Politics Blog

Lee and UC Berkeley institute take on income inequality

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Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and U.C. Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society are teaming up today [Wed/10] in Washington DC to release and discuss the institute’s first policy prescriptions for reducing inequality.

The policy brief—the first to be issued by the Haas Institute—will introduce research-based approaches suggested by a diverse array of economists looking at inequality through different lenses.Read more »

Deal reached in Transbay Tower tax district showdown

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The deal almost sounds too good to be true. After threats of lawsuits, frantic backdoor dealmaking and a very harried week for the Board of Supervisors, a deal was finally reached yesterday on a dispute over taxes in the area around the new Transbay Terminal and the Salesforce Tower. Read more »

Mayor Lee: Welcome Fleet Week, prepare for disaster UPDATED

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s daily announcement of public events today included a strange pairing for tomorrow [Wed/10]: the Blue Angels will return to perform dangerous maneuvers over this densely populated city…and we need to prepare for a disaster.  

More specifically, his Press Office wrote: 

11:00 AM

Mayor Lee to kick off return of Fleet Week to San Francisco Bay Area & announce events, activities & disaster preparedness exercises.

Marines Memorial Club Library, 11th Floor

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Internet Slowdown marks fight on net neutrality

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Don’t be surprised if you go online tomorrow [Wed/10] and see a “loading” symbol – aka the proverbial “spinning wheel of death” – staring you in the face. No, that isn’t actually a technical problem – that’s what happens when geeks organize an online campaign.Read more »

Realtors give $600,000 to defeat anti-speculation tax

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Two Realtor groups have dumped nearly $600,000 into the campaign against Prop. G, the tax on flipping properties to discourage real estate speculation and evictions in San Francisco, a massive early donation that could signal the beginning of a campaign onslaught by the Realtors.Read more »

Developers lobby hard to slash payments promised to Transbay Terminal and high-speed rail

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Will the San Francisco Board of Supervisors let developers of the biggest office towers proposed for San Francisco renege on promises to help pay for the Transbay Terminal reconstruction, extension of rail service to that site, and other public amenities? Or will Willie Brown successfully use politicians that he helped get into office — most notably Mayor Ed Lee and Sup. Jane Kim — to let the developers keep hundreds of millions of dollars in excess profits?Read more »

A firsthand account of the 5-alarm blaze in the Mission

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Editor’s note: We received this firsthand account from Ben Rosenfeld, who lives in close proximity to the site of yesterday’s [Thu/4] 5-alarm fire. Read more about the blaze in the San Francisco Examiner.

By Ben Rosenfeld

For those who don't know, we were lucky our building survived a 5-alarm fire yesterday, almost directly behind us (feet away). Fortunately too, there were no serious injuries.Read more »

Kids pushed through immigration court at lightning speed while supes debate legal aid funding

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San Francisco’s efforts to provide legal services for unaccompanied youth who crossed the U.S. border from Central America is heating up as a point of contention between Sup. David Campos and Board President David Chiu, opponents in the race for California Assembly District 17.Read more »

How Big Oil is using front groups to attack global warming regulations

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With California’s landmark measure addressing climate change, Assembly Bill 32, scheduled to begin covering automobile fleets and other transportation sources at the end of this year, Big Oil has been trying to sabotage that process using a variety of front groups and other tactics.

The oil industry failed in its last-minute attempt to get the California Legislature to delay the measure by rejecting AB 69, Fresno Democrat Henry Perea’s effort to exempt automobiles from the regulations, even though vehicles account for more than one-third of the state’s greenhouse gas emmissions.Read more »

Activists form human barricade to protest crude-by-rail facility

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This morning [Thu/4], at 7am in Richmond, Calif., four environmental activists used U-locks to fasten themselves by the neck to the fence of an oil shipping facility operated by Kinder Morgan. 

They were interlocked with another four activists, who had their arms secured with handmade lock-boxes. “I’m locked to a lock box connected to my partner, Ann, who is locked with a U-lock to the fence,” Andre Soto, of Richmond-based Communities for a Better Environment, explained by phone a little after 8am.Read more »