Opinion

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

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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

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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.
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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
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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
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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 »

The case against Prop. D

If you really want to clean up Market Street, it will require community input, a comprehensive revitalization plan, and real solutions for homelessness
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OPINION Proposition D is a classic developer's scam. It was written by a mid-Market Street property owner who is spending more than $250,000 million to push hollow propaganda pieces preaching the wonders of his bill. When you strip away the glossy photos and misleading language, Prop. D is an attempt by private real estate owners to put up huge, flashing billboards and keep virtually all the money for themselves.

There is all kinds of misleading information in this thing. Read more »

The plight of the insured

Congress and the Obama administration remain too timid to propose the most comprehensive reform — single payer
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OPINION How many horror stories will it take before Congress decides to act on the most ignored problem in the present healthcare debate, denials for people with insurance?

In September, San Francisco's KPIX-TV reported the story of Rosalinda Miran-Ramirez of Daly City, who woke up one April morning with her left breast bleeding and her shirt soaked in blood.

She was rushed by her husband to the emergency room at nearby Seton Medical Center, where doctors found a tumor. Fortunately the biopsy was benign. Read more »

A new California tax revolt

The state and global financial crises have pushed the UC system into intense contraction, compounding years of rising student costs
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OPINION Don't miss the struggle underway over the future of the University of California.

Some see it as just another chapter in the unfolding story of the state's economic decline. That's partly true. But what's really interesting is what it could become.

If it's played right, the showdown over university fees and salaries could inspire a revival of sorts of the California tax revolt. Except this time, the rebels wouldn't be tax-haters, like we saw in 1978 with Prop. 13. Read more »

Where would we be without rent control?

The 30th anniversary of rent control in San Francisco
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OPINION This year marks the 30th anniversary of rent control in San Francisco. On June 13, 1979, the Board of Supervisors passed a law that was seen by tenant activists as a fairly weak version of rent control. The supervisors were acting under pressure from landlords, who were lobbying them to hurry up and pass a law before the November election, when landlords feared San Francisco voters would enact a stricter version.

So the supervisors went with a middle-of-the-road measure, but its passage was still a milestone. Read more »

Too vital to fail

Bailouts are for businesses -- but what about essential services?
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OPINION The "too big to fail" rationale is a mystery to citizens forced to fund these billion-dollar ventures.

Suppose an entity is not too big but "too vital to fail"? Which power broker bestows standing to even ask for a bailout? I started thinking about "too vital to fail" when two seemingly unrelated incidents intersected in my consciousness, one a tragedy, the other simply heart-breaking.

The first incident happened in Oakland, eight blocks from where I teach journalism. A local editor was gunned down in a brazen daytime assassination. Read more »