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Your Government & Your City

Find city agencies and services and read up on San Francisco issues, elections and politics.

Google Glass Banned & Welcomed in San Francisco Bars
Several San Francisco bars ban Google Glass, the smart eyewear that can take photos and video. The ban is the latest sign of the tech backlash in the city.

Sunday Streets of San Francisco
San Francisco's Sunday Streets program closes off streets to car traffic in various neighborhoods and offers free activities, entertainment and services to pedestrians, bicyclists and skaters.

San Francisco & California - New Laws in 2014
Higher minimum wages and rules covering driving, food handling, caregivers, abortions and guns are among the new laws in San Francisco and California in 2014.

San Francisco's Rising Income Inequality
San Francisco has the second-largest and fastest-growing income inequality in the U.S., a 2014 Brookings Institution study says.

Volunteer and Contribute in San Francisco - Volunteering at Charity and Non...
A guide to volunteering and contributing in San Francisco. Many people think of helping during the holidays, but charities and nonprofits rely on individuals, company workforces, schools and others to serve meals, tutor and do other tasks year-round. Find a Bay Area organization or cause to help, just once or on an ongoing basis.

Celebrate New Year's in San Francisco - Without Drinking & Driving
Instead of drinking and driving on New Year's in San Francisco, get home using other ways, which are both safe and free.

"Batkid" Gets Wish to be Superhero in San Francisco
San Francisco's mayor, police chief and City Hall are all involved in fulfilling a boy's wish to be Batman for a day

November 2013 Election in San Francisco
A guide to the Nov. 5, 2013 election in San Francisco, including voting logistics and what's on the ballot.

Waterfront Project at Stake in San Francisco Election
An overview and explanation of Propositions B and C on the San Francisco Nov. 5, 2013 ballot, which will decide the fate of a hotly contested waterfront development project.

San Francisco & California - New Laws to Know in 2013
New laws in 2013 that may affect you include San Francisco's minimum wage rate (now the highest in the US), Sunday parking meter enforcement, and state laws protecting home buyers and allowing drivers to text and people to sell homemade foods.

San Francisco Recycling & Trash Facts
In recycling and composting, San Francisco does more than any other US city--but we could do even better. A lot of San Francisco garbage could in fact go in the recycling or compost bins. Here's how to sort it out.

Nelson Mandela Day in San Francisco
Celebrate Nelson Mandela Day in the SF Bay Area at events featuring inspiring speeches and South African freedom songs and by helping others in ways big or small. The day, July 18, is Mandela's birthday.

Walking Campaign Underfoot in San Francisco
San Francisco is the first city in the U.S. to host a Walk to Work Day, to encourage people to walk rather than drive. It's part of a movement to improve the city's walkability and pedestrian safety, which yields long-term benefits.

Super Bowl Sunday 2013 - San Francisco Watches & Celebrates
Warning to rowdy Super Bowl 2013 and 49ers celebrants: San Francisco is clamping down on out-of-control sports fans. Officials want to prevent the vandalism and mayhem that resulted after the Giants won the World Series in October 2012.

Muni, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency: We Love It, We Hate It
We have a love-hate relationship with Muni, our public transit system of buses, cable cars and streetcars. But the SF Municipal Transportation Agency was a pioneer when it opened in December 1912, and several exhibits and a day of free rides honor its 100th anniversary.

San Francisco & California Ballot Propositions - November 2012 Election
This guide to the November 6, 2012 election for San Francisco voters includes information on where and how to vote and the city and California ballot propositions.

Restaurants' Healthy San Francisco Surcharges Defraud Diners, Grand Jury Says
San Francisco restaurants are increasingly adding surcharges to your bills, supposedly to cover paying for employee health care costs, as required by the Healthy San Francisco law. But they are profiting from it--instead of reimbursing employees for their medical care, the restaurants are holding onto lots of surplus cash, the San Francisco...

San Francisco July 4 Events
San Francisco's July 4th fireworks over the Bay are spectacular, but many other cities throughout the Bay Area host Independence Day festivities, too, including parades, picnics and their own fireworks shows. Here's a guide to July 4, 2013 celebrations of all sizes.

San Francisco Parks are Best in US
A 2012 report by the Trust for Public Land finds that San Francisco has the best parks among 40 major US cities.

Summer Reading in San Francisco - SF Public Library Offers Prizes, Entertainment
San Francisco Public Library's summer reading program in 2013 entices people to read and visit the library by offering rewards, raffle prizes, suggested reading lists and lots of non-bookish entertainment.

Health Care for All in San Francisco
San Francisco is attempting something that no other US city has: To provide universal health coverage for its residents. The Healthy San Francisco (HSF) program, funded by the city, employer contributions and participant fees, is reaching people who need it. But, like other universal health care plans, it has its critics.

The June 5 California Primary - A Guide for San Francisco Voters
A guide to voting in the June 5, 2012 primary in California, including voting deadlines, the new "top-two" primary system, candidates and state and San Francisco ballot measures.

June 5 California Primary - Propositions for San Francisco Voters
In the June 5, 2012 primary election, voters are to decide on two California and two San Francisco ballot measures.

Memorial Day in San Francisco
During Memorial Day weekend, veterans' groups and local military units hold ceremonies in San Francisco to honor Americans who died in military service, which is the original purpose of the holiday.

San Francisco - Biggest Tax Procrastinator in US
San Francisco is the most tax procrastinating city in the country, according to a recent TurboTax report.

