During long periods of public comment and long meetings of the Board of Supervisors, many supervisors stay busy on Facebook. (Emma Chiang/2016 Special to SF Examiner)

During long periods of public comment and long meetings of the Board of Supervisors, many supervisors stay busy on Facebook. (Emma Chiang/2016 Special to SF Examiner)

Facebook, food reservations, flights: Where SF supervisors browse during board (bored) meetings


While the San Francisco Board of Supervisors perform The People’s work, they’re also incessantly checking Facebook, reading up on President Donald Trump, planning flights and browsing food blogs.

Basically, the board is just like us.

I obtained the supervisors’ internet browser history in a public records request from the Clerk of the Board. (Shoutout to staff there, who spent many hours processing the information.) Notably, I only obtained their computer browser history, not their cell phones.

The web browser history of our city’s legislators was only for Tuesday, Feb. 28, during the Board of Supervisors’ regular meeting. To be fair, the day of the request was a particularly long meeting that clocked in at seven hours and 43 minutes.

They had much idle time during heated public comment, no doubt.

Supervisor Malia Cohen and Board of Supervisors President London Breed clocked the most Facebook time: Cohen clicked on Facebook links 10 times, while Breed netted more than 370 clicks at Facebook, though many were admittedly near the end of that grueling meeting.

Supervisor Sandra Fewer, on the other hand, is absolutely food-happy (maybe the long meeting had her hunger stirring?).

Fewer’s web history includes multiple visits to restaurant Gary Danko’s website, which features three-course meals for $87 or four-course meals for the extremely affordable price of $106. She also frequented FoodNetwork.com, AddaPinch.com, Food.com, Epicurious, a recipe website, and NoBiggie.net (which at the time of this writing featured a nifty casserole dish).

Supervisors also apparently had shopping on the brain. Breed clicked links at Nordstrom.com about 23 times, and Supervisor Jane Kim visited Shopify.com twice.

Kim also was apparently planning a personal trip — she visited Southwest airlines, Priceline.com and Kayak.com, and the URLs were partially redacted by the clerk, something only done for personal website visits.

Put down your pitchforks, though. Kim clarified to me, after publication, that her grandmother was dying and she was checking flights to go home.

“I left on a red eye that night,” she said. As a guy raised in part by his grandfather, I can empathize with Kim’s need to suss everything out as quickly as possible.

Now, for the news-geeks. Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Ahsha Safai, Katy Tang and Fewer all read the most news during the board meeting.

Peskin clicked on SFGate links more than 70 times, mostly articles roasting tech folks, including a piece about Uber CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with a driver, and an article titled, “Twitter engineer vents about ‘making ends meet’ in SF on $160K salary,” in which SFGate re-blogged The Guardian UK’s original reporting.

He also visited the San Francisco Examiner about 50 times, 48hills.org 28 times, sfchronicle.com four times, and SFist three times.

Safai was click-happy on Trump news, mostly on SFGate, for some reason (seriously, man, veer from the clickbait and check out the Washington Post or New York Times, okay?). Safai also still uses Yahoo Search. Someone get him a tech intervention, stat.

Tang mostly visited news articles about political appointments, but also read an Uber blog post about “Getting SF Ready to Go Back to School.”

And Fewer frequented websites featuring news related to legislation, including articles about cities divesting from Wells Fargo due to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

There were a few holdouts. Supervisors Jeff Sheehy, Hillary Ronen and Norman Yee checked out the Board of Supervisors agendas multiple times, and Supervisor Mark Farrell turned in no browser history — the clerk said this may be due to his “privacy settings,” which perhaps did not record his browsing history (foiling us pesky columnists).

It’s okay, Mark, we all know you were probably just checking Giants scores. FYI, they ain’t hot.

* * *

Bay to Breakers sends many locals fleeing, but one San Francisco teenager capitalized on the race for civic good.

Mia, 14, an enterprising do-gooder student at Abraham Lincoln High School, sold grilled cheese sandwiches at the race and earned $616 — which she plans to donate to Planned Parenthood.

I think it’s the first time I’ve ever been glad for the stoned, drunken Bay to Breakers racers (usually I’m just worried they’ll pee on my stoop).

As a former San Francisco public school kid, seeing Mia take it to Trump made me plenty proud. She told me she was “upset that he said such horrible and degrading things to women.”

The state of the nation inspired Mia to start an “Equal Rights Club” at her school. Even though some of her schoolmates rebuffed her by saying feminism is about “hating men,” Mia said it’s about empowerment and equal rights.

Damn right, Mia.

This story has been updated from its original version.

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at joe@sfexaminer.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter.

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