Articles Posted by Greg Kamin

San Franciscan by choice, not birth, Greg Kamin is an activist with a passion for civil liberties and issues of social and economic justice. He is a world traveler, foodie, and all-around experience-seeker, who chronicles his life with a point-and-shoot camera and occasionally writes when feeling particularly inspired.

  • You’re Going Where? A Glimpse of Life Inside the Hermit Kingdom

    I tried to break the news to my father as casually as I could – almost as an afterthought. “I won’t be reachable for a while,” I said. “I’ll be out of town traveling through China and North Korea.” Dead silence on the other end of the line. Followed by, after a long pause, “I didn’t think I heard you correctly.”

  • Bock, Gascón, Onek Square Off at DA Candidates Forum

    Bock, Gascón, Onek Square Off at DA Candidates Forum

    But judging strictly by the applause-meter, the clear winner was David Onek, a criminal justice expert and former San Francisco Police Commissioner who is the founding executive director of the UC Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice. Onek is running as a reformer and an “outsider,” yet he’s no stranger to the halls of power. His father was once senior counsel to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and his father-in-law is Michael Dukakis, the former governor of Massachusetts and the 1988 Democratic nominee for president. He served in Mayor Newsom’s Office of Criminal Justice before being appointed by Newsom to the Police Commission. Still, his message that only an outsider can reform the criminal justice system, seemed to resonate with the audience.

  • Canada Hits Political Breaking Point and What it Means for Us

    Unlike the US, Canada has a parliamentary system. But for those who don’t know too much about the way our northern neighbor runs elections, they actually elect their Parliament in exactly the same way we elect our House of Representatives. In other words, in the most absurd manner possible -winner-take-all, first past the post, with geographically delineated districts by province.

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    San Francisco’s Outposts of Dictatorship,
    and What You Can Do if You Live in One

    In late September I put up a couple of campaign signs in my windows -one for Michael Nava for Judge, and one for No on Sit/Lie (Prop L), two races which may be close and probably can use the attention.

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    Kamin Reviews DCCC Endorsements Meeting

    So on August 11th, a couple hundred people packed themselves into the smallest possible room for the biggest meeting of the year to get an up close and personal look at the machinations of the local Democratic Party. Unlike some in the standing room only crowd at the Local 2 headquarters, I got lucky and snagged one of the uncomfortable chairs, and sat for all three hours so you didn’t have to. This is what I saw…

  • The Landslide that Never Was

    So basically, a mess of a system produced a hung parliament mess where no one can comfortably form a majority coalition, though David Cameron will certainly try, claiming “moral authority.” At the moment, he’s talking to the Lib Dems for lack of anyone else to talk to, but the price of their support would almost certainly be electoral reform. Even if he succeeds in forming a coalition, he won’t be able to push through a hardcore neocon agenda. And it’s entirely unclear how long such a government would even last.

  • Sit-Lie Dog and Pony Show

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    Sit-Lie Dog and Pony Show

    For me, the most powerful moment in over four hours of testimony was one that probably passed almost unnoticed for most people. Representatives from the police and the district attorney’s office had just finished over 100 minutes of testimony during which time they got all the time they wanted to tell the supervisors how they all thought this would be the greatest thing since sliced bread. SFPD Chief George Gascón was a no-show, but Assistant Chief Kevin Cashman was ready with a slick PowerPoint presentation (more on that later), followed by a parade of captains in full regalia whose sole purpose seemed to be to show solidarity across the SFPD, as if this was ever in doubt.