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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Fight for higher minimum wage resumes

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An event at the San Francisco Women's Building on Feb. 6 marked the 10-year anniversary of San Francisco's minimum wage ordinance, passed by voters in 2003 with Proposition L. The landmark initiative not only raised the minimum wage in San Francisco to $8.50 per hour, but stipulated that the amount would rise every year to reflect inflation. Thanks to Prop. L, San Francisco now boasts the highest minimum wage in the nation, at $10.74.

But in pricey San Francisco, it still isn't enough.Read more »

Granny slap

San Francisco landlords targeted for elder abuse

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Lisa Gray-Garcia, aka "Tiny," led a press conference outside the San Francisco Hall of Justice on Feb. 5 to announce that she and fellow activists were filing elder abuse charges against San Francisco landlords.

Flanked by activists and senior citizens who were facing eviction or had lost housing in San Francisco, the Poor News Network founder condemned landlords who've invoked the Ellis Act as "dangerous criminals."Read more »

Farewell to an ally and union brother

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Pete Seeger played a critical role for labor and all working people. As a labor troubadour, he traveled the world singing out for labor. That is why he came to ILWU [International Longshore and Warehouse Union] Local 10 in the Bay Area in 1941. The US government had tried four times to deport Harry Bridges, the Australian-born leader of the ILWU, in an effort to destroy the union. Together, Seeger and Woody Guthrie sang out to the union's rank and file strike committee a song called a "Ballad To Harry Bridges."Read more »

No parking

Park Closure Law sparks fear among homeless groups, but no big crackdown yet

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joe@sfbg.com

An ordinance to close all San Francisco city parks at night drew fire from homeless advocates, who called out sponsoring Sup. Scott Wiener and the Recreation and Park Department for targeting the homeless, charges they denied, claiming it was really about preventing vandalism in parks.

At this point, with enforcement slow to begin, the jury is still out. The ordinance passed on Nov. 5, on a 6-5 vote. Wiener denied allegations that it would criminalize poverty or homelessness.Read more »

Airbnb under fire in New York

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joe@sfbg.com

Airbnb, a mainstay of the "sharing economy" that connects hosts with guests for short-term apartment rentals, allegedly flouts city and state regulations across the United States, not just in San Francisco. Unlike our foggy city and sunny state, however, the state of New York has aggressively pursued the tech firm in what can almost be seen as a "tale of two Airbnbs."Read more »

Fresh out

Not all neighborhoods are equal when it comes to healthy food access

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Rebecca@sfbg.com

Food stirs strong passions in San Francisco. Protests have been mounted against foie gras and live chicken sales, and epic battles have been fought over chain grocery stores' proposals to open up shop in certain neighborhoods.Read more »

Did Feinstein see a drone?

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For years now, Bay Area organizers with the antiwar group Code Pink have been staging protests outside the Pacific Heights residence of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Code Pink director Medea Benjamin has led delegations to Pakistan and Yemen in the past to protest US drone strikes, and San Francisco activists have frequently appeared outside the senator's home to sound off against the US military's use of drones.Read more »

In the dark

Bay Area plaintiffs seek legal memo justifying drone strikes against US citizens

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A battle for transparency that has dragged on for years is nearing a milestone, as Bay Area civil liberties advocates await a judge's ruling on whether the federal government will be forced to hand over memos outlining its legal justification for overseas drone strikes targeting US citizens.

The First Amendment Coalition, an Oakland-based civil liberties organization, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request in October 2011 seeking a legal memo prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel to the US Department of Justice.Read more »

Conservative star in 'Monologos de la Vagina' replaced

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Following national controversy over the resignation of a politically conservative actress from the local Spanish-language production of The Vagina Monologues, producer Eliana Lopez announced last week that the production had found a replacement.

Actress Alba Roversi, a veteran of the Spanish language Monologos de la Vagina, will take the place of Maria Conchita Alonso, whose departure from the play had Fox News crying foul over her being "forced out" for her conservative political views.

Any chance to needle San Francisco, right?Read more »

Cities face legal obstacle to safer biking

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San Francisco has been blazing the trail toward safer cycling with innovative designs such as cycletracks, or bike lanes that are physically separated from cars, which have been installed on Market Street and JFK Drive. But cycletracks aren't legal under state law, something that a San Francisco lawmaker and activist are trying to solve so that other California cities can more easily adopt them.Read more »