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Students Are Rising up against Guns and Demanding changes Now.

February 19, 2018

via Post-Columbine generation demands action on guns: ‘We don’t deserve this’

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Berkeley’s plan to make its own cryptocurrency raises eyebrows

February 24, 2018

By Sophie Haigney : sfchronicle – excerpt

Facing a homelessness crisis and funding gaps from recent tax cuts, the city of Berkeley is considering something revolutionary: making its own bitcoin-like cryptocurrency.

“Acts of resistance require creating resources,” said Councilman Ben Bartlett, one of the people behind the plan. He’s working with Mayor Jesse Arreguín, and teaming up with the startup Neighborly and UC Berkeley’s Blockchain Lab on proposals to turn municipal bonds into digital currency, with the goal of raising additional funds for specific projects…

Berkeley has no plan to buy bitcoin, ether or other similar currencies with city funds. Instead, the idea is to break up municipal bonds, allowing people to buy them in smaller quantities as digital tokens, similar to how other cryptocurrencies are traded. The currency will use blockchain technology, as most cryptocurrencies do, that creates a decentralized ledger of transactions designed to increase people’s trust in cyber money. But the micro-bonds recorded on the blockchain will be tied to an asset — the underlying bond. Bartlett argues that this makes it less risky than other cryptocurrencies, which have seen wide price swings in the past year…

A spokesman for the SEC declined to comment.

Marc Lifsher, a spokesman for the State Treasurer’s Office, said the office has no position and views it as a local issue…

The city and its partners are planning what backers like to call “an initial community offering” for May.

Bartlett said that either the City Council would have to approve the plan, or its backers could pursue it with a private company without the council’s OK.

They want to move quickly, he said: The technology promises “direct community engagement, and the need is more pressing than ever.”… (more)

Interesting concept to open the market to smaller investors.

 

Berkeley’s plan to make its own cryptocurrency raises eyebrows

February 24, 2018

By Sophie Haigney : sfchronicle – excerpt

Facing a homelessness crisis and funding gaps from recent tax cuts, the city of Berkeley is considering something revolutionary: making its own bitcoin-like cryptocurrency.

“Acts of resistance require creating resources,” said Councilman Ben Bartlett, one of the people behind the plan. He’s working with Mayor Jesse Arreguín, and teaming up with the startup Neighborly and UC Berkeley’s Blockchain Lab on proposals to turn municipal bonds into digital currency, with the goal of raising additional funds for specific projects…

The Berkeley project’s goal is to streamline the process for buying and selling municipal bonds, cut transaction costs and allow people to invest in projects of their choosing at low levels… (more)

 

Judge approves shutdown of large California homeless camp

February 21, 2018

Amy Taxin : sfchronicle – excerpt

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Southern California authorities took steps Tuesday toward shutting down a large homeless encampment and relocating hundreds of tent-dwellers to motel rooms under a court-supervised deal with lawyers who sued to protect their rights…

The case in the county of 3.2 million people between Los Angeles and San Diego is being watched by advocates elsewhere who are also grappling with a rise in homelessness amid soaring housing costs… (more)

Corporations Won’t Revitalize the Economy. The Middle Class Will.

February 19, 2018
By Nick Cassella : civicskunkworks – excerpt

Trickle-down economics is a hard beast to kill, and Republicans are doing a terrific job of keeping this economic theory alive amidst life-threatening conditions. As I noted last week, in a time of stagnant wages, the GOP has ditched their job-growth justification for tax cuts and instead begun to harp on the erroneous link between wage growth and lower corporate taxes.

Tyler Cowen at Bloomberg similarly noticed the conservative’s inadvertent creation of “a new kind of supply-side economics…

The time is ripe for Democrats to undermine trickle-down theory by arguing that wages will only grow when corporations are forced to pay their employees more. There is zero reason why we should believe in the generosity of corporations in 2017—and yet Republicans are telling the American people to do just that.

That’s a losing message in a time of terrible inequality. Let’s hope Democrats take advantage of such favorable territory.”…(more)

Understanding the Delicate Balancing Act between Credit and Debt

One of my linked-in connections in the editorial world, Scott Baker, linked to this video that explains in simple terms on how credit and debt work their magic on the economy. As you can see there is nothing magical about it, although there may be a bit of slight of hand when it comes to government oversight. Experience counts when it comes to managing such hefty beasts as the Fed and the US Treasury…(more)

With market volatility, it’s helpful to understand how the economy moves in short and long term cycles. Ray Dalio-billionaire investor, philanthropist & founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds provides an insightful video on how the economic machine functions. Worth the watch. https://lnkd.in/e2KKe-9 Ray Dalio

Why 37 Major Progressive Groups from Los Angeles Oppose State-Level Housing Bill SB 827

February 16, 2018

By Jacob Woocher : knock-la – excerpt

The battle lines around the pro-development (and pro-gentrification) SB 827 are becoming increasingly clear, with 37 grassroots organizations from L.A. yesterday releasing a letter detailing their opposition.

On one side, in support, you have the bill’s author, State Senator Scott Wiener, a former lawyer and current career politician whose biggest funders are the real estate industry; an informal coalition of 120 tech and venture capital executives; and astroturf YIMBY groups (“Yes In My BackYard”) that unabashedly promote free-market, trickle-down approaches while ignoring anti-displacement policies like rent control and “just cause” eviction protections. (I say “astroturf” to refer to the fact that these groups are rolling in corporate and billionaire cash — they are not genuinely of the people. California YIMBY, for example, was founded by two tech CEOs, Nat Friedman and Zack Rosen, a fact that is conveniently nowhere to be found on their website!)

On the other side, in opposition, you have 37 of the most progressive and truly grassroots housing and labor organizations in L.A. Signatories of the letter include L.A. Community Action Network (LA CAN), Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), United Neighbors in Defense of Displacement (UNIDAD), Inquilinos Unidos, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), and the L.A. Black Worker Center. These are organizations that receive little or no corporate money, have been building from the bottom-up for years, and are firmly rooted in the Black, Latinx, and Asian-American communities that are suffering most under our current housing and homelessness crisis…(more)

 

Tiny apartments: New California bill would reward developers who go compact

February 15, 2018

By Katy Murphy : mercurynews – excerpt

SACRAMENTO — A California lawmaker frustrated by the lack of low-cost efficiency apartments being built to ease California’s housing shortage is taking a shot at spurring their construction — by making them more profitable for developers.

A new bill sponsored by the city of San Diego would reward developers for building smaller and more affordable units within a short walk of public transit.

It seems to me that there’s a huge market out there for working- and middle-class housing, and yet it’s not getting built,” said the bill’s author, Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, in an interview Wednesday…

 

Many California cities already offer incentives or concessions to encourage housing development near transit. Assembly Bill 2372 would create a new state program that rewards projects based on how much usable floor space they would include per lot, a change designed to maximize density…

The bill is the latest in a flurry of legislation introduced since January to address the state’s housing shortage. Senate Bill 827 from Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would override local height limits that block apartments and condominiums from being built within a half mile of public transit stations.

Gloria’s bill takes a gentler tack, offering cities the option to participate.

The program would not require the state to provide additional, taxpayer-funded subsidies… (more)

 

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