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Willie Brown

Proposition D Drains Mayor’s Power in Filling Supervisor Seats, Other Major Vacancies

Zachary Clark, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 3 2016 - 6:00am

Since 1948, every San Francisco mayor but one has appointed at least two people to vacancies on the Board of Supervisors. Incumbency has proven crucial, with nearly 80 percent being subsequently elected. On Nov. 8, voters will decide if they want to take back some power from the mayor's office.

Steering city’s homeless focus from sin to sickness

Teresa Gowan, Special to SF Public Press — Jan 3 2011 - 10:21am
In her new book on homelessness in San Francisco, “Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders,” Teresa Gowan describes how former Mayor Frank Jordan’s framing of the issue in terms of crime and sin evolved into Willie Brown’s conflicted policies, finally emerging as Gavin Newsom’s version of “authoritarian medicalization” policies, most controversially the policy idea that got him elected in 2003, Care Not Cash. This essay condenses some of the discussion of the book (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). San Francisco, a historical stronghold of the labor movement, civil rights activism and other social movement activity, embodies the tension between valuable public space and progressive politics to a high degree, an important reason for the central position of the “homelessness problem” in the city’s electoral politics over the last 25 years.

Through two mayors, connected island developers cultivated profitable deal

Alison Hawkes and Bernice Yeung, SF Public Press — Jul 1 2010 - 1:22pm

In the next six months, local officials and a consortium of private developers will begin to finalize legal papers for Treasure Island’s future as a high-density eco-city. Renderings of the gleaming towers, parks and gardens suggest harmony and community. Yet the promise of an urban Treasure Island, one of the most complex and risky redevelopments in San Francisco’s recent history, has for more than a decade been wrapped up in a process driven by power and influence. The mayor got neartotal control. Political friends got plum jobs and contracts. Critics were exiled. City and state conflict-of-interest laws were waived. Independent inquiries and the will of voters were nakedly rebuffed.

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Census methods could provide lift to hidden homeless

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Feb 1 2010 - 4:43pm

The 2010 Census may address an old problem in dealing with San Francisco’s homeless population by getting an accurate head count. The city’s homeless figures have ranged between about 6,500 and 8,600 people in the last decade, but the real number is anybody’s guess. The sketchy knowledge of who is living on the street has been a big impediment to perennial attempts to solve the crisis.

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