Opinion

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 »

The terror of Prop. 90

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OPINION San Francisco could see an end to rent control — and minimum-wage requirements and a lot of zoning regulation and environmental protection laws and much more — if Proposition 90 passes this November. We could see an end to limits on condo conversions and an end to requirements that developers build affordable housing units and even an end to limits on the height and density of new developments. That's because Prop. 90 is a clever trap that purports to restrict the use of eminent domain but in reality eliminates all government regulation of land use.
Prop. Read more »

The age of 9/11

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OPINION We all remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001. The event rocked the world as the last remaining superpower was attacked in full view of its citizens. The images entered our collective consciousness, and we began a new era of global unrest. The gloves came off, diplomacy was mocked, and the United States blasted onto the world stage, weapons drawn.
Let's not relive the events of Sept. 11. We have been reminded of that morning over and over as it has become the sole source of George W. Bush's foreign policy. Read more »

Saving women from themselves

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OPINION In the name of protecting sex workers, a few San Francisco activists have adopted the rhetoric of antiprostitution advocates and taken their case to the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women (COSW). Read more »

The attack on public housing

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OPINION If the Bush administration has its way, conditions for San Francisco's public housing residents are about to get much worse.
The San Francisco Housing Authority, which operates 6,000 units of public housing, is facing a $7 million shortfall this year due to Republican-led cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget. Congress has already cut the public housing budget by $1 billion since 2001 and has now created a $300 million shortfall in operating funds for already cash-strapped public housing agencies. Read more »