Meet the California Universal Health Care Act of 2009
Senator Leno introduces SB810
By Charlene Jones
Legislation to provide Californians with universal health care using a single-payer financing structure was reintroduced in March by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Senate Bill 810 (SB810), the California Universal Health Care Act of 2009, would guarantee comprehensive health care to every California resident and provide savings for businesses, government and consumers, said Leno. “As a nation, we spend twice as much per person on health care as other wealthy countries, with the hope that our families will be protected from illnesses. Yet most insured Americans still worry about how they will afford critical care if they become sick,” Leno said. “In California, 7 million people do not have health insurance. With the money we spend today on health care, California can have a modern, universal health care system that provides high quality care for everyone.” Modeled after former Senator Sheila Kuehl’s seminal work SB840, newly purposed SB810 would save billions by emphasizing prevention and primary care, reducing administrative waste and using the state’s purchasing power for medicines and medical equipment. With a focus on improved technologies, the plan covers every Californian with medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug benefits. The bill also preserves the right to choose doctors and hospitals. Combining what government spends on health care into a single fund with a simple “payroll” tax less than what most people and businesses now pay for all health insurance and out-of-pocket expenses would finance the plan, according to the Lewin Group, a human service systems research organization. Physicians for a National Health Program, a nationwide advocacy group, agree. Conversion to a single-payer system also promotes national economic recovery by creating 2.6 million new jobs, reported the California Nurses Association from their recent study by the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy. It would add $317 billion in new business and public revenues and $100 billion more in wages into the US economy. One Care Now, a single-payer advocacy coalition, insists a system that removes control from the private health insurance industry over eligibility and rates— increasing five times as fast as wages in California, according to the nonpartisan group Families USA—is key to solving the health care crisis. Their broad alliance of patients, nurses, doctors, teachers and school employees, retired workers, local governments and school districts support SB810 as it did earlier proposals. With their grassroots backing, Kuehl was successful in moving her single-payer SB840 to Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk twice, only to an industry of lobbyists and be vetoed each time. But because President Obama has made incrementalist reformers grow health reform a national priority and while the number of uninsured research points to single-payer feasibility, California advocates see passage of SB810 and underinsured climbs…”  as the clear solution, said retired nurse Carolyn Negrete of the California Alliance of Retired on Health, and Assemblymember Dave Jones, Americans, and Health Care for All of Sacrachair of the Assembly Committee on Health. mento Valley, which advocates for a single-payer For more information: Health Care for All, plan. “For decades we have watched an industry Sacramento Valley (916) 0424-5316, www.dist03. of lobbyists and incrementalist reformers grow,, while the number of uninsured and underinsured,, climbs and denial of care is now the norm. The answer is a single-payer, universal health care Charlene Jones is a member of the Sacramento system. When enough people know what it is Media Group. and how it works they will demand that it be our health care system.” California isn’t the only state where grassroots organizing and economic practicality is advancPizza by the slice ing the health care reform dialogue. Single-payer legislation has been introduced in 18 states. On the federal level Representative John Conyers “The most delicious and (D-MI) reintroduced his single-payer HR 676 socially responsible with 73 co-sponsors and Senator Bernie Sanders pizza in town” (I-VT) has initiated S.703 in the Senate. —Jeanie Keltner Mainstream news and the Obama administration however, appear to have steered clear. According to the watchdog group Fairness and 1309 21st St between M and N Accuracy in Reporting, of the hundreds of stories in major newspapers and on television, a week before the president’s health care summit “only five included the views of advocates of singlepayer health care—none of which appeared on television.” Most opinion columns opposed the single-payer solution. Journalist Amy Goodman of the news program “Democracy Now” wrote in March that only two single-payer advocates were among the 120 people at the summit and they were invited only after public outcry demanded it. Despite this, Americans in a New York Times/ CBS poll early this year expressed preference for a national plan by two-to-one over a privatized system. And for California, SB810 is the only thing to do, according to Negrete. “Although we have known what to do and research supports it, the answer is buried under a hail of disinformation because it would eliminate a very profitable—for some—financial system called insurance. And politicians too frequently depend on these companies to help fund their campaigns. So they need to hear from us now because singlepayer must be on the table. We are the political will.” SB810 is co-authored by 43 legislators in both houses, including Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Senator Elaine Alquist who chairs the Senate Committee

“For decades we have watched


4 Because People Matter May / June 2009

Life Under Occupation
By Maggie Coulter and Patricia Daugherty
A Sunday ride from Bethlehem to Beit Ommar takes us along the historic Jerusalem Road, now Route 60, south toward Hebron. We are delighted by green orchards and vineyards growing in the aged stone terraces. These lands, tended for thousands of years by indigenous farmers, are coveted by Israel. Encouraging its Jewish-only colonists to “take the hilltops,” Israel has built illegal settlements on thousands of acres of stolen Palestinian land. This directly violates the 4th Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring population to the lands it occupies.

Beit Ommar, West Bank, Occupied Palestine
The IOF incursions are also lethal. The March 13th shooting of Oakland resident Tristan Anderson by IOF soldiers, three days before the sixth anniversary of the murder of 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie, reminds Americans that the US-financed IOF shoots and murders civilians with impunity. This is underscored by recent statements from Israeli soldiers about the horrific things done to people in Gaza. In Beit Ommar, the IOF shot and killed two young men last year; one was shot in the head, the other in the back. This year, on March 4, the IOF shot a 15-year-old boy in the head; he remains in a coma.

Guantanamo, Israel
Currently 180 residents of Beit Ommar are in Israeli prisons; nearly all are young men 15-26 years old. Twelve are among the 540 Palestinians in “administrative detention,” under which they can be held indefinitely without charge, like the prisoners at Guantanamo. The rest have received sentences of 4-15 months. They are among 8,400 Palestinian political prisoners currently being held by Israel. Basically, political prisoners are “charged” with engaging in or supporting armed resistance to the occupation. This includes throwing stones at military vehicles, buildings, or the Apartheid Wall. They are “convicted” in an Israeli kangaroo military court which metes out sentences having already decided the prisoner is guilty. All of the West Bank is under military law, where the “rules” are set by the Israeli army which even ignores decisions by the Israeli High Court. Through the help of Defense of Children International, we witnessed a trial in February. A teenage boy was “charged” with throwing stones. When the boy’s lawyer disputed the charge, explaining that the boy was in fact somewhere else at the time, the judge simply stated again, “It says here that you were seen throwing stones.” The teen was sentenced to three months in an Israeli military prison. The right of the Palestinians to resist occupation, with or without arms, is recognized under the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions. Like Israeli settlements, the IOF’s abductions, vandalism, killing, and brutalization of the Palestinians are all against international law. “It is ironic that Israel so flagrantly violates international human rights laws when these laws were set up in response to the atrocities committed by the Nazis,” commented Wolf, who is Jewish. “And of course, they are led by the example of their greatest benefactor, the United States.”

Family home ransacked by Israeli forces during arrest in Beit Ommar, January 19, 2009.

The military watchtower at the entrance to Beit Ommar

Ten miles later we reach the agricultural community of Beit Ommar, home to about 14,000 Palestinians. Turning into the village, we are greeted by an imposing ugly concrete military watchtower, erected by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in the late 1980s after the first Intifadah. From this outpost, the IOF controls the village entrance and stages its regular incursions against the townspeople.

He recounts an incident in 2006. He and his family were asleep at 2am when four Israeli soldiers kicked in his door, dragged him out of the house, terrifying his wife and children. Soldiers tied his hands behind his back and took him to the military watchtower at the village entrance. They body-searched him, then took him to a nearby illegal settlement jail for over two hours of interrogation. The soldiers blindfolded him and put a bag over his head and moved him to another prison. After five days he was released. In 2007 the army abducted Yousef again and held him for a month with no charges. Less than a week after our visit to Beit Ommar, Yousef was taken again by the army. At the time of this writing he has not been released. Sacramentans Maggie Coulter and Patricia Daugherty have been living in the West Bank, Palestine since October 2008.

It is ironic that Israel violates international human rights laws set up in response to the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
Routine military incursions
A look through reports of this year’s invasions of Beit Ommar is heartwrenching ( “Scores Beaten, Dozens of Homes Invaded … Elderly Couple Shot During Night Invasion… Israeli forces ransack family home during arrest.” And 16-year-old Ahmed Awad’s account of abduction by the Israeli army, being beaten, and put in a cage outside in the rain. Five days before our visit, the IOF again invaded Beit Ommar after blocking the town’s access roads. As it had done the week before, nearly 100 Israeli soldiers forced their way into homes in the middle of the night, kicking in doors, terrorizing adults and children. They rounded up 40 young men between the ages of 15–26, holding them at gunpoint. After a few hours, half were released; the others were blindfolded and taken to a prison in the nearby illegal settlement of Kfar Etzion. Except for two, the rest were released after six days; those two remain imprisoned. The town was held under strict curfew until the following night. “These military incursions are a routine part of the brutal Israeli occupation,” states Bekah Wolf, a US activist with the Palestine Solidarity Project (PSP) who lives in Beit Ommar. “The IOF is a foreign, occupying army and it comes into town almost daily. Under curfew no one can go to work or school. The soldiers smash up people’s homes; they urinate on the floors.”

Beit Ommar is not alone
Residents of several West Bank villages suffer the brutality of the Israeli army on a regular basis. Like Beit Ommar, these villages are near illegal Israeli settlements, the route of the Apartheid Wall and/or settler by-pass roads, where Israel wants to grab even more Palestinian land. Since Israel began its occupation in 1967, it has illegally confiscated nearly half of the West Bank. On February 25, 2009, the IOF issued an order to build a 290-meter heavily fortified barrier through Beit Ommar lands along the Jerusalem road. The barrier would sever the villagers from their agricultural lands; access would be allowed at the whim of the Israeli army. Beit Ommar is already boxed in by illegal settlements to the north and south and by the 1949 armistice line to the west.

“My Name is Rachel Corrie” May 15–June 14
Beyond the Proscenium Productions presents “My Name is Rachel Corrie”, co-produced by the Sacramento Chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace and the Palestinian American Congress, at the Three Penny Playhouse, 25th and R Streets. This play, starring Tygar Hicks and directed by Karen Nylund, is a dramatization of the journal entries of Rachel Corrie, a 23-yearold American who was crushed to death in April 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition.  While the play enjoyed two successful runs in London, it was at first deemed too controversial for New York. BPP is proud to offer audiences the opportunity to dialogue about the interplay between the political implications of Corrie’s work, her death and the censorship of her words. For tickets, call 916-456-1600. Shows are Fri-s Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. $18 general admission, $15 seniors/students/active military.

