Politics

City's health plan risks reverting to safety net for poor

Angela Hart, SF Public Press — Mar 15 2012 - 9:26am

Local, state officials must develop new models for care by 2014

This story appeared in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

San Francisco’s experiment in universal health care, which grew over the last five years to cover an estimated 85 percent of the city’s uninsured, may need to partly return to its origin as a network of safety net clinics and hospitals for the poor as national reforms syphon off middle-class patients. Healthy San Francisco provides medical services to more than 50,000 city residents. But the program could take a financial blow within the next two years as cities and counties adapt to national health reform.

Same-sex marriage takes the day as court calls Prop. 8 unconstitutional

Kristine Magnuson, SF Public Press — Feb 8 2012 - 12:20am
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Same-sex marriage proponents celebrated an important victory Tuesday in San Francisco following the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. Backers of Proposition 8 were expected to appeal, either by asking for a review by a full panelof the court or by appealing directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ordinance would put restrictions on Castro District plazas

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jan 26 2012 - 2:13pm

A proposal to regulate two popular Castro District hangouts by restricting chairs and shopping carts is a step closer to becoming city law. The Board of Supervisors will decide Tuesday on an ordinance, which passed the Land Use Committee this week, that would ban nighttime sitting, sleeping, vending, smoking and even pushing a shopping cart in Harvey Milk and Jane Warner Plazas.

Advocates launch campaign to get anti-trafficking bill on state ballot

Elena Shore, New America Media — Jan 12 2012 - 12:43pm
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A campaign to get a new measure on the November ballot that would increase penalties against human traffickers in California launched Wednesday in San Francisco. The campaign, announced on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, requires 800,000 signatures to make it into the state ballot. The California Against Sexual Exploitation (CASE) Act would increase prison terms and fines for human traffickers (up to $1.5 million, which would go to fund victim services), remove barriers to prosecute child sex traffickers, require convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders and disclose their Internet accounts, mandate training for law enforcement officers, and prohibit the use of the sexual history of trafficked victims in court.

Muni chief optimistic despite projected budget shortfall

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Nov 14 2011 - 6:40pm

Muni is projecting close to an $80 million budget deficit by 2013-2014. The agency released its preliminary budget report Monday. Despite the shortfall, Muni wants to change the minds of riders and drivers who are skeptical that the service can be reliable and on time. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni, has drafted goals for the next six years that Muni chief Ed Reiskin calls  “ambitious.”

Effort to recall Oakland mayor faces uphill battle

Jennifer Inez Ward, Oakland Local — Nov 9 2011 - 12:36pm

Mayor Jean Quan is facing the toughest fight in her tenure as CEO of Oakland – a recall effort. But whether the recall movement will gain traction and usher Quan out of office is far from clear. Although the recall effort has received extensive media coverage, and there were plenty of folks marching with "Recall Quan" signs at the city's hugely popular general strike Nov. 2,  the quest to replace the mayor will be a long process that could carry on well into mid-2012.

Election day threat to ranked-choice voting in San Francisco

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Nov 8 2011 - 6:43pm

On the same day that San Francisco voters were deciding who would be the next mayor, the method used to elect that person was under attack. At a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Supervisor Mark Farrell introduced a charter amendment for the June 2012 ballot that would eliminate ranked-choice voting as a way of elevating candidates to city offices."Ranked-choice voting is an experiment whose unintended consequences continue to pile up election after election,” Farrell said.

Voters' guide to S.F. mayoral candidates

Josh Wilson, Newsdesk.org — Nov 7 2011 - 2:02pm

The 2011 Nonpartisan Voter Guide  is a succinct, printable listing of S.F. mayoral candidate positions and quotes on more than two-dozen key policy issues and ballot initiatives, including pensions, taxes, transportation and homelessness. The research and survey were conducted by University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and the San Francisco Public Press. The voter guide was produced by Newsdesk.org.

Get drivers out of their cars and onto transit: mayoral candidate Leland Yee on Muni

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Nov 4 2011 - 12:45pm
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Can S.F.’s next mayor save Muni? - Part 8

State Senator Leland Yee is running for San Francisco mayor and said his main goal for Muni is to get drivers out of cars and onto buses and trains. He wants to add 100,00 new riders by 2020. Yee said in order to do this, Muni needs to update its technology for with more real-time data and focus on how the transit agency is spending its budget. He said the agency should be focused on fixing broken Muni vehicles.

City must hit the reset button on transit: mayoral candidate Phil Ting on Muni

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Nov 3 2011 - 12:22pm
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Can S.F.’s next mayor save Muni? - Part 7

Assessor-Recorder and San Francisco mayoral candidate Phil Ting wants Muni riders to join him in “resetting” Muni. He is behind the online community known as Reset SF, where residents get a chance to share their ideas with Ting on improving city government transparency. One of the central topics of Reset SF is Muni and how to improve service and reliability.

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