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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Repost from Friends for Fullerton's Future Blog: Redevelopment on the Chopping Block?

Humn? Maybe there really is a Santa Claus... Or maybe it really could snow in Haiti. Posted by Assemblyman Chris Norby: (If this is true, wow, this is a big deal!)
Dear Friends, I just returned for my first full legislative term here in Sacramento, having gained valuable experience serving for the past 10 months since the special election. One announced reform I can embrace is the new governor’s goal of abolishing redevelopment agencies and restoring their funds to counties and schools. As a longtime critic of these agencies, I’ve been called by numerous media outlets and colleagues on issues related to this little understood level of government.

Redevelopment agencies capture 12% of all property taxes statewide-that’s $6 billion annually diverted from school districts, counties and municipal police and fire protection. The funds are largely spent subsidizing private development projects whose promoters acquire land under threat of eminent domain, while 20% pays for low income housing projects."
Click here to read the rest of the story.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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