Peskin announces run as former mayoral ally slams Ed Lee and his D3 appointee

Rose Pak, endorsing Peskin, calls the mayor “isolated” and says all he cares about is tech money as D3 campaign moves into full gear

Peskin launches an effort to recapture D3

Peskin launches an effort to recapture D3

By Tim Redmond

APRIL 30, 2015 – Former Sup. Aaron Peskin launched his campaign to reclaim his old District 3 seat today, showcasing a broad range or supporters including Rose Pak, the Chinatown activist and power broker who has clashed with Peskin repeatedly in the past – but who told me today she is bitterly angry with the way Mayor Ed Lee is behaving in office.

The formal announcement, which everyone had been expecting, kicks of what is certain to be a bruising campaign that will showcase the growing schism in the Lee Administration.

Lee’s Chinatown allies, who helped put him in office, wanted Planning Commission Member Cindy Wu to take the D3 seat vacated when David Chiu moved to the state Assembly. Tech powerhouse Ron Conway vetoed that choice, saying Wu wasn’t pliant enough on Airbnb, and the mayor wound up with Julie Christensen.

Now he has to prove his hand-picked supe, who is unpopular with his old base, can get re-elected – and his record on that isn’t good. His first supervisorial appointment, Christina Olague, was defeated by London Breed in D5 (after she stood up to the mayor and he turned against her), and his appointment to the Community College Board, Rodrigo Santos, lost not once but twice at the ballot.

And while Lee is personally popular, polls consistently show that the voters are unhappy with the direction the city is going, particularly on housing, development, and land-use – all critical issues in D3, and all areas where Peskin has more than 20 years of experience. Continue reading

x | 12 Comments

Join us for the 48 Hills First Anniversary Gala!

April 23rd fundraiser brings music, comedy, drinks, and fun to the Verdi Club.

48galalogoJoin 48 Hills founders Tim Redmond and Marke B and the whole crew, celebrity guest hosts, and the cream of the Bay Area arts and activist communities for a gala first anniversary celebration of San Francisco’s biggest nonprofit, completely independent news and culture resource. It’ll be swell!

We’ll have food and drinks (complimentary beer and wine 6-8pm) with music from pianist Marc Capelle, comedy with Tom Ammiano and Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, entertainment and sparkling personalities. More exciting details and guests to be announced shortly.

This is the progressive social event of the season and our biggest fundraiser — we hope to see you there. Help us take 48 Hills to the next level, and keep Bay Area independent media alive.

All tickets and additional donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of current tax laws. If you can’t come, please consider a contribution. It’s only because of you that 48hills exists and thrives. Thanks for all of your support.

48 Hills Gala First Anniversary Celebration
April 23, 6-9pm at the Verdi Club
2424 Mariposa, SF.

Anniversary Gala tickets:

Continue reading

x | 14 Comments

The Agenda, March 30-April 5: The mayor’s eviction bungle, Newsom dredges further into the muck, and more

Mayor Lee is trying to pump up his appointed D3 supervisor, but it's not going so well in Chinatown

Mayor Lee is trying to pump up his appointed D3 supervisor, but it’s not going so well in Chinatown

By Tim Redmond

MARCH 30, 2015 – One day after tenant organizers worked hard to bring attention to an eviction attempt in Chinatown that demonstrated some of the serious problems of the city’s tech-first policies, Mayor Ed Lee and his appointed District 3 Supervisor, Julie Christensen, parachuted in to say they had saved the day.

After calling the landlord, Lee was able to get the eviction petition withdrawn – for the moment. But neither he nor Christensen ever once mentioned the work that the tenants and community organizers had done, and never acknowledged that the SRO hotel’s location on a Google Bus line was a factor in what will almost certainly be future efforts to raise rents on the site. They brushed it off as an anomaly.

And in fact, the landlord has not at this point promised to halt any future evictions or rent increases. There is no written contract guaranteeing protection for existing tenants. This could all be reprised after November.

That, I am told, is not sitting well with Chinatown organizers — or housing activists citywide.

