OPINION Like many others I have been captivated by the proceedings in the Trayvon Martin case. Personally, and as a member of the Board of Supervisors, it has inspired disappointment, outrage, frustration, and more questions about our criminal justice system than I have answers. But more than anything else this case prompts me to ask: Can this happen here?Read more »
EDITORIAL After years of hype, the 34th America's Cup finally got underway on the San Francisco Bay this past week — with a single boat formally winning in a match against itself, a fitting metaphor for this whole disappointing affair.Read more »
EDITORIAL The scene at City Hall on Friday, June 28 could have been a video rewind of 2004's Winter of Love: a surprise announcement granting same-sex marriage licenses; a breathless rush of couples to the civic altar, led by two brave, symbolic women (lesbian groundbreakers Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon in 2004 and anti-Prop 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier in 2013), a city erupting with good will and cheer, dazed by the speed of luck and history. Earlier, Lt. Gov. Read more »
EDITORIAL First of all, we at the Bay Guardian want to thank our community for its support since the abrupt departure of our beloved leader, longtime Guardian Editor Tim Redmond, on June 13. It was a shock to us and the larger community, and the outpouring of concern and support is a testament to the important role the Redmond and the Guardian have played in San Francisco.Read more »
EDITORIAL Mayor Ed Lee's love affair with all things tech shouldn't extend to allowing a large company to cheat on local taxes.
It's no secret that Airbnb, the successful startup that allows people to share their apartments as hotel rooms, has failed to collect or pay San Francisco's Transitory Occupancy Tax, which every traditional hotel has to pay. Our stories have shown that the city is losing $1.8 million a year, and that number will only grow as the service becomes more popular.Read more »
EDITORIAL In a stunning victory, tenant advocates have managed to derail a terrible piece of condo-conversion legislation — and replace it with a compromise that actually improves the current situation and could help slow the wave of speculative evictions.
The supervisors need to support the revised version of the bill — and if Mayor Lee wants to have any credibility at all with tenants, he needs to sign it.Read more »
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:
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »