A Decade of Defying Downward Expectations

In February 2009, our freshly launched website featured just a handful of stories. So, we were surprised when a reporter from the Wall Street Journal called wanting to know whether the San Francisco Public Press, which was planning to officially launch in March, was going to “replace” the San Francisco Chronicle. Facing falling revenues (it said it lost $50 million the previous year) and a protracted labor dispute, Hearst Corp. said that unless it was able to make steep staff reductions within weeks, it would sell the paper or, if no buyer emerged, close it. The threat earned national headlines, and though the Chronicle remained open for business, it lost many good reporters and editors.

Journalism and the Arc of Social Justice

A panel of experts and stakeholders explained the state of the homelessness crisis at our January 2018 event, Solving Homelessness: a Community Workshop, an event that overlapped with our continuing print and online coverage of the issue. Photo by Garrick Wong // San Francisco Public Press/Renaissance Journalism
 
We honestly didn’t expect the issue of homelessness in San Francisco to find resolution anytime soon. But this fall, with November’s passage of Proposition C — the business tax that could generate as much as $300 million a year for housing and homeless services — we saw the search for solutions jump off the pages of newspapers and into the real world. Over the last year and a half, the Public Press has returned again and again to investigating broken systems for providing housing and social services. We have explored creative ideas from community members who are bent on solving the ongoing humanitarian crisis on our streets.

10 Things I Learned About Homelessness at Our Community Workshop

At the Impact Hub in the Mission District, a workshop tackled problem-solving for initiatives by the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Photo by Garrick Wong // San Francisco Public Press/Renaissance Journalism
It was a dizzying day at our Jan. 25 conference, Solving Homelessness: A Community Workshop. With dozens of speakers and hundreds of side conversations among the 200 attendees, it was clear that the reporting we’ve done at the Public Press to gather and investigate just a few of the most intriguing ideas for solutions to the human rights crisis playing out on our streets daily has just scratched the surface. By engaging the community, we opened ourselves up to criticism but also reaped the reward of an activated public.

a2_editorial.png

From the Editors: A City in Flux

In the Summer 2017 issue of the San Francico Public Press, we examine the city’s efforts to help homeless people through initiatives in place for years and ones that are expanding under the new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Some are experimental, which can be challenging for the people seeking services and for those trying to administer them while working out policy kinks.

Community Outreach for LPFM Radio Project Kicks Off

Thank you to the 40+ people who showed up last Thursday for our community meeting to discuss ideas for a start-up radio venture in San Francisco! The background: The San Francisco Public Press is exploring the possibility of setting up a new low-power FM radio station after winning a permit from Federal Communications Commission to broadcast on the frequency 102.5 FM. We have 18 months (renewable for an additional 18 months) to move forward. We have a timeshare agreement with San Francisco Community Radio (formerly KUSF in Exile) for each group to get 12 hours a day on the same channel. What happened: In two hours on Thursday, we scratched the surface of what’s possible in terms of content creation, writing a set of shared values, seeking organizational partnerships and exploring new storytelling formats.

houseboat_mission_creek.jpg

Major S.F. Bayfront Developments Advance Despite Sea Rise Warnings

Builders plan to invest more than $21 billion in offices and homes in flood-prone areas, where waters could climb 8 feet above today’s high tide by the end of this century. Land-use records reveal that the building boom, fueled by a white-hot tech economy, is moving too fast for regulators to keep pace. (Cover story from the summer 2015 print edition)