Chesa Boudin, son of jailed Weathermen radicals, is new San Francisco DA

By staff : theguardian – excerpt


The San Francisco voters who cared enough to vote, voted for change. Photo by zrants

The son of two anti-war radicals who went to prison for murder has won a tightly contested race for district attorney in San Francisco, after campaigning to overhaul the criminal justice system.

Chesa Boudin’s parents were members of the far-left, anti-Vietnam war Weather Underground, which was active in the 1960s and 70s. His mother, Kathy Boudin, survived an infamous explosion in Greenwich Village, New York City, in March 1970, when members of the group accidentally detonated a bomb intended for an army ball in New Jersey.

She and her husband, David Gilbert, were sent to prison when Chase was an infant, for their role in an armed heist in New York in 1981 in which three people were killed by members of the Black Liberation Army. Kathy Boudin was released in 2003. Gilbert remains in jail…

He was raised by two other well-known Weathermen, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

“My parents are all people who have taken a stand for what they believe in over and over again,” he said 17 years ago. “That to me is a fine example – even if I disagreed with some of their choices.”…

Boudin is the latest candidate across the US to win district attorney elections by pushing for sweeping reform of incarceration policies. In a statement on his win, he said he wanted to tackle racial bias in the criminal justice system, overhaul the bail system, protect immigrants from deportation and pursue accountability in police misconduct cases.

“The people of San Francisco have sent a powerful and clear message,” he said. “It’s time for radical change to how we envision justice. I’m humbled to be a part of this movement that is unwavering in its demand for transformation.”…(more)

A speck of old San Francisco desperately hangs on in the shadow of Chase Center

By Carl Note : sfchronicle – excerpt


Photo of the Bay View Boat Club by zrants

I interviewed a man who lived near Duboce Park a couple of years ago. He told me he looked out his window and watched his world change day by day. It’s like that now in San Francisco — something new almost every minute.

Three days ago, The Chronicle had a front-page story about Visa, the credit card company, signing a lease for a 13-story office tower just across McCovey Cove from the ballpark. It’s part of the Giants’ Mission Rock waterfront project, which will transform 28 acres of parking lot into 1,300 units of housing and 1.4 million square feet of office space. That’s enough new people for a small town, and enough office space to fill the Transamerica Pyramid two times.

Wow. I was pretty amazed when I was down there only last month, marveling at the glitzy new Chase Center and the Thrive City gathering space. Not to mention the boxy glass-walled condos in Mission Bay lining the edge of the bay. A group of us on a kind of waterfront walking expedition passed right by the Bay View Boat Club, a funky-looking establishment on Terry Francois Boulevard.

“That’s an old San Francisco place,” I said to my companions. “We’d better check it out before it vanishes.”

I went back the other Tuesday night. The Bay View is a private club. You have to know somebody to get in. That’s not hard if you have been around awhile. “I know Don Prell,” I told the man at the entrance. Prell is one of those San Francisco classics; he used to play bass in the Symphony, and jazz at other times. He plays at the Bay View every Tuesday.

Or did. Now he has to skip Tuesdays when the Warriors are in town, because when Chase Center has a game or an event and Thrive City is thriving, there’s traffic jams and no parking anywhere nearby. Unless you want to pay $40.

The Bay View Boat Club is a blue-collar kind of place, relaxed and easy, where the staff is all volunteers, a beer costs $3, and dues are only $250 a year. So $40 for parking that used to be free is a big deal, and may be a big problem for a little club.

The club is vaguely historic and salty. It was founded years ago on Innes Avenue in the Bayview district when there were lots of boatyards in the area. But the neighborhood changed, and in 1964, the members put the clubhouse on a barge, crewed up a tugboat and floated the club to China Basin. “It was the volunteer spirit of the time,” says Mary Buckman, who is vice commodore. “That was 50 commodores ago, and that spirit is still with us.”

Fifty commodores ago, what is now Mission Bay was a railroad yard; freight trains ran down the streets, and banana boats docked on Mission Creek. The world changed again, and the freight trains vanished, the warehouses closed and the land stood empty, waiting for the next chapter. The Bay View Boat Club and the Mariposa Hunters Point Yacht Club just down the street were surrounded by empty buildings.

But the two clubs flourished in an under-the-radar way — out of sight. The members drank beer, talked about boats, held an occasional regatta. Life went on. “Everyone who walks in the door sees what we are,” Buckman said. “This is old San Francisco the way it was and the way it should be.”

Everyone knows what happened next. “We are on the cusp of a tsunami of change sweeping down Third Street,” neighborhood activist John Borg said the year the ballpark opened.

Change came slowly, then all at once. Even as recently as five years ago, Terry Francois Boulevard was the seacoast of nowhere. “I heard a story about a beloved little house that became surrounded by bigger and bigger buildings,” Buckman said. “Everybody loved it so much they moved it to the country where the little house lived happily after.”

But Buckman said her story has a different ending. “We are going to stay, yes we are. Yes.”

She said the club is too good to lose. “We are being proactive. We arrange our events schedule to work around Chase Center,” Buckman said. The day Chase opened, Bay View members were outside: Prell playing his bass, members asking if anyone was interested in boats. If so, they said, come on down, give us a look.

