OPINION The Board of Supervisors is poised to vote on a crucial charter amendment to set aside more than $30 million per year for new housing. Since the mayor is talking about a huge budget crisis and a lot of people may complain that more funding for affordable housing will make the flow of red ink worse, it's important to understand what this issue is all about.
While many of us are aware of the exodus of working-class people, most San Franciscans are unaware that the city is in the final stages of the largest rezoning effort of the past 50 years. Read more »
OPINION We're in a tough spot as a city when it comes to housing costs. As the price of living here goes ever higher, we lose everything special about the culture of San Francisco.
Here's the dilemma: more people want to live here than we are creating places for.
Why do people want to live here? Cultural tolerance. Economic opportunity. To be part of a community that doesn't feel like the rest of the United States. The same mix of reasons that caused most of us to come here.
But we are barely adding to the supply of housing. Read more »
EDITORIAL My marriage to the city is ending. Yes, the one on a peninsula tipped with astounding beauty, filled with rich cultural communities and the fullness and complexities of the growing inequities in American life.
It is the city that has witnessed the nurturing scenes of my adulthood on the West Coast of North America since 1966. I was here as the beat generation turned over my new city bride to newcomers during the Summer of Love. They called us hippies. Later I witnessed the tear gas flows at Haight and Ashbury the year that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read more »
OPINION About a year and a half ago, James was dealing drugs on a street corner in San Francisco. He wasn't a hardened repeat offender, just a young man with little education and few prospects. He got arrested and soon faced adult felony drug charges for the first time.
California law sets the punishment for selling narcotics at up to three years in state prison. But we know that 7 out of every 10 people we send to California prisons will commit a new crime within three years of being released the worst recidivism rate in the nation. Read more »
OPINION The mainstream media talking heads like to claim that everything changed after Sept. 11. Like most of the slogans of the MSM, this is nonsense; events in Iraq continue to reveal just how stuck on pre Sept. 11 assumptions the current national political class remains. In that sense, Sept. 11 has changed nothing.
What will really change everything is the expanding awareness of global warming and of the central role played by the automobile in climate change. Read more »
OPINION The San Francisco Chronicle's C.W. Nevius wrote an opinion column Oct. 18, titled "City's Homeless Shelters Clean, Safe but Shunned When It's Dry," implying that the conditions throughout the San Francisco shelter system are uniformly in perfect order and that individuals experiencing homelessness are living on the street by choice. The facts, however, tell of a much different reality and of a shelter system that lacks a basic standard of care.Read more »
OPINION Oct. 27 marks the first anniversary of the assassination of New York Indymedia photojournalist Brad Will by police in Oaxaca, Mexico, under the thumb of a corrupt and tyrannical governor.
Will was gunned down just outside Oaxaca City while filming a pitched battle between supporters of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and members of the Oaxaca Peoples Popular Assembly (APPO). Will, 36 at the time of the killing, was the only American among 26 victims shot by Ruiz's police and paramilitary operatives during protests in that state in 2006. Read more »
OPINION These are anxious times for election security and voting equipment. The system is truly broken, starting at the federal level with a lack of national standards, a chaotic testing regimen, untrustworthy vendors, a revolving door between the industry and government regulators, and a decentralized hodgepodge of election administration from coast to coast.
Into that abyss has stepped Debra Bowen, California's secretary of state. Many of us have supported her call to make elections more secure, and Bowen came into office with the best of intentions. Read more »
OPINION Half the warships in the US Navy are sitting within striking distance of Iran. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have stepped up their rhetoric, accusing Iran of killing Americans in Iraq and of threatening to start a nuclear holocaust. The British media is predicting that the Bush administration will bomb Iran in the near future.
The White House is using the same propaganda techniques to whip up popular opinion against Iran that it used four years ago against Iraq. Read more »