San Francisco

I arrived safely in San Franciso a few days ago to do a six week fellowship for Working Assets, which is a supercool innovative company that I'm proud to join, if only for a month and a half.

As proof of my safe arrival in the bay area, I present to you this picture of a newspaper vending machine that features the Los Angeles Times.

The city is as liberal and treacherous as the wingnuts say.  There are recycling bins, Starbucks, hybrid cars, and crepe places everywhere.  This place is just not safe.  And yet, something tells me that my feelings of fear and insecurity are wrapped up in an existential angst about personal identity, inadequacy, and a search for a meaning in the pursuit of dangerous illusion.

Nah, fuck it, it's just all the liberals are creeping me out.

Here's a pic of a crepe place and one of a bistro.

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I'll be in SF from mid-August through September

I live in DC, but I'm going to be out west in San Francisco for six weeks from mid-August until the end of September.  If any MyDDers are in SF, drop me an email.

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Gavin Newsom Calls Out DC Democrats

Taking some time out from pushing for universal health care, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was interviewed by Rolling Stone to talk about gay marriage. Newsom used the opportunity to call out DC Democrats:

Where's the moral courage? It's lost. [...]

Not every Democrat in Washington agrees with gay marriage. But I will make the case -- based on some strong evidence -- that an overwhelming majority do. But they just can't say it. And that is a limitation that is causing more damage than the issue. Because, again, it shows a weakness of character.

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Gavin Newsom's Bold Leadership for Universal Health Care

Most of the people reading this have already come to terms with the fact that we aren't going to see much progress from the federal government for at least the next 30 months. Yet for many of the same reasons why a grassroots approach gives the netroots power, a bottom up policy approach is  progressing across the nation.

Many of you have Democratic local leadership or Democratic state leadership, this is a diary you may want to consider emailing to your representatives. Because this diary is a quantification of how bold local progressive leadership is good for the politician leading and great for the people who benefit.

I want to use San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for the example. Newsom offered a bold, west coast offense on civil liberties and surged to an 86% approval rating, even those who disagreed with him respected him for having the backbone to stand up and fight for marriage equality. Newsom has also lead for free wireless internet and fought for stem cell research.

But right now, Newsom is taking on the biggest fight of his political career: the battle for universal health care.

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Gavin Newsom does it again - Universal Health Care

When San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom stood up for equal protection with his "Winter of Love" in San Francisco, the media camped outside City Hall. Now Newsom is pushing forward a plan to make his city the first in the nation to offer universal health coverage, but will the press cover this issue even though it is far more important for most people?

Newsom's San Francisco Health Access Program will over a comprehensive menu of health services to all of the 82,000 uninsured residents of the city (regardless of their immigration status). The plan sidesteps the terminally ill private health insurance system, where overhead is now 35 cents out of every dollar, in favor of direct services offered by city doctors and nurses and a collection of non-profit clinics and hospitals.

San Francisco is already spending more than a billion dollars a year on health care.  But much of that money is misspent because very expensive emergency rooms are used to provide primary care services. Newsom's plan, developed with San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano, will push money into community clinics where the uninsured can get preventative care and basic treatment. San Franciscans who join the plan would make co-payments based on their income level.

The plan is controversial politically, particularly with some members of the business community. But we all know Newsom is no stranger to controversy. He took on most of the city's establishment to fundamentally reform homeless care in the city -- and helped dramatically reduce homelessness. And we all remember he didn't blink when it came to fighting for equal rights for gay couples who wanted to marry. The fight isn't over in San Francisco. But if Newsom wins -- he will set a precedent for universal health coverage that should be an inspiration to Democrats who want bold action on pressing national issues like health care.

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