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tv   KQED Newsroom  PBS  August 28, 2022 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

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tonight on kqed newsroom , we talk about how california is handling a crisis of overdoses from fentanyl. why governor newsom vetoed a proposal to create more safe injection sites. plus, we consider how women of voting and running for office impact the fall nation. with amy allison, the e founder of the political advocacy organization, she the people. we gaze at an architectural structure in east bay. this week, something beautiful. coming to you from kqed headquarters in san francisco, this friday august 26, 2022.
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hello, and welcome to kqed newsroom. in recent years, overdoses due to fentanyl have become one of the most pressing public health concerns in the states. the static opiate, fentanyl, which is used to treat pain is much more potent than other painkillers. it has made its way into street drugs. according to the san francisco chronicle, roughly 1300 people died from drug overdoses in 2020 and 2021 in san francisco. that is almost twice the total of the covid-19 pandemic in the city. joining now to discuss this and some of the other top news are the chronicle city hall reporter, tricia donny. and kqed political reporter, joe fitzgerald rodriguez. thank you, for being here. tricia, you have coverethis crisis for years. give us the lay of the land. how bad is it? >> reporter: this debt is that two people and they are dying
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from overdoses. that should say enough. it is been like this for almost two years. since the pandemic hit, we have seen this massive spike in overdoses. that has been driven by fentanyl, which is an extremely potent opioid. you walk down the street, down in the tenderloin, and the human suffering is unimaginable. that is just the tip of th iceberg. we don't see the people who are silently suffering on their own , in their hotel rooms, or in their homes. we are deceiving the people on their streets. that is a lot. >> one of the ways that was suggested to reduce the harm from this drug was safe injection sites. governor newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed a pilot programs in several cities acss california. let us read a little of whathe had to say when he decide that. he said, the unlimited number of safe injection sites that this bill would authorize, facilities which could exist well into the later part of this decade, could induce a
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world of unintended consequences. joe, i am curious about what those consequences he time-out might have been. there is chatter that newsom's decision to veto this bill may be linked to residential ambitions and a possible coming political campaign. how is a decision being received? >> reporter: here is the thing, we have seen the safe injection sites, these supervise sites operating in new york city. we have seen them operating elsewhere in the world. the build's offers has said, unintended consequence. we have seen how these work. we have seen how the save lives. much of the chatter -- much of the critique of newsom have been, he has got to keep himself in a safe spot for a potential presidential run in. it is really easy to could take a man who passes something that seems common sense to california's, to blue california, may be received completely differently elsewhere in the country. newsom has said, thatis not
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the case. he is running political heads >> we have seen him having that national outreach and campaign. what about some of the people here? the elected officials here? >> reporter: this was a priority when she came into office. she has been saying this for years. even before she was mayor that she wanted to open up one of these sites. she said, she was determined to open one of the sites. but was waiting for the site legislation to be signed because look like this year it was going to get signed. newsom had signal some kind of support for this before he was governor. >> reporter: there was a lot of hope for this to hit the streets and ease the suffering that is with the supporters of this bill have said before. people have been seeing viral videos of kids, walking past drug use on the street with tenderloin. if they are using on the streets and you have the safe side, they could be using their instead. out of the way of people who
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are trying to get out in the neighborhood. it be cold there is also the counterman argument and we see this too and services go earlier this week a group of mothers gathered at city hall to purchase fentanyl. to purchase what is happening in the streets. they're not for safe injection sites. they did not want those to go into play. >> reporter: i was at that rally and the mother's told really compelling, deeply heartfelt stories about their own personal experiences with their sons and daughters and people's siblings who are addicted to drugs. i can understand it. when you're in that personal scenario, seeing someone use drugs, you want everything you can do to get them to stop. the people who advocate for this say this gives them more time to turn around. if you put them in a safe site, we will make sure they do not die while they are using. that gives them more chances to kick the habit. >> even san francisco's new d.a., brooke jenkins, is in favor of safe consumption size. we will see where it goes next.
