Opinion

What $40 million buys

If you own the megaphone, the transmitter, and the mouth, we are not equal -- especially when it came to the cigarette tax

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OPINION I am a diehard and devoted follower of the round-ball. Basketball. If the game did not exist, I wouldn't spend a minute — hot or cold — planted in front of telly, save the half hour my kids and I watch the new Regular Show. I have no idea who wins the beauty contests or who is villain or hero on reality TV, couldn't ID you the hit sitcom star of today, don't know and don't care.

For this reason, I am intimately aware of the massive anti-Prop 29 campaign waged by the tobacco companies (their target audience is male and of a certain age).Read more »

Mayor Lee's priorities are wrong

Our schools face the worst budget cuts ever.

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By Margaret Brodkin

OPINION There was much back slapping at City Hall last week as officials congratulated themselves on what was described as a welcome "philosophical shift" in San Francisco politics.Read more »

To Yelp at City Hall

San Francisco should be the first city to list all municipal services on one of the existing user-review websites that thousands of San Franciscans already rely on to critique restaurants, drycleaners, and auto repair shops.

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By Anne Stuhldreher

OPINION If you attended any of the oodles of mayoral debates during last fall's election, you surely heard every candidate say two things: One, that they'd make city government more accountable to San Franciscans — and two, that they'd harness technology to make city services better.Read more »

SF needs healthy housing

It's time to get beyond Band-Aids

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My greatest frustration as a tenants' rights and affordable-housing advocate in San Francisco is that, despite all the good efforts by a lot of good people, we never address the root cause of our housing crisis. We routinely enact laws and ballot initiatives, organize endless demonstrations and elect progressive politicians, but in the final analysis, these efforts are just a Band Aid on a bad system that leaves a lot of people without a roof over their heads.Read more »

Obama's mistake

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By Gabriel Haaland and Laura Thomas

Last month, Obama came out swinging against medical marijuana in an interview, defended his raids of law-abiding clubs, and is currently positioning himself to the right of former President George Bush — despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of Americans support legalized medical marijuana.Read more »

In city workers' shoes

While we court new businesses, we also need to reinvest in public employees

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We both work under City Hall's iconic dome as civil servants. While I often work late into the evening hours as a supervisor, Robert's back-breaking work as a janitor is often done past the midnight hour, five nights a week.

I had the opportunity to meet Robert last week, as part of the "Walk A Day In Our Shoes" program of Service Employees International Union, Local 1021.Read more »

The problem with Laura's Law

When it comes to embracing laws such as AB 1421, California voters know better

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OPINION Mental health conditions and mental illness are issues that bring passionate people to the table from all sides of the spectrum. Individuals who have lived with the experience of mental-health conditions, clinicians, family members, researchers, and advocates all have a lot to say.Read more »

End the health-care scam

Businesses charge a health-care surcharge then keep the money for profit.

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OPINION Last year, after receiving data from San Francisco, the Wall Street Journal reported on an investigation into the use of health reimbursement accounts by several local restaurants. It showed a group of employers evading the city's health care law while charging their customers a "Healthy San Francisco" surcharge that is never actually spent on employees' health care.

Rather than providing health coverage to their workers, as customers are led to believe, the restaurants are allocating funds for HRAs — and taking back the funds before they can be used.Read more »

Domestic violence: A Latina, feminist perspective

Eliana Lopez's friend Myrna Melgar addresses the Mirkarimi case and how it was handled

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Earlier this week, we posted an Op-Ed piece by Myrna Melgar which has been receiving a lot of attention. The piece was orginially published on the blog of publisher Bruce Brugmann, and then in this week's paper. Click here to read the original post

End the healthcare scam

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OPINION Last year, after receiving data from San Francisco, the Wall Street Journal reported on an investigation into the use of health reimbursement accounts by several local restaurants. It showed a group of employers evading the city's health care law while charging their customers a "Healthy San Francisco" surcharge that is never actually spent on employees' health care.

Rather than providing health coverage to their workers, as customers are led to believe, the restaurants are allocating funds for HRAs — and taking back the funds before they can be used.Read more »