San Francisco City Insider

This podcast has merged into Fifth & Mission, the flagship newscast of the San Francisco Chronicle. Please subscribe to Fifth & Mission on your favorite podcast app.


Old description: From the back rooms of City Hall to the chaotic streets of downtown, the San Francisco City Insider provides insight into the biggest news stories and most pressing issues facing one of the most interesting cities in the world. Chronicle columnist Heather Knight hosts, with regular appearances from The San Francisco Chronicle’s City Hall team – Trisha Thadani and Dominic Fracassa. They ask the tough questions of our city’s leaders to find out what’s going right and what needs to change.

News
Government
1
San Francisco City Insider Is Moving
This podcast's timeline is ending, but the show will go on! Host Heather Knight is joining Audrey Cooper as co-host of the Chronicle's flagship podcast, Fifth & Mission, where she'll continue to interview newsmakers. And her patented Lightning Round is going with her. Subscribe to Fifth & Mission to keep listening. podfollow.com/fifth
1 min
2
BART's Coming Off the Rails
Bevan Dufty, a member of the BART board of directors, discusses how the already struggling transit agency has seen a 94 percent plunge in ridership during the coronavirus pandemic and how it will ever recover.
41 min
3
How to Combat Shutdown Loneliness
Madeline Dangerfield-Cha, the co-founder of Mon Ami, a service that matches volunteers with isolated seniors, talks about the epidemic of loneliness during our new coronavirus reality and gives tips on how to build connections.
21 min
4
Glide in the Time of COVID-19
Karen Hanrahan, CEO and president of Glide, the famous Tenderloin church and social service provider, talks about the livestream church services and what coronavirus is teaching us about poverty.
28 min
5
Homeless and Desperate
Kristie Fairchild, executive director of North Beach Citizens, talks about how more homeless people are seeking help since food and spare change from tourists and other passersby have dried up due to the coronavirus shutdown.
20 min
6
San Francisco After COVID-19
Cities have long weathered public health crises and emerged stronger because of them. Benjamin Grant, urban design policy director at SPUR, talks about the ways San Francisco will be permanently changed by coronavirus.
23 min
7
Is the Coronavirus Surge Still Coming?
Have we flattened the curve? Dr. Allison Bond, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, gives Heather Knight an inside view of San Francisco hospitals — which, so far, seem like a calm before a storm.
23 min
8
Inside San Francisco's Emergency Command Center
Ivy Lee, a legislative aide who's among hundreds of city staff spending long days inside Moscone Center to prepare for the expected surge in coronavirus cases, discusses San Francisco's readiness with Heather Knight.
21 min
9
Coronavirus: A Disaster for Small Businesses
The shutdown to stem the coronavirus outbreak has already destroyed some small businesses, including the one owned by Sharky Laguana, president of San Francisco's Small Business Commission, who talks to Heather Knight.
25 min
10
Treating Victims of S.F.’s Traffic Violence
Dr. Andre Campbell, a trauma surgeon at San Francisco General Hospital, regularly treats pedestrians and bicyclists mowed down by cars. He speaks with host Heather Knight about the uptick in street violence and what can be done to reduce it.
29 min
11
“This Is Going to Be Catastrophic”
San Franciscan Amanda Kahn Fried is on sabbatical in Italy, a coronavirus hot spot where events seem to be a few weeks ahead of the Bay Area. She tells Heather Knight what it’s like to live under lockdown.
19 min
12
Fifth & Mission: A Top S.F. Doctor on the Coron...
Dr. Andre Campbell, a longtime trauma surgeon and ICU doctor at San Francisco General Hospital, tells Heather Knight on the Chronicle’s flagship podcast what to expect with COVID-19 in the weeks ahead and how the hospital is preparing.
26 min
13
The Bart Board President's Big Dreams
Lateefah Simon, a legally blind single mom who commuted on BART for years before she was elected president of its board of directors in December, talks with Heather Knight about her plans for the beleaguered transit system.
29 min
14
Race, Power and Inequity in San Francisco
Shakirah Simley, director of the new Office of Racial Equity, talks with Dominic Fracassa about rooting out and repairing the racial harms caused by city policies.
29 min
15
There's a New Sheriff in Town
Paul Miyamoto was sworn in at a pivotal moment for criminal justice reform in San Francisco. He tells Dominic Fracassa about the future of the city’s crumbling Hall of Justice and his vow to protect the city’s sanctuary policies.