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i know that some people have said they will move ahead anyway. >> reporter: it is important to note that city attorney who would be responsible for defending the city of there was any federal backlash, he signaled his support to it, very strong on. he would fully support the san francisco nonprofit move forward with this. >> reporter: it is not like it jenkins is not also approaching things from the other political spectrum of how to handle drugs. she just announced harsher penalties for fentanyl dealers. she revoked plea dells for 30 dealers that were given under the dh. things are happening on the side of the legislature as well. let us turn to another store. it is linked to fentanyl, as well. it is the homelessness crisis. tricia, the semper cisco chronicle has been putting out a new series. you have been doing the reporting on this, largely.
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this reporting is about, what is happening with housing for our most viable homeless population, the people here in san francisco. you just had a new installment that drop this week. people can look at the san francisco chronicle website. it tells about what your investigations have been uncovering. in my colleague and high have spent the last year and a half looking into san francisco's supportive housing program. that is where the bulk of our homelessness funding goes. a lot of political leaders, going all the way back to gavin newsom, when he was mayor, have put a lot of stock into this housing. we found that it has been a lot of shortsighted investments where we have found a lot of these buildings, but have not pt the appropriate resources to put them up. in our first investigation we found, there is a lot of people who are living with rats and roaches, and falling ceilings. there just in poor, inhumane
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conditions sometimes. for the city there is been a lot of out of sight, out of mind. these are not the people who are living on the streets. there is not much attention on them. >> people can check that out online. joe, i want to get you one less story here with you. you are at the sentencing yesterday for mohammed. he is the former seven cisco public works director who have will get you to federal charges. how did the sensing go for him? what was his response? >> reporter: there was a packed courtroom. it was so many people were standing in the aisles, just to applaud for him and feel for him he was actually silent as he received a sentence. the judge said, he compared nero's actions to the action of murderers and other violent offenses . he said, this was
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comparable -- almost comparable to that in terms of devastation to democracy. it was fascinating. ro only nodded as he received the sentence. the man was gone. informally, part of the sentence is that he has to give up the property that he got from bribes. it is this big ranch that he has in colusa county, built by contractors who had dealings with the city. it was furnished by the contractors. >> the federal investigation is not done. that will be more to come on that. i know nero was sentenced to seven years in prison. thank you very much, joe fitzgerald. tricia with the sam cisco chronicle. today is women's equality day. first passed in 1973, it is a day to celebrate women earning the right to vote, 100 years ago. we have come a long way since then. according to the center for
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women and politics there are now about 10 million more women registered to vote then men. in presidential elections more women than men have been casting about since the 1980s. number will many running for office also continues to grow. what is this trend mean for fall elections and the future of our country waxy joining us now to discuss the impact of women in politics is amy allison, founder of, she the people. >> my honor, thank you. >> tells a little bit about what she the people is and how you kicked it off. it is only been around for the last three years ago. >> it builds political power for people of color. we want to understand what this vast, growing, remarkable, critical group of people, who are voters and organizer, and leaders in this country, but have not had their due. they want to understand what we are thinking, what is the
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priority. what are the hopes and dreams. women of color really matter to the future of the country. >> are you a partisan organization? >> we are not associated with a political party. we want to understand people of color -- we advocate for women of color whether they are in california. or they are in a another party, a democratic pay -- we are not partisan, but we advocate for women of color. the issues that bind us as a multiracial coalition. >> what is it that you actually do today with the organization? how do you help these women? >> if you think about american politics, so much of what drives the policies and decisions now, start y back in understanding how power is derived. she the people focuses on building power in the faces were in m&a. first and foremost need to be able to get through primaries and get elected.
