Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Kick the can

Fact-checking the opposition to the Sugary Beverage Tax reveals misleading claims

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joe@sfbg.com

At least 720 San Francisco businesses oppose the controversial Sugary Beverage Tax proposed for the November ballot, according to the proposed ballot measure's opponents. But a Guardian investigation shows that claim is overstated.

Some businesses were listed with the consent of employees who couldn't speak for the business, not their owners, and some businesses listed aren't even open anymore.Read more »

Muni fare shakedown

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Update: Just a day after the release of this article, advocacy group POWER announced that Google pledged to pay for Free Muni For Youth for two years. “This validates both the success and necessity of the Free Muni for Youth program,”said Bob Allen, leader in the FreeMuni for Youth coalition, in a press release. “We need tech companies in San Francisco and throughout the region to work with the community to support more community-driven solutions to the displacement crisis.” Read more »

New study: San Francisco has second highest inequality in United States

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San Francisco has the second highest gap between the rich and the poor in the United States, according to a new study from the Brookings Institution released today.  Read more »

Activists, union challenge Google bus pilot program

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San Francisco activists and labor filed an appeal of the controversial commuter shuttle (aka, the Google buses) pilot program to the Board of Supervisors today, alleging it was pushed through without a proper environmental review. 

The appeal was filed by a coalition of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, SEIU 1021, The League of Pissed Off Voters, and Sara Shortt of the Housing Rights Committee. Read more »

Facebook expands gender choices

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Facebook is binary no more.

The social media company announced via its Facebook Diversity page that profiles will now allow for a custom gender choice, a change long sought by transgender rights activists.

Traditional social networking (and even dating) websites mostly allow only the choice of male and female. But now Facebook has functionality to add multiple gender identifiers under a customizable text menu. The change was brought about through a collaboration with a number of LGBT advocacy groups, including GLAAD.Read more »

Backlash mars annual tech awards

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The Crunchies are a San Francisco-based dog and pony show for the tech industry, hosted by technology business news site Tech Crunch. But amid rising San Franciscan anger, this year's Crunchies took on a decidedly different tone.

At the outset of the Feb. 10 awards ceremony, big-time investor and noted "Godfather of Silicon Valley," Ron Conway, asked a question. "Raise your hand if your company is located in San Francisco," he asked the tech employees gathered in Davies Symphony Hall.Read more »

UPDATE: Rabblerousers drag Google down from astral plane

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At one point protesting tech buses was new and shiny, but now it barely registers a shrug from San Franciscans. The newest eviction protest took a different turn.

On Saturday, protesters jumped up on stage to interrupt Googlers meditating at the annual Wisdom 2.0 conference. The Google corporateers sat on the stage, ready to share their secret to mindfulness “the Google way.” No one said “meditate on all the money you’re making,” but maybe it was implied. Read more »

For your rabble-rousing Valentine, #Activistpickuplines

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Freelance writer and activist Suey Park, who started the #NotYourAsianSidekick trend, created a new hashtag trending on Twitter just in time for Valentine's Day: #ActivistPickupLines.

Buzzfeed of course is on the case, and they report that Park, 23, was inspired to create the hashtag by a student who told her, "I'm down for the struggle and the snuggle."Read more »

Binary no more: Facebook announces expanded gender choice for profiles

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After today, Facebook is binary no more.

The social media company announced via its Facebook Diversity page that profiles will now allow for a custom gender choice, a change long sought by transgender rights activisits. Read more »

Crappies awards rain on tech award show's parade

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The Crunchies are a San Francisco-based dog and pony show for the tech industry, hosted by technology business news site Tech Crunch. But amid rising San Franciscan anger, this year's Crunchies took on a decidely different tone.Read more »