36 min
16
Vilaska Nguyen: Comedian, Public Defender and S...
In a crossover episode with Total SF, Nguyen joins hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to announce his candidacy for District 7 supervisor, talk about how Jeff Adachi inspired his comedy and why he lives in San Francisco, and to face the City Insider lightning round.
36 min
17
Young, Homeless and Alone on the Streets
Sherilyn Adams, director of Larkin Street Youth Services, talks about youth homelessness and debunks myths about the crisis in San Francisco.
23 min
18
Corruption in the Public Works Department
Supervisor Matt Haney has long been frustrated by the filthy streets and lack of trash cans and public restrooms in his district. He was outraged by Public Works chief Mohammed Nuru's alleged corruption and is calling for major changes in the department.
31 min
19
Fifth & Mission Live: Primaries 2020
In this episode of the Chronicle's flagship news podcast, Fifth & Mission, Editor in Chief Audrey Cooper, politics writer Joe Garofoli and columnists Heather Knight and Phil Matier talk about Iowa, the upcoming primaries, and local politics at a Chronicle Talks event at Manny's in San Francisco.
60 min
20
The Rare San Francisco Trump Supporter
John Dennis, waging his fourth campaign against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, discusses what it's like to be among the 6.6% of city residents registered to vote as a Republican and why he backs President Trump. | Get unlimited Chronicle access.
23 min
21
Super Excited for the Super Bowl
Supervisor Shamann Walton, City Hall's No. 1 49ers fan, talks about his Super Bowl party and plans for a victory parade up Market Street if the Niners win their first ring in 25 years. Plus: Cable car No. 49, all decked out.
19 min
22
Fifth & Mission: Bombshell Arrest of "MrCleanSF"
San Francisco City Insider host Heather Knight joins Audrey Cooper and Evan Sernoffsky in this breaking news episode of the Fifth & Mission podcast from the San Francisco Chronicle, which we're presenting on the City Insider feed. San Francisco Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru and Lefty O'Doul's owner Nick Bovis are charged with fraud after a months-long federal corruption probe.
16 min
23
Why San Francisco Needs a Safe Injection Site
For years, drug addiction expert Alex Kral has been studying a secret safe injection site in an undisclosed American city. He says San Francisco has to open its own site to cope with its drug crisis. | Get unlimited Chronicle access.
32 min
24
No Love for the Haight
Endless construction, high rents and increasing labor costs are harming businesses in the Haight. Booksmith owner Christin Evans, president of the neighborhood's merchant association, tells Heather Knight about the hardships.
22 min
25
The Public Defender Makes His Case
Mano Raju has big shoes to fill in replacing the late Jeff Adachi. He talks about the election of his fellow public defender Chesa Boudin to the district attorney's office and his efforts to make jury duty a regular job.
29 min
26
Three Years of Rage
Raveena Rihal and Palak Sheth co-founded the Post March Salon (PMS) after the first Women's March three years ago. Their anger over President Trump's policies and commitment to change has only deepened since then.
24 min
27
Spending San Francisco's Big Bucks
Treasurer Jose Cisneros talks about the city's whopping $12.3 billion budget and why he's directing more of it to kindergarteners, airport workers and low-income people.
38 min
28
Best of City Insider: New Muni Director
Jeffrey Tumlin took over on Dec. 16. In case you missed it, you can hear him talk in November about his plans to chart a new path for San Francisco that will prioritize buses, bikes and pedestrians over private vehicles and "subsidized car storage" — parking spaces. First published Nov. 23.
37 min
29
Best of City Insider: Chesa Boudin
He came on the podcast as one of four candidates. Now he's the district attorney-elect. Hear how he'll operate as San Francisco's top prosecutor. First published Sept. 17.
32 min
30
Best of City Insider: Vision Zero Isn’t Working
Janice Li, a Bicycle Coalition staffer and BART director, talks about how San Francisco's program to eliminate traffic deaths is big on marketing and short on actual answers. First published Aug. 30.
42 min
31
The Most Loved Librarian in America
San Francisco Public Library reference librarian Janet Tom has just won a national award for, yes, being loved. She tells us about her job and why the city's libraries are so well-liked.
