Monthly Archives: November 2020

Getting Serious About Climate Change

In 2015 more and more Americans began eating poultry than red meat. The question is, can Americans opt-out of eating so much meat for the better of the environment? 

Eleanor Cummins of Popular Science wrote about why Americans eat so much meat in Oct. 2019. Cummins begins before the first 13 states were created, where only kings and royalty were the ones who had the money to feast on animals. When colonists began a new life in America, there was much more land to raise livestock. 

Since then, everyone in the US wanted to have meat in their diet. Having meat started to be associated with what it meant to be American, it seems almost criminal not to have a turkey at Thanksgiving. 

Cummins quotes Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle, in which people couldn’t sustain livestock in the cities in the early 1900s and had to migrate farms away from crowded places. Farms on the outer banks could increase production and be able to sell more at cheaper prices. 

While the consumption of red meat keeps growing, more and more people are choosing poultry, fish, and vegan foods. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Over 2015-17, beef had the largest percentage increase in per capita loss-adjusted availability—growing by 6 percent.”  After the 2007-9 recession, Americans began eating more red meat. 

The USDA also explains how poultry started to change the diets of Americans. As health departments started to advise switching to chicken rather than the fatty beef, and the bird becoming much more accessible in a variety of ways, “skinless, boneless breasts and ready-to-eat rotisserie chickens.”  The “Loss-adjusted chicken availability increased from 22.4 pounds per capita in 1970 to 52.3 pounds per capita in 2017.” 

Vegan Bits lists the top 10 most vegan cities in the US, as of Jan 1, 2020, the top being Portland, Los Angeles, and NYC. Certainly, here there’s a stronger normalization of choosing eggplant parmesan over a half slab of pork ribs. 

In a survey conducted by Faunalytics, the top reasons why people are vegan are because of health-69%, animal protection-68%, and concern for the environment-59%.  

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(AOC), U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, has heavily pushed for the Green New Deal, legislation that pushes for climate change and to address economic inequality. The Green New Deal was modeled after the New Deal that took place in the 1930s in order to help recover from the Great Depression. 

In Mar. 2019 AOC spoke in frustration after the senate voted against the Green New Deal, calling it elitist, “This is a quality of life issue. You wanna tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist?” AOC stated the poorest people in the cities are the ones experiencing first hand the health effects of climate change. 

“Science should not be partisan,” AOC could not comprehend why so many people turned against helping create legislation for improving the environment, “We are facing a national crisis.” One of the main factors to drive AOC to her frustration was the heavy attention that focused on helping oil companies rather than people’s lives. 

AOC was interviewed over a zoom meeting by Jane Fonda on Oct. 23 on the matter of how the Green New Deal could have been helpful in the heights of the coronavirus pandemic. AOC amplifies how already having the legislation in place would have changed the mindsets of Americans on science-related issues. 

“We would have respected the science early,” AOC refers to the scientists who were warning the population of the pandemic in its early stages. AOC also adds that the Green New deal was also centered around universal healthcare, which is still critical as the COVID-19 cases continue to rise. 

AOC and many Americans have high hopes for climate control as the new year comes along and Joe Biden will be officially inaugurated into office.

Google Logos

Google proposes a new town in Silicon Valley

Coming to a neighborhood near you, Google is looking to build a new, town-like campus near its headquarters in Silicon Valley, called Downtown West. The new project was announced on Sept. 1, though it may take a couple of years for the project to come to fruition.

On Sept.1, the company unveiled its proposal for their new town in the city of Mountain View. The proposition would renovate Middlefield Park, a 40-acre site, into a “mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented neighborhood.” According to Business Insider, the new town would include a park’s network, retail space, office space, and even a public pool and sports field.

Google also plans to add residential housing, adding as many as 5,000 residential units. The company aims to make at least 25% of the units affordable housing. This follows Google’s $1 billion pledge made last year to develop at least 20,000 new homes over the next decade in the Bay Area.

Google will maintain most of the ownership but plan to set aside half the site for residential and public use, such as multiple parks, a recreational center, and an aquatic center. At least 15 acres of the proposed plan are dedicated to parks, plazas, and green space.

“It’s certainly one of the ideas in the Precise Plan to create a mixed-use neighborhood where a lot of the needs and services are within walking distance from where you live and work,” Google’s real estate director Michael Tymoff told Mountain View Voice.

Google also plans to incorporate deep environmental sustainability into the town’s framework, aiming to improve the health of people and the planet. They are committed to green building certification through LEED, Leadership in Energy, and Environmental Design.

