Politics Blog

Bike to Work Day marred by another Wiggle police sting UPDATED

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City officials and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition hailed yesterday’s Bike to Work Day as a success, with the official SFMTA count finding 76 percent of vehicles along Market Street during the morning commute were bikes. But a pair of motorcycle cops ticketing cyclists that afternoon on the Wiggle put a damper on the celebration.Read more »

Drivers protest fare breaks, fee hikes at Uber HQ

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Uber drivers protested the company outside its San Francisco headquarters today, and their complaint was simple: They feel Uber is picking their pockets. 

"They tricked us!" shouted Ramzi Reguii, an Uber driver and one of the lead speakers at the protest. 

The crowd of about 40 or so drivers held signs reading "Uber Exploitation" and "Uber workers are blue collar." Read more »

Marcus Books of San Francisco evicted

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For months, we've been covering the story of Marcus Books, the nation’s oldest continuously operating black-owned, black-themed bookstore located in San Francisco's Fillmore District. Facing eviction from the purple Victorian where the bookstore had operated since 1981, the family that owns it had launched an ambitious fundraising campaign in an effort to remain in place.Read more »

Toyota work methods applied at General Hospital

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San Francisco’s Department of Public Health has a $1.3 million contract with Seattle-based Rona Consulting Group to implement the Toyota Management System, a workflow methodology based on the auto-manufacturing model, at San Francisco General Hospital.

This new model, which aims for greater workflow efficiency, is being implemented just as healthcare staffers raise concerns that staffing levels at SFGH are dangerously low.Read more »

Injured protester Scott Olsen demands Oakland Police reform weapon use

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Injured veteran Scott Olsen is calling on Mayor Jean Quan to ban the Oakland Police Department from using less-than-lethal weapons during protests and other crowd events.

The announcement came through his attorneys at the National Lawyers Guild Tuesday night, on the heels of Oakland City Council's vote to approve a $4.5 million payout to Olsen for brain injuries he sustained at the hands of the OPD at an Occupy Oakland protest in 2011. Read more »

Ownership in Guardian's parent company may shift

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Greetings, Guardianistas. Almost a year ago, when we went through a management struggle here the newspaper, I promised to let readers know if we encountered any threats to our editorial independence from our San Francisco Print Media Co. owners.Read more »

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 »