It was maddening to watch Mayor Ed Lee deliver his annual State of the City address on Jan. 17. This was pure politics, from the staged backdrop of housing construction at Hunters Point Shipyard to the use of "regular people" props to the slate of vague and contradictory promises he made.
"This place, the shipyard, links our proud past to an even more promising future," was how Lee began his hour-plus, invite-only address.Read more »
The housing crisis is spurring pro-development arguments that threaten to hasten the "Manhattanization of San Francisco," a buzzphrase from another era that led to local controls on high-rise development.
The city is getting richer and less diverse, and the unaddressed displacement of longtime residents has fueled populist outrage. Now, politicians are finally getting the message, but some are offering solutions that may reopen old civic wounds.Read more »
DANCE The fourth FRESH Festival sounds like something that might attract foodies. In fact you do need an appetite — for thinking way outside of the box. The participating dancers, musicians, designers, and writers feed on each other's disciplines to stretch their own thinking about who they are and what they want to do. If sometimes the "how" intrigues more than the "what," so be it. Watching new modes emerging can be such an upper.Read more »
Who should decide what gets built on San Francisco's waterfront: the people or the Mayor's Office and its political appointees? That's the question that has been raised by a series of high-profile development proposals that exceed current zoning restrictions, as well as by a new initiative campaign that has just begun gathering signatures.Read more »
Dan Siegel, an Oakland civil rights attorney and activist with a long history of working with radical leftist political movements, joined a group of more than 150 supporters in front of Oakland City Hall on Jan. 9 to announce his candidacy for mayor.
With this development, the mayor's race in Oakland is sure to be closely watched by Bay Area progressives. Siegel's bid represents a fresh challenge from the left against Mayor Jean Quan at a time when concerns about policing, intensifying gentrification, and economic inequality are on the rise.Read more »
On Jan. 9, the newly appointed chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, visited Oakland's Preservation Park for a town hall meeting.
It was the first time in more than five years that the head of the FCC engaged in this kind of face-to-face community dialogue in Oakland, Chancellar Williams of Free Press said at the start of the meeting. The event was hosted by the Free Press, the Center for Media Justice, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition.Read more »
Art advocates have tried to move the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts high school to its new home on Van Ness street since 1987. On Jan. 7, the dream moved one step closer, the only barrier is cost.
At a packed San Francisco Board of Education meeting, planners revealed the move's sticker price, and it's a big one: $240 million. Board of Education President Rachel Norton's face sunk into one hand as she heard the news.Read more »
When is a public opinion poll a valid representation of how people feel? That turns out to be a tricky and ever-evolving question, particularly in San Francisco — thanks to its prevalence of tenants and technology — and even more particularly when it concerns the approval rating of Mayor Ed Lee.
Traditionally, the central requirements for public opinion polls to be considered valid is that respondents need to be representative of the larger population and they need to be selected at random. Polls are often skewed when people need to opt-in, as is the case in most online polls.Read more »
On New Year's Eve, six-year-old Sofia Liu was struck and killed when a driver using the Uber rideshare app allegedly failed to yield to her and her family as they progressed through a crosswalk. The girl's mother and brother survived, but their tear-stained faces were soon all over news networks in heartbreaking reports of their loss. No less sad, 86-year-old Zhen Guang Ng was struck and killed that same night by a driver who allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign in the Crocker-Amazon district. These incidents aren't isolated.Read more »
A group of tenant advocates has upped the ante in the ongoing protest movement against San Francisco evictions, publicizing the names, photographs, property ownership, and corporate affiliations of a dozen landlords and speculators they've deemed "serial evictors."Read more »