Many of the buildings will include biophilic designs, meaning to connect building designs more closely to nature. The buildings will also utilize technology and materials that minimize environmental impact and reduce heating and cooling inside the buildings.

Downtown West would also try to reduce carbon emissions and aim to not result in any additional net emission of greenhouse gases. Google plans to do this by increasing energy efficiency through solar panels and renewable energy sources.

The new town will be designed to promote transit ridership through multi-use trails, public transportation, and creating a micro-mobility environment to encourage walking and biking.

Google had submitted its initial plans for the project last October, but the plans are still in the early stages and still have to go through city approval, which could take until summer 2021.

Chabot FRESH Food Distribution

A new food drive location has opened up at Chabot College to address food insecurity in Hayward. The new site will serve as a drive-thru, no contact food distribution.

Chabot’s student-led organization, FRESH -Food, Resources, and Education to Stop Hunger- Food and Life Pantry, has partnered with the City of Hayward to battle hunger in the community. The food drive is hosted every Thursday from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.

Food insecurity in the Bay Area has risen dramatically in recent months due to widespread layoffs related to COVID-19’s impact. Millions of people have had to limit themselves to pay for basic necessities.

Roughly, 4.6 million California residents are facing food insecurity, according to CalFresh, which helps millions of families afford food each month. On average, 1 out of 8 people don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

The food drive at Chabot offers fresh produce, canned and dry goods, and dairy products. All resources and free to anyone in the community. Each distribution is based on the number of people in your household.

FRESH first began to serve the community in May 2017. Previously, FRESH had hosted a farmers market-style food distribution twice a month, with food provisions from the City of Hayward and the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB). By the end of July, the City of Hayward had reached out to Chabot’s FRESH to make a plan for a food drive distribution.

Besides ACCFB, Sewa International, Columbus Meats, and Hope 4 the Heart have all reached out to Chabot to help with food donations.

FRESH serves, on average, 3,700 individuals and 800 families a week. Of those, about 163 of them are students at Chabot. Sofia Sanchez Pillot Saavedra, a former student at Chabot, was one of the student organizers for FRESH. She started officially as a FRESH staff last year after graduating from UC Berkeley.

Sofia would often ask herself, “Why are our students hungry?”

She noticed that when she was a student at Chabot that there was a demand for students needing food. “Food is such a basic thing. If they’re not eating how do we expect them to learn?”

Traffic control, along with food distribution, were some difficulties FRESH had to workaround during this year with the addition to COVID-19. Many people would show up early in the morning, that it would trickle down closer to the main road. FRESH would then need to decide as to whether or not to open early to alleviate traffic congestion, according to Sofia.

It’s been a work in progress, but now “we’re pretty good at being able to estimate how much to distribute to each car, to make it stretch throughout the day,” Sofia said. “If people come around 11, they’re guaranteed, whereas if they show up after 12:30, we might or might not have enough food.”

The food drive has been very beneficial to the community and its students, according to Sofia. “If the students’ families are struggling, so will the students. I think Chabot partnering with the City of Hayward is a great thing because we are serving very similar populations. Our students are not separate from the community, they are a part of it as well.”

For potential volunteers at Chabot, you can help out during the Thanksgiving week distribution on Tuesday, November 24th, and during the Christmas week distribution on Tuesday, December 22nd.

Please contact Zach Ebadi from the City of Hayward if you have any questions, or are interested in volunteering.

[email protected]

Rhea Wunsch holds up an "I'm voting by mail" sticker

2020 Election: A Historical Voter Turnout

With a lot of uncertainty during election week, one thing is for sure – voter turnout is at an all-time high. At least 160 million Americans voted in the 2020 election, the largest number of voters in a U.S. presidential election in history. Biden is climbing the popular vote with more than 80 million more votes than any president has ever received.

Over 100 million Americans casted their votes early this year, only shy of 36 million more votes that were casted in 2016. Mail-in and early person voting were consistently popular across the United States this election year, mainly due to COVID-19.

Past elections have shown trends of a lower voter turnout. According to a study done by Pew Research, the U.S. has some of the worst voter turnout rates in the world, ranking 30 out of 35.

In the 2000 election between George Bush and Al Gore, only 110 million people voted, making the voter turnout around 55%. Of that 110 million, only 18 million people from the ages of 18-29 voted in that election.

Besides having some of the worst voter turnout rates, young people consistently vote at a lower degree compared to other age groups.

In the case of the historic 2008 election between Barack Obama and John McCain, voter turnout had soared to new heights not previously seen. It was the most racially and ethnically diverse electorate in U.S. history, with an increase in both the number of and turnout rates of eligible minority voters. With 131 million people voting and a turnout of about 58%. Young voters were higher in this election than in pasts, with roughly 18% of young adults voting.

