Labour has published an election manifesto that includes pledges on social care and welfare reform, but offers few new policies on disability rights.The manifesto says Labour is the “party of equality” and that that “no person should suffer discrimination or a lack of opportunity”.But it warns that, with the exception of the “protected” areas of health, education and international development, “there will be cuts in spending” under a Labour government.It promises reform of the work capability assessment (WCA), the test introduced by the last Labour government in 2008 to assess eligibility for employment and support allowance (ESA), with a new focus on the “support disabled people need to get into work”, and a new independent scrutiny group of disabled people set up to monitor the WCA.There will also be a new specialist support programme “to ensure that disabled people who can work get more tailored help”.And Labour promises to abolish the “bedroom tax”, which it says is “cruel”, with two-thirds of those affected by cuts in housing benefit being disabled people or families with a disabled member. The manifesto also promises that a Labour government would abolish the employment tribunal fee system introduced by the coalition, improve training for teachers on working with disabled children, and strengthen the law on disability, homophobic, and transphobic hate crime.On social care, the manifesto focuses on older people and carers, rather than disabled people of working-age, saying: “Care is at the heart of Labour’s values. No-one should fear old age or be left to struggle alone caring for a loved one.”Since 2010, it warns, billions of pounds have been cut from adult social care budgets, which it says has left “300,000 fewer older people getting vital care services, at the same time as the number of older people in need of care is increasing”.As with the Conservatives, the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, Labour promises to integrate the health and social care systems, while also focusing on mental health.The manifesto says that “vulnerable older people, disabled people and those with complex needs will be helped to have more control of their lives”, with the entitlement to a personal care plan, the option of a personal budget “where appropriate”, and a single named person to coordinate their care, as well as “better information and advice on managing their condition”.It also pledges to end time-limited, 15-minute social care visits, introducing instead “year-of-care budgets” that would cover all of a person’s physical, mental health and social care needs and improve care in people’s own homes, and recruiting 5,000 new home-care workers – under the control of the NHS – to “help care for those with the greatest needs at home”.A separate health and care manifesto promises to do more to ensure that people with mental health problems, learning difficulties and autism “enjoy the same rights as anyone else”, with “meaningful progress” for these groups a priority.It also promises to consult on a new offence of corporate neglect for directors of care homes, which could mean a prison sentence if they neglect or are involved in abuse of people in their care.Disability News Service contacted disabled Labour candidates Emily Brothers and Mary Griffiths-Clarke for their views on the manifesto, but they failed to respond.But Dame Anne Begg (pictured), the disabled Labour candidate standing in Aberdeen South, was able to comment, although the Scottish Labour manifesto had not yet been published.She said Labour’s promise to strengthen the law on disability hate crime was “very welcome”, as was the section on supporting disabled people to live independently, including the abolition of the bedroom tax.She said: “There is also a promise to set up an independent scrutiny group of disabled people to look at how the WCA could be reformed. “I would like any Labour government to go further on this, as I think a fundamental rethink [of the WCA] is required and so would hope any scrutiny group would have a role in this.“I am also glad there is an acknowledgement that there needs to be a specialist programme to give tailored help to disabled people seeking work.“Those on ESA are not well served by the present Work Programme and [the specialist programme for disabled people] Work Choice.”Dame Anne added: “I also think the plans to set up a single service to meet all the needs of a person’s health and care needs will be welcomed by disabled people, as they are often the people who are passed from one service to another and sometimes fall between the cracks.”She also praised Labour’s focus on a right to access talking therapies for people with mental health problems, which she said was “particularly important for those who are trying to get back in to, or remain, in work and used to be a feature of the Pathways to Work scheme the last Labour government had in place and which the coalition government scrapped.”
