A hackivist’s call for a culture of engagement


By Shava Nerad

[Editor’s note: Last week, the Guardian reached out to a number of experts and technologists to gauge reactions on revelations of the massive National Security Agency spying program that recently came to light. Shava Nerad, who started her career as a software engineer and was previously involved with the Tor Project, which offers online anonymity in web browsing, has also been engaged in various forms of political activism. Nerad submitted comments via email in response to the Bay Guardian’s request for an interview. We've published an edited version of her thoughts here.] Read more »

Hey, you! "Tech people" are not the douchebags you think we are


I hear a lot of talk, especially from my own queer community, about how “tech people” are ruining San Francisco. From skyrocketing rent prices and disappearing diversity to economic and cultural ruination, the tech community has become the scapegoat for a lot of the problems we are facing in the city as a whole. As a tech worker, I'm writing this to say: wake up and direct your anger at the real sources of these problems.

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. The vast majority of “tech people” in San Francisco don’t make nearly as much money as you think they do. We are not making six-figure salaries, we are not personally driving up rent costs, and we are not killing the cultural community here. Simply put, we are trying to further our careers and make the city we call home a nicer place to live. 

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The problem with Laura's Law

When it comes to embracing laws such as AB 1421, California voters know better


OPINION Mental health conditions and mental illness are issues that bring passionate people to the table from all sides of the spectrum. Individuals who have lived with the experience of mental-health conditions, clinicians, family members, researchers, and advocates all have a lot to say.Read more »

Helping the 99 percent -- with less

La Raza Centro Legal fights to address the issues raised by Occupy, and it needs support


OPINION La Raza Centro Legal, an organization central to the empowerment of San Francisco's low-wage immigrant workers, finds common cause with the Occupy movement during a time when our programs combining legal services and worker organizing are in jeopardy. Our hour of need falls within a window of tough times, but heightened political awareness, and we are calling out to the community to join us in solidarity as members of the 99 percent.Read more »

A case for Avalos, Yee and Dufty

An SEIU 1021 political organizer explains his union's ranked choices


OPINION Like all of us, SEIU 1021 can take three dates to the prom when it comes to voting for mayor, but narrowing it down in a field of so many candidates was still challenging. After a month-long process, we arrived at a dual endorsement of Supervisor John Avalos and State Senator Leland Yee for first and second choice, and Supervisor Bevan Dufty for our third choice.

It's a diverse slate, and the choices are representative of the constituencies, perspectives and priorities in our membership.Read more »

Editor's notes

Is Obama's tax on the rich too little, too late?



So the people who advise President Obama have finally figured out that he was on the road to becoming a one-term president — and the United States was on the road to ruin under President Perry. Whatever combination of self-preservation and fear was at work, it worked, at least for the moment.Read more »