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Wieckowski Bill Helps Women Fighting Cyber Retaliation

For a growing number of California women, the pain and fear arising from a private abusive relationship is increasingly being extended on-line for all the public to see through cyber retaliation, also known as “revenge porn.”  Domestic violence prevention advocates see the posting of intimate images of women by their former partners as a growing tactic in abusive relationships.

 To better protect women, who are the primary victims of this kind of cyber retaliation, I’m authoring Assembly Bill 2643 to provide victims with a clear path to a civil remedy.   Read more »


John Vasconcellos: His Vision Stands the Test of Time

John Vasconcellos died Saturday surrounded by his close family and friends. His Hanai, a Hawaiian word for extended family included his chosen son, Mitch Saunders, his daughter-in-law Cindy and his precious two grandchildren Megan and Briana.

The record will show he served 38 years in the legislature, was Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee for many years, he authored the master plan for higher education, and brought self-esteem into the daily lives of students throughout the nation.  He wrote the legislation that implemented the process by which medical marijuana could be distributed in California. He was a champion of legalizing all drugs and believed the war on drugs to be a huge drain of resources from the real problems our society needs to address.

But the essence of John Vasconcellos can’t be written in a modern day obituary. His vision was too advanced for much of modern society to understand, though he lived long enough to see some of his early work become part of everyday life. Read more »


Policy Watch: Your tip sheet for what’s going on in your community.

Santa Clara County – 5/29/14

Senior Meal Funding

Supervisor Dave Cortese is leading the effort to restore funding for meals cooked on site for the Senior Nutrition Program.  During the April CSFC  (Children Seniors Families Committee) meeting, the Department of Aging and Adult Services was asked to provide the Board with information regarding the feasibility of restoring cook-on-site meals to the meal sites in the City of San Jose.  Read more »


Whopper of the Week: A Classic Approach, But WRONG

This week we discover a Whopper in the American Mid-west, specifically in a May 20th column in The Cleveland Plain Dealer written by Kevin O’Brien and titled, “Where the VA has taken veterans, Obamacare is leading all Americans.” O’Brien doesn’t like the Affordable Care Act and his hostility to that legislation has led him into Whopper land.

To begin with, O’Brien’s conclusion from the current VA scandal is that, “Putting a government bureaucracy in charge of one’s health is a gamble likely to end badly.” Here he is engaging in the classic whopper approach of taking a single case (the VA scandal) and generalizing from it to an entire world of other examples. Read more »


Sunnyvale Workers Slated for a Significant Increase in the Minimum Wage

Sunnyvale City Council members forged ahead with a bold policy to raise the minimum wage in their city to more than $10 an hour, a 2-dollar jump in the current minimum.

Council members voted 6 to 1 last night to create a city ordinance which raises the minimum wage and ties it to the consumer price index, so it could potentially increase every year with the cost of living.  Vice Mayor Jim Davis said his goal with this ordinance was to “mirror” San Jose’s minimum wage policy, which was passed overwhelmingly by voters in 2012. The South Bay Labor Council ran the successful campaign for Measure D, raising the minimum wage from the state-mandated $8 to $10 an hour with automatic increases based on the CPI.  San Jose’s minimum wage is currently $10.15 an hour. Read more »


Sunnyvale Moves on Minimum Wage Increase

In today’s busy Silicon Valley society a wage earner needs to earn approximately $16 to pay the rent, put food on the table and pay for the very bare necessities of life.  We know that for every high tech job that we produce in the valley that four (4) service jobs are created.  Service jobs include fast food workers, people at the cleaners, the landscape worker, people who clean your house and the folks that serve you dinner at the restaurant.  The vast majority of employed people in the area that make more than the minimum wage go home to their families.  They drive cars in good repair.  They can afford a good medical insurance plan.  They don’t necessarily worry about putting food on the table. Read more »


Santa Clara County Heads Toward Cutting Edge Living Wage Policy

 The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors took the first step toward establishing the nation’s most comprehensive living wage ordinance.  On a unanimous vote, the Board directed County Administration to develop a framework for an ordinance that would set a new standard of higher wages, healthcare security and a better standard of living for tens of thousands of low wage workers in Silicon Valley.

 The full text of the board referral is available:

 Community based organizations, labor unions and public policy groups are advocating for a Silicon Valley Living Wage that would draw on “best practices” from some of the 120 other local jurisdictions that have already enacted Living Wage laws. Read more »


Sleazy Mailer Crosses the Line

The California Apartment Association, which has endorsed Sam Liccardo for mayor, has sent out the sleaziest political mailer of the year so far.  At first glance the mailer appears to be from organized labor.  It praises Dave Cortese as if he opposed pension reform.  Only the small print shows that the mailer actually comes from the California Apartment Association PAC. Read more »


The Daily Fetch: Merc Ed Board Sinks to a New Low

The absolute slimy bias that permeates from the Barbara Marshman run Merc Editorial Board is on full display today with this deceitful, deceptive and down-right dirty screed that purports to go after Matrix Casino but is really a sneak attack on Dave Cortese.  The editorial is so chock full of omissions and misrepresentations that it may get the Golden Hatchet award for, well, the biggest hatchet job of the year.  Marshman will write, or in this instance, won’t write anything to hurt her crush, Liccardo get elected…for instance: Read more »


Restrictions of Low-Income Women’s Rights Are Restrictions of All Women’s Rights

After years of working in the reproductive justice movement and battling egregious attacks on women’s reproductive rights, I thought I was immune to being shocked by insidious policies that punish low-income women and families. Well, I was wrong. I have been not only shocked, but disgusted, by a regulation right here in California that has contributed to keeping families in poverty while also mandating the kind of birth control that poor women use and violating their medical confidentiality. Read more »


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