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 »
Editors note: In last week's issue, we ran an op-ed piece by two hospital workers who are members of Service Employees International Union and want to change their affiliation to the new National Union of Healthcare Workers. SEIU asked for the right to respond, so we're presenting the arguments of an SEIU worker who opposes the change.
OPINION I'm a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) at Kaiser Permanente Oakland, where I've worked for 26 years. As an LVN and a union shop steward, I have two passions: patients and workers.Read more »
OPINION More than 43,000 California health care employees are currently involved in the largest union election in private industry since the 1940s, a contentious campaign that pits officials of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) against the National Union of Health Care Workers (NUHW). The outcome of the election may well determine the future of the labor movement for years to come.Read more »
OPINION Nobody believed it could happen, that the ordinance might pass. On the face of it, it seemed inconceivable. The very idea that visitors would have to pay to enter a public park appeared absurd, and had been rejected only the year before. Some believed the hype and were convinced that this would help solve the budget deficit. Others expected someone besides themselves would take action, or believed that that the $7 fee, once imposed, would apply only to nonresidents.Read more »
OPINION Meg Whitman's increasingly high-profile war with California's nurses poses important questions about a potential Whitman term as governor and the implications for California.
California's nurses began pressing Whitman during the primary, when she was spending up to $21,000 an hour — more than many California families earn in a year — in a frenzy well on its way to smashing all previous campaign finance records.Read more »
OPINION San Francisco is a city of tremendous riches and problems a locus of wealth, inequality, innovation, creativity, and sometimes stifling resistance by political and economic power brokers. It's time to break through. We have the ability, and opportunity, to create a whole new set of economic, social, and political relationships between people and government. On everything from municipal banking, to Muni reform, to public-controlled sustainable energy production and community-driven budgeting, we have a flood of ideas from thinkers and activists across the city.
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By Christopher D. Cook, Karl Beitel, and Calvin Welch.
OPINION It's hard to trust hope these days — to imagine that our world, or even our city — could be different. But for the next 10 or 15 minutes, as you read this, we invite you to suspend the cynicism and disbelief that hang over contemporary life, and allow your mind to imagine that, yes, a different San Francisco is possible. Just for 15 minutes, although we hope this helps kick-start a much longer-term revival of hope and urban reimagining.Read more »
OPINION Why is the Congressmember from the gayest city in America blocking legislation that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers from workplace discrimination? That's the question LGBT workers across the country are asking, and why LGBT workers picketed her office in the Federal Building and delivered a letter demanding that she not kill the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).Read more »
OPINION I recently participated in a research trip to Switzerland to study the alpine nation's system of direct democracy (initiative and referendum, or I&R). Its model offers fresh ideas about how to repair the dysfunctional initiative process in California and San Francisco. Read more »
OPINION A Field Poll released last week showed decent support among progressives for Proposition 18, the $11 billion water bond on the November ballot. We shouldn't let the bond's cheery name fool us. Prop. 18 is a con job.Read more »