Voting Roundup: Bernie Sanders, California Climate and Water, and Oakland Housing

Senator Bernie Sanders. Photo: AP

Senator Bernie Sanders. Photo: AP

We now know that that Hillary Clinton will have to overcome at least one primary opponent on the road to the White House: last Thursday Bernie Sanders, the outspokenly liberal Senator from Vermont, declared his campaign for the presidency. Indicating that his priority will be creating, “an economy that works for all of our people, rather than a small number of billionaires,” Sanders will surely present a more ideologically driven platform that challenges Mrs. Clinton from the left.

Many political observers are quick to write off the fiery Sanders. In the face of the Clinton campaign juggernaut, there seems little chance that the Senator can pull off an upset. Perhaps aware of this perceived doubt, Sanders has been quick to point out that he’s used to being an underdog, and has pulled off several surprise victories throughout his career. “We’re in this race to win,” declared Sanders in his announcement.

Do you think Bernie Sanders should be President of the United States? Vote and comment here.

Should Bernie Sanders Be President of the United States?

Senator Bernie Sanders has declared his campaign for the presidency.

 

Looking at state-wide politics, last week California Governor Jerry Brown was busy making several major announcements around environmental policy. At a climate change conference in Los Angeles, Brown issued an executive order that sets even more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets than California’s previous goals. Under the order, the state will have to reduce emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. And in a separate statement, Brown called for harsh fines against water wasters. If he gets his way, individuals and businesses would be slapped with a $10,000 fine for guzzling too much water. The exact amount of water that would incur the fine is still unclear as Brown has yet to submit a formal proposal to the legislature. But he assured that “only the worst offenders” would have to pony up.

What are your thoughts on these proposals? Do you support the amped up emission targets and the $10,000 fine? Vote and comment here.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% Below 1990 Levels by 2030

In an announcement at a climate change conference in Los Angeles, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order mandating that the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

 

$10,000 Fines For Water Wasters

California Jerry Brown is pushing a proposal that would dramatically increase the fines water wasters pay.

 

Finally, in Oakland, a number of activists are up in arms around a proposed condominium development to go in on the west side of Lake Merritt. Developer Michael Johnson is hoping to build a 24-story tower of market rate condominium housing on a one-acre plot near the lake. Johnson asserts that the additional housing stock, though at market rate, will still take pressure off Oakland’s tight housing market. Critics of the project claim that the site should be developed for affordable housing and that the price tag on the land, $5.1 million, is much lower than what the city could probably fetch for the property. Some are also critical of Johnson’s previous work – in 2000, Johnson worked on a redevelopment project in East Oakland that went grossly over budget.

Should the city sell the property to Michael Johnson to develop into condominium housing? Vote and comment on the proposal here.

Should Condos Be Built Near Lake Merritt?

The city of Oakland is considering selling a one-acre plot of land near Lake Merritt to developer Michael Johnson.

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