LabourList readers believe that the MPs who quit the Labour Party last week should resign their parliamentary seats and trigger by-elections, our latest survey has found.So far, all those MPs who have left the party intend to sit as Independents – but the Labour leadership has said it would be “honourable” for them to fight by-elections instead. Over 70% of 7,250 respondents to the most recent LabourList survey agree.Following the resignation of Joan Ryan, Labour announced plans to consult on extending the “right to recall”, which would allow constituents to force a by-election should their MP leave the party under whose banner they were elected.Over 71% of LabourList readers said they would be in favour of such an extension. Currently, the process by which an MP loses their seat via a recall petition can only be prompted by exceptional circumstances, such as receipt of a custodial prison sentence.A week ago, deputy Labour leader Tom Watson responded to the party split news with a statement in which he paid tribute to his former colleagues and said their resignations called for a “moment for regret and reflection, not for a mood of anger or a tone of triumph”.Asked whether they agreed with this statement, the majority of LabourList readers who took the survey said they did – but over 45%, 3,221 respondents, disagreed.Of the nine Labour MPs who quit last week, eight joined The Independent Group. The new grouping in parliament – also made up of former Tory MPs Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston – does not have an agreed set of policies yet but all members support a fresh EU referendum.Although over 72% of LabourList readers said they would not vote for an Independent Group candidate if an election were held today, almost 28% said they would – including more than a quarter of those who voted Labour in 2017.1. This week, a number of Labour MPs quit the party but none plan to resign their seats. Should they step down as MPs and trigger by-elections?Click to enlarge.Yes – 70.7% (5,128)No – 29.3% (2,122)2. Labour has announced plans to consult on extending the right of constituents to recall their MPs if they leave the party under whose banner they were elected. Should the right to recall MPs be extended?Click to enlarge.Yes – 71.% (5,075)No – 28.2% (1,994)3. Tom Watson reacted to the departure of seven MPs on Monday by saying it was “a moment for regret and reflection, not for a mood of anger or a tone of triumph”. Was he right?Click to enlarge.Yes – 54.5% (3,855)No – 45.5% (3,221)4. So far, every MP in The Independent Group is anti-Brexit and in favour of another EU referendum. If an election were held today and you could vote for one of their candidates, would you?Click to enlarge.No, and I voted Labour in 2017 – 69.5% (4,926)Yes, and I voted Labour in 2017 – 25.3% (1,791)No, and I didn’t vote Labour in 2017 – 2.7% (192)Yes, and I didn’t vote Labour in 2017 – 2.5% (178)The survey was open from 10am on Friday 22nd February until 8pm on Sunday 24th February. Thank you to all 7,250 readers who took part.Tags:Tom Watson /By-election /John McDonnell /Weekly Survey /Luciana Berger /The Independent Group /
At the launch of Labour’s European election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn told his audience that a few weeks ago he decided to stop asking about Brexit at PMQs and “thousands of people said thank you”. Instead, he would question the Prime Minister on austerity – council budget cuts, social mobility, life expectancy, generally her failure to tackle the “burning injustices” that she promised to address in 2017. The Labour leader hasn’t made Brexit a key topic in any of his weekly head-to-heads since almost two months ago.It was no surprise that Corbyn didn’t opt for Brexit today then, even though he held talks with the PM last night and the government has newly announced that the withdrawal agreement bill will be brought to the Commons in June. With the Tory benches once again particularly sparse, the Labour leader chose to go on the theme of ‘for the many not the few’. Although the slogan is also being used for the Euro elections, none of those manifesto policies were raised (perhaps they will get an airing next week, the day before recess begins). Corbyn’s sole focus was domestic.“In the last two years, nine of the UK’s richest hedge fund tycoons have donated £2.9m to the Conservative Party,” he pointed out. “Is this a government for the many or in the pockets of an elite few?” This set the tone for the rest of the session, which could well have been mistaken for a pre-general election PMQs. Armed with quotes from economist Sir Angus Deaton, who this week warned that the UK’s vast pay, wealth and health inequalities were “making a mockery of democracy”, Corbyn hit the government hard on its economic record.The Labour leader took the opportunity to promote his big policy announcement from last weekend, when he used a Young Labour event to reveal that the party would extend the real living wage of £10 an hour to under-18s. “If you’re old enough to do the job, you’re old enough to be paid the wage to do the job. Does the Prime Minister agree with that principle?” Of course, May’s reply confirmed she didn’t, as she argued that abolishing the ‘youth rate’ of minimum wage would cost young people jobs – the same bad argument peddled by the Conservatives when Labour introduced the NMW in 1998.The Prime Minister point-blank refused to answer the following pertinent questions. And no wonder. Corbyn raised the genuinely shocking cases of a food bank being set up for schoolchildren in Great Yarmouth (represented in parliament by Tory chair Brandon Lewis) and another established by PCS union in a government department. Unable to mount a defence, May simply repeated that it is important for people to be in work, ignoring rising in-work poverty as usual.