As we approach the much loved San Francisco Gay Pride Parade June 29-30 the controversy surrounding the election of Bradley Manning as Grand Marshall continues to boil.
On April 25th, several newspapers (here and here) reported that Army Private First Class Bradley Manning was chosen by Pride’s electoral college as Grand Marshall for the 2014 Parade. However, the next day (April 26th) Pride board President Lisa Williams released a highly controversial and widely criticized missive attempting to annihilate the electoral college’s decision not only from Pride's parade process but from history itself. In harsh words which have been characterized as unseemly and authoritarian, Lisa Williams refused ‘even the hint’ of support for Bradley Manning as a whistle-blower and assured that any person involved had been ‘disciplined.’
This lead to an outcry by many organizations who support the actions of the Nobel Peace Prize nominee Manning, actions, which while illegal, brought to light incredible crimes of war and crimes against humanity perpetuated by the US Military. Due to the protestation of many activists, a hearing was scheduled by the Pride board for May 7th to discuss the selection and swift removal of Manning as Grand Marshal. That meeting was cancelled and the board met privately, much to the chagrin of interested parties.
In an age when the President of Hope has done more to crackdown on whistleblowers than all of the previous presidents combined and the government is actively creating an atmosphere of fear around telling the truth, it is worrisome to many to see Gay Pride falling victim to this intellectual malfeasance.
There is no violence in holding a hearing; there is no lack of security in allowing people to voice their opinions. When a group like Pride Inc implies that the concerned citizens protesting the closed door reversal of a popular decision is a threat to security we must begin to worry for them.
While the web was swarmed this week with climate change articles, the message boards were swamped with comments from an active group who seem to honestly and truly believe that there is nothing wrong with burning as much fuel and creating as much waste as possible.
This very noisy minority has done a great job, thus far, in obfuscating the fact that climate change is a very important issue according to the federal government and that the scientific community has come to a consensus regarding the pressing nature of changing the way our species burns fuel and creates waste.
Where are our leaders in Congress? Why aren’t they leading us to change?
Two reasons: First, wealthy interests have spent tons of money confusing people about the real impact of climate change. Second: Big businesses and rich individuals profiting from the use of fossil fuels are bribing our congresspeople at an alarming rate.
These are important things to consider as President Obama weighs arguments on the permit decision for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Proponents of the pipeline argue that it will not spill very often and will create jobs, even though most scientists agree that tar sands oil will be a huge problem for the global environment.
What about the Keytstone I pipeline? The one they started using in 2010 and claimed would spill only once every 7 years? Oh yeah, it spilled 12 times in 12 months.
But just look at how much money backers of the pipeline are spending!
This week Congress has shown its usual inability to work on behalf of the American people. President Obama, knifing his supporters and non-rich Americans in the back, offered extremely big cuts in Social Security and Medicare – cuts experts think are BIGGER than those the Republican plan calls for – only to be rejected by the Republicans. No matter how far they all move away from the best interest of the American people they still can’t agree.
At almost the same time and in the same week, Congress had no trouble rolling back some provisions of the 2011 insider trading ban. Remember in 2011 when 60 Minutes did the big expose uncovering the little known fact that Congresspeople were not subject to the same insider trading laws as the rest of the country and both the House and Senate whipped up a quick law to keep Americans happy?
Well now they've found something new to agree on: Quietly and quickly, working with efficiency they can’t find when it comes to funding the government or working on behalf of the people, Congress moved to take some of the elements out of that popular and necessary legislation, giving their staffers more freedom to make money off of their insider knowledge.
Is it any wonder that the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are collectively less popular than lice?
While the liberal press obsesses over President Obama's recent gaffe regarding Kamala Harris, there has been little coverage of his proposed 2013 budget.
Obama is now openly promoting cuts to Social Security in the form of "chained CPI" -- a measure of inflation that assumes that if real food becomes too expensive, the poor will simply survive on something cheaper, such as cat food. Although this has been dismissed by many in the press as a mere "tweak," the real consequence will be a cut to Social Security benefits of between 5 and 10%, depending on the age of the recipeient.
Obama's proposed budget also includes deep cuts to Medicare (beyond even those proposed by Tea Party Republican Paul Ryan), as well as tax increases on the middle class.
Obama's statement mourning the late Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan is yet another indication of how far the spectrum of mainstream US politics has moved in just a few years.
How Green is Your Supervisor?
This is a report card for the 2012 Board of Supervisors. It shows the most important votes in 2012, from a Green Party perspective, and whether each Supervisor supported or opposed our position on legislation. Some of the votes are on amendments to legislation.
We plan to release a report card every year on key Supervisorial votes.
If you don't know which district you live in, click here for a map.
|Supported Green Party position|
|Opposed Green Party position|
|Sharp Park Restoration||Y||N||Y||N||Y||Y||N||N||Y||N||Y|
|Sunshine Task Force Purge||N||Y||Y||Y||N||N||Y||Y||N||Y||N|
|Wall on the Waterfront||Y||Y||N||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||N||Y||N|
|Stop Beach Chalet Soccer Fields||N||N||N||N||Y||N||N||N||N||N||N|
|Free Muni for Low-income Youth||Y||N||Y||N||Y||Y||N||N||Y||Y||Y|
Sharp Park Restoration (1/10/12) - did the Supervisor vote to override the Mayor's veto of a proposal to transfer Sharp Park to the National Park Service? SF currently spends hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain Sharp Park, a golf course on the coast of San Mateo county. The park is home to several endangered species, and maintenance will cost more in the future as climate change causes sea levels to rise. This proposal would have transfered the park to the National Park Service, who would have paid to convert the park to be used for recreational purposes (such as hiking and camping) that would not require expensive maintenance or further endanger the wildlife. This proposal required 8 votes to pass, so it failed.
Sunshine Task Force Purge (5/22/12) - did the Supervisor vote to purge progressives from the Sunshine Task Force? Conservatives on the Board removed Bruce Wolfe and other long-time members of the Sunshine Task Force, after the Task Force blew the whistle on the Board of Supervisors' violations of open meeting laws during their approval of Parkmerced redevelopment in 2011.
Wall on the Waterfront (6/12/12) - did the Supervisor vote to build more luxury condos for the super-rich along San Francisco's waterfront? The developers of this project got an exemption from the area's height limit, and plan to build a wall of high-rise luxury condos that will provide great views for their residents but create a canyon-like experience for those of us stuck at ground level.
Beach Chalet Soccer Fields (7/10/12) - did the Supervisor vote to support an appeal of the project's Environmental Impact Report (EIR)? The SF Rec & Park department is planning to replace a natural field on the west side of Golden Gate Park with artificial turf fields made from toxic recycled tires. The fields will be lit up at night with bright lights that will be visible from the beach. The complex will be rented to for-profit soccer teams, including many from outside of SF. The appeal of the EIR would have helped to stop this project.
CleanPowerSF (9/18/12) - did the Supervisor vote to challenge the PG&E monopoly by giving residents a choice to buy renewable power? This proposal required 8 votes to forestall a threatened Mayoral veto, and passed 8-3.
Mirkarimi Removal (10/9/12) - did the Supervisor vote to support Lee and Gascon's attempt to overturn the Sheriff's election and install another Mayor-appointed puppet? See the SF Green Party's statement on why we supported Mirkarimi remaining in office. This proposal required 8 votes to pass, so it failed.
Nudity Ban (11/20/12) - did the Supervisor support legislation that allows police to selectively ticket people (even children as young as 5 years old) for public nudity? Why are the supervisors who voted for this so concerned about naked children? Do they want the SFPD to take even more resources away from solving violent crimes and instead patrol City playgrounds looking for children mooning each other?
Free Muni for Low-income Youth (11/20/12) - did the Supervisor back a pilot program to provide free Muni passes to youth from low-income families?
The SF Green Party endorsed the SF Labor Council's resolution regarding the murder of Alan Blueford at our Jan 23 meeting, by consensus:
Whereas a Black person is killed by law enforcement once every 36 hours, per the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement’s study;
Whereas the federal report monitoring the Oakland Police Department states that the Oakland Police Department pulls guns on Black and Latino people disproportionately to the number of times guns are pulled on whites;
Whereas two new reports by a federal monitor, criticized the OPD’s handling of officer-involved shootings and Occupy Oakland protests;
Whereas Alan Blueford, an 18 year old Black youth, who was about to graduate from Skyline H.S., was killed by OPD Officer Masso on May 6.
Whereas OPD has provided at least four versions of what happened the night Alan Blueford was killed, including the claim that the Officer Masso was shot in a gun battle with Alan Blueford, when he later admitted that he shot himself in the foot;
Whereas the OPD:
A. Engaged in racial profiling and violated numerous OPD policies;
B. Engaged in a cover-up (Made numerous false statements and repeatedly changed their story);
C. Showed complete disregard for the life of Alan Blueford and the dignity of the family;
D. Had the coroner’s report withheld from the family for 3 months, and the police report for5 months;
Whereas, the Coroner’s Report reveals that Alan Blueford had no gun residue on his hands, no alcohol or drugs in his system, and implies that Alan Blueford was shot while lying on his back;
Whereas Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley declared she will not charge Officer Masso for the killing of Alan Blueford. Her report shows strong bias as, for example, relying on Masso’s statement that Alan was standing when he first shot him, despite 11 out of 12 witness statements to the contrary;
Therefore, be it resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council pass a resolution seeking Justice For Alan Blueford and demand that the Federal Monitor take strong action against OPD including:
1. Stopping the OPD from racial and ethnic profiling and violence against people of color;
2. Instituting stricter background checks, training, apprehension and gun use policies within the OPD;
3. The firing of Officer Masso;
Further be it resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council demand that the Alameda County District Attorney immediately charge Officer Masso with murder.