Tags >> budget
May 10
2010

Affordable Housing Week

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Sonoma County , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , legislation , housing , homeless , government , finances , families , economy , construction , Congress , California , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

  It isn’t getting any easier to build affordable housing in California. But the need for it is continuing to grow all the same.

Cities across Sonoma County have done an admirable job of meeting their goals for creating affordable housing, as specified in the Housing Elements of their respective General Plans, Diane Spaulding (left)  told the Sonoma County Housing Coalition on Monday.  But a close examination of those housing numbers reveals that, even with good intentions and political will, building units for low and very low income families remains difficult.

Finding funding for affordable housing in the California budget will be especially challenging this year, but the demand for it is continuing to grow. In a “new normal” world, Spaulding suggests, the solution may lie in creating ways to mesh the housing need with other social goals.

Diane Spaulding is the Executive Director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. She spoke at the kickoff breakfast Monday for the Sonoma County Housing Coalition's annual Affordable Housing Week.  See the full list of Affordable Housing Week activities here.  You can read the Coalition's  annual Housing Progress Report for 2009 here.

 

 

 

 

Apr 15
2010

National Priorities Project

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , technology , research , policy , peace , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , journalism , government , finances , education , current events , Congress , budget , activism

Bruce Robinson

If you’ve ever wondered just where the taxes you pay actually get used, The National Priorities Project can tell you.

To see where your personal tax payments are going, visit the Tax-Day website hosted by the National Priorities Project. You can also track the war spending totals, and what that money could have funded instead for Sonoma County,  Marin County, or the state of California as a whole. They are far from new to this issue, explains National Priorities Project spokesman Chris Hellman. In fact, they’ve been at it, as an organization, longer than many, maybe even most, members of Congress have been in office.

On the occasion of their 25th anniversary, the Project produced the video below that summarizes their approach and their history.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPA0B-ai0D8 360x240]

Over the years, Hellman adds, the Project has tracked budget details for many years. But to keep the information more easily digestable, they don’t try to identify long-term budgetary trends.

Apr 06
2010

Stimulus jobs

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , jobs , government , finances , employment , economy , current events , Congress , California , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

Federal stimulus money is quietly funding subsidized job placements in Sonoma County.

One the funding was released to the local program, it took only a few weeks to begin working. Conner clearly recalls the first person they were able to get hired.

In some cases, explains Fran Conner, the federally subsidized employment program covers the employer’s full cost of hiring the new worker. But even in those other cases, the substantial major of the workers’ wages are reimbursed.

Employers who are interested in participating in this program are invited to contact Karen McCarty, the Subsidized Employment Coordinator, at (707) 523-0550, extension 214. Job seekers should contact either Kirsten Gardner (707) 565-8543 or Isabel Garciabedoya-Melara (707) 565-8559.

Mar 31
2010

Econmomics of Diversity

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , research , poverty , policy , literacy , international , history , education , economy , current events , California , budget , author

Bruce Robinson

Promoting educational opportunity for all is good economic policy, says Stanford  Professor Martin Carnoy, while perpetuating inequality is bad for business.

From an economic perspective, there are clear benefits for greater educational attainment, but in California, Carnoy says, policies to encourage that are lagging,

 Learning to read is a critical first step on the educational ladder, so Carnoy suggests emphasizing that key skill is more important in the long term than promoting bi-lingualism.

Dr. Carnoy has written more than 30 books on economic issues, racial inequality and education policy. He will give a free public lecture on April 1 at 7 pm in the Person Theater  at Sonoma State on the topic, “Educational Equity and Social Justice as Smart Economic Policy. Dr. Carnoy also blogs regularly for the Huffington Post. Read his blog here.