Editorial

Time to enforce the law

Airbnb owes the city some money -- will we ever collect?

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EDITORIAL The new tech companies that are making waves in San Francisco — Airbnb in the short-term rental business and Lyft and Uber in the taxi industry — may describe themselves as innovative and disruptive, and they may be appealing to investors.

But there's a more accurate word that describes their relationship to the city:

Cheaters.

The way these companies are luring customers isn't really about high-tech applications or brilliant business models. They've just found a way to get around the rules that everyone else has to obey.Read more »

The next board president

No, it's not just a title. Here's our best case scenario, and a word of advice for City Hall

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EDITORIAL The president of the Board of Supervisors does more than bang the gavel at meetings, tell people to put their clothes back on, and run for higher office. It's a powerful position largely because the president makes appointments — to the Planning Commission, the Police Commission — and unilaterally decides who serves on which board committees.Read more »

Measuring displacement

It's time for official reports for planned developments that "could lead to significant displacement of existing San Francisco residents."
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EDITORIAL You can't build much of anything substantive in San Francisco without doing an environmental impact report. You can't pass significant legislation without doing an economic impact report. But the most important issue facing San Francisco today is largely ignored by those studies — and is only rarely even discussed as part of the city's economic development and planning policies.Read more »

Economic cleansing, part two

Don't let realtors' cash determine the future of San Francisco

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EDITORIAL Over the next two years, tens of thousands of San Franciscans will face the loss of their homes. If the current tech boom is anything like the last one, the impact on the city will be the economic equivalent of a massive earthquake, with displacement transforming entire neighborhoods and low-income tenants, artists, writers, musicians, small merchants, cheap restaurants, and nonprofits getting chucked aside to make way for an influx of wealthier people and the businesses that serve them.Read more »

Move on, Mr. Mayor

Ross Mirkarimi's the sheriff, and you have to work with him

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EDITORIAL San Francisco politics hasn't been this tense in years — and it's not just because of the upcoming election. The battle over Mayor Lee's attempt to oust Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has left bitter divisions at City Hall and in communities all over town. And the mayor is only making things worse.Read more »

Davis should drop out

The D5 candidate should follow his own "cease and dismiss" request

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EDITORIAL Kay Vasilyeva, a member of the San Francisco Women's Political Caucus, has come forward with the allegation that District Five candidate Julian Davis grabbed her and put his hand down her pants at a political bar crawl in 2006. That was six years ago, but it's still important — and more than the incident itself, the response we've seen from Davis is highly disturbing. He's utterly denying that it ever happened, and retained a lawyer to send Vasilyeva a letter threatening her with legal action if she continues to talk.Read more »

The case for reinstating Mirkarimi

Three points that the Mayor would do well to heed 

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EDITORIAL We know for a fact that on New Year's Eve, 2011, Ross Mirkarimi, the elected but unsworn sheriff of San Francisco, had a physical altercation with his wife that left her with a bruised arm. We know she later complained about that bruise on a video lasting less than a minute. Beyond that, nobody except Mirkarimi and Eliana Lopez knows exactly what happened; there were no witnesses except the couple's three-year-old son, no video taken during the fight, no audio recordings — nothing.Read more »

Ending the mayor's commission monopoly

We need healthy debate on the Recreation and Parks Comission to ensure the future of our play space

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EDITORIAL Ten years ago, San Francisco voters took a huge step toward decentralizing control of city planning, approving a measure that splits the appointments to the powerful Planning Commission between the mayor and the Board of Supervisors. A year later, a similar change gave the supervisors a role in appointing Police Commission members.Read more »

The unregulated cabs

Community taxi apps seem like a good idea -- but they're going to put people out of work 

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EDITORIAL Yeah, the shared economy. Yeah, high tech. Yeah, there's an app for that. Yeah, the San Francisco cab industry is screwed up and you can never get a cab when you need one.

But that's not an excuse for the city to stand by and allow a whole cottage industry of unregulated, unlicensed cabs hit the streets, using a business model that everyone knows is fake and undermining decades of painstakingly crafted rules that govern this critical part of the city's transportation infrastructure.Read more »

Approve clean power SF

The plan's got flaws, but it's all we've got

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EDITORIAL The clean energy plan for San Francisco isn't perfect. It's going to cost residents a bit extra to join a sustainable, city-run electricity system. Officials at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission figure that only about 100,000 residential customers will pay the premium to buy renewable energy — fewer if Pacific Gas and Electric Company launches a huge marketing effort to drive potential customers away. And PG&E will still control the distribution lines, the billing, the meters — and will make most of the profit.Read more »