Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

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 »

Sugar fix

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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'

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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 »

No parking

Park Closure Law sparks fear among homeless groups, but no big crackdown yet

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joe@sfbg.com

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 »