Community engagement

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

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jun 6 2012 - 4:52pm

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.

Community divided on changing liquor license ban in Mission

Hélène Goupil, Mission Local — May 14 2012 - 4:51pm

At a recent meeting, it became clear that the Mission District is split on possible changes to the neighborhood’s liquor  license moratorium. Supervisor David Campos promised to hold other public meetings before he agrees to any amendments, he said. “The question that I have is are we OK with the way it is?” Campos asked a crowd of approximately 30 people recently gathered to discuss possible changes to an 18-year-old liquor license ban.

San Francisco pitched as beacon of ‘collaborative consumption’

Michael Stoll, SF Public Press — Apr 4 2012 - 5:22pm

San Francisco’s current crop of leaders ran for office on a platform of deploying city resources to encourage private-sector job growth — which in this famously liberal city is seen as about as conservative as an elected official can get. But last week a task force convened by Mayor Ed Lee and four members of the Board of Supervisors opened an opportunity to expand the meaning of the pro-business moniker to a new crop of startup, do-gooder social enterprises that enable small-scale, peer-to-peer economic activity and resource sharing.

Bayview community garden program in peril as funding dries up

Leigh Cuen, SF Public Press — Mar 19 2012 - 12:05pm

Responding to food insecurity, neighbors cultivate network of plots to provide locally grown bounty and education

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

The Quesada Gardens Initiative, which has helped green and revitalize one of San Francisco’s most economically neglected neighborhoods, is struggling to survive as funding is running dry. Formed in 2002 as a community-building effort by Bayview residents, it has gone on to transform portions of the community, spreading through vacant lots, backyards and community spaces. It has also begun to produce significant quantities of food for a neighborhood where the available of healthy options is limited.

Citizen petition claims more than 800,000 signatures for anti-trafficking ballot measure

Barbara Grady, SF Public Press — Mar 16 2012 - 8:00pm

A nearly three-year effort to put a strong anti-human-trafficking law before voters succeeded this week, organizers said, when they counted 873,000 signatures on their petition to put the proposed Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act on the November state ballot. The citizen-led campaign to strengthen criminal penalties against people who traffic teenagers, children and immigrant laborers on the streets of California cities, and over the Internet, has been working on the issue since 2009, when some Fremont residents started a grassroots organizing effort.

Agency gets state funding to build homeless shelter in Bayview

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Feb 17 2012 - 3:49pm

The San Francisco Human Services Agency has won a state grant to refurbish a building next to the United Council of Homeless Services, a community-based organization, that could offer overnight shelter to 100 people a night by early next year.

Domestic workers organizing march to end abuse

Noah Arroyo, Mission Local — Jan 19 2012 - 5:18pm

Matilda Vasquez’s mother worked more than 10 years for a family that provided her no insurance or vacation time and “no rest,” she said. “That kind of abuse has to stop. We pay taxes like everybody else,” said Vasquez at a meeting on Wednesday at the Women’s Building in San Francisco to organize for a Jan. 24 march on Sacramento in support of the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, AB889.

100% ad-free news for the 99%

Michael Stoll, SF Public Press — Dec 30 2011 - 3:15pm

In the Public Press, elites don’t dictate coverage

If you missed it, the Winter 2011 edition of the Public Press (Issue 5) went on sale in November, and it came on the heels of a national conversation about how to fund and fortify community journalism. This is the editorial on page 2.

Issue 5 of the San Francisco Public Press, an ad-free nonprofit local newspaper, takes cues from noncommercial magazines, some of which have become influential of late. One model was Adbusters, the “culturejammer” magazine that inspired the global Occupy movement. Our approach at the Public Press has always been to look for stories that see the city and the Bay Area from the viewpoint of average people instead of just the elites, whose concerns are well represented. While we don’t practice advocacy journalism, we do strive to cover, in depth, stories and communities that commercially funded media don’t often pay attention to.

Sharing skills during the holidays

Ambika Kandasamy, Shareable.net — Dec 23 2011 - 1:08pm

With the holiday festivities swiftly approaching in a year marked by global protests over economic inequality, people in the Bay Area are turning to alternate, community-based means of exchanging goods and skills. Collectives like the Timebank help people circumvent buying gifts with money during the holidays. “The systemic way in which the economy works undermines every good that we try to do,” said Mira Luna, co-founder of the local nonprofit Bay Area Community Exchange, an organization that has been facilitating trades of talents and commodities using time rather than money as the currency. “There’s a lot of underutilized resources and a lot of needs out of there.”

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.

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