CURYJ and the Pacific Institute Release a “Foto-Novela” to Lift Youth’s Stories of Justice, Safety, and Displacement

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No More Violence: Oakland’s Youth Propose Peace-Development Strategy

forgotton-voices-coverMay 2, 2014, Oakland, CA: Living in neighborhoods compounded by violence and simultaneous gentrification, Oakland youth – with the support of the Pacific Institute and Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) – have released the “foto-novela” Forgotten Voices to share their experiences and vision for creating opportunities for men of color. The foto-novela, available in both English and Spanish, comes out of the organizations’ Youth Empowerment Zone Project which aims to build the leadership capacity of young people directly impacted by proposed gang injunction ordinances in Oakland’s Fruitvale District.

“Forgotten Voices is compelling documentation of how to build healthy communities and bottom-up power. These aren’t top-down ordinances, but solutions from the ground up that reflect the patterns in youths’ shared experiences,” said Ruben Leal, a community organizer with CURYJ.

In a community where violence prevention strategies have criminalized the very youth the policies are meant to protect, the Youth Empowerment Zone Project created Community Research positions for the young men of color listed in Oakland’s gang injunction ordinances, recognizing them as thought leaders on youth violence prevention and community safety issues. Together and with the support of seasoned community activists and researchers, these “Hood Reporters” have created a comic-book-style short story which features photos taken by the youth and dialogue they have written to identify issues of concern in their communities, document community conditions, and generate solutions to create healthier communities.

 “Until now, there hasn’t been a story behind the faces and the root cause of violence in Oakland,” said George Galvis, co-founder and director of CURYJ. “We believe that neighborhoods affected by ‘turf violence’ can be transformed by the young people most impacted by that violence. Using participatory research tools like hand-drawn mapping, picture-taking, and peer-to-peer interviews, we have called on some of East Oakland’s street leaders to help develop a comprehensive peace-development strategy.”

Reducing youth violence will be key for Oakland to build healthy communities over the long term. By developing a youth-led vision in East Oakland that identifies specific improvements for existing violence prevention programs and services as well as broader policy and systems changes needed to support young people’s development, the Youth Empowerment Zone Project has provided these young men with the relevant resources, support, and opportunities to become positive forces for change in their communities.

“We need to begin to be innovative and creative about how we think about these issues to really address root causes of violence and the stability in communities most impacted by gang injunctions,” said Catalina Garzón of the Pacific Institute. “Gentrification and the increasing housing costs are destabilizing communities. Increased policing has been counterproductive by criminalizing our youth. It’s about healing – not about punishment – because what’s valued is sustaining community and family ties.”

Forgotten Voices is a tool that communities can use to build community power by lifting up the knowledge of those directly affected by violence, building a shared analysis of the root causes of violence based on lived experiences, and generating policy solutions that address these root causes.

Download the foto-novela Forgotten Voices in English (PDF).

Descarga el foto-novela Voces Olvidadas en Español (PDF).

Download the foto-novela Forgotten Voices in English and Spanish (PDF).

To learn more about getting involved in the next stages of the Empowerment Zone, contact George Galvis, georgegalvis (at) gmail.com, (510) 689-7350.

CURYJ and the Pacific Institute Release a “Foto-Novela” to Lift Youth’s Stories of Justice, Safety, and Displacement

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Published: May 5, 2014
Authors: George Galvis, Catalina Garzón, Freddy Gutierrez, Ruben Leal, Michael Muscadine, Mar Velez
Pages: 32

No More Violence: Oakland’s Youth Propose Peace-Development Strategy

forgotton-voices-coverLiving in neighborhoods compounded by violence and simultaneous gentrification, Oakland youth – with the support of the Pacific Institute and Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) – have released the “foto-novela” Forgotten Voices to share their experiences and vision for creating opportunities for men of color. The foto-novela, available in both English and Spanish, comes out of the organizations’ Youth Empowerment Zone Project which aims to build the leadership capacity of young people directly impacted by proposed gang injunction ordinances in Oakland’s Fruitvale District.

“Forgotten Voices is compelling documentation of how to build healthy communities and bottom-up power. These aren’t top-down ordinances, but solutions from the ground up that reflect the patterns in youths’ shared experiences,” said Ruben Leal, a community organizer with CURYJ.

In a community where violence prevention strategies have criminalized the very youth the policies are meant to protect, the Youth Empowerment Zone Project created Community Research positions for the young men of color listed in Oakland’s gang injunction ordinances, recognizing them as thought leaders on youth violence prevention and community safety issues. Together and with the support of seasoned community activists and researchers, these “Hood Reporters” have created a comic-book-style short story which features photos taken by the youth and dialogue they have written to identify issues of concern in their communities, document community conditions, and generate solutions to create healthier communities.

