Wednesday Must Read: Obama Announces Gun Control Proposal; Oakland Council Committees Okay Crime-Fighting Plans



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. President Obama today unveiled his proposal for tightening the nation’s gun laws, and his plan includes legislation that would reinstitute a national ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and require universal background checks on weapons’ buyers, The New York Times reports. Locally, Oakland police have said repeatedly that city streets are flooded with assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that are purchased in neighboring states, such as Nevada, that have no bans. Obama’s proposal would close this loophole, but it is expected to be met by fierce opposition from Congressional Republicans.

  • Jordan
2. Two Oakland City Council committees approved a set of proposals yesterday from Police Chief Howard Jordan designed to improve public safety in the city — although one of the ideas was met by vocal opposition, the Chron and Trib report. Three of the proposals — hiring twenty civilian police techs, having county Sheriff’s Office deputies patrol city streets for the next few months, and setting a firm date for another police academy — passed easily. But a plan to hire William Bratton, the former head of the New York and Los Angeles police departments, engendered a strong backlash because of his support for controversial police tactics, such a stop-and-frisk. Earlier yesterday, Chief Jordan distanced himself from "zero tolerance" tactics and indicated that the department would not adopt them. The four proposals will go to the full council next week.

3. OPD is backing off a remark made by Chief Jordan that “90 percent” of the recent violent crime in the city can be attributed to warring gangs, the Chron reports. The department is now saying that a large percentage of violent crime is being caused by the gang war — but not 90 percent. That figure appears to have been hyperbole.

4. A group of Occupy Oakland protesters have sued the city as a result of a mass arrest last year at the Oakland YMCA, the Trib and Chron report.

5. And Sungevity, an Oakland-based solar-panel-installation company, has raised a startling $125 million in investments, the Mercury News reports.