Guardian Editorial

Stop 'stop and frisk'

Mayor Lee's new policy smacks of Arizona

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EDITORIAL If the San Francisco Police Department put up checkpoints and metal detectors all along lower Market Street and stopped and searched every person who walked by, they'd find some contraband. No question — a certain percentage of people on the city's main downtown artery are carrying drugs or weapons. Some have warrants out. There would be multiple arrests and criminals taken off the streets.

And it's hard to imagine that anyone would consider that a good idea.Read more »

The right business tax

Is it even worth launching a ballot measure campaign for $13 million?

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EDITORIAL In some ways, the battle over San Francisco's business tax represents a shift in the local power structure: For most of the past 30 years, the finance, insurance and real-estate industries — the traditional downtown corporate leaders — called the shots at City Hall. Any honest list of the most powerful people in town started with bankers and real-estate developers, and most of the time, they got their way.Read more »

Fixing SF's sunshine problems

Let's take our cues from Connecticut on this one

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EDITORIAL Open-government advocates are circulating a series of amendments to the city's landmark Sunshine Ordinance, and a lot of them make perfect sense. In general, the changes bring the law up to date — and deal with the ongoing and increasing frustration over the lack of enforcement that has rendered toothless one of the most progressive open-government laws in the nation.Read more »

The great car slowdown

Could lowering the speed limit help us reach our biking goal by 2020?

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EDITORIAL It's going to be hard to reach San Francisco's official bike transportation goal, which calls for 20 percent of all vehicle trips to be taken by bicycle by 2020. Everyone in town knows that; everyone at City Hall and in the biking community agrees that some profound and radical steps would need to be taken to increase bike trips by more than 500 percent in just eight years.Read more »

Don't water down campaign laws

Eliminating the donor spending cap could spell trouble for SF democracy

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EDITORIAL The San Francisco Ethics Commission, which is hardly aggressive about cracking down on campaign-finance violations, has suggested some rule changes that would water down the city's ethics laws. The supervisors should reject most of the suggestions — and start talking about real reform.

The commission has asked Sup. Scott Wiener to bring the changes to the board, and Wiener told us that he has problems with some of them and is going to be working with his colleagues, particularly Sup. David Campos, to fix the package.Read more »

Housing and highrise offices

This city has a terrible jobs-housing mix
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EDITORIAL It's something of a civic shame that the only way San Francisco can build a new transit terminal is to sell a private developer the rights to stick a 1,070-foot highrise office tower on public land. In fact, it's a sad statement on the city, state, and local government: Once upon a time — and it wasn't the long ago — tax dollars collected through a progressive system paid for major infrastructure projects. Read more »

The war on sunshine

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EDITORIAL The Rules Committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors joined the war on sunshine May 17 when it rejected four qualified candidates from three organizations who are mandated by the ordinance to choose representatives for the task force because of the organizations' special open government credentials.Read more »

Free Muni for kids makes sense

A significant reduction in car use would more than pay for youth passes

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EDITORIAL San Francisco is a transit-first city that has spent millions of dollars over the years trying to convince people to ride Muni. And yet, one of the best and most effective ways to get people out of their cars is facing surprising opposition.Read more »

Heading East: The flight from San Francisco

Oakland's cultural ascendance is an indicator of SF's short-sighted prioritization of the rich

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EDITORIAL There is no simple free-market solution to gentrification and displacement. There's no way a crowded city like San Francisco can simply rely on the forces of supply and demand to protect vulnerable populations. And there's no way the city's flawed housing policy can prevent the loss of thousands of San Franciscans — particularly young, creative people who help keep a city lively — from fleeing to a town where they can actually afford the rent.Read more »

Reject the CPMC deal

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EDITORIAL For most of the past year, Mayor Ed Lee had been taking a tough line with California Pacific Medical Center, the health-care giant that wants to build a state-of-the-art 555-bed hospital on Cathedral Hill. The mayor had been telling a stunningly recalcitrant CMPC management that the outfit would have to put upwards of $70 million into affordable housing and spent millions more on transit, neighborhood and charity-care programs to mitigate the impacts of the massive project.Read more »