A crochet white teddy bear peeks through the window of a family home in the Ingleside neighborhood. The teddy bear wears blue scrubs, a stethoscope and a mask. As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into its second year, evictions have resumed, and the city’s most vulnerable are bearing the brunt.

Despite Pandemic, New Wave of Court-Ordered Evictions Displacing Poor Tenants

After an eight-month pause, court-ordered evictions in San Francisco have resumed, and they’re coming down hardest on some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. The Sheriff’s Department has conducted evictions at 33 addresses across the city since November 2020, according to documents obtained through a California Public Records Act request. More than half — 18 — involved tenants in permanent supportive housing.

Keeshemah Johnson peers out the window of the home she once shared with her partner, Maurice Austin. Her T-shirt pays tribute to Austin.

Hundreds of SF Renters Threatened With Eviction During Pandemic

Landlords have tried to force hundreds of San Francisco renters from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. From March 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, landlords filed close to half the number of eviction notices as in the same period a year earlier, even as state and federal moratoriums on pandemic-related evictions remain in effect.

Advocates Fire Back at ‘Ineffective’ Drug Dealer Injunctions

Nearly four dozen groups announced Wednesday their opposition to San Francisco’s efforts to combat rampant drug dealing in the Tenderloin by using injunctions to increase penalties for dealers.

On Wednesday morning, a coalition of 45 organizations, including the public defender’s office, homeless advocates, immigration rights groups, drug policy organizations and youth-based nonprofits, held a press conference to express their opposition to the strategy. In a Dec. 3 letter to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, they said the injunctions are “draconian and wasteful,” and do little to address concerns around drug dealing and overdoses.

Francisco Ugarte, managing attorney of the San Francisco Public Defender's immigration defense unit, holds a banner with the late Public Defender Jeff Adachi at a community rally for immigrants' rights in 2018.

S.F. Immigration Defense Unit Represents Immigrants Statewide Through Pandemic

San Francisco’s office of the public defender has a unit dedicated to defending immigrants in court. In most states, they often have no representation because there is no right to counsel in immigration cases. Francisco Ugarte, managing attorney of this unit, talked with “Civic” about how handoffs between agencies work and what happens to someone who is arrested by immigration enforcement in San Francisco, as well as a class action suit the unit helped litigate over COVID-19 outbreaks in detention facilities.

The science on the key ingredient in the top-selling U.S. weedkiller, Bayer's Roundup, is still in fierce dispute as the company settles thousands of lawsuits claiming health impacts for billions of dollars.

Scientists Split Over Herbicide Risk, Leaving Public in Lurch

Identifying clear guidelines for the level of exposure to glyphosate that could cause cancer or other illness is a contentious business. Monsanto owner Bayer denies glyphosate, the active ingredient in weedkiller Roundup, is a carcinogen. The European Union and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency back that view. That’s despite a finding from the World Health Organization in 2015 that glyphosate probably is a human carcinogen.

San Francisco city workers use blowtorches to remove grass and weeds from a median on Broadway at Polk Street on Feb. 3, 2020. City workers rely much less on herbicides than they did just five years ago, as health concerns mount.

As Cancer Concerns Lead Cities to Ban Herbicide, S.F. Scales Back Use of Roundup

When San Franciscans hike up Twin Peaks or stroll through Glen Canyon Park, they could be exposing themselves to an herbicide that some studies have linked to cancer. But thanks to growing concerns about public health and liability, their risks are substantially lower than they were five years ago, when the city used 20 times as much of the chemical.

That chemical is glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s top-selling weedkiller, Roundup. Monsanto owner Bayer agreed in June to a settlement of more than $10 billion with plaintiffs in thousands of pending lawsuits over claims Roundup caused cancer.

As legal victories against the company pile up, Bay Area cities have faced a tough choice — keep using a chemical that evidence increasingly shows is dangerous and exposes them to the legal liability it entails or switch to other, often less effective methods. San Francisco has limited its risk through a strategy known as integrated pest management and its move to scale back dramatically on glyphosate since 2015.

This Navigation Center in the Mission, opened in March 2015, was one of the first to serve San Francisco's homeless population. In early 2019, development began on a plan to turn the site into 157 affordable-housing units.

Surge in S.F. Homelessness Funding Could Be a Game Changer

San Francisco will soon spend previously unthinkable sums on the fight against homelessness. The massive influx of cash — nearly $600 million over the next year collected thanks to a voter initiative, combined with hundreds of millions of dollars in expenditures by the homelessness department — could be a game changer.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed Tuesday extended her eviction moratorium through the end of November. For many tenants, that will delay displacement — a longstanding political issue in the city, as exemplified by this demonstration at the 2014 Pride Parade.

Breed Extends Eviction Moratorium to Dec. 1

Mayor London Breed Tuesday gave San Francisco tenants an additional month to figure out how they will cover rent and avoid eviction, in light of economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the soonest landlords could legally evict for nonpayment of rent is Dec. 1. That’s a month later than the previously announced eviction moratorium was set to end. The information was initially made public in a web post from the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. The San Francisco Public Press received confirmation of these changes from Hugo Ramirez, a staff member at the Mayor’s office.