Domestic Violence

Sequestration cuts would hit the Bay Area's most vulnerable

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While the looming federal budget cuts known as sequestration were designed to equally hit Democratic and Republican party priorities, from social services to the military budget, in the Bay Area they would disproportionately target society's most vulnerable citizens and strain already-stretched local agency budgets.

If Congress and the White House fail to forge a budget deal by March 1, the cuts could begin to withdraw $9-10 billion of federal support from the California. In the Bay Area, these cuts would have the biggest impact on low-income families, the homeless, victims of domestic violence, adults living with AIDS, and children ages 3-5.

Back in September, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed a U.S. Conference of Mayors' letter that called on federal lawmakers to resolve the budget conflict before the sequestration cuts could take effect, labeling the budget cuts "a threat" to local economies nationwide. Now, with the deadline looming, city officials and social service providers across the Bay Area are bracing for the impact. Depending to how the cuts are eventually allocated, San Francisco alone could lose more than $10 million in critical social services.

"All across the city, the sequestration hurts those most in need of services and support," Gentle Blythe, spokesperson with the San Francisco Unified School District, told the Guardian.

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DCCC's Mirkarimi resolution gets delayed

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San Franciscans will get a chance to take a deep breath – and their politicians will be able to get past Election Day – before wading back into the sordid saga surrounding Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's fitness for office, thanks to a resolution condemning him being pulled from tomorrow night's San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee agenda.Read more »

Gascón's challenge to Mirkarimi belies his own official shortcomings

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The backlash against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's reinstatement by those who oppose him has often been biting and bitter – an indicator that coming together around real solutions to domestic violence, something most supervisors pledged, could still be difficult – but t Read more »

Mirkarimi case -- the aftermath

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So many things to think about after last night's Board of Supervisors vote on Ross Mirkarimi. It was a dramatic moment in local politics, a clear rejection of the mayor by four supes, including one of his appointees, a show of political courage by some and weakness by others.

But before I get into that, let me say:Read more »

Former girlfriend defends Mirkarimi

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By Evelyn Nieves

For months, I’ve watched as Ross Mirkarimi has been slandered as a “wife beater”—by the mayor of San Francisco, no less—and vilified in the press based on lies, half-truths and innuendo.  It has been heart-breaking, nauseating, to witness.

I know for a fact that Ross is no abuser. He and I were a couple for eight years. For most of that time, we lived together. Not once did Ross even come close to making me feel unsafe in his presence. He never threatened me. He would walk away or cry “uncle” rather than argue. He simply had no stomach for it.Read more »

Guardian voices: Eliana on the Ross case

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Since this nightmare began nine months ago, my integrity, intelligence and independence have been attacked over and over again by individuals claiming to defend me. In every instance, I’ve been cast as an immigrant woman with limited English proficiency who is incapable of asserting her rights, understanding domestic violence, or speaking with her own voice. I’ve been characterized as ignorant, submissive, vulnerable -- but also hysterical, vindictive and manipulative. I’m either a “hot-blooded Latina” or a fool, duped by my husband.

The mayor and his allies -- each with their political or financial interest at stake -– have lined up to silence me or distort what really happened. They claim my voice doesn’t matter, that I can’t be trusted, but, have they ever, ever, bothered to talk to me directly? No.

They prefer an inflammatory vague 50-second video clip to the truth. In the midst of an argument on December 31, 2011, my husband grabbed my arm for a second and bruised me -- it was not intentional. I have never recanted this fact. He was wrong, and he apologized. That was the extent of it. I know this because I was there. It was my experience.  It happened to me. And it never happened before.

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The case for reinstating Mirkarimi

Three points that the Mayor would do well to heed 

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EDITORIAL We know for a fact that on New Year's Eve, 2011, Ross Mirkarimi, the elected but unsworn sheriff of San Francisco, had a physical altercation with his wife that left her with a bruised arm. We know she later complained about that bruise on a video lasting less than a minute. Beyond that, nobody except Mirkarimi and Eliana Lopez knows exactly what happened; there were no witnesses except the couple's three-year-old son, no video taken during the fight, no audio recordings — nothing.Read more »

Beyond the video

Supervisors will weigh Mirkarimi's arm-grab against larger, precedent-setting issues

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steve@sfbg.com

The Board of Supervisors received the official misconduct case against suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi this week, with a majority of Ethics Commission members urging supervisors to give more weight to the 45-second video that started this sordid saga than the voluminous record they have compiled at great expense over five months of hearings.Read more »

About the Mirkarimi poll

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It's no suprise that lawyers for suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi are calling a recent poll biased. The poll, paid for by a group of local women, many of whom have been in the forefront of the efforts to remove Mirkarimi from office, found that 61 percent of people wanted the sheriff ousted. Read more »

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 »