California Pushes People Deeper Into Poverty by Towing Their Cars for Non-Safety Reasons

By Maya Ingram, of ACLA : laprogressive – excerpt

Living in California is already expensive enough for working families — paying rent, paying for childcare, putting food on the table, etc. — without also having to pay to retrieve a towed car. But every year, California local governments push countless families that are struggling to make ends meet deeper into poverty by towing their legally parked cars. Hundreds of thousands of cars are towed each year for non-safety reasons and to collect minor debts…

That’s why the ACLU of California is sponsoring AB 516, a bill introduced by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to ensure California stops punishing poor people for being poor by towing their cars for non-safety reasons. Towing cars should be reserved for improving public safety and traffic flow, not punishing and plunging people into insurmountable debt. It’s important to note that AB 516 will still let cities tow abandoned and inoperable vehicles.

Cars are often towed without first giving owners notice and post-tow hearings offer shamefully inadequate due process protections. As a result, working families often lose their cars, leading to job loss, more debt, credit score dings, increased instability, and even homelessness(more)

We support AB 516 by David Chiu sponsored by ACLU of California.

BART official responds to Netflix original that takes aim at US’s failing transit systems

By Drew Costley : sfgate – excerpt

BART was briefly mentioned on the newest episode Hasan Minhaj’s “Patriot Act” on the state of public transit in the United States, but how much of what he talks about it in the episode applies to the state of public transit in the Bay Area?…

In a recent episode of Netflix’s “Patriot Act,” comedian Hasan Minhaj bemoaned the state of public transit in the United States, blaming the billionaire Koch brothers for stifling attempts by several major metropolitan areas to upgrade their public transit systems.

“I want to talk about public transportation. Look, it’s not just destroying my life,” Minhaj said. “Everyone hates public transportation.”… (more)

Failure of public transit is a tragedy not a comedy.

Let’s face it. The public transit system is failing. Not due to a lack of funds. Over a billion dollars a year for Muni is a problem, not a solution. They can’t hire enough drivers so they hire 55 PR flack to spin that story instead. Let’s blame the public for one thing. Let’s blame the public for voting for not having the wisdom to figure out who is to blame. The question we need to ask is, “who his benefiting from the failure of the pubic transit system? That is the culprit that needs to be taken out.