In Marin / CURRENTS
PIE IN THE SKY In 2014, President Barack Obama
officially made March 31 national Cesar Chavez Day. Chavez,
as you may know, was a Mexican-American farmworker and
labor activist who helped form what is today known as the
United Farm Workers union. But before Chavez (1927–1993)
there was another, similar-minded activist named Joe Hill.
Born in 1879, Hill was a Swedish-American songwriter, farm
labor advocate and member of the Industrial Workers of the
World. During Hill’s times, when migrant workers sought a
better life, they were told they would get their reward “in
the sweet by-and-by,” a phrase derived from a late 1800s
Christian hymn that can also be heard in the film Django
Unchained. Hill wrote a parody of the song called “The
Preacher and the Slave” that substitutes the phrase
“pie in the sky” — basically an empty
promise of plenty in heaven. Instead
of waiting for one’s reward, Hill
stressed the need for a livable
wage, good working conditions
and ample food in the
here and now. K.P.
There’s no escaping talk of the local housing shortage,
and given that the Bay Area is among the fastest-growing job markets in the nation, the talk won’t be
stopping anytime soon. But more housing density is
considered a threat to Marin’s famed open spaces.
Many residents are against new construction, and
recent conservation-minded funding approved by the
Metropolitan Transportation Commission bolsters
efforts to preserve even more open space. However, a
movement is afoot that may appease both sides. Following Tiburon’s and Novato’s cue, San Rafael is the
latest city in Marin to approve junior second units. The mini units are converted from existing spaces
— backyard cottages, garages, spare rooms — into private apartments with basic amenities, including a
separate entrance. The benefits are many: homeowners get a second income, and tenants get access to
affordable housing. Leaders in Fairfax, Larkspur and Belvedere are considering similar laws. K. P.
Looking to find the right doctor? How about
a pediatrician for your son or daughter?
The just-updated  Top Doctors
Resource Guide is the ticket: from general
practitioners to specialists, it lists more than
800 of the best doctors in Marin and San
Francisco as voted by their peers. Check out
marinmagazine.com/415topdoctors for more.
Believe it or not, summer camp sign-ups
are right around the corner. We have a
comprehensive list of summer camps in
this issue (see page 58) and online. From
academic and theater to music and science,
there’s a camp to suit every interest. Visit
marinmagazine.com/camps to find a spot
that’s right for your child.