20 entries

Articles by Daniel Zapien

What is Quality Representation in the Courts?

We recently had the honor of sharing our work and perspectives to a powerful group of social scientists, public defenders, and academics from across the country who came together through the National Science Foundation to discuss a profoundly important question for anyone concerned with justice: What is quality representation?  So to bring something to the table, we just asked people who come to our meetings for families who’s loved ones are facing the court system that basic question. Here is their responses.

Renters Rally at First Advisory Committee Meeting to Revise San José’s Rent Ordinance

Last week tenants and housing rights organizations across the Bay Area organized coordinated actions in Mountain View, San Mateo, Redwood City, Burlingame, Oakland, Alameda, San Francisco, Fremont and San Jose to spotlight the crisis felt by tens of thousands of families being pushed out of their homes. In San Jose tenants gathered at the first meeting of an advisory committee approved by San Jose City Council to consult the Council on revising the City's current ordinance.

Downtown San Jose Tenants Deliver Demand Letter to Management

Downtown San Jose tenants, with support from the San Jose Solidarity Network are taking action against uninhabitable conditions. Year after year tenants face rent increases and live with infestations of roaches, bed bugs, and mice. Management is unresponsive and blames the tenants for the problems.

You do Open Mics? Pshht..

Open Mics was never my thing when I usedta perform my music, you could have called me a snob. In fact I only went every once in awhile because I knew someone performing, but other than that you would never catch me there. Mostly because I thought Open Mics were boring and played out. But hanging out with the artist Andrew "Amplified" Vicente and Brandon Scott for two weeks with their love for performing anywhere including Open Mics, helped change the way I thought of it.

Prop 47 Is A Collective First Step In Undoing Years of Damage To The East Palo Alto Community

On Saturday, June 13th, over 100 community members attended the Prop 47 Record Clearance Clinic in East Palo Alto. Proposition 47 was passed by California voters in November 2014 that reduced certain felonies to misdemeanors, including drug and theft offenses. Being able to remove these felonies allow folks to release the scarlet "F" -- making them eligible for benefits like housing and immigration, licenses, and opening up their possibilities for employment. Moreover, Prop 47 marks a step in reversing damage done to a community like East Palo Alto that has been dramatically impacted by drugs and heavy handed enforcement. It was also fitting that the event was held at Free At Last, a drug and alcohol recovery program founded by community residents -- including the late David Lewis, the late Priya Haji, and Dorsey Nunn. Many thanks to the organizations that helped put together this event! Check out this website for more information on Prop 47 -- www.myprop47.org

The Cannery: A Historical Community of San Jose Arts and Culture Prepares to Say Goodbye

The Cannery is about to shut its doors for good. Known for its historical production of canning fruits and vegetables from the late 1800's well into the late 90's, it has also played a major role in San Jose's most shape shifting facets of arts and culture, from bicycles to rapping to street fashion. Daniel Zapien and Andrew Bigelow interviewed some of the folks saying their last goodbyes.

Traffic Tickets Stopped My Life for Six Years

Daniel Zapien was 20 years old when he first lost his drivers license. After two tickets, it took him more than six years and $5,000 dollars to be able to hold this card once again. He was in what California Governor Brown calls a "hellhole of desperation." A new bill, Senate Bill 405, was recently proposed for stories like his.

We are Regeneration Against Destruction: Yerba Buena Youth

Regeneration Against Destruction is a youth based collective from San Jose, CA. Members of the collective have been working since 2013 to regenerate their community against some of the destruction they see everyday. Starting with free markets to provide free materials to homeless folks at the jungle, San Jose R.A.D. has now expanded its work into urban gardening projects and youth programs. It will continue to grow as the seeds of regeneration are in all of us and community will always regenerate against those forces that destroy us. Please consider working with us to challenge corruption, inequality, injustice, oppression and violence in our communities!

Video: EYES ON THE MOVEMENT: Images from Bay Area Activist Photographers

For the last six months, a group of photographers have come together to explore photography, class consciousness, and social justice. Our perspective is that photography is an important tool for radical social change, if it is produced by photographers who are part of the social movements they’re documenting, and if their perspective is to expose the injustices of the system, to show how it can be changed, and by who. We believe that photography can help communicate what power can look like. Images have the ability to help working people understand their world and its power relationships, and to appreciate their own power and movements for change. Photographing social justice movements has a long tradition -- not just in the United States but worldwide. We walk in those footsteps of history, and hope to keep exploring our role and responsibilities as photographers and organizers embedded in the movements for social justice. On May 1st, our collective organized our first show, "Eyes on the Movement: Images from Bay Area Activist Photographers," displaying social justice movements we're a part of across the state - from the organizing of recycling workers in Alameda County to fast food workers across the Bay Area and LA, police accountability, immigrant rights and housing for all. The exhibit is up at Studio Grand, 3234 Grand Avenue in Oakland, California until June 15. We will have another event on June 11 to further build the connections between photographers and social justice movements.

Andrew Bigs' Dollaz: A San Jose Story

The Dollaz song and music video follows Andrew Bigs' past and present relationship with money in a city where wealth disparity is prevelant. Through the combined story telling of award winning Director Marlo Custodio and the vibrant energy of the song, the video takes you around San Jose in a way that has not been seen.
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