California bill bars insurers from declining fire coverage

Amid mounting cries of California homeowners being denied wildfire insurance in high-risk areas, lawmakers want to require insurance companies to cover all existing homes, as long as they meet new safety standards.

The measure, coming after years of deadly fires causing insurers to turn down more customers, would also require insurance companies to give homeowners financial incentives for fire safety upgrades. Existing homes that meet a new state standard for “fire-hardening” would not be denied coverage under the law.

The industry has resisted previous action to force companies to insure homeowners in high risk areas. Insurers say that devastating and more frequent blazes have jeopardized their profitability and capability to provide coverage. …

Click here to read the full article from Fox40 News.

New Political News Blog – SoCal Political News

A new political news blog – www.socalpoliticalnews.com – has officially launched. With just over a week of posts already up on the website, the site is already growing quickly.

Some of the key factors that SoCal Political News anticipates for their future success is frequent postings and a very strong group of authors linked to the website. Some of the many authors include:

  • Chris Emami
  • Austin Lumbard
  • Dr. Barry Resnick
  • Bob Loewe
  • Craig Alexander
  • Dr. Jeff Barke
  • Mark Bucher
  • Melissa Salinas
  • Jim Palmer
  • Peggy Huang
  • Matt Holder
  • Tim Shaw
  • Will Swaim

The website is currently focused on Orange County. However, work is underway to add experienced authors from Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. An emphasis is being placed on writing about political news, analysis, public policy and government relations. These posts will be on topics at the national, state and local levels of government.

A major goal is not to add to the massive amount of negativity on the internet. The site instead will write in a manner that is fact-based and focuses on providing great content that can sometimes be thought-provoking.

Unlike some other sites, this blog will not allow any of their authors to post anonymously. Over the coming weeks, they are expected to add to their list of authors.

SF Mayor Breed regrets letting Nuru friendship influence her judgment

As Mayor London Breed braces for the potential fallout from her disclosure last week that she accepted $5,600 in gifts from ex-Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, she admitted to a lapse in judgment that allowed her personal life to bleed into her professional one.

Breed laid out what happened in an online post Friday, but her attempt at transparency still left many questions unanswered.

On Tuesday, Breed remained tight-lipped when pressed for details in an interview about why Nuru, a prominent department head, paid for a mechanic to repair Breed’s broken-down car and for a rental car last year. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

California to allow voters to switch party registration on Election Day

California’s governor signed a bill last week that allows state residents to switch their party affiliation on Election Day, a change expected to increase primary election participation.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the bill Thursday, allowing voters to fill out a short form at any point in the last two weeks before an election, including the day itself, declaring their party affiliation.

The bill ensures that a resident may vote in their intended party’s primary even if they miss the official registration deadline, presuming that their application is accepted by county officials. …

Click here to read the full article from The Hill.

SF Mayor Received Gift From Corruption Probe Target

Mayor London Breed admitted to letting former Public Works chief Mohammed Nuru pay about $5,600 for expenses involving repairs to her car — a gift the mayor said she wasn’t required to disclose because the two had dated and been friends for decades.

Breed disclosed her romantic relationship with Nuru in an explosive online post Friday morning.

“Mohammed Nuru and I have been close personal friends for more than 20 years. We dated for a brief time, two decades ago, long before I ever ran for office. Nevertheless, he, and his now-adult daughters, have remained close friends for all those years,” Breed said in the post. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here’s What President Mike Bloomberg Would Mean for California

Photo courtesy Center for American Progress, flickr

Mike Bloomberg would give California a centrist president from the tech world, someone who prides himself as a pragmatic decision maker guided by hard data and not political expediency.

After 12 years as mayor of New York, Bloomberg has faced the problems that plague urban areas like the Bay Area and Los Angeles. His campaign slogan, “Mike will get it done!” is designed to show him as a different sort of candidate, one concerned with actions, not words.

Talking last year about the Green New Deal, a wide-ranging — and expensive —environmental statement backed by many progressive Democrats, Bloomberg expressed reservations.

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Dismisses 66,000 Marijuana Convictions

Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey on Thursday announced that she had secured the dismissal of 66,000 marijuana convictions in Los Angeles County, marking a major step in a growing national effort to undo the harsh effects of a decades-long drug war.

The move, which comes years after California voters legalized weed, reverses decades of drug enforcement that disproportionately targeted people of color — who then faced barriers in finding housing and jobs and enrolling in school.

Lacey this week filed a motion asking a judge to erase 62,000 felony convictions dating to 1961 and 4,000 misdemeanor convictions in 10 cities across the county. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta signed the order Tuesday. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

California bullet train cost rises by another $1 billion

The estimated cost to complete California’s high-speed rail line rose another $1.3 billion, to $80.3 billion, while construction is on schedule to meet a 2022 deadline to have about 20% of the track laid, according to a new business plan released Wednesday.

The cost bump is less than in previous years, and is mainly because the plan pushes back the completion of a high-speed rail link between Silicon Valley and the Central Valley by 18 months, to late 2031.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s latest business plan comes amid pressure from state lawmakers, some of whom want to peel off more of the money to help commuters in the state’s population centers. The 168-page report attempts to counter those critics by emphasizing the $3 billion already going to so-called “bookend” projects in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. …

Click here to read the full article from the Associated Press.

Justice Dept. Sues Over Sanctuary Laws in California

The Justice Department has sued local and state governments in California, New Jersey and Washington State as part of a “significant escalation” in the Trump administration’s fight against so-called sanctuary laws aimed at limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities, Attorney General William P. Barr said on Monday.

“These policies are not about people who came to our country illegally but have otherwise been peaceful and productive members of society,” Mr. Barr said in a speech at the National Sheriffs’ Association conference in Washington, D.C. “Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes.”

Such laws passed by local and state governments generally restrict whether and how the local police shares information with the federal authorities about a person’s immigration status. Five states, as well as counties in nearly 30 states, have enacted them. …

Click here to read the full article from the New York Times.

A homeless couple moved into a $4 million Bay Area home a year ago

When a homeless couple in Oakland moved into a $4 million Piedmont home last year, they didn’t know if they’d be staying for a few weeks or a few months.

It’s not every day a homeowner in one of the Bay Area’s most exclusive cities opens up their home to the needy. But that’s what Piedmont resident Terrence McGrath did for Greg Dunston and Marie Mckinzie.

A year has passed, and the couple still lives in McGrath’s in-law unit. But it’s been, at times, a trying experience for both homeowner and guests. Tensions have flared over the couple’s joblessness and cleanliness. But McGrath remains committed to helping Dunston and Mckinzie. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.