Ivory Madison was the person who filmed Eliana Lopez tearfully describing the bruise that Ross Mirkarimi left on her arm. And Madison, a neighbor of the sheriff and his wife, Lopez, was the person who notified authorities about the abuse. But Madison never personally testified to the Ethics Commission about whether the sheriff should be removed from office.
In the proceedings to determine Mirkarimi’s future as sheriff, Madison submitted a detailed, 22-page declaration. Read More
Requiring two-thirds of California legislators to agree on something before they could pass a state budget led to many late budgets and gave the Republican minority undue leverage in budget negotiations. So it’s no surprise that voters changed the law in 2010 to require only a majority vote, while leaving intact the supermajority required for tax increases. Read More
After being sworn in as president of the Board of Supervisors, David Chiu gave a speech in which he did something that I’m pretty sure has never been done before: He likened the board to the World Series champion Giants. Read More
The proposal to change the name of San Francisco International Airport to Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport raises a number of questions. One is whether the airport is the appropriate landmark to name after Milk. Sadly, he was only in office for 11 months. But to inform the debate, let’s take a look at his legislative record. Read More
This year, state Assembly Speaker John Perez reversed a protocol in the chambers by announcing a rule banning media interviews on the Assembly floor. He later amended it to require all conversations to be held in the back of the Assembly in a designated area, though he left intact a new rule that prevents reporters from approaching assembly members after the session has ended, leaving media to stand outside the chambers. This prevents Assembly members from being pinned down and forced to answer questions about their own actions. No such rule change has been proposed in the Senate. Read More
In 2008, the fight over whether to allow students in San Francisco public schools to have the option of joining the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps was in full swing. Arguments broke out at public meetings and sent Board of Education sessions late into the night. Ultimately voters endorsed the JROTC program with a non-binding resolution. So what has happened to JROTC? Read More
Not since the attempt to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998 has C-SPAN been as popular as it was this past week as we watched the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate negotiate a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, fight over emergency funds and bid farewell to certain members.
If you missed the coverage, you’ll be glad to know that California’s representatives have been right in the thick of the action, making colorful statements on the public record. Read More
When I was in high school, both of my older brothers played soccer. To kill time after school while they practiced, I became the “soccer manager.” This was a strange title, because I didn’t “manage” anything or anyone. All I did was fill Gatorade bottles and make sure the equipment was on the bus.
This experience reminds me of the presidency of the Board of Supervisors. Because being the president of the board comes with about as much authority as being the soccer manager. Read More
The U.S. Department of Education rejecting California’s request for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act should come as no surprise. Despite acknowledging in a Dec. 21 letter that “California is obligated to follow current laws and regulations to ensure continued access” to $353 million in federal funding, the state Board of Education gets an “F” for effort.
Mike Kirst, president of the state Board of Education, told the San Jose Mercury News that California’s refusal to include student test scores as part of teachers’ evaluations was the reason the waiver request tanked. Read More
In this dangerous world of apocalyptic predictions and government showdowns, where even Elmo was forced to resign amid scandal, it’s nice to know that some things never change. As we reflect on the 38 meetings of the Board of Supervisors in 2012, you’ll be comforted to know that supervisors’ penchant for printing powerless sentiments continues to override any commitment to conserving trees. Read More
A collective shriek rang out Wednesday when Judge Katherine Feinstein announced she’ll be stepping down from her position as a San Francisco Superior Court judge and may run for public office.
Why a shriek? Because the bench of California politicians hoping for a promotion is already very crowded. Read More
The state Legislature doesn’t even meet until Jan. 7, but already our star-struck elected officials are eager to ingratiate themselves with the glamorous Hollywood film industry.
This past week, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, introduced a bill to increase the penalties for “swatting.” If you’re not a teenage girl or the parent of one, you might not be aware of this phenomenon. Read More
The holidays are upon us and City Hall is decorated beautifully, complete with an enormous tree. So far, there are no gifts for our supervisors under the tree, so here is my list of what each should receive:
After Friday’s tragic shootings in Connecticut, all eyes are on President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s efforts to introduce federal gun control legislation. But real action is happening on the local and state level, too. As a number of states have Democratic legislatures and governors — including Illinois, Colorado, Massachusetts, Connecticut and, of course, California — look for them to dust off previously shelved gun control laws. Read More
Just because the state legislature isn’t schedule to meet again until Jan. 7, doesn’t mean our elected elves are not hard at work. In anticipation of opening day, they are giddily churning out proposed Constitutional Amendments in the hope that this might be the magical year for change. Each amendment needs a two-thirds vote in the state senate and assembly in order to appear on a statewide ballot for possible passage. Read More