Guardian Editorial

Editorial: The Occupy Wall Street platform

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In New York City, the protesters who started the Occupy Wall Street movement remain camped out in Zuccotti Park. In Washington, DC, President Obama said at an Oct. 6 press conference that he understands the sentiment driving the activists. Yet in San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee has approved a police crackdown and the confiscation of camping supplies in an effort to debilitate the occupation in front of the Federal Reserve Bank.

The move comes at a time when Lee is doing nothing to crack down on foreclosures that cost the city money, nothing to force the big banks that have the city's deposits to lend more in the community, and nothing to promote local taxes on the wealthy. Read more »

The attack on public finance

Changing the rules on campaign money would benefit certain mayoral candidates

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EDITORIAL The two most important political reforms in modern San Francisco history were the restoration of district elections and the creation of a public-finance system for mayoral and supervisorial elections. Both give candidates who lack big-business support a chance to win elective office. Both give independents a chance to compete against the downtown interests. Both have improved local government considerably in the past decade. And now public financing is directly under attack.Read more »

SF's foreclosure crisis

Banks bill the city for $115 million to foreclose on its residents

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EDITORIAL Here's a great issue for the San Francisco mayor's race: The big banks that the city uses to hold nearly half a billion in cash deposits are part of a group of financial institutions that are costing the taxpayers $115 million.Read more »

Cops go after the press

Guardian reporter has press pass confiscated by BART Police

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EDITORIAL The BART Board and the new general manager, Grace Crunican, have become so clueless it's almost mind-boggling. For weeks, demonstrators have been taking to the BART stations to complain about a policy that never should have been in place (the shutoff of cell phone service during an earlier demonstration). The response of the BART Police (and, unfortunately, the San Francisco Police Department) has been so heavy handed and out of scale that it's just making the situation worse.Read more »

Mayor Lee and PG&E

He calls the megalith "a great corporation that gets it" -- yikes

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EDITORIAL Pacific Gas and Electric Company is the number one corporate criminal in San Francisco. The company's malfeasance caused the deaths of eight people and destroyed an entire neighborhood in San Bruno last year. The National Transportation Safety Board, in a report issued August 30, denounced PG&E's "integrity management program without integrity" and blasted the company's efforts to "exploit weakness in a lax system of oversight."Read more »

Move youth housing forward

Much of the low-income, transitional and supportive housing in this city has been concentrated in a few neighborhoods

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EDITORIAL Somewhere between 4,500 and 6,800 young adults in San Francisco are either homeless or marginally housed, according to a 2007 report by the Mayor's Transitional Youth Task Force. And the city has exactly 314 housing units for at-risk young people who have passed their 18th birthday and are kicked out of the foster housing program. That's the definition of a crisis — yet two modest projects that would make a small dent in the problem have faced immense obstacles moving forward.Read more »

Pointless waste at SFPD

Entrapment shouldn't be a line item on police force budget

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EDITORIAL So you're sitting in a doorway, filling a bowl from the dregs of what was once an eighth of (perhaps nonmedical) bud, and some guy comes up an offers you $20 for what's left in the little plastic bag. Maybe you're unemployed, or maybe just a bit short of cash, but either way, it's a no-brainer: For $20, you can some more pot. If the guy's that desperate, and he's waving the cash in front of you, what are you going to do?Read more »

Stop cell phone censorship

The BART board has proven itself unable to properly monitor and oversee its law-enforcement operations
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EDITORIAL The bizarre move by BART officials Aug. 11 to shut down cell phone service in the underground train stations made headlines around the world — and for good reason. It was, Wired Magazine reported Aug 15, apparently the first time in United States history that a public agency sought to block electronic communications as a way to prevent a political protest.Read more »

We need a real question time, Mr. Mayor

Does Ed Lee's recent flip-flop signal a return to the bad old days of City Hall?

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EDITORIAL Mayor Ed Lee and his supporters owe San Franciscans some answers to troubling questions that the reporting of local journalists from at least four different media outlets has been raising this summer. That work — by the Guardian, Bay Citizen, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Francisco Examiner — has painted a picture of a corrupt political machine, built largely with public funds, that is acting in naked self-interest to keep Lee in Room 200.Read more »

Step up and save CCA

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EDITORIAL Two things became abundantly clear at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission meeting July 26th: The Community Choice Aggregation program is off track — and General Manager Ed Harrington has no interest in making it work. The supervisors need to move aggressively to save CCA.Read more »