News

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco is hoping to launch a three-year mobile recycling program to offset the impacts of the widespread closure of facilities where people can redeem bottles and cans for cash.

The City has submitted a plan to state officials that calls for launching a mobile service initially using two trucks that would visit 16 sites in eight supervisorial districts — Districts 1 through 8 — with the fewest available places to redeem cans.

The application includes a list of 39 potential sites, including the parking lots of grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, churches, schools and others. Department of the Environment spokesman Charles Sheehan said the proposed locations are not final and could change.

Most residents in these neighborhoods have to travel at least three miles to reach any of the handful of recycling centers that remain in operation to cash in on the 5- or 10-cent California Redemption Value that consumers pay when buying bottled or canned beverages.

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The City could also stand to benefit from Assembly Bill 54, which was introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week. It provides up to $5 million in state funding for such pilot programs from the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund.

Ting introduced the bill after rePlanet shuttered 284 California recycling centers in August. The closures also impacted San Francisco, further reducing its recycling centers from six in operation this year to four, according to the Department of Environment’s application.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Publication: KPBS-TV/San Diego

State Assembly members were in Chula Vista on Wednesday for a public hearing on the future spending priorities of California's prison system.

"We are spending now for 125,000 people about $13 billion," said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco.

State lawmakers said they intend to spend even more, but want the money to go toward keeping people out of prison.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Publication: NBC Bay Area via Bay City News

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a San Francisco assemblyman's urgency measure providing funding to bolster the dwindling presence of recycling centers in California Friday.

Assembly Bill 54, by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), allocates $5 million to implement a mobile recycling pilot program administered by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle.

As an urgency measure, the bill takes effect immediately.

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"AB 54 provides short-term relief to the thousands of Californians who need their container deposits refunded. Now the hard work begins. I will spend the next few months working on a more comprehensive solution that can start moving through the legislative process when we reconvene in January," Ting said in a statement. "We can't put off this reform any longer now that recycling programs are in a crisis." 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Publication: KTVU via Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTVU) - California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a law that will make the state the first to allow employers, co-workers and teachers to seek gun violence restraining orders against other people.

The bill was vetoed twice by former governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and goes beyond a measure that he signed allowing only law enforcement officers and immediate family members to ask judges to temporarily take away peoples’ guns when they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.

They were among 15 gun-related laws Newsom approved as the state strengthens what the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence calls the nation’s toughest restrictions.

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“With school and workplace shootings on the rise, it’s common sense to give the people we see every day the power to intervene and prevent tragedies,” said the bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco. The existing law has mostly been used by police officers, but Ting said the expansion should allow more awareness and more opportunity for others to act. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

SACRAMENTO — Civil liberties advocates are declaring victory after California became the latest state to block police from using facial recognition technology in body cameras.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB1215 on Tuesday, prohibiting police departments from outfitting body cameras with technology to identify people through their facial features or other biometric traits. The law takes effect Jan. 1 and expires in 2023, but can be renewed.

State lawmakers passed the bill after Amazon’s Rekognition facial recognition software incorrectly identified 26 legislators as criminal suspects, including the assemblyman who carried the measure, San Francisco Democrat Phil Ting.

Ting said the test, conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California using lawmakers’ photos, showed that the technology is error-prone and could lead to officers arresting innocent people.

“Let’s not become a police state,” Ting said after the bill passed the Legislature. He said officers’ body cameras should be used “as they were originally intended — to provide police accountability and transparency.” 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Publication: Making Contact (airing on numerous radio stations across the country)

Despite the recent increase in mass shootings in the United States, the majority of gun injuries and deaths are in fact a result of suicides, homicides, accidental shootings, and intimate partner violence. In this documentary, we hear the story of one woman’s experience of domestic violence, and how some Californians are working to prevent harmful and deadly shootings.

This program was produced as a project for the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2019 California Fellowship. Click on the "Read More" button below to listen to this episode.

Featuring:

  • Sofia García, survivor of intimate partner violence
  • Richard Martinez, Survivor Network at Everytown for Gun Safet
  • Kendra Thomas, family law attorney and Trustee with Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Legal Services Project
  • Mara Elliott, San Diego City Attorney
  • Jacqui Irwin, CA Assembly member, 44th District
  • Phil Ting, CA Assembly member, 19th District.

Warning: Contains sensitive language. Please find milder version here.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Publication: ABC News / Associated Press

Preparing for a lengthy legal battle with the Trump administration about how much pollution to allow from cars, California regulators on Thursday said they were considering cracking down on other emissions to make up for any impacts on air quality.

The Trump administration on Thursday officially revoked California's authority to set its own emission standards — authority the state has had for decades under a waiver from the federal Clean Air Act.

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One California lawmaker is already working on a way to preserve at least some of the state's environmental muscle: rebates for electric cars.

California residents who buy or lease a zero-emission vehicle can get up to $7,000 from the state. A bill by Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting would mean people could only get that money if they buy a car from a company that has agreed to follow California's emission standards.

"We want to be incentivizing consumers to purchase from automakers that have aligned themselves with our state's overall goals," Ting said. "I think rebates are one tool. I'm sure the administration and the state will be looking at other tools that we have."