17 min
32
The Drug Crisis, Firsthand
Thomas Wolf was an employed, married father of two when he got hooked on painkillers after surgery. He fell into homelessness and heroin addiction in the Tenderloin before pulling himself out. He talks about how City Hall can do better.
20 min
33
A Rocky Year at City Hall
Columnist Heather Knight and reporters Dominic Fracassa and Trisha Thadani discuss the major stories of 2019 and preview what's to come in 2020.
34 min
34
Sacred sleep
Shannon Eizenga, executive director of the Gubbio Project, discusses why it's so hard for homeless people to sleep and how offering them church pews for rest makes a difference.
21 min
35
Talking Trash
John Porter, vice president of Recology, discusses changes the garbage collection agency is making to help clean up San Francisco's notoriously dirty streets.
25 min
36
Dean Preston’s Big Plans
The supervisor-elect who beat London Breed ally Vallie Brown in November talks to reporter Trisha Thadani about his plans to shake up the status quo when he joins the Board of Supervisors in December.
23 min
37
Hungry in San Francisco
Paul Ash, executive director of the San Francisco Food Bank, talks about how food pantries are cropping up at local colleges because students are broke after paying tuition, and how he scrapes together 48 million pounds of food each year.
19 min
38
Byron Cobb: Cable Car Bell Ringing Champion
A crossover The Big Event and S.F. City Insider episode. Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight interview Byron Cobb, the reigning Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest champion and eight-time winner. Produced by Peter Hartlaub.
37 min
39
Meet Your New Muni Director
Jeffrey Tumlin, who will start one of the city's hardest jobs on Dec. 16, plans to chart a new path for San Francisco that will prioritize buses, bikes and pedestrians over private vehicles and "subsidized car storage" — parking spaces.
37 min
40
The Effort to End Domestic Violence
Esta Soler, founder of Futures Without Violence, talks about the 25th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and her plan for a new Courage Museum in the Presidio.
19 min
41
SF Takes Big Step Toward Mental Health Care Ref...
After months of political bickering, San Francisco's leaders have united behind an ambitious, expensive plan to fix the city's broken mental health care system. Chronicle City Hall reporters Trisha Thadani and Dom Fracassa break down what's happening and what's yet to come.
16 min
42
Making San Francisco's Streets Safer
Bicycle Coalition executive director Brian Wiedenmeier discusses the new car-free Market Street plan, his dream of a car-free Golden Gate Park, and why he's always polite while bicycling around the city
32 min
43
Too Close to Call: Election Night Recap
Chronicle columnist Heather Knight and City Hall reporter Dominic Fracassa talk about the district attorney's race, the neck-and-neck competition for district 5 on the Board of Supervisors and more.
21 min
44
Celebrating Transgender Awareness Month
Clair Farley, director of the Office of Transgender Initiatives, talks about her own transition and the importance of pushing progressive LGBTQ policies while the White House spreads transphobia.
24 min
45
Jonathan Moscone: 41 Years Without Dad
The late Mayor George Moscone’s son recalls the horrible day his father was assassinated alongside Supervisor Harvey Milk. Moscone, chief producer for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, also discusses the importance of promoting artists in a city where they can't afford to live.
27 min
46
Should 17-year-olds get to vote?
Ella Yitzhaki, a senior at Lowell High, has become an advocate for amending the California constitution to allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they'll be 18 by the general election. She talks about the reasons for the change and what it's like being a kid in San Francisco.
23 min
47
Losing Summer
Ten months. Nearly 30 visits to the psychiatric ER. And a suicide. Summer’s story reveals the weaknesses in San Francisco’s mental illness and addiction treatment system.
9 min
48
“Off to the Races” Already
(Originally published March 4, 2019.) With the election nine months away, nearly $200,000 has already been poured into the race for the District Five seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Vallie Brown, who was appointed by Mayor London Breed following Breed’s ascension to Room 200, faces stiff competition for her reelection. Tenant Attorney Dean Preston, who narrowly lost to Breed in 2016, is running as a Democratic Socialist. That could be a problem for Brown, who’s associated with the moderate mayor. San Francisco Chronicle City Hall reporter Trisha Thadani sits down with host Heather Knight to talk about what this all means for Mayor Breed, the city and the district.
16 min
49
San Francisco's New Political Spot
Manny Yekutiel looks back on the first year of Manny's, discusses the importance of civic engagement and talks about why he'd never let Donald Trump — or any other Republican — speak there.