 “Until now, there hasn’t been a story behind the faces and the root cause of violence in Oakland,” said George Galvis, co-founder and director of CURYJ. “We believe that neighborhoods affected by ‘turf violence’ can be transformed by the young people most impacted by that violence. Using participatory research tools like hand-drawn mapping, picture-taking, and peer-to-peer interviews, we have called on some of East Oakland’s street leaders to help develop a comprehensive peace-development strategy.”

Reducing youth violence will be key for Oakland to build healthy communities over the long term. By developing a youth-led vision in East Oakland that identifies specific improvements for existing violence prevention programs and services as well as broader policy and systems changes needed to support young people’s development, the Youth Empowerment Zone Project has provided these young men with the relevant resources, support, and opportunities to become positive forces for change in their communities.

“We need to begin to be innovative and creative about how we think about these issues to really address root causes of violence and the stability in communities most impacted by gang injunctions,” said Catalina Garzón of the Pacific Institute. “Gentrification and the increasing housing costs are destabilizing communities. Increased policing has been counterproductive by criminalizing our youth. It’s about healing – not about punishment – because what’s valued is sustaining community and family ties.”

Forgotten Voices is a tool that communities can use to build community power by lifting up the knowledge of those directly affected by violence, building a shared analysis of the root causes of violence based on lived experiences, and generating policy solutions that address these root causes.

Download the foto-novela Forgotten Voices in English (PDF).

Descarga el foto-novela Voces Olvidadas en Español (PDF).

Download the foto-novela Forgotten Voices in English and Spanish (PDF).

To learn how you can get involved in the next stages of the Empowerment Zone, contact George Galvis, georgegalvis (at) gmail.com, (510) 689-7350

The Integrity of Science and Climate Change: Logical Fallacies and Abuse of Science

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SkeptiCal 2011

Dr. Peter H. Gleick
Pacific Institute
Oakland, California

What is the role of science in policy?

  • Good policy without good science and  analysis is … unlikely.
  • Good policy with bad science is even more  unlikely.
  • There is a long history of abuse or misuse of science.
  • The argument about climate change is largely policy debate hiding behind a scientific debate. […]

 

Download the full presentation here.

Report Wrongly Excuses Farms

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Report wrongly excuses farms from helping solve water woes

By Peter Gleick
Op Ed in the Sacramento Bee
Sunday, March 6, 2011

The latest report on California’s water crisis has recently been released by the Public Policy Institute of California, and while there are good things in this work, it has two fundamental flaws that cannot be ignored: It completely lets the agricultural sector off the hook for its part in causing – and ultimately helping to solve – our water problems, and it lays all the pressure and responsibility on urban water users and the environment.

The report includes a thorough review of California’s long history with water management based on the fine work by many earlier authors, a review of the nature of the water problems we face, a strong emphasis on the risks of flooding, support for a public goods charge on water, and important suggestions for institutional reform of our complex water agencies and their responsibilities. But while the study edges to the brink of identifying key steps to solving those problems, it ultimately steps back from producing the explicit recommendations needed.

The report’s biggest blind spot is agriculture, the state’s largest water user. The authors discount the vast potential for improving agricultural water-use efficiency because they misunderstand how it works in the real world, they overestimate its costs, and they misconstrue, misrepresent or minimize the benefits of these improvements. Why do they ignore this potential? Because they make the simplistic and false assumption, promulgated by some in the agricultural industry, that all excessive farm water use is already recaptured and reused.

This conclusion is at odds with history, science, field studies and the actual experience of California farmers. In reality, abundant water is lost to unproductive evaporation or to other sinks where it is not recaptured. Other benefits accrue from agricultural efficiency improvements as well, including better water quality, improvements in the timing of flows in important stretches of California’s rivers, reductions in energy demands and a savings of real water. Every one of these advantages would contribute to solving problems in the Delta and elsewhere. Efficiency improvements must therefore be central to any portfolio of recommendations for a new California water policy.

The exact savings potential is uncertain and varies from field to field. It depends on water prices, technology, financial barriers, soil conditions, return flows, recharge rates, downstream water users and many other factors. But as numerous studies have clearly stated, the potential for agricultural water savings is not zero. In fact, all available evidence suggests that it can be as large as 10 percent to 15 percent or more of current use – a vast amount of water – and certainly cannot be ignored.

Indeed, the authors contradict themselves when they grudgingly observe that farmers are already regularly improving efficiency: “Gross agricultural water use appears to have been falling since the early 1980s, due to irrigation efficiency improvements and retirement of some farmland with urbanization and accumulating soil salinity. Despite these declines in farm water use, crop production and the value of farm output continue to rise owing to productivity improvements and shifts to higher-value crops.” We simply cannot say that the full potential of agricultural water conservation and efficiency has been achieved.

