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Voices: River City

Voices: River City is an independent, socialist news podcast based out of Sacramento, discussing California politics. Local radio listeners can hear to us Tuesdays at 5 pm on KUTZ 103.1, with a second airing on Wednesdays at 8 am.

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151 - Whose streets? (4.20.2021)

Facing a recall campaign on his right, California Governor Gavin Newsom is also feeling pressure from the Left to support a bill that would provide universal health care to all Californians. CalCare, as they calling it, would expand medical coverage to nearly 3 million uninsured residents, so why wouldn't he support it? Well, Newsom's close relationships with the medical establishment don't help the cause. But you know what might help? Some direct action. Stay tuned for next Monday, when the Democratic Socialists of America will be taking to the streets at the Capitol. With class nearly back in session for the Sacramento City Unified School District, school workers with SEIU 1021 (that's all workers who aren't teachers--from food service workers to bus drivers to custodians) had been finalizing an agreement with the school board on childcare, stipends and physical distancing guidelines. But in the last minute, the board threw a grenade on the process, declaring an "impasse" mid-bargaining. More than 90 percent of union members voted to reject the board's proposal, so these workers are going on strike April 22 and 23. Want to hear some great news? SCUSD's teachers have their colleagues' backs, and will join them on the picket lines. We also take a moment to discuss Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez's FAST Recovery Act, or AB 257. This bill is set to put more power into the hands of California's fast food workers, who have dealt with some of the worst working conditions over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Closing arguments were presented Monday in the trial for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop on trial for killing George Floyd. A verdict is expected by the end of the week. Throughout the country, meanwhile, people are claiming the streets for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, who were also killed by cops in recent weeks. People are angry, grieving and done with police killing Black and brown boys. Here in California, Oakland demonstrators went as hard as they always do. And in Sacramento, four cops reportedly spent Saturday evening in the hospital after being sprayed with an "unknown irritant." Stay tuned on the Chauvin verdict. And expect the people to continue to reclaim the streets.Thanks for listening, defund the police and, as always: Twitter: @youknowkempa, @guillotine4you, @ShanNDSTevens, @Flojaune Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/voicesrivercity Sacramentans can hear us on 103.1 KUTZ Tuesdays at 5 pm and again Wednesdays at 8 am. Also, if you require a transcript of our episodes, please reach out to info@voicesrivercity.com and we'll make it happen. And thank you to Be Brave Bold Robot for the tunes.

1hr 1min

20 Apr 2021

Rank #1

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TEASER: 150 - "FUCK YOU PHIL!" (4.16.2021)

[To listen to/view the full episode, become a patron today!] The city and county of Sacramento are set to get a windfall of federal stimulus funds, to the tune of $420 million. The question is, where does this money go? The People's Budget of Sacramento have their own ideas. So do the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and Sacramento Police Department. Thankfully, there's a nationwide effort to ensure that the country's violent cops don't get a single cent.   Here in Sacramento County, supervisors have been engaging with the community on the topic with a county budget workshop. Well, some members of the community. For some reason, District 1 Supervisor Phil Serna, ostensibly one of the more progressive members on the dais, has refused to engage with two Black residents who have been deeply engaged in regional politics for years. One of those residents, Kula Koenig, called him out on Facebook. Serna hopped in the comments claiming that she once said, "FUCK YOU PHIL!" during a public comment. She did not.  Out in Minnesota, 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed by police some 10 miles from where the cop who killed George Floyd is facing his trial. Protests have broken out throughout the country, including in Sacramento. But here locally, police are taking some troubling steps, demanding a private emergency meeting with Sacramento City Council "to discuss matters posing a threat to the security of public buildings and essential public services."   Naturally, people have questions. And given the local police's recent behavior, folks are concerned.   To defuse the situation, Mayor Darrell Steinberg held a press conference directly after the meeting. But he didn't really say anything, leaving reporters with more questions than before.

2mins

16 Apr 2021

Rank #2

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149 - Domestic terrorist Daniel Hahn (4.13.2021)

