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:

Soleil Ho: Asian Americans Should Beef With “Beef”
A resurfaced clip of graffiti artist and actor David Choe describing sexual assault has stewed the Netflix series "Beef" in controversy. Chronicle columnist Soleil Ho joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about why Asian Americans can afford to protest the series and not feel obligated to support it for the sake of representation.
15 min
The Las Vegas A’s? Deal Could Mean Team Is on I...
The Athletics were negotiating with Oakland to build a new home at Howard Terminal. Then they blindsided the city — and fans — by entering into a deal to buy land near the Las Vegas Strip. Tim Kawakami of the Athletic joins host Demian Bulwa to sort out what happened, what's next, and whether the A’s leaving would be a bad thing for Oakland.
17 min
Scant California Oversight Preceded Child Patie...
The Bay Area hospital system John Muir Health was certified by the state to treat the most medically fragile children, despite not having the required number of patient admissions. Investigative reporter Cynthia Dizikes joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss the latest chapter of the Chronicle’s investigation into the deaths of four children at John Muir's Walnut Creek hospital.
20 min
Parents Push Back on a Potential Oakland Teache...
Teachers want a 23% raise, which many parents support. But in an unusual move, many district parents are urging the union not to walk out, saying children can’t handle more disruptions. Reporter Jill Tucker joins host Demian Bulwa to talk about the negotiations and the likelihood of a job action this year.
12 min
Should Dianne Feinstein Resign From the Senate?
California’s senior senator has been absent from the Capitol for two months with a painful case of shingles. Doctors say it can take up to three months to recover from serious cases, but Feinstein has been missing key Judiciary Committee votes on President Biden’s nominees to the federal bench, leaving them deadlocked. The 89-year-old Feinstein has also been accused by some colleagues of no longer being mentally up to the job. Chronicle opinion columnist and editorial board member Emily Hoeven joins It’s All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli to talk about whether it’s time for Feinstein to step down.
18 min
How Red State Book Bans Affect California Writers
Oakland children's author Maggie Tokuda-Hall refused an offer from Scholastic to license her book "Love in the Library" when the publishing giant asked her to remove the word "racism" and historical context about incarceration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. She tells host Cecilia Lei that efforts to whitewash history violate adults' "moral obligation" to tell kids the truth.
22 min
The Shocking Twist in the Bob Lee Killing
The arrest of an associate in the death of Cash App founder Bob Lee has upended the narrative that had been playing out among Lee's fellow tech executives and the right-wing media, that out-of-control street crime in San Francisco had claimed Lee as a victim. Chronicle reporter Rachel Swan and Mission Local Managing Editor Joe Eskenazi join host Demian Bulwa to talk about the arrest of Nima Momeni.
15 min
Should S.F. Use City Funding For Supervised Con...
San Francisco is set to receive more than $130 million from opioid litigation. Supervised consumption sites have been shown to save lives. Why won’t the city use the funds to finally open one? Chronicle columnist Nuala Bishari joins host Cecilia Lei to explain the debate the city finds itself in, even as it continues to face a deadly drug overdose crisis.
14 min
Pamela Price: Historic, Progressive and Under Fire
Pamela Price handily won election as Alameda County district attorney after campaigning on the promise of overhauling the criminal justice system. In her first few months of attempting those reforms, Price, the county's first-ever Black D.A., is already facing harsh criticism. Chronicle reporter Joshua Sharpe joins It's All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli to discuss the high profile cases she's contending with, and why she's staying mum on her strategy.
22 min
Medical Abortions: What's Next After Texas Ruling?
Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk's ruling last week that the FDA had improperly approved the drug mifepristone has not taken effect. Court battles await, but as San Francisco OB/GYN Dr. Josie Urbina and NARAL Pro-Choice America president Mini Timmaraju tell It's All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli, the ruling is part of an assault on abortion rights, and activists have to work to get more people to realize that.
22 min
Wood Street Encampment’s Final Day
After a years-long battle, the last residents of the unhoused community under the Nimitz Freeway in Oakland are being removed by the city. Reporter Sarah Ravani and documentary filmmaker Caron Creighton join host Cecilia Lei to talk about the community the encampment has been, and what happens next for its residents.
17 min
Filmmaker Reveals the Limits of Rebranding San ...
“What These Walls Won’t Hold,” a documentary premiering at the 66th SFFilm Festival, documents the COVID outbreak at San Quentin State Prison during the early pandemic and community organizing efforts to keep prisoners safe. Director Adamu Chan shares his own incarceration experience with host Cecilia Lei, as well as his thoughts on Gov. Newsom’s effort to remodel San Quentin into a rehabilitation center.
18 min
How “Horrific” Is San Francisco’s Crime?
The slaying of Cash App creator Bob Lee has stunned the tech industry, causing many, including Elon Musk, to comment on how violent San Francisco is. Reporter Jill Tucker joins host Demian Bulwa to talk about who Lee was and the reaction to his killing, and data reporter Susie Neilson talks about the city's crime rate. While any violent crime is indeed "horrific," San Francisco's violent crime rate is near historic lows, and lower than many American cities of comparable size.
