The TRUST Act passed through state Legislature in August, and as the bill moves closer to Gov. Brown’s desk, controversy continues to stir. On Aug. 25, Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas, pictured, spoke out against the bill. “It would make me break either federal or state law,” Freitas told the Los Angeles Times, “I would have to pick which one to break.” If the TRUST Act comes to fruition, it will prohibit local authorities from detaining suspects unless they had committed a serious or violent felony. Currently, thousands of people are deported from the United States each year, often for misdemeanors like driving without a license. On Thursday, Sept. 6, the North Bay Organizing Project and local clergy co-sponsor a prayer vigil at the Sonoma County Jail in support of the TRUST Act. 2777 Ventura Ave., Santa Rosa. 4pm. 707.483.2874.
In response to the alarming rise in car-related injuries and deaths to Sonoma County cyclists, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition has embarked on a new campaign to protect pedestrians and cyclists from harassment. The Vulnerable Road Users Protection Ordinance would allow harassment victims to recoup attorney’s fees and punitive damages; in addition, violators would be liable for “triple the actual damages, or $1,000, whichever is greater.” This might be one way to discourage drivers, like Harry Smith of Oakmont, from running down cyclists at will.—Leilani Clark