Attacking the community’s leaders
We sit with Yousef in his garden. His children play while we sip tea. Yousef is actively involved in promoting community development and organizing unarmed resistance against Israel’s occupation of his community. Like indigenous leaders and activists elsewhere, he has been targeted by the military. May / June 2009 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 5

The Drought Snow Job
By Dan Bacher
Lester Snow, the Director of the State Department of Water Resources (DWR), tried to “snow” the public by making false claims of a California drought scenario in an April 2 announcement. “A below-average snow pack at this time of year, especially following two consecutive dry years, is a cause for concern,” said Snow in a news release. “Our most critical storage reservoirs remain low, and we face severe water supply problems in many parts of our state.” On February 27, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger declared a “drought state of emergency,” directing DWR and other state agencies to provide assistance to people and communities impacted by the “drought.” On March 30, DWR provided the Governor an update on “drought” conditions and recommended strategies. View the report and transmittal letter at www.water.

Schwarzenegger official tries to “Snow” public with drought claims
ern California water. Fortunately, February and March rain and snow runoff raised reservoir levels to much higher levels than those recorded in January, 2009. The DWR release also stated, “Storage in California’s major reservoirs is low. Lake Oroville, the principal storage reservoir for the State Water Project (SWP) is only at 56% of capacity.” However, Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), noted that Lake Oroville is actually 75% of the 15-year average, by no means a catastrophic level for this time of year. DWR also failed to mention the other reservoirs that supply water for the state and federal water projects. Central Valley Project reservoirs are in relatively good shape, with Shasta at 77% of the 15-year average, Folsom at 117% of the 15-year average, New Melones at 74% of the 15-year average and Millerton at 95% of the 15-year average. The actual precipitation in state and federal project watersheds also tells a different tale than the one Snow is spinning. Precipitation on the Sacramento River at Shasta Dam is 77% of average, the American River watershed at Blue Canyon is 93%, the Stanislaus River at New Melones is 88% and the San Joaquin River at Huntington Lake is 83%. “This is a slightly below average water year, but it is not a dry year and not a critically dry year,” said Jennings. The doomsday scenario that DWR has conjured up is completely inaccurate since many Central Valley contractors will receive 100% of their water. “The Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors north of the Delta and Friant Unit contractors in the San Joaquin Valley will receive 100% of their water,” said Jennings. “The only people not receiving their full water allocations are Westlands and the Metropolitan Water District (MWD). And MWD is receiving a reduced amount of water because they gave up the urban preference in the Monterey Agreement.” The corporate agribusiness operations that are being hurt the most are the most junior water rights holders in Westlands who chose to convert from annual row crops to permanent crops. “If there is an is economic impact to Westlands, it’s from farmers changing from planting the row crops of the past, to planting permanent crops like fruit and nut trees—crops that can’t handle drought years and require constant water to keep them alive,” said Jennings. “Westlands Water District deliberately planted crops that suffer the most in dry years in an effort to have their junior water rights trump the senior water rights holders and public trust resources of rivers, streams and estuaries.” Thus, the claims of a “drought” by Lester Snow and the Governor are false and are being used to bolster Schwarzenegger’s claims that a peripheral canal and dams are needed to create a “win-win” scenario of “ecosystem restoration” and “solving” water supply needs at the same time. “There is no win-win solution,” Jennings said after receiving the “Delta Advocate” award at the Restore the Delta Symposium in Lodi on February 28. “We live in a water-limited state where

“If there is an economic impact to Westlands, it’s from farmers changing from planting the row crops of the past, to planting permanent crops…”
Snow touted Schwarzenegger’s plan to build a peripheral canal (“improved conveyance”) and Temperance Flat and Sites reservoirs as the “solution” to California’s water problems. “Governor Schwarzenegger has outlined steps to safeguard the state’s water supply through a comprehensive plan that includes water conservation, more surface and groundwater storage, new investments in the state’s aging water infrastructure, and improved water conveyance to protect the environment and provide a reliable water supply,” the release stated. “Today’s drought and regulatory restrictions underscore the need to take action to safeguard tomorrow’s water supply.” However, a careful review of DWR data reveals that Snow is not telling the entire truth about California’s water “crisis,” but is carefully selecting data to cultivate unfounded fears of a “drought” and promote Schwarzenegger’s peripheral canal and dam proposal. Manual survey results taken on April 2 at four locations near Lake Tahoe, combined with electronic readings, documented statewide snow pack water content of 81%. The water content is 87% in the Northern Sierra, 80% in the Central Sierra, and 77% in the Southern Sierra. “Last year at this time, snowpack was 95% of normal, reflecting a drop of over 20% from March 2008 caused by the driest spring on record,” according to DWR. DWR blamed court-ordered restrictions on Delta water exports, needed to protect wildlife, for depriving farmers and urban residents of water. “Continuing dry conditions and regulatory agency restrictions on Delta water exports are limiting water deliveries to farms and urban areas,” DWR claimed. “A forthcoming Biological Opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect salmon and steelhead may further reduce pumping capability. DWR expects it will only be able to deliver only 20% of requested State Water Project water this year to the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast and Southern California.” What Snow failed to mention was that the reason many reservoirs were at record low levels until the February rains was because DWR and the Bureau of Reclamation nearly drained Shasta, Folsom and Oroville reservoirs in 2007 and 2008 to supply Westlands Water District, the Kern County Water Bank and Southern California, including Diamond Valley Reservoir, with north-

there is only an average of 29 million acre feet of runoff in the Central Valley, while the State Water Resources Control Board has allocated 245 million acre feet of water rights.” Jennings condemned the campaign by the Governor, DWR and Senator Dianne Feinstein to build a peripheral canal and said that we need to compel our regulatory agencies to enforce the water code and Clean Water Act. “The canal would transfer pumping impacts to the last viable salmonid river in the Valley (the Sacramento), eliminate critical habitat and send numerous species into oblivion, and increase the concentration and bioaccumulation of pollutants,” said Jennings. “It would increase salinity, severely reducing yields of hundreds of thousands of productive farmland, and eliminate tens of thousands of fishing, recreational and agricultural jobs.” I hope the public and mainstream media is not “snowed” by Lester Snow’s claims of a “drought” based on the April 2 snow survey. A peripheral canal and more dams would do environmental harm while costing an estimated $12 billion to $24 billion in a state already hit hard by the economic crash and a spiraling deficit. For more information on DWR’s “overblown” drought, read Mike Fitzergerald’s article in the Stockton Record: apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090311/A_ NEWS0803/903110320.

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6 Because People Matter May / June 2009

Hate Crime Protested
By Gail Ryall

Undocumented worker murdered in Sac County
In Sacramento, CA, a poster-sized photograph the press conference. with flowers and votive candles Holly Cooper, Associate “Had he not been Dean of Immigration Law, formed a sidewalk altar in front of the Sacramento County Main Jail an undocumented University of California at Feb 26, as more than 40 activists Davis, reminded the media worker he would held a press conference and protestthat Ramirez Ventura was memorial for 22-year-old Evaristo a civil detainee and should be alive today.” Ramirez Ventura, an undocumented not have been placed in a worker murdered Feb 17 in a jail holding cell. cell with an accused criminal. Eric Vega of the Ramirez Ventura had been arrested for driving Sacramento Justice Reform Coalition called the under the influence, and was held for pickup by murder “one part of the harassment and crimiImmigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) nalization of the immigrant community across because he had no immigration documents, the country.” according to a statement made by Efren Guttierez The group demanded meetings with Sacraof the Chicano Consortium after meeting with mento County Sheriff John McGinness, the Sacthe Sheriff ’s Accountability Department. ramento County Board of Supervisors and ICE. Later that day, Richard Hardin, arrested for “Is the Sheriff ’s Department part of the ICE or assaulting a Latina woman, was placed in the here to protect us?” Guttierez asked. same cell and 24 hours later, Ramirez Ventura “We won’t be quiet,” Rojas added. “They’re not was found dead in the cell, having been beaten going to pay attention to us until we show up on and strangled with a t-shirt, allegedly by Hardin. the street, and say to Obama, Where’s that change “This was a hate crime. Had he not been an we voted for?” undocumented worker he would be alive today,” The press conference was attended by Anna Al Rojas of the Sacramento Chapter of the Labor Ramirez, Ramirez Ventura’s mother, his brother, Council for Latin American Advancement AFLsisters and other family members, as well as other CIO told the few media representatives attending immigrant rights and social justice organizations.

Candles and flowers in front of a photograph of Evaristo Ramirez Ventura, outside the County Jail.
photo: Estevon Rojas