An unhoused woman was found dead Saturday near the American River bike trail, and evidence suggests that she was killed. She was not a regular guest at Loaves & Fishes, but her death has left other women experiencing homelessness here in Sacramento understandably shaken up. Shannon released a statement to FOX40 on Monday.Meanwhile, a bunch of doofuses over the weekend staged 'White Lives Matter' events throughout the country--one of them taking place in Sacramento's McKinley Park. Barely anyone showed up to the demonstrations, but we'll give you two guesses what happened here in California's capital city. That's right: Sacramento police arrested at least three anti-racists who came out to meet the fascists, hitting them up with trumped up charges that reached a total of $250,000 in bail. The charges included felony attempted robbery and felony 'conspiracy' to commit a crime.While white supremacists continue to terrorize the AAPI community and hold little get-togethers in our parks, the Los Angeles Times is joining Sacramento city officials and police in targeting demonstrators on the Left, who appear to be some of the only folks fighting against white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence against our neighbors. (Perhaps because the white-supremacist-cop Venn diagram is closer to a circle than most Californians might think.) Thanks for listening, defund the police and, as always: Twitter: @youknowkempa, @guillotine4you, @ShanNDSTevens, @Flojaune Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/voicesrivercity Sacramentans can hear us on 103.1 KUTZ Tuesdays at 5 pm and again Wednesdays at 8 am. Also, if you require a transcript of our episodes, please reach out to info@voicesrivercity.com and we'll make it happen. And thank you to Be Brave Bold Robot for the tunes.

1hr 1min

13 Apr 2021

Rank #3

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TEASER: 148 - Guns: an American story (4.9.2021)

[Become a patron today and listen to/view the full episode here!] After another mass shooting--this one in South Carolina, claiming the lives of five people, including two children under 10--the Biden administration is tightening restrictions on guns nationwide. Some of the new regulations seem like common sense to most Americans, but is there more to consider here?   Gun ownership has risen sharply in the communities of color since the rise of the Trump administration. Circumventing the racist National Rifle Association, Black folks are starting their own organizations, most notably the National African American Gun Association, which was founded in Atlanta in 2015, boasts a membership of over 34,000 and is 60 percent women.    This is especially notable when considered in tandem with the NRA’s waning membership and influence ever since the Las Vegas shooting that killed 60 people and wounded another 400. The NRA has a history of outsized influence in American politics, but is also pretty choosy about whose gun rights they are willing to champion.    This is illustrated plainly in the story of when the Black Panthers entered the California Capitol in 1967 with guns of their own, legally (at the time). Race, unsurprisingly, is inextricably linked to the Second Amendment and the way Americans think about gun control.   Finally, we touch on Santa Rosa, where a tent city with about 70 structures, showers, bathrooms and hand-washing stations set up in May of 2020 in an affluent park sparked lots of ire from neighbors when the idea was first proposed. But unlike some of our local leaders at the outset of the pandemic, the Santa Rosa City Council didn't flinch, opting to act and then educate angry/wealthy residents, rather than allow them to crush a good idea that would save lives.

7mins

9 Apr 2021

Rank #4

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147 - The thinning blue line (4.6.2021)

Police abolitionists and the Defund the Police movement have seen a number of wins throughout the nation, with qualified immunity being outlawed in New York City, Portland cops leaving the department in droves, and Austin, TX, defunding their police force in favor of affordable housing.California saw a few small wins in last year’s legislative session, but most major bills leveled at police accountability never even came to a final vote. Can the Golden State make good on holding increasingly weak police forces accountable for their officers' violence?Thanks for listening, defund the police and, as always: Twitter: @youknowkempa, @guillotine4you, @ShanNDSTevens, @Flojaune Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/voicesrivercity Sacramentans can hear us on 103.1 KUTZ Tuesdays at 5 pm and again Wednesdays at 8 am. Also, if you require a transcript of our episodes, please reach out to info@voicesrivercity.com and we'll make it happen. And thank you to Be Brave Bold Robot for the tunes.

1hr 1min

6 Apr 2021

Rank #5

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TEASER: 146 - Safe Ground at last (4.2.2021)

[Wanna hear/see this whole episode? Become a patron here!] Sacramento's library galleria warming center has closed, and guests are being encouraged to check out the new Safe Ground location near Southside Park. This location--the culmination of over a decade of hard work from the region's homeless advocates--will be stocked with tiny homes, and will serve as a triage center and space for folks to get medical attention and vaccines.   Meanwhile, Marcos Breton has a new piece out and it’s uh, really something.   Enjoy!

4mins

2 Apr 2021

Rank #6

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145 - House calls (3.30.2021)

Before beginning this episode, it’s important note that Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and his long-term colleagues have blood on their hands for years of gross negligence toward our unhoused neighbors and a constant, obstinate refusal to hold our police force responsible for their violence. The same goes for City Manager Howard Chan. So it should come as little surprise that when Darrell pulled together his usual cast of characters to publicly denounce the ‘violence’ of a group planning a demonstration outside Chan’s house—and trying, in a remarkable show of bad faith, to tie their action in with recent anti-AAPI animus—few people took him seriously. The demonstration was, predictably, peaceful. We discuss who signed onto Darrell’s statement (and why), why his words ring hollow, and touch on the childish behavior of one small man with thick skin. Thanks for listening, defund the police and, as always: Twitter: @youknowkempa, @guillotine4you, @ShanNDSTevens, @Flojaune Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/voicesrivercity Sacramentans can hear us on 103.1 KUTZ Tuesdays at 5 pm and again Wednesdays at 8 am. Also, if you require a transcript of our episodes, please reach out to info@voicesrivercity.com and we'll make it happen. And thank you to Be Brave Bold Robot for the tunes.

