New Affordable Housing Community Coming To Willowbrook

WILLOWBROOK (CBSLA) — More affordable housing is on the way in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas …

WILLOWBROOK (CBSLA) — More affordable housing is on the way in Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas today took a tour of a new affordable housing community being built in Willowbrook. (CBSLA)

And on Monday, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas took a tour of the new Springhaven community being built along Wilmington Avenue in Willowbrook.

When it’s completed, it will have 100 apartments, half of which will be reserved for individuals and families who have experienced homelessness.

“By the end of this quarter, we will have seven projects more completed, with 600 new units of affordable housing,” he said. “If you want to address the homeless crisis, it has to be confronted with first-rate affordable housing.”

Springhaven is surrounded by a hospital, community garden, library, public transit and retail shops.

South Bay housing advocates demand stoppage of corporate giveaways

… and families of color amid COVID-19 — advocates are calling for local governments to prioritize affordable housing over developer profits.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — In the South Bay, the housing crisis continues to impact low-income and families of color amid COVID-19 — advocates are calling for local governments to prioritize affordable housing over developer profits.

Last week, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and other local leaders welcomed Governor Gavin Newsom as he announced additional funding Project HomeKey — a statewide initiative that buys different motels, hotels or apartment buildings and turns them into permanent or interim housing for unhoused residents.

Housing advocates are fighting back saying the event fell short of addressing existing issues to provide affordable housing.

“I’m actually here to call out the celebration last week from Governor Gavin Newsom … he came down to celebrate the Bernal Monterey Interim Housing development and that’s great we should be celebrating those kinds of victories,” said Huy Tran, co-founder of Unhoused Response Group.

“However the victory can also seem hollow when the kind of policies the city is putting into place incentives a ton of market rate developments instead of focusing on the kind of housing developments that actually help the people here in San Jose who are struggling right now.”

In 2018 — Liccardo set a goal of building 25,000 residential units by 2023 with nearly 12,000 units already built out of the 15,000 to meet the plan’s market-rate goals, says Tran.

A significant discrepancy in the plan is the rate in which it’s affordable housing units are being built — as it stands only 29 percent of proposed affordable housing has been completed.

“We want to publicize the fact that the city council is moving in the wrong direction … It does a good job taking care of corporations, it does a great job taking care of Google, a great job taking care of Apple, but our homelessness from 2017 to 2019 has gone up 42 percent,” said Sandy Perry with Affordable Housing Network.

“I’ve been in San Jose since 1990 … there’s now this big gulf between the rich and the poor here and more and more people are falling into the poor category,”

“The rich are getting so fabulously wealthy that they don’t even know what to do with all their money, well, we have some good suggestions, they need to build affordable housing for the poor.”

For Will Smith, a San Jose resident and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 332 — says the high rent prices may one day force his family to move elsewhere.

“It’s not a secret that San Jose is the most expensive market in the country and when the city council is giving 56 million in subsidies to developers, they’re not paying their fair share towards the community, towards fixing homeless issues and towards affordable housing,” said Smith.

“You’re seeing more and more development but not affordable development … i’m afraid that my children won’t be able to afford to live here in San Jose, the place that they were born and raised in.”

In the coming months — the city will have the challenge in figuring out how it will assist it’s residents who can’t afford to pay their rent as thousands of Californians fear the threat of evictions with the end to the statewide moratorium ending Jan. 31.

Suds Jain targets traffic, pollution, housing in bid for Santa Clara City Council

By creating more affordable housing in Santa Clara, Jain said, fewer workers would have to commute from outside the city to work there. Fewer cars …

The planet’s changing climate disturbs Suds Jain so much, he says, that more than a decade ago he retired so he could have more time to fight it.

A former electrical engineer, Jain is seeking election to Santa Clara City Council’s District 5 seat, competing against retired CHP lieutenant Robert “Bob” O’Keefe.

Related Stories

Jain has been an active member in Santa Clara politics, having run for the same seat unsuccessfully in 2016. He serves on the Planning Commission and most recently on the city’s charter review committee.

Jain said he is focused on reducing traffic and the pollution it causes within Santa Clara, as well as affordable housing. One of his main priorities now, he said, is helping the city recover from its budget deficit, including $10 million for the remainder of this year and about $23 million next year.