The Bloody History of US “Race Management”
Interviewing David R. Roediger
By Seth Sandronsky
The notion that the US is anywhere near “getting over” race is foolish, unhistorical and only useful to elites who would hide our own history from us, argues David R. Roediger, author of How Race Survived US History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, Verso, 2008. David R. Roediger is a leading scholar of race and class in the US today and the Babcock Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is an excerpt of an interview conducted via email. American family wealth gap reaching 9 to 1 and for raising antislavery politics and for discussing similar figures describing the relative lack of women’s freedom. However, the result in short wealth of Latinas/os and American Indians. And order was a reconsolidation of white supremacy yet we astonishingly live in a and of patriarchy. When the nation in which a large enough “I would emphasize new nation extended the minority of whites joined huge liberty” with the that much changed “empire ofPurchase, it created majorities of voters of color to Louisiana and that white elect a Black president, somethe conditions for producing thing unfathomable in the supremacy survived decades of mutating forms of” 1950s when I learned about the the patriarchal “Indian-hater, only by changing, US political system. so brilliantly captured on genSo we need to find ways to der terms in Herman Melville’s often in the face of think about both what has The Confidence Man. A tripled stirring challenges.” population of slaves would changed and what has not—to be proud of the role of social be sexually exploited and movements, popular creativity and day-to-day threatened with sale in new forms of patriarchal challenges to racism in making such change management between the Louisiana Purchase possible even as we live in a nation that still is and the Civil War. highly unequal racially and deeply committed The capitalist production chain featuring to empire. In particular the growth of immigraSouthern, slave-grown cotton and Northern tion, of interracial families and of a Black middle textile factories directly exploited white women class is embodied in Obama’s triumph, as is a workers, creating new patriarchs in the factories. deep association of the heritage of Black freedom At the same time, it made the work of the vast politics with the possibility of change in all of the majority of women in white households less United States. valued than home production had been before SS: White patriarchy and supremacy grew the market so fully dominated society. As white after the American Revolution, you write. How men lost the capacity to fulfill the revolutionary did these ideologies mesh with a regime of pridream of self-employment through “free labor,” vate property and post-revolutionary activity in and were reduced more often to lifetimes of wage the new republic? work, they increasingly claimed status as both DRR: At every turn from the late 1600s—with “white workers” and patriarchal breadwinners in the tying of the racial slavery of newborn chilnew ways. The forging of alliances between Black dren to the status of the mother and with the abolitionists, often escaped slaves, and radical series of laws inventing a color line in order to middle class women should therefore be no surpunish (unless they were powerful and coercprise. But neither perhaps should the difficulties ing sex) those crossing it—race in the US has of maintaining alliances among those oppressed been intimately tied to gender and reproducin very different ways. tion. Often—the mid-nineteenth century and SS: An “anti-racist rainbow” after the US Civil the 1960s are the best examples—challenges to War met capitalist production, and new forms of patriarchy and to white supremacy also matured workplace control. You write of slavery and plantogether. Not only did abolitionism express tations giving rise to industry and plants. This feminist goals and help solidify the first women’s process divided and in some cases united workers movement, but excellent recent scholarship across gender and race lines. How does this hisshows that campaigns against Indian removal tory open our eyes to directions and solutions to were also central points of origin for women’s such divisions today? rights in the US. DRR: This is another excellent question. Any However, and the post-Revolutionary US most reply should begin with the question’s emphasis clearly showed this, expansion of settlement, on unity and change, even on rainbows. While slavery and capitalism also could and did solidify arguing for the deep structural and ideological new and powerful forms of patriarchy, oppresspersistence of race and racism in US history, I ing people of color and white women together, would emphasize that much changed and that but in quite distinct ways. The Revolution itself white supremacy survived only by changing, created a politics of hope (and a fear of slave often in the face of stirring challenges. When revolts) that led to a brief period of possibility See Roediger, page 13

Seth Sandronsky: Your new book looks at the language of transcending race in the US as the racial gap widens for employment, imprisonment and wealth. How does the election of Barack Obama to the White House change this rhetoric and reality of skin color and social class?
When giving talks as I started writing the book some years ago I’d sometimes encounter progressives who were very eager to say we could begin to put race behind us. They had all sorts of often well-motivated reasons for thinking that way: weariness, hope, desire to focus on class divisions manifestly being ignored, reflecting on the real progress they’d seen in their lifetimes and often in their families. In respectfully disagreeing that race was almost over, I often encouraged people to focus on the “two sevens” of white supremacy. At that time, white family wealth was seven times higher than African American family wealth on average and Black male teens and young adults were seven times more likely to be imprisoned than white male teens and young adults. Did it really seem likely that amidst such glaring material inequalities that the three centuries-old ideology of race, honed to explain and justify such terrible inequalities would disappear? When I finished the book, as Obama was being nominated for president, those inequalities were worse, with the white family wealth/African

David R. Roediger: May / June 2009 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 7

Constitutional Convention in the Works
Progress? Or stalking horse for anti-labor agenda?
By Roger White
More Californians are concluding that only a constitutional convention can fix what’s wrong with our electoral and budgetary system. In February over 200 people gathered in Sacramento to discuss what a convention would look like and how to move the concept forward. There are plans to put the question before voters next year. An early consensus among the political class is emerging around the ideas of reducing the legislative supermajority needed to pass a budget from two-thirds to 55%, lengthening term limits and initiative reform. But other proposals flying under the radar could have detrimental effects on workers and taxpayers if their supporters are able to slip them into the Constitution at a convention. Under the general headings of “tax relief ” and “civil service reform,” these proposals seek to eliminate boards and commissions that are charged with the oversight of agency and industry regulation compliance and could also further shift the tax burden away from industry. The Bay Area Council, a pro-business nonprofit based in Silicon Valley, is leading the charge for a convention. What’s their agenda? Well, they’d like to see “a system in which all state agencies, commissions and boards are up for review every 12 years and are automatically abolished unless the legislature acts to keep them,” states BAC. Jim Wunderman, the president of this public policy group frames this as a “governmental efficiency issue,” but the state would have to create a bigger monster to slay their proposed bureaucracy beast. How many hours and resources and how much unilateral authority would it take to create and run a “commission” that has to evaluate every board, commission and agency in California every 12 years? How much time and resources would it take for the legislature to have hearings on each recommendation from the commission for each agency, commission and board? There are literally thousands for little governmental and quasi governmental bodies in this state. This doesn’t sound like a recipe for more government efficiency. It sounds like a state works project for Sacramento consultants, termed out legislators and out-of-work administrators. The real agenda behind this idea is to disrupt regulatory oversight and accountability over industry. Since the business community has been unable to roll back environmental and labor laws in the legislature, a convention could be an opportunity to blow things open.   Another gem being tossed around is the idea that the California state’s tax base is too narrow and hits the rich and corporations too hard, thereby discouraging investment. California For-

“The real agenda behind this idea is to disrupt regulatory oversight and accountability over industry.”
ward, a center-right public policy reform group also promoting a constitutional convention, would like to see “the tax base broadened and the tax rate reduced as one way to increase stability and align the revenue system with a servicebased economy.” Need a translation? Even though corporate taxes make up only 11% of the state’s tax revenue, and according to the California Budget Project, income tax has provided the state “the strongest growth of any of the state’s major revenue sources,” California Forward would like to see a more regressive system that taxes the poor more. If California’s progressive income tax is killed or scaled back at a convention it could turn California’s budget crisis into an ongoing disaster. If the proponents of a constitutional convention aren’t able to limit its scope to questions of governance rather than fiscal and regulatory issues, we might look back fondly on 2009 as the budgetary golden years.

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Coffee Works Crest Theater Dimple Records, Arden Wy Flowers Restaurant Galleria (29th & K) Grinders Hart Senior Center Lido Cafe Light Rail: 65/Folsom 4th Ave/Freeport Los Jarritos Luna’s Cafe & Juice Bar Mercy Hospital, 40th/J Pancake Circus, 21st/ Broadway Planned Parenthood:Franklin Blvd, Watt Ave., 29th St. Queen of Tarts Quick Market Sacramento Bagel, 47th/H Sacramento Natural Foods Coop Sacramento Public Library (Main & many branches) Starbucks (B'wy & 35th) The Beat The Bread Store Time Tested Books Tower Theater (inside) Tupelo (Elvas & 57th) Underground Books (35th St. near B'way) Weatherstone Coffee

Location, Location, Location!
By Rick Bettis

Poorer neighborhoods still bear the brunt of environmental burdens
The old real estate cliché “location, location, residents? Tests conducted by UC Davis researchlocation” remains one of the most regretfully ers have concluded that those living, working, or accurate facts of life. Socioeconomic status as going to school near freeways or other high trafexemplified by wealth and property values is fic roads such as Sacramento’s Watt Avenue are often a determining factor subject to a much higher “There is a long with regard to the potential risk of lung disease and for adverse environmental, heart attack than those standing practice of health and safety risks that living at least 500 feet from locating undesirable may be experienced by the road. Most at risk are residents. That’s why the elderly. facilities in areas where the young and thefound Sierra Club joined others to The research also land values are low critically review and successthat consistently high noise fully oppose a “Plasma Arc levels also have significant and the community Gasification” facility proposed impacts on residents. members do not have to “gasify” Sacramento’s Railroads in the municipal solid waste at more the means to oppose Sacramento area were than 6000 degrees Fahrenheit, constructed prior to most producing energy and poten- projects.” urban development. Noise tially valuable by-products. and air pollution near the This could have been a valuable facility since railroad corridors have resulted in nearby indusSacramento currently contracts to have its solid trial development or relatively low income neighwaste trucked to a landfill in Nevada. However, borhoods. Employees in these areas and residents investigations indicated that the gasification tech- are at higher risk of poor health due to their work nology is not yet proven, and the facility could be environment and economic status. This is exacerhazardous due to harmful emissions and potenbated by the higher concentrations of polluted air tial accidents. from railroad engine emissions. Other opposition to the gasification project The list goes on. For example, needed projects included Green Action, the Verde Group, and for flood protection may not be implemented La Raza who were correctly concerned that this due to low property values in a given area, since project would be located in a lower income, prefederal regulations require that the economic dominantly minority neighborhood. benefits from a flood control project exceed the The environmental and social justice concerns cost when evaluated on a long term basis, such as raised were certainly valid since there is a long a “100 year economic life.” The economic benefits standing practice of locating undesirable facilities are determined by the value of the flood damin areas where land values are relatively low and ages prevented by the project, which is directly the community members do not have the means related to the value of the protected structures to effectively oppose projects. The same has been and homes. true of freeway projects, such as Interstates 5 and In Sacramento, the Rio Linda area has been 80 and Highway 50 and 99 in Sacramento, where subject to frequent flood damage, but flood conlocating the road through areas of lower land trol has never been economically justified due values and less community resistance minimized to the semi-rural and less than affluent nature of costs. Highway 99 cuts through more low income the area. Only recently, following new upscale areas than any other, including Sacramento’s Oak development in the area, has a serious effort on Park community. However a similar attempt to correcting the areas flooding problems been construct a new crossing of the American River pursued. in Carmichael was stopped by opposition from Occasionally, economically depressed areas can vocal, affluent community members. benefit from the efforts of more advantaged comDo things like roadway projects really harm munities. Active residents in the Pocket Area in South Sacramento demanded and received compensating benefits for the community disruption caused by the construction of the large Freeport Water Authority diversion and pumping plant on the Sacramento River. These efforts have resulted in similar consideration and mitigation measures in Sacramento’s low income Meadowview neighborhood, where the construction of pipelines to deliver water from the Freeport Project is impacting residents. We have made gains in our efforts to protect the environment and residents of all socioeconomic areas, but there is still much evidence that “He who has the gold rules” remains a near truism. Rick Bettis is a retired Civil Engineer and member of the Sierra Club and Breathe California.

Chico Area Davis

Espresso Cafe Roma Davis Natural Food Coop Newsbeat University Mall

Grass Valley

Victory for FMLN
from page 1
Funes was all over the airwaves the day after the election describing his plans to turn the Salvadoran government’s focus to its impoverished majority, while working with the business classes to keep them from fleeing to Miami. The FMLN will now focus on getting a working majority in the next congressional election in 2012 and amending electoral laws to ensure the electoral registry and financing are more transparent. The cooperation of the Obama administration will be essential to Funes’ and the FMLN’s success—necessitating ongoing vigilance and activism from the solidarity community. Susan Scott is an attorney, formerly from Sacramento, who currently co-chairs the National Lawyers Guild’s International Committee and Task Force on the Americas and who participated in the National Lawyers Guild’s Election Delegation to El Salvador for the 3/15 presidential election.

