Opinion

Homelessness: Newsom's real legacy

The mayor put three different initiatives on the ballot that have spurred hatred against homeless people

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OPINION His voice tinged with modest pride, Gavin Newsom recently announced that he has housed 12,000 people since becoming mayor. This is an absurdly high number, four times larger then any street count of homeless people since he has been in office, but it's been accepted by the media and public.

Homelessness has been a key issue for Newsom. He first got elected in large part by taking it on, and has been celebrated in some quarters as a champion for homeless people.Read more »

Let's get budget priorities straight

It's time for our representatives in Washington to put an end to this disastrous war
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OPINION Who will pay for California's budget woes? For the last three years, Californians have put up with cuts to programs that are critical to our state's future and our social safety net. Public education, HIV and AIDS programs, state universities, and CalWORKs have all come under the knife. The elephant in the room, as state and federal governments try to balance budgets on the backs of the working and middle class, is the billions of dollars we are wasting on a misguided war in Afghanistan.Read more »

Pass the DREAM Act, now

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by Eric Mar and Eric Quezada

news@sfbg.com

OPINION Imagine for a moment that you are 14 years old. Your parents, stuck in perpetual poverty and unemployment (or perhaps worse), move your family to a foreign country to begin a new life.

You work hard, struggle to fit in, study constantly, and fill your spare time with school activities. Maybe you even work a little on the side to chip in. You are a parent's dream, and a model of young citizenship.Read more »

WikiLeaks: demystifying diplomacy

With the nation's ongoing war efforts at full throttle, the contradictions between public rationales and hidden goals cannot stand the light of day

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OPINION Compared to the kind of secret cables that WikiLeaks just shared with the world, everyday public statements from government officials are exercises in make-believe.

In a democracy, people have a right to know what their government is actually doing. In a pseudo-democracy, a bunch of fairy tales from high places will do the trick.

Diplomatic facades routinely masquerade as realities. But sometimes the mask slips — for all the world to see — and that's what just happened with the humongous leak of State Department cables.Read more »

The perils of unaccountable power

The Redevelopment and Treasure Island commissions wield the power of multimillion dollar contracts and the ability to destroy a community near you

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By Saul Bloom

OPINION San Francisco has two redevelopment commissions that together have broad, sweeping authority over land use and development in the city. The Redevelopment Agency Commission and the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) have more power in some respects than the Board of Supervisors — people you actually vote for.Read more »

The attack on Latinos

As long as the nation lacks comprehensive immigration reform, laws similar to Arizona's SB1070 will continue to be introduced across the country.

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OPINION The San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Monday for United States v. State of Arizona. Latinos in California were watching closely.Read more »

The. Rent. Is. Too. Damn. High!

A record breaking conservative private donor puts the onus on progressives to show up on November 2nd

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Prop. B will save healthcare

Even with contributions required by Prop. B, city employees will receive a benefit package that is unparalleled in the private sector

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By Jeff Adachi and Jim Illig

Editors note: Last week we ran an op-ed by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano opposing Proposition B. Public Defender Jeff Adachi asked for space to respond. His position follows.Read more »

Prop. B is bad medicine

You wouldn't know Prop. B has anything to do with children's health care — because proponents don't want you to know the true costs
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OPINION Proposition B on the November ballot would eviscerate health care for tens of thousands of public workers and their families. It would double the cost of children's health care for more than 30,000 public employees including teachers, nurses, firefighters, custodians, and gardeners — regardless of their ability to pay. Read more »

The battle against desalination in the bay

Measure T allows MMWD to study desalination, but it can't start making concrete plans without a vote

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OPINION In July 2010, in one fell swoop, the Marin Municipal Water District's board of directors ambushed an initiative that would force a public vote on an expensive an environmentally destructive desalination plant on the edge of the bay.

In August 2009, the board unanimously voted to approve an environmental study to pave the way for the desalination plant, which would suck up bay water, filter out the salt, and dump the briny extract back into the bay.Read more »