“This country is seeing the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, while the government is in the pockets of a super rich elite,” Corbyn concluded. “More children in poverty. More pensioners in poverty. More people struggling to make ends meet. When is the government going to reverse the tax giveaway to the super rich and end the scandal of inequality in modern Britain?” A good rehearsal for the next general election campaign. Tags:PMQs /Theresa May /Austerity /Jeremy Corbyn /
For Luis Gutiérrez, the owner of La Reyna Bakery on 24th Street near Folsom Street, the decades-old ficus tree in front of his shop shields the rows of baked goods in his window from the sun and his customers from the rain. But on Jan. 5, the city posted a notice announcing it would remove the ficus and at least five others along Mission’s 24th St. “We’re against removing the trees,” says Gutiérrez. “They serve more good than bad,” he continued, before listing all the reasons why he wants to keep the mature trees, like providing privacy for people’s homes and giving the street a distinct character.The city says these trees have been inspected and determined to be a risk to public safety, but neighbors want the trees to stay. Gutiérrez says he will appeal the city notice. 0% Tags: 24th Street • department of public works • trees Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Today, the perennials stand tall, bending away from the buildings and forming one of the thickest canopies of leaves in the Mission. The signature grove provides its residents and pedestrians shade in the summer and shelter in the rain, and that can be hard to find in a city with one of the lowest rates of tree coverage in the country.But the city says that the approximately 2,700 ficus trees that were planted decades ago have become a problem — their limbs are prone to falling, and sidewalks buckle around their muscular roots. The trees have damaged cars and caused injuries, according to Rachel Gordon, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Works. In November 2014, the director of the Department of Public Works issued a general order (Order No: 183151) to streamline the process for removing these trees.“Now they’re just picking off trees slowly,” says Tree Rubenstein, a longtime advocate of preserving trees in the city and resident of the neighborhood. “It’s gonna really change the feel of the area.”The Department of Public Works doesn’t know how many ficus trees have been removed since 2014’s order.Twenty years ago, a former supervisor tried to clear all the ficus trees that line Mission’s 24th St. In 1998, Supervisor Jose Medina pushed for an “economic revitalization project” along 24th Street between Valencia St. and Potrero Avenue that involved clear-cutting 180 ficus trees and replacing them with smaller ones.Medina envisioned this plan, which he had collected $400,000 of city funds to execute, would make the strip look more like Noe Valley’s end of 24th Street, with sunlight spilling onto the sidewalks and stores extending their hours late into the night. At the same time, the Department of Public Works had ordered the removal of 73 ficus trees that were causing problems.But activists rallied together, gathered over 700 signatures on a petition, and successfully blocked Medina’s and the city’s attempt to remove the trees. Carolyn Blair, who sat on the city’s Urban Forestry Council for eight years while also running the SF Tree Council in the 1990s, says there is no good reason to remove ficuses.“Ficus trees can live to be 150 years old,” she said. “The only reason the city wants to cut them down is they have to maintain them. DPW sees it as an expense.”Cleaning the damage from a ficus tree can cost $395 to $1,776, and it costs the city $1,973 to plant a new tree. Blair says the small, “toothpick trees” don’t compare to 50- or 60-year-old tree. In the past, Blair has successfully stopped Department of Public Works’ attempts to remove large trees by bringing in an arborist to counter the city’s claims. Gordon says that the city never wants to remove a tree unless it is absolutely necessary for public safety. The Department of Public Work’s 2014 general order stipulates that if the problem can be abated by pruning the trees, then removal is unnecessary. It also directs the Department of Public Works to replace the trees that have been removed. The city tries to pick trees that are suited to each microclimate in the city. Friends of the Urban Forest, a non-profit that helps plant street trees, said it’s “always disappointed to see large, mature trees removed. Larger trees provide greater ecosystem services,” said Dan Flanagan, the executive director of Friends of the Urban Forest, a non-profit that helps plant street trees.“However, we recognize that big trees can be dangerous, especially in urban environments, if they die or aren’t properly maintained or become structurally unsound. Ficus trees, also known as Indian Laurel Fig trees, have an unfortunate tendency to be structurally unstable.” Anyone can appeal the notice of removal within 30 days of posting. For the trees on 24th Street, the final day to appeal is Feb. 3.