However, voter turnout decreased once again during the 2016 election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. With only 137 million Americans voting and a turnout of 56%, slightly higher than the 2000 election. While young voters made up 19% of the electorate, at least 8% of them had voted for a third-party candidate.

The voter turnout during the 2020 election reached around 66.7%, the highest it’s been in 120 years. What’s even more inspiring is that 53% – 55% of registered 18 to 29 year-olds voted.

“That may be the highest ever recorded in the modern era of politics,” Simon Rosenburg, the founder of New Democrat Network and the New Policy Institute, told CNBC.

Gen Z, who are currently between the ages of 8 and 23, proved to be Biden’s success in certain key states like Georgia and Pennsylvania. At least 65% of voters between the ages of 18 and 24 voted for Biden- 11% more than other age groups.

A host of issues pushed young voters to the polls; police reform, systematic racism, climate change, COVID-19, and the economy.

Zulaikha Marouf, a college student at Chabot, voted for the first time in the 2020 presidential election.

Issues ranging from climate change, police reform and funding for public education, were some of the driving factors that led Marouf to the polls.

“I voted more against Donald Trump than I did for Joe Biden. I wasn’t really that excited about Biden, he seemed like every other politician in the past,” Marouf said.

Biden’s Green New Deal particularly excited Marouf, “I’m a big believer in climate change, and the environment is really important to me. We need some form of affirmative action against climate change.”

A poll conducted by Change Research in early October found that youth voters were much more enthusiastic about voting after hearing about Biden’s climate plan; an estimate of 41% of voters.

In Georgia, a state that had not voted Democratic in almost 30 years, an estimated 21% of the votes came from young people, who supported Biden over Trump by 18%, gaining Biden 187,000 votes, according to CIRCLE.

Young Black voters played a crucial role in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to help President-elect Joe Biden in securing key-swing states. Black youth supported Biden by a wide margin of 90% in Georgia, and 86% nationwide. Young people of color favored Biden significantly more than young white voters.

2020 saw an increase in voter accessibility, from same-day registration, voting by mail and early voting. All of which were able to increase voter turnout substantially, especially for young voters and voters of color.

Remembering Peggy Fulton Hora

January 20, 1946 — October 31, 2020

Resident of Walnut Creek, CA

Judge Peggy Fulton Hora, a retired California Superior Court Judge, died unexpectedly on October 31, 2020. She was 74 years old. Known for her quick wit and encyclopedic mind, she was an avid reader and movie buff who didn’t own a television for over 30 years. She enjoyed the symphony, ballet, and fine dining. Two sons — Paul (Jamie) Hora of Danville and Erik (Linda) Hora of Alamo — survive her; Tim Spangler of Manteca predeceased her. Known to her eight grandchildren, Dillon, Kyle, Madison, Nathan, Kevin, Emily, Tommy, and Joseph, as “’Venture Grandma,” she traveled with them all over the world and sent hundreds of postcards from over 61 countries. 

Judge Hora was born in Oakland and reared in Castro Valley. She graduated from Castro Valley High School, Chabot College, California State University, Hayward, and the University of San Francisco School of Law. Elected to the bench in 1984, she was the first woman judge in Southern Alameda County. She was recognized as an innovator and founder of the drug treatment court movement. Judge Hora lectured nationally and internationally and wrote extensively on substance abuse issues, pregnant and parenting women, drug treatment courts, and therapeutic jurisprudence. She was cited over 100 times by the appellate court and various journals.

She was elected to the trial bench in 1984 and retired after serving 21 years. She had a criminal assignment that included presiding over the Hayward Drug Treatment Court. She returned to sit on assignments in 2008 and especially enjoyed presiding over the drug, domestic violence, and mental health courts. Speaking of her work as a drug treatment court judge, she said, “Few callings compare with the opportunity to leave a legacy that enhances the community, strengthens the criminal justice system, mends families, and restores individuals. ”She was the dean of the B.E. Witkin Judicial College of California and was on the faculty of the National Judicial College for over fifteen years. She was the 2004 recipient of the Bernard S. Jefferson Judicial Education Award from the California Judges’ Association. In 2008, she was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame of Alameda County.

Judge Hora loved to travel and was known throughout the world for her drug court work. She helped courts in Chile, Israel, New Zealand, Great Britain, and Australia. She served as the 2009-2010 Adelaide Thinker in Residence, the first in the field of law. She was appointed by the Premier of South Australia, and her report, “Smart Justice,” was distributed internationally. 

