Politics Blog

Alternative Ink discusses the flurry of SF ballot measures moving through City Hall

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Digging deep during the height of summertime fun and frivolity, we Guardianistas showed up in force last night for another lively and informative edition of our biweekly radio show, Alternative Ink, on BFF.fm. Listen to the podcast here (but don’t be fooled by the first minute from a past show, it’s a false front we used to hide this week’s treasure).Read more »

Betty Yee cleared for November runoff after Perez halts Controller's race recount

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California Controller candidate Betty Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, will officially square off against Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, in the November runoff election after rival Democrat John Perez today called off a recount request. Perez finished in third place, just 481 votes behind Yee.Read more »

Housing supply and demand theory on trial at City Hall

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The November ballot is shaping into a housing supply theory showdown, and yesterday’s [Thu/17] Board of Supervisors Rules Committee hearing was the first round.

The committee hosted two hearings on rival housing proposals for the November ballot: Sup. Jane Kim’s City Housing Balance Requirement and Mayor Ed Lee’s Build Housing Now initiative. The two purport to set similar goals for building affordable housing, but Lee’s proposal contains a poison pill that would invalidate Kim's measure. Read more »

San Franciscans could make death penalty ruling stick

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In the wake of yesterday’s [Wed/16] judicial ruling that California’s death penalty system is unconstitutional — with federal District Judge Cormac Carney calling it arbitrary and so subject to endless delay that it “serves no penological purpose” — San Franciscans could play a key role in converting the ruling into an abolition of capital punishment.Read more »

SF bankers now exporting tenant-displacing TIC loans

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Fractional mortgage loans used to convert apartments into owner-occupied tenancies-in-common have fed the eviction and displacement crisis in San Francisco, where the median home price just surpassed $1 million for the first time. Now, some of the same San Francisco banks that pioneered fractional loans here have started offered them in the East Bay and on the Peninsula.Read more »

#TBT: That time we called for California's break-up

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So another scheme -- in a long and rich history of such schemes -- is attempting to break California into more digestible parts, and gaining national attention. Venture capitalist Tim Draper's Six Californias is all but on the ballot, attempting to rechristen the Bay Area as Silicon Valley. Good luck with that! Read more »

Security officers target Apple over contractor's unfair labor practices

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Next time you head to your neighborhood Apple store to get that smooth and harmonious feel that can only comes with the gentle touch of an iPad air, you might be greeted by an unhappy security officer picketing outside. The officer might share some choice words about the working conditions at Apple's security guard contractor, Security Industry Specialists.

Over the next few weeks, the SEIU United Service Workers West has organized a series of actions with security guards to demand Apple choose a more responsible security contractor. Read more »

More funding promised to Central American child refugees, Lee warns of new influx

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Thousands of Central American children fleeing drug wars and poverty are overwhelming the San Francisco nonprofits who care for them, but new information from the mayor shows this may just be the beginning.

Yesterday, just hours before Supervisor David Campos' resolution to bolster funding to aid the incoming refugees passed, Mayor Ed Lee warned the Guardian and other journalists that San Francisco is bracing for another influx of even more children in need.Read more »

Eviction imminent for San Francisco Community Recycler's Center

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This morning (Wed/16), outside the San Francisco Community Recycler's Center in the parking lot of the Safeway at Church and Market streets, a group of protesters stood in a cluster, chanting: “Cans not condos!”

As the Guardian previously reported, Safeway is in the process of evicting the recycling center, which continued to operate up until yesterday. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, which carries out evictions on Wednesdays, had signaled to the center’s operators that they could be forced out anytime after July 16. Read more »

San Francisco to study dropping speed limit to 20 mph for pedestrian safety

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As a part of a citywide effort to eliminate all pedestrian deaths by 2024, San Francisco will study the impact of reducing speed limits to 20 mph. 

“This is a reasonable issue to look into making San Francisco streets safer,” Sup. Eric Mar said, in a public statement. “There is too much excellent work and research going into it nationally and internationally to ignore.” Read more »