Politics Blog

Free Muni for youth a rare progressive victory

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The left isn't winning all that much these days, but Sup. David Campos had a huge victory with the passage of a plan to offer free Muni to some 40,000 low-income kids. The challenges aren't over -- it's still not clear, for example, how the actual clipper cards will be distributed -- but this is a big step forward.

And it didn't come easily. Campos worked with a coalition of low-income advocates that refused to give up despite two years of setbacks.Read more »

Left-right punch knocks out increased development fees for Muni

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A new and unusual coalition of nonprofit, religious, and corporate interests today killed a legislative effort to get more money for Muni through the Transit Impact Development Fee, which was going through its process of being reauthorized every five years and came to the Board of Supervisors today.Read more »

Ethics Commission wants to hide its own flaws

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The Ethics Commission has serious problems. A detailed report by Board of Supervisors Budget Analyst Harvey Rose, comparing SF's ethics rules and enfocement to that of Los Angeles, found a long list of ways that this city is falling short. The supervisors asked the commission to have a robust discussion of the findings and propose reforms.Read more »

Alameda County's spy drone

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We all knew it was coming, but the ACLU has the docs to prove it's about to start happening here: The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is trying to buy a drone aircraft in part to spy on people.Read more »

The missing element of the Renewable Energy study

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Since San Francisco's Local Agency Formation Commission is meeting Dec. 7 to talk about renewable energy, I went and read the 100-page report of the Mayor's Task Force on Renewable Energy, which offers 39 different suggestions for meeting the goal of 100 renewable electricity in the city by 2020.Read more »

Twitter, tax breaks and the New York Times

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Just about everyone who watches news media is calling it the Story of the Week, and it's probably going to be one of the top stories of the year, my (informal) nominee for a Pulitzer: Louise Story at the New York Times exposes how corporate America shakes down state and local governments -- who often get little in return. Read more »

Wiener charges blogger with taking potty photo

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I don’t even know what to do with this except report it and tell you some background. Because it’s just strange, all around.

Short story: Sup. Scott Wiener’s pressing criminal charges against a blogger who tried to take a photo of him peeing in the City Hall men’s room.Read more »

HANC evicted, but the poor recyclers could remain in the Haight

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In a win for the gentrifiers of the Haight Ashbury, the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council's (HANC) Recycling Center has been issued an official eviction notice, posted by the Sheriff's Department, and is slated to be out on the street by this Wednesday, Dec. 5. But those who hoped this would rid the neighborhood of poor people recycling bottles and cans may be disappointed.Read more »

Funding SFUSD's graduation rescue

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The San Francisco school district’s achievement gap exploded into the news when district officials learned that as many as 1,900 High School juniors -- the vast majority of them students of color -- aren’t on track to meet the new graduation standards. Read more »

2012: Beginning of the End or a New Beginning

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In recent months, I've been exploring the rabbit hole of 2012 prophecy and possibility, a beguiling mixture of myth, spirituality, and hope that humans will finally awaken to the global ecological and economic catastrophes we're creating and make a fundamental shift in our approach, whether that's sparked by cosmic energies or our own earthly intention.Read more »