Board of Supervisors

Full circle

After months of discussion and faulty charges, the case against Ross Mirkarimi comes down to the initial act — and how broadly to define 'official misconduct'

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steve@sfbg.com

When Mayor Ed Lee suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi in March, he publicly took the position that it was an act of official misconduct when Mirkarimi grabbed his wife's arm during a Dec. 31 argument, subsequently pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, and was placed on probation for three years. Read more »

Guess who's unopposed for supervisor?

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Here's an interesting fact to think about: There are exactly two people running unopposed for the SF Board of Supervisors, two people whose constituents support them strongly enough that nobody thinks a challenge would be effective (or necessary). And those are two supes who have consistently stuck to the progressive agenda and uncompromising progressive politics. They've done exactly what they promised to do four years ago; they haven't moved to the center, haven't tried to redefine their politics ... they are who they are. And that works.

Just worth noting.

Why I hope Sup. Farrell is wrong about condos

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So Sup. Mark Farrell thinks the Board of Supervisors is ready to turn its back on the tenants movement and vote for legislation that would increase evictions, eliminate rental housing and undermine one of the most important pieces of tenant legislation to come out of City Hall in decades?

Gawd, I hope he's wrong.

From the Examiner:Read more »

Mecke joins crowded District 5 supervisorial race

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Progressive activist Quintin Mecke jumped into the District 5 supervisorial race today, echoing gentrification concerns raised this week by the Guardian and The New York Times and promising to be an independent representative of one of the city's most progressive districts, a subtle dig at Sup. Christina Olague's appointment by Mayor Ed Lee.Read more »

Wage theft task force approved

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The Board of Supervisors June 5 voted unanimously to create a wage theft task force. The task force will make recommendations to city departments concerning the prevention and correction of wage theft in the city.Read more »

What the preservation vote says about the 2012 supervisors

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UPDATE: Important update at the end of this story

What does it mean that a historic preservation law favored by developers and promoted by Sup. Scott Wiener passed the Board of Supervisors 8-3? Maybe nothing. Historic preservation is a strange poliltical issue, favored by some of the wealthy white homeowner types who love pretty buildings (and aren't so good on other issues), and this thing was sold as a way to help low-income people and affordable housing. But the reality is that the Wiener measure will make it harder to declare historic districts, and thus will take away a tool that the left can use to stop uncontrolled commercial development. And remember: The affordable housing community wasn't pushing this bill, and, for the most part, hasn't had problems with historic preservation. The most progressive political club in the city, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, came out strongly against the measure and urged Sup. Christina Olague, a co-sponsor, to oppose it:

Read more »

Supervisors hope to halt foreclosures with new resolution

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John Avalos introduced a resolution today urging support for homeowners facing foreclosure in San Francisco. The resolution calls for several actions, including suspending all foreclosures until state and federal measures to protect homeowners are in place.

Sponsors of the resolution Avalos, David Chiu, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, and Christina Olague joined a coalition of community organizations to explain the resolution at a press conference.Read more »

Editorial: Mayor Lee: Ease off Mirkarimi and help stop the foreclosure crisis

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And so the downtown gang (Willie Brown/Rose Pak, PG&E, the Chamber, the big developers et al) used Ed Lee to outmaneuver the progressives and roll Lee into the job of "interim mayor" on condition Lee not run for mayor.  Then Lee kept lying for months about his intentions and saying over and over that he would not run for mayor--until the downtown gang convinced him to run as a way to further damage the progressives. And now, according to news reports, Mayor Lee is poised to file misconduct charges against Mirkarimi for his gulty plea of false imprisonment in the Mirkarimi domestic violence case.

This could lead to an explosive and polarizing scenario where the Board of Supervvisors, in an election year, would be asked to remove Mirkarimi, a former fellow supervisor and political ally, as sheriff or side with him on what has turned out to become a toxic political issue. This would affect at minimum Mar, Avalos, Campos, and Olague in the supervisors' races and Mar, Avalos, and Campos in the upcoming Democratic County Central Committee race. It would also affect any candidate in any race that said a nice word about Mirkarimi.  If anybody thinks the mayor and the downtown gang would be unhappy with this prospect, think again. I recommend that Lee hold off on Mirkarimi, and work to uphold his position as a "unifier," and not become a polarizer and promoter of media and City Hall circuses. Instead of taking on Mirkarimi and the progressives, he should concentrate on such important and timely issues as helping stop the foreclosure process on the thousands of homes facing foreclosure in San Francisco. More: he should go after the big foreclosure banks, starting with the Bank of America and its multi-million dollar short term cash account with the city, and  Wells Fargo, with its national headquarters here in town.b3

More than 1,000 homes in San Francisco are either in foreclosure or at the start of the process. Some 16,000 homeowners are underwater, and as many as 12,000 may face foreclosure in the next 12 months. A report by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment shows that the city could lose $115 million from the reduced property taxes and the costs of carrying out evictions.

That's a crisis — and while the mayor has no direct control over home foreclosures, he ought to be speaking out and joining the protesters who are fighting this cascade of often-fraudulent bank actions. Read more »

Meet the new supervisor

How will Christina Olague balance loyalty to Mayor Lee with the needs of the city's most progressive district?

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Christina Olague, the newest member of the Board of Supervisors, faces a difficult balancing act. She was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee, whom she supported as co-chair of the controversial "Run Ed Run" campaign, to fill the vacancy in District 5, an ultra-progressive district whose voters rejected Lee in favor of John Avalos by a 2-1 margin.Read more »

Plastic bags banned from all SF stores

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The Board of Supervisors voted to expand a 2007 ban on plastic checkout bags to cover all retail and food establishments.

The law bans all businesses from providing plastic bags to customers. It also requires a ten cent fee for paper bags, to be pocketed by the store. With the ban, only paper bags, compostable bags, and reusable bags will be permitted at checkout. The city hopes to encourage shoppers to carry reusable bags.

Supervisors acknowledged that this ordinance could create confusion and inconvenience for business owners. Read more »