John Avalos

The strange, unique power of San Francisco mayors

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Mayor Ed Lee wields a strange and unique power in San Francisco politics, passed down from Mayor Gavin Newsom, and held by Mayor Willie Brown before him.

No, we're not talking magic, though mayors have used this ability to almost magically influence the city's political winds. Read more »

Da Mayor, local hire advocate

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Even as Sup. John Avalos continues to be raked over the coals by San Francisco Examiner columnist Melissa Griffin for his so-called “peacocking, disrespectful demeanor” and “flexible hate speech standards,” the progressive District 11 supervisor nevertheless earned something akin to praise May 22 from an unlikely figure: former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.Read more »

SFBOS grab bag: Diva Breed, Yee's jig, delayed Chiu, and more

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Now that the dust has settled from this week's San Francisco Board of Supervisors inauguration and presidential vote, I thought I'd return to a few random gems that were still stuck in my notebook, waiting to see the light of day.Read more »

Dick Meister: Good news for our neediest workers

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By Dick Meister

Bay Guardian columnist Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 350 of his columns.

Here's some good news for the new year: Ten states are set to raise their minimum wage rates on January first.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) calculates that the increased rates will boost the pay of more than 850,000  low-income  workers in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

The rates, raised in accord with state laws requiring automatic adjustments to keep pace with the rising cost of living, will go up by 10 to 35 cents an hour depending on the state. NELP figures that will mean $190 to $510 more a year for the four million workers who are paid at the minimum in those states. Read more »

Guess who's unopposed for supervisor?

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Here's an interesting fact to think about: There are exactly two people running unopposed for the SF Board of Supervisors, two people whose constituents support them strongly enough that nobody thinks a challenge would be effective (or necessary). And those are two supes who have consistently stuck to the progressive agenda and uncompromising progressive politics. They've done exactly what they promised to do four years ago; they haven't moved to the center, haven't tried to redefine their politics ... they are who they are. And that works.

Just worth noting.

Hearing could work out flaws in Lee's housing trust fund proposal

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Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed Housing Trust Fund charter amendment -- which he proposed during his inaugural address in January -- will be up for review before the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee tomorrow (Wed/11) in the hopes of making its way onto the November ballot. The meeting is at 1:30pm in City Hall Room 263.

The measure, which would guarantee money for affordable housing for the next 30 years, was drafted primarily by the Council of Community Housing Organization (CCHO) and the Mayor's Office, but included input from housing developers, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), and some supervisors.

Read more »

Supervisors hope to halt foreclosures with new resolution

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John Avalos introduced a resolution today urging support for homeowners facing foreclosure in San Francisco. The resolution calls for several actions, including suspending all foreclosures until state and federal measures to protect homeowners are in place.

Sponsors of the resolution Avalos, David Chiu, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, and Christina Olague joined a coalition of community organizations to explain the resolution at a press conference.Read more »

Avalos campaign revives the progressive movement

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As I walked into the John Avalos campaign party in Roccapulco around 11 pm, Sup. David Campos told me, “It’s the best party in town!” And he was right. The speeches were just getting underway on the stage and there was a palpable energy in the large crowd even though many of them had been out campaigning since early in the morning. Read more »

Anyone but Lee

The incumbent is falling fast in the polls, and it's actually possible for Avalos to win
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tredmond@sfbg.com

Two weeks ago, the race for mayor of San Francisco seemed in the bag. Mayor Ed Lee was so far ahead in most polls that everyone else looked like an also-ran. A Bay Citizen simulation of ranked-choice voting showed Lee getting enough seconds and thirds to emerge easily as the winner. His approval rating with voters was above 70 percent. The money was pouring in to his campaign and to the coffers of independent expenditure committees promoting him.Read more »

SF supervisors support OccupySF's 24/7 encampment

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today approved a resolution supporting Occupy Wall Street and the right of OccupySF to maintain a 24/7 encampment in Justin Herman Plaza, although sponsors of the measure narrowly lost a fight over amending the measure to allow police to use force if “there is an objective threat to safety or health.”Read more »