Big John & Harris’s Town Pump During the early 1900s, 2162 Mission St., which now houses Young’s Cleaners & Alterations, was home to The Mayfield saloon. The above token was “good for 5 cents in trade” at the Mayfield, which occupied the address from 1907, where it appears in the San Francisco-Oakland Directory, to 1910 (when the coin was made). 2162 Mission Street. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez. Potrero Ave. Saloon and Boarding House25th and Potrero, 1911. SFOpenHistoryThis photo shows the Potrero Ave. Saloon and Boarding House, located 50 feet south of 25th St. on Potrero Ave, in 1911. August Legner, the owner of the bar (which, according to the San Francisco Call, was located at 24th and Potrero Avenue), was arrested on March 19, 1910, for possession of opium (check out the story here). During the 1950s, the corner of 25th and Potrero Avenue (specifically 1298 Potrero Ave.) was the location of the U-Toast-It Fountain lunch restaurant; today it contains the Potrero Market & Deli.25th and Potrero Avenue market. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez. The Mayfield SaloonThe Mayfield. eBay New Terminal TaverneBay It may be the Casa Guadalupe 3 market now (at 2988 Mission St.), but in 1939, 2999 Mission St. was where the New Terminal Tavern stood. This 1939 business card was saved from a visit to the 1939’s World’s Fair, and shows the name of the business’ two proprietors, “Cliff” Osborne and “Vic” Mendez. According to the eBay seller, the bar was in operation at least from 1938 to 1941. Calling itself “The Bright Spot of The Mission,” the New Terminal Tavern served a special merchant’s lunch, and the “finest in whiskeys, beer and wines.”2999 Mission Street. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez. Martin’s Hole in the Wall Another old-school bar with an interesting name was Big John & Harris’ Town Pump. One account described the watering hole as “a Hillbilly bar,” while photographer Dave Glass called it “a dive bar with a mix of locals, sailors and a few hookers. The place attracted the best pool players with their weekend pool tournaments, sometimes won by a one-armed Hawaiian man named Danny Hart.” The Town Pump also was known to have live music, with bands playing there in the late 1960s and ‘80s. Today, the locale, whose address was most likely from 2190 to 2196 Mission St., is another Young’s Cleaning & Alterations (2192 Mission St.) and the City Smoke Shop (2196 Mission St.). 2192-2196 Mission Street. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez. 0% The Mission has long been an entertainment zone for the city — home to racetracks, bear and bullfights, beer parlors (including The Willows), and other amusements. Some of those old bars, such as Elixir (established in 1858) and Homestead (since 1902), still stand, while several have gone the way of the dinosaur. This week, we will be exploring some of the watering holes of The Mission that are no more — what they were, where they stood and what is there today. Roddy’s Fish BowleBayRoddy’s Fish Bowl claimed to be the longest bar in the world. How long? So long that “those bartenders down at the end speak — with a Southern accent!” It is said that there were seven bartenders working during one shift to cover the entire bar space. In the spirit of being the biggest and the best, Roddy’s, located at 2631 Mission St., also claimed to serve the biggest beer in all of San Francisco. This matchbook from the bar is from sometime during 1940s or ‘50s (the building was constructed in 1904). An Irish immigrant owned the Mission bar and another at 1633 Fillmore St. (there was also later a Roddy’s at 32nd Ave. & Noriega, and another in Antioch.) Today, an available-for-rent space stands where the Mission branch of Roddy’s once stood. 2631 Mission Street. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez. eBay You have to love a bar named Martin’s Hole in the Wall. The establishment appears to have opened in 1934, and touted itself as being a place “where a good drink can be had at all times.” Today, 2048 Mission St., which was built in 1906, contains two apartments; next door at 2050 Mission is the Buy Sell Loan.2048 Mission Street. