The videotaped confrontation at Mission Playground between a bunch of young tech workers and Latino youth has lit up the City. It seems like the vast majority of us — from progressive activists to moderate urbanists to nerdy redditors to cranky Internet commenters — all agree: this is a vivid embodiment of how new wealth is literally displacing long-time residents.
And while we think the tech workers embarrassed themselves in the way they handled the situation, we think they were unnecessarily set-up to make fools of themselves by one of City Hall’s worst policies: Phil Ginsburg, the General Manager of the Rec and Park Department, wants the parks to pay for themselves. Here’s the TL;DR version of our plan to fix the mess at Rec and Park:
- Rec and Park needs to restore free play every evening at Mission Playground.
- Mayor Ed Lee needs to fire Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
- The City needs to review and undo the past five years of privatization.
- The City need to create new parks in low-income neighborhoods instead of allowing wealthy donors to pick new park locations.
We weren’t involved in writing Prop B, so of course it’s not perfect ☺. We would love to see Prop B get revised in November with a more nuanced approach: like, if a waterfront project wanted to raise the height limit in order to build 50% affordable housing, that shouldn’t require a ballot measure to approve. Maybe there could be a similar threshold for projects that create a certain amount of public space?
Urban free marketeers love to Sanfransplain to us how to fix San Francisco’s housing problem. Since we are opposed to letting the market decide how to use our waterfront, they ask us what we should do instead?Read more
Have you heard about this "Stop San Francisco Shell Shock"? If you live in the City and you use Facebook, google, or Pandora, odds are you've probably seen these misleading ads. In a nutshell, this is a last ditch attempt by PG&E’s union to block CleanPowerSF--the program to give San Franciscans the choice of buying 100% clean energy. CleanPowerSF is the single biggest step the City can take to directly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change, and PG&E’s gang is doing everything they can to stop it.
Here's the super short version:
- Do you want to have the option of switching to 100% renewable electricity? If so, you should support CleanPowerSF. Here’s the Facebook page to find out more: http://www.facebook.com/IHeartCleanPowerSF
- Or would you rather continue PG&E's monopoly on electricity service in the City and continue to have no choice except to buy their dirty energy? If so, then forget about CleanPowerSF and feel free to click on those misleading "Stop the Shell Shock" ads.
Over a couple weeks of discussion among our steering committee members, we wrote this letter which we sent to the SF Ethics Commission asking them to reinstate Ross Mirkarimi as sheriff. We know this is a sensitive and emotionally charged issue, but we ask y'all to be respectful about it. We felt it was important to articulate our position about this case.Read more
For years, San Francisco has led the way in workers issues by providing things like the nation's highest minimum wage and paid sick days. In 2009, San Franciscans took great pride in the passage of the Health Care Security Ordinance, which we were told would require employers with more than 20 employees to provide health insurance for their workers. We see signs at restaurants around town saying they are adding a surcharge to their bill so they can provide health insurance for their employees, and we were satisfied to know that our money was going to take care of the people who prepare and serve our food.
But now we're pissed off to learn that almost half of the restaurants are not providing actual health insurance or access to Healthy SF for the employees. Instead they are putting money into Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) that is set aside for employee health costs. The bottom line is this: HRAs are not health insurance. They may be adequate to cover routine health care costs, but any kind of serious illness or injury will quickly wipe out an HRA account. HRAs are also typically too limited in what types of health care they provide.
Supervisor Wiener's proposed charter amendment would give the Board the power to override voter-approved measures. This would mean that only a few years after San Francisco voters approve a ballot measure, the Supes could undo our vote! There is a tricky system to how this works. During the first three years the initiative is off limits. After three years, a two-thirds majority vote of the Board could change an initiative, and after seven years, all that's required is a simple majority. So say we vote on an initiative that passes in 2012, our decision as voters can be overturned after only three years?! This doesn’t seem very democratic to us. As an organization whose bread and butter is educating young and disenfranchised voters about what's on the ballot, we're really freaked out by this.