Not on our agenda! Chico City Council won't agendize a discussion on sanctuary status

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by Leslie Layton

The Chico City Council’s conservative majority blocked a community-wide effort, led by a group of college students who made brave and articulate presentations Tuesday night, to agendize a discussion on sanctuary status.

Sanctuary is a designation that could be as simple as an official statement welcoming diversity, or as meaty as a statement that guides law-enforcement policy toward the local immigrant community.

The panel quickly voted 4-3 against a motion by Councilwoman Ann Schwab to discuss sanctuary status for Chico at an upcoming meeting, after 37 people – including college students, attorneys, teachers, activists and other community members – asked for a hearing on the matter.

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Chico residents to ask City Council for sanctuary designation On Tuesday, from the floor, a resolution proposal

women's march on chico

photo by Karen Laslo

 
Participant in January’s Women’s March on Chico

by Leslie Layton

A group of Chico residents plan to address the City Council Tuesday to request a “sanctuary” designation for the city – a statement that is important and controversial in an era of harsh immigration enforcement.

Elizabeth Alaniz, assistant director of Chico State’s Financial Aid and Scholarship office, said students from several campus groups plan to address the City Council on the issue at the panel’s Feb. 21 meeting. And Chico author and Zen Buddhist Lin Jensen said he has composed a draft resolution for a sanctuary designation after conducting extensive research on the matter.

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‘Mobilize Chico’ opposes racism, supports community members Trump presidency propels activism

photo by Dave Waddell
 

photo by Dave Waddell

Mobilize Chico demonstration

by Dave Waddell

Chris Nichols, a retired school teacher and counselor, had never gone in much for activism. That all changed with the election of President Donald Trump.

“All of a sudden, I’m upset,” she said.

On Jan. 25, Nichols was standing with seven others from the group Mobilize Chico at the intersection of Warner and West Sacramento avenues holding a pink sign with the message: “Stay Loud 4 Equality.”

The group’s demonstration was called “Signs for Solidarity.” Its purpose was to show support for community members who have been victimized by racist actions in Chico.

Members from Mobilize Chico met recently at Chico State’s Cross-Cultural Leadership Center and heard from students who experienced hateful acts.

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Women’s March in Chico Participants Speak up for Diversity, Women, Immigrants

Chico Women’s March organizers said about 2,000 people showed up to participate in the Jan. 21 event. The march and City Plaza rally were held in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., and marches were underway in major U.S. cities and around the world. Many of the participants said it was the largest march they had seen in Chico. 

Slideshow photos by Karen Laslo and Leslie Layton

Oil Trains Pose Threat to Lake Oroville and State’s Water Supply, SOOT Says Butte County supervisors mum on SLO rail expansion

Dave Garcia
Dave Garcia at Chico Certified Farmers Market

by Leslie Layton

Chico, with its state university, valley oaks, coffee shops and bike paths, feels more collegial than industrial, a place that’s far from the contamination and accidents that plague oil country. But the people in bright orange “Stop Toxic Oil Trains” T-shirts – they sometimes appear at Saturday Farmers Market and other events – say that when oil country rolls through Butte County, it brings accident potential here.

No one seems to be sure how many oil trains pass through the Feather River Canyon on Union Pacific’s (UP) Oroville route that snakes above the north fork of the Feather River, but the activists in orange T-shirts want to stop crude-by-rail shipments on that route. That’s because derailment and a spill of oil or another hazardous substance could contaminate Lake Oroville and poison the water supply that serves millions of Californians.

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