Opinion

When the rich can sit on the sidewalks

If you think the Bay to Breakers was just a benign day of public drunkenness, think again
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By Tiny

OPINION Steel gates, steeds with silver spurs, lush red carpet lining the streets, uniformed officers guarding velvet-roped grand entrances to fancy costume balls while commoners are arrested if they so much as stop to rest on a nearby sidewalk. Sounds like the days of feudal England, or Marie Antoinette's Paris. Guess again — its San Francisco, circa 2010. Read more »

The hidden zinger in Prop. 14

Proposition 14 would remove the Peace and Freedom and Libertarian parties from the ballot

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By Richard Winger

OPINION Proposition 14, a June 8 ballot measure, would mandate that all candidates for Congress and state office appear on the same June ballot, and that all voters use that ballot. Only the two candidates who got the highest vote totals could run in November. Even write-ins would be banned in November for Congress and state offices.Read more »

Violence in the Bayview -- and solutions

Violence against my neighbor is violence against me. Pure and simple
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By Chris Jackson

OPINION The outpouring of emotion surrounding the tragic death of Tian Sheng Yu — the elderly Chinese man who was savagely beaten to death by two African Americans — resonates with me. My family has been in the Bayview for more than 40 years, and I know firsthand the pain caused by street violence.Read more »

Make hotels pay their share

While city residents and employees have sacrificed, certain Internet hotel booking sites are trying to evade more than $70 million in legally required hotel taxes
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By Martha Hawthorne

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Immigrant rights - in Arizona and at home

As with SB 1070 in Arizona, the policy of requiring juvenile probation officers to report young people to ICE before they receive due process has opened the door to racial profiling and torn many innocent youth from their families
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By Angela Chan

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Pension reform: don't blame workers

It's all the rage these days to blame the economy's woes on public workers, whatever the facts are, no matter who the culprit really is

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By Larry Bradshaw and Roxanne Sanchez

OPINION Members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, who make up about half of all San Francisco city employees — the lowest-paid half — are currently at the negotiating table with the Mayor's Office working out a deal to give back $100 million toward the city's deficit over the next two years. Last year our members gave back $48 million.Read more »

Housing relief - for tenants

When the real estate bubble burst, tenants saw their jobs disappear and incomes drop - but rents remained at record high levels
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OPINION Since the burst of the housing bubble, we've seen a lot of attention paid to the plight of homeowners hit hard by the recession and facing foreclosure. Indeed, President Obama recently enacted a protection for homeowners that requires banks to let unemployed homeowners delay their mortgage payments. But until now there has been little talk and even less action on how we can help tenants who are also in danger of losing their homes. Read more »

What do you get for your tax dollars?

To receive the same level of benefits as Europeans, most Americans fork out a ton of money in out-of-pocket payments, in addition to our taxes
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By Steven Hill

OPINION Most Americans seem to regard April 15 — the day income tax returns are due — as a recurring tragedy akin to a biblical plague. Europe frequently plays the punching bag role during these moments because there is a perception that the poor Europeans are overtaxed serfs.

But a closer look reveals that this is a myth that prevents Americans from understanding the vast shortcomings of our own system. Read more »

Marin County's water grab

Marin Municipal Water District is already the largest energy user in Marin. A desalination plant would increase its energy use from 40 percent to as high as 300 percent
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By Joan Bennett

OPINION In August 2009, the Marin Municipal Water District's elected board of directors conducted a public hearing to hear and discuss comments on a proposed $432.8 million desalination plant that would be built near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Despite overwhelming public opposition, the board unanimously approved the proposal. The stated reason: the dire need for a reliable water supply.

There is no truth to MMWD's rationale.

This is not just a Marin County issue. The plant would have major impacts on the bay. Read more »

Revenue for all

It's time for an unapologetic progressive taxation movement for this November's ballot and beyond, to make the city's great wealth - individual and corporate, often badly undertaxed - work for all San Franciscans
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OPINION Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut: this is the sound of your government — parks, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, clinics, public transportation, programs for youth and seniors, arts, social services, the whole fabric that makes San Francisco what it is — fading away as state and local politicians refuse to raise revenue to revitalize our economy. Read more »