For Milk's birthday, sit on a sidewalk!

The perception of the Haight is scaring away tourists and causing businesses to lose money


Sit/lie, a law that prohibits sitting or lying on a sidewalk near a storefront, has had a long and tumultuous history in San Francisco.

Forty years ago, it was used against hippies in the Haight and gay men in the Castro. Gay activist Harvey Milk came out against it after 14 gay men were arrested one night outside a gay bar. Thanks to the efforts of the ACLU and LGBT organizations, the law was struck down in 1979.Read more »

The Yellow Pages are green

Standing up for the Yellow Pages -- and local businesses


OPINION It's not often that the interests of seniors, cyclists, and small businesses intersect, but we all will be disadvantaged if Board of Supervisors President David Chui's ordinance to stop Yellow Pages distribution in SF passes. Read more »

Mirkarimi running for sheriff

Hennessey's pick for his successor


OPINION Serving as San Francisco Sheriff is a huge civic responsibility. The sheriff has 1,000 employees, more than 2,000 pretrial and sentenced prisoners daily, and management responsibility for a budget of more than $150 million. And, like all department heads, the sheriff's involved in a lot of politics.

I believe Sup. Ross Mirkarimi is the person best prepared to serve as San Francisco's next sheriff.Read more »

Approve affordable housing -- for youth

Legislation regarding a crucial project to house low-income youth is on its way


OPINION Booker T. Washington, born as a slave, risked his life to learn to read and write and went on to found Tuskegee University. At his core, he believed that economic independence and access to education were the keys to equality. He put it best when he said: "There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up."Read more »

Why the Eagle is home

The Eagle isn't really as much a bar as it is an oddball equivalent of the old school public house


Some people don't fit in. Anybody who has walked in the margins for any period of time gets this. And anybody who gets this, honestly, understands that within the margins of the outsider, there are narrower margins to inhabit. If you came to San Francisco, or the Bay Area, as an outsider's outsider, you may have found a home of sorts at the Eagle Tavern.Read more »

It's not so easy building green

Questions about the plan to build Parkmerced


OPINION The Parkmerced project developers like to talk about how environmentally sound their plans are, but a harder look suggests otherwise.

At a March 29 hearing on the project, Green Pary member Eric Brooks presented graphic evidence of the environmental impacts of the destruction of the garden units and the landscape, and the proposed increase in parking on- site. As a transit-first city, it seems ludicrous to spend so much on below-grade parking. And regrading and replanting the entire site will allow toxins in the soil to become airborne.Read more »

From Wisconsin to San Francisco

Jeff Adachi's proposed pension reform is far from progressive


Public Defender Jeff Adachi is scurrying all over town trying to explain how his version of pension reform is really "progressive." It would be laughable if its implications weren't so devastating for working people employed by the city and those living in and around San Francisco.Read more »

Why I'm pushing pension reform

"In the next 12 months, pension costs are projected to increase by nearly $100 million more than last year."

OPINION Some have questioned why I, as a long-time supporter of progressive policies and programs, chose to venture into the uncharted waters of pension reform. The answer is simple: I believe in the value of government, particularly in providing a safety net for the poor and those who need help. When the government no longer has the ability to provide these services, everyone suffers.Read more »

Sacramento needs a foreign policy

The National Priorities Project puts the current cumulative cost of the Afghan war to California taxpayers at $48.5 billion


OPINION "The country is rich, but not so rich as we have been led to believe. The choice to do one thing may preclude another. In short, we are entering an era of limits."

Presidential candidate Jerry Brown said that in 1976. Thirty five years later, second-time-around Gov. Jerry Brown has a profound opportunity to finish the thought — by pointing out that we can no longer afford follies like the Afghanistan war.Read more »

The song of Ghetto Girl

"no diplomatic tactful rage"


OPINION Editor's note: POOR Magazine, one of my favorite publications, holds an annual benefit on Valentine's Day featuring a "Battle of ALL the Sexes" poetry slam. This year's event, hosted by Alexandra Byerly, had a mixed-martial arts theme and was held in an eight-foot cage built by artist Will Steel in the Submission Gallery in the Mission District. Judges were La Mesha Irizarry, Devorah Major and Laure McElroy. I agreed to publish the first- place winner, which follows. Find the second and third place winners on sfbg.com on the Politics blog. Read more »