Quality of Life

We are advocates for clean and safe streets. We support ordinances that prevent destructive and anti-social behavior. We also support sustainable, lasting solutions to homelessness that include treatment of mental health issues.

December 14, 2015  |  A Court for the 10th Circle of Hell

By Joel P. Engardio

A man pushed a needle of heroin into his arm as I walked by a Market Street doorway near City Hall. A woman cradling a vodka bottle slept in the next storefront. Another man screamed and spit in an incoherent rage outside the 24-hours Carl’s Jr. I was headed to on a Sunday night.

“Are you sure it’s safe?” my husband asked as I left our westside home to meet David Traylor across town. Two years earlier Traylor ... | Read More >

November 15, 2015  |  From Near Death and Homeless to City Hall

By Joel P. Engardio

When I was looking to hire a coordinator for my 2012 supervisor campaign, one resume stood out for all the wrong reasons: an entry-level job that lasted nine months followed by years of unexplained holes.

It even dared to list Supervisor Scott Wiener as a reference — one of San Francisco’s most well known and hardest-working politicians.

Yet Wiener called to vouch for the applicant: an HIV-positive, formerly homeless and recovering meth addict. He had interned in Wiener’s City ... | Read More >

May 24, 2015  |  Chinatown’s “House of Cards”

By Joel P. Engardio

If Netflix wants to produce a “House of Cards” based on San Francisco politics, the race to win Chinatown has plenty of plot points.

Mayor Ed Lee is popular in Chinatown and will likely win re-election without challenge in November. But his real opponent is running for supervisor in District 3, which includes Chinatown and North Beach.

Former supervisor Aaron Peskin — nicknamed the “Napoleon of North Beach” — was a polarizing force when he held office from 2001 to 2009. Now he wants his old job back. Supervisors can serve again if they sit out at least one term between two ... | Read More >

March 1, 2015  |  Saving San Francisco

By Joel P. Engardio

“Saving the Bay” is an Emmy award-winning PBS series about the local activists and environmentalists who fought and stopped development plans in the 1960s that would have filled in San Francisco Bay until it became a river.

Now the documentary filmmaker and San Francisco native who told the “Saving the Bay” history is working on an even bigger and more immediate topic: “Saving the City.”

Ron Blatman, 57, sees that San Francisco is in crisis without enough housing, ... | Read More >

February 15, 2015  |  A Monster Mash to Shock SF Out of Housing Crisis

By Joel P. Engardio

Monsters are becoming as ubiquitous as Democrats in San Francisco. Like the million shades of blue that define our Democratic spectrum, multiple monster images now illustrate our housing crisis.

First, there’s the “Monster in the Mission” named by low-income housing activists and artists who fear 10 stories of market-rate housing proposed above the 16th and Mission BART station.

The development is opposed — despite offering some below-market-rate units — because it will mostly house tech workers and encourage further gentrification of the neighborhood.

Then there’s the “NIMBY ... | Read More >

February 1, 2015  |  Julie Christensen Is Designer of Change at City Hall

By Joel P. Engardio

When you think about the ways government touches our lives – through public transportation, its tax and license bureaucracy, how it regulates what our streets and cityscape look like — the concepts of good form, function and design probably don’t come to mind.

We marvel at the beautiful aesthetic and flawless execution of our privately made smartphones while cursing the line at a government office that still uses paper files. Then we curse again, waiting for a public ... | Read More >

January 7, 2015  |  Just Say Yes to Progress: SF Olympics 2024

By Lee Hsu

If you’re a Giants fan like me, you’ve had the incredible experience of three world championships in less than a decade. Now imagine the inspiration and thrill of seeing the world’s best athletes, including many locals, compete for gold on San Francisco soil.

San Francisco is one of four finalists for hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. The others are Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. I’ve spent time in each and think our City by the Bay ... | Read More >

January 5, 2015  |  What’s Your Housing Utopia?

By Sonja Trauss

I don’t want subsidized, supervised affordable housing.

With a salary of $30,000 per year, I am low-income. Shouldn’t I be calling for more Below Market Rate (BMR) units to be built so that I can live in San Francisco? Don’t I appreciate the efforts of affordable housing advocates? They are working tirelessly to hold up and delay the creation of market rate units while negotiating for a higher percentage of units to be set ... | Read More >

November 11, 2014  |  To Be or Not to Airbnb, That Is the SF Question

By Ian Kalin

The American political scene has made its peace with the most recent election. Many politicians have already started to focus on the 2016 Presidential campaigns. But San Francisco has another political challenge coming up sooner and the battle lines are already starting to be drawn.

Mayor Ed Lee will be up for re-election in 2015. One of the most controversial topics associated with Mayor Lee is his support of the technology sector and his October 27th decision to sign ... | Read More >

November 9, 2014  |  Do You Know the Way to San Mateo?

By Joel P. Engardio

Cool things are happening in San Mateo. To understand how a sleepy suburb spawned start-ups like YouTube and food truck restaurants like Curry Up Now, it helps to know where San Mateo’s economic development manager learned about cities.

Marcus Clarke has a master’s degree in city planning from Berkeley, but his street smarts were honed in bankrupt Detroit. He spent two years living in the manifestation of all that can go wrong with a city.

Clarke, 40, took a ... | Read More >