Briar Patch Sacred Bee

Greenhaven area

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Because Raza Matter

Help keep Washington Neighborhood Center open

Aztec Dancer Marty Navidad at the WNC
Photo: Andrea “YaYa” Porras

By Gia Moreno

The Washington Neighborhood Center (WNC) is one of Sacramento’s oldest community centers. Opening its doors to the community in 1955, the center has provided cultural, legal and educational services and assistance to numerous generations in Sacramento. Today this center provides services for over 200 people each week. The majority of those benefiting from WNC’s services are working families and children coming from single-parent homes. At a recent fundraising event, WNC supporter and poet Jose Montoya explained that at one time the center was controlled by outside hands. But through community activism, the residents (predominantly Latino) were able to win control of the center and push its purpose to meet the needs of their diverse and changing community. Some of the programs provided at WNC today include English classes, children’s art classes and art classes for teens and adults. The center houses Sacramento’s longest-standing Aztec dance circle, a boxing program, a homework lab, a mentoring /tutoring program through UC Davis, and provides recreational sports, homeless assistance and music programs. The main goal of the center is to be a safe and fun environment for the community to enjoy. Working together with various organizations including the CSUS Barrio Art Program, Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl-Citlalli and Food Not Bombs, it provides resources to educate participants, encourage healthy life choices, support
continued on page 9

Adult and teen students at Barrio Art
Photo: Gia Moreno

November / December 2005 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER


Familes enjoyed children’s programs at the WNC
Photo: Andrea “YaYa” Porras

Above: Quetzalcoalt-Citlalli making gifts for their October dance ceremony.
Photo: Gia Moreno

education and promote active participation in their community’s future. An example of this goal is the art program offered at the center, which is the result of a 30-year partnership between the WNC and the CSUS Barrio Art Program. This program was created to help Sac State students gain teaching experience while providing art education to the community. The art produced is also purposeful, teaching students about their cultures and exploring identity. Likewise, the center’s boxing program has been in place for several decades, producing numerous title winners and offering young men a structured sport. Local boxing legends Willie Jorrin, Miguel Pantoja, Richard Duran and World Champion winners Tony Lopez and Loreto Garza all trained at the WNC. The boxing program is currently home to several young boxers on their way to title winning careers. Caring staff trainers guide youth so that they become capable boxers as well as capable young men. But like most non-profit organizations, the WNC has taken many economic hits over the years, including a costly lawsuit over facility rental and has struggled to recoup and raise funds as the economy has worsened. Today the center is working fervently to keep its doors open and its lights on. At a recent fundraiser, Director of Quetzalcoalt-Citlalli Chuy Ortiz Ocelotl, one of two Danza Azteca groups housed by the center, shared that the center has been open to Danza since he began dancing over 20 years ago. “This is my house, it’s our house, it’s for everyone” said Ortiz Ocelotl, encouraging supporters at the event to continue their efforts to keep the center up and running. Currently WNC is hosting a Spring/Summer Concert Series to raise money and offer a monthly Saturday night activity for the community. Find information about these concerts and other WNC activities at The WNC is always open to new members and volunteers. Help keep this grassroots organization going and preserve WNC, a center that’s been working for its community for over 60 years. Donate and find out how you can help at or call (916) 444-6833. WNC is located at 400 16th Street, Sacramento, in the Washington Neighborhood.
Gia Moreno is a CSUS student, current WNC board member and active participant in WNC programs, including Danza Azteca

Quetzalcoalt-Citlalli member Amber Benavente at DQU Sunrise Ceremony
Photo: Andrea “YaYa” Porras

Donate to the Washington Neighborhood Center 400 16th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816 916.444 .6833

Youth playing hoops at the WNC.
Photo: Gia Moreno

10 Because People Matter May / June 2009

916-448-7157 • •

Sacramento Area Peace Action (SacPeace)

Apartheid and Racism: The Legacy of the Nakbah
“We must expel Arabs and take their places.” —David Ben Gurion, Israeli Prime Minister, 1937 “[T]he state of Israel practices its own, quite violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population.” —Shulamit Aloni, former Education Minister of Israel, January 8, 2007 “The State of Israel is the Jewish people’s state.” —MK Michael Ben-Ari, Jewish-Israel participant in March 24, 2009 march against the Palestinian-Israeli residents of Um Al Fahm all land transfers moved in one direction—from Palestinians to the state—and never vice versa…. [the result was] the encirclement of most Palestinian villages by exclusively Jewish settlements (where non-Jews are not permitted to purchase housing) and the practical ghettoization of the Palestinian minority.” held a protest rally regarding the deliberate policy of ‘importing’ foreign workers which leads to unemployment among Arab Israeli women. One of the protesters stated, “We have nothing against foreign workers, but their import must be stopped—slave labor at NIS 13 (just over $3) per hour must be stopped. Is it any wonder they are hired over us? We demand to be paid the minimum wage.”

Institutionalized Discrimination (aka Apartheid)

As people learn about and become active in ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine, they often don’t realize that there are nearly 1.5 million Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship. They are a significant minority (20%), and most live in Palestinian villages and towns or in segregated neighborhoods of mixed Palestinian & Jewish-Israeli cities. They are the survivors and their descendants from the Nakbah (catastrophe) of 1947-48, when well-armed Zionist colonial militias drove about 800,000 Palestinian men, women and children from their homes and lands. Palestinian-Israelis do not have the same rights, protections or benefits as Jewish-Israelis. They are subjected to discriminatory treatment by the police and courts, and violent attacks from Jewish-Israelis. Israeli party leaders including Tzipi Livni and Avigdor Lieberman advocate for an Israeli state without Palestinians. Until 1966, Palestinian-Israelis were under military rule, which restricted their movement, prohibited their political organizations and censored their publications. In 1956, the Israeli army killed 49 Palestinian farmers returning home from their fields in Kufr Kasem for “violating” a curfew they did not know about.

In February, 2007 Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, presented a report to the United Nations addressing Israel’s violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which Israel is a signatory. Among these violations are: the allocation of land to Jews only, the denial of certain social and financial benefits to Palestinian-Israelis, allowing severe interrogation methods against certain detainees (most of whom are Arabs), extreme discrimination in the budgets allotted to Arab towns, the demolition of Arab homes in the Negev and unequal standards for accepting Arab students into higher-education institutions. Israel’s 2003 Citizenship Law bans family reunification between any Palestinian citizen of Israel and West Bank or Gazan Palestinians. Palestinian-Israelis who marry Palestinians that are not Israeli citizens are prohibited from bringing their spouses to live with them inside Israel. As stated on Adalah’s website: “Israel never sought to assimilate or integrate the Palestinian population, treating them as second-class citizens and excluding them from public life and the public sphere. The state practiced systematic and institutionalized discrimination.”

What you can do
More and more Americans want to know how a modern day state that calls itself a democracy can get away with ethnic cleansing (population transfer), apartheid, discrimination and the indiscriminate wholesale slaughter of innocents as witnessed recently in Gaza. While putting pressure on the US Congress and President is important, people are also looking to the success of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against the South African apartheid regime as a way to get Israel to end its apartheid, occupation and denial of the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands. You can participate by not buying items marked ‘Made in Israel,’ or those with 729 at the beginning of the barcode and by participating in campaigns directed at specific companies like Motorola, L’Oreal, Caterpillar and others. For more info, check out:, and

Attacks by Jewish-Israelis
Palestinians citizens of Israel not only have to fear their government but their fellow citizens. The Mossawa Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel reported a tenfold increase in racist incidents against Arabs from 2007 to 2008. According to their March 2009 Racism Report, “almost every day another citizen in Israel becomes a victim of racist action. Most of these victims are Arab citizens.” An example is the pogrom that Jewish-Israelis in Akka waged against their fellow PalestinianIsraeli townspeople in October 2008. It started when a Palestinian-Israeli drove into a predominantly Jewish housing project to pick up his daughter from her fiancé’s just before midnight on Yom Kippur. Although it is legal to drive on Yom Kippur, a group of Jewish youths attacked the car and then the fiancé’s home, chanting “death to Arabs.” Clashes between PalestinianIsraelis and Jewish-Israelis ensued; several Arab and Jewish businesses were damaged. Hundreds of Jewish-Israeli youth threw stones at and set fire to Palestinian homes; three homes were completely destroyed.

Land Theft
Before the Nakbah, Zionists owned about 6% of the land in Palestine, mostly purchased from absentee landlords. After 1948, the Zionists seized the lands of the Palestinians they had evicted and about 2/3 of the land of the Palestinians who remained. By the end of the 1980s, 80% of lands taken by force from Palestinians were reserved for the exclusive use of Jewish-Israelis. Between 1949 and 1950, Israel passed laws institutionalizing their land theft. Israel’s Absentee Property Law denied Palestinians the right to return or claim their personal property. The “Law of Return” guaranteed every Jew in world the right to immigrate to and settle in Israel on land stolen from the Palestinians. The Transfer of Property Law prohibits land which belonged to a Jew from being sold to an Arab. As Israeli Professor Oren Yiftachel writes in his article, “Democracy or Ethnocracy,” “With the establishment of the state, the Jewish settlement project swung into full gear with a mission to de-Arabize the country…. Israel created an institutional and legal land regime whereby confiscated land did not merely become state land, but jointly belonged to the entire Jewish people, and was prohibited from being sold. This ensured that

Above, logo of the UK Israel Boycott Campaign. Note: you should also check products for a “country of origin” label. The bar codes seem to be purchased in blocks by trade associations, so some Israeli goods might not have 729, and some with 729 might not be made in Israel.

Palestine Speaker Series
Third Tuesdays, 7PM 909 12th Street, Sacramento, Info: 916-448-7157, May 19 - Current Realities/One State,  Dr. Jess Ghanam, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Francisco, and board member of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program. June 16 - Two Sacramentans’ Impressions of Palestine,  Maggie Coulter, Sacramento Area Peace Action president, and Patricia Daugherty, Peace Action member and community activist. Organized by Sacramento Area Peace Action, Al-Awda Sacramento, and National Council of Arab Americans.

