Previously on Forum

California and other states look to be on the verge of reforming their bail systems. Lawmakers and the state’s top judge say the current system disproportionately punishes the poor and traps people in jail for small crimes they may not have even committed. Advocates for the current system say cash bail is the best way to ensure people show up for court. We’ll take up the debate.

With ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft reinventing the transportation landscape, many taxi drivers are finding themselves without long-term stability. Grueling hours, declining business and devaluing taxi medallions have put these workers — many of whom are immigrants with family ties to the industry — in dire straits. We discuss the plight of Bay Area cab drivers.

San Francisco choreographer Robert Moses’ latest work, “Bootstrap Tales,” is inspired by his company’s new outreach initiative for foster youth. The initiative, called The Bootstrap Program, seeks to expose foster youth to “the process of creating a life in the arts.” Moses joins us in the studio for a conversation about the initiative and the new work, which features the music of local street musicians. We’ll also check in with Renee Espinoza of San Francisco CASA, one of the groups participating in The Bootstrap Program.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

By vote of the City Council last week, Berkeley became the first sanctuary city in the country…for marijuana. The resolution, proposed by Mayor Jesse Arreguin, forbids city employees from assisting in the enforcement of federal cannabis laws. Mayor Arreguin joins us to talk about the resolution and other issues affecting Berkeley, including homelessness and rising rents and home prices. What do you want to ask Mayor Arreguin?

Crowds line up outside the U.S. Supreme Court to attend the day's session on December 4, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in Janus vs. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a case likely to have major ramifications for California public employee unions. A decision in favor of the challenger would forbid such unions from charging “fair share” fees for workers who don’t want to join but still might benefit from collective bargaining agreements. This would cost California labor organizations thousands of members, millions of dollars and possibly significant political clout. We discuss the implications of Janus vs. AFSCME for California.

A screen shows the countdown to the moment a simulated 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits at the Command Center during a functional exercise for first responders in a simulated earthquake drill on March 21, 2013 at the Office of Emergency Management in Los Angeles, California. This year's exercise featured the California Integrated Seismic Network's Earthquake Early Warning Demonstration System, as seen on screens pictured here.

Despite bipartisan support, the Trump administration slashed funding for the federal earthquake early warning program in its budget proposal last week. The U.S. Geological Survey’s warning system, known as “ShakeAlert,” has been in the works for years, but it’s tens of millions of dollars from completion. We’ll discuss what the loss of funding could mean for earthquake preparedness across the country and in California.

FBI agents are seen behind yellow crime scene tape outside Rancho Tehama Elementary School after a shooting in the morning on November 14, 2017, in Rancho Tehama, California.

After the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week, Forum discusses measures that schools can take before, and during, a crisis to keep students, teachers and employees safe.


Kenneth Trump, president, National School Safety and Security Services

Franklin Zimring, professor, UC Berkeley School of Law; author, “When Police Kill”

A border patrol car drives past a border fence.

Between 2008 and 2012 Francisco Cantú worked as a border patrol agent in the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. “I don’t think you have to become soulless in order to do the work,” he said of the job, “but I do think it is work that endangers the soul.” Cantú describes his experiences in his new book “The Line Becomes a River.” He joins us to talk about the migrants and border agents he met, the rise of human smuggling and how enforcement policies may be reformed.


Francisco Cantú, author, “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border”

A damaged mosque, seen from a distance.

Military clashes involving Israel, Syria and Iran earlier this month fell short of drawing those nations into war, but tensions in the region remain high. On Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister said Israel’s “myth of invincibility” was shattered after the Syrian military shot down an Israeli fighter jet. We’ll talk about growing instability in the region, and how Iran’s so-called “axis of resistance” is developing.


Abbas Milani, director of Iranian studies, Stanford University

Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel of Earth House Center.

Environmental and social justice activist Carl Anthony draws on decades of experience as an architect in his new book, “The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race.” The book, part memoir and part tutorial, grapples with questions of urban democratization and sustainability in the context of shifting social norms and changing environmental realities. Anthony joins us to discuss his life’s work and strategies for enhancing equity in a changing world.

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