City Visions

Mondays at 7pm

Local Bay Area issues, with listener participation, every Monday at 7pm

Call in line: 415-841-4134

Twitter: @cityvisionsKALW


A conversation with San Francisco DA George Gascón

Jul 17, 2013


DA George Gascón is on a mission to make San Francisco the safest large city in the country.  The DA talks with host Joseph Pace about how he intends to achieve that.  Additionally, he discusses alternative sentencing, anti-truancy efforts and more.

A Powerful New Weapon in the Fight Against Cancer

Jul 9, 2013

Actress Angelina Jolie recently surprised the world when announced she had an elective double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer.  By having her genes tested, she learned she is a carrier of BRCA 1, a "faulty" gene that dramatically increases her risk of ovarian and breast cancers. 

Hear from pioneering Bay Area doctors who are using gene sequencing as a tool in the fight against cancer.  Which cancers are most impacted by advances in gene sequencing?  How can you or someone you love benefit?  How much does it cost and who pays?

Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected

Jul 1, 2013

Bridging the Opportunity Divide in the Bay Area

Jun 18, 2013

What happens to young people in the Bay Area with no college degree? How can they navigate a labor market that demands high tech skills without adequate education or training? Producer and guest host Victoria Thorp and guests explore new strategies for addressing the opportunity divide in the Bay Area.


How can we forge connections through food? How do the meals we share with our families reflect our politics and values? Host Joseph Pace speaks with four Bay Area contributors to the new anthology The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family and How We Learn to Eat.

A Better Path for At-Risk Mission Youths

Jun 4, 2013

City Visions examines what happened when two San Francisco police officers, tired of cycling Mission teens in and out of jails, reached out to Supervisor David Campos, inspired business owners, and former gang members to find better opportunities for at-risk Mission District kids. This team started Family and Education Over Everything  to encourage middle-school kids to stay in school and out of gangs. They are also finding jobs for older teens willing to make the commitment.  

Take Me Out: Homophobia and Transphobia in Sports

May 28, 2013

City Visions kicks off Pride month by exploring homophobia and transphobia in sports. Have conversations about out LGBTQ athletes in the Bay Area changed since Jason Collins and Brittney Griner came out publicly? Since Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt apologized for his homophobic past? How do intersections of race, class and gender impact the experiences of LGBTQ athletes? In K-12 education, does Race to the Top include LGBTQ athletes? And why do many people still question whether it is easier for women to come out than men?

How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Pets

May 14, 2013

The amount of dog waste generated in North America each day is the equivalent to the size of 153 blue whales, or 55,845 blue whales a year, according to the recent Canadian film "Dog Dazed."  On the next City Visions, host Joseph Pace will examine the innovative uses of this dog waste, the critically important but lesser known reasons to keep cats indoors, the perils of pet obesity and more.  What do you need to do be a more environmentally aware pet owner?  

Driverless Cars in California

May 7, 2013

Google's self-driving cars have been seen all over Bay Area roads for several years, but now that California has passed SB 1298, autonomous vehicles could become a reality here much faster than many people have predicted. Will these 'driverless' cars prevent some of the 5 million motor accidents in the United States by eliminating human error and distraction? How will manufacturers resolve the safety and liability issues related to autonomous vehicles? What about the privacy concerns about the data that self driving cars will collect?

Re-imagining Public Housing in SF

May 1, 2013

City Visions host Joseph Pace and guests discuss what the future may hold for public housing in San Francisco. How can the city improve living conditions, ensure a reliable source of funding, and ensure an adequate stock of safe and affordable housing for residents?

Urban Etiquette

Apr 23, 2013
Duane Hoffman/


Living with 4.5 million people in the metropolitan

Bay Area means accepting some fundamental social premises and following a few rules. But what are they, and who makes them?

What’s the difference between infringing on rights, racism, and just plain annoying behavior?

What about using cell phones in public restrooms and on BART? When doesn't 10 items or less mean 10 items or less?

And how do you break up with your hair stylist? Discussing this with host Joseph Pace are:

California is required to implement federal health care reform by January 2014.  We discuss what needs to happen by then, and what this means for you.  Is California ready?  What will change and what has changed already?  And what are health benefit exchanges and who needs to use them?  Host David Onek and a panel of Bay Area experts make sense of this landmark legislation.

