A legacy of toxic pollution lingers in San Francisco’s Hunters Point Shipyard, which was once a booming hub for wartime construction efforts, but now is largely shuttered and represents a constant threat to the health of marginalized communities that live nearby. The U.S. Navy and diverse community groups are at odds over the best way to address the problem.
The San Francisco 2008 Election Truthiness Report is co-produced by Newsdesk.org and The Public Press, and funded through small donations using the Spot.Us “crowdfunding” Web site. • Staff & Credits
• SF Election Ad Annotations: Mouse over these scanned ads for pop-up text boxes that reveal the truthiness of it all! November 3, 2008
“Prop D: Eyeing a Revitalized Pier 70”
By Bernice Yeung
Although development is a perennially hot-button topic in San Francisco due to concerns about gentrification, Proposition D, which would facilitate Pier 70 revitalization, is a seemingly controversy-free measure that has garnered wide support from neighborhood groups, environmentalists, city officials and developers. October 31, 2008
“Proposition V and JROTC: Lessons in How Not to Listen”
By Tim Kingston
The spat over JROTC is really more about a case of two alternate worldviews. On the one hand there is the moderate/conservative “leave politics out of schoolyard” view, which is focused on saving a local program that teaches leadership skills to youth.
The San Francisco Election Truthiness Report fact-checks the ads and arguments around local voter propositions — Junior ROTC, affordable housing, property and business taxes, clean energy, hospital rebuilding, ballot-book spin doctoring, and more.Photo: BTobin
By Matthew Hirsch, Newsdesk.org/The Public Press
The Truthiness Report: No. 10 in a series on election advertising. The proponents of Proposition A want voters to believe that the Nov. 4 election is a matter of life or death for San Francisco’s main public hospital. The measure has an enormous list of supporters, including elected officials, newspapers, community groups, and the local Democratic, Republican and Green parties.
By Tim Kingston, Newsdesk.org/The Public Press
The Truthiness Report: No. 9 in a series on election advertising. Rancorous is always a good way to describe tenant-landlord relations in San Francisco, and the debate over Proposition M — an anti-harassment initiative put on the ballot by tenants’ rights activists — is no exception. The inelegantly dubbed Changing the Residential Rent Ordinance to Prohibit Specific Acts of Harassment of Tenants by Landlords attempts to do just that — at great length, and has spurred an exchange of pro and con arguments around free speech and the role of lawyers. Proposition M replaces a simple one-paragraph definition — “any act or omission …
By Tim Kingston
The Truthiness Report: No. 11 in a series on election advertising. • Sidebar: “Moderate vs. Progressive?” For a measure that is completely nonbinding there is much sturm und drang around the “Policy Against Terminating Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) in Public High Schools.”
By Bernice Yeung, Newsdesk.org/The Public Press
The Truthiness Report: No. 8 in a series on election advertising. Proposition L, which would guarantee funding to San Francisco’s new Community Justice Center, is supposedly an initiative that would “stop efforts to play politics with community justice,” according to advertising paid for by proponents. However, given the heated debate among city officials — rooted in a longstanding feud between Supervisor Chris Daly and Mayor Gavin Newsom — that surrounds the creation of the court, the measure appears to serve a political purpose itself. Modeled after successful programs in New York City, the CJC is a “problem solving” criminal court that would provide social services instead of incarceration for defendants who commit misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies.
By Tim Kingston
The Truthiness Report: No. 7 in a series on election advertising. The battle over public power and the hospital bond have vacuumed up much of San Francisco’s attention and political capital this season. But there’s an equally significant, if under-the-radar, item up for grabs: Proposition B.
The “Establishing [an] Affordable Housing Fund” measure mandates that 2.5 cents out of every $100 in property taxes go to create what is essentially a dedicated San Francisco affordable housing account. Proponents and opponents alike agree that it would raise roughly $2.7 billion over its 15-year lifespan — in fact, that’s about all they agree on.
By Tim Kingston
The Truthiness Report: No. 6 in a series on election advertising. Propositions N and Q, which would increase and modify San Francisco’s property transfer and payroll expense taxes, were the product of intense negotiations between different business groups. Not surprisingly, the winners and losers in those negotiations define the pro and con election advertisements. The laws are simple enough: N would increase the property transfer tax from 0.75 to 1.5 percent on properties worth over $5 million, while Q ensures that partners in law firms have to pay payroll taxes.