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 »
OPINION It appears the San Francisco Chronicle's editors have chopped "progressive" from the paper's approved lexicon for local political reporting, replacing the term with "ultra-liberal" and "far left" to characterize politicians whose views they don't share. Should we care? After all, the terms of political discourse have been so twisted, warped, and debased in recent years, one might be forgiven for not telling right from left or conservative from liberal. Read more »
OPINION There have been eight murders in the Excelsior in the past 120 days. And Sup. Gerardo Sandoval, who represents the area and is running for judge, has been the subject of press attacks for suggesting that gang injunctions in the Mission District may have driven crime into surrounding areas.
That debate misses the point.
Communities of color like the Excelsior have historically taken a back seat when it's time for the city to fund programs for youth, crime prevention, and economic development. Read more »
OPINION To hear proponents of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) talk, it's a matter of personal choice for 14- and 15-year-olds to sign up for the Pentagon's military recruitment program, which is being phased out of San Francisco's public schools June 2009. The San Francisco Board of Education also recently voted to remove physical education credit from the program this school year. Read more »