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Funding for Court Fine

Original post made by Alan Marling, Livermore, on Dec 22, 2021

Readers of The Independent may have noticed the holiday ads from Save Livermore Downtown, asking for donations with festive messages such as “A Christmas Wish.” These requests for charity take on a different character entirely when you realize they’re for a $500,000 court fine.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled in September the group must post a $500,000 bond because their lawsuit against Eden Housing is in bad faith or merely “for the purpose of delaying or thwarting low-income housing.” The litigation I had called spurious for months turned out to be in fact spurious. This early fine means the lawsuit is all but certain to fail, but if the litigation delays the affordable housing through 2022 then it will run the clock out on $14.4 million in A1 funding. So any contribution made to SLD, say, on Giving Tuesday will be used to pay that hefty fine, for the chance of denying Livermore even more in equity.

Finally, here’s a holiday charity that would receive eager support from Ebenezer Scrooge. He would see no need for affordable housing, as long as we can keep the poor in “prisons” and “workhouses.” In California, we do have a “surplus population” but also plenty of prisons, which double as workhouses thanks to the Thirteenth Amendment allowing forced labor as a punishment. Because of money bail and many other factors, the poor are most likely to end up in the prison-industrial complex. Ebenezer Scrooge would find the entire system very tidy.

Perhaps three Christmas spirits will visit those promoting this lawsuit, Joan Seppala and Jean King. Coincidentally, those two are board members of Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC). This is the group that puts on shows at the Bankhead. A shame this year they didn't perform The Christmas Carol.


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