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez. Tags: bars Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address “We represent Bayer Pharmacy, Guittard Chocolate, workers in recycling in Alameda. A broad spectrum of companies and manufacturers belong to Local 6,” said Agustin Ramirez, lead organizer for the ILWU in Northern California.Other ILWU members thought the partnership between brewers and the union was a natural fit. “Our warehouse division represents wine distributors, like Gallo wines, so it makes perfect sense for this group of workers,” said Samantha Levens, who’s with the marine division of the ILWU. “I know people like to purchase union made beer. It’s kind of a selling point,” she continued. “This is a great group of people and I think this rally shows that the workers have a lot of support.”Kelly agreed. “This is a grassroots, bottom-up organizing effort by Anchor Brewing workers,” he said, looking over the jubilant crowd. He gave high marks to the San Francisco DSA labor organizing committee. “They gave us space to meet in. They’ve been completely helpful.”Before fanning out to the bars, labor organizers, DSA activists and brewery workers made speeches into a bullhorn, exhorting the Anchor employees to stay resolute. After promising the workers that the ILWU will be there “every step of the way,” Ramirez led the crowd in a chant. “What time is it?” Ramirez yelled into the bullhorn.“Union Time!” the crowd yelled back. Workers charge that their wages have stagnated after Sapporo acquired Anchor in 2017. Garrett Kelly has worked for Anchor for three years in the fermentation department and makes $18.35 an hour. “I want to spread the word and show management at Anchor what solidarity and worker power looks like,” said Kelly, who commutes from Oakland. He said that management wasn’t happy when the workers announced their intent to unionize. “Management corralled us into an empty conference room, asked if we were on the clock, and said no one could meet with us,” said Kelly. He hopes that Anchor Brewing management will negotiate with them in good faith, but says plans to proceed are in place regardless. “We gave management 48 hours to respond,” Kelly said. “But we’re going to file with the National Labor Relation Board in a few weeks, whether management supports that or not.” The new union would be part of ILWU Warehouse Union Local 6, which is based in Oakland, and represents warehouse workers across the bay area. Employees of San Francisco’s venerable Anchor Brewing gathered at the 24th Street BART plaza Thursday evening with members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the labor committee of the Democratic Socialists of America hours after launching a union drive at their Potrero Hill plant. Earlier that day, Anchor workers delivered a letter to the management of Anchor Brewing Company, announcing their intent to unionize the brewery. It would be the first unionized craft brewery in San Francisco and in the country. BART commuters exiting the station grew confused as the plaza quickly filled with Anchor workers, unionized longshoremen and DSA activists. The mood in the plaza was jubilant. DSA members and Anchor workers planned to distribute flyers and posters in bars on and around 24th Street. “We’re helping to announce the union drive, and our support of workers in America,” said Sarah Jane Holcombe, a DSA member.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Port City Pride held their Inaugural Block Party in Downtown Wilmington on Saturday. The event was aimed at celebrating LGBTQIA individuals and allies in the community.Hundreds of people, young and old, came out to the free event that featured live entertainment, food trucks, and vendors.- Advertisement – Event organizer Lorraine Barnes says the goal of the block party was more than just a celebration. She hoped to also educate the city of Wilmington on issues important to the LGBTQIA community.“It incorporates all of us and it just shows everybody that we truly are one community, and we don’t need to be separated anymore,” said Barnes.“One of the main objectives of this event is to heal the lines of division in our community.”Related Article: Couples say ‘I do’ for free on Valentine’s DayBarnes says her favorite part of the block party was the positive atmosphere and bringing everyone together.She hopes to have more events like this in the future.
