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Occupy San Francisco

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Michael Stoll, SF Public Press — Dec 30 2011 - 2:15pm

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.

California legislature may expand lending limit

Rick Jurgens, SF Public Press — Dec 15 2011 - 5:18pm

LEGISLATION: Lawmaker wants to raise payday loan limit to $500; others want restrictions

“Fast Easy Cash when you want it!” That’s the promise on the cover of an application for a “cash ’til payday” loan from DFC Global Corp. The company operates eight Money Mart stores in San Francisco, more than any other payday lender. But fast money comes at a high price —an annual percentage rate up to 459 percent. Currently, California has a $300 limit on each payday loan. But legislation pending in Sacramento would raise the maximum amount to $500. While supporters of the bill say the loans benefit working people, consumer advocates worry that borrowing at high interest rates can sink poor people further into debt. That was the concern of the San Francisco city attorney’s office, which this fall settled a suit with a payday lender accused of exceeding the legal limit.

Big banks help payday lenders offer quick cash at steep prices

Rick Jurgens, SF Public Press — Dec 15 2011 - 5:17pm

BUSINESS: Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse among biggest backers of profitable low-finance firms

Even as the Occupy San Francisco encampment at the base of Market Street expressed outrage at big banks and high finance, it remained business as usual at some of the city’s less glamorous financial establishments. San Franciso-based Wells Fargo, as well as other banks, are investing big money in firms that lend money at rates they are prohibited from offering. High-interest, unsecured “payday” loans are readily available at 32 establishments along Market Street and in low-income communities around the city. The banks’ names and brands are nowhere to be seen, but they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in businesses that charge an annual percentage rate of 400 percent or more, a practice once considered by the state of California to be “usury.”

Behind the protest signs: The voices of Occupy San Francisco

Christopher D. Cook, SF Public Press — Oct 20 2011 - 8:05am

Those drawn to the movement are thinking big, and broad

Beyond the slogans and chants, what is this occupation movement about and why is it catching like wildfire? What do the growing ranks of Occupy Wall Street/San Francisco/fill-in-the-blank hope comes of this tempest of progressivism? In an emerging movement where everyone and no one is a spokesperson, and where centralized demands and hierarchy are eschewed, there is no single, or simple, answer. But there are plenty willing to express their varied hopes for the ultimate outcome to the protests.

READERS HELPED FUND THIS REPORTING THROUGH A MICRO-FUNDING CAMPAIGN ON SPOT.US

Empty S.F. hotels occupied in World Homeless Day protest

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Oct 11 2011 - 4:59pm

As the Occupy Wall Street movement gains momentum nationwide, a band of housing activists occupied 10 vacant buildings in San Francisco on Monday. Following a late afternoon rally at the Civic Center, at least 30 members of Homes Not Jails entered the Cathedral Hill Hotel at 1101 Van Ness Ave. by cutting the gate open. Then they started occupying some of the 600 vacant units.

 

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