Moreover, the report confuses the technical potential to save water with the policy choice about what to do with the savings. They observe that some efficiency improvements are reused immediately by farmers to grow more food or irrigate more land and thus they argue there is no real savings. But that is a policy choice. If the saved water goes to grow more food or irrigate more lands, no water may be freed up for other uses, but the savings and benefits are still real. And policies could also be put in place to permit these savings to be transferred to other users, left in streams for ecosystems, or stored in groundwater for later use – all additional benefits from efficiency. Finding more innovative ways to share water, to save water and to store water is key to the future of our state and critical to the health of both ecosystems and agriculture.

If there was no way to improve agricultural water-use efficiency, California and the rest of the world would be in a very difficult spot. Given natural limits on water availability, land would have to be fallowed or crop choices would have to change. In the long run, these options may also have to be considered, but voluntary efficiency improvements give farmers much more flexibility and choice.

As the Pacific Institute’s “agricultural success stories” have shown, California farmers are demonstrating all the time the potential to save water and increase productivity in response to water availability constraints, drought, new technology, prices and the shared experiences of their neighbors and other farmers. By ignoring the real potential for efficiency improvements, the PPIC report is forced to put all the focus for solutions on the urban sector and the environment. That is unnecessary and leads to bad policy recommendations, or worse, will lead to the failure to fix our problems at all.

Solving California’s water problems will not be easy, and it will not happen by ignoring the most serious pieces of the puzzle and the sectors with the greatest potential to help.

Download the report here

Bridging the Gap: The “Soft Path” and Water Wedge Strategies

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Presentation by Dr. Peter H. Gleick
Pacific Institute, Oakland, California
December 2010, American Geophysical Union

Introducing New Water Concepts for the Soft Path and “Water Wedges”

Research Challenges

• Defining and quantifying “Business as Usual” and “Positive Vision” scenarios.

• Categorizing and defining “wedge” approaches.

• Quantifying “wedge” potentials.

• Identifying barriers to strategies.

• Identifying how to overcome those barriers. […]

Download the full presentation here.

How Much Will We Use? Forecasting Urban Water Use in California with Changing Climate, Demographics, and Technology

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Published: August 26, 2010
Authors: Matthew Heberger, Juliet Christian-Smith, Lucy Allen

Global climate change is clearly acknowledged to pose risks to California’s water, though the focus has primarily been on water supply-side changes (e.g. decreased snowpack, earlier snowmelt, and more extreme floods and droughts). Yet along with these shifts in the quantity, timing, and reliability of freshwater supplies, climate change will also have important impacts on water demand. In particular, increased temperatures and altered precipitation patterns will affect the evapo-transpiration of plants and thus, total outdoor water demand. In addition, increased temperatures will impact cooling requirements, and therefore total indoor water demand. At the same time, a variety of other factors will continue to influence water demand such as population growth, development patterns (e.g., where the population grows), changes to the state’s industrial mix and employment (e.g., manufacturing jobs being replaced by service jobs), and on-going water conservation programs and standards (e.g., 20% reduction in per capita water use by 2020 and new water-use efficiency standards for fixtures and appliances).

The official California Water Plan process increasingly explores scenarios of different water futures as a way to better understand the scope of water problems and the ability of various water response packages to address those problems. The 2005 Water Plan explicitly addressed several important new responses in more detail than previous efforts, but recommended that additional efforts be made to expand both the scope and detail of the scenarios.

In recent years, the Pacific Institute has developed and analyzed independent assessments of the potential for water-use efficiency with support from the Department of Water Resources. DWR’s support enabled the Institute to develop estimates of efficiency potential in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors. Here, we expand on that work with additional scenario studies on urban efficiency. No “predictions” are made – instead, the Institute has developed transparent scenarios and a tool that can be widely used to test hypotheses, data, and assumptions on driving forces for urban demand. In addition, new modules related to climate change and impacts on water demand, an area of growing interest, will be developed and tested. The Pacific Institute is currently developing a tool that will make it easier for state agencies, water utilities, and others to explore scenarios of future water use, identify possible efficiency options, and capture economically desirable water conservation opportunities.

Researchers Matthew Heberger and Juliet Christian-Smith presented a poster at this year’s Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, an annual gathering of earth scientists in San Francisco attended by over 19,000. The poster, titled “How Much Will We Use? Forecasting urban water use in California with changing climate, demographics, and technology,” describes an ongoing project funded by California’s Department of Water Resources.

