Governor Sets Aside Properties For Homeless

Following his State of the State speech last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s staff released a list of 286 state properties that he will allow local government agencies to use for free to shelter the growing number of people struggling to find housing in the state.

Newsom selected the properties, many of which belong to CalTrans, the state agency in charge of constructing and maintaining much of the state’s transportation infrastructure, last month when he signed Executive Order N-23-20.

Also included are the Sonoma Developmental Center, a former state mental hospital surrounded by 1,670 acres of land. The Napa State Hospital, another state-run facility with a 138-acre campus, is also listed as a possibility.

In his address, Newsom reportedly said it is “a disgrace, that the richest state in the richest nation … is falling so far behind to properly house, heal and humanely treat so many of its own people.”

Black Success Panel and Event at SRJC

The Santa Rosa Junior College Black Student Union presents “Perception vs. Reality: Black Success Panel” from 6–9pm, Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Student Activity Center on the Santa Rosa Junior College campus, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

Among the participants and panelists are Emmy Award–winning musician Tony Saunders, actor Willie Hen (The Last Black Man of San Francisco), Faith Ross, cofounder of Petaluma Blacks for Community Development, Ted Keys of 100 Black Men of Sonoma County and D’Mitra Smith, vice-chair on the Sonoma County Commission for Human Rights. Ben Edwards, Evette Minor and Dianna Grayer are also participating, as are the North Bay Black Chamber of Commerce and the Sonoma County Black Forum.

“We want our community and students to walk out knowing that it doesn’t matter what perception is placed on them,” says organizer Delashay Benson. “The reality is that you can become anything that your heart desires.”

ICE Arrests
Spark Outrage

News that agents from a federal immigration agency showed up at the Sonoma County Superior Courthouse on Tuesday, Feb. 18, despite a lack of cooperation from local officials, sparked outrage among Sonoma County officials and immigration activists last week.

Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly arrested at least two people at the courthouse in Santa Rosa.

In a joint statement released on the day of the arrests, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, Public Defender Kathleen Pozzi and County Counsel Bruce Goldstein all condemned the federal agency’s operation. In the same statement, Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick said that his agency had not coordinated with ICE officials.

In response, local activists organized a protest of the federal agency at the courthouse on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 25.

“Our community will not tolerate these ICE raids, which terrorize and separate our families, especially when they happen at public service buildings like schools and court houses,” an unnamed immigrant’s rights leader said, according to a Graton Day Labor Center press release announcing the protest.

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