Background

Born in Delhi, India, Jain, whose first name is Sudhanshu, moved with his parents to Davis in 1963 when he was two years old. He called Davis home until going to college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That’s where he earned his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering, as well as the nickname Suds.

Suds Jain, candidate for Santa Clara City Council’s District 5 seat. Courtesy Suds Jain.

In 1999, he moved with his wife, Lori, to the Wilson House on Santa Clara’s Old Quad, across from Santa Clara University. His proximity to city’s downtown district is what disqualifies him from advocating or voting for development if he should be elected.

While Jain said he is disappointed he won’t get a vote on the issue, he doesn’t think that it should keep the downtown project from taking shape.

“The downtown project is going to take a lot of city resources and the project should be good enough to get a unanimous vote of the council,” said Jain, regardless of his recusal.

Jain retired as an electrical engineer in 2009, freeing up time to volunteer and tackle climate change. He joined the Planning Commission in 2015 and helped support the Measure A affordable housing bond in 2016.

By creating more affordable housing in Santa Clara, Jain said, fewer workers would have to commute from outside the city to work there. Fewer cars on the road would reduce vehicle emissions.

“In the old days, a plastics factory could set up and dump all their toxic waste into your river. And the justification was its bringing jobs and money to our community so we have to let them do this,” Jain said. “Then we had the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act say ‘This isn’t acceptable.’ I see traffic as a form of pollution.” Not only do emissions contribute to climate change, he said, they impact air quality and thus the overall quality of life.

It’s like robotics

District 3 Councilmember Karen Hardy has known Jain from serving on the Planning Commission together, as well as from their time founding and coaching Wilcox High School’s robotics team for the past several years.

She said she knows Jain will face a new challenge if elected: Helping the city recover from COVID-19 and its harsh impact on small businesses. She says the two are both fiscally conservative as well as resourceful, which she thinks the city needs.

“The reality is, you have to be able to put the time in and work with people,” Hardy said. “You have to figure out ways to get what we want to have happen and how we can make it happen. It’s the same thing with robotics.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all of Wilcox’s extracurricular activities, Jain and Hardy tried to find a way to keep the group going.

“Some groups just gave up,” Hardy said. “Suds, true to form, he looked at me, we looked at each other, and said ‘We’ll figure it out.’”

Since then, the robotics team has begun building again, and its one of the only activities on the high school’s campus allowed to continue. Students work on all of their projects outside, distanced, with masks and shield on. For competitions, instead of traveling, they’ll film their robots doing tasks and submit those to judges instead.

“Suds looks at things with the perspective of ‘What are the limitations? What are the boundaries? Let’s make this work,’” Hardy said. “He has that attitude of ‘What do we need to do to make it happen?’”

According to campaign finance reports, Jain raised $24,700 and spent $7,117 this year until Sept. 19.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

AT A GLANCE

Name: Suds Jain

Age: 58

Family: Married, one child 21 years old

Political affiliation: Democrat

Education: BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT

Profession: Retired

Current or previous elected or appointed positions: Santa Clara Planning Commission (5 years), Santa Clara Charter Review Committee (2019)

Top 3 priorities: Financial health, affordable housing, traffic

Top 3 endorsements: Mike Honda, Patricia Mahan, Karen Hardy

Special talent: U.C. Certified Master Gardener

In one sentence, why vote for you?: I have years of relevant experience serving Santa Clara in leadership roles, a track record of serving our community.

Contact Madelyn Reese at [email protected] and follow her @MadelynGReese.

Graduate health, science programs offer some in-person courses with precautions

Some research and labs at nursing, dentistry, medical and physical science graduate schools fall under this category, but all lecture-based courses …

Some UCLA graduate schools are now operating with increased COVID-19 safety precautions for in-person instruction.

In-person classes are limited to essential workforce training programs that cannot be deferred to an online format, said UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez in an emailed statement. Around 700 undergraduate and graduate students and 40 instructors are taking or teaching in-person classes in the fall, Vazquez said.

Some research and labs at nursing, dentistry, medical and physical science graduate schools fall under this category, but all lecture-based courses are online,. In-person classes require face coverings and space students at least 6 feet apart, Vazquez said. Laboratories have added safety precautions that set their individual capacities at one person per 250 square feet, he added.

California and Los Angeles County guidelines also require students with in-person classes to complete daily symptom screenings, Vazquez said.

