Politics Blog

The fight for a higher minimum wage: SF vs. Seattle

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On May Day, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposed raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

As a point of comparison, this proposal would put Seattle minimum-wage earners in the position of only having to devote 46 percent of their total pre-tax income toward rent (based on median monthly rental prices) instead of 63 percent.Read more »

Vulnerable San Francisco ignores growing tech bubble talk

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While business and political leaders within San Francisco continue to express optimism that the technology industry will keep growing and filling all the new office space we can build — there’s even talk in the business community about overturning Prop. M, the 1985 measure that placed limits on new office construction — the rest of the world seems more concerned that the latest tech bubble could pop.

That would hit San Francisco -- where 13 percent of private sector jobs are in the tech/information sector, giving just this city more job growth since 2007 than all but three entire US states -- harder than other single city in the world. San Francisco Controller’s Office has repeatedly warned how vulnerable we are to significant drop in tech valuation, even though it has also predicted that this time is different and things seem fine for the foreseeable future.

But with indicators such as Twitter’s rapidly tanking stock, the irrational exhuberance of Google and Facebook paying billions for companies with big ideas but no real business model, and total venture capital investments surpassing levels from the last dot.com crash, San Francisco could be in big trouble. Read more »

Uber files defense in New Year's Eve death of six-year-old girl

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The wrongful death lawsuit against Uber for the New Year's Eve death of six-year-old Sofia Liu moved forward, as Uber filed its defense May 1. 

Uber's defense filing claims the driver that struck Liu, Syed Muzzafar, was not an Uber employee and he had no reason to interact with the Uber app at the time of Liu's death. 

The suit also claims that Muzzafar signed an agreement with Uber acknowledging those facts.Read more »

Illegal anti-Campos flyers the subject of an ethics complaint

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Several San Francisco neighborhoods over the last week have been targeted with illegal campaign flyers against Assembly candidate David Campos -- breaking both state election laws requiring the group and its funding source to be identified and local laws against placing political flyers on utility poles and other surfaces.Read more »

Listen to the Guardian's endorsement interviews

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Our endorsements for the June election hit the streets in this week's Bay Guardian, in newsstands now. But although we do explain the reasoning behind our endorsement decisions on the printed page, in interest of transparency we're letting readers hear directly from the people behind the two hottest races: the Assembly race between David Campos and David Chiu, and the waterfront height measure Prop. B. Read more »

Air district unveils new wind-powered ferry

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San Francisco, the city with the highest concentration of hybrid cars, may soon be the first city to boast a hybrid ferry as well. Officials today at Pier 1 ½ unveiled a vessel that runs on both wind and engine power, significantly reducing fuel use and air pollution.Read more »

Lawsuit filed to halt "Google bus" shuttle pilot program

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The road to regulating Google Buses has a new pothole: a lawsuit. 

A lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court today demands the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's commuter shuttle pilot program be set aside while a full environmental review is conducted under the California Environmental Quality Act.Read more »

Happy May Day, San Francisco

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Happy May Day, comrades, and what a fine May day it is even if the urgent mayday spirit on this International Workers Day doesn’t seem as strong as some recent years past in the Bay Area.

While Russia seems to be rediscovering its previous practice of massive May Day marches marked by anti-Western propaganda, spurred on by renewed nationalism from the standoff in Ukraine, May Day has never been very big in the US.Read more »

Rec & Park cancels meeting on controversial renaming of Golden Gate Park building

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The Guardian has learned that today's [May 1] meeting of the Operations Committee of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission has been cancelled. Commissioners were going to discuss a single item on the agenda, the renaming of a Golden Gate Park facility at 811 Stanyan Street as the Jake Sigg Stewardship Center.

That item was controversial. This is why.

Naming of a park facility sparks political fight

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We at the Bay Guardian were alerted today that San Francisco Recreation & Parks commissioners are poised to name a Golden Gate Park building after a conservationist who blogs openly about “illegal aliens,” and has widely disseminated his view that environmentalists have been “silenced” on the subject of immigration “by intimidation and political correctness.”Read more »