Employment Discrimination
Sawt el-Amel/The Laborer’s Voice, reported that most Arab railroad crossing guards in Israel were to lose their jobs on April 1, 2009. Many had been employed for years. The mass layoff was the result of Israel Railway now requiring workers to have a permit to carry weapons, thereby excluding nearly all Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. While the job does not involve bearing arms, the recent layoff is an instructive example of how Palestinian workers are systematically excluded from the Israeli labor market and explains why they are grossly underrepresented in public sector jobs. (These jobs also require a permit to carry a weapon). In an act of further discrimination, it was reported that workers meeting the new requirement were to be given a 15% raise. Recently, dozens of Palestinian-Israeli women

Join Sacramento Area Peace Action!
Send your Name, Address, Email and Phone, with your check made payable to SAPA: $30/individual; $52/family; $15 low-income to: Sacramento Area Peace Action 909 12th St, Suite 118 Sacramento, CA 95814 May / June 2009 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 11

Educational Homestay Programs
Host families needed for this summer!
By Elle Bustamante
Education First (EF)’s Educational Homestay Program is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting international student exchange. In today’s world it is exceedingly important for young people to expand their horizons. Our programs allow students ages 12-18 to experience life North American style as they improve their English by attending 2-8 week language programs. You can help break down language and cultural barriers by hosting an international student. In return, you’ll learn about your host student’s culture, language and customs. Over 120,000 students from 30 countries have participated in the program over the last 40 years. This summer, we have 93 students coming from Russia, France and Spain. They arrive July 1st and leave July 27th, just 4 weeks! They’ll attend English and cultural courses during the weekday mornings and have organized and escorted afternoon activities afterwards. Weekends and evenings are open. We also have a network of host families to help with car-pooling, emergencies and scheduling situations. Our staff provides 24-hour support to host families and students. This is a once in a lifetime experience! We carefully select host families and work to match the right student with the right family. We ask that you provide a bed, three meals a day and transportation to their bus pick up. Most importantly, we want students to be treated as family, to eat what your family eats, to do chores, and to get to know and interact with your family and friends. This is where much of their learning happens. Your family will develop a meaningful relationship and learn about a new culture. You will also receive 10% off any EF program and earn points towards travel vouchers. It is never too early to sign up. If you do not have time this summer, contact us about future programs. For more information, contact Maryann Walton, Site Director, 916-969-9162 or go to www.

Two French boys learn to grind grain the old “Californian” way at Fort Sutter.
Photo courtesy of Education First

Below: Students on a ride in Santa Cruz.

Photo courtesy of Education First

Book Review The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran,
by Hooman Majd, Doubleday, 2008, hardback, 260 pages.
Reviewed by Brigitte Jaensch
United States-Iran troubles date from 1951 when Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq, began to nationalize Iran’s industries. To stop that, the Central Intelligence Agency under President Eisenhower staged a coup d’état. The prime minister was ousted and a monarch, Shah Reza Pahlavi, was put in power. Twenty-five years later, in 1979, Iranians, who had suffered enough under the Shah and his notoriously brutal SAVAK (National Intelligence and Security Organization), revolted and brought the Islamic Republic to power. After this the Shah fled to the US and when President Carter refused to return the Shah to Iran to stand trial, a group of Tehran students took some 50 US Embassy personnel hostage and kept them for more than a year. In 1980, the US encouraged Iraq to attack Iran and a horrible eight year war ensured. And for more than thirty years, the US, with the help of some other countries, has crippled the Islamic Republic of Iran with severe economic and trade sanctions. After 9/11, relations between the two countries could have improved. Iran provided the US with intelligence information about Al Qaeda and helped drive out Afghanistan’s Taliban. But President Bush branded Iran part of the “axis of evil” with claims that are essentially a replay of US accusations against Iraq in the lead-up to the invasion: weapons of mass destruction, state sponsor of terrorism, regime change. Since the November 2008 election, Congressional Democrats, principally Gary Ackerman (D-NY), and folks like Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Howard Berman (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Robert Wexler (D-FL), have headed the “get Iran” campaign. For his part, President Obama is sending mixed signals. In mid-March he sent Iranians New Year’s congratulations (albeit laced with scolding and warnings) and maintains that he is interested in diplomacy. But worryingly, it’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee-toady Dennis Ross, whom Obama tasked with reviewing US Iran policy. So now’s definitely an important time to learn more about Iran and The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran is a good primer. Its author, Hooman Majd, was born in Tehran, raised in the US and England, lives in New York City, and has spent time in Iran throughout his life. He’s neither pro-Shah nor pro-Islamic Republic. His father was a diplomat under the Shah and his maternal grandfather was an Ayatollah and theologian, among whose University of Tehran students were many of today’s Ayatollahs. The book takes us to meetings with government officials and to gatherings in the homes of Majd’s friends. Along the way, we learn about the literal and figurative walls between private and public space. We also learn that the Shah, who insisted “on peering over the walls, was doomed to fail,” writes Majd, and the Islamic government succeeds “despite its restrictions on public behavior” because it usually respects private space. We are introduced to ta’arouf, the long-winded small talk that prefaces “serious negotiation or insincere but well-intentioned politesse” and to gholov, “boastful exaggeration which is almost a national trait,” according to Majd. And we also find out that the kind of reform people want is incremental change, nothing unsettling like the 1979 revolution. Majd also presents us with the fact that Islam and democracy are complementary, not oppositional. Or as one Iranian in Majd’s book put it: “Islam is one of the foundations of our culture, and it will influence our democracy. Of course Islam must adjust to democracy as well.” Iran has a proud 2,500 year history. Its people are “Persians, Turks, Turkmen, Arabs, Kurds and a slew of other races, often intermingled to the point where it is impossible to say with any certainty what one Iranian’s heritage is” explains Majd. For at least 250 years, Iran hasn’t initiated attack on any country. But the horrors of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War (a war started by Iraq with the support of the US) remain so fresh in people’s memory that they hope never to experience war again. Today Iran is called the Islamic Republic of Iran and about 90% of Iranians are Shia Muslim, but Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism are the country’s four officially recognized and constitutionally protected religions. And Majd tells us, “The Islamic Revolution was as much a social revolution as it was political.” For example, President Amadinejad, the son of a blacksmith, “elevated himself above what would have been his social status in the Iran of yesteryear.” There is no presidential palace or anything like the White House, explains Majd, and “the presidential automobile is a Peugeot (albeit armored).” Majd goes on, writing that Amadinejad “lives in the same house he always has in a lower-middle-class neighborhood.” He is aware that his man-of-thepeople image, although ridiculed by some, makes him popular particularly to non-elite groups. Written in a conversational style, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ provides insight and understanding through examples and experiences. The book makes no excuses for Iran’s failings and is often critical, but never spiteful.

Align your investments with your values


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Investment Management & Hourly Financial Consultation
Registered Representative and Investment Advisory Representative with Protected Investors of America.

Chartered Financial Consultant Author of Tending Your Money Garden

Bob Dreizler

12 Because People Matter May / June 2009

The Green Gov? Think Again!
Schwarzenegger links wilderness bill to destructive peripheral canals
By Dan Bacher 
declining estuary when dramatic cuts in water Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in yet one exports to corporate agribusiness and the retiremore sickening attempt to portray himself as ment of drainage-impaired land in the Westlands the “Green Governor” while Water District are urgently continuing his unprecedented While Schwarzenegger needed to restore Central war on fish and the environ- once acted the role of Valley Chinook salmon, ment, praised President steelhead, green sturgeon, Obama’s signing of the Omni- the Terminator, now delta smelt, longfin smelt, bus Public Land Management he’s playing the “Fish Sacramento splittail, striped Act while incongruously linkbass, threadfin shad, AmeriTerminator” in real life. can shad and other fish that ing it to an environmentally destructive peripheral canal depend on the estuary for proposal.  their survival.  It shows how the Governor can give even a At the same time, Schwarzenegger is doing good bill, one that provides funds for San Joaeverything he can to pull the biggest defenders quin River salmon and steelhead restoration and of fish and the environment—sustainable comgrants wild and scenic status to more California mercial and recreational fishermen and seaweed rivers, a toxic green taint!  harvesters—off the water by creating massive “Preserving and restoring California’s wildermarine protected areas on the North Coast of ness and waterways has been a top priority California, a region already devasof my Administration tated by de-facto marine protected and I am pleased that areas and fishing closures, in a our environmental privately funded process rife with goals will be furconflict of interest, mission creep and a thered by many lack of transparency.  aspects Grass roots environmentalists from the of this North Coast, in contrast to corporate funded “environmentalists” that gush about how “green” the Governor is in their press releases, are fighting Schwarzenegger’s fast track MPLA (Marine Life Protection Act) because it would devastate bill, specifically the San coastal communities and pave the way for corJoaquin River Restoration Act,” porate aquaculture, PG&E’s wave energy projects claimed Schwarzenegger. “This and offshore oil drilling in remote areas such as bill preserves 700,000-plus acres of California’s Point Arena.  pristine wilderness and also provides additional Schwarzenegger’s “green” record on restoring funding to supplement the millions of dollars California’s waterways and fisheries includes:  California has already invested to restore the • Vetoing legislation to limit the destructive San Joaquin River—helping rejuvenate a critical impact of suction dredge mining on salmon fishery, restore a devastated habitat and improve and steelhead in northern California rivers,  a water-delivery network that is the lifeblood of a • Sending layoff notices to 98 game wardens Central Valley farming economy all Californians and cadets from the California Department depend on.” of Fish and Game (DFG) at a time when fish The operative phrase is “improve a water delivand wildlife populations are under attack by ery network.” When Schwarzenegger talks about poachers and California has the lowest ratio “improving” water delivery, he means building of wardens to state residents of any state in a peripheral canal and more dams—a goal that the country, he shares with Senator Dianne Feinstein and • Pressuring the Central Valley Regional Water the Nature Conservancy in their questionable Resources Control Board to grant waivers to alliance to destroy the Sacramento-San Joaquin agricultural polluters at the expense of fish River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers of the Americas. Schwarzenegger’s version of and farm workers in rural communities with “environmentalism” is nothing more than corpopoisoned wells, rate greenwashing on a massive scale in collusion • And allowing tens of thousands of striped with “Gang Green” groups such as the Nature bass, Sacramento blackfish, Sacramento Conservancy. splittail and other fish to perish during the His claim that, “preserving and restoring Prospect Island fish kill in November 2007. California’s wilderness and waterways has been a top priority” of his Administration is simply not However, the most egregious attack that the backed up by his actual record in office. SchwarSchwarzenegger administration has launched on zenegger’s administration has presided over the California’s fisheries was when he allowed the collapse of Central Valley Chinook salmon, delta Department of Water Resources, in collaborasmelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other tion with the Bureau of Reclamation under the fish populations, along with imperiling the south- Bush administration, to export record amounts ern resident population of killer whales (orcas).  of water to Westlands, the Kern County Water Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman and Bank and southern California at great expense Schwarzenegger are working to exacerbate the to Delta fish and Central Valley salmon. Record imperiled status of these fish by pushing for the water export levels occurred in 2004 (6.1 Million construction of a peripheral canal and more Acre-Feet), 2005 (6.5 MAF) and 2006 (6.3 MAF). dams. They want to divert more water out of the Exports averaged 4.6 MAF annually between 1990 and 1999 and increased to an average of 6 MAF between 2000 and 2007, a rise of almost 30%, according the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).  While Schwarzenegger once acted the role of the Terminator, now he’s playing the “Fish Terminator” in real life. When he leaves office, he will leave behind an unprecedented toxic green path of salmon and other fish populations on the abyss of extinction, rivers devastated by siltation and suction dredge gold mining, poisoned wells in the San Joaquin Valley and no-fishing zones on the coast.  When are the leaders of national environmental groups going to have some courage and expose the Governor for the environmental fraud that he is? When is the mainstream media going to wake up to the fact that there is nothing green about Schwarzenegger other than the corporate money that he and his staff worship?  For more information about what you can do to save Central valley salmon, southern resident killer whales and the Delta, go to www.calsport. org, and 

