Mapping the S.F. Vote, Precinct by Precinct

With the majority — but not all — of San Francisco’s votes tallied, a series of maps created by local designer Chris Arvin show how differently, or similarly, residents in different neighborhoods voted from one another by location. Arvin joined “Civic” to discuss the maps and what they show, and a new tool he developed that offers an analysis of the correlations between precinct demographics and contest outcomes.

Bay Area Organizers Prepare to Mobilize if Election Results Not Followed

In the event that Donald Trump refuses to concede after the results of Tuesday’s election become clear, Bay Area organizers are ready to respond with street demonstrations and other civil disobedience. For weeks, groups like Bay Resistance have been hosting trainings and developing plans to mobilize residents, elected officials and business leaders to demand the results of the election be recognized.

Can the Ballot Be Used to Hold Local Government Accountable?

San Francisco has faced many scandals in which public officials abused their power for personal, political or organizational gain. Most recently, the Department of Public Works was rocked by an FBI investigation into alleged kickbacks, slush funds and illicit permitting influence. On the November, 2020 ballot, Proposition B has been proposed as a way to limit the scope of alleged corruption in the sprawling Department of Public Works, but what other measures could voters use in the future to keep elected and appointed officials accountable in San Francisco?

Using the Ballot to Fight Corruption

The Public Press hosted a panel discussion on Oct. 29 exploring how voters can use the ballot box to hold local and state government accountable. Veteran good-government experts provided a break down of the challenges in San Francisco and California, and answered questions from the audience. Our panelists were Carmen Balber, executive director, Consumer Watchdog, and Larry Bush, member, San Francisco Ethics Commission. The discussion was moderated by Bay Area radio journalist Max Pringle.

Former Department of Public Works head Mohammed Nuru was the subject of an FBI corruption probe that became public earlier this year. In response, local lawmakers have proposed Proposition B, which would split the department into two agencies.

With Corruption on the Ballot, San Francisco Could Learn Oversight From Other Scandal-Plagued Cities

When it comes to good government, dysfunction and disgrace can occasionally inspire some of the brightest ideas for reform. And getting the whole community involved in the cleanup — through the ballot box — can be one way to make those changes happen faster. Though the parallels are not exact, the tiny scandal-ridden city of Bell, near Los Angeles, could hold keys to fixing a culture of corruption that has insinuated itself deep in the heart of San Francisco’s massive and opaque bureaucracy.

Jessica Lo Surdo, M.S. (foreground), a staff scientist at the Food and Drug Administration, studies chain reactions in stem cells in an FDA laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md.

Insider Opposes $5.5 Billion State Bond to Fund Stem Cell Research

Proposition 14 asks California voters to approve a $5.5 billion bond to allow the institute to continue to provide grants for stem cell research, with the goal of creating new treatments for some of medicine’s most intractable problems. Jeff Sheehy has been a lonely voice on the board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where he stands in opposition to the state ballot measure that would fund the organization for years to come.

A registered nurse with the Florida Department of Health explains the process of specimen collection to a nursing home resident in Northeast Florida, May 1, 2020.

Senior, Disability Advocates Mobilize to Ensure Care Facility Residents Vote

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed elections, and for people who live in residential care facilities like nursing homes, that may be creating barriers to participation. Last week, organizers with Senior and Disability Action called together advocates and experts to lay out what rights these residents have and how to ensure they are able to exercise them.

8157005439_84a1717528_z.jpg

How Proposed S.F. Tax Measures Could Affect Inequality

Among more than a dozen ballot propositions that voters are deciding on in November, several are tax measures, including ones on businesses, property, and purchases. Many have components meant to reduce inequality or fund much-needed services. “Civic” talked with Donnie Charleston for an outside expert’s perspective on the tools local governments have to address income and racial inequities, and on some of the tax measures up for voter approval in San Francisco.