Members of the San Francisco Ethics Commission let out a sigh of relief last week when they learned from Mayor London Breed’s budget proposal that their funding would be sliced by 3.3%, far less than the 10% they had been expecting. But they warned that even the smaller-than-expected cuts would still have an impact on the political watchdog group’s effectiveness.
With two months until Election Day, more than $2 million has been amassed in the collective war chests for local candidate campaigns, 90 percent of which has been raised for six Board of Supervisors seats.
The Public Press spent six months digging and sorting, and many hours talking with staff at the Ethics Commission for clarification on the best ways to find and distill the information on the 2015 elections.
San Franciscans will not vote for nearly three months, but big money is flowing into the fall election already. Local campaigns have spent $3.15 million, with more than half going to just six of 25 measures on the ballot.
IN THE WEEDS parses the nitty-gritty of important issues and laws affecting San Francisco. Check back for updates as new information surfaces.
Proposition C would require more people to register as official lobbyists if their behaviors merited that title, potentially increasing transparency in government.
Proposition E would give members of the public more access to, and control over, the meetings of San Francisco government’s “policy bodies,” which direct City Hall’s political agendas.
Orchid Pusey, interim director of the Asian Women’s Shelter in San Francisco, says cultural differences can have a big influence on the attitudes and responses to domestic violence. She talked with San Francisco Public Press reporter Ruth Tam about the challenges facing service providers in the city. This story appeared as part of a special report on domestic violence in the Fall 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.
As the city’s Ethics Commission debated whether Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was fit to hold his elected position this past June, the complex game of personality, politics and procedure eclipsed larger policy questions about the city’s approach to handling thousands of cases of domestic violence each year. But advocates for victims said the hearings generated wider awareness of the problem of domestic violence.
In a hearing room in City Hall last week, reporters scrambled to get play-by-play reaction from followers of suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, sporting blue-and-white “Stand With Ross” stickers, and organized opponents, with purple signs saying, “There’s no excuse for domestic violence.” The complex game of personality, politics and procedure has for the most part eclipsed larger policy questions about the city’s approach to handling thousands of cases of domestic violence each year. But as the city’s Ethics Commission continues to debate whether Mirkarimi is fit to hold his elected position, advocates for victims say the hearings are helping generate awareness about the wider problem of domestic violence, and the needed response from social service agencies and law enforcement.
A recent ruling by a federal court in Southern California — that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding the right of gays to serve in the military — is unconstitutional. The move could pave the way to lifting the ban entirely. Now, nearly five months after the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee voted in favor of repealing the ban on gays in the military, the Senate could be headed for a final vote.