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Yesterday, June 17

  • 8:54pm

    Fight For $15 moves to Petaluma and Santa Rosa after bruising battle in the City of Sonoma


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    fter prevailing in the city of Sonoma, a local effort to jump start the state's 2023 $15 minimum wage mandate now moves to Petaluma and Santa Rosa, says local wage-equity activist Marty Bennett.

    Last week the Sonoma City Council unanimously passed a local minimum wage ordinance that will see the city's minimum wage rise to $16 an hour by 2023. The effort was driven by the local umbrella-advocacy organization North Bay Jobs for Justice and opposed by a number of restaurants in Sonoma.

    The labor push was designed to get a jump on the state's new minimum wage law which, by 2023, will see California's floor wage rise by stages to $15 an hour for companies that employ 25 people. Companies that employ more than 25 will be onboard with the $15 wage by 2022. The current minimum wage in the state is $11 an hour; that will rise by a dollar a year until 2023.

    The California law that prompted the wage hike was opposed by a cross-section of industries in the state, including the state's restaurant lobby. The wage hike, when fully implemented, will raise restaurants' operating expenses by between 2 and 3 percent, according to industry analyses of its impact. In the restaurant business, that means customers could see higher menu prices to offset the impact.

    The regional restaurant industry has also highlighted the economic fallout from 2017's catastrophic wildfires that struck the North Bay—and that an accelerated minimum wage rollout is the last thing they need right now as the region rebounds from the $14 billion in damage wrought by the fires. Conversely, Bennett highlights the benefits to restaurants insofar as higher wages mean a higher rate of employee retention.

    Under California labor law, when there's a conflict between the federal, state and local minimum wage, "the employer must follow the stricter standard; that is, the one that is most beneficial to the employee."

    The national "Fight for $15" was the backdrop that led to the 2017 effort in California to increase the state minimum wage, as the state push then became "$15 by 20."

    Bennett says the campaign to encourage localities to get a jump on the 2023 mandate is driven almost entirely by the cost of housing in the region. According to online data, the median cost of a home in Sonoma County is $614,900 compared to a statewide average of $548,000 and a national average of $219,000.

    In Sonoma County, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, according to data assembled by bestplaces.net, is $1,447, about $100 more than the state average and $500 more than the national average. The situation for families is even more challenging: a four-bedroom home rental...

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  • 8:45pm
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    *NBLC NOTE*: This is definitely good news. This is something we've been working on for years. This asphalt plant does not belong at this site and has been violating city ordinances for years. That said, notice there's no date of this planned move. Again, while this is great news, we still need to hold their feet to the fire and make sure they observe the ordinances that are in place for the remainder of the time they are still at this site. That means noise levels lowered and hours of operation should be 6am to 6pm. The city still needs to enforce these rules.
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    *NBLC NOTE:* This is definitely good news. This is something we've been working on for years. This asphalt plant does not belong at this site and has been violating city ordinances for years. That said, notice there's no timeline.  Again, while this is great news, we still need to hold their feet to the fire and make sure they observe the ordinances that are in place for the remainder of the time BoDean remains at this site. That means noise levels lowered and hours of operation should be 6am to 6pm. The city still needs to enforce these rules.
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    The owners of a prominent asphalt plant in central Santa Rosa are planning to move their business to Windsor, laying the groundwork for affordable housing to replace an industrial operation that the owners acknowledge no longer fits into a neighborhood the city has targeted for dense residential development.
     
    The owners of a prominent asphalt plant...
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  • 8:37pm
    NBLC NOTE: This is definitely good news. This is something we've been working on for years. This asphalt plant does not belong at this site and has been violating city ordinances for years. That said, notice there's no timeline.
     
    Again, while this is great news, we still need to hold their feet to the fire and make sure they observe the ordinances that are in place for the remainder of the time BoDean remains at this site. That means noise levels lowered and hours of operation should be 6am to 6pm. The city still needs to enforce these rules.

     

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    The owners of a prominent asphalt plant in central Santa Rosa are planning to move their business to Windsor, laying the groundwork for affordable housing to replace an industrial operation that the owners acknowledge no longer fits into a neighborhood the city has targeted for dense residential development.

    BoDean Co. founders Dean and Belinda “Bo” Soiland said their new, larger site in Windsor is better suited for continued industrial use than the current site south of West College Avenue, where the city has taken a stronger regulatory stance in recent years as complaints have mounted from neighbors.

    Paperwork to build the new plant will be submitted to Windsor officials in July, Dean Soiland said. The Soilands had not finalized plans for their Santa Rosa property, though planning work there could proceed on a parallel track to development of the new Windsor plant.