They are working with the Warriors on the parking situation. They are looking for new members. They are determined.

It was around sunset the other Tuesday. Prell’s Sea Bop quartet was playing — Prell himself on bass, Jerry Logas on sax, Eugene Piner on piano, Jim Bovie on drums.

Prell closed his eyes sometimes, lost in the music. Soft jazz, perfect for an autumn night in what remains of the real San Francisco…(more)

Ted Talks – Who belongs in a city?

Talk by OluTimehin Adegbeye : ted – excerpt (see the video link below)

Underneath every shiny new megacity, there’s often a story of communities displaced. In this moving, poetic talk, OluTimehin Adegbeye details how government land grabs are destroying the lives of thousands who live in the coastal communities of Lagos, Nigeria, to make way for a “new Dubai.” She compels us to hold our governments and ourselves accountable for keeping our cities safe for everyone. “The only cities worth building, indeed the only futures worth dreaming of, are those that include all of us, no matter who we are or how we make homes for ourselves,” she says… (more)

OluTimehin Adegbeye: Writing on urban development, sexual and reproductive rights, gender and queerness, OluTimehin Adegbeye resists marginalization by reminding her audiences of the validity of every human experience.

Opinion: The $15 minimum wage was supposed to hurt New York City restaurants — but both revenue and employment are up

By Nicole Hallett : marketwatch – excerpt

Prices are up, but that hasn’t stopped people from eating out

Critics would have you believe that upping the minimum wage in restaurants will lead to massive layoffs and closures. But since raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour nearly a year ago, the restaurant industry in New York City has thrived.

I’m a professor with a focus on labor and employment law. My research on the minimum wage suggests a few reasons why this might be true.

What hasn’t happened

When worker pay goes up, employers can respond in a number of different ways. They can cut hours, lay off workers, accept smaller profits or raise prices.

With profits so low in the restaurant industry, averaging just 3%-5%, employers may not have the option to accept less in profits without going in the red…(more)

How lawmakers are upending the California lifestyle to fight a housing shortage

By Liam Dillon : lattices – excerpt

Watch for this program to come to your state soon as we slide into a feudal land system.

When California lawmakers tried earlier this year to force local governments to allow four or more homes on land zoned for single-family residences, fierce pushback from suburban communities stopped the plan in its tracks. For many, the long-standing neighborhood template of a home, backyard and garage on a lot was too intrinsic to the California lifestyle to upend.

But over the past four years, a suite of smaller proposals has quietly chipped away at zoning only for single-family homes, attracting comparably little blowback.

Lawmakers have made it easier for homeowners to convert garages into residential space and build small freestanding homes, sometimes known as granny flats or casitas, in their backyards. And on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed multiple bills into law that aim to spur construction, including legislation that will allow property owners to build a backyard home of at least 800-square-feet as well as convert a garage, office or spare room into a third living space… (more)

From Blacklisting To Red Baiting, McCarthyism Is Back In Vogue

jonathanturley – excerpt

In 1950, columnist and civil libertarian Max Lerner penned a chilling prediction in the New York Post about the Red Scare: “There is a hate layer of opinion and emotion in America. There will be other McCarthys to come who will be hailed as its heroes.”

Almost 70 years later, Lerner’s political prophecy appears to be coming true.

On one side is GOP President Trump, who routinely describes the news media as the “enemy of the people” and has attacked political adversaries such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), along with government whistleblowers at the center of the current impeachment inquiry, by saying that they might be guilty of “treason” for challenging him.

On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, just tried to tag a current Democratic presidential candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), as a “Russian asset.” Last month, meanwhile, the left-leaning San Francisco city council unanimously passed a resolution calling the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization.” Although nonbinding, the resolution sought to “limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco” from doing business with the NRA…

That’s a slippery slope: What happens when other groups say their values are just as important, and therefore call for the blacklisting of states, too?…

It’s not about the underlying issues – I’m more inclined to agree with left-leaning jurisdictions on environmental protection. Rather, it’s about some parts of the country punishing others for supporting opposing views, or coercing states to “reflect our values.”

A democratic nation allows, even encourages, disagreement when it comes to policy choices. Indeed, different state approaches are protected in our system of federalism. San Francisco looks to punish states because of their policies on abortion or gay rights. But most of the state laws in question are currently constitutional and, until the Supreme Court declares otherwise, these states are exercising their right to take a different path…. (more)

Organic Urbanism is the Cure for New Urbanism

By Douglas Newby : newgeography – excerpt

New Urbanism is like a virus. For 50 years it keeps coming back in mutated forms. It needs a cure.

First, the only thing new in New Urbanism is the new construction that tears down the organic city. A form of New Urbanism has been around for 50 years. Like I said, it is a virus that keeps coming back in mutated forms. But the scheme, of more density, new mixed-use construction, and fixed rail transit, replacing existing homes remains constant. The desire of planners to determine where you live and where you work also remains constant. New urbanists increasingly do not like single family homes, which most Americans prefer… (more)