Yael Chanoff

Who gets to live here?

Renewed debates about housing policy will shape what kind of city San Francisco becomes

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yael@sfbg.com

Housing policy — which determines who will be able to live in San Francisco — has been a hot topic at City Hall these days.Read more »

Justin Vivian Bond talks Occupy Wall Street, the power of language, and the politics behind the music

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When Justin Vivian Bond was a little kid, v (more about that unique pronoun below) confidently wore Iced Watermelon lipstick to school and, inspired by feminist movements of the time, brandished a sign reading “Kids Lib!” Adults told the young Mx. Bond that these things were wrong, but v knew how right they felt, and represents for queer pride and radical poltics to this day. The writer, singer and activist is best known for v’s role as Kiki DuRane in Kiki and Herb, a drag cabaret show with partner Kenny Mellman. The show started in San Francisco and made it to Broadway, and was nominated for a 2007 Tony award. V's memoir Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels was released this year (wherein Bond tells the lipstick story and a lot more about growing up gender-free). Bond is still touring and will be back in San Francisco Feb. 23, performing from v’s new album, Dendrophile. I talked with v about the upcoming concert, v’s recent performance at Occupy Wall Street, and how music can bring people together. Read more »

Valentine's Day dump the banks rally: If only all break-ups involved this much singing (VIDEO)

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Protesters across the country participated in "break up with your bank" day on Feb. 14. Several protesters happened throughout the Bay Area, including a demonstration organized by Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Occupy Bernal, Occupy SF Housing, and the San Francisco Tenants Union. Read more »

Conversation on Golden Gate Park concerts continues

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“I call for this hearing each year,” said District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar. The focus of the hearing was large events in Golden Gate Park, and each year, hundreds of San Franciscans have something to say about it.

At the Land Use Committee meeting Feb. 13, the room was packed with concert industry representatives, local artists, police officers, a couple dozen members of the Carpenters In Action from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 22, and neighbors. Lots and lots of neighbors. Read more »

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Hearing today on bizarre Occupy Oakland stay-away order case

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The first Occupy Oakland protester to allegedly be in violation of a stay-away order has a hearing today.

Joseph Briones, 30, was arrested along with 408 others at an Occupy Oakland protest Jan. 28. He is one of 12 who were apparently issued the restraining orders, and is therefore barred from being within 300 yards of Oakland City Hall, potentially for the next three years, according to Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick. Read more »

Trader Joe's signs agreement in labor victory

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Trader Joe’s, known for being really more of a snack emporium than a grocery store, can now be known for something else; buying tomatoes picked by people with basic human rights.

Feb. 9, it became the second grocery store chain-- the first was Whole Foods-- to sign an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a group based in Immokalee, Florida famous for its successful Fair Food campaign.Read more »

The sex worker struggle

From Google to Whorespeak: SF's activists fight a complex, uphill battle but keep the dream of decriminalization alive

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yael@sfbg.com

Google has come under fire in the past year for everything from privacy policies to censorship. But in December, some Bay Area residents were protesting the tech giant for a very different reason. The group that marched in front of the company's San Francisco office was angry over the company's donation to organizations fighting human trafficking.

The flyers declared, "Google: Please fund non-judgmental services for sex workers, NOT the morality crusaders that dehumanize us!"Read more »

Plastic bags banned from all SF stores

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The Board of Supervisors voted to expand a 2007 ban on plastic checkout bags to cover all retail and food establishments.

The law bans all businesses from providing plastic bags to customers. It also requires a ten cent fee for paper bags, to be pocketed by the store. With the ban, only paper bags, compostable bags, and reusable bags will be permitted at checkout. The city hopes to encourage shoppers to carry reusable bags.

Supervisors acknowledged that this ordinance could create confusion and inconvenience for business owners. Read more »

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