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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »