Politics Blog

Avalos: Should SFPD officers wear body mounted cameras?

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The fatal shooting of Alejandro Nieto, a man who possessed a Taser that was mistaken for a firearm who was killed in Bernal Heights Park, produced a backlash of community anger toward the San Francisco Police Department. It was the first thing Sup. John Avalos mentioned when he called for a hearing on equipping officers with body-mounted video cameras at the April 8 Board of Supervisors meeting.Read more »

Insurance Commissioner to CPUC: Tech "rideshare" companies must provide insurance

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Rideshare companies must provide their drivers with insurance. That was the gist of a public letter released today from the California Insurance Commission, addressed to the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates transportation network companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.Read more »

Report details how brown and black communities are decimated, step by step

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Gentrification is a word so oft-used in conversations about San Francisco that it's easy to forget what it means.

A report released yesterday by the advocacy group Causa Justa/Just Cause titled "Development Without Displacement" breaks down gentrification into a set of digestible, understandable policy decisions, while identifying which communities even now are still at risk of displacement.Read more »

Leno's Ellis Act reform bill clears first legislative hurdle

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Sen. Mark Leno’s Senate Bill 1439 — which would protect rent-controlled housing in San Francisco by amending the Ellis Act, including making property owners wait at least five years after buying a property to evict tenants under the act — cleared its first legislative hurdle today.

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee passed the measure on a 6-4 vote, and it heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee next. The bill has strong support in San Francisco, from progressive constituencies through Mayor Ed Lee to support by leaders in the business community and tech world.Read more »

Immigration reform protest snarls downtown SF, 23 arrested

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Today [Fri/4] at 11am, the SF Bay Coalition for Immigrant Justice held a protest and rally to urge President Obama to halt all deportations and keep his promise of comprehensive immigration reform.The protest included a group of 23 people, some of which are undocumented immigrants, which took part in a peaceful act of civil disobedience.Read more »

Yee and others indicted by federal grand jury, reinforcing criminal complaint

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A federal grand jury has indicted Sen. Leland Yee and 28 others on charges similar to those issued in the bombshell criminal complaint by the FBI last week, the Sacramento Bee is reporting. The indictment named three additional defendants who weren’t in the original complaint: Barry Blackwell House (aka Barry Black), Zhanghao Wu, and Ton Zao Zhang.Read more »

This is 911, please hold

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The contentious tax breaks given to tech companies in San Francisco are under fire once again, as emergency dispatchers protested crippling budget shortages yesterday (Wed/2) in front of the Department of Emergency Management.

With sweeping budget cuts across all public sectors over the past few years, everyone is clamoring for more money wherever they can get it. But these protesters, organized by SEIU Local 1021, made some pretty compelling arguments for being prioritized.Read more »

Covered San Francisco plan would bridge gaps between Healthy San Francisco and Obamacare

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The whole point of Healthy San Francisco, the city’s universal healthcare program, is to help people who can’t afford health insurance get medical care when they need it. Despite the intentions of expanding access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, that goal won’t necessarily be realized now that federal reform is underway.Read more »

Federal criminal indictment of PG&E doesn't go far enough

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  A federal grand jury in San Francisco yesterday issued a criminal indictment against Pacific Gas & Electric for negligence in the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed an entire neighborhood. That’s significant and serious, but it also falls far short of what this rapacious company and its conniving executives -- none of whom face personal criminal charges -- should be facing.Read more »

Protester barfs on windshield of Yahoo bus — Viva La Vomit!

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Yesterday at City Hall there was a seven hour long hearing on the validity of the tech buses, known colloquially as Google buses. Do they cause displacement? Are they too heavy (and break the pavement)? Are they merely a symbol of gentrification, or do they cause gentrification? Read more »