News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

The price of growth

Development is booming in the eastern neighborhoods, but the money isn't there to cover the infrastructure needed to serve it


San Francisco is booming, but will its infrastructure be able to keep up with its population growth?

The problem is acutely illustrated in the southeast part of San Francisco, where long-stalled development plans were finally greenlit by the adoption of the Eastern Neighborhoods Community Plan a few years ago.Read more »

Introducing BayLeaks

New encrypted site allows sources to anonymously deliver sensitive documents to the Guardian


From time to time, sources have told us at the Bay Guardian that they would love to share sensitive information for news articles, but fear they would be retaliated against or even terminated from employment if they were to do so.

We have found a way around that.

Sources who wish to retain their anonymity while sharing information they believe the public has a right to know now have the option of using an encrypted submission system to anonymously send documents to our news team.Read more »

Staying power

San Francisco tenants' movement rises up and sets the agenda


Despite the rain on Feb. 8, organizers of a citywide tenants' convention at San Francisco's Tenderloin Elementary School wound up having to turn people away at the door. The meeting was filled to capacity, even though it had been moved at the last minute to accommodate a larger crowd than initially anticipated.

"Oh. My. God. Look at how many of you there are!" organizer Sara Shortt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee, called out as she greeted the hundreds in attendance. "Tenants in San Francisco, presente!"Read more »

Sugar fix


A resolution to place a sugary beverage tax on the November ballot was introduced at the Feb. 4 Board of Supervisors meeting.

The two-cents-per-ounce tax would be levied at the point of distribution, with the ultimate goal of reducing the consumption of sodas and other sugary drinks to combat obesity in San Francisco. The tax, sponsored by Supervisors Scott Wiener, Eric Mar, Malia Cohen, John Avalos, and David Chiu, is similar to a resolution made two years ago in Richmond.

But Richmond voters ultimately voted it down by 66 percent, so how's San Francisco any different?Read more »

Students suffer from 'invisible suspensions'


At the Board of Education meeting on Feb. 4, students rallied against suspensions they see as unfair. Advocates negotiated rule changes. San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education commissioners shook their fists at injustice.

The uproar concerned "willful defiance" suspensions, cited nationwide as problematic because of their subjective nature. Wearing a backwards cap, having a bad day, talking back, all fall under the umbrella of willful defiance.

The suspension ban is monumental, SFUSD Superintendent Richard Carranza told the board.Read more »

Fight for higher minimum wage resumes


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


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


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


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


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 »