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Monitor Notes: 2021 Plans, Film Series, Housing Awards, CPUC Survey, and Fuel Labels

Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.


Group Effort

Want an inside look at local planning? The League of Women Voters (LWV) of North & Central San Mateo County is setting priorities for the New Year and inviting you to join the effort on January 19 at noon. The virtual planning meeting is an opportunity to weigh in on which issues local and county leagues, as well as the LWV of California (LWVC), should focus. The group will be asking questions like, “Where are the greatest needs?” and “How can the League help?” Read the event information and then start brainstorming by checking out the positions of the San Mateo County League and the LWVC.


Join the League for Movie Night

The LWV of Oakland is showcasing the film, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” this week. The documentary, featured this month as part of the group’s “Appreciating Diversity Film Series,” recounts a summer camp’s ties to disability rights activism in the 1970s and how that led to the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. Watch the film at home via YouTube or Netflix and then gather virtually with the League for a discussion on January 7 at 5 p.m. The film’s directors, Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht (pictured here), will talk about their experiences making the documentary and current disability rights movement issues.


Dwell on Housing

Join an important housing conversation on January 14. Finalists for the 2020 Ivory Prize — an annual award recognizing housing affordability solutions —will share their approaches to build, regulate, and finance housing during a virtual symposium from 9:30 to 11 a.m. with UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation and Ivory Innovations. Their solutions “are feasible and scalable and have the potential to make a significant dent in addressing our national housing shortage or increasing access for families that have been excluded from the market,” according to event information. Register here and then read a new housing market report highlighting dogged affordability issues.


Touching Base

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) wants to hear from residents. It’s running a brief online survey to improve outreach and pinpoint when and how ratepayers wish to receive updates and information. The 100-plus-year-old CPUC, which has faced its share of controversies in recent years, was originally intended to regulate railroads. However, it now regulates energy, water, communications, and transportation. Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma (pictured here) discusses this regulatory authority, as well as initiatives related to autonomous vehicles and climate change, in an interview with nonprofit public policy group, the Brookings Institute.


Warming Labels

Cambridge, Mass. is putting a label on climate change. It recently became the first U.S. city to require gas stations to display climate change warning labels on gas pumps to raise awareness about the harmful effects of burning fuel, according to an article in The Guardian. City of Berkeley officials mulled a similar measure in 2014 but the effort was unsuccessful. Cambridge’s bright yellow labels remind drivers that “burning gasoline, diesel and ethanol has major consequences on human health and on the environment including contributing to climate change.” The hope is that drivers will consider non-polluting travel options. Transportation generates more than a quarter of U.S. emissions.


Monitor Notes is produced by Cecily O’Connor. To receive it by email, scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your email address in the box under “RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES,” and click the red “SIGN UP” button.


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