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Monitor Notes: Equity in Education, Ferry Future, Homelessness, Economic Recovery, and Parks Appointments

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


Working Toward Equity in Education

Can we have equity in education? That question is at the center of a Santa Clara County League of Women Voters virtual forum on March 20 at 1 p.m. The event, organized by the group’s civil discourse committee, intends to school people on California education funding from the perspective of equity and equality. Some school districts are facing closure, in part, because of disparities tied to the system of funding schools. Parcel taxes are one way to shore up funding gaps but they can be difficult to pass. Santa Clara County’s Cupertino Union School District is trying a parcel tax again on the May 4 ballot after the measure fell short of the required two-thirds vote last March. The League event will address these funding issues and possible solutions.


Ferry Tale

Officials at the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) are holding a virtual open house on March 16 at 7 p.m. to hear feedback and answer questions about the agency’s pandemic recovery program. It includes a one-year proposal for reduced fares on all Transbay routes and expanded schedule options for San Francisco Bay Ferry. WETA is hoping to incentivize riders to the system, accommodate travel pattern changes, and attract a new ridership base as the Bay Area economy continues to reopen, according to a news release. The WETA board of directors will hear public comments and consider approval of the proposed program during a public hearing on April 1 at 1:30 p.m. Changes would take effect in July.


Close to Home

A March 11 event with advocacy group SPUR at 12:30 p.m. will examine Assembly Bill 71 (Rivas/Bloom/Chiu/Wicks) called the “Bring California Home Act.” It proposes to fight homelessness with a new tax increase on large corporations that could produce more than $2.4 billion a year. During the event, a panel of city and housing advocate professionals will discuss how AB 71 works, where revenue would go, and its potential to affect change. About 151,000 California residents are currently homeless. The bill is supported by the Bring California Home Campaign, a group SPUR has joined. For more views on housing the homeless, listen to a March 2 recording of a League of Women Voters of Piedmont talk with Dr. Margot Kushel, director of UCSF’s Center of Vulnerable Populations. 


Coronavirus Recovery

Bay Area residents wondering how climate resilience will be built into the nation’s economic rebound should consider attending a March 31 Climate One event at noon about “Investing in a Clean and Equitable Recovery.” The Biden Administration’s COVID-19 recovery strategy is expected to prioritize climate and equity alongside economic growth. But will those priorities extend to a post-pandemic workforce that doesn’t leave anyone behind? Women and minorities have been especially hard hit over the past year. Alicia Seiger (pictured), who leads the sustainable finance initiative at Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, is one of three professionals who’ll talk about building back the economy. Click here for details.


Park Appointments

Sabrina Landreth is taking the helm at the East Bay Regional Park District as general manager. She is the first female to serve in the role in the park district’s 87-year history. Her appointment comes as we celebrate the successes and contributions of women in history this month — themes the Monitor covered last year in a special edition that included a look at the professional strides of Bay Area women. Ms. Landreth (pictured) is a fifth-generation East Bay native. She brings to the table executive leadership experience built from positions managing the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. She replaces Robert Doyle, who retired as general manager after a 47-year career with the park district. Landreth will begin her new position next week.



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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