26 min
50
Fifth & Mission: Rocks and Hard Places
We're sharing this episode of The Chronicle's Fifth & Mission podcast, in which SF City Insider host Heather Knight joins Kevin Fagan and Demian Bulwa to talk about the infamous boulders on Clinton Park alley, which have become a symbol for San Francisco's inability to provide basic services for its homeless population or to enforce laws when street behavior turns dark and violent.
12 min
51
Total SF: Warriors president Rick Welts interview
Warriors president Rick Welts joins the San Francisco Chronicle's #TotalSF team Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight for a The Big Event/SF City Insider podcast crossover. Welts makes the case to add the Chase Center to the new 49 Mile Scenic Route being created by Knight and Hartlaub, and talks about living in San Francisco, his friendship with NBA legend Bill Russell and submits to Knight's City Insider lightning round.. Produced by Peter Hartlaub.
28 min
52
Taking a Shot at the NRA
Supervisor Catherine Stefani made national news when her resolution calling the National Rifle Association "a domestic terrorist organization" passed the Board of Supervisors unanimously. She talks about her reasons and the fallout.
20 min
53
DA Tuesday: Chesa Boudin
The most progressive candidate in the race for San Francisco district attorney is a public defender who's been visiting his father in prison since he was a baby. He discusses the major changes he'd like to see in our broken criminal justice system.
32 min
54
A Little Dignity for the Homeless
Doniece Sandoval, the founder of Lava Mae, which brings mobile showers and toilets to the streets, discusses City Hall's sluggishness, how parents can explain street misery to their kids, and what average San Franciscans can do to help.
24 min
55
DA Tuesday: Suzy Loftus
The front-runner in the race discusses what she'd do about San Francisco's biggest problems, including untreated mental illness on our streets, drug dealing and car break-ins.
43 min
56
DA Tuesday: Nancy Tung
33 min
57
Why San Francisco's Vision Zero Isn't Working
Janice Li, a Bicycle Coalition staffer and BART director, talks about how San Francisco's program to eliminate traffic deaths is big on marketing and short on actual answers. Plus: What's in store for BART, and Li’s favorite and least favorite stations.
42 min
58
DA Tuesday: Leif Dautch
In the first of four interviews with the candidates for San Francisco district attorney, Leif Dautch talks about how he'd remake the troubled office and his plans for a 150-bed mental health center. Plus: He plays his fiddle, a first for SF City Insider.
35 min
59
An Attack, a Video and the Fallout
The harrowing viral video of an attack on a woman trying to enter her waterfront condo has reignited debate over how San Francisco ought to balance helping those in crisis with ensuring public safety.
13 min
60
S.F.’s First Openly LGBT Fire Chief
Jeanine Nicholson talks about her cancer battle, what San Francisco should do about its homeless epidemic and whether we’re really prepared for a massive earthquake. Plus: Her favorite burrito spot.
33 min
61
An Epidemic of Untreated Mental Illness
San Francisco is compelling far fewer mentally ill people into mandated treatment. Columnist Heather Knight and City Hall reporter Dominic Fracassa discuss the rise in clearly untreated mental illness on the city's sidewalks.
15 min
62
Living on the Cheap in One of the World's Most ...
As his name implies, Broke-Ass Stuart's whole shtick is living a big life with little cash. But that's become harder than ever in San Francisco. The city character explains how he does it and offers tips for others.
27 min
63
Treating San Francisco Homelessness Like a Real...
If San Francisco experienced a major fire or earthquake and thousands of residents were suddenly homeless, would the city form task forces and appoint an expert to study the problem? Kara Zordel, CEO of Community Assessment and Treatment Services, says it's time we treat homelessness like a real emergency too.
33 min
64
Into the Weeds with SF's Cannabis Czar
As director of San Francisco's cannabis office, it's former prosecutor Marisa Rodriguez's job to grow the city's legal pot economy. One of her top priorities? Ensuring victims of the War on Drugs get the first chance to benefit as business-owners now that cannabis is legal in California.
45 min
65
What Does London Lack That SF Has in Abundance?...
In talking to friends and colleagues who’ve done their own recent traveling, it’s clear to columnist Heather Knight that many cities around the world and the U.S. maintain a better quality of life for residents of all income levels, as well as create a better experience for visitors.
16 min
66
Breaking Down the Budget
How does a city with a $12 billion budget still have so many problems? City Hall reporters Dominic Fracassa and Trisha Thadani break down how the $12 billion budget isn't actually as much as it seems.
12 min
67
The Fight Over the Embarcadero Navigation Center
Everyone agrees San Francisco must address its homelessness problem, but the fierce debate over the Embarcadero navigation center highlights how hard that is to do. Trisha Thadani and Dominic Fracassa on the city's struggle.
15 min
68
Poverty and Financial Justice in San Francisco
For the past two years, San Francisco's Financial Justice Project has been working to eliminate government fees and fines that are particularly painful, and in some cases, ruinous, to the city's poorest. Anne Stuhldreher, who leads the project, sat down with Chronicle reporter Dominic Fracassa to talk about her team's accomplishments and how to keep the government from enriching itself on the backs of its most vulnerable. For more on the project: https://sftreasurer.org/financialjustice.
33 min
69
Making Sense of the Affordable Housing Mess
The mayor and a few members of the Board of Supervisors are battling over the best way to build more affordable and teacher housing. Both sides have proposals for the November ballot. We try to untangle the issues.
16 min
70
Taxing Wealthy Companies to Solve SF's Problems
Should San Francisco raise taxes on prosperous companies to help pay for the city's most gripping problems? Between a tax on IPO's, Uber and Lyft and exorbitantly paid CEO's voters will have plenty of options to choose from in November. We break down the three business tax proposals headed to November's ballot, focusing on the most recent one that would raise money for a new mental health care system.
14 min
71
Finding the Tipping Point on Homelessness
Daniel Lurie is the CEO and founder of Tipping Point, an anti-poverty nonprofit in San Francisco. He tells Heather Knight that the solution to homelessness is homes, but also that we can all help the homeless by simply treating them as people.
35 min
72
Total SF Live! with Amanda Guest, Emily Silverm...
A crossover episode of The Big Event and San Francisco City Insider podcasts, recorded live on May 16, 2019, at the Betabrand Podcast Theater in the Mission District. San Francisco Chronicle pop culture critic Peter Hartlaub and San Francisco columnist Heather Knight interview BFF.fm online radio founder Amanda Guest, The Nocturnists podcast host Dr. Emily Silverman and Muni Diaries co-hosts Tara Ramroop and Eugenia Chien. Produced by Peter Hartlaub. Music is "The Tide Will Rise" by the Sunset Shipwrecks on the album "Community."
72 min
73
Opioid Addiction: One Family's Story
When 33-year-old Jeffrey Choate’s parents saw their son, homeless and addicted to heroin and meth, in Heather Knight's San Francisco Chronicle column, they wanted to tell her about how he ended up that way. We also hear from Choate, now in jail.
39 min
74
I Left My Heart - and Wallet, iPhone and Sanity...
Joe D’Allesandro, director of S.F. Travel, took City Hall to task a year ago for doing so little to improve safety and quality-of-life on the city’s streets. Between poop, needles, tent camps and car break-ins, tourists are often shocked and disgusted and vow to never return. And that’s a problem for a city that relies on tourism. We’re talking to him again to see what, if anything, has changed and what tourists are saying now.
29 min
75
Mid-Market: Vision and Reality
We're sharing this episode of the Chronicle's flagship Fifth & Mission podcast about the expiring “Twitter tax break,” created by San Francisco in 2011 to draw companies to the downtrodden Mid-Market neighborhood. Reporters Trisha Thadani, J.K. Dineen and Roland Li discuss its impact and effects, both good and bad. Subscribe to Fifth & Mission wherever you get San Francisco City Insider.
21 min
76
San Francisco’s Deadly Streets - And What Could...
Five years ago, city officials vowed to eliminate all traffic deaths in 10 years in a safe streets program dubbed Vision Zero. Halfway through those 10 years, San Francisco is making no progress in eliminating traffic fatalities. Already this year, 12 people have died in traffic including seven pedestrians, a bicyclist, a skateboarder and three people in cars. Jodie Medeiros, director of the pedestrian advocacy nonprofit Walk San Francisco, talks about why San Francisco can’t seem to get a handle on making its streets safe - and what changes are needed to make Vision Zero a reality.
26 min
77
Homeless Navigation Centers: Now What?
The city's plan to build a homeless shelter on the Embarcadero faces a legal challenge. Jeff Kositsky, director of San Francisco’s homelessness department, talks about the need to balance an emphasis on short-term shelters with permanent housing.
13 min
78
Fixing SF's Behavioral Health System Is Difficu...
Something isn’t working within San Francisco’s behavioral health care system, but city officials don't exactly know how to fix it yet. City Hall reporter Trisha Thadani breaks down why it's so complicated, and what San Francisco is doing to add more coordination, focus and accountability to the system.
10 min
79
Tribute to the Richmond District
A tribute to the Richmond District, recorded at the historic Balboa Theatre, before a #TotalSF screening of "So I Married an Axe Murderer."
31 min
80
America’s Most Woke Library
A chat with Michael Lambert, San Francisco’s new city librarian. The title sounds pretty old-school, but the city’s libraries are anything but. They’re about to become fine free. They host drag queen storytimes. They were among the first to add social workers to the staff since libraries are also makeshift homeless shelters. And last year San Francisco was named the nation’s best library system.
24 min
81
The Queen of Car Break-ins
Shirin Oloumi is known as the Queen of Car Break-ins. She doesn't break into cars. She prosecutes the people who do. Every car break-in that leads to an arrest in San Francisco crosses her desk, and she not only makes the charging decisions about them but appears in court to argue to Superior Court judges that the city’s property crime epidemic needs to be taken more seriously.
16 min
82
Why S.F. General's bills are so damn high
Now that San Francisco General Hospital’s sketchy billing practice—in which privately insured patients are personally on the hook for their bills—have been revealed, there’s a central question: Why are the bills so high? From $34,000 bumps and bruises to $92,000 appendectomies, these amounts are outrageous because of the ever-inflated hospital “chargemaster.” That’s the list of rates, which is approved each year, no questions asked, by the mayor and the Board of Supervisors, who admit they had no idea what they were voting on. City Hall reporter Trisha Thadani interviews columnist Heather Knight about the latest in the billing scandal.
11 min
83
Inside San Francisco’s Mental Health Crisis
Rachel Rodriguez, a social worker in San Francisco General Hospital’s psychiatric emergency room, is incensed at the way some people are painting the move toward conserving more mentally ill people. She’s in favor of the changes and explains why — and why the current system is so broken.
27 min
84
“Difficult” Supervisor Hillary Ronen
From her insistence she wasn’t elected president of the Board of Supervisors because of sexist ideas about her being “difficult” to her drive to build more homeless navigation centers and shelters in her district despite neighbors’ resistance, Ronen isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. She’s the firebrand of the board — and she loves that reputation.
38 min
85
A State Solution for SF General’s Brutal Billin...
Assemblyman David Chiu has heard the stories - of regular San Franciscans going to S.F. General with appendicitis, broken bones and migraines and getting stuck with a bill for tens of thousands of dollars. Even though they have private insurance. Chiu is teaming with State Sen. Scott Wiener to propose a state ban on all balance billing and cap what hospitals can charge for services at either 150 percent of Medicare’s rates or the average cost of insurance contracts. It would be a big hit to the city’s trauma center’s bottom line, but Chiu says it’s not fair to expect privately insured patients to shoulder such huge burdens.
21 min
86
Seeking Small Miracles for the Homeless
Miracle Messages uses social media to try to connect homeless people in San Francisco with long-lost love ones in hopes of getting them back home with someone who cares about them. They’ve matched nearly 200 pairs, but founder Kevin Adler says the city could do more to help. Heather Knight interviews Adler and joins him downtown as he and his fellow "ambassadors" talk to people living on the streets.
29 min
87
An Early Look at the Race to Become San Francis...
Columnist Heather Knight and Hall of Justice reporter Evan Sernoffsky discuss the already crowded field to replace San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. For the first time in about a century, there will be no incumbent in the race - meaning the field is wide open and several impressive candidates are already raising big money and gathering key endorsements. Who has the upper hand? What do San Franciscans want in their next DA? Get the inside scoop here.
20 min
88
185 Million Reasons to Fight
Official discussions about how to divvy up San Francisco's $185 million windfall were set to begin at Wednesday's Budget and Finance committee meeting. These discussions have become about a lot more than just which city budgets should get a boost. They're about what kind of city San Francisco wants to be. Trisha Thadani reports from City Hall.
8 min
89
City Attorney Dennis Herrera and the S.F. Votin...
San Francisco voters have recently approved major tax increases to fund homeless services, teacher pay raises and childcare, but the money’s being kept under theoretical lock and key until the courts weigh in. At issue is whether these measures really needed two-thirds voter support versus the simply majority they received. City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s controversial advice that they only needed a majority is what set off this hullabaloo. Columnist Heather Knight interviews him about it, as well as other subjects like his fight against the oil companies to pay up for climate change and, of course, his favorite burrito.
30 min
90
San Francisco School Teachers and Their Struggl...
Stephen Torres-Esquer, an award-winning special education teacher at Lowell High, talks about how hard it is to make it in one of the world’s most expensive cities on such a paltry salary. As San Francisco politicians fight over how to spend a surprise windfall of more than $184 million, he tells Heather Knight he’s likely to return soon to his hometown of Stockton, where he could buy a house and even open a savings account.
24 min
91
Does City Hall Have the Fix for District Six?
New Supervisor Matt Haney has barely begun his new job representing District 6, but he’s already deluged with meeting requests, emails and tweets from residents fed up with the filth, needles and feces on their sidewalks. He’s fed up with it too and said the Tenderloin and South of Market can no longer be the city’s dumping ground and residents can no longer be ignored. He even says there’s been a city conspiracy to allow these issues to fester in District Six, but we’ll let him explain.
32 min
92
The Great Progressive Compromise
For the first time in years, progressives have a majority on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, but their inability to unify around a single candidate for board president shows they have a long way to go to exert their power. Trisha Thadani reports on the victory of gentlemanly Norman Yee over firebrand Hillary Ronen.
6 min
93
Best of City Insider: Jane Kim
Jane Kim was a San Francisco Supervisor who was running for mayor when she talked to Chronicle columnist Heather Knight for this episode, which ran on March 21, 2018. Kim, who lost in her mayoral bid and was termed out from her seat on the Board of Supervisors, is known for big, bold ideas, only a fraction of which became reality at City Hall. But she centered her mayoral campaign on a very practical policy initiative: cleaning the city’s notoriously dirty streets.
15 min
94
Best of City Insider: Marc Benioff
The 61st floor of the Salesforce Tower was the setting for San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight's interview with CEO Marc Benioff just before the 2018 election. Benioff talks about his support for Prop. C, the initiative to tax big businesses — like Salesforce — to raise money for homeless services, and why he scolded other San Francisco CEOs for not doing the same. From Nov. 2, 2018.
18 min
95
Best of City Insider: Police Chief Bill Scott
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight talks to SFPD Chief Bill Scott about the epidemic of car break-ins and what residents and the police can do to prevent these crimes. Scott also talks about homelessness and injection drug use on the city’s streets. From April 2, 2018.
23 min
96
The San Francisco Movie Special
Chronicle columnist Heather Knight talks to Bay Area movers and shakers about their favorite San Francisco films. "Vertigo" and "Mrs. Doubtfire" get a lot of votes as Mayor London Breed, Marc Benioff, State Senator Scott Weiner and others weigh in.
15 min
97
Best of City Insider: Candidate London Breed
When London Breed sat down with San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight in April, she was the president of the Board of Supervisors and the former acting mayor — after her colleagues had booted her from office. She was also running for mayor, a race she would win in June. In the April 4, 2018, episode of San Francisco City Insider, then-candidate Breed talks about her childhood in the Western Addition, her plans for San Francisco, and the fact that she worries about her own housing situation even as she serves in the upper echelons of city government.
32 min
98
Divvying up San Francisco's unexpected windfall
Late last month, San Francisco woke up to find itself $415 richer. The question now is: Where is all that money going to go? Competing plans have already emerged, and some groups, including education advocates, are already making the case for why they should get a piece of the pie. City Hall reporter Trisha Thadani is here to help us make sense of it all. Hosted by Dominic Fracassa.
21 min
99
State Senator Scott Wiener
The San Francisco Democrat talks with San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight about his proposal to give all homeless people in California a right to shelter, his second try at making car break-ins easier to prosecute, and one surprising benefit of being 6-foot-7.
27 min
100
Election 2018: Analysis from The Chronicle's po...
Breaking down the props, the measures, the midterms and looking ahead to 2020
43 min