Noon Hour Witness Against the Death Penalty. Third Mondays 12noon to 1pm. 11th and L Streets State Capitol INFO: 455-1796

Organic Consumers Association News you can use!

Sacramento Soapbox
Progressive Talk Show Access Sacramento, Channel 17 with Jeanie Keltner. Monday, 8pm, Tuesday noon, Wednesday, 4am. Now in Davis, Channel 15, Tuesday, 7pm.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) sifts through the media smog and brings you the top news and analysis of the day and forums for consumers like you. With a website posting 10 or more news articles each day, and a library of over 40,000 articles covering issues including health, justice, food and farming, politics and the environment, make it a bookmark! An OCA Supporter who lived through the Great Depression offers sustainability advice and praise “I eat all natural foods and I’m still active and healthy at age 86… Last week I planted 3 more dwarf fruit trees so I now have 12 of various kinds. I COOK my food and don’t eat out of a box. I home-can, dry and freeze my surplus summer foods just like your greatgrandmother used to do. I grow a small vegetable garden and also a medicinal herb garden. Everything is organic. I’ve studied herbs for some years. I grew up during the Depression of the 30s and I can do it again. People can be surprised by how many things they can do, and do without, when it comes to food. But we NEED small organic farmers too. I’m thankful I found your website. Keep up the good work.” —Ruth C.

Mention Because People Matter or Sacramento Soapbox when making a purchase, and 50% of the purchase price will be donated to that project!

The City of Sacramento Neighborhood Services Department proudly presents a FREE Green Gardening Class Sunday, May 3, 2009 from 2-5pm South Natomas Community Center 2921 Truxel Rd, Sacramento Class will be taught by professionals including the UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento County Master Gardeners and local gardeners. For more information call 916-808-6789. May / June 2009 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 13

Lemon Hill Neighborhood Teens’ Question on the Street
This question was produced by 15 year old Alejandra Lopez and 17 year old Alicia Garcia.

What would you tell President Obama?

Name: Yvonne Name: Alexander
Age: 16 Grade: 10 ”I would ask him to help raise the economy because a lot of people are suffering.”

Age: 14 Grade: 9 “I would ask him to silence the violence in my neighborhood.”

Name: Seraiya

Age: 16 Grade: 10 “I would tell Obama to help the schools in my community because they are poor and kids aren’t getting the education they deserve.”

Name: Izzy

Age: 16yrs Grade: 10 “EMPLOYMENT!! We need more jobs.”

Name: Desire

Age: 16yrs Grade: 10 “Ask him for grants for our schools and help maintain peace in our neighborhoods.”

Name: Sarah

Age: 15 Grade: 10 “I would ask him to clean up our parks so more families could have more fun outdoors.”

New Opportunities for the Youth of Lemon Hill
South Sacramento coalition offers leadership opportunities, hope
By Rachel Iskow
At a recent meeting of the South Sacramento Coalition (SSC) for Future Leaders, young people participated side by side with adults who represented various organizations dedicated to working with Lemon Hill community youth. Funded in part by a grant from the Sierra Health Foundation, the coalition is coordinated by Sacramento Mutual Housing Association and includes residents, community organizations, educational institutions and service agencies in Lemon Hill. With the Sierra Health Foundation grant, the group is building youth leadership opportunities. Two years ago, youth surveyed their peers to identify the top concerns in Lemon Hill. The survey revealed top concerns as the need for increased safety, jobs for youth and exploring arts and music. Based on survey results the SSC developed strategies and programs, including a mini-grant program whose funding decisions are made exclusively by youth participants. One program receiving funding is a peer mediation program born out of the Healthy Start program. Here, youth are trained to provide intervention and support for students experiencing harassment with the goal of de-escalating disputes before they turn violent. Talking with the trained students who proudly describe their work and contributions toward creating a safer community, you can’t help but realize you are listening to tomorrow’s leaders. You realize the enormous impact of these programs. Young people in Lemon Hill are working to divert their peers from the criminal justice system and in the process, developing personal pride. You can’t help feeling optimistic! See a short photo story made by Lemon Hill youth at And for this issue of BPM, Lemon Hill youth conducted a “question on the street” among their peers found below. For more information about the South Sacramento Coalition for Future Leaders, contact Emily Bender at SMHA Emily@mutualhousing. com. Coffee from Nicaragua
Support Sacramento’s sister city, San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua, by purchasing organic whole-bean coffee grown in the rich volcanic soil on the island of Omotepe, Nicaragua. Thanks to the efforts of the Bainbridge-Omotepe Sister Island Association in Washington, we are able to bring you this wonderful medium roast coffee. Your purchase helps the farmers on the island and helps support Sacramento’s long relationship with San Juan de Oriente. All profits go directly back to the Nicaraguan communities. $9.00 a pound. Available in Sacramento at: The Book Collector, 1008 24th St.

Roediger from page 6
slaves transformed the Civil War from one seemingly over constitutional issues to one effecting emancipation—they did this by finding ways to move to the Union Army, or at least off of plantations, well before that army considered the escaped slave anything but “contraband” property—their freedom struggle provided what Marx called a “moral impetus” to workers and dreamers generally. Among whites, suddenly demands for an eight-hour day and for women’s suffrage went from being utopian hopes to the objects of electrifying struggles. However, even as terror and the successful courting of capitalist interests allowed for a turning back of the “jubilee” of Black emancipation in the South, wedges between labor’s, women’s and African American struggles appeared nationally. Moreover, the post-Civil War Republicans, seemingly a promising vehicle for abolition-democracy, proved far more a party of capital and rapid expansion onto Indian lands. Many of the new unities that were forged, for example among workers from countless European nationalities coming to think they had things in common, stopped short of challenging the inegalitarianism of the whole social order, so that they might be tempted to see themselves as not only Americans, but also white Americans, not only homeowners, but white homeowners, not only as workers but as white workers. We live with the results of the advances, the incompleteness of the advances, and the fact that some unities have been premised on exclusions of those most oppressed. We struggle not just to complete half-done struggles, but to reverse the results—and continuing practice—of building a sense of commonalities based on excluding the most vulnerable, whether the so-called “illegal,” the incarcerated, or poor people of color in general. Seth Sandronsky lives and writes in Sacramento.

14 Because People Matter May / June 2009

You Said It

BPM reader commentary

No Bailouts Here

Housing crisis contributes to jail over-crowding

Let’s Fix a Broken On the Levee Bottle collectors and System!
US criminal justice system has to change
By Michael Stavros By Karl Halfman
Sacramento, CA US Senator James Webb (D-VA) recently introduced The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 (S. 714). According to Senator Webb’s website, S. 714 would “create a blue-ribbon commission charged with conducting an 18-month, top-to-bottom review of the nation’s entire criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform.” Sacramento, CA Walking along the levee, I spotted a person, off in the distance stopped at a dumpster. I slowed my pace. I could see now—he was about 40 years old. He reached into the dumpster and pulled out two big black plastic bags that had come from the park trash cans. My pace slowed to a full stop. Unexpectedly, the man jumped into the dumpster. I sat down, mesmerized. I could hear the clanking of bottles. “Good one!” I thought, as if he’d struck gold. My cheering soon turned to embarrassment and anger—not at him, but at those who had gambled and hedged and optioned our economy into this sad state, those who had made off with our nation’s wealth—like Bernard “Made off.” How could they place others in the same desperate survival situation that caused this man to stumble around in a dumpster? He jumped in and out of the dumpster several times over the next half hour, pulling out bottles and cans and eventually accumulating them into the big black plastic bags. Finishing, he efficiently collected all the garbage that had made its way out of the dumpster, returning every last scrap to the smelly container. He delicately balanced two heavy bags over his shoulders. The weight of the bottles slowed him down as he climbed over the top of the levee and disappeared down the street. I calculated the distance of the nearest store where he could redeem his bounty. I figured the man did all this for a meager $3. How could those deregulated hedge-funders and debt traders so heartlessly cheat and scam and gamble—and plunge hard-working, innovative people like this man into an utter desperate struggle for survival? How could those profiteers—who already had more than they could ever spend or count—walk away with their extra millions? When did work become so devalued and the quest for wealth so corrupt? How could this immorality happen? Perhaps we all should have been more involved and gotten angry sooner. Michael Stavros is one of the Producers of Media Edge (Ch 17, Sundays 8–10pm) and the owner of Alliance Audio-Visual & Video.

By Rachel Iskow

Sacramento, CA Get out of jail…free? Well, it never was free for those accused of most crimes. Families have always had to come up with money to pay bail or a bail bond. But journalist Jonah Owen Lamb of the Merced Sun Star made an interesting observation after speaking with Merced bail bondsmen. Lamb explained in a March 30 article that there is a growing “inability to post bail [that] has been made worse by job losses and the increasingly high cost of living. The result has been more crowding in county jails and an increase in early releases as well as bail reductions...” How do family members ever manage to obtain bonds when bail is set at tens of thousands of dollars? Large bail bonds are usually secured by deeds of trust on real property. Now, increasing numbers of homes are “upside down,” meaning they are worth less than the mortgages owed on those homes. Lamb’s report found that as homeowners end up with upside down mortgages, they lose the equity in their homes and bail bond companies can’t use these properties as collateral. This leaves family members helpless when it comes to getting their loved ones out of jail. It’s starting to sound like there is a good argument for using federal stimulus dollars to help low and moderate income people get out of jail, at least until they have their day in court. As an alternative, why not set up those funds by taking a percentage of profits from those companies that received federal “bailouts”?

