Fifth & Mission

The flagship news podcast of the San Francisco Chronicle. Producer/host Cecilia Lei and director of news Demian Bulwa discuss the biggest stories of the day with Chronicle journalists and newsmakers from around the Bay Area. | Get full digital access to the Chronicle:

One Shutters, One Opens: A Tale of 2 Downtown B...
Unlike other retail outlets that have blamed crime when closing stores, Cole Hardware owner Rick Karp says his family is closing its Ninth Street retail shop because it hasn't been profitable since the start of the pandemic thanks to online shopping and the loss of downtown foot traffic. But Brian Sheehy of Future Bars, which has just opened Dawn Club, its 13th bar in San Francisco, says these are good times for the hospitality business. They both join host Demian Bulwa to talk about the business climate downtown.
16 min
Rep. Robert Garcia: “We’ve got to organize” to ...
The freshman congressman from Long Beach says he won’t engage with Republicans who “don’t respect my basic humanity” as a gay man. He tells It’s All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli why he’s leading the charge to expel Rep. George Santos, why attacks on trans youth are so dangerous, and why he swore the oath of office not on a Bible, but on a Superman comic book.
19 min
90 Days to End San Francisco's Open-Air Drug Ma...
Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin is calling on Mayor London Breed to quickly bring an end to the open drug use on the city's streets and sidewalks. Breed says she has her own plan, and that "force is going to have to be a part of it." That's cause for concern from those who see law enforcement as the wrong way to approach a public health problem. City Hall reporter Mallory Moench joins host Demian Bulwa to talk about a problem unlikely to go away in 90 days.
13 min
Safe Consumption Sites: The Cases For and Against
Hundreds of people are dying from drug overdoses every year in San Francisco, and the rate of deaths has spiked. Are safe consumption sites a solution? Public health workers and most city leaders say so, but critics fear such sites would attract crime and enable addiction, and plans to establish them appear stalled. On this episode of The Chronicle's SFNext:Fixing Our City podcast, Madeleine Sweet, an overdose survivor in recovery, and Ellen Grantz of the group Mothers Against Drug Addiction and Death delve into the controversy.
23 min
Downtown Oakland Faces a Pivotal Year
Just like San Francisco, the East Bay city is facing budget shortfalls and a vacancy crisis caused by the shift to remote work. But as reporters Sarah Ravani and Roland Li tell host Demian Bulwa, Oakland has some advantages over its bigger neighbor — but also its own unique challenges.
16 min
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Give the Dodger...
In a roller coaster few days, the Los Angeles Dodgers caved to pressure from conservative Catholics and disinvited the L.A. chapter of the "leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns" from their Pride Night celebration, then reversed course and offered an apology, which the Sisters accepted. Sister Mary Media and Guard HOOOO?! of the San Francisco Sisters join host Demian Bulwa to talk about the wave of attacks on LGBTQ people and their rights, and the roles that unity and forgiveness play in battling it.
17 min
These Northern California Beaches Are Endangered
Rising sea levels from climate change are threatening some of the Bay Area's most beloved beaches, including Stinson. But the tide isn't the only threat. Dammed rivers and coastal development also keep the sand from replenishing itself. Chronicle reporter Tara Duggan joins host Demian Bulwa to talk about whether we're doing enough to save these cherished and vital resources.
14 min
"From Victim to Actor": What Ballroom Dance Mea...
Best of 5M: In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, we're republishing this episode from March 10. After tragedy struck an Asian ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, host Cecilia Lei reports from ballroom studios and social dances in Oakland and San Francisco to see how Asian seniors are responding — and how dancing helps them find their personal power.
20 min
Justin Jones of the Tennessee 3 on His Oakland ...
The state representative, who was temporarily expelled from the Legislature after protesting for gun safety laws, began his activism career as a teenager in the East Bay. He talks to It’s All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli about his multicultural upbringing, the inspiration he takes from earlier Bay Area social justice movements, and the challenge of championing progressive ideas in a deep-red state.
23 min
How Oakland Evicted Its Largest Homeless Encamp...
For nearly a decade, around 300 unhoused people built a community under Interstate 880 in Oakland, until the city evicted the Wood Street encampment to make way for 170 units of affordable housing. Documentary filmmaker Caron Creighton joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about what happened during the month-long eviction process, and the residents' last ditch efforts to stay put.
21 min
What To Do When Someone's In Mental Crisis
If you live in the Bay Area, you’ve probably encountered people in mental distress on public transit or city sidewalks. What should you do when you see someone in crisis?
16 min
No Charges, But Many Questions, in Banko Brown ...
As new details and videos emerged in the killing of alleged shoplifter Banko Brown in a San Francisco Walgreens, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said she would not charge the security guard who pulled the trigger. Chronicle reporters Rachel Swan and Kevin Fagan join host Demian Bulwa to discuss the intense reaction — and how downtown shopkeepers are now thinking about security.
19 min
Dr. Bob Wachter on COVID-19 Pandemic: "I'm Read...
Both the federal government and the World Health Organization have declared the end of COVID-19 as a public health emergency. UCSF Department of Medicine Chair Dr. Bob Wachter welcomes that sentiment after having spent the last three years guiding hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers through the pandemic. But he says he worries about long COVID. He joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss.
22 min
Could the "Doom Loop" Mean Housing Affordabilit...
Some people who have been priced out of San Francisco, or are desperately hanging on, are seeing a potential upside to the declining downtown economy: lower rents. SFNext reporter Noah Arroyo joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about why that rosier picture of the city’s immediate future may need some thoughtful consideration.
19 min
California Has a New Lake, and That Means Highe...
Tulare Lake was massive before modern agriculture and municipal water needs drained it. After this winter's storms, it's back, and it's half the size of Lake Tahoe, at some locations so big you can't see across it. As reporter Kurtis Alexander tells Demian Bulwa, this is bad news for Central Valley farmers whose crops are underwater, which is likely to make existing food inflation worse.
14 min
How This Oakland Teachers Strike Is Different
With just a couple of weeks left in the school year, there may be progress in the negotiations between the Oakland Unified School District and its teachers union, but as the strike enters day 5, it's causing mixed feelings in the broader community. Chronicle reporter Jill Tucker joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss how the bargaining process is going, why the "common goods" proposal is making this strike unique, and how graduating seniors are feeling about potentially ending their high school careers away from their classrooms.
17 min
Inside Marin County’s Massive Homeless Encampment
You've heard of Oakland's Wood Street, but have you heard of Marin County's Binford Road? The 2-mile-long vehicle encampment is forcing the affluent county to consider how best to spend its homeless funding. Chronicle reporter Annie Vainshtein joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about what she learned from her recent reporting trip to the site.
15 min
"Mean Girls" Politics: Who Gets to Be a Democra...
The forming of a new club on San Francisco's west side has sparked a clash within the city's Democratic Party. As tensions grow, can progressives and moderates get along? And what is lost when they don't? Chronicle columnist and Total SF co-host Heather Knight joins host Demian Bulwa to discuss what one progressive calls "You can't sit at my lunch table type politics."
13 min
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff’s Second Act
A successful entertainment lawyer but at heart “just a guy from L.A.,” Doug Emhoff had to learn how to be a national figure when his wife, Kamala Harris, ascended to the vice presidency. With Harris and President Joe Biden launching a run for reelection, Emhoff joins It’s All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli to talk about dealing with political attacks, speaking out against anti-Semitism and wanting to see more Kamala Harrises running for office.
22 min
S.F. Retail Exodus: Nordstrom Leaving Troubled ...
After over 30 years in San Francisco's Westfield Mall, Nordstrom has announced that it's leaving the city, and that it will also close Nordstrom Rack. Chronicle reporters Chase DiFeliciantonio and J.D. Morris join host Cecilia Lei to discuss what may fill the massive gap the retail giant leaves behind, and how San Francisco is planning to increase foot traffic in its emptying downtown.
18 min
California Reparations Task Force Estimates $1....
After nearly two years of contentious meetings, California’s task force on reparations has released a rough estimate of damages caused by the state’s history of slavery and white supremacy: Up to $1.2 million per Black resident. Chronicle reporter Dustin Gardiner joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss how those calculations were made, and what it would take to get reparations approved by the Legislature.
18 min
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao's $4.2 Billion Plan
Facing a historic deficit, Thao released her draft two-year budget Monday, a roadmap of how she plans to manage critical issues like public safety and homelessness while leading the city out of its fiscal crisis. Chronicle reporter Sarah Ravani joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss what Thao's cutting and investing in, and how it measures against the promises she made on the campaign trail. |
14 min
ChatGPT in the Classroom: Tool for Cheating or ...
The viral artificial intelligence tool has surprised millions of users with its capabilities, but it's also raised concerns about how it might be used. Hearst Newspapers director of newsroom engineering Evan Wagstaff joins host Cecilia Lei to explain how ChatGPT works, and reporter Jill Tucker shares why some educators are embracing the technology in the classroom.
24 min
Newsom Calls the CHP Into San Francisco. Now What?
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers are turning to law-enforcement strategies to address the fentanyl crisis on the streets of San Francisco. Capitol reporter Sophia Bollag joins host Dominic Fracassa to discuss how the California Highway Patrol and National Guard will be deployed to battle open use and trafficking in the city. Plus, why legislators are holding up some bills that would crack down on dealers.
12 min
Why San Francisco SROs for Homeless People Sit ...
In the latest update of The Chronicle’s investigation of San Francisco’s supportive housing program, reporters Joaquin Palomino and Trisha Thadani examine why vacancies in single-room occupancy buildings persist despite the city’s dire homelessness crisis. Palomino joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss why some unhoused residents consider it a rational choice to refuse placement in the city’s expensive program.
15 min