Guardian Voices

Guardian Voices: There's something happening here


There are distinct signs of the rebirth of a grassroots  balanced-growth  movement in San Francisco, and some small indication that it’s even beginning to shift, ever so slightly,  the politics of the Board of Supervisors.  This is very good news for the vast majority of San Franciscans.

First, a little history.Read more »

Guardian Voices: The case against RCV


“The Cure for the Ills of Democracy is More Democracy”
                                 -- old Progressive Party slogan

My friends here at the Guardian have elevated support for ranked choice voting to a defining requirement for being considered a progressive. This is not only historically incorrect,  it is actually politically silly. There are many progressive reasons to oppose RCV -- not the least of which is the undeniable fact that it overwhelmingly favors incumbents, has failed to deliver on the 2002 ballot promises, and now poses real threats to progressive political advancement in key supervisor districts. 

First, a little history. 

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Guardian Voices: My San Francisco


I’ve spent the last 12 years learning to love and sometimes hate San Francisco, and I’ve made it my home. A few months after my 31st birthday, I drove out here from the midwest to contribute to social change in a place where I could be Black, LGBT, and a community organizer – and not be forced to have my dyke identity matter quite so much. (More on that history somewhere else...) While doing grassroots community work in this city, I found love, made life-long friends, started a family and developed an incredible multi-ethnic community that has deeply enriched my life. Read more »

Guardian Voices: A harsh city for queer youth


By Mia Tumutch

I moved to San Francisco at 19, having recently escaped small-town Texas because of ignorance and hatred associated with the fact that I am transsexual. I arrived on a Greyhound with a huge purse, a duffle bag, and big dreams for the queer wonderland.

Then life happened. Unable to find a job because I was too visibly trans, I ran out of money and ended up homeless.Read more »

Guardian Voices: Stop and Frisk didn't work last time


Mayor Lee’s musings before the Chronicle editorial board, in which he revealed his thoughts about instituting a “stop and frisk” policy in San Francisco, set off a very quick negative responses from two of his high-profile supporters in the African American community, Willie Brown and Supervisor Malia Cohen. But that’s only part of the surprise the mayor will face if he pursues this policy.

It wasn’t a real good week for Mayor Lee, who seemed to repeatedly trip himself up:

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Guardian Voices: A place for rage


Just a few weeks ago, my partner came home from work in South San Francisco to tell me some horrifying news. A cop had killed a boy she knew, a Black eighth grader named Derrick Gaines. We looked at each other in the way we do when there is too much to say, our eyes wet, our hearts racing, our rage too big for words. We held our son extra tight that night.Read more »

Guardian voices: The labor agreement that changed SF


This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the beginnings of  negotiations between the International Longshoreman’s and Warehouseman’s Union and the Pacific Maritime Association over what came to be known as the “Mechanization and Modernization Agreement.”  Signed in October, 1960, after months of talks,  the “M and M agreement” transformed San Francisco’s economy forever, moving its founding industry -- shipping and trans shipping -- to the East Bay, opening up the land once devoted to maritime uses to real estate development, and setting off the modern political era of San Francisco.

The agreement allowed containerization to come into the San Francisco Bay, making obsolete  the finger piers along San Francisco’s waterfront and the ILWU’s “gangs” that worked on them, hand-loading “break bulk” cargo into the holds of cargo ships. The new technology of shipping cargo in a single  container that could be transported by truck, train, and ship without unloading  transformed maritime trade.

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Guardian voices: Outside the Bay Area Bubble


This week I’m back in the midwest, where my roots are strong and my mother is approaching her retirement years. I’m thinking about the vast geographic and cultural distance –both real and imagined -- between the San Francisco, California where I now live, and the great state of Iowa, which made me so much of who I am.Read more »

Guardian voices: The zombie condo converters


What is the shelf life of  a really bad public policy concerning housing in  San Francisco?

When it comes to condo conversions of existing rent controlled apartments, the answer is that there is no limit on how many times this bad idea is taken off the shelf. Like a bad summer zombie movie, this undead keeps  walking, no matter what San Franciscans say.

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Guardian Voices: On losing


I’m turning 43 today and feeling glad to be alive. I would love to be writing about the joy of raising children and the mysteries of the universe. But instead, today I’m thinking about last week’s elections, about losing and the nature of long-term struggle. I’m thinking about being born black in 1969, and how, in fact, our side has been losing my whole life. Read more »