Do you find yourself checking email and texts constantly? Are digital devices and social media distracting you from your work, your family, and the world around you? City Visions talks with researchers and psychology professionals about the addictive nature of technology and strategies for balancing the urge to be online with the need for mental calm.

How much more water can the Bay Area conserve?

Mar 28, 2013

Advocates say that by mid-century the Bay Area will not have enough water to meet its needs without increasing supply or curbing demand. What more can local agencies and consumers do to conserve water, and can conservation alone help us avoid extreme water scarcity? Is water too cheap? What will it take to convince us all to adopt more water-efficient practices?

Host Joseph Pace explores San Francisco's Department of Public Works with its head, Mohammed Nuru.  Is 2011's Road Repaving and Street Safety bond making a difference to San Francisco's streets?  How has DPW adapted to a reduced budget?  What is the status of DPW initiatives such as the Better Market Street project, the Grey to Green initiative, and the SF Giants Sweep Pledge?  

The Rise of the Young Philanthropist

Mar 12, 2013

Host Lauren Meltzer and guests discuss the growing impact of young philanthropists. Last year, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that three of the top five donors of 2012 were under 40. Two of the three live in the Bay Area, which seems to generate new millionaires with each successful I.P.O. What are the values of these young donors? The Bay Area has lost some major philanthropists in the last five years - will this new guard fill their shoes?

An exploration of the growing interest in massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Many of the leaders in the MOOC field are located here in the Bay Area, from tech start ups to faculty members. 

Bay Area views on federal immigration reform

Feb 26, 2013

City Visions takes up the federal immigration reform debate and explores what the President's proposal could mean for the Bay Area. What are our region's pressing concerns and priorities? More visas for skilled workers? An easier path to citizenship for the undocumented? How can the Bay Area inform and advance the national discussion?

Foraging Fever

Feb 20, 2013

For some, foraging is a way to opt out of the industrial food system and a fascinating hobby that's feeding the latest woods-to-table trend. But for others it’s also a way to foster bio-diversity, eco-literacy, community and creativity. We discuss wild edibles, invasives, ethics, access, and what materials can best be harvested in the urban environment.


  • Kevin Feinstein (Feral Kevin)
  • Sasha Duerr

Guest Host: Victoria Thorp

Producer: Lisa Denenmark

A discussion of Oakland's fiscal health and looming pension costs.  Oakland is being challenged to find ways honor its pension and retirement obligations while providing essential city services.  How realistic is the city's Five-Year Financial Plan?  What lessons can be learned from Oakland's approach to its unfunded liabilities?

Is the CA Environmental Quality Act Working?

Jan 29, 2013

City Visions takes up the movement to reform the California Environmental Quality Act -- hailed by some as our state's pre-eminent environmental law, but condemned by others as a vehicle for obstructionism. How has the 43-year old law helped -- or hindered -- the construction of environmentally sound projects in the Bay Area? What, if anything, needs to be changed?

Nonprofits Seek Their Silver Linings Playbook

Jan 22, 2013

These days, nonprofit organizations are shouldering even greater responsibility for protecting civil rights and meeting basic human needs.

A new study on development and fundraising says that many social justice nonprofits are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed.

City Visions explores the policy conflicts facing the marijuana legalization movement in California. Do the recent ballot victories in Colorado and Washington provide new momentum for cannabis legalization in the Golden State? Or will enforcement of federal law by the Department of Justice prevent California from forging its own vision for the use and sale of marijuana?  Host Victoria Thorp discusses these questions and more with guests Dr. Robert MacCoun, Professor of Public Policy and Law, UC Berkeley, Beau Kilmer, Senior Policy Analyst at the RAND Institute's Drug Policy Research Center, and Dale Gieringer, Director of Cal NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).

Additional resources:

A Conversation with SF Police Chief Greg Suhr

Dec 19, 2012

Host Joseph Pace speaks with San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.  Is violent crime on the rise in San Francisco?  How does crime in different neighborhoods compare?  Are the SFPD's tools, such as the "Bat Computer," making streets safer?  Hear Chief Suhr discuss the challenges and successes of the SFPD.

The Corner Grocery: Creating Community

Dec 12, 2012

Can the corner grocery store bring prosperity to a community? Consumers are making more trips to drug, club, and dollar stores, and taking precious community money out of their neighborhoods. City Visions talks with Bay Area