Guardian Editorial

A better option for trash

San Francisco is the only major city in the United States that contracts out solid waste collection to a private company

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EDITORIAL One of the biggest, most important municipal contracts in San Francisco is never put out to bid. It's awarded to the same company, automatically, and has been since 1932. Recology Inc. (formerly known as Sunset Scavenger, Envirocal, and Norcal Solid Waste Systems) is the only outfit licensed to pick up trash in the city. It's also the only company that has a monopoly guaranteed in the City Charter. Read more »

Mayor Lee and Big Pharma

Why can't the city mandate cheaper recycling rules for medication?
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EDITORIAL A piece of simple, logical legislation that would protect San Francisco consumers, public safety, and the environment appears headed for the desk of Mayor Ed Lee — and his signature would be the first clear sign that he's not going to let powerful lobbyists (or the legacy of Gavin Newsom) guide his decisions.Read more »

Lee should stop the recycling eviction

It's class warfare, declared by the Newsom administration — and Lee, who got his start as a poverty lawyer, doesn't have to tolerate it

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EDITORIAL Mayor Ed Lee needs to demonstrate, as we noted last week, that he's making a clean break from the politics and policies of the Newsom administration — and there are things he can do immediately to reassure San Franciscans that he's going to offer more than another 11 months of a failed administration.

He can start by calling off the eviction of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Recycling Center.Read more »

The agenda for Mayor Lee

We urge him to make a clean break with the past and set the city in a new direction. Here are a few ways to get started

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EDITORIAL San Francisco has its first Chinese American mayor, and that's a major, historic milestone. Let's remember: Chinese immigrants were among the most abused and marginalized communities in the early days of San Francisco. In 1870, the city passed a series of laws limiting the rights of Chinese people to work and live in large parts of the city. Chinese workers built much of the Transcontinental Railroad — at slave wages and in desperately unsafe conditions that led to a large number of deaths. Read more »

How Brown can save California

It's crazy to say that solving a $28 billion budget shortfall is easy, but a few basic changes could go a very long way to balancing the books

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EDITORIAL There are two things Gov. Jerry Brown has to do to get California back on track, and he needs to start right away. He has to restore at least a degree of public faith in state government — and he has to put a series of tax increases on the June ballot.Read more »

Get out of the way, Mr. Mayor

Newsom knew when he decided to seek higher office that he'd be leaving the city early if he won

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EDITORIAL Let us begin with the obvious: Mayor Gavin Newsom has absolutely no business deciding who should replace him. His petulant statements suggesting that he will delay taking office as lieutenant governor until the supervisors pick a candidate he likes are an embarrassment to the city. If he actually refuses to take the oath of office Jan. 3, when his term in Sacramento begins, it will damage his reputation and political career.Read more »

How many suspects did SF cops frame?

A crisis that requires active intervention from the District Attorney's Office

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EDITORIAL The job of a district attorney is bringing criminals to justice; everybody knows that. But it's also the job of the city's top law enforcement agent to make sure the innocent are protected — and that's a part that many DAs ignore.Read more »

EDITORIAL: How many suspects did SF cops frame?

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The job of a district attorney is bringing criminals to justice; everybody knows that. But it's also the job of the city's top law enforcement agent to make sure the innocent are protected — and that's a part that many DAs ignore.

There's considerable evidence that the San Francisco police have framed suspects, set up evidence, and illegally manipulated the legal system to put the wrong people behind bars. Repeatedly. That's a crisis that requires active intervention from the District Attorney's Office — and since Kamala Harris is on her way out the door, it has to be a top priority for her successor.

The latest example: Superior Court Judge Marla Miller ruled Dec. 14 that Caramad Conley was denied his constitutional rights and convicted of murder after San Francisco cops allowed a paid witness to lie on the stand.

Miller concluded that homicide inspector Earl Sanders, who later became police chief and is now retired on a nice pension, knew that witness Clifford Polk was lying and made no effort to correct it.

Read more »

Local hiring -- and purchasing

Making a huge difference that would translate into many millions of dollars for the San Francisco economy

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EDITORIAL The local hire ordinance that the Board of Supervisors approved last week once again puts the city on the cutting edge of progressive policy. San Francisco's law, sponsored by Sup. John Avalos, is the strongest in the country, and ultimately will mandate that 50 percent of all the people hired on public works projects live in the city. Read more »

EDITORIAL: Local hiring, and purchasing

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Tomorrow's Guardian editorial:

The local hire ordinance that the Board of Supervisors approved last week once again puts the city on the cutting edge of progressive policy. San Francisco's law, sponsored by Sup. John Avalos, is the strongest in the country, and ultimately will mandate that 50 percent of all the people hired on public works projects live in the city.

The politics of the bill were tricky; the local building trades unions opposed it on the grounds that many of their members live out of town and that hiring decisions should be based on seniority, not on residence. But eight supervisors recognized that a local hire law not only benefits the large numbers of unemployed San Franciscans; it's also good economic policy for the city.

Numerous studies have shown that money paid out to local residents gets spent in town, and circulates in town, and creates more economic activity. That translates into fewer social and economic costs for the city and increased tax revenue.

Read more »