Government bureaucracy is synonymous with long lines at the DMV and a quagmire of red tape and paperwork. Completing and processing government paperwork by hand takes an insufferable amount of time and results in huge inefficiency. Just getting a new stoplight installed on your San Francisco street corner can take almost three years and cost $187,500, in part because of the extensive bureaucratic process. Read more
The City just released it’s first every long-term government technology plan – and you can read it here.
San Francisco, which once led in Gov 2.0 technology initiatives, has been facing some very healthy competition recnelty from other American cities on the government technology front.
New York City under the direction of Mayor Michael Bloomberg just released a “Road Map to the Digital Future,” a comprehensive plan to harness the technology of Web 2.0 and use it to create a more responsive and effective government. Phil Ting weighed in on the New York plan last week. Read More
Let’s cut off the jokes right now.
You may have heard recently that the proponents of a San Francisco-wide ban on male circumcision have actually received enough signatures to have the measure appear on November’s ballot. Read more
Last Tuesday, the Bay Citizen ran a fascinating story on how police in Santa Clara are using smart phones to apprehend criminals more efficiently than ever before. Standard issue for cops in DC now includes iPhones and Toughbooks. But San Francisco police are still making due with the equipment of the past. So what, pardon the pun, is the hold up?
SF cops do have radios and laptops in their cars, and officers with the rank of Captain and above are given BlackBerries. But as the Bay Citizen pointed out, smart technology is invaluable to modern criminal investigations. Read More
In a city where so much seems to be broken, San Francisco garbage pick up is one of those things that always seems to work right. But one Supervisor is asking a smart question – why isn’t this contract put out to competitive bidding?
San Francisco’s garbage isn’t picked up by a city agency, but by a private company called Recology (formerly known as NorCal and Sunset Scavengers before that). The fine men and women of Recology have a semi-cult status in some neighborhoods because of their above and beyond attitude and their efficiency at the tough job of garbage collection.
But unlike most other cities in the Bay Area with private garbage collection, our contract is not put out to bid. Supervisor David Campos has been asking “why not?” And he has been talking about a potential ballot measure to require a competitive bidding process. Read More
Did you know studies have shown that well maintained neighborhood parks lower crime while raising property values?
In terms of Civic Return on Investment, there are few San Francisco government initiatives that return more to San Franciscans than our incredible neighborhood parks. For more than a decade, the organization working hardest to improve our parks has been the Neighborhood Parks Council. Long before most politicians had even heard of Gov 2.0, they were pioneering new ways to improve and protect our parks with a program called ParkScan. Read More
It seemed like only a matter of time.
After all, there hasn’t been a cab fare increase in San Francisco since 2003, while the cost of living, gas and credit card charges have all gone up – fairly drastically.
And so – by no fault of the cab drivers (hey, they gotta get paid, too) – San Franciscans and those visiting our fair city will soon be paying $.50 more per mile, $.10 more while sitting in traffic and quite likely an extra $.40 just to open a taxi’s door and sit down. Read more
We wrote yesterday about the incredible Civic Return on Investment from supporting public parks – lower crime, higher property values and stronger economies are all direct benefits of great public parks.
It’s bad news for San Franciscans, and even worse for residents of Bayview-Hunters Point. Candlestick Point State Recreation Area is on the list of state parks slated to be closed this August due to the state’s fiscal woes. Candlestick Point was America’s first urban state recreation area, and it is a valuable natural respite and an important community touchstone.
If you take a walk through the park today, you’re likely to see bird watchers, picnicking families, joggers and bikers, and fishermen hooking sturgeon off Sunrise Point. The Community Gardens offer plots to neighborhood localvores looking to grow their own produce. The park is home to flowering cactus, red-tailed hawks, several public art installations and Yosemite Creek.
Closing it to the public would be a tragedy for the community, and some neighbors worry that the abandoned land could become a hotspot for crime. To save Candlestick Point, we’re going to have to get innovative. Read More
Watch the video from Thursday's rally at City Hall.
Phil Ting joins Sierra Club and hardworking San Franciscans who support GoSolarSF, San Francisco's solar incentive program, which has created green jobs and stimulated the city's green economy.