Opinion

No pass for Newsom

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EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom may tell the media that he's not sure he wants his job anymore, but the reality is that he's been running for reelection for months. His campaign team is in place, the fundraising is about to kick into high gear, and when 2007 dawns Newsom will start to line up endorsements, put money in the bank, and do everything possible to clear the field. That's not just a campaign consultant's fantasy: right now there's no clear, obvious opponent for a mayor whose poll ratings are almost unimaginably high.
But Newsom can't be allowed to run without any credible opponent. Read more »

Newsom should comply with Prop. I

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OPINION Much has been said about Mayor Gavin Newsom's stunning defeat at the ballot Nov. 7. Newsom's slate of endorsements went down in flames — from supervisorial candidates Rob Black and Doug Chan to the contenders he hoped would take control of the school board to a host of progressive ballot propositions, including worker sick leave and relocation assistance for evicted tenants. Every incumbent supervisor was also reelected, indicating an overall approval level of the Board of Supervisor's performance. Read more »

Guilty of independent journalism

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OPINION The pogrom against independent journalists who refuse to conform to corporate media definitions of what a reporter should be continues full throttle. The murder of Indymedia correspondent Brad Will on Oct. Read more »

No more surveillance cameras

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OPINION In July last year, San Francisco began installing video surveillance cameras to monitor the public streets. What quietly started as a pilot program with two cameras in the Western Addition has quickly expanded, with more than 30 cameras throughout the city. The Mayor's Office is seeking to install 22 more cameras at a number of locations, including heavily trafficked areas such as the 16th Street and Mission and 24th Street and Mission intersections.
On Nov. 15 the Police Commission will decide whether to approve the installation of additional cameras. Read more »

Keep police discipline public

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OPINION Three years after San Francisco voters passed Proposition H, the landmark police reform initiative, the San Francisco Police Commission finds itself at a crossroad. At the heart of the matter is how the commission deals with one of the worst decisions to come out of the California Supreme Court in recent memory, Copley Press v. Superior Court. Read more »

The risk of honest planning

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OPINION At the Nov. 1 meeting of the land use committee of the Board of Supervisors, a seemingly straightforward statement of policy will be heard. It simply requires that the city apply its own General Plan guidelines to future development in the eastern neighborhoods.
But the legislation, proposed by Supervisors Sophie Maxwell, Jake McGoldrick, Aaron Peskin, and Tom Ammiano, is creating quite a furor. A senior planning official has testified that if it's adopted, the entire development boom in the eastern neighborhoods may be halted. Read more »

Allison inspires youth

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OPINION I first saw Aimee Allison, District 2 candidate for the Oakland City Council, when she addressed a large, enthusiastic crowd of high school students, mostly students of color, from Oakland Tech, McClymonds, and Skyline. Read more »

A real war on crime

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OPINION Once again, with their backs against the wall, Republicans are attempting to stave off political defeat in November by playing to Americans' fears about safety and security. Central to the conservative playbook for years has been the lie that progressives cannot keep our communities safe.
The reality is that the current, shortsighted approach to public safety, which touts punishment without rehabilitation, has been a failure. One of the starkest examples is the crisis in California's prison and parole system — and every day that crisis comes home to San Francisco. Read more »

Divorcing Columbus

The Italian-American dilemma
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OPINION This year may go down in history as the one new immigrants reignited a civil rights mobilization in the United States. Their efforts, like those of the black liberation movement of the ’60s, will certainly become a catalyst for progressive action from many communities. As southern Italian Americans, this Columbus Day we have to ask our community the age-old question — which side are we on? Unfortunately, many of us have chosen exactly which side we are on: supporting racist immigrant bashers, whether they are legislators in the halls of Congress or vigilante Minutemen. Read more »

The people's program

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OPINION San Francisco progressives have spent years getting on the political power map. We have achieved amazing victories, such as the 2000 sweep that defeated the Brown machine and ushered in an independent Board of Supervisors. At times we've gotten mired in sectarian clashes that have prevented unity around a common vision. However, such obstacles and stumbles have taught us valuable lessons that can be the building blocks for a vibrant people's movement. To be successful, we progressives need to have a clear vision and to keep asking ourselves questions. Read more »