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we are in a environment where women of color, above all else, lose in primaries. they do not have the funding. they do not have the gatekeepers . you know, determining who is electable or not. do not have the other kinds of supports. it has a very real impact on what is a fifth of the population having a fair representation at every level of government. we work to build power, not only in supporting those who represent our communities, but also in elevating the visibility of women of color vors. women of color voters, both when i started it and now, are the majority of democrats. they are certainlthe majority in north carolina where there is a key senate race with sherry beasley. in a florida -- this is the reality in 2022 where the
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american population is shifting and changing. we already know that looks like in california. the majority of women in california are women of color. that is the same case in many of the states that we consider battleground or front-line state. yet, the political system, the ecosystem i was talking about, and the way that politics and power is determined has overlooked or dismissed the importance of women of color vote and women of color's ideas, power, and leadership. we are moving into a really different space. think about this, those who were the first, who were elected in congress -- women of color in 2018. people like rashida, congress added -- and omar out of michigan. people like presley, a black
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woman from massachusetts, whether never been a black woman in congress. people like deb holland, who was from new mexico. she is now secretary holland. all of these women, wrote into congress based on acknowledgment that we build power differently as women of color. >> what does that mean? when you say differently, what does that mean? >> when you think about the political system, we understand history about the way the american political system was built and who gets support. why is it that the halls of power overwhelmingly male and mostly white? even today. it is because the american political system was built to privilege some over others. in fact, we look at women's equality day -- we are are celebrating women's equality day , but the 19th amendment -- even the original constitution which did not guarantee women the right to vote, the 19th
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amendment was supposed to fix that. it only guaranteed the right to vote fo white women. it wasn't until 1965, 60 years ago, that black women and women of color have a protected right to crass their router for that but to be counted. >> women of color are counting up here. may not have the same rights as white women, certainly not as white men for many decades. what is it when you say that you are building power differently. what does that look like? >> part of the way that women of color are elected into congress have the potential to be in senate, in our statehouses , with the fights that are happening today. it means that they haveto build coalitions. the one thing that we know for sure, is that the way that women of color organize and move in their communities -- they are the ultimate influencers. more than any other group in the american civic li --
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women of color influence friends and family to go vote, to get involved with their community, to uplift issues from housing to criminal justice reform. othethings that we care about. to really hold that vision. when we say women of color, the influencers, they also influence building multiracial coalitions. why is this important now? when you have a population -- almost eve region, especially in the south and southwest, here in california too -- there is no majority of anybody. building coalitions on shared sense of value in order to win political power is the way to go. women of color really know how to do this and have done this effectively. when we look at some of the remarkable winds that we have had over the last four years,
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it has been based on the ability of women of color to attract and lead a multiracial coalition. those multiracial coalitions, wherever they form, serve as the basis for what we really want. it is a multiracial representative democracy. i say that like -- we use the term democracy, but we are at a moment in 2022 where going back to the basis. what do americans believe in? what kind of system of government are we willing to fight for? we are in a moment where the very idea of democracy that one person, one vote -- as hard as it been to get to this point, it is being challenged. what we know is that women of color whether they are in albany, georgia, or they are in miami, florida, or they are in michigan -- where their vote and having your boats callan counted are being challenged.
