Politics Blog

SF bankers now exporting tenant-displacing TIC loans

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Fractional mortgage loans used to convert apartments into owner-occupied tenancies-in-common have fed the eviction and displacement crisis in San Francisco, where the median home price just surpassed $1 million for the first time. Now, some of the same San Francisco banks that pioneered fractional loans here have started offered them in the East Bay and on the Peninsula.Read more »

#TBT: That time we called for California's break-up

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So another scheme -- in a long and rich history of such schemes -- is attempting to break California into more digestible parts, and gaining national attention. Venture capitalist Tim Draper's Six Californias is all but on the ballot, attempting to rechristen the Bay Area as Silicon Valley. Good luck with that! Read more »

Security officers target Apple over contractor's unfair labor practices

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Next time you head to your neighborhood Apple store to get that smooth and harmonious feel that can only comes with the gentle touch of an iPad air, you might be greeted by an unhappy security officer picketing outside. The officer might share some choice words about the working conditions at Apple's security guard contractor, Security Industry Specialists.

Over the next few weeks, the SEIU United Service Workers West has organized a series of actions with security guards to demand Apple choose a more responsible security contractor. Read more »

More funding promised to Central American child refugees, Lee warns of new influx

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Thousands of Central American children fleeing drug wars and poverty are overwhelming the San Francisco nonprofits who care for them, but new information from the mayor shows this may just be the beginning.

Yesterday, just hours before Supervisor David Campos' resolution to bolster funding to aid the incoming refugees passed, Mayor Ed Lee warned the Guardian and other journalists that San Francisco is bracing for another influx of even more children in need.Read more »

Eviction imminent for San Francisco Community Recycler's Center

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This morning (Wed/16), outside the San Francisco Community Recycler's Center in the parking lot of the Safeway at Church and Market streets, a group of protesters stood in a cluster, chanting: “Cans not condos!”

As the Guardian previously reported, Safeway is in the process of evicting the recycling center, which continued to operate up until yesterday. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, which carries out evictions on Wednesdays, had signaled to the center’s operators that they could be forced out anytime after July 16. Read more »

San Francisco to study dropping speed limit to 20 mph for pedestrian safety

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As a part of a citywide effort to eliminate all pedestrian deaths by 2024, San Francisco will study the impact of reducing speed limits to 20 mph. 

“This is a reasonable issue to look into making San Francisco streets safer,” Sup. Eric Mar said, in a public statement. “There is too much excellent work and research going into it nationally and internationally to ignore.” Read more »

“Let’s Elect Our Elected Officials” rejected at the Board of Supes

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At today’s (Tue/15) Board of Supervisors’ meeting, members of the board voted 6-5 against placing a proposal on the November ballot that would create special elections when vacancies arise on the Board or in the Mayor’s Office.Read more »

Supes to vote on Avalos' "Let's Elect Our Elected Officials" measure

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote tomorrow (Tue/15) on whether to submit a charter amendment to the ballot that would require a special election in the event of a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors or in the mayor's office.

As things stand, the mayor holds the power to appoint someone to fill a vacant seat on the board. But Sup. John Avalos' proposed ballot measure, unofficially dubbed "Let's Elect our Elected Officials," would shift that decision-making power to the voters. The measure needs six votes to pass.Read more »

City will turn Francisco Reservoir into a park, with no affordable housing

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San Francisco is getting a new park – but the deal has left some wondering why a small portion of the new parkland couldn’t have been set aside to build housing for teachers and firefighters.Read more »

Angry building owners threaten lawsuit over anti-speculation tax

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Opponents of the anti-speculator tax that will appear on the November ballot blasted the proposal in a City Hall hearing yesterday [Thu/10] — pledging to defeat the measure in court even if voters approve it — but they were overwhelmed by a strong turnout from supporters who said real estate speculation drives up the cost of housing without adding any value.Read more »