Funding for the project was originally approved by California voters through Proposition 50, the “Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002”. The Institute will publish a set of urban water use projections in the spring of 2011. This project fills a critical gap by evaluating a range of scenarios of future urban water demand in the context of climate projections. The study will also create a tool for water managers to compare different future scenarios by altering the greenhouse gas emissions scenario, the level of implementation of best water management practices, increased use of recycled water, and setting rules such as requiring dry cooling in industrial processes.

This study is one of the first to examine how water demand will change climate change. This report will develop a comprehensive set of water planning scenarios to integrate water-use efficiency options and the potential risks of climate change for California’s water demand to 2050.

View the poster presented at the Fall 2010 AGU Meeting here.

Pacific Institute Analyzes the 2010 California Water Bond

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Published: August 12, 2010
Authors: Juliet Christian-Smith, Lucy Allen, Eli Moore, Peter Gleick
Pages: 28

It is a critical time in California water policy.

At the end of 2009, a series of water-related bills was passed by the California Legislature, with the intent of moving the state out of decades of gridlock over water resource management. Simultaneously, the Legislature approved an $11.14 billion bond called the “Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010” to fund water system upgrades. This is the largest water bond in 50 years, yet the costs and benefits of the bond have not been fully assessed by an independent organization. The water bond has been postponed to 2012, but actions must be taken by the Legislator to ensure a responsible and effective water bond is proposed two years from now.

The Pacific Institute’s Water Program and Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program have collaborated on an independent analysis of the bond and released the report: The California 2010 Water Bond: What Does It Say and Do? The questions addressed by our analysis include:

  • What does the bond language actually cover and say?
  • How does the bond compare to past water bonds in size, definitions, and scope?
  • How will the bond be allocated among different funding priorities?
  • What are the governance implications of the bond?
  • What options are available for funding water system improvements?
  • What effect would the bond have on other critical public services and projects funded by the state?
  • How are the water needs of disadvantaged communities addressed by the bond?

The full report of our independent analysis of the 2010 Water Bond is available, as well as three NEED TO KNOW Information Sheets.

Download the full report.

Download NEED TO KNOW Information Sheets about the 2010 California Water Bond:

– What are the Fiscal Impacts of an $11 Billion Water Bond?

How Does this 2010 Water Bond Compare to Past Bonds?

– Does the 2010 Water Bond Help Those Who Need It Most?

Download the Water Bond Overview PowerPoint presentationPowerPoint photos courtesy of California Department of Water Resources, Salton Sea Authority, and the City of Idaho Falls.

Download the Water Bond press release.

Laguna Conceptual Restoration Design

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Laguna Conceptual Restoration Design
Lower Colorado River
Task 3 – Final/Preferred Concept and Detailed Cost to
the MSCP Planning Team

Presentation Outline

• Purpose and Objectives (Allen Haden – NCD)

• Site Map

• Project Design Considerations and Alternative Analysis

• Alternative 1 Overview

• Channel Design & Construction

• Water Delivery & Water Control Structures (John Wesnitzer – SWI)

• Re-vegetation and Habitat (Fred Phillips – FPC)

• Water Operations and Management (George Cathey – NCD)

• Cost Summary

• Additional Information Needs

• Timeline for Project Development (Bill Singleton – USBR) […]

Download the full presentation here

Taking a Toll: The High Cost of Health, Environment, and Worker Impacts of the Oakland Port Trucking System

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Published: February 14, 2009
Authors: Swati Prakash, Jennifer Lin
Pages: 40

A new report on the Port of Oakland trucking system finds enormous costs of health, environment, and worker impacts due to Port truck diesel pollution and poor working conditions. The report, Taking a Toll, estimates the economic cost to the Bay Area of these health impacts reaches at least $153 million annually.

The report, authored by the Pacific Institute and the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, finds Oakland Port truck diesel emissions pollute surrounding neighborhoods and contribute to premature death, exacerbate asthma, and increase cancer risk and other diseases among residents and drivers. Residents and truck drivers pay the price with their health, and taxpayers, residents, and truck drivers pay the health care costs. Further negative impacts such as noise, pedestrian hazards, lack of sleep and lower school performance are caused by trucks in the neighborhoods.


Download

 

 

National Water Priorities Budget

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Published: November 10, 2008
Author: Peter Gleick

National (2009-10) Budget Priorities for Water Resources

Following up on the “Water: Threats and Opportunities – Recommendations to the Next President” released in October 2008, the Pacific Institute offers a set of priority budget suggestions for addressing water-related challenges facing the United States. The budget amounts below are suggested first-year additions to base year funding, with additional recommendations for modest ramp-ups. […]

Download the full presentation here.

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