OPINION On the night the voters spoke, word began filtering through Palm Pilots and iPhones about sweeping budget cuts likely to carve a hole in vital city programs. It's ugly: massive cuts to the Department of Public Health and numerous social service programs. As usual, programs helping those most in need are getting cut the most. Read more »
OPINION Many of us in the Bay Area worked hard to elect Barack Obama. We made phone calls, knocked on doors, made donations $5, $10, $200. We monitored the polls, gathered and loaded data, and/or otherwise spread the word to friends, relatives, and colleagues. And of course, we all voted.
The good news is we succeeded. We can now believe again in the power of ordinary people to do extraordinary things in this country. Read more »
OPINION The California Supreme Court's landmark ruling in May finally allowed same-sex couples their constitutional rights to marry. This was justice for the 4,000 same-sex couples issued marriage licenses in San Francisco from Feb. 12 to March 11, 2004. We were lucky to be one of those couples but within five months the courts had voided all 4,000 licenses. I marched with hundreds to City Hall that day and angrily waved my nullified marriage license in the air. Read more »
OPINION I live and have always lived in a bubble, isolated from most of America. I grew up in Los Angeles, where I attended a high school so liberal that almost the entire student population wore black the day after Bush won his second term. Now I attend UC Berkeley, a historically ultra-liberal university in one of the most progressive cities in the United States.
That's why I decided to join 30 of my fellow UC Berkeley students and go to North Carolina to campaign for Obama the final week before the election. Read more »
OPINION Why would a Christian minister support Proposition K, the November ballot initiative that would decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco?
There are many reasons. Prop. K would allow sex workers to organize for their rights and safety. It would enable them to report abuse in the industry without fear of prosecution. It would improve their chances of maintaining their health by lessening the stigma that prevents many from seeking the health care services they need. Read more »
OPINION When I heard the news that Jorge Hurtado was shot and killed in the Mission District, I was doubly stunned. Not only was the 18-year-old my neighbor, he was shot on the same corner where Erick Balderas was killed a year ago.
Eleven years ago, Erick was a student in the fourth grade class I taught at Paul Revere Elementary in Bernal Heights. In fact, three of my former students have been murdered in the city in the last two years. Read more »
OPINION Amid a sea of reporters, I sat in a community meeting in the Mission District last week as city officials struggled to address the rash of homicides that have occurred in the past two weeks. As we listened to the endless chatter, I was greatly dismayed because we were avoiding the elephant in the room the complete lack of trust between the police department and our communities of color.
I fear that that the relationship between communities of color and the police department has deteriorated beyond repair in part because of the < Read more »
OPINION San Franciscans don't need the Clean Energy Act for political reasons. We need the Clean Energy Act Proposition H on the November ballot because we should have a say in how our electrical needs are met. We need it because San Franciscans should be able to demand more clean, renewable energy. We need it to have input on how our electrical rate money is spent. We need it to get a dollar's worth of service for a dollar's worth of rates.
The current electric power provider in San Francisco has a monopoly. Read more »