City Visions | KALW

City Visions

What will the first 100 days of a Biden Administration look like? Biden has outlined his agenda on issues like Covid and climate, but what will he actually be able to accomplish? Host Ethan Elkind speaks with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and NRDC's Victoria Rome to get their perspectives on Biden's policies and what they might mean for the Bay Area.

What is 'radical empathy' and how do we use it to move past structural racism and inequality?  Host Grace Won speaks to Bay Area author and political scientist Terri Givens about her forthcoming book, “Radical Empathy: Finding a Path to Bridging the Racial Divides."

Looking to alleviate post-election and stay-at home fatigue?  On tonight's City Visions we will explore some great hikes in the Bay Area and learn about a project to document all the outdoor stairways of San Francisco.

Is the gig economy good for workers...or are they being exploited by it? We hear from both sides of the debate over Proposition 22, which would classify drivers for companies like Uber, Lyft and Postmates as independent contractors.

As the United States reckons with our history of racism and a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting people of color, race promises to feature front and center in this year's election.  But can Democrats talk about race and still win?  

Gage Skidmore

  On the next City Visions, East Bay Congressman - and former presidential candidate - Eric Swalwell will talk about protecting our elections, providing covid relief, and fighting corruption, among other topics. 


We will also feature our regular COVID update with Chronicle Health Reporter Erin Allday and UCSF doctor Peter Chin-Hong, as well as the comedy of local favorite, Zahra Noorbakhsh.  



Mike Kai Chen

According to federal data, African Americans and Latinos are three times as likely as white Americans to become infected with COVID-19 and twice as likely to die from the virus. Similar disparities persist in California. We'll talk about what accounts for the numbers and how to improve the health of local communities of color amid the pandemic, and after.

While protests against police violence are making headlines, less attention has been paid to an issue that affects the lives and livelihoods of black people every day... racism in the workplace.  On our next program, we'll hear stories about how racism has persisted for working black Americans and consider ways to address it. 

How are communities in the Bay Area heeding the call to address systemic racism?  Tonight on our program, we'll discuss recent initiatives introduced in San Francisco and elsewhere in the Bay Area. 

Dr. Lori Watson

  The killing of George Floyd has ignited an outpouring of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, bringing attention to structural racism in law enforcement, education, employment and other institutions. We'll speak to race equity consultant Lori Watson about how unconscious bias contributes to systemic racism and what we can all do to practice anti-racism.

Ben Trefny/KALW

Demonstrations against police violence continue in the Bay Area and nationwide after George Floyd, an African-American, was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police last week. We'll talk to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Otis Taylor about how our region is processing Floyd's death and how we can address systemic racism in our communities.

C Pam Zhang's debut novel, “How Much of These Hills is Gold," tells a haunting tale of two Chinese-American siblings during the gold rush era as they set out to bury their dead father.   A beautiful story woven with grief and hope, Ms. Zhang brings to life and gives a voice to a group of people often omitted from the story of the American West.  

San Francisco Chronicle health reporter Erin Allday and UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong discuss the latest coronavirus-related news.  In the second half of the program, a panel of nonprofit leaders explore how COVID-19 is impacting local nonprofits.  How can you help -- from home?

Join us for a special edition of City Visions tonight from 9-10pm.  We will have a brief update on the status of COVID-19 in the Bay Area from Erin Allday, health reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle.  Then we will have a panel of experts discussing why some communities are especially resilient during crises and what we can learn from them.


How is the Bay Area handling shelter-in-place? How is your community responding and how are you coping? How will we be changed by this experience?

City Visions: Special Election Coverage

Mar 1, 2020

San Francisco heads to the polls Tuesday to choose the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Voters will also decide on important propositions ranging from funding renovations at City College and financing earthquake safety, to taxing vacant commercial properties.

Will progressives and moderates feud as the country burns?  Or will they unite to defeat President Trump and usher in a new era of reform?

Host Ethan Elkind sits down with Bay Area's Senator Scott Weiner to discuss legislation to address California's housing crisis.

Clem Albers / US National Archives and Records Administration

Host Joseph Pace and guests explore the history of discrimination against Japanese Americans and immigrants in the first half of the 20th century. What parallels can be drawn between their experiences and today’s debate over immigration and national security?

San Francisco: The decade in architecture

Jan 6, 2020

San Francisco's urban landscape has evolved significantly over the last decade.  City Visions host Joseph Pace and our panel review some of the decade's most notable - and controversial - development projects.


Last week, researchers at UCSF published a study showing that a ban on sugary drinks at work has significant positive health effects, from a smaller waist size to improved insulin resistance to lower cholesterol.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency


What will it take to make San Francisco streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists? In 2014, the City adopted Vision Zero, an ambitious plan to end all traffic deaths and severe injuries by 2024. 

City Visions: Where is San Francisco's money going?

Sep 30, 2019

  Did you know that San Francisco’s budget is bigger than the state of Arizona’s?  And on par with Afghanistan’s?  

In 2008 California voters approved nearly $10 billion in bonds to begin construction of a high speed rail linking the northern and southern portions of the state. The project envisioned a bullet train able to whisk passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours, while slashing pollution from air travel, relieving congested freeways and containing sprawl. Since then, the project’s been beset by litigation, delays and massive cost overruns.

  Host Grace Won sits down with Lara Bazelon, Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco Law School and head of the school’s Criminal Juvenile and Racial Justice Clinics

City Visions: The rising cost of childcare

Jul 29, 2019

  July 29, 2019: No where in the country is childcare more expensive than in San Francisco. This comes as no surprise to parents who can spend nearly $2,000 a month per child for full-time care, if of course there is a spot for the child, which oftentimes there is not. How are families coping with the rising cost of childcare in a region that is already so expensive? What resources are available for families in need?


We continue our examination of criminal justice in the Bay Area, this time with a discussion of the federal crime bill, The First Step Act, which was signed by President Trump in December. 

City Visions: A New Age of Space Exploration

Jun 15, 2019

It's a New Age of Space Exploration. NASA is preparing for another manned trip to the moon. New technologies will be tested there in order to plan a much longer trip to Mars. Scientists are figuring out how to grow food, fuel, and pharmaceuticals in space.

City Visions: What is life like after incarceration?

Jun 10, 2019
Photo by M-SUR


Another in our series on criminal justice in the Bay Area, this show focuses on life after incarceration, or what’s known as “reentry.”

Russell Yip/Joel Holland

 The next time you eat a piece of avocado toast, thank a hippie. It was the hippie movement that gave rise to so much of what we eat and take for granted today: tofu, yogurt, organic produce, farm to table, whole grain breads and so much more.

Andria Lo



Host Ethan Elkind sits down with the author and San Francisco Chronicle columnist.