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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thinkers & Doers: Feb. 13, 2014

Professors Brian Gray, David Levine, Osagie Obasogie, Philip Kan Gotanda '78, Michael Wood '78, Jesse Stout '12, Noah Frigault '13, Brittany Stonesifer '13.
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Lake Folsom during the 1976 drought.

Brian Gray

Brian GrayProfessor Brian Gray's co-authored piece on the state’s tendency to skirt corners on environmental protections during drought years was published in California Political News & Views.

“If we can’t all get better together in a severe drought, at least we can reduce and share the pain fairly, in a way that provides some help to fish and other species that depend on our rivers for their survival,” the authors wrote. Read more here.

David Levine

David LevineProfessor David Levine spoke with KTVU television about efforts to change the way law enforcement responds to child abuse allegations in the wake of the death of 3-year-old Kayleigh Slusher in Napa.

Community organizers want a “Three Strikes, You're Out"-style law that would require authorities to intervene if police are called to a home more than three times to investigate allegations of child abuse.

Levine says anyone can call police to report a problem. That being said, what's to stop someone from using a law like this to enact a vendetta against a neighbor or a spouse involved in a custody dispute? “If you did something like this, where it was a fixed number, it would just give way too much power to someone who wanted to take advantage of that situation,” said Levine. “To have this kind of a rigid solution is not the right way to go.” Read more here.

Osagie Obasogie

Osagie ObasogieThe Brown Daily Herald covered a lecture delivered by Professor Osagie Obasogie about his new book, “Blinded by Sight.” “Seeing race is a social, rather than merely visual, experience,” Obasogie said, and has implications for policy and law.

Because his research shows that blind people have a comprehensive understanding of race, it calls into question the entire basis for the colorblindness ideology, Obasogie said. Read more here.

Philip Gotanda

UC Berkeley will be presenting “After the War Blues,” by playwright Philip Kan Gotanda ’78. The play was first presented at the American Conservatory Theater in 2007. This revised production runs March 7-16 at Zellerbach Playhouse. Gotanda is a professor with the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. Read more here.

Michael Wood

Smarty Ants CEO Michael Wood ’78 spoke at Startup Grind 2014. Smarty Ants is an on-line, assessment based adaptive reading program for kids. He previously founded Leapfrog Enterprises. He is the inventor or co-inventor of more than 30 issues patents. Watch his address here.

Noah Frigault, Jesse Stout, Brittany Stonesifer

Noah Frigault ’13, a Bridge Fellow with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, was part of the team that won Board of Supervisor approval for a measure, which the mayor is expected to sign, of the country’s first “ban-the-box” law that would eliminate the requirement to report arrests or felony convictions on a job or housing application.

Dubbed the “Fair Chance Act,” it was supported by numerous local groups, including Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, where Jesse Stout ’12 is policy director and Brittany Stonesifer ’13 is a Bridge Fellow.

Frigault has been working on this issue since Spring 2012 when he was in the Community Group Advocacy and Social Change Lawyering Clinic, where he was placed with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. 

“It is my hope that with the passage of the Fair Chance Ordinance, the ambition and sense of direction people often feel when released from jail or prison will no longer be squandered by misinformed and poorly-directed policies that disproportionately affect people of color and continue to punish this population long after their sentences have been served and penance made,” Frigault said. Read more from BeyondChron here.

--Feb. 13, 2014

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