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:

Barbara Lee Launches Her Senate Campaign
In announcing her candidacy to become only the third Black woman in the history of the body, Lee says that representation matters. She also tells It’s All Political on Fifth & Mission host Joe Garofoli that while it’s harder for Black women progressives to raise funds, she’s proven herself up to the challenge in the past.
27 min
Fixing Our City: What San Francisco Can Learn F...
In the 1990s, Portugal was facing a heroin crisis so widespread that it was almost impossible to find a family unaffected by the opioid. The government responded by aggressively adding health and social services, and by decriminalizing drug possession. Are there takeaways for San Francisco? An episode of The Chronicle's Fixing Our City podcast.
26 min
Soleil Ho Pushes Back From the Table
As The Chronicle's food critic, Soleil Ho has spent the past four years reviewing the Bay Area restaurant scene, and they won a James Beard Award for it last year. Now, they're moving to the Chronicle Opinion Section. Ho joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss why they're making that move.
16 min
FDA Moves to Ease Ban on Blood Donations From G...
The decades-old policy was enacted in the worst days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and while it's been relaxed some in recent years, the latest change represents a major loosening of rules that gay rights activists have long said are needlessly stigmatizing and discriminatory. Reporter Erin Allday and state Sen. Scott Weiner join host Demian Bulwa to talk about the policy change and the concerns that remain.
19 min
How Will Dianne Feinstein’s Career Be Remembered?
Chronicle Washington correspondent Shira Stein joins host and lead political writer Joe Garofolli to talk about what Dianne Feinstein has now said will be her final term in the Senate. They discuss a career marked by tragedy and perseverance — from the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone to more recent battles over the issue most associated with her, gun safety.
18 min
SB35 Cuts Housing Red Tape. Should It Be Made P...
The 2017 law forces local governments to streamline construction projects if they don’t meet their state-mandated targets. It’s working to get housing built in San Francisco, but it’s set to expire at the end of 2025. Sen. Scott Wiener wants to make it permanent to fix California’s housing crisis. Chronicle reporter Dustin Gardiner joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss SB35's impact and why some are opposed to extending it.
14 min
Brooke Jenkins to Drop SFPD Case, Blames Chesa ...
The San Francisco district attorney intends to drop the historic prosecution of an SFPD officer who shot and killed an unarmed man. She claims her predecessor, Chesa Boudin, filed the manslaughter charges against Christopher Samayoa for political reasons, while Boudin says Jenkins is not interested in holding police accountable. Reporter Joshua Sharpe joins host Demian Bulwa to talk about the death of Keita O’Neil and what it means in the context of the police reform movement nationally.
15 min
Mayor Breed: The State of the City is "Resilient"
"You can write us off, but you better write in pencil," said London Breed in her state of the city address Thursday. City Hall reporter Mallory Moench joins host Joe Garofoli to talk about the mayor's vision for San Francisco, including plans to build 82,000 new housing units and bolster SFPD staffing numbers.
12 min
Does San Francisco Need a Red-Light District?
Street prostitution has been an issue on Capp Street in the Mission District for decades.
16 min
"Inevitable": The Bay Area's Next Big Earthquake
Over 7,000 people have been killed in Turkey and Syria from major earthquakes this week. How prepared are Bay Area cities for a similar quake? Geologist Austin Elliott of the USGS joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about the probability of the Bay Area's next "big one" and how to prepare for it.
17 min
The "Huge Impact" of Ending Pandemic Food Assis...
The federal government has been providing emergency funds to tackle food insecurity since the start of the pandemic, but that support will end this month. Meg Davidson from the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about the local action that's needed now.
16 min
Community Not Cops: Are S.F.'s Street Teams Hel...
San Francisco has half a dozen teams responding to people in crisis on the streets. Have these teams been effective? Chronicle reporter Mallory Moench joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about the city’s new pilot program to address homelessness, and what the data tells us about the impact of San Francisco's crisis teams.
13 min
How S.F. Pride Plans to Counter Right-Wing Attacks
The LGBTQ community is facing aggression on both the legislative and community levels. New S.F. Pride president Nguyen Pham joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about how recent challenges for the queer community are informing his leadership.
18 min
Half Moon Bay Farmworker Living Conditions: "A ...
Last month's mass shooting highlighted problems that have long existed: Exploited populations living in substandard conditions on California farms. Reporters Matthias Gafni and Nora Mishanec join host Cecilia Lei to talk about what's been exposed since the shooting, and Darlene Tenes of Farmworker Caravan shares why deplorable living conditions at farms have been a long-standing crisis across the state.
26 min
Does California Have the Power to Go All-Electric?
Tthe state wants to limit carbon emissions by going all-electric — in your home and in your car. But it also needs to keep the lights on, building a stronger and more innovative power grid.
14 min
Can Santa Cruz Turn Back the Tide?
Intense storms like the ones that just rolled through California, combined with rising sea levels, are endangering scenic shoreline areas like West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, where large chunks of bluffs fell into the sea earlier this month. Reporter Kurtis Alexander tells host Cecilia Lei that coastal cities are having to deal with problems like this years before they thought they’d have to.
17 min
"Fuel for Propaganda": Understanding the Attack...
Law enforcement officials have released recordings that document what happened before and after the attack on Paul Pelosi in the home he shares with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Abner Hauge, editor-in-chief of Left Coast Right Watch, which monitors alt-right extremism, joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about attacker David Wayne DePape and his extremist rhetoric.
17 min
California's 2024 Senate Race Is On
Almost two years before Election Day, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff have tossed their hats in the ring, and Barbara Lee is making plans. Washington correspondent Shira Stein joins host Joe Garofoli to talk about who else might run for the seat now held by Dianne Feinstein, who's expected to retire, and how they'll raise the enormous amounts of money required.
17 min
An Accountability Crisis at the Oakland Police ...
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong is on paid administrative leave after a report said he mishandled an officer misconduct investigation.
12 min
Can California Prevent More Mass Shootings?
The state has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including background checks and bans on assault-style weapons, but mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay this week have left the state reeling. Assembly Member Evan Low joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss the limits of state legislation — and the support that AAPI communities need now.
19 min
5 Oakland Schools Won’t Close, But Trouble Remains
The newly elected Oakland school board reversed the controversial decision to shutter several elementary schools.
18 min
How SFPD Language Reveals Racial Bias
A Chronicle analysis of more than three years of police data has found that the San Francisco officers used terms like "marijuana" and "baggy" clothing to justify searches of Black residents, which yielded no contraband.
15 min
11 Million Bucks or the Bay Bridge Lights Go Dark
The Bay Bridge has sparkled for 10 years with a light installation designed by artist Leo Villareal. But the display costs millions to maintain and, with funds drying up, could soon go dark forever. Columnist and TotalSF podcast co-host Heather Knight and urban design critic John King join host Cecilia Lei to argue the cases for and against a fund-raising campaign to preserve the Bay Lights.
18 min
Can San Francisco Ever Be Ready for the New Bre...
Climate change has unleashed flurries of rain on a city with an antiquated sewer system, and the severity of future storms is not going to lessen. Reporter St. John "Sinjin" Barned-Smith joins Cecilia Lei to talk about what San Francisco officials can and can't do, and a brewing fight over who will pay for the extensive damage.
15 min
What’s Different About the Most Recent Tech Lay...
Entrepreneur Roger Lee started tracking tech sector layoffs in March 2020. Since then, Bay Area tech companies — including Twitter, Meta, Salesforce and Lyft — have laid off more than 93,000 employees. Lee joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about the scale of recent layoffs, their effects on the tech sector, and what job seekers might expect. in the coming months.
14 min