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David Boies, one of the two attorneys in the successful case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage, said the case evoked fights he participated in during the civil rights movement decades ago, calling opposition to equality the “last bastion of official, state-sponsored discrimination in this country.” He spoke at the Commonwealth Club Thursday night.
A federal judge Wednesday struck down California’s ban on gay marriage, but that decision is unlikely to be the last word. The case will eventually end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, legal analysts predicted. Proponents of 2008’s Proposition 8 are expected to appeal judge Vaughn R. Walker’s ruling that the measure was unconstitutional. The first step to the Supreme Court would be the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A new multilingual polls shows that ethnic minority voters are playing a major role in the race for governor and are also shaping the outcome of a ballot measure that would legalize marijuana. In the latest Field Poll, Democrat Jerry Brown polled at 44 percent, just one point ahead of Republican Meg Whitman, in the battle for governor. However, the poll shows that it is the state’s ethnic minority communities that are making it a close race, with 48 percent of white non-Hispanics opting for Whitman and 40 percent for Brown.
As the BART train exited the east side of the Transbay Tube, I looked back at the skyline of San Francisco. I couldn’t help but smile. Although it’s been almost five years since I moved to the Bay — after living 40 years in Arizona — there’s not a time that I don’t feel at one with it. But not everyone understands my affinity for the “City by the Bay” and all that surrounds it.
City leaders Thursday got closer to bridging a $483 million deficit. The Board of Supervisors budget committee approved a plan that uses savings from across city departments to restore proposed cuts to health and human service programs. It also retains city workers whose jobs the mayor wanted to contract out.
The developers of Treasure Island stand to earn a potential 20.6 percent return on their investments if the 18-year, phased construction plan and land sales proceed as they predict. That does not include possible future real estate sales.
In the next six months, local officials and a consortium of private developers will begin to finalize legal papers for Treasure Island’s future as a high-density eco-city. Renderings of the gleaming towers, parks and gardens suggest harmony and community. Yet the promise of an urban Treasure Island, one of the most complex and risky redevelopments in San Francisco’s recent history, has for more than a decade been wrapped up in a process driven by power and influence. The mayor got neartotal control. Political friends got plum jobs and contracts. Critics were exiled. City and state conflict-of-interest laws were waived. Independent inquiries and the will of voters were nakedly rebuffed.
The Treasure Island redevelopment, which aims to be the most ecologically sustainable community in the world, delivers a positive self-image of San Francisco as a forward-looking, avant-garde, socially and environmentally responsible metropolis. Nothing excites the utopian impulse more than a blank slate — and Treasure Island’s 486 acres have been semi-abandoned since the Navy shut down its base in 1997.
Proposition A on Tuesday's ballot seeks to extend a 1990 parcel tax aimed at helping fund capital improvements in the San Francisco Unified School District. In addition to authorizing the tax for another 20 years, it would also allow it to be increased annually, up to 2 percent, based on inflation.