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Print Issue 4 — Fall 2011

Issue No. 4 of the San Francisco Public Press, a broadsheet full-color local newspaper, will be available for just $1 at more than 50 retail outlets by Thursday, and now through online mail order ($4).

The special section this issue: a team project on the broken San Francisco budgeting process and ways to improve it. Angela Hart reports that in a time of fiscal austerity, many departments are ignoring audits that could save millions of dollars — including Muni, which was $20 million overbudget for overtime in the first month of the fiscal year. Michael Levitin reports on the rising trend of “participatory budgeting.”

Fall 2011

S.F. Was Key Juncture for Chinese Immigrants

Justin Allen, The Creosote Journal — Aug 11 2011 - 4:32pm

Conversation with the author of ‘American Chinatown’

In her new book “American Chinatown,” Bonnie Tsui charts the changing landscapes of five American neighborhoods. They are ethnically Chinese, hosting other Asian communities, and often share a tough history of exclusion and poverty, tempered from the beginning with resilience and savvy self-presentation. The five Chinatowns Tsui describes — San Francisco (the oldest), New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Las Vegas (the newest) — have been places of constant reinvention: immigrants coming to build new lives and identities, urban neighborhoods in economic and cultural flux. Today more than ever, they’re a portrait of changing urban dynamics and intergenerational complexity. 

Mission construction revamping parks, Cesar Chavez Street

News Partner, El Tecolote — Aug 10 2011 - 4:59pm

New playgrounds to be in place by 2012

The face of the Mission District is ever-changing, and this summer was no exception, with the children’s playground at Dolores Park getting a much-needed renovation.The Mission Playground also saw improvements and Cesar Chavez Street — from Hampshire to Guerrero streets — is the site of an even more ambitious project that will change the look and use of the heavily traveled corridor.

California: Ground Zero for America’­s foreclosure crisis

News Partner, New America Media — Aug 10 2011 - 4:39pm

Pace expected to quicken in 2012 as more homeowners fall into financial distress

Ethel Gist bought her dream house and planned to retire to Antioch. Instead, the 70-year-old lost the house during the height of the foreclosure crisis, and now rents a place with her daughter and two grandchildren.

San Francisco ponders participatory budgeting

Michael Levitin, SF Public Press — Aug 10 2011 - 2:21pm

Can process designed to engage community result in smarter spending?

This story appeared in the fall print edition and was part of the Building a Better Budget package of stories.

When Mayor Ed Lee ventured across San Francisco’s 11 districts this spring talking with residents about what to cut and what to save from the budget, he won praise for opening what some called a new era in fiscal discourse: giving people a more direct say about where their money is spent. But what if, rather than the mayor in the driver’s seat, it was the community itself that presented, weighed and voted on district budgets?

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