“I’ve been increasingly disturbed by the rate at which the US incarcerates its citizens…”
Senator Webb’s effort to radically overhaul the criminal justice system is refreshing! I’ve been increasingly disturbed by the rate at which the US incarcerates its citizens—citizens who happen to be disproportionately of color, under-educated and poor, for crimes that are largely rooted in drug use and mental illness. The US has the world’s highest incarceration rate (756 out of every 100,000 people), more than Russia (626), Rwanda (593), Cuba (531) and China (423)! When I was summoned for jury duty in March, I decided it was time to take a stand! During jury selection, I would state that I would nullify any law with which I disagreed. If it was a non-violent drug possession case, for example, I would vote “not guilty” regardless of the facts of the case because locking up another person in our overcrowded prisons diverts taxpayer money from other societal needs, denies a family a parent and makes it difficult for the convicted to find employment and housing upon release. While Senator Webb’s bill is a good start, we need to do more. But politicians want to be reelected and won’t risk being labeled as “soft on crime” by their opponents or losing financial support from prison guard unions, prison construction and supply companies and victims groups. Simply put, jurors must act as the Fourth Branch of Government and reject laws that are bad public policy. Only when juries exercise their right of nullification will lawmakers act.

Great Holiday Gift Idea!

Formerly the

No longer distributed free: It was either switch to subscriptions or go out of business. The good news: we’ve added a lot more great content, and it’s CHEAP! Just $17.95/year (12 issues) when you sign up online!
it gives us hope and it’s darn funny too!

Straight Out Scribes Reunion!
On a rare visit to the Capital City, Staajabu will join daughter V.S. Chochezi in delivering some of their energetic, rhythmic, speaking-truth-to-power poetry at several popular poetry venues. The Scribes were more than the most dynamic award-winning poetry duo in the city and the only mother/ daughter poetry team in the area from 1990 to 2006. They were producers, coordinators and moderators of a ten-year-long poetry series and many local cultural staples. They are proud supporters of the campaign to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal, the MOVE 9, Loaves and Fishes, the Mustard Seed School and the Jamaican American Student Cultural Exchange (JASAC). They have produced 6 books of poetry and two spoken word CD’s. Their poetry, stories, features and articles have appeared in numerous publications. Vibe with the Scribes at one or all of the following events: Thursday, May 7, 8pm - Luna’s Café, 1414 16th Street. 916-444-3931. Mario Ellis Hill will host. Saturday, May 16, 7pm - Carol’s Books, 1913 Del Paso Blvd. 916-565-3845. Vince Kobelt will host.
V.S. Chochezi (l) and Staajabu

Current issue available at Newsbeat and fine comic book stores.
w w w. H u m o r T i m e s . c o m

If you are a tenant and you are worried

Time Tested Books


that your landlord has allowed the rental property to go into foreclosure, see this site for information that might help you! www.tenantsforeclosure.blogspot. com/ Alison Brennan is a long-ago tenant activist. She lives in Sacramento.

Political posters, handbills & pamphlets Books on history, labor, & politics Records of blues, jazz, rock, punk, world, R&B, & spoken word. And, of course, we are selling books & records, too! We are located at 1114 21st Street, Sacramento. Our new hours are M–Sat: 11am–7pm, Sunday: 11am–3pm (Please call for appt. if selling.) 916-447-5696.

working for PEACE & JUSTICE and a proud sponsor of

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offering a 30% to 50% discount <> <> <> for Peace & Justice events


(916) 451-2658 May / June 2009 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 15

May / June Calendar
11th OF EVERY MONTH: Sacramento 9/11 Truth Demonstration. 11th and L Sts. INFO: www.truthaction. org, 916-372-8433. MONDAYS: Sacramento Poetry Center hosts poetry readings. 7:30pm. 1719 25th Street. 1st MONDAYS: Organic Sacramento: Counter ongoing threats to our food. 6:30pm. INFO: www. 3rd MONDAYS: Capitol Outreach for a Moratorium on the Death Penalty. 12 noon–1pm, 11th & L Street. INFO: 916-455-1796. 3rd MONDAYS: SAPA Peace and Sustainability Committee. 6–8pm. INFO: Peace Action, 916-448-7157. 3rd MONDAYS: Sacto 9/11 Truth:Questioning the “War on Terror.” 6–8pm. Denny’s 3rd & J St. INFO: 916372-8433. 3rd MONDAYS: Lesbian Cancer Support Group. 6:30 Bring partners or support people with you. INFO: Roxanne Hardenberg; TUESDAYS: Tuesdays, ongoing. Pastel Landscape drawing class for ages 50+. 2:30m-5:00pm. Ethel Hart Center, 915 27th Street. $25/lesson. INFO: (916) 916-808-5462. TUESDAYS: Call for Peace Vigil. 4–6pm. 16th and J St. INFO 916-448-7157. TUESDAYS: Improv workshop. Solve the world’s problems through improv games! 7–9:30pm. Geery Theatre, 2130 L street, Sac. $5.00, first time free. INFO: 916-821-4533, 2nd TUESDAYS: Gray Panthers. 1–3pm. Hart Senior Ctr., 27th & J St. 2nd TUESDAYS: Peace Network (speakers and discussion), 6:30pm. Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th Street. INFO: Sac Area Peace Action 916-448-7157. 4th TUESDAYS: Peace and Justice Films. 7pm. Peace Action, 909 12th Street. INFO:916-448-7157. 4th TUESDAYS: (Odd numbered months) Amnesty Int’l. 7pm. Sacramento Friends Meeting, 890-57th St. INFO: 916-489-2419. 1st WEDNESDAYS: Peace & Freedom Party. 7pm. INFO: 456-4595. 3rd WEDNESDAYS: CAAC Goes t o the Movies. 7:15pm. INFO: 446-3304. THURSDAYS: Urban Farm Stand, 4–7pm, River Garden Estates, 2201 Northview Dr. THURSDAYS: Daddy’s Here. Men’s support group: custody, divorce, parenting. 7–8:30pm. Free! Ctr for Families, 2251 Florin Rd, Ste 102. INFO: terry@father 568-3237x 205. 1st and 2nd THURSDAYS: Storytelling at the Hart Senior Center, 27th & J sts. 7pm. Free. INFO: 916362-9013, or PaulIdaho@ 4th THURSDAYS: Sac Media Gr p. 6–8pm. Coloma Comm. Ctr, 4623 T Street. INFO: 916-443-1792, FRIDAYS: Oil, acrylic and watercolor painting class for experienced and beginner painters ages 50+. 9:30am-11:30am. Ethel Har t Center, 915 27th Street. $20 for 4 lessons. INFO: 916-808-5462. FRIDAYS: Movies on a Big Screen. Independent, quirky movies and videos. 7pm. 600 4th St, West Sac. INFO: www.shiny-object. com/screenings/. 1st FRIDAYS: Community Contra Dance. 8–11pm; 7:30pm beginners lessons. Clunie Auditorium, McKinley Pk, Alhambra & F. INFO: 530-274-9551. 2nd FRIDAYS: Dances of Universal Peace. 7:30– 9:30pm. Sacr ament o Friends Meeting House 890 57th St. $5–$10 donation requested. INFO: Joyce, www.sacramentodancesofuniversalpeace. org, 916-832-4630. 4th FRIDAYS: Dances at Christ Unity Church, 9249 Folsom Blvd. All Welcome $5–$10 donation requested. INFO: 916-457-5855, 1st SATURDAYS: Health Care for All. 10am–noon. Hart Senior Ctr, 27th & J. For single-payer universal health care. INFO: 916-424-5316; cnegrete@ 1st SATURDAYS: Sacramento Area Peace Action Vigil. 11:30am–1:30pm. Arden and Heritage (entrance to Arden Mall). INFO: 916-448-7157. 2nd & 4th SATURDAYS: SPC Poetry Workshop, All levels, all poets. 10-11:30 am. South Natomas Community Center, 2921 Truxel Rd, Sacramento FREE. 2nd & 4th SATURDAYS: Community Contra Dance. 8–11pm; 7:30 lessons. Coloma Center 4623 T Street. INFO: 916-395-3483. 3rd SATURDAYS: Writers of the new Sun/Escritores del Nuevo Sol. Writing group. 10am potluck. La Raza Galeria Posada, 1024 22nd St. INFO: 916-456-5323. 3rd SATURDAYS: Sacramento Area Peace Action Vigil. 11:30am–1:30pm. Marconi & Fulton. INFO: 448-7157. 3rd SATURDAYS: Underground Poetry Series, open mic plus featured poets. 7–9pm. Under gr ound Books, 2814 35th Street (at Broadway), Sacramento. $3. INFO: 916-737-3333. 4th SATURDAYS: Sierra Permaculture Guild general mtg. 6:30–9pm. The Sacred Bee, 1451 E. Main St., Grass Valley.INFO: SUNDAYS: Zumba fitness class for people 50+. Ethel Hart Senior Ctr., 916 27th St. 916-808-5462. SUNDAYS: Sacto Food Not Bombs. 1:30pm. Come help distribute food at 9th and J Streets. 1st SUNDAYS: Zapatista Solidarity Coalition. 10am– noon. 909 12th St. INFO: 916-443-3424. 2nd SUNDAYS: Atheists & Other Freethinker s. 1:30pm. Sierra 2 Center, Room 10, 2791 24th St. INFO: 916-447-3589.

Send calendar items for the July /August 2009 issue to by June 10, with “calendar item” in the subject line. Make it short, and PLEASE use this format: Day, Date. Name of event. Description (1–2 lines). Time. Location. Price. INFO: phone#; e-mail. For the most current listing of Sacramento peace & justice events, go to www.sacpeace. org. For weekly updates, email and put SacPeaceUpdates in the subject.

Sunday, May 3
PSR/Sacramento Scholarship Essay Contest Dinner and Finals. Hear the ten student finalists present their essays. They will receive over $10,000 in scholarships. Dinner at 6 pm, presentations at 7 pm. Dante Club at 2330 Fair Oaks, Sac. Cost (includes dinner) $30 ($15 student). INFO: www.,, or 916 955-6333.

