San Francisco

SF's foreclosure crisis

Banks bill the city for $115 million to foreclose on its residents

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EDITORIAL Here's a great issue for the San Francisco mayor's race: The big banks that the city uses to hold nearly half a billion in cash deposits are part of a group of financial institutions that are costing the taxpayers $115 million.Read more »

Civil Grand Jury slams shipyard development project

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“The Civil Grand Jury concludes that the Hunter’s Point Shipyard redevelopment project will require more communication, more transparency, and more commitment from the City in order to achieve its goals of providing housing, jobs and economic development, tax revenue and open spaces to San Francisco and its residents, particularly those residing in the surrounding neighborhoods.” Read more »

Mayor Ed Lee willing to disclose work calendar

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Among the many issues that rankled progressives under Mayor Gavin Newsom's administration was Newsom's unwillingness to turn over his work calendar to members of the public who formally requested it. Read more »

Newsom's delay tactic would create a legal mess

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In this week's Guardian, I lay out the latest political dynamics surrounding who will become San Francisco's next mayor. But in reporting out that story, I stumbled across some interesting potential implications to Mayor Gavin Newsom's petulant promise to delay his swearing in as lieutenant governor.Read more »

Big day at the Board of Supervisors

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Before the Board of Supervisors can adjourn for the year, it has some serious business to take care of at this afternoon's regular meeting: approving the city's ever-evolving America's Cup bid, requiring party promoters to register with the city, giving final approval to the local hire ordinance, modifying the affordable housing requirements on developers, mandating building owners to study creating on-site childcare facilities, creating new special districts, strengthening local purchase standards for city contracts, and, oh yeah, selecting someone to replace Mayor Gavin Newsom.

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Caretaker mayor concept blasted by Daly

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There's been much talk about naming a “caretaker mayor” to replace Mayor Gavin Newsom in January – most of it coming from downtown-oriented politicians, advocates, and publications, who are in the minority on the Board of Supervisors – but Sup. Chris Daly offered a full-throated denunciation of the idea this week.Read more »

Progressives show unity as board approves mayoral succession process

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a process for replacing Mayor Gavin Newsom last night after the progressive majority stuck together on a pair of key procedural votes and some parliamentary jousting provided a preview of the high-stakes power struggle that will begin Dec. 7.Read more »

Civil Sidewalks, Lewis Lapham, and the struggle for the soul of cities

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Cities often get vilified as the cauldrons of all that’s wrong in the world – greed, vice, pollution, and all manner of social ills – but they are also the incubators of ideas that are humankind’s last best shot at solving the social and environmental problems that threaten our long-term stability and prosperity. So ruminating on the indispensable role of cities, as Lapham’s Quarterly does with its fall issue, is more than just an academic exercise or interesting read.Read more »

Long-winded debate about the America’s Cup

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The prospect of San Francisco turning into an international enclave for billionaires and their custom-built super yachts in 2013 is either electrifying or nauseating, depending on one’s perspective. If San Francisco is selected as the venue for the 34th America’s Cup, the city’s downtown would be transformed into the “America’s Cup Village” during the prestigious match, and placed at the center of an international media spectacle. Read more »

Newsom's budget and DCCC hypocrisy

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Hypocrisy hung thickly in the air at City Hall today as Mayor Gavin Newsom refused to responsively address glaring contradictions on a pair of high-profile policy stances, pursuing naked self interest while cloaking himself in deceptive but high-minded rhetoric. Newsom used the city budget-signing ceremony to effusively praise the labor unions that he publicly shamed into giving back $250 million over two years to balance the budget without tax increases, a budget that cut services and increased various fees and fines.Read more »