UpFront

Rashad Robinson responds to Iowa caucus results; San Francisco will vote on taxing vacant storefronts; a new political party forms in Puerto Rico

0:08 – As technological problems delay results from the Iowa caucus, we hear reactions from John Nichols, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation, and Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson), spokesperson for Color of Change PAC. Iowa is not representative of the racial makeup of the United States, Robinson points out — and neither is New Hampshire, where Democratic candidates will campaign next. Color of Change has been reaching out to presidential campaigns to talk with them about their policies affecting Black people, and the organization says the Biden and Klobuchar campaigns have not been responsive.

0:25 – The ACLU is questioning the U.S. government’s decision to mandate quarantines in response to coronavirus, over concerns about civil liberties and evidence-based policy. We hear from Jay Stanley (@JayCStanley), senior policy analyst with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Stanley’s latest commentary is “What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Outbreak: A Civil Liberties Perspective.”

0:34 – We host a debate on San Francisco Proposition D, a proposed tax on vacant storefronts, which San Francisco voters will decide on the March 3rd ballot. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the SF Chronicle editorial board have endorsed the measure. Joining us are Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Supervisor for District 3, and Clint Griess, executive director of the San Francisco Republican Party, which is opposing Proposition D.

0:50 – There’s been a bloody start to the new year in Colombia. Almost one human rights or environmental leader per day has been assassinated in Colombia so far this year, with rural areas particularly hard hit. It’s a far cry from the hopes of peace and prosperity when the government signed a landmark peace deal with FARC rebel leaders in September of 2015. Alexandra Ruiz reports from Bogotá, Colombia.

0:56 – As the countdown to the 2020 Census approaches, community organizers in the San Joaquin Valley are launching an educational campaign stressing the importance of census data for everything from social services funding to political representation. In Fresno recently the Dolores Huerta Foundation has embarked on a mission to maximize participation among hard-to-reach populations. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

1:08 – Why hasn’t the U.S. yet closed the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? We talk with Peter Jan Honigsberg, professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and director of Witness to Guantanamo, a project to record the experiences of people who endured imprisonment and torture at Guantanamo, as well as those who worked and lived there. His new book is A Place Outside the LawHe will be speaking at the Hillside Club in Berkeley tonight, February 4. Tickets here.

1:34 – Puerto Ricans are facing political and geological crises, with earthquakes severely disrupting life on the island, and protests against the governor over new scandals over undistributed disaster relief from Hurricane Maria. We talk to Javier Cordova of the Puerto Rican Association of University Professors (APPU). Cordova was a professor of computer science at the University of Puerto Rico for 30 years until his retirement, and he is a member of the Citizens Victory Movement, a new political party on the island.

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