Never one to sit still for long, in 2015, Peggy, along with Brian MacKenzie and David Wallace, founded the Justice Speakers Institute (JSI). JSI has become a leader in the education of Justice System leaders worldwide. Its founders and associates are internationally recognized experts with decades of experience and mastery of more than 300 subjects impacting the justice system. Among her many accomplishments, as president of JSI, Peggy coedited the Science Benchbook for Judges, published by the National Judicial College.

A lawyer who asked her to perform his daughter’s wedding said of her, “Those of you who know Judge Hora see her as a fine jurist, but she is also the kind of professional I hoped my daughter would emulate. Judge Hora was not the first choice to preside over my daughter’s wedding. Or even my second or third choice. I first considered Eleanor Roosevelt but rejected her, as she is both deceased and not licensed in California. I then thought of Dorothy Parker, but she, too, is no longer with us, and she might not have shown up sober. Finally, I thought of Hillary Rodham Clinton, but I wasn’t sure she would receive the kind of unanimous reception my daughter deserves at her wedding. So I arrived at Peggy Hora’s name, a woman I equally admire and who combines the strength and compassion of Mrs. Roosevelt, the wit of Ms. Parker and the independence and vision of Sen. Clinton.”

Although no memorial is currently planned, the information will be available, and remembrances may be added online at

Stand With Bre

On Oct. 12, bodycam footage was released of the Breonna Taylor shooting on Mar. 13, in Louisville, Kentucky. Protests have continued to soar through the nation as no officers have been charged for Taylor’s death.

Louisville had called a state of emergency on Sept. 23 as the decision for the Breonna Taylor case was underway. Protests emerged once declared that the former Louisville police detective, Brett Hankison, was charged for potentially harming others with the gunshots that went through Taylor’s apartment.

No officer has been charged for the death of Breonna Taylor. Black Lives Matter protesters emerged throughout the city of Louisville, where armed officers appeared on the scene. The national guard appeared on the scene after two officers were shot. Protests quickly railed in other cities, including Chicago, Los Angles, and New York City. 

An overwhelming amount of pain and injustice has been left in the Black community. Black artists have taken to their social media platforms to express their disappointment in the grand jury’s decision and the frustration of merely being Black under the law in America. 

Alica Keys tweeted, “This is a PRIME example of Rotten to the CORE!!! UnJust!!!! Disrespectful and BLATANT DISREGARD!!!! Infuriated!!!!!!!”

COMMON took to his Twitter to post a video of James Baldwin, author and activist born in 1924, speaking about his experience of being ripped away from his heritage and the reality of being black in the US. “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost all of the time.” 

Jessica Lussenhop of BBC News broke down “Why it’s hard to charge US police over shootings,” in her article on Breonna Taylor Sep. 24. Lussenhop stated that the main reason for holding officers accountable for shooting a person dead has to do with laws varying from state to state.

California has one of the stricter laws to hold officers accountable. A recent change in the wording of the law was made in August. In the state, an officer must believe that shooting is absolutely “necessary,” no longer just “reasonable.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the legislation, Assembly Bill 392, into law on Aug. 17, “I’m ready to sign this damn thing,” Newsom stated at a ceremony held in Sacramento along with advocates for the law change standing beside him.

The bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, and Gov. Newsom hopes this sets an example for other states. 

The author of the bill, California State Assemblymember Shirley Weber, believes AB 392 is necessary to protect people and human rights. Weber spoke alongside Gov. Newsom in Sacramento.

Weber spoke proudly at the ceremony, “Far too many days have gone by with far too many deaths because of the inactions of those who have the power to enact change.” She ends her speech by embracing the change AB 392 will have around the world.

Stand With Bre is the current campaign that is dedicated to bringing Breonna Taylor justice. The campaign welcomes people to sign the petition for:

  • The Department of Justice must take immediate action to bring charges against all LMPD officers involved in Breonna’s murder.
  • Full transparency from the grand jury and an independent overhaul of its findings, including a release of the transcripts from the proceedings as requested by Breonna’s family. 
  • Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine, who originally presided over Breonna’s case, must step down for his gross mishandling of the Louisville Police Department and the subsequent investigation of Breonna Taylor’s murder.
  • We must pass Breonna’s Law to ban no-knock warrants in cities across the country to prevent more murders like Breonna Taylor’s.
  • Support a new Commonwealth’s Attorney candidate for Louisville and for prosecutors’ offices across the country who can stand up for civilians against our criminal legal system’s brutality.

Stand with Bre will continue to fight not just for Breonna Taylor but also for the equality of all black lives under the law. They ask if anyone is able to give a donation at