Chicano Park Earth Day 2014

April 22nd, 2014

Chicano Park Restoration 2011

Chicano Park was founded on April 22, 1970 — the same day as the first Earth Day — when the Barrio Logan community joined activists to protest the construction of a Highway Patrol station on the present site of the 8 acre park. The community had already been degraded by the demolition of hundreds of homes to make way for Interstate 5, toxic industries and junkyards, and by the lack of community facilities, good schools, jobs, and medical or social services. The park was designated an official historic site by the San Diego Historical Site Board in 1980, and its murals were officially recognized as public art by the San Diego Public Advisory Board in 1987. In 2013, Chicano Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Chicano Park Mural Restoration Project received the Governor’s 2013 Historic Preservation Award.

Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Buendía había de recordar aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo. Gabriel García Márquez.

April 17th, 2014


Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963

April 16th, 2014
I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it
possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil rights leader but as a fellow
clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon
pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities,
and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our
great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
mlk mug shot 19630416

You’re in love. You can’t stop smiling.

April 16th, 2014


The worst rental affordability crisis this country has ever known Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan New York Times

April 15th, 2014

Here are the 20 cities in the nation where rents are highest relative to median gross income:

housing rental affordability nyt

Read the rest of this story on the front page of the New York Times . . .

53% of residents pay more than 30% of monthly income on housing costs,  according to the City of Los Angeles.

Evictions from rent controlled units are on the rise in Los Angeles, according to the L.A. Times.


Is inequality an inherent contradiction that will hasten the inevitable collapse of capitalism? The Nation

April 14th, 2014

Is inequality an unavoidable byproduct of capitalism? That’s the question at the heart of a new book by French economist Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which The Nation’s Timothy Shenk argues “stands a fair chance of becoming the most influential work of economics yet published in our young century.” Relying on an extensive well of data collected over a decade, Piketty asserts that there is no reason for market-based economies to inherently tend toward equality—quite the opposite, in fact. And if drastic action isn’t taken, we will continue the slide toward a world of increasingly separated haves and have-nots.

On April 16 at 6pm EST, head to to watch Piketty join Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University), Paul Krugman (Princeton University) and Steven Durlauf (University of Wisconsin–Madison) in conversation at a landmark event organized by the Graduate Center, CUNY. The event will be introduced and moderated by Janet Gornick and Branko Milanovic (The Graduate Center, Luxembourg Income Study Center). The event is co-sponsored by the Luxembourg Income Study Center and the Advanced Research Collaborative.

For more on Piketty’s book, read Shenk’s article in this week’s issue of The Nation, “Thomas Piketty and Millennial Marxists on the Scourge of Inequality.”

WSJ Almost Forgotten Civil War Atrocity Mostly black Union soldiers slaughtered as they tried to surrender to Confederates

April 12th, 2014

On April 12, 1864, the worst war crime ever perpetrated during the Civil War took place on a bluff above the Mississippi River, 65 miles north of Memphis, Tenn. Three years to the day after the firing on Fort Sumter, 1,500 Confederate troops swept over defenses of Fort Pillow and massacred hundreds of surrendering Union soldiers, most of them black.

Read the rest of this article by Fergus M. Bordewich in the Wall Street Journal

Live streaming President Barack Obama LBJ Civil Rights @ 50 Summit April 10 9:30 am PST

April 10th, 2014

LBJ Civil Rights Act @ 50, Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Fair Housing Act, immigration, gun control, clean air and water

April 9th, 2014

“Johnson represented the high-water mark for American presidents pushing through sweeping legislation — not just the Civil Rights Act, but the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the Fair Housing Act and major measures on immigration, education, gun control and clean air and water. No president since has approached that level of legislative success . . . .”

Read the rest of this article in the New York Times . . .

Great Wall of Los Angeles Restoration 2011 L.A. River

Great Wall of Los Angeles Judy Baca SPARC Los Angeles River

Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated April 4, 1968. Why was he in Memphis?

April 4th, 2014

“When you go beyond a relatively simple though serious problem such as police racism . . . you begin to get into all the complexities of the modern American economy.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Why He Was in Memphis” — Most Americans today know that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was killed 46 years ago — on April 4, 1968 — in Memphis, Tennessee. But fewer know why he was there.  King went to Memphis to support African American garbage workers, who were on strike to protest unsafe conditions, abusive white supervisors, and low wages — and to gain recognition for their union.  During the 1960s, King became increasingly committed to building bridges between the civil rights and labor movements. . . .  King warned about the “gulf between the haves and the have-nots” and insisted that America needed a “better distribution of wealth.” -Peter Dreir