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Latinos in This Liberal City: From San Francisco’s Big Strike to Gay Liberation

Years before charting the evolution and diversity of Latino political life in the city, a historian came here to become an activist. His book recalls major battlegrounds from the 1930s to the 1970s: union campaigns; civil rights organizing; elections; Great Society mobilizations; and feminist, gay and lesbian activism. Read an excerpt from “Latinos and the Liberal City” by Eduardo Contreras.

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Spare Room? Mayoral Challenger Zhou Says You Could Help Homelessness Crisis

Ellen Lee Zhou has a plan to help end San Francisco’s homelessness crisis. And it could involve you. Zhou, a public-health worker, said that if elected mayor, she would pay homeowners monthly stipends to house and mentor some of the city’s estimated 4,300 unsheltered residents. Interested? Sixth in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.

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Host Homes Could Get Young Adults Off Streets

San Francisco has the highest percentage of unsheltered youths in the nation — more than 1,200 between 18 and 24 years old, at last count. Host homes could get many off the streets. Would you welcome a homeless youth into your home?

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Activists Call for Revival of Harvey Milk’s Anti-Speculation Proposal

Before his death, Supervisor Harvey Milk introduced an “anti-speculation” proposal that would have heavily taxed profits generated by quickly flipping properties in San Francisco. Now Brian Basinger, a housing activist and former president of the nostalgically named Harvey Milk Democratic Club, is pushing for the city to resurrect it. The proposal was one of seven considered at Saturday’s citywide Tenant Convention at the Tenderloin Community School auditorium. Participants were able to rank their preference for various proposals by ballot. The event was the culmination of a series of neighborhood tenant conventions that aimed to generate ideas to solve the city’s affordable housing crisis.

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

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.

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California drugmaker’s HIV prevention pill sparks public health debate

Foster City drugmaker Gilead recently updated its application with the federal Food and Drug Administration for approval to market its HIV treatment medication Truvada as an  HIV prevention pill. If the FDA approves Truvada for preventive use, it “would be the first agent indicated for uninfected individuals to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV through sex,” according to a company statement at the time of the filing in December 2011.

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Ordinance would put restrictions on Castro District plazas

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.

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“Visual Aid” offers outlet, insight into artists with AIDS

Group archives, displays works of hundreds from Bay Area
To help artists who were suffering from life-threatening illnesses, a collective of artists, art collectors and gallery owners began convening at local art spaces in the city in late 1980s. Their mission was to find a means to record the existing works of artists with AIDS and provide them with the materials they needed to create new ones. The group grew into a fullfledged nonprofit called Visual Aid in 1989, and the organization has been supporting hundreds of Bay Area artists since then.