Obama Campaign Office in San Francisco Focuses on Tech
President Barack Obama's campaign has opened a first-of-its-kind technology field office in San Francisco. It hopes to lure the San Francisco Bay Area's many web designers, software engineers, programmers and other tech workers to volunteer for the campaign.

Job Hunting Help at the San Francisco Public Library
As you hunt for a job, don't overlook the help and resources available at the San Francisco Public Library, including resume-writing workshops, computer time earmarked for job-seekers and online video tutorials

San Francisco & California - New Laws to Know in 2012
New laws in 2012 that may affect you include San Francisco's minimum wage rate (now the highest in the US) and state laws barring you from buying alcohol at supermarket self-checkout lanes and mandating car seats for kids until age 8

Yoga Room at SFO - Open for Travelers in Terminal 2
SFO has opened the first yoga room in any airport in the world, an oasis in the bustling, bright terminal. The San Francisco International Airport is a pioneer on several other fronts, too, and has many attractions and services that you might not know about.

Voters Registration and San Francisco Election Information
A guide to voting in the high-stakes San Francisco election of November 2011, including voters registration, different ways to vote, deadlines, the ranked choice system and how to properly mark the San Francisco ballot.

Ed Lee Endorsed by Celebrities in Hip Campaign Video
San Francisco interim mayor Ed Lee is endorsed by MC Hammer and other celebrities in a hip, flashy video funded by an independent expenditure committee

Ed Lee Book Lands in Race for San Francisco Mayor
The Ed Lee Story, a book promoting the interim San Francisco mayor, is being distributed around town even though Ed Lee is widely considered the front-runner among the 16 candidates for San Francisco mayor.

San Francisco is Greenest City in US
San Francisco is the greenest of 27 major US and Canadian cities, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit study. Our mandatory recycling and composting law is especially effective, the study found.

San Francisco Public Library Programs
The breadth and depth of the San Francisco Public Library's programs is impressive--and more so during the summer, when our brains tend to go on vacation.

Storefront Art Wanted - Public Art to Improve Market Street
San Francisco’s successful Art in Storefronts program is seeking artists to beautify Market Street, which gives the artists one-of-a-kind visibility and aims to boost neighborhood morale and safety.

Hunger and Homelessness in San Francisco
Although San Francisco food banks and food pantries had more to give out in 2010, they still had to turn away 30 percent of the people asking for food. A U.S. Conference of Mayors report examines hunger and homelessness in San Francisco and two dozen other cities.

San Francisco Parks - Extracurricular Activities for All
San Francisco Parks - Extracurricular Activities for All

May - Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in San Francisco
Given San Francisco's sizable Asian American and Pacific Islander populations, there are several festivals and events to mark Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Human Trafficking Hub
With San Francisco a hub of human trafficking, the city, private organizations and service agencies are banding together to fight the exploitative industry. Their coalition aims to increase public awareness, develop effective policies and help victims.

SF is 7th Meanest in Homeless Laws
San Francisco has a reputation of being lenient toward the homeless, but are its homeless laws actually "mean"? A national report says in its homeless laws and general climate toward the homeless, SF is the 7th-meanest city in the U.S.

The Garbage Law
We already have the highest recycling rate in the country, but the city is determined to get even greener by requiring every home and business to sort its garbage. That means you have to think before you throw: is it recyclable, compostable, or plain old trash?

SF Elected Officials
Got a gripe? Contact the mayor or your area supervisor.

Voting in SF
A guide to registering to vote and voting, in PDF format, from the city's Department of Elections.

City, State & Federal Government Agencies
Information on government agencies at municipal, state and federal levels.

Parking Tickets & Traffic Citations
How to pay parking tickets and traffic citations.

Maps Give 3-D Vision of San Francisco Crime
Cleverly done 3-D maps take San Francisco crime rates and depict them topographically, as humps and mountains of various heights. For many categories of crime, the highest incidence rates in San Francisco appear in the Tenderloin and the Mission.

San Francisco Prefers Green Products
Confused by all of the green choices out there? Consult SF's Approved List of environmentally preferable (i.e., green) products.

Economic Stress – The Recession’s Impact on San Francisco
Stressed? Of course, you huff, who isn’t?! A study confirms that San Francisco is economically stressed--but less than many of our neighbors.

Best & Worst Places to Live – San Francisco Is Neither
San Francisco is in the middle of the country's biggest metro areas, stress-wise, according to a new report.

2010 Election - Voter Registration, Information, for San Francisco
A guide to voting in the California election in November 2010, including voter registration, polling places and other information.

2010 Election - Why Bother Voting
Voting and voter turnout in the Nov. 2 election are crucial to San Francisco. At stake is the city's future direction--the bent of the Board of Supervisors and the mayor, and the shape of the city budget. And there are important races at the state and national levels, too.

Smart City of San Francisco
We're a smart city, according to a Daily Beast study, which ranks the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area third among the smart cities of the US. The dumbest city is Las Vegas.

San Francisco Bay Area Celebrates Court's Gay Rights & Gay Marriage Decisions
Thousands of people flock to San Francisco's Castro area tonight to mark the Supreme Court's rulings today (June 26, 2013) on gay marriage in California and gay couples' right to federal benefits. SF officials applauded the deciscions. Other Bay Area cities are also holding evening rallies and marches.

San Francisco's Legacy Bars & Restaurants
San Francisco is full of bars and restaurants that aren't exactly landmarks but are rich in history, culture and character. An architectural heritage organization is promoting them as legacies that ought to be preserved.

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