Bailout Makes the Case for Public Power

By Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 2003]
Far from the wild-eyed, socialistic power-grab routinely portrayed by well-funded political campaigns over the years, public power in San Francisco is a civic principle firmly enshrined by City Charter. As section 16. 101 states: “It is the declared purpose and intention of the people of the city and county, when public interest and necessity demand, that public utilities shall be gradually acquired and ultimately owned by the city and county.”

The Other PUC Battle

By Dennis Herrera
[Originally published by the San Francicso Bay Guardian, November 19, 2003]
When then acting mayor Chris Daly made two controversial appointments to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Oct. 22 while Mayor Willie Brown was traveling in Tibet, it marked the beginning of a media frenzy that has even now scarcely begun to subside.

Insurers must comply with Prop. 103

By John Russo, Dennis Herrera & Rocky Delgadillo
[Originally published in the Alameda Times-Star, Oakland Tribune and Daily Journals, July 5, 2003]
Consider this: a young, single man living in Oakland’s upscale Montclair district pays $3,400 per year for car insurance. But if that same driver, with the same driving record and number of years behind the wheel, moved five miles down the hill to the predominantly Latino Fruitvale neighborhood, he would pay $1,000 more for the same insurance.

‘You’ve Gotta Give Them Hope’

by Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2003]
I was re-reading “The Mayor of Castro Street” last winter when the theme was announced for the 2003 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade and Celebration this weekend. It was a signature line from Harvey Milk’s political career: “You’ve gotta give them hope.”

Don’t Let the NRA Gun Down Civil Justice

By Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 9, 2003]
When San Francisco filed suit against gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers four years ago, there was no guarantee our case would prevail. We were fortunate, however, to be joined by 11 other local governments in California in what has been one of the most important cases to face the gun industry.

Taking Water Pollution By Storm

By Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in Windows on the Waterfront, February 2003]
To those of us with family and friends living on the East Coast, it’s been a difficult winter to avoid gloating about the relative good fortune we enjoy here in San Francisco. Sure, we’ve endured a few big rainstorms during the fall and early winter, but El Nino seems fairly tame compared to the fierce wintry onslaught that pummeled our easterly fellow citizens. Not that we’re unsympathetic, of course. But let’s face it-there isn’t a non-native one of us who doesn’t enjoy hearing a little envy from the hometowns we left behind. There’s certainly no harm in thinking that winter weather is just one more reason we’ve got it better here, right?

Why Shaq Is Not Funny

By Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in the San Francisco Examiner, January 16, 2003]
I’ve made it a general rule in life to avoid public criticism of people whose height exceeds my own by more than a foot-and-a-half. And the fact that I’m about to break that rule in no way diminishes the compelling wisdom of a principle that has served me well throughout my career in law and, more recently, politics.