In order for a professor to open their lab for research, they must submit a proposal to conduct in-person activities to the vice chancellor of research’s office for approval, said Jean Paul Santos, the president of the Graduate Students Association. Principal investigators responsible for the conduct of research projects must explain in the proposal how they will enforce social distancing and provide personal protective equipment in their labs, Santos said.

In Santos’ in-person engineering lab, the team made a schedule that only allowed two people to be in a room at the same time, he said.

“We’re working with the vice chancellor of research’s office to make sure that there really is some sort of a hook, a strictness to the fact that professors do have to submit a proposal so that there are not these weird discrepancies where professors can just do whatever,” Santos said.

Students can report discrepancies and violations in labs to their respective departments chairs, deans or to the vice chancellor of research’s office, Santos said.

The UCLA School of Dentistry has limited its in-person activities to clinical work and pre-clinical training, said Maya Giannetti, president of the American Student Dental Association at UCLA.

Giannetti, a third-year dental student who regularly sees patients at the school’s in-person dental clinics, said she feels safe participating in in-person activities.

“For clinic, … only 50% of our chairs are open, and all of them are staggered,” she said. “We can’t have any in-between cubicle movement, we have a runner system that stays outside the cubicles to bring you materials if you need them.”

Ariana Faron, a dental student, said that her peers have taken safety guidelines seriously.

“In lab, everyone is always wearing a ton of (personal protective equipment) like face shields, lab coats, gloves and masks, even though it’s only a preclinical lab where you’re not seeing patients,” Faron said.

Faron said she was not surprised by the school’s smooth return to in-person instruction.

“We are a health care profession, and we have some of the top experts in the country on infectious diseases, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that we have the people who know how to do it right,” she said.

Over the summer, the School of Dentistry faced criticism from faculty members and residents after the school went against guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by only providing outdated personal protective equipment.

Enforcing public health guidelines has eased students’ and patients’ worries, Giannetti said.

“What the school has done is really innovative for the time, and it is really providing us to be able to see our patients,” Giannetti said. “We can’t just stop giving people dental care. It is a necessity in their day-to-day lives.”

In California: COVID-19 keeps killing people, many are farmworkers

It’s because of COVID-19, of course. Though California’s coronavirus infections and hospitalizations were steady for about a month, the state reported …

There are more than 880,000 coronavirus cases in California and more than 8 million cases nationwide. In Southern California, some of the most vulnerable are our farmworkers. Plus: State revenue is up, severe weather expected back in the Bay, social media execs are under fire and a little something to cheer you up.

Hi, I’m Maria Sestito, senior issues reporter for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, and today is “the deadliest day in October.” If it also happens to be your birthday, I’m sorry. (Mine was Sunday.)

In California brings you top Golden State stories and commentary from across the USA TODAY Network and beyond. Get it free, straight to your inbox.

The deadliest day in October

A sign on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation warns people to protect their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic ravages Native American reservations, activists are concerned it will have a spillover effect and depress voting among Indigenous Peoples.

It’s because of COVID-19, of course.

Though California’s coronavirus infections and hospitalizations were steady for about a month, the state reported its highest daily death toll since the summer today, according to the Sacramento Bee.

State health officials reported 162 new COVID-19 deaths, the most in a day since Sept. 15. The highest one-day of 219 came on July 31.

Compared with two weeks ago, California is averaging about 6% fewer deaths and about 2.5% fewer cases, but deaths started to rise this week, reports the Mercury News.

Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara, Solano and Napa, are among those seeing an increase in cases — and the region’s daily average has swelled by 10% in the past week. Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties reported declines.

Nationally, there were more fatalities from COVID-19 reported Wednesday — 1,170 in total — than any day since Sept. 15, according to data collected by the New York Times. According to the Times, daily deaths nationwide are up nearly 10% in the past two weeks, while transmission has soared: 33% more cases per day, on average, Wednesday than two weeks ago.

Among the dead — California farmworkers

Farmers harvest romanesco cauliflower in Imperial Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Many farmworkers were infected in Imperial Valley.

In a beautiful and emotional six-part series, a team at USA TOD outlines how Latino farmworkers have been discriminated against and literally “worked to death.”

Imperial County, which is 85% Hispanic, has consistently had one of the highest death rates in the United States, at a time when Latinos are one of the hardest-hit ethnic groups in the pandemic, according to data compiled by USA TODAY.