Wednesday, April 3, 2019

San Jose community college student Angelica Lopez is juggling a full-time class load and three jobs. But the most stressful part of her life is figuring out where to park the car that doubles as her home.

Every day she weighs her options: park overnight in a good neighborhood and risk having the cops called on her? Or park in a neighborhood where she worries about getting robbed or raped?

A bill meant to provide a temporary solution for students like Lopez passed its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday when it advanced from the Assembly Higher Education Committee to the chamber's appropriations committee. The bill, AB 302, would require community colleges to grant overnight access to campus parking facilities.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Homeless community college students will be permitted to park and sleep in their cars overnight at any community college in California if Assembly Bill 302 proposed by a former Palo Alto city councilman passes.

AB 302 is a proposed state mandate that would require community colleges with parking facilities to allow overnight parking for homeless students. The schools would apply to the state to get their expenses reimbursed for creating these safe parking lots.

To qualify for the program, students must be enrolled in courses, have paid for those courses and must be in good standing with their college.

Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, who authored the bill, said he was moved during five informational hearings throughout the state during the 2017-2018 legislative session, when students shared their stories of homelessness and housing insecurities that prevented them from completing their degrees.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A recent study of California's community colleges found that 1 in 5 students had been homeless in the past year.

To help these students, San Diego's community college district offers showers, priority class registration, food pantries, and help finding homeless services on and off campus.

But a new State Assembly bill aims to aid homeless students further by requiring schools to let them sleep in their vehicles overnight in campus parking lots and structures.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

For many college students, academics are an afterthought.

And it’s not because they’re bent on partying or other socializing.

It’s all about survival.

According to several recent surveys, around one in five — or about 400,000 — California community college students has experienced homelessness in the last year. Thousands more are at risk of becoming homeless.

Calling that number “shocking, alarming and tragic,” Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, on Tuesday outlined a new bill — AB 302 — that would force community colleges to allow homeless students to sleep inside their vehicles in campus parking lots overnight.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

One statistic explains why so many California civic and nonprofit advocacy groups are worried about next year’s U.S. census: 72% of the state’s population belongs to one of the groups historically undercounted during the once-a-decade process.

Researchers believe as many as 1.3 million residents could be missed — a mistake with profound political and policy implications for the next decade.

“There’s really a lot riding on census data,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said at an event last week in Sacramento.

Monday is the one-year mark until Census Day, the official date for measuring the nation’s population, though final numbers won’t be available until the end of 2020. California’s demographers believe the state has grown by at least 2.5 million people since the last census in 2010.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Doing homework at night is hard for her.

If her flashlight batteries are dead, she relies on streetlights to see, but it also gets cold and damp outside as her hands cramp up while attempting to complete assignments.

Ink sometimes bleeds and the letters blur—B’s begin to look like eights and M’s begin to look like W’s, she said.

But most enduring was when homeless El Camino College student Roxann Toshiko Tomiyasu used to sleep in the Masao W. Satow Library parking lot in Gardena and run into drunkards and gang members, she said.

“You’ve got gangs out here saying, ‘Oh, we don’t want homeless in this area—we’re just going to beat them up,’” Tomiyasu said. “We have drunks and all these people running around.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

By allocating $1 million last week toward a creek restoration project set to rejuvenate threatened and endangered species and reduce flooding in Pescadero, county officials locked in funding needed to begin a dredging effort experts expect will give the Butano Creek a chance to reset.

Also backed by California State Parks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, the project to re-establish more than a mile of the Butano Creek channel, remove 45,000 cubic yards of sediment and restore more than 10 miles of habitat for steelhead trout and coho salmon has been a focus for Supervisor Don Horsley, landowners, government agencies and community organizations for years.