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the idea that we have a shared value in democracy and having a democracy that really represents us. that is what we see women of color fighting for. we need that leadership. the whole country needs it right now. >> you, in your organization, have been but dissipating in a listening to her. you got to talked women in 10 states. what are you hearing from women about their top concerns right now? >> here's what we know. women of color have not been listen to. yet, this is a group of people who lead the nation's most important movements. everything from reproductive justice to raising the minimum wage for everyone. these are the most effective organizers, as we were talking about. what we are doing, at she the people, is listening to people on the ground . we are building
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this country and holding the vision from the ground up. we have been to not only california, both in fresno and los angeles, but also places like, arizona and florida, texas , and wisconsin. women of color there, who every election year, they are going to be the group of people who are the margin of victory for democrats. the turnout is often -- if we listen to the priorities then it becomes easier for not only political parties and candidates to understand what is so important to the base, but how to respond and engage women of color becomes super important for, not only democrats, but people who want to understand where the country is going. the listening session has uncovered some really interesting things. >> are you hearing the overturn of a roe v. wade at the top of
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the mind? is that an issue that is going to get people to come out and vote? women in color in particular? >> it is interesting because many people, especially after the kansas election, assume úthat abortion rights is number one. it certainly is a top issue for women of color. women of color had been advocates. including our very own congressman barbara lee, who is showing a lot of leadership over the years. there is other issues too. bread and butter issues like the economy, are very important to women of color right now. the cost of food, the cost of housing. safety is another big one. when you look at women of color who are the base of the democratic party, the most loyal voters of the democrats and the fastest growing block of voters. it is important to understand
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where people are at. safety mean something different to women of color. it means protection. it means changing the criminal justice system and policing. that way our community and women feel safe. understanding those and being able to indicate out and a report that comes out in a few weeks, that is going to be very helpful, not only to people who are on the ballot now, but setting the stage for the elections in '24 and beyond. that is to really make women of color seen and heard in a new way. >> what are the races in california that are catching your eye and are of particular interest in this particular group, women of color? >> i am interested in melia cohen. it is actually very importt when california has ascended to be one of the leading voices to advocate for freedom for women, for reproductive freedom or
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reproductive justice those of us in california are going to be playing an outside role in being a place, a safe harbor, for women coming to california for healthcare and reproductive rights. malia cohen and the amount of resources around that, she is going to play a key role. i'm very interested in her race. shirley weber's as secretary of state, hers is going to be very important. people say, look california, it is a blue state. immigrants have a majority. we also face issues of whole populations i think of young latinos and latinas whose a population fars outpaces the number of people who are actually voting. we have to have someone who is advocating for more and more creative ways to encourage californians, not only to be eligible to vote, we all get a ballot at home now. that is a really great advance. but to encourage people to turn
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that ballot in. the reality of california politics is driven by people of different ages and different communities each having their say. >> amy, we haven't talked about the work that you are doing. i am cheers about your motivation. what is it that brought you to this work and keeps you at it day after day? >> when i was 17, i joined the army reserves. during boot account at fort jackson, south carolina -- that it was the first time i had been in the south. it was the first time in my unit of 200 women that i had had conversatins with women of color -- a lot a black woman from the south about how they got there. some of these women were twice my age. i always like to think back on my life and say, it was, you know, late at night, on the bunk
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, sharing stories about her hopes and dreams that the young version of me first learned about economic justice. because a lot of these women did not have a lot of choice. i was there because i was trying figure out a way to pay for college. racial justice -- many of them came to the military looking for a place to be treated fairly and equally. they had a lot of experiences even as young people -- i learned about gender justice. i learned about the fact that people wanted to serve their country. it was the foundation of those that i carried on with the work of she the people , knowing that women -- like i was in the account with -- should have a voice. they should be shipping this country for the future. there is millions, and millions of us that if we had the voice and vote, we can leave this country forward. >> rooted in early years. thank you for sharing this.
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we will let people go to your website, she the people, to let know about yo amy allison, the founder and president of she the people thank you for being with us today. redesigned by julia morgan in 1928. the columbarium is the final resting place of john lee , al davis, and others this week, something beautiful is the chapel of the chimes in oakland. >> no mac ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> i love discovering these new places each week and all of that intricate detail. it was beautiful. that is the end of our show for tonight. you can find kqed newsroom
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online or on twitter. or you can email us. you can reach me on social media. thank you for joining us. we will see right back here next friday night. have a great weekend. geoff: go.
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i'm geoff nnett. geoff: go. tonight on “pbs news weekend,” investigating trump -- the latest fallout from the top-secret documents recovered at the former president's florida property. then, trees in trouble -- an urgent effort to try and save the more than 10% of tree species facing extinction in the u.s. >> at least visually, for a person who comes around and knew the place as they once did, they're going to see about half of the trees gone that they knew. geoff: and, katrina babies -- a filmmaker captures the emotional toll and long-term devastation experienced by hurricane katrina's youngest survivors. those stories and the day's headlines on tonight's "pbs news weekend."


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