Politics Blog

Binary no more: Facebook announces expanded gender choice for profiles

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After today, Facebook is binary no more.

The social media company announced via its Facebook Diversity page that profiles will now allow for a custom gender choice, a change long sought by transgender rights activisits. Read more »

Guardian honored for investigation of buying influence at City Hall

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Bay Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe and Staff Writer Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez are being honored by the Society of Professional Journalists with a James Madison Freedom of Information Award for “Friends in the Shadows,” our investigation of the shady ways that developers and other powerful players buy influence at City Hall.

The package of articles, prepared for the Guardian’s 47th anniversary issue of Oct. 6, used extensive public records to show how contributions to the city’s various “Friends Of...” organizations create cozy relationships between regulators and the regulated, donations that are often designed to skirt public disclosure requirements. Read more »

Can we rediscover radical action on this marriage equality anniversary?

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San Francisco’s political establishment will rightly celebrate itself this afternoon [Wed/12] at 5pm with a ceremony in City Hall marking the 10th anniversary of the unilateral decision to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, kicking off what became known as the Winter of Love.

It was the greatest thing that then-Mayor Gavin Newsom did during his seven-year tenure in Room 200, a bold and principled stand for civil rights that started California down the long and arduous road toward marriage equality.Read more »

Crappies awards rain on tech award show's parade

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The Crunchies are a San Francisco-based dog and pony show for the tech industry, hosted by technology business news site Tech Crunch. But amid rising San Franciscan anger, this year's Crunchies took on a decidely different tone.Read more »

Protesters target AT&T today, Twitter tomorrow

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Today (Tue/11) marks a nationwide protest against government surveillance that is partially taking place online, as websites such as Reddit post banners opposing the National Security Agency domestic spying program.Read more »

Leno introduces bill to bolster City College funding, draws fire to Special Trustee

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First City College of San Francisco’s accreditation was provisionally revoked, then students left in droves. Teachers soon started leaving too. Two interim chancellors were hired, then left. 

Through it all, many thought, “won’t someone cut the school a break?” Now someone significant is trying to.Read more »

A radical proposal: Squat Airbnb hosts' homes to create affordable housing

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When I interviewed attorney Joseph Tobener for the story in our current issue on Airbnb being used to take affordable housing units off of the apartment market, he had a interestingly radical idea for get the attention of this scofflaw company and its political supporters, striking a blow for housing justice in the process.

What if hundreds of people, including many who are now homeless, rented out apartments in San Francisco for a night or two and then simply refused to leave?Read more »

Advocates for higher minimum wage celebrate past success and look ahead

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Balloons, snacks, cake, live music, an open wine bar and nearly 100 guests marked a Thu/6 celebration at the Women’s Building in San Francisco's Mission district. You might never guess a party this fun would be held to celebrate the birthday of a city ordinance.

February marks the 10-year anniversary of San Francisco’s minimum wage ordinance, passed by voters in 2003 with Proposition L. The landmark initiative not only raised the minimum wage in San Francisco to $8.50 per hour, but stipulated that the amount would rise every year to reflect inflation. Thanks to Prop. L, San Francisco now boasts the highest minimum wage in the nation, at $10.74.

But being the nation's highest still isn’t enough.

“Who thinks living in San Francisco is really expensive?” asked one of the event organizers and staff member of the Chinese Progressive Association, Shaw San Liu. All hands in the room shot up before the Spanish and Mandarin translators even had a chance to repeat the question.

Raising the minimum wage in San Francisco has been a hot topic recently, and Mayor Ed Lee even endorsed a significant increase back in December. The number that keeps floating around is $15 per hour, but nothing has been set in stone. Read more »

Google ferry's last ride is today

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The Google-hired ferries skimming Bay Area waves are coming to the end of their pilot period, with their last scheduled rides running today, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Amidst the ire of San Francisco protesters fuming over Google buses, the company opted to experiment with alternatives to the buses: ferries. Two ferries from San Francisco and one from Alameda scooped up Google employees day by day for the month of January.Read more »

Uber neighborhood pricing surge charges Marina most

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Uber charges the Marina and Pacific Heights districts up to three times as much for a ride as the rest of the city in its new “neighborhood surge” program, according to leaked emails and screen captures. 

The surges happen during rush hour, weekend night bar crawls, and also around concerts and other events that would draw riders to Uber’s app. Read more »