Opinion

Sanfranciscoism

All great movements must begin and radiate from some place
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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 »

The real crime issue in the Excelsior

The city is still not investing enough in our communities of color
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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 »

JROTC is not a choice

It seems the military will do whatever it takes to get in front of our youngsters in our public schools
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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 »

The new Muni plan

Assessing transit effectiveness, 30 years since the last serious review
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OPINION Every once in a while, it's a good idea to take a look at our public utilities and see if they are still managed and operated in a way that serves the goals we have for them. Read more »

Cleaner power, cleaner money

The choice facing us is between being smart about our energy policy or handing over that policy to a corporate boardroom in Atlanta
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OPINION Nine months ago neighborhood leaders from the Potrero Hill and the Bayview districts were invited to stand and applaud at a press conference at Mirant's Potrero Power Plant. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle: "One of the state's oldest and dirtiest power plants ... could shut down as soon as 2009, city leaders announced.... Read more »

Pelosi backs Bush on Iran

How in the world does the representative of perhaps the most antiwar city in the country sign off on the United States doing this to another nation
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OPINION Has Nancy Pelosi signed off on the George W. Bush administration's covert CIA operations in Iran? Read more »

Outside the HRC dinner

HRC's failed strategy on ENDA has needlessly divided our community at a time when we are poised to make great gains in civil rights
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OPINION On July 26, the Bay Area's gay and lesbian elite will gather at the posh Westin St. Francis to raise money for the Human Rights Campaign in the name of securing and protecting LGB rights. Read more »

San Francisco's undocumented children

Our reunification policy was legally justified, fair to youth and their families, and cost-effective
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OPINION The recent news stories criticizing the city's juvenile probation department for sending undocumented children home instead of handing them over to the federal immigration authorities has ignited a firestorm of negative attacks.

However, the stories missed a key fact: the city's practice of transporting youth home was enacted with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 12 years ago.

San Francisco's 1989 voter-approved sanctuary law specifically forbids city officials from providing information to federal immigration authorities Read more »

McGoldrick's privatization betrayal

When the rubber hit the road for people, he screeched out of there
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OPINION This isn't the first time it's happened. Most politicians break promises. That's the nature of politics. But when someone signs a pledge — twice — saying he won't privatize city services, when he holds himself out as a champion of anti-privatization and then goes directly against that stand —well, it kind of makes you wonder.

That politician is San Francisco Sup. Jake McGoldrick. In the past, he stood against privatizing services. Read more »

Save SF's campaign finance program

Dipping into the public financing fund for any reason sets a terrible precedent
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OPINION In 2000, San Francisco voters approved a system of public financing of campaigns for the Board of Supervisors, which in 2006 was expanded to the mayoral race. By eliminating the need for candidates to raise large amounts of private money, the program has been extremely successful at helping sever the link between big money and political decisions. But now this flagship program is threatened: Mayor Gavin Newsom is proposing to raid several million dollars from the public campaign fund.Read more »