Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 250 of his columns.
It's Hispanic Heritage Month, an excellent time to remember three of the most important Hispanic labor leaders in U.S. history. All three were engaged in the much needed and very tough job of organizing and improving the generally poor conditions of the nation's largely Latino farm labor force.
Cesar Chavez, of course, is one of the farm worker leaders we should particularly honor. Another is Dolores Huerta, who joined Chavez in founding the United Farm Workers union – and who, in fact, is still organizing and otherwise helping Latino workers, particularly women.
The third leader who's especially deserving of honor is the lesser known but no less important t pioneer farm labor organizer, Ernesto Galarza. Despite his important work, Galarza has been largely forgotten – though certainly not by me. He's been dead now for a quarter-century, but I recall him well from my days as a reporter covering farm labor: Read more »
Cities often get vilified as the cauldrons of all that’s wrong in the world – greed, vice, pollution, and all manner of social ills – but they are also the incubators of ideas that are humankind’s last best shot at solving the social and environmental problems that threaten our long-term stability and prosperity. So ruminating on the indispensable role of cities, as Lapham’s Quarterly does with its fall issue, is more than just an academic exercise or interesting read.Read more »
The prospect of San Francisco turning into an international enclave for billionaires and their custom-built super yachts in 2013 is either electrifying or nauseating, depending on one’s perspective. If San Francisco is selected as the venue for the 34th America’s Cup, the city’s downtown would be transformed into the “America’s Cup Village” during the prestigious match, and placed at the center of an international media spectacle. Read more »
Because Open Studios is about more than just the free wine and occasional sushi board score. Really! The annual organized voyeurism of creative space in the city will showcase artists' studios in different neighborhoods each weekend this month. In gleeful anticipation, we visited screen-printer and long time Mission visual artist Calixto Robles, who is helping to throw open the doors to his Life Art Studios (151 Potrero, SF) this weekend. Read more »
ODC Founder and Artistic Director Brenda Way put it best when, toasting the crowd at the end of the premiere of her Architecture of Light, she said: "If you don't leave a footprint, you will be forgotten. If you tread lightly, you'll fly away. So here's to you who hit the ground running."Read more »
Officials with the SF Recreation and Parks Department are attempting to quell the mounting frustrations of some Mission District merchants and residents who feel that the city shouldn’t allow private companies to operate in a public park, as the department is seeking to do. Even those who don't necessarily have a problem with inviting more commerce into Dolores Park say the process should have been more open and transparent.Read more »
The L.A. Times reported Oct. 6 that the Fisher family -- the heirs to right-wing power-broker Don Fisher's GAP fortune -- is set to get a $20 million tax break in the new state budget. It's astonishing, and an example of how the backroom budget process is utterly corrupt.Read more »
The folks at Calbuzz are asking the same questions that have been bothering me for a while now: How could Team Whitman, with its legions of high-paid political consultants, have bungled the Nicky Diaz story so badly?
If her campaign team knew about the problem a year ago (and she swears she told her consultants), why didn't they go public themselves, control the damage and eliminate the story as an October Surprise?
As we wrote about last week, a tragic and almost unfathomable epidemic of queer youth suicides has been reported in the past three weeks, much of it tied to vicious anti-gay bullying. This Friday, October 8, there will be a "Stand Up to Youth Suicide" rally at Civic Center Plaza at 6:30pm. Speakers Tom Ammiano, Andrea Shorter, and more will speak about queer youth and how we can help. The rally will be followed by a candlelight march to the Castro at 7:30pm.
The flyer notes: "Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their hmosexual peers. Nearly 1/2 of transgender people have seriously thought about committing suicide." Full announcement after the jump -- Facebook event info here.
It's about that time, cats and kittens. Time to start fantasizing -- Halloween is just around the corner. And though everyone and their mother is going to be Stephen Colbert's Muslim vampire this year, many will seize the autumnal juncture as an opportunity to whore it up and out – in a good way!
After all, who doesn't love the sexy nurses, kitties, police officers, and Snookies that stalk the city bars each year on the 31st? Look, the point is that on this day of days society indulges those that follow their dreams. May as well make it a wet dream, no? Sexy Muslim vampire it is! Oh, and here are some sexy events that'll wet your whistle this week, with an emphasis on finding that alluring inner equilibrium. Read more »
Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is playing both sides of the fence on the issue of global warming, belatedly opposing Prop. 23 – the measure that would suspend AB 32, California's long-term plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting clean technology – but promising to delay implementation of AB 32 for a year anyway.Read more »
In today's episode, Johnny puts forth a modest proposal. Plenty of big American companies are sitting on piles of cash right now, money they've made in part because they aren't hiring anyone. Of course, businesses don't exist to create jobs, they exist to make money -- but consumers ought to have a say, too. So Johnny suggests that we all boycott big companies that have lots of money on hand, but refuse to spend it in a productive way -- that is, by hiring people. You can listen to his proposal after the jump. Read more »
Political endorsements matter in SF. (You can find ours here.) We regularly run this Who's Endorsing Whom table (PDF) summarizing endorsements by various groups and officials, including some we don't agree with -- but we encourage honest, open debate and informed political participation. Feel free to add other endorsements in the comments sections and we'll periodically update the chart.
Surreal '70s porno homage meets gender-theory gymnastics in the latest vid from Spanish "space-age exotica" techno-tropicalist El Guincho. He'll be live at this week's Tormenta Tropical party (Sat/9, 10 p.m., $15. Elbo Room, 657 Valencia, SF. www.elbo.com).