Jemar Bell (Photo: Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Brunswick County man accused of choking a woman and beating her so severely that she lost an eye is now behind bars.According to online records, Jemar Lee Bell, 36, was booked into the Brunswick County Detention Center just before 11:00 p.m. Wednesday.- Advertisement – He is charged with assault on a female, first degree kidnapping, and parole violation.The crimes happened between September 1 and October 14.He is currently being held without bond.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Following an investigation, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man they say was trafficking large quantities of heroin and other drugs into the county from New Jersey.During November, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics Detectives conducted an investigation of Shawqi Rahim Gray, 36. Gray was suspected of trafficking large quantities of heroin into New Hanover County from New Jersey. Detectives also learned Gray is a convicted felon and is wanted out of Easton, Pennsylvania for the crimes of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and heroin. During the course of the investigation, Detectives were led to 2702 Oleander Drive where a search warrant of the residence was conducted.- Advertisement – “This is the largest seizure of heroin and fentanyl that we’ve ever seized,” said New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon.The execution of the search warrant on November 30, yielded:-393.15 grams of raw heroin (equivalent of approximately 19,000 bags of heroin)-803 bags of heroin ready for sale and or delivery-110 grams of fentanyl (used as a cutting or mixing agent for heroin)-8.5 grams of cocaine-10 grams of marijuana-5 firearms (two of the firearms were reported as stolen)-$47,390.00 in US currencyDrugs, drug paraphernalia, and guns seized at 2702 Oleander Drive on November 30th (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY)Related Article: Prince’s family sues doctor who prescribed him pain pillsDetectives additionally found thousands of empty wax bags with various stamps along with 78.4 grams of another unknown cutting agent used for manufacturing heroin.“Majority of those bags are empty. You figure, each one of those bags goes anywhere from $10 to $20, so this could be up to $1 million seizure on the street, once it was all mixed,” said Sheriff McMahon.Sheriff McMahon says the fentanyl that drug dealers lace heroin with is very dangerous and that’s why this bust is such a big deal. “To be able to get this off of the street, the drug unit just did a great job. I’m very proud of them. Just one grain, again, one grain of the fentanyl can kill you.”Gray was taken to the New Hanover County Detention Facility and charged with the following:-2 counts of trafficking heroin or opium (trafficking by possession and manufacturing)-Possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin-Manufacturing heroin-Maintaining a dwelling for illegal controlled substances-Possession of firearm by a convicted felon-2 counts of possession of a stolen firearm-Simple possession of Schedule VI controlled substance-Possession of drug paraphernaliaIn addition, Gray was served with the active warrant from Pennsylvania. Gray is currently awaiting trial at the New Hanover County Detention Facility under a $10 million secured bond.This latest investigation continues local authorities’ ongoing fight against the opioid crisis.“We’re gonna continue working together with all the agencies, with all the federal agencies, with Wilmington Police Department and we’re gonna go after the drug dealers,” said Sheriff McMahon. He says more arrests could be coming soon.
Wheels up! Heading to NYC to represent Bitty & Beau’s Coffee at CNN Heroes Tribute Show! (Photo: Amy Wright) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Bitty and Beau’s Coffee owner Amy Wright was nominated for the CNN Hero of the Year award and now is headed to New York City to find out if she won.She was named a CNN Hero back in June. The story featured Wright and two employees Matt and Jessie. The segment shows the inspiration that many see every day when walking into the coffee shop. We have featured Wright and her husband as an Extraordinary Person of the Week.- Advertisement – Each of the heroes received a $10,000 cash prize. One of the 10 will be named “CNN Hero of the Year” and receive an additional $100,000 for his or her cause.Their efforts are being highlighted at “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” a global broadcast event on CNN airing Sunday, December 17 at 8 p.m. ABC’s Kelly Ripa will join Anderson Cooper as co-host for this star-studded 11th-annual show, live from New York’s American Museum of Natural History.