Politics Blog

Proposed food voucher pilot program could feed thousands of hungry San Franciscans

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A pilot project to fund healthy fruit and vegetable vouchers for food insecure San Franciscans was proposed at the Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee hearing last Thursday. The innovative solution would bridge a startling hunger gap affecting thousands of Social Security beneficiaries, often seniors and families, who have little to no access to healthy food. 

Sup. Eric Mar called for the hearing on food insecurity, and afterward promised a bevy of solutions to address hunger. Read more »

Another Google bus blockade, this time targeting a Google employee

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This morning (Fri/11) kicked off with yet another Google bus blockade in San Francisco’s Mission District, only this time housing activists said a Google employee is directly to blame for displacing residents. 

The blockade, which took place at 18th and Dolores streets, was short-lived but featured speeches by tenants facing eviction, as well as a giant cardboard cut-out depicting 812 Guerrero, a seven-unit building where tenants are facing eviction under the Ellis Act.Read more »

Defense attorneys say Shrimp Boy is innocent; slam feds

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Who is Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow? In the 137-page federal complaint detailing charges that led to the high-profile arrest of Sen. Leland Yee, Chow, and 24 others two weeks ago, Chow is described as the powerful "Dragonhead" of an ancient Chinese organized crime syndicate, “overseeing a vast criminal enterprise involved in drugs, guns, prostitution, protection rackets, moving stolen booze and cigarettes, and money laundering,” as we reported at the time.Read more »

Taxi drivers protest rideshares as government mulls new regulations

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Car horns honked and tempers flared as around 30 taxi cabs circled around the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday [Wed/9], protesting what the cabbies call lax regulations of rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.

"They're totally unfair competition," said cab driver Jonathan Khin, a 20-year cabbie who came to San Francisco decades ago from Burma. "They don't have to pay regulations and fees that we do."

The drivers complaints over the rideshares, known legally as Transportation Network Companies, were many: the TNCs don't provide adequate insurance for drivers, don't have the number of cars regulated (like cabs are), and don't have to pay regulatory fees that cabs currently pay. This all leads to an uneven playing field, and the taxi cab industry is getting creamed.

Read more »

Crowdfunding real-estate: A tool to combat displacement or another nail in the coffin?

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A key provision in the JOBS Act, a legislative package signed into law by President Obama in April of 2012, was hailed as a huge victory for the ever-growing real estate industry, removing many of the bothersome impediments that keep it exclusively in the realm of the upper echelon.Read more »

Kaepernick incident report details bong hits, blackout, and alleged assault

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San Francisco 49ers star quarterback Colin Kaepernick, player Quinton Patton and Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette are being investigated for sexual assault by Miami police, according to reports earlier today by TMZ sports (and other media outlets). 

The name of the woman at the center of the allegations was redacted from the report, which was obtained by sports site Deadspin. The only descriptor available is that she is African American. Read more »

Airbnb comes clean with San Francisco

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Airbnb came clean this evening, sending out new terms of service drafted April 7 that customers must agree to before conducting further business starting April 30. Read more »

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 »