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Hometown: Southern California
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Member since: Tue Jun 7, 2011, 03:02 PM
Number of posts: 4,299

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EFF: Your DMV photos are about to be compromised

An obscure advisory committee in the California Department of Justice is scheming to connect your driver license and state ID data with a national law enforcement network and allow cops to use facial recognition on your photos. Speak out now.

They’re moving forward even though they’ve been told by the California Department of Motor Vehicles that the law doesn’t allow for this kind of expansion, which would pose serious data security and privacy problems.

Still, the CLETS Advisory Committee, as it’s called, has been scheduling private meetings with the state’s largest law-enforcement lobbying organizations and applying for grants to build out the technological infrastructure to make this happen.

The advisory committee isn’t used to hearing from the public. You can help to stop this expansion dead in its tracks by joining us in sending letters to the committee in advance of its next meeting on March 25.

Use our tool to generate a public comment today—before it’s too late.

Fighting for your rights,
Dave Maass
Investigative Researcher
Electronic Frontier Foundation

via email

UCC: Thank Governor Brown for Committing to Cut Oil Use in Half

During his inaugural address, Governor Jerry Brown committed to make a plan that would reduce California's oil use by 50 percent over the next 15 years. His commitment mirrors our own Half the Oil plan, so we're particularly pleased to see this bold step forward.

Almost immediately after the governor's announcement, the oil industry started to attack its credibility. But their claims are unfounded—as our Half the Oil plan demonstrates, practical changes such as improving fuel efficiency, shifting to electric vehicles, and expanding low-carbon biofuels technologies would allow us to reach the 50 percent goal by 2035.

California is already on track to meet the state's 2020 climate goals, which would lead to a 20 percent decrease in oil use if extended through 2030. By committing the state to a more ambitious goal, Governor Brown acknowledged the urgency of addressing climate change as well as the practicality of today's oil-saving solutions.

The benefits of cutting oil use go beyond our efforts to stabilize the climate. In addition, using less oil will improve public health by decreasing air pollution, and will create jobs and economic opportunity in clean fuel alternatives.

Governor Brown's commitment shows that he recognizes that cutting oil is both important and possible. Write to thank him today for his commitment to cut California's oil use in half: Letter


Brandy Doyle
California and Western States Organizer
Union of Concerned Scientists
via email

Unjust Public Policies Drive the Massive Racial Wealth Gap in America: Study

Published on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 on Common Dreams by Sarah Lazare, staff writer

From the re-segregation of schools to the redlining of home ownership, rise in disparities is no accident

The yawning racial wealth gap in the United States is no accident, but rather, driven by unjust public policy decisions—from the re-segregation of education to the redlining of home ownership to poverty wages, according to a new analysis by Brandeis University and the public policy organization Demos.

Inequalities are vast, note the researchers. For example, Census data shows that, in 2011, median white households in the U.S. held $111,146 in wealth, compared to a mere $7,113 for Black homes and $8,348 for Latino ones.

These disparities emerge from historical choices on the political and policy levels, the researchers note.

"The racial wealth gap is large because we instituted it in public policy historically and continue to make public policies that exacerbate the problems," said report coauthor Catherine Ruetschlin, a senior policy analyst at Demos, in a press statement. Therefore, it is vital "to find new opportunities to address the way that we’re constantly perpetuating this disparity between black, white and Latino families," Ruetschlin continued.

Researchers offer a series of solutions aimed at reversing these trends, from equalizing home ownership to racially integrating schools at all levels. In addition, the study calls for a significant boost to the minimum wage, as well as "making it easier for workers to form and join unions."

The researchers' focus on poverty pay echoes the growing call from low-wage workers for society to address the role of poverty wages in driving racial inequality.

"Black and Latino workers are disproportionately likely to be employed in positions that pay the minimum wage or just above and would benefit the most from an increase in the federal minimum wage," the report states.

The researchers continue, "With new research indicating that minimum wage increases have not reduced employment, a hike in the federal minimum wage from its current low rate of $7.25 would boost the incomes of many of the lowest paid Black and Latino workers and have the potential to decrease the racial wealth gap."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
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