Sunday, May 17

Human rights lawyer, author, professor and activist Ann Fagan Finger, founder and executive director of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute in Berkeley, will talk about her latest book, “Undoing the Bush-Cheney legacy.” 3:30 pm. Time Tested Books, 1114 21st.

Monday, May 4

Monday, May 18, (and every 3rd Monday)

“The Salvadoran Elections—Eye-witness Report” by Susan Scott, who will speak and show slides on her experience as a certified election observer in El Salvador’s March election with the National Lawyers Guild, as part of a delegation organized by SHARE. 7pm. Southside Park CoHousing Common House, 434 T St., Sac. Free. INFO: Central Am. Action Committee, 916-4575018 or

Noon Hour Vigil against the Death Penalty. 12–1pm, North Steps/State Capitol, 11th & L Streets, Info: G. Lyga, 916-455-1796.

Monday, May 18

Sacramento 9/11 Truth: Questioning the War on Terror, monthly meeting, 4–6pm. Denny’s meeting room - 3rd/J Sts, Sac, afreedmind@; 916-372-8433.

Thursday, May 7,

Monday, May 18

Straight Out Scribes Reunion. 8pm. Luna’s Cafe, 1414–16th Street. INFO: 916-444-3931. See story page 14.

Friday, May 8

SacPeace Annual Meeting & Speaker. 6pm potluck, bring a dish to share and a plate/cup/ tableware, followed by a brief business meeting. 7:30pm, speaker: Gloria LaRiva, co-director of the ANSWER Coalition of San Francisco, will speak on Latin America. 909 12th St., Sacramento. INFO: 916-448-7157,

Nancy T. Price, advocate with the Save the Water Campaign of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, speaks to the Sacramento Chapter, United Nations Assn., on UN efforts to provide clean water for millions. 7pm. SMUD Headquarters, 6201 S St, Conference Room. Info: 916-482-1354.

Tuesday, May 26

Saturday, May 9

4th Tuesday Films, Posada Carriles: Terorism made in USA. Exposes Posada Carriles role with the CIA financed terror network used in Latin America. 7pm. 909 12th St. Info: 916-448-7157,

Reception for art by Janice Nakashima of Sacramento and artists from the West Bank, Palestine. 6–9pm. Axis Gallery, 1517 19th St, Sac. continuing weekends to May 31, noon to 5pm, or by appt. INFO: 916-443-9900, or 916-393-7690.

Thursday, June 11

Sacto 9/11 Truth Demonstration. 11th and L Streets, facing Capitol north entrance. INFO:, 916-372-8433.

Monday, May 11

Thursday, June 25th - Sunday, June 28th
The Coming Home Project: Staying Connected During Deployment, A Retreat for the Families of Deployed Service Members. INFO: www. Deadline: May 29.

U.S./Nicaraguan Relationships: Sustainable Development - Empowering and Hopeful Partnerships, by Sarah Junkin Woodard. 12–1pm. Newman Club, 5900 Newman Ct. across J St from CSUS. Ms. Woodard is with the Nicaraguan project of Jubilee House Community. RSVP for lunch reservations ($8) by May 3. INFO: 916-730-7967.

Demand Peace Now!
Saturday, May 9, 6–8pm, Saturday, June 13, 6–8pm,
Peace vigil and demonstration at the 2nd Saturday Art Walk. Bring your signs or use ours. Warm weather and later sunset bring big crowds. Come early for good parking. 20th & J, Sac. Info: Veterans for Peace, 916-698-8131.

Monday, May 11

Sacto 9/11 Truth demonstration. 11th & L Sts, facing Capitol north entrance. Time and INFO:, 916-372-8433. Israel, Palestinians and US—panel and discussion about this conflict and what we can do to promote peace. Sponsored by Peace in the Precincts. 9:30–11:45am. Arden Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave (at Northrup). INFO: Glenda, 916452-4801 or

Saturday, May 16

Sunday, May 17, 1:30 – 3:30pm, Sunday, June 21, 1:30 – 3:30pm

Saturday, May 16

Demonstration and vigil organized by Veterans for Peace (VFP); use our signs or bring your own. Tabling is okay in this location. 16th & Broadway, Sac. Info: 916-456-4595.

California Lawyers for the Arts presents Artistic License Awards, honoring those who serve and support the arts in our community. 5–7:30pm, Sierra 2 Center, Curtis Hall, 2791 24th Street, Sacramento, . INFO: www.calawyersforthearts. org/artisticlicense.html.

Saturday, May 16

Straight Out Scribes Reunion. 7pm. Carol’s Books, 1913 Del Paso Blvd. 916-565-3845. See story page 14.

Zumba fuses aerobic exercise with Latin rhythms for people age 50+. Work out, have fun, and get hooked on this fun form of fitness! Please register in advance at the reception desk M-F or at our website. 12:30pm. Ethel Hart Senior Center, 915 27th Street. $20 for 4 sessions. 916808-5462. hartcenter.

Zumba Gold, every Sunday!

The Marxist School of Sacramento

May / June 2009 Activities Sierra 2 Center, Garden Room, 2791–24th Street, Sacramento, 7-9pm

Point of View Speaker Series
Thursday, May 21
Minqi Li, “The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy.” Taking the subject from his new book, Li tells us that historically the spread and growth of capitalist economies has required low wages, taxation, and environmental costs, as well as a hegemonic nation to prevent international competition from eroding these requirements. With the decline of the economic power of the United States, its current hegemonic role will deteriorate and the unprecedented growth of China will so erode the foundations of capital accumulation—by pushing wages and environmental costs up, for example—that the entire capitalist system will be shaken to its core. Minqi Li is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah.

Resources for Enlisted Personnel & Veterans

Discharges • DEP • Discrimination • Gay • AWOL/UA • Harassment • Hazing• Conscientious Objection Free, confidential information from The GI
Rights Hotline,, 800-394-9544

Counseling: free & confidential: 916-447-5706;;

Sacramento Area Peace Action

Palestine Speaker Series

Tuesday, May 12 and Tuesday, May 26, Room 11, Sierra 2 Center, 2791-24th St. See website or call for details. INFO on classes and discussions:; 916-799-1354. All activities are free and open to the public.

March 17, 2009   Environmental Issues April 21, 2009   Divestment May 19, 2009   Current Realities/One State June 16, 2009   Two Sacramentan’s Impressions   Third Tuesdays. 7pm, 909 12th St. Sacramento. 916-448-7157. Details, see page 10.

Because People Matter

May / June 2009

Progressive News and Views

Progressive Media
Editors’ Picks!
Progressive Radio Stations
ä Soapbox!—Jeanie Keltner talks with

activists and analysts from Sacramento and beyond about the issues of the day.

ä Media Edge—Sacramento’s own

Where to watch: Access Sacramento Cable Channel 17. Every Monday at 8pm. Call in comments on 2nd and 4th Mondays. Repeats Tuesday at noon, Wednesday at 4am. In Davis, on Channel 15, Tuesdays at 5pm.

magazine format show, covering local progressive events and speakers, as well as internationally known commentators, with clips from some of the best independent political videos being made now.
Where to watch: Access Sacramento Channels 17 and 18 and Davis Channel 15. Sundays 8–10pm Nevada County Channel 11 Mondays 10:30pm–12:30am, West Sacramento Channel 21 Mondays 9-11pm. See scheduled segments at ä Democracy Now—Amy Goodman’s

äKVMR 89.5 FM ä The Voice, 88.7 Cable FM; and streaming audio on; SAP Comcast Channels 17 & 18 ä KYDS 91.5 FM äKDVS 90.3 FM ä KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley äKZFR 90.1 FM Chico People Powered Radio! managed and operated by volunteers, provides mostly locally-produced and community-oriented programs.

Great Speeches and Interviews: Local and national speeches and interviews to challenge your thinking. An in-depth radio program on the current issues. Where to listen and/or download: Listen Sundays 6-8pm on Comcast Channel 17, 18, set your TV menu to SAP or listen on The Voice L i s te n o r d ow n l o a d f ro m w w w. Blogged on

Online News Sources:

(Other) Progressive Newspapers

ä The Flatlander: A free community newspaper of fun, opinion and politics in the Davis area. Publication every 2 months, next issue is April/May. The Flatlander P.O. Box 72793 Davis, CA 95617 ä Likewise, we are greatly impressed with the lively, good looking Midtown Monthly. It’s not political, but it has the kind of useful and delightful information about life, art, food and music in Sacramento and beyond that creates the sense of community needed for an uncertain future. Look for the Rock Creek Free Press in the back of some BPM stands and other places where you find BPM (always at the downtown main library). It’s a great progressive paper with emphasis on the undernews. And just like BPM it needs support from the people who are sick of the disinformation news. Check it out and subscribe (after subscribing to BPM).

Have you taken the TV production training at Access Sacramento? Would you like to learn or put your technical talents to use? Soapbox! urgently needs crewmembers to help set up, run cameras, and take viewers’ phone calls on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month. Call 916-444-3203 if you’re interested in taking the training or joining us at Soapbox! for fun—and the best pizza in town, from Pieces.

Don’t bitch at the media— become the media! Essays on current events, some videos, like Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC Countdown shows. News Center: Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community. Progressive videos on many subjects, from Steven Colbert’s speech at the White House Correspondent’s dinner and speeches by leftwing MP George Galloway, to extensive information on 9/11 and the attacks on our civil liberties. A nonprofit progressive website offering daily news videos including interviews and debates. They plan soon to expand to television. Progressive Online Television. In the world of media monopoly, news has been replaced with a new invention called “infotainment.” is a progressive political T.V. news source that fills that gap between the media’s dumbed down infotainment and real news reporting. Daily professional viewer/listener-supported journalism available in over 20 million homes across America. 9/11 and other coverups.

award-winning magazine format show.

Where to watch: Access Sacramento TV, Cable Channels 17 and 18, weekdays 6pm, 12midnight, 5am. Dish Network Satellite TV, Channel 9415, Free Speech TV, M–F: 9am, 4pm, 9pm, 5am, Pacific time. Link TV, Channel 9410, Monday–Friday, 8am, 3pm. KVMR 89.5 FM Mon–Thu 7pm. KDVS 90.3 FM Mon–Fri noon. KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley, M–F 9am.

Sacramento and Central Valley INDYMEDIA:

Here’s a hot tip! If you don’t have cable TV, and you do have a PC (doesn’t work on Mac), you can watch Access Sacramento programs as they are being aired by going to www.accesssacramento. org and clicking on the “Watch Channel 17” button at the top of the first page.


Which Sacramento community centerneeds your help? See story, pages 8-9.