Public Press wins an Excellence in Journalism award for ‘Public Schools, Private Money,’ in the winter 2014 edition

 

David Chiu

Earthquake Retrofit Delays Leave Thousands at Risk

Noah Arroyo and Barbara Grady, SF Public Press — Jan 7 2013 - 5:38pm

It will take at least 7 years to secure older wood buildings dangerously perched above windows or garages

This story appeared in the Winter 2012-2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

One in 14 San Franciscans lives in an old building with a first floor that city inspectors say could be vulnerable to collapse if not retrofitted soon to withstand a major earthquake.While officials have had a preliminary list of nearly 3,000 suspect properties for more than three years, they have not told landlords, leaving the estimated 58,000 residents who live there ignorant that their buildings could be unstable.

Housing Solution: Activate S.F. Ballot Box Again to Fund Affordable Housing

Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 25 2014 - 10:44am

Nonprofit housing developers across the city say they have been waiting for years to begin building more than 800 planned, permanently affordable homes. A housing bond could get those projects off the ground, but politicians have other priorities. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

S.F. Board Watch: Supervisors Take Aim at Bottled Water

Josh Wolf, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 19 2013 - 9:24pm

Bottled water is the latest bottled beverage in the line of fire after Supervisor David Chiu proposed controlling its sale in San Francisco.The proposal comes soon after another proposal to tax soda, which will likely appear on the ballot next November. In other news: The city moves forward on protections against harassment by landlords, and the Board of Supervisors approve a land swap with the school district to create more below-market-rate housing.

S.F. BOARD WATCH: Supervisors Grapple With Half-Billion Dollar Price of New Jail

Josh Wolf, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 23 2013 - 3:24pm

San Francisco supervisors are still debating whether to commit the hundreds of millions of dollars it would take to build a replacement for the jail at 850 Bryant St., despite warnings that it could collapse during the next major earthquake. At least one supervisor, though, has come around to supporting it.

HELP WANTED: City Hall Focuses on Hot Job Sectors, but Struggles to Track Workforce Training Budget

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 8 2013 - 3:00pm

Behind the ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ mantra — Auditor says S.F.’s fractured workforce development system needs new strategy

Six years ago, San Francisco politicians called for better coordination of job training and placement services across the city. A new report reveals that since then, spending has more than doubled while control and evaluation of the sprawling system remain as elusive as ever.

At least 14 local agencies now independently operate an array of workforce development initiatives at an estimated combined cost of $70 million, the city’s budget and legislative analyst found. Without a common citywide strategy, no one has been able to measure accurately how many or what kinds of jobs are being filled, or how much is spent to prepare unemployed San Franciscans for new careers.

Mayor Ed Lee, whose approach to workforce development has focused on meeting the labor needs of some of the fastest-growing local industries, has ordered his own review this fall to map out all employment programs across the city.

SAN FRANCISCO’S WORKFORCE REBOOT is the cover story in the fall 2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press. Check back for updates on other stories in the package.

Mandatory Earthquake Retrofit Proposal Advances Quickly in San Francisco City Hall

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Feb 5 2013 - 4:38pm

San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu Tuesday unveiled legislation to make seismic retrofits mandatory for so-called soft-story buildings throughout the city. Chiu called the proposal to make retrofitting mandatory in stages by 2020 the “next major step to ensure that we are prepared for the next big one.” He said he expected a major quake, which could happen anytime, could be two to three times stronger than the 1989 Loma Prieta quake that destroyed 7,000 buildings statewide. (Listen to Public Press reporter Noah Arroyo on KQED Radio’s “Forum”)

San Francisco Plan Would Earthquake-Proof Thousands of Soft-Story Buildings by 2020

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Feb 1 2013 - 3:41pm

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is planning to take up a proposal to force owners of soft-story buildings to retrofit them by 2020, said a city official in charge of earthquake safety. Supervisors Scott Wiener and David Chiu plan to sponsor the ordinance and other supervisors might co-sponsor it by Tuesday. The legislation would apply only to wood-frame buildings built before 1978, with at least three stories. Unlike previous proposals, the new law would come without direct financial aid from the city. Financing questions, one official said, were “a major reason for the delay.”

Tech Boom Will Spin Off Thousands of S.F. Jobs: Q&A With Supervisor David Chiu

Aaron Tilley, SF Public Press — Jan 23 2013 - 3:53pm

When it comes to jobs, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu is putting his political stock in high tech. Until he and Mayor Ed Lee teamed up to keep Twitter and other information companies in the city, he said, “San Francisco was the least inviting city for tech innovation.”

Plan to shrink minimum S.F. apartment size hits political snag

Chase Niesner, SF Public Press — Aug 6 2012 - 2:32pm

A developer-backed proposal to shrink the minimum living space of a San Francisco apartment to 150 square feet faces a delay of at least a month, while the supervisor who floated the plan scrambles to shore up support from wary colleagues. Supervisor Scott Wiener last week delayed a vote on the legislation until at least September. Supporters of the plan say they are scrambling to line up the necessary votes on the Board of Supervisors. Wiener’s proposal first appeared before the board in June. It would redefine “efficiency” apartments, reducing the minimum allowable living space to 150 square feet from the current 220 square feet, not including the kitchen, bathroom and closet.

Boost the vehicle license fee to help fund S.F. public transit: mayoral candidate David Chiu on Muni

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Oct 31 2011 - 10:55am
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Can S.F.’s next mayor save Muni? - Part 4

San Francisco mayoral candidate David Chiu said that if he becomes mayor, he will work to get the state to boost the vehicle license fee in order to help cash-strapped Muni. In 2003, when Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor, the first thing he did was slash the vehicle license fee. Chui, who does not own a car and uses a bike and Muni to get around town, won one of three endorsements handed out by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

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