Friday’s Briefing: Oakland Police Union Fights Discipline of Three Cops; Oakland Teachers and Students Stage Protest March

Plus, Berkeley quickly greenlights affordable housing projects under new state law.


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Stories you shouldn’t miss for Jan. 18, 2019:

1. The Oakland police officer’s union has gone to court to challenge the discipline meted out against three cops who are accused of misconduct, alleging that the city’s new police commission violated the officers’ rights, reports Megan Cassidy of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The union alleges that the Community Police Review Agency, which reports to the police commission, unlawfully interrogated the officers “by declining to first provide the officers with records of allegations against them.”

2. Oakland teachers are holding a sickout today and many of them marched down Broadway with students to protest low pay and stalled negotiations with the district, reports Lisa Fernandez of KTVU. The one-day action has not been authorized by the teachers’ union. The union has been demanding 12-percent raises for teachers over three years, but the cash-strapped district says it can’t afford them due to a $30 million budget shortfall.

3. The city of Berkeley, which has a history of burying new housing proposals in bureaucratic red tape, has quickly approved two affordable housing projects under a new state law, SB 35, which streamlines the creation of new housing, reports Tony Hicks of Berkeleyside. One of the projects is a six-story complex “composed of two separate buildings: One will feature 89 rental units affordable at 50-60% of the area median income. The other will offer 53 permanent supportive housing units for people who were previously homeless and 44 short-term shelter beds, 12 of which will be for veterans.”

4. The town of Kensington has settled a lawsuit involving its scandal-plagued police force, agreeing to pay $90,000 to a couple for falsely arresting one of them and for retaliating against them for making complaints, the East Bay Times$ reports.

5. California’s powerful bail bonds industry has successfully blocked the state’s sweeping bail reform law by gathering enough signatures to put the issue on the 2020 ballot, the Sacramento Bee$ reports. The new law, Senate Bill 10, “would have abolished California’s cash bail system effective Oct. 1. In its place, the state would adopt a risk assessment-based bail system, which would determine an individual’s likelihood of returning for court appearances.”

6. Tesla founder Elon Musk announced that he’s slashing the Fremont electric carmaker’s workforce by 7 percent, warning “that the ‘road ahead is very difficult’ as he tries to make electric cars more affordable for the mass market,” Bloomberg News reports (via SFGate.com)

7. Hog Island Oyster Co. will resume operations soon in Tomales Bay in West Marin County, after it was forced to halt harvests when people reported getting ill after eating Hog Island oysters over the holidays, reports Erin Allday of the Francisco Chronicle$.

8. And in an explosive new report, BuzzFeed News is reporting that President Trump directed his then-attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about his Russian dealings. BuzzFeed also reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has documented evidence to prove that Trump suborned perjury — which is a felony.

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