Opinion

A call to do your (jury) duty

The dilemma confounding the court is the lack of qualified applicants
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By Ken Maley

OPINION For decades San Franciscans concerned and interested in the workings — and malfunctions — of city government have turned to the Guardian for insights and possible solutions. Guardian readers have developed a reputation for being community activists, and to those activist-minded readers, I encourage you to apply to serve on the San Francisco civil grand jury.Read more »

No sweetheart deal for Twitter

Over time, the tax break could cost San Francisco millions of dollars as the city struggles to close a $350 million deficit

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By Richard Marquez and Chris Daly

More than a decade ago, an epidemic of evictions severed the spine of San Francisco's working-class neighborhoods and communities of color. Thousands of low-to-middle-income tenants, immigrant families, small businesses, nonprofits, and artists lost their homes, leases, and livelihoods. Orchestrating this period of class warfare was a gang of shot-callers: dot-com companies, real estate interests, financial firms, and Mayor Willie Brown.Read more »

SF's redevelopment miracle

Since 1990, the Redevelopment Agency has become the major funder of affordable housing in San Francisco, pouring more than $500 million into low-cost housing

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OPINION While many of us (and most of the rest of the state) can tire from time to time when we hear San Francisco "exceptionalism" being touted, especially when Gavin Newsom is doing the touting, there are some cases in which it's justified. One of the most salient is the way San Franciscans transformed the city's Redevelopment Agency and used tax-increment financing to build housing and infrastructure that served its residents, not elite developers.Read more »

The price of mental health cuts

Arizona provides a clarion call to California: cuts to acute mental health services in San Francisco must be reversed.

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By Hetty Beth Eisenberg

OPINION The massacre in Tucson is a tragic wake-up call for the public mental health system of our own county. Among the many pressing angles to the story, it is vital to consider the severe cuts to mental health services in Pima County last year.Read more »

Why I may run for Congress

Across the country, alarm is rising as corporate power escalates at the intersection of Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

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OPINION One of the most inspiring political leaders in recent decades, Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), famously declared: "I represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Today we need progressives in Congress who will represent the progressive wing of the Progressive Caucus.

That's the largest caucus on Capitol Hill — but having 80 members on the roster won't do much good if many cave under pressure.Read more »

The cruelest cuts

"Little did I realize that being treated with dignity by our government was no longer in the cards"

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By Hannah Deveraux

OPINION Sitting alone in my apartment off Turk and Mason streets in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, I try not to let myself slip back into depression or anxiety over my finances. My apartment is small, an adjective that makes it sound bigger than it really is. Still, it's mine. I am able to pay rent through my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) check, and when my disability claim was first approved, I was relieved.Read more »

Smell something rotten?

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's P.U.-litzer Awards for worst journalism gaffes

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By Peter Hart

OPINION At the end of every year, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting rounds up some of the stinkiest examples of corporate media malfeasance for its annual P.U.-litzer prizes. This year brought no shortage of contenders.

PROSECUTE THE MESSENGER AWARD: DIANE SAWYER (ABC NEWS)Read more »

RCV lessons for the SF mayor's race

In our winner-take-all society, the incentives of ranked-choice voting find common ground and build coalitions

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OPINION Elections using ranked choice voting (RCV) in both San Francisco and Oakland contain important lessons for the upcoming SF mayoral election. Rather than rely on traditional endorsements and funding advantages, winning candidates need to get out in the community, meet people, and build coalitions.Read more »

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 »