The commons and commoners

Perhaps the most un-San Franciscan of all Chief Gascon's initiatives is his demand for an ordinance that would literally criminalize the very act of sitting or lying on certain public sidewalks at certain times

By Ben Rosenfeld

OPINION This is a call out to creative, fun-loving San Franciscans: the mayor, the police chief, and their downtown cronies have declared war on our grassroots arts culture, and they are coming for your actual and conceptual space next. The future they promise is manifest in their many recent attacks on public and private gatherings, and their efforts to wrest the commons from the commoners. Read more »

Why Muni is in such trouble

The Municipal Transportation Agency has not had a management and performance audit since 1996. How is it that an $800 million operation can go for 14 years without that type of evaluation?

OPINION The Municipal Transportation Agency's Web site states a goal of providing a "convenient, reliable, accessible, and safe transit system that meets the needs of all transit users" in San Francisco. I have a feeling that if you ask most Muni riders, few would use those words ("convenient," "reliable," "safe," "meeting the needs of all transit users") to describe Muni today. Read more »

A very different approach to the sit-lie law

Most experts recognize that the criminal justice system for youths has failed, and putting people in jail for a nonviolent crime doesn't make a lot of sense.


By Gabriel Haaland

OPINION Last week, Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced legislation that would make it illegal for anyone to sit or lie on the sidewalk in San Francisco's commercial corridors. The move came after an intense media campaign by the San Francisco Chronicle, which once again created a "crisis" between young street people and other residents of the Haight, much as the paper did with immigrant youth.Read more »

A progressive primary for District 6

Heading into the first open-seat race in District 6 in 10 years, we have to take care to not become victims of our own success

By Supervisor Chris Daly

OPINION Ten years ago, the newly drawn District 6 (which includes the Tenderloin, South of Market, and North Mission) was thought to be politically up for grabs. With an aggressive grassroots campaign and a progressive sweep across the city, we won the seat. Despite small demographic shifts to the right over the years, we've built a clear progressive identity for our district. Community stakeholders and all of progressive San Francisco should be proud of this accomplishment. Read more »

An open letter to the Transit Workers Union

If the Transit Workers Union is willing to give on just the overtime and part-time driver rules, SFMTA would save $12.4 million in next year's budget

Newsom's war on the public sector

Newsom's "stimulus" is targeted solely at the private sector, with no requirement that the companies slated to get tax breaks and fee reductions actually perform


Progressives should care about pension reform

It's tricky to raise pension contributions for "new employees" since Mayor Gavin Newsom has been firing people then rehiring them at lower pay


OPINION In today's failing economy, with double-digit unemployment and huge government deficits, progressives have a strong interest in ensuring that San Francisco's pension system remains viable.Read more »

The problem with open primaries

The real impetus behind the top-two open primary measure comes from Gov. Schwarzenegger, who has been pushing this idea since 2004.

OPINION California voters will see a ballot measure in June 2010 seeking approval for a "Top-two Open Primary" system. The measure would make it far more difficult for Californians to vote for any candidates other than incumbents and their best-funded challengers. It would also make it even easier for incumbents to get reelected.

Under the measure, all candidates for Congress and state office would run on a single primary ballot in June. Read more »

State of the art displacement

California Pacific Medical Center is proposing to build a hospital that isn't really needed, in a community it isn't really geared toward

OPINION What does the loss of 11 residences and a few jobs matter if it means a state-of-the-art hospital will be built?

That's the question Examiner columnist Ken Garcia asked Oct. 20. Read more »

Am I illegal mama?

We are people who believe that not only is no human being illegal, but that all these borders are false constructs

OPINION "Am I illegal mama?" My mixed-race, Mexican, Chinese, Puerto Rican, and Irish six-year-old son gazed up at me with the largest of puppy eyes after we watched a corporate media television report on Mayor Gavin Newsom's rejection of the legislation by David Campos that would give due process to migrant youth caught up in the criminal in-justice system.

After recovering from my sorrow at my son's logical interpretation of our criminalizing, dehumanizing society, I went on to explain that as far as I was concerned no human is illegal — or an alien, for that matt Read more »