Opinion

Soda tax is social justice issue

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Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org, John.Avalos@sfgov.orgtom@tomammiano.com

OPINION

We are fighting for a soda tax because public health leaders have sounded the alarm that sugary drinks are a serious threat to our public health. Now is the time to get the word out about the latest facts that tell the story.Read more »

Bogus chain store study ignores small biz benefits

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OPINION

Earlier this month, San Francisco's Office of Economic Analysis waded into the debate over whether the city should beef up its policy restricting the spread of chain stores. In a new study, the OEA concludes that the city's regulations are harming the local economy and that adding additional restrictions would only do more damage. But this sweeping conclusion, hailed by proponents of formula retail, rests on a deeply flawed analysis. The study is riddled with data problems so significant as to nullify its conclusions.Read more »

Suspension reform isn't so simple

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OPINION I wish I could get behind the current campaign to limit public school suspensions ("Suspending judgment, 12/3/13).

The intent is honorable. Any additional attention to the plight of black kids within our schools is laudable. But I've always suspected that some would think they'd accomplished something if suspension rates were evened across races, although this would have no more impact on any underlying problems than mandating racially equal grade ratios would eliminate an educational achievement gap.Read more »

The trouble with compromise

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"It takes no compromise to give people their rights... It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression." -- Harvey MilkRead more »

H. Brown: Goodbye to all that, we hope

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OPINION While we mourn the tamping down of the fiery progressive idealism that characterized City Hall in the early 2000s, we celebrate the departure of that era's dated man-warrior posturing. Last week proved a good occasion to pop a bottle: Misogynist blogger and progressive scene queen H. Brown announced he would soon be leaving San Francisco for destinations unknown.Read more »

End poverty and create wealth with public banks

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By Ken Walden

OPINION How would you like to increase your spending power by 10 times (or more), relieve student debt by more than 90 percent, increase Social Security benefits, lower taxes, increase pay for teachers, and lower loan amounts for homes and small business to 1-2 percent?

I'll bet I have your attention. I'm sure you think this is crazy talk, but this is based on a movement that is already happening. It's the public banking movement.Read more »

Preserve existing rental housing

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San Francisco's housing affordability crisis has become the main threat to the livability of the city for hundreds of thousands of residents. One glimmer of hope came last month, as the Board of Supervisors reformed decades-old laws that permit, and often encourage, the loss of affordable rental units.Read more »

Dutch show how SF cycling could grow

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By Dara Colwell

OPINION During rush hour, seeing the intersection at Weesperzijde and Meester Treublaan in Amsterdam would make a San Franciscan gasp. As cars move forward, cyclists continually pedal past, undisturbed by traffic—20, 30, or 40 at a time, in both directions—onto the narrow Weesperzijde, which runs along the Amstel River.Read more »

The Unconstitutional Truth about the Presidio

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By John Farrell

 

OPINION When Congress established the Presidio Trust in 1996, it wanted to ensure its financial stability. Congress believed taxing private tenants impeded the Trust's financial stability, so it enacted provisions within the Presidio Trust Act to ensure that tenants were tax-exempt. The only problem is that Congress doesn't have the power to exempt tenants under the US Constitution.Read more »

Mandela's greatest legacy

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By Roni Krouzman

Since my teenage years, I have looked to the anti-apartheid movement as clear evidence that humanity — when it comes together and stands bravely and prays with its heart and sings with its soul — can overcome the greatest oppression. This alone would be reason enough to revere, mourn and celebrate one of this liberation struggle's great leaders, the late Nelson Mandela.Read more »