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Monitor Notes: Redistricting Prep, Housing Talk, Climate Plans, Vaccine Rides, and Fire Prevention

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


Ready for Redistricting?

Redistricting, a process in which states redraw their state and congressional district lines, occurs every 10 years, based on the U.S. Census count. With 2020 census data expected to be released later this year, the League of Women Voters of Cupertino-Sunnyvale is hosting an online discussion about the redistricting cycle on February 22 at 6:30 p.m. It’ll feature Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of California Common Cause, a political advocacy group. Mehta Stein (pictured here) will help explain how redistricting determines who represents our communities at the local, state, and federal levels, and what it means for the policies elected officials support. Let us know what you learn at the event and how you plan to get involved.


Supportive Housing

The League of Women Voters of Piedmont is inviting Dr. Margot Kushel, director of UCSF’s Center of Vulnerable Populations, to speak about her latest research, “Housing the Homeless in the Time of COVID-19,” on Tuesday, March 2 from 4 to 5 p.m. Dr. Kushel (pictured here) examined efforts to prevent and end homelessness that, in turn, help lessen the effects of housing instability on healthcare outcomes. Since 2012, Dr. Kushel has run several multi-year studies on Bay Area homeless populations. That includes September 2020 research showing that permanent, supportive housing is effective for high-risk, chronically homeless people. Register here, or watch the livestream on LWV Piedmont’s YouTube channel.


Climate Advocacy Prep

Seven Contra Costa County cities are updating their general and climate action plans, policy documents that set the direction for addressing climate change. Public participation is critical to these planning efforts. So a group of climate advocacy organizations, including Greenbelt Alliance and 350 Contra Costa, is organizing a workshop on February 24 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to help people learn how to communicate effectively with policymakers. Contra Costa County residents and grassroots organizations will be on hand to share lessons learned and impart necessary tools for climate advocacy. They’ll also let you know about upcoming public action opportunities to put new skills to work.


Transit Booster

As the state continues to work on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, several Bay Area public transit operators are contributing to the effort by transporting riders to recently opened vaccination sites accessible by bus and rail. BART is offering a $7 ride-home voucher to people who receive a vaccine at the Oakland Coliseum site. Eligible riders need to show their vaccination card with a matching date to BART staff at the Coliseum BART station during operating hours. AC Transit also will offer free-fare shuttles to the Coliseum. In the South Bay, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority announced that people can ride for free to Levi’s Stadium, the state’s largest COVID-19 vaccination site, by taking the light rail Orange or Green lines, or certain bus routes directly to the stadium.


Wildfire Prevention

California’s Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot is hosting a February 23 online forum at 12:30 p.m. with a range of state partners to discuss the new Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan. About $1 billion in investments to reduce vulnerable communities’ fire risk and improve state forest health are outlined in the plan. A January 13 blog from Save the Redwoods League explained some of the action plan’s key components, many of which affect coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. You also may follow the California Forest Management Task Force for more updates on the action plan. Here’s a webinar recording from its last meeting on January 11.


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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