1hr

30 Mar 2021

Rank #7

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TEASER: 144 - Thank you, but no cops (3.26.2021)

[To view/listen to the full episode, become a patron today!] This week the Sacramento Bee lauded the libs in this piece elevating the ever problematic police reform approach coming straight out of the city of Sacramento. We take some time to unpack the absurdities, amplify the truth to power takes, and generally get a tad yelly. Speaking of the city, where is Sacramento County in all of this? The're also talking about alternatives to policing. Our friend Delphine breaks it all down for us in this Facebook post. Some big decisions are coming up at the county level, and input is paramount to making sure accountability and transparency move us forward. Remember: Sacramento County held community meetings on this topic while the city was busy hiring a cop to do the work all on her own. We can't talk about local police issues without the giant elephant in the room: Darrell Steinberg isn't the new Attorney General, but the Bay Area's Rob Bonta is. We'll talk about what we think about Newsom's choice.

3mins

26 Mar 2021

Rank #8

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143 - A century of losing (3.23.2021)

We start today's episode with a talk on COVID-19 and vaccinations in northern California. Nearly 15 million jabs have been administered throughout the state, and folks are beginning to talk about when and how to get back to "normal." Dr Flo leads a discussion on what a vaccination means for returning to society, wearing masks, what we can reasonably look forward to, and what we should be holding off on for a little while longer. Then we turn to the Democrats. Skyler recently wrote an opinion piece at VOICES: River City on why America's blue party should embrace sweeping, progressive reforms if they want to hold onto the US Senate and House in 2022. We take a look back at the Democrats over the course of the last several decades. What, if anything, did they do well? Where have they failed their constituents? Why do progressives think candidates like Biden are so dangerous to the party? Are the Democrats simply trying to lose on purpose? "Joe Biden fucking sucks," says Skyler, simply so we have a place to link to this damning 2018 Jacobin essay tracing the president's troubling history in US politics.Thanks for listening, defund the police and, as always: Twitter: @youknowkempa, @guillotine4you, @ShanNDSTevens, @Flojaune Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/voicesrivercity Sacramentans can hear us on 103.1 KUTZ Tuesdays at 5 pm and again Wednesdays at 8 am. Also, if you require a transcript of our episodes, please reach out to info@voicesrivercity.com and we'll make it happen. And thank you to Be Brave Bold Robot for the tunes.

1hr 3mins

23 Mar 2021

Rank #9

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TEASER: 142 - On fighting white supremacy (3.19.2021)

[To listen to the full episode, become a patron today!] After a white gunman in Atlanta targeted Asian massage parlors this week, killing eight people, the US is again faced with its ingrained racism and white supremacy. Here in California, where the AAPI community makes up about 15 percent of the state's 40 million people, the response is one of deep grief, but little surprise. We have a long, long history of both anti-Asian racism and misogyny in this country, and this week's devastating shooting is one more point on a large pattern.  Just this week an elderly Chinese woman in San Francisco had to beat back an attacker. We had Sacramento City Councilmember Mai Vang on the show last week to discuss anti-AAPI animus in Sacramento, and didn't come close to covering every example of it in our region. Mai and other leaders in the AAPI community held a vigil for the victims in Atlanta Wednesday night at city hall. It's long past time for us to look more deeply at the anti-AAPI sentiment baked into the fabric of this country, and to work to extricate it. That starts, among other places, in US media. This week marks the third anniversary of the night that Sacramento police officers killed Stephon Clark in his grandmother's backyard. Has there been any justice in his name in the time that's passed? It can be hard to stay optimistic when the district attorney who assassinated Clark's character on national television while relieving the cops who killed him of any responsibility won reelection in 2018. Or when the state's Attorney General, who also refused to charge Clark's killers, is now serving in the federal government as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services. Remember the Sacramento mayor who said, the day Clark's life was taken, that he would not question the actions of the cops who killed him? Rumors abound that Governor Gavin Newsom is on the edge of giving him the state's top cop position. What might we have to look forward to? The Sacramento Bee's editorial board believes we ought to fight for a number of police reform bills.  But we've got a better idea. It rhymes with schmee-schmund the schmolice.  Besides, what's the use in taking local media seriously when a TV station will have this guy on to complain about his daughter learning about Black Lives Matter?

13mins

19 Mar 2021

Rank #10