Instead, it looks as if the mayor is trying to prop up his candidate, who is almost certain to face a serious challenge this fall from former Sup. Aaron Peskin, by letting her take credit for what other people did. Continue reading

x | 22 Comments

The Tom and Tim Show: The politics of the Airbnb fail, evictions all over, and Gavin Newsom’s conversion to a pot supporter

We talk about the events of the past week (and how about celebrity Greco-Roman wrestling in the county jail?) Tim Redmond and Tom Ammiano talk it out. 

x | 13 Comments

Is the SF Weekly dying?

San Francisco Media Company paper bleeds employees and feeds accusations of chauvinism.

Controversial new Examiner sportswriter Jay Mariotti is featured on the cover of this week's SF Weekly, reinforcing an impression of increasing chauvinism at the weekly's parent company.

Controversial new Examiner sportswriter Jay Mariotti is featured on the cover of this week’s SF Weekly, reinforcing an impression of increasing chauvinism at the weekly’s parent company. Photo by Gabrielle Lurie.

By Marke B. 

MARCH 27, 2015 — The San Francisco Media Company is bleeding employees. 48 Hills  has received word that, with three more departures today, up to 17 writers, editors, and other workers have left the company that operates both the SF Examiner and the SF Weekly in the past two months.

The Weekly has been the hardest hit by the exodus. Two-thirds of its editorial staff — six people, including news reporters Joe Eskenazi and Rachel Swan, both music and culture editors, and a social media editor — have left the company, after the Weekly’s editor, Brandon Reynolds, was unceremoniously dumped earlier this year. This morning, we received word that one of the SF Weekly’s former vice presidents, now an advertising director at the company, has also left.

When I called to ask new SF Weekly editor Mark Kemp about the severe bloodletting, whether there were plans to hire replacement staff, and several other questions pertaining to this article, he told me that the media company was “not ready” to answer any questions.

Continue reading

x | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

More artists facing eviction on Market. What was the mayor thinking?

Was Ed Lee totally clueless when he decided to give tax breaks for tech companies? Or doesn’t he care if poor people and nonprofits are forced out?

Protesters seek to save artist housing on Market Street

Protesters seek to save artist housing on Market Street

By Tim Redmond

MARCH 27, 2015 – About 100 feet away from the offices of Zendesk, one of the tech companies that moved into Mid-Market to take advantage of a tax break, a landlord is trying to throw 23 artists out of a live-work building.

This is, of course, not a coincidence.

The residents of 1061 Market stood in front of their building yesterday morning to make the point that landlords were happy – thrilled – to rent to artists a few years ago, before mid-Market was “hot.” Now that the tech industry has moved in, the low-income artists have to go.

And every time I go to one of these press events, and see part of the soul of San Francisco displaced, I shake my head and ask:

What was Mayor Ed Lee thinking? Did he really believe that he could give tax breaks to turn this part of town into a tech haven without low-income residents and nonprofits suffering? Continue reading

x | 103 Comments

Tom’s Town: The Sweet 16 ballot plan

Why allowing 16-year-olds to vote makes a lot of sense. Plus: The alarming water-use figures on almonds

By Tom Temprano

MARCH 27, 2015 – Sixteen is a strange age for pretty much all of us. I spent much of my 16th year experimenting with questionable eye makeup, putting off English homework in favor of writing my own brooding “punk” song lyrics, and eating way too many Jack In The Box tacos.

48hillstemprano2I also spent much of my 16th year working my ass off to get on the honor roll of my independent-study high school – a high school I was enrolled in to catch up with my peers after having to drop out of school to deal with a personal medical emergency — working 20 hours a week at my local Macy’s to save up for college, and volunteering as an HIV prevention peer educator at the local LGBT community center.

Being sixteen is weird. You have many pressures and responsibilities that make you feel like you’re an adult, but the people around you, who are only a few years older, treat you as though you don’t. You can work. You pay taxes. But you can’t vote.

In San Francisco, Supervisor John Avalos is trying to change that. The efforts of a youth-led coalition to lower the voting age in municipal elections to 16 has garnered lots of attention, most notably from a Chronicle editorial that basically ignored young people all together and instead lambasted the idea as a progressive ploy (the op-ed is brilliantly re-butted by Avalos’ aide Jeremy Pollock in his piece titled “Why Is The Chonicle Hating on SF Youth?“). Continue reading

x | 50 Comments