In these tough times, most of us are looking to save a few dollars. And when we save money on goods that are produced far away, that means we have more money to spend right here at home promoting San Francisco’s economy. Earlier in the week, Ben Shore wrote about the tremendous economic benefits of car sharing, with thousands of dollars freed up to spend right here at home every time a family decides not to buy a car and rely instead on public transportation and car sharing.
As the world continues to watch and react to the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, communities far and wide are assessing their own systems of disaster alert and preparedness. While we may not be able to predict when natural disasters occur, we can and should use modern technology to improve our ability to bring help where it’s needed most.
We’ve seen how Web 2.0 tools like Facebook and Twitter can help people exchange information in times of crises – even in areas not as technologically advanced as we are here in San Francisco. We’ve seen systems like Reverse 911 protect countless lives by sending targeted phone calls informing people of impending dangers. And, we’ve seen millions of dollars in relief aide delivered in places like Haiti and Chile through online donations – or simple text messages that donates $10 instantly. Read More
According to a recent study by the Pew Internet Project, if government were more open and more transparent, we’d be happier and more inspired to make our city better.
There are a number of San Franciscans championing open government and the Gov 2.0 cause: GovFresh founders, Adriel Hampton and Jay Nath, Tim O'Reilly, and a number of other “Gov 2.0 Heroes” – and although there’s been progress over the last few years, City Hall can do better.
And one way to do better is to “crowdsource” our ideas and their ideas, empowering us to get involved and to get engaged. Read More
Today our first thought should be to send our help to our Pacific Rim neighbors who are suffering from devastating earthquakes. The Red Cross has set up relief efforts for both Japan and New Zealand. You can help here.
But our second thought should be to renew our own commitment to safeguarding our families, our neighborhoods and our city when it is our turn. And the data is clear – there is a 63% likelihood of a major earthquake striking the San Francisco Bay Area in the next two decades.
There is so much more that government can do. But what can we do? This is a community dedicated to User Generated Government. That can include User Generated Public Safety. Read More
It’s no secret that taxis – when we seemingly need them most – are hardest to find. The reason is simple. San Franciscans who use taxis mostly use them at the exact same time – during commute hours, Friday and Saturday evenings and on rainy days. These “peak times” certainly help to keep drivers busy but they also serve as a reminder that San Francisco’s taxi system needs to be upgraded. Read More
Read "Proposition 26 keeps MUNI’s hands tied" by Phil Ting, Assessor-Recorder of San Francisco
While the November 2010 mid-term election saw many progressive victories in California – like sending Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris to Sacramento and beating back Proposition 23 – it also brought about one dangerous defeat: the passage of Proposition 26.
And it is already becoming clear that Proposition 26 has the potential to be a Proposition 13 of our era, not just starving local government of funds they need to deliver effective services but also creating an increasingly contorted and unfair taxation system. Read More
Read "The Clipper Card Disaster" by Eric Jaye
The Clipper Card sounds like a great idea – until you use it.
The goal of the Clipper Card system is to create a single pass you can use on just about any Bay Area transit system. The cards are designed so you can load with a Fast Pass, BART discount tickets, CalTrain passes or any combination of transit payments.
But like so many ideas proposed for improving transit in San Francisco, riders are now being bedeviled with the a series of snafus that are making mass transit even less reliable. Read More
Reset Views is Reset San Francisco's guest blog roll giving anyone a chance to make his or her voice heard. Do you have a Reset View? Start your own blog here.
Read "Creating a Better Business Environment for the 21st Century" by Scott Hauge, President, Small Business California:
As the president of Small Business California, I believe in the free market. And I also believe that what makes the free market work is that everyone plays by the same rules.
Unfortunately, a tax loophole in our state is being exploited which hurts small businesses and creates a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. Out-of-state, online-only vendors don’t collect state sales taxes at the point of purchase like brick-and-mortar stores are required to do. This loophole has given out-of-state, online-only retailers an unfair competitive advantage over retailers in our own community. Read More
February 1, 2011
by Phl Ting
As San Francisco struggles to find common sense solutions to our ongoing budget deficits, we must start addressing the underlying problems in our finances and not just apply the type of “band-aid” fixes that only work in the short term.
A perfect example of such “band-aid” solutions is the Municipal Transportation Agency’s recent proposal to make parking control officers issue more parking tickets to close the agency’s budget gap.
Reset San Francisco’s new survey on public transit in San Francisco reveals widespread approval for proposed reforms to increase the speed and efficiency of the Municipal Railway, but uncertainty on how to generate badly needed revenue for the Municipal Transportation Agency.
Whether it’s the 38 Geary, N Judah, J Church or 1 California, most MUNI riders can find something that needs improving on their line. The MUNI Satisfaction Survey found just 7% of people have a “very favorable” impression MUNI with 24% reporting “very unfavorable.” Overall, 44% of the respondents to the online poll had a very or somewhat favorable opinion of MUNI, while 56% had a somewhat or very negative impression of the San Francisco Municipal Railway.