    The Soilands have planned the move while rebuilding the Fountaingrove home they lost in the Tubbs fire.

    “I think we’re used to having a lot of activity and projects,” said Dean Soiland, whose family is one of the largest players in the local construction materials sector. Bo and Dean Soiland own the asphalt plant separately from those other operations.

    The planned move marks a significant departure of a prominent manufacturer from Santa Rosa and the proposed transformation of an island of industrial land into much-needed housing to match its present-day neighborhood.

    The site on Maxwell Drive has hosted industrial operations since the early 1950s, according to the city, but BoDean’s operations there — dating to back to 2001 — have increasingly chafed against the concerns of the West End neighborhood.

    Planning officials have wrangled...

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  • 7:33pm

    Lobby our legislators in Sacramento for the rights of workers to be properly classified.

  • 7:23pm
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    Join the California Labor Federation, State Building & Construction
     
    Join the California Labor Federation, State Building & Construction
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    Trades Council, California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, UNITE
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    Trades Council, California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, UNITE HERE, UFCW Western States Council & SEIU State Council
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    HERE, UFCW Western States Council & SEIU State Council
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    *Wednesday, July 10th**8am-3pm*
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    *Wednesday, July 10th*
      
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    *8am-3pm*
      
     
    UNION LOBBY DAY
     
    UNION LOBBY DAY
     
    *Meet at The Grand Ballroom,*
     
    *Meet at The Grand Ballroom,*
     
    *1215 J St (Across from Sheraton), Sacramento, CA 95814*
     
    *1215 J St (Across from Sheraton), Sacramento, CA 95814*
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  • 7:17pm

    Join the California Labor Federation, State Building & Construction

    Trades Council, California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, UNITE HERE, UFCW Western States Council & SEIU State Council

    Wednesday, July 10th, 8am-3pm

    UNION LOBBY DAY

    Meet at The Grand Ballroom,

    1215 J St (Across from Sheraton), Sacramento, CA 95814

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    4:20pm

    Frankfort, KY — As working families continue to unify behind the Beshear/Coleman ticket, Matt Bevin’s nasty “war of words” with his own lieutenant governor is only getting worse and dividing Kentucky Republicans, with both of Kentucky’s U.S. Senators getting dragged into the mess.

    KDP Spokesperson Marisa McNee told the Lexington Herald Leader over the weekend: “Matt Bevin is a weak and unpopular bully who has thrown the GOP into chaos. Instead of focusing on the challenges facing Kentucky families, Bevin spends his time starting feuds with teachers and his own lieutenant governor. With his chief of staff forced to admit he directed the recent firing, it is clear that Matt Bevin has been dishonest about his role in this growing scandal and he and his new running mate Ralph Alvarado need to stop hiding and come clean.”

    Here’s how the GOP family feud between Bevin and Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton exploded over the weekend:

    1. Lt. Gov. Hampton’s recently fired aide Adrienne Southworth spoke at a meeting of conservative activists on Saturday and accused Matt Bevin of firing her for investigating his administration. Southworth also said the Bevin administration can’t govern.

    2. Senator Mitch McConnell got publicly dragged into the mess, with the Courier Journal reporting: “Jenean Hampton's fired aide told conservative activists on Saturday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was behind booting her boss from the 2019 gubernatorial ticket.”

    3. After Matt Bevin claimed he didn’t know anything about the situation, the governor’s chief of staff fired back at Team Hampton and was forced to admit he was behind the firing of Lt. Governor Hampton’s staff.

    4. ...
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    4:16pm
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    4:15pm

    By Richard Trumka and Rick Bloomingdale, For The Times

    The North American Free Trade Agreement has been a disaster for working Pennsylvanians. But, the way it came about was no accident.

    Those in power decided that greed, not justice or fairness, would be the rule of our economy. Corporations were handed free rein to suppress the rights of workers in Mexico, slash wages across North America and destroy livelihoods here at home — anything to fatten their already burgeoning profit margins.

    For the past 25 years, we have witnessed the capacity of shameless politicians and greedy executives to wreak havoc on working people. We have watched families reel from the closing of a plant at the heart of their community. We have seen our parents and grandparents scramble to survive as their pensions are sacrificed to reassure shareholders. Day after day, the fruits of our labor have has been sold out to enrich those with the most.

    Read more here.

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    3:02pm
    Changes to Body
     
    *Erin Trostle, Pound Ridge Town Clerk*
     
    *Erin Trostle, Pound Ridge Town Clerk*
     
    *Carolina Jaramillo-Johnson, Rye City Council*
     
    *Carolina Jaramillo-Johnson, Rye City Council*
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    *Martiza Fugaro-Norton, Cortlandt Town Justice*
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    *Maritza Fugaro-Norton, Cortlandt Town Justice*
     
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    *Westchester County Court*
     
    *Westchester County Court*
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  • Your profile picture
    3:01pm
    Changes to Body
     
    *Erin Trostle, Pound Ridge Town Clerk*
     
    *Erin Trostle, Pound Ridge Town Clerk*
     
    *Carolina Jaramillo-Johnson, Rye City Council*
     
    *Carolina Jaramillo-Johnson, Rye City Council*
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    *Martiza Fugaro-Norton, Cortlandt Town Justice*
     
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    *Westchester County Court*
     
    *Westchester County Court*
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    2:59pm
    Changes to Body
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    *WPCLB Endorsements as of 5/8/19*
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    *WPCLB Endorsements as of 6/12/19
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    /* denotes incumbent/
     
    /* denotes incumbent/
     
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    *Lauren Leader, Harrison Town Board*
     
    *Lauren Leader, Harrison Town Board*
     
    *Michael Romita, Harrison Town Board*
     
    *Michael Romita, Harrison Town Board*
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    *Patricia O'Callaghan, Harrison Town Justice*
     
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    *Kent*
     
    *Kent*
     
    *Westchester Family Court*
     
    *Westchester Family Court*
     
    *Wayne Humphrey, Westchester Family Court *
     
    *Wayne Humphrey, Westchester Family Court *
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    *Maryanne Scattaretico-Naber, Westchester Family Court *
     
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    *Supreme Court,...
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  • Your profile picture
    12:06pm
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    11:45am
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    11:35am
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    From Forward Kentucky:
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    From Forward Kentucky: Bevin-Hampton fight turns into tag-team bout
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    11:34am

    The fight between the Bevin administration and Lt. Gov. Hampton and her staff turned into a tag-team wrestling match over the weekend, with multiple players jumping into the ring with public accusations and counter-accusations.

    The tag-team members

    Before we lay out the events, it’s important to know the players and their roles. At the top, of course, are Governor Matt Bevin and Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton. Observing from the shadows is Senator Mitch McConnell.

    You “can’t tell the players without a program.” So, here is your wrestling program:

    Read more here.

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    11:20am
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    11:18am

    From the Kentucky Education Association

    The Kentucky Educators’ Political Action Committee (KEPAC) has unanimously endorsed Attorney General Andy Beshear for governor and Jacqueline Coleman as lieutenant governor. The 24-member committee, made up of educators from across the Commonwealth, supports friends of public education in state and local elections. All candidates were invited to discuss their candidacy for office with the committee. However, current Governor Matt Bevin did not respond to an invitation.

    As Attorney General, Beshear has stopped several of Governor Matt Bevin’s anti-public education policies, including winning a unanimous decision by the state Supreme Court to reject the “Sewer Bill” that stripped pensions from future educators. Coleman, an educator and member of the KEA, has vowed to focus on the public-education system and supporting the Commonwealth’s rural regions.

    “We are committed to supporting candidates for every office who are pro-public education and are dedicated to fully funding our schools,” said KEA President Eddie Campbell. “Andy Beshear has proven that he has the best interests of students and educators in Kentucky in mind as Attorney General. We are confident that he will continue to champion public education as our next governor.”

    “Educators are more engaged than ever in the legislative and political process thanks to our current governor’s attempts to gut funding for public schools and cut their pensions,” said Campbell. “We intend to educate every member in our association and their families about what’s at stake in this election and ask them to support Andy Beshear in November. Matt Bevin has proven he is a failed governor who has been unable to even work with representatives from his own party. Kentucky can’t afford another four years of his incompetence.”

    KEPAC also endorsed candidates in other statewide races. They include Heather French Henry for Secretary of State; Greg Stumbo for Attorney General; Sheri Donahue for Auditor of Public Accounts; Michael Bowman for State Treasurer; and Ryan Quarles for Commissioner of Agriculture.

    KEA represents more than 44,000 Active, Retired, and Aspiring Educators across the Commonwealth and is the largest professional organization in Kentucky. KEPAC is a permanent committee affiliated with the KEA. All KEA Active, Part-time, KEA-Retired and KEA-Aspiring Educators are eligible for membership and voluntarily contributions to KEPAC. No KEA member dues dollars are used to support KEPAC or endorsed candidates...

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