.Wednesday’s Briefing: Ellen Tauscher, former East Bay congressmember, dies at 67

Another twist in Oakland's Measure AA parcel tax

News you don’t want to miss for May 1:

1. Former East Bay Rep. Ellen Tauscher passed away Monday, Politico reports. She was 67. Tauscher served the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa County from 1996 to 2008. She later served as undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Defense and is credited with negotiating the New START Treaty with the then-Russian Federation in 2010, the first such non-proliferation agreement between the two powers in two decades.

2. The presidential aspirations of Rep. Eric Swalwell, who, incidentally served as an intern in Tauscher’s congressional office, took a positive turn Tuesday, although minimally-speaking. The Hill reports Swalwell registered one percent in a Democratic Party-approved poll for a third time, the minimum result required for a podium on the presidential debate stage starting in late June. Swalwell, however, may still need to amass more than 65,000 individual donors for full inclusion if the field of qualified candidates continues to grow too unwieldy for one stage.

3. Ghost Ship trial: The names of the 36 people who perished at the December 2016 warehouse fire in Oakland were read out loud during the trial’s opening statements, and their photos displayed to the courtroom, KPIX reports. Derick Almena and Max Harris have been charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. An Alameda County prosecutor later described the fiery scene for partygoers that night as having “no notice, no time, no exits.”

4. The controversy over Oakland’s Measure AA ballot measure took another twist Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Two individuals stepped in on the city’s behalf to defend the legality of the the parcel tax measure which received support last November from 62 percent of Oakland voters, but less than the two-thirds majority some believe it needed for passage. Th Oakland City Council had planned to adopt a resolution last night for a re-do measure on the March 2020 ballot. $$

5. Catholic Charities plans to open a home in the Oakland Hills for the victims of sex trafficking, the San Francisco Chronicle, but the idea is facing opposition on two fronts–neighbors who fear the facility, which could house up to 12 people, will bring crime to the area and advocates for victims say they are skeptical because of the church’s opposition to abortion and contraception. $$

6. “911 calls to Berkeley’s police and fire dispatch center are taking longer to get through due to chronic understaffing that is only likely to get worse, the city auditor reported in a recent analysis,” according to Berkeleyside. The report also revealed the city spent $1 million in overtime costs in 2017.

7. NBA Playoffs: The Warriors took a 2-0 lead in their second round playoff match-up with a 115-109 victory over the Houston Rockets, ESPN reports. The series moves to Houston for Games 3 on Saturday.

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