Politics

Officials say planning for regional smart growth prevents ‘a world of hurt’

Chase Niesner, SF Public Press — Jun 15 2012 - 9:21pm

The leaders of Bay Area planning agencies are struggling to persuade local governments and community groups that joint planning will make the region more socially, economically and environmentally healthy. Dealing with sprawl, the focus of the summer print edition of the Public Press, was front and center on Friday’s edition of “Forum,” the daily public-affairs talk show on KQED Radio.

S.F. to tackle shelter waiting game for disabled and older homeless

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jun 6 2012 - 3:52pm

UPDATE: Listen to reporter T.J. Johnston's updated report on this story at KQED news here. The health of homeless people — especially older and disabled ones — is endangered by a time-consuming wait they endure daily when reserving a bed in San Francisco’s public shelter system, advocates and city officials say. As a result of a hearing before a Board of Supervisors panel, the city has begun a series of public meetings with providers, city officials and clients, to seek improvements in shelter access and the health of senior and disabled clients. Homeless policy director Bevan Dufty and others hope to work out a plan this summer and present it to the board.

S.F. mayor signs civil rights ordinance into law

Elliot Owen, New American Media — May 10 2012 - 2:48pm

San Francisco civil rights advocates concerned about what they call domestic spying on the city’s Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities are celebrating new legislation signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee. The Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance requires San Francisco Police Department officers working with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force to be bound by local and state laws strictly governing intelligence gathering of First Amendment protected activities like religious worship.

Occupy SF demonstrators take over empty building

KQED News — Apr 2 2012 - 1:45pm

A group of Occupy SF demonstrators took over a vacant  building owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco at 888 Turk St. in San Francisco on Sunday after a rally and march in Union Square. Police began making arrests on Monday afternoon. KQED News is following the story via Storify.

Supervisors tangle over whether to kill or change ranked-choice elections this year

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Mar 21 2012 - 8:41am

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

Opponents of the ranked-choice voting instant runoff system say he relatively novel approach is still confusing to voters, while foes of the traditional system that often results in a second runoff election is a waste of money. Dueling measure on how San Franciscans elect their top office holders by Supervisors David Campos and Mark Farrell could end up on the November ballot.

Infamous Berkeley human trafficking case’s long shadow: KALW News interviews reporter Viji Sundaram

Michael Stoll, SF Public Press — Mar 18 2012 - 5:40pm

The story of Lakireddy Balireddy made international headlines in the early 2000s, but what happened in the decade since then was even more important, said reporter Viji Sundaram of New America Media and part of a team project on human trafficking in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

Last week Sundaram sat down with KALW News host Holly Kernan to discuss her reporting on the history of efforts to battle human trafficking in the Bay Area and California.

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

Angela Hart, SF Public Press — Mar 15 2012 - 8:26am

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 7 2012 - 11:20pm
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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 - 1:13pm

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 - 11:43am
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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.

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