To Fight Apathy, Viewing Electoral Participation as Collective, Not Solitary, Act

President Trump has repeatedly refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election. At all levels, candidates have been responding to this in part by encouraging constituents to vote. But Knight Foundation research into voter participation in the 2016 presidential election found that around 43% of eligible voters did not cast a ballot.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party state convention at Moscone Center.

City Encourages Corporate Homeless Sweeps by Failing to Condemn Them, Critics Charge

Mayor London Breed’s apparent toleration of an unsanctioned homeless encampment “sweep” by a corporate event company this month has led her critics to ask whether the policy of City Hall is to turn a blind eye to privatized harassment of people living on the streets. The sweep, which occurred just past midnight on the morning of Sept. 10 outside the old Honda dealership on 12th Street, resulted in the disposal of eight people’s belongings. Neither the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing nor the mayor’s office clearly rebuked the actions of the event company, Non Plus Ultra.

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.

Howard Jarvis.

‘The First Angry Man’ Chronicles Rise of Tax Revolt, Legacy of Howard Jarvis

The documentary “The First Angry Man” turns its lens back on the moment when Proposition 13 was passed and examines the social and political context of the time. The filmmakers, Camille Servan-Schreiber and Jason Andrew Cohn, make the case that Howard Jarvis, the public face of Proposition 13, helped usher in an era of nationwide tax revolt and distrust in government that persists more than 40 years later.

TechCrunch rented this event space on Market Street to stage its annual Disrupt conference.

TechCrunch Breaks With Event Company Over Homeless Sweep

An unsanctioned sweep of a homeless encampment in central San Francisco has cost the event company Non Plus Ultra a big customer. The company rousted eight people in the middle of the night on Sept. 10, and – while city officials have largely remained silent – the action didn’t sit well with TechCrunch, which is renting Non Plus Ultra’s SVN West event space at Market Street and South Van Ness Avenue.

Wildfires, like the 2018 Carr Fire pictured, are one of the climate threats California may increasingly face in the coming years and that climate action plans are meant to address.

Oakland Approves Climate Equity Plan, but Organizers Say Funding Needed

Community-centered approaches are key to Oakland’s Equitable Climate Action Plan, approved unanimously by the City Council in July. It is designed to “bring about a just transition to a low carbon future” with green jobs and measures to mitigate the disparities felt by communities affected by climate change, according to a statement by Mayor Libby Schaaf.
But the plan doesn’t have guaranteed funding from the city government. For organizers, that’s a problem. “We need money to pay people to do work,” said Phoenix Armenta, who works with an environmental justice group.

‘Unforgetting’ Confronts Painful Personal, Political Histories of U.S. and Central America

Difficult and painful history connects gang violence and severe policing in Central America and in the United States, as well as mass migrations of refugees. In his new memoir, “Unforgetting,” Roberto Lovato teases out these connections with research and reporting, but also by telling his own story of coming of age as a U.S.-born child of Salvadoran parents and the stories of his family and friends. Lovato, born and raised in San Francisco, is an educator, journalist and writer. His book “Unforgetting” will be released Sept. 1.

A census solutions workshop hosted in Seattle in 2018 by King County and Seattle Foundation.

Census Education Falls to Community Groups as Trump Fans Confusion

The 2020 census is well under way, but a timetable muddled by the coronavirus pandemic coupled with attempts by President Trump to make disruptive changes have set the stage for the spread of misinformation that threatens a complete count. Local nonprofit organizations have been working to get correct and timely information to people often labeled “hard to count” to avoid that outcome.

Online Census Yields Mixed Accessibility Results

This year the census, a constitutionally mandated count of every person in the country every 10 years, is being conducted primarily online for the first time. While the shift offered convenience to the digitally connected, many communities already considered “hard to count” include people with limited digital tools or literacy that put the digital questionnaire out of reach. With the coronavirus pandemic and confusing federal directives, the in-person enumeration most likely to document them has been delayed and cut short.