16 min
Gun Law Expert: "We Are at the Worst Place Ever"
Without a federal ban on assault weapons, gun control is in the hands of deeply divided state legislatures across the country. Three Democratic state lawmakers in Tennessee face expulsion after protesting for gun control measures. In this episode first published on June 6, 2022, in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Stanford law professor and gun law expert John Donohue discusses the federal assault weapons ban with host Cecilia Lei. The landmark legislation was signed into law in 1994 but was allowed to expire a decade later. What difference would it make for mass shootings today if it was still in place?
25 min
"We Don't Want to Distrust Our Community": Oakl...
Vandalism and burglaries are cutting into the already slim profit margins of Oakland's restaurant and bar owners. Chronicle food writer Elena Kadvany joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about the latest struggle for business owners after the pandemic, inflation and staff shortages. Plus: William Tsui, co-owner of Viridian, shares why keeping his business in Oakland is personal.
21 min
"They're Dying on the Streets With Their Rights...
State Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman, a trained social worker, is leading the drive to change laws to make it easier to get severely mentally ill people more help. She favors lowering the bar for committing someone for treatment involuntarily, and among the obstacles she faces is opposition from disability rights advocates.
19 min
UC College Admissions 101
University of California acceptance rates have plunged, making this college admissions season particularly tough. High school seniors share how they're feeling, and Chronicle reporter Danielle Echeverria joins host Cecilia Lei to break down the GPA data of students accepted into UC schools, and what else admissions offices look at as they make their decisions.
16 min
Will Levi's "Diverse" AI Models Do Anything for...
The San Francisco clothing brand has announced it will use artificial intelligence-generated models "of color" to display products on its website and mobile app. Race and equity columnist Justin Phillips joins host Dominic Fracassa to talk about the thorny questions that raises. The practice figures to save Levi's money and offers representation, but is a diversity initiative that takes jobs from real people of color really diverse?
13 min
How Human Trafficking Has Become a Defense for ...
In two recent drug prosecution trials in San Francisco, defense teams have argued that some people accused of selling drugs are immigrants who have been forced to commit the crime in order to pay off debts, or face violence by cartels and coyotes. Reporter Megan Cassidy joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about that legal strategy, and how it may be consequential for future drug prosecution trials.
12 min
Breed vs. the Board: Who Has the Power in San F...
Progressive supervisors say Mayor London Breed is not properly managing resources to solve the city's biggest problems, like homelessness, the drug crisis, housing affordability and property crime. The mayor says it’s the board that’s being “obstructionist.” City Hall reporter Mallory Moench joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about that conflict, and the limits both sides face.
14 min
SFNext: Fixing Our City: What San Diego Got Rig...
Fifth & Mission is bringing you an episode of The Chronicle's podcast about solving San Francisco's intractible problems. If you like this episode, please consider following SFNext: Fixing Our City. While the name of the federal Emergency Housing Vouchers rental subsidy program underscores how urgent finding housing is for at-risk groups, only a little more than half of the vouchers are in use in California. San Francisco has used 51% of its vouchers. But San Diego is seen as a standout success, having put more than 100% of its allotment to use on new leases. How did San Diego — the state’s second-biggest city — manage this, and can other cities take a page out of its book?
24 min
What’s Behind San Francisco’s Recent Youth Viol...
Stabbings at a middle school and on a Muni bus, brawls at Stonestown Galleria. The city and education officials have announced a plan to combat a surge of violence among teens, but will it work? Sarah Wan of the Community Youth Center of San Francisco joins Cecilia Lei to talk about why these incidents are worrying and whether San Francisco is equipped to tackle the violence.
15 min
Could Trump’s Legal Troubles Cost Him California?
Former President Donald Trump is facing a litany of legal issues, including a criminal indictment in New York that could come any day. Will the investigations cost him the California primary and potentially a chance at reelection? Political Breakdown podcast host Marisa Lagos joins It’s All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli to talk about whether the former president will go down or turn “political crap” into gold again.
24 min
San Francisco Invests in Embattled Trans Community
As anti-trans legislation sweeps across the country, San Francisco is doubling down on its support of the transgender population with its first standalone clinic that provides a “one-stop shop for trans services.” Chronicle health reporter Erin Allday took a tour of Trans Thrive's new space and shares what she learned with host Cecilia Lei.
14 min
Black Reparations: Can S.F. Put a Price on Raci...
San Francisco’s draft plan to give qualifying Black residents a one-time payment of $5 million sent conservative media into a frenzy. But Chronicle columnist Justin Phillips tells host Cecilia Lei, the viral headline is a distraction from the city’s goal: to undo a long history of harm against Black San Franciscans. He argues that it’s a tough conversation the city should be having.
17 min