For much of the last week, anyone saying “it gets better” around the Giants was probably talking about Buster Posey’s ankle.
But as of Wednesday, that phrase has a new meaning. Read more
Maybe it was because I read about the SF MTA’s decision to pay nearly $100,000 for outside PR help on a morning when the Clipper Card didn’t work and we would have been happy to see any N-Judah, even one with all the doors stuck wide open, but it just seemed wrong on so many levels to pay spin doctors to make us feel better about riding on a broken Municipal Railway.
Since then I’ve seen just how good these spin-doctors are at their jobs. They actually managed to help the MUNI generate headlines about a new labor contract that made it seem like tens millions of dollars would be saved when in actuality nobody really knows for sure how much the contract will save and the best expert guess is that it will save just a fraction of the agency’s budget shortfall.
A few weeks ago the Reset Revealed staff asked the MTA to send it over so we could figure out what these outside PR professionals were going to do. The MTA’s full time and very professional public information staff sent it right over. And there are a couple of interesting things to note. Read and Respond to the MUNI Contract
By now most of you are probably aware that Reset San Francisco is a fan of San Francisco’s food truck movement. In fact, as you read this, some hungry members of the Reset Team are Off the Grid – hard at work tasting some of what the city’s most popular food trucks have to offer. Our research into food trucks has enlightened us to the fact that opening a restaurant in San Francisco – be it one on wheels or one on Market Street – is a daunting task.
Maybe it shouldn’t be so challenging to open a restaurant in the restaurant capital of the world. Read More
Okay – just had to share this. Very, very funny dissection of the city’s new Sit/Lie law. The Sit/Lie ordinance that passed last November has been taking some heat for not delivering what was promised (as well as for its casual approach to civil rights). Supporters of the ordinance have been quick to defend it.
The video is not quite appropriate for young children – so don’t watch if you can’t handle profanity. When the proponents of Sit/Lie come up with their own hilarious shtick – we’ll share that too.
BART is considering establishing a text-message line that would allow riders to immediately report problems, allowing the agency to move more quickly to address passenger concerns. Text-messages would be forwarded to a central call center where BART officials would determine how best to respond.
Bob Franklin, President of BART’s Board of Directors, strongly supports the idea, saying, “this could be a simple way to engage our passengers in a meaningful way.” Read More
San Francisco’s city government has its obvious problems. But for all the failures and follies at City Hall, there are some bright spot when it comes to Gov 2.0 innovation. And the prestigious Ash Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School has taken notice.
Government Programs that Work
Recently, the Ash Center announced its Top 25 Innovations in Government, a competition for programs that “represent the creative problem solving of local, state, and federal municipalities around the country.” From the 560 entrants, this list of 25 will be narrowed to 5 finalists and one ultimate winner in the Fall. Read More
Last week San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee announced the launch of a new publically available database, the Online Database of Board and Commission Appointments, which aggregates information on San Francisco city board and commission appointments and vacancies. San Francisco is trying to carve an open government path and this database, the first of its kind nationally, is another small step forward. Read More
In San Francisco, we like our food. From the localvore movement to food trucks to Four Star restaurants like La Folie and Gary Danko, food is a hallmark of our culture. In a city this obsessed, you would think that the largest server in town would be good, or at least decent. But the food in the San Francisco Unified School District, which serves five million lunches a year, often seems like it gets the least thought and attention.
San Francisco’s hardcore foodies might be shocked to learn that the lunch their kids eat daily is manufactured and prepackaged in Illinois, and that corn syrup and sodium are frequent ingredients. The food arrives at our schools much like tv dinners or airline food, ready to be reheated and served. Read More
Garbage in, garbage out.
That old programming aphorism from mainframe days frequently comes to mind when we look at so much of the public policy produced by state and local government.
How could the output of government so frequently seem so out of touch? Many folks in the Gov 2.0 movement think part of the answer lies with the input, which is often made buggy by the narrow demands of a few special interests dominating the debate in Sacramento (and frequently at our own San Francisco City Hall). Read more