Justice Dept. Responds to Public Press Request for Mueller Report on Trump

Michael Winter, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 5 2019 - 7:30am

We filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the complete report by Robert S. Mueller III hours after Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of the special counsel's investigation into President Trump and his 2016 campaign. Here's the official reply — and the 448-page redacted report, which was released April 18.

Environmentalists Say They Were Shut Out of Talks on Building Housing Faster

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 1 2019 - 8:00am

Soon after becoming governor, Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan to speed housing construction — but at the expense of the landmark California Environmental Quality Act, which has acted as a check on development for 50 years. Newsom crafted his blueprint with input from builders and the largest construction union. Prominent environmental groups were excluded, however.

Writing the Rules on Data Privacy in S.F. Could Disrupt the Disrupters

Andrew Stelzer, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 25 2019 - 8:00am

As city officials this spring craft a “privacy-first policy” mandated by voter-approved Proposition B, supporters hope its lofty ambitions will start to become a reality this summer. Already there are signs that the city could move to the forefront of enforcing limits on data collection and reshaping our relationship with technology companies.

Sued by Tenants, Veritas Says it Maintains ‘High Standards’

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 18 2019 - 8:00am

I n reporting on the tenant lawsuit against Veritas Investments Inc., the Public Press engaged company spokesman Ron Heckmann at length. Here are excerpts of some of our questions and his responses.

Searching for Truth in Tenants’ Lawsuit Against S.F. Corporate Landlord

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 12 2019 - 8:00am

More than 100 tenants in 39 rent-controlled apartment buildings have sued the owner, Veritas Investment Inc., for behavior they allege is designed to push them out in favor of  new, higher-paying residents. The $3 billion company denies the charges, alleging the lawsuit is a money grab.

Counting the City’s Homeless: A First-Hand Account From the Streets

Yesica Prado, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 7 2019 - 9:01am

Point-in-Time counts are “snapshots” of a city’s homeless population, relying on volunteers’ perceptions of homelessness. As such, the surveys are prone to error. They also fail to gather specifics about age and ethnicity, and don't provide a full picture of the most vulnerable growing populations: infants and the elderly.

Why Privacy Needs All of Us

Cyrus Farivar, Dec 17 2018 - 8:30am

One American city has gone further than any other in creating a workable solution to the current inadequacy of surveillance law: Oakland, which has pushed a pro-privacy public policy along an unprecedented path. Its Privacy Advisory Commission acts as a meaningful check on city agencies — most often, police — that want to acquire any kind of surveillance technology.

State Law Cracks Down on Free Public Meals

Yesica Prado, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 10 2018 - 12:08pm

Many city residents who are not housed or are food insecure depend on humanitarian aid from Food Not Bombs to survive. But state regulations taking effect in January jeopardize the group's 35-year mission of sharing food outside the confines of government bureaucracy.

Wealthy Opponents of Proposition C Bankrolled 2016 Tent Ban

Andrew Perez, MapLight — Nov 6 2018 - 11:16am

Donors opposing a ballot measure to fund more homeless services in San Francisco with a new tax on its wealthiest companies previously bankrolled a successful 2016 initiative to ban tent encampments in the city.

Prop. C Math Shows Potentially Greater Homelessness Benefit Than City Projects

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 5 2018 - 2:57pm

A Public Press examination of calculations that went into projections of homeless people helped versus jobs or companies lost from a tax increase offers a clearer picture of Proposition C’s potential impacts and the limitations of trying to accurately quantify the effects of the measure — if it withstands legal scrutiny.

S.F. Voters Want Tough Data Privacy Rules, But Obstacles Loom

Andrew Stelzer, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 23 2018 - 12:10pm

Voter-approved Proposition B mandates that San Francisco create what supporters say would be the toughest data-protection policy of any U.S. city, and would go beyond California’s landmark Consumer Privacy Act. Now comes the hard part: writing the rules that will overcome legal, technical and enforcement challenges.

Rent Control Boosters and Bashers Both Base Claims on Incomplete Research

Nathan Collins, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 17 2018 - 12:33pm

As Californians battle this fall over a ballot measure to allow cities much wider leeway to impose all sorts of rent control, both sides of the debate throw around citations to academic papers, economic studies and seemingly compelling statistics. But a review of the available research shows that both sides are wrong.

S.F.’s Largest Landlord Sued Over Alleged Efforts to Push Out Tenants

Liza Veale, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 4 2018 - 2:20pm

Veritas Investments owns nearly 200 buildings in the city. It's been a target for tenant advocates, who accuse the company of building a business model that relies on pushing tenants out of rent-controlled units so they can be re-rented for much more. Veritas disputes the accusations that is “hostile or negligent” toward tenants.

Youths Step Up to Question School Board Candidates

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 3 2018 - 7:45am

In a first for the 2018 election season, students took the reins to organize a forum for school board candidates. They asked the questions and ran the show.

Deja Vu: Proposal Aims to Change Student Placement to Desegregate Schools

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 21 2018 - 1:58pm

Racial segregation in San Francisco public schools is back in the news, with a proposal to change how the district places students into elementary school. This move comes three years after the Public Press reported on how the system was resegregating city schools.

Charters vs. District: The Battle for San Francisco Public Schools

Rob Waters, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 20 2018 - 2:42pm

The conflict between two city schools — and activists on both sides of the issue — reflects a growing battle playing out in San Francisco and across the state.

Bayview School Feeling Squeezed by New Charter

Rob Waters, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 20 2018 - 2:41pm

This fall, the 105 students at the district's Malcolm X Academy began sharing space with 90 pre-kindergartners, kindergartners and first graders attending a new charter school in the same building. “It's hard to share space,” one staff member said.

Business Improvement Districts Use Public Funds to Pursue Anti-Homeless Agenda, Advocates Say

Rob Waters, San Francisco — Sep 18 2018 - 3:48pm

Nearly 200 California cities allow private organizations to manage key aspects of their downtown and commercial districts and to implement policies that restrict the rights of homeless people, according to a new report from the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Climate Summit Coverage: A Roundup of Links

Michael Winter, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 13 2018 - 10:40am

San Francisco hosted the two-day Global Climate Action Summit at the Moscone Convention Center. We gathered links to articles about the meeting and affiliated events, along with related climate news and research.

Mapping S.F. City Hall's Political Divide Through Data

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 29 2018 - 8:27am

When media outlets and pundits have argued that San Francisco officials were politically progressive or moderate, it mostly was based on observation and conjecture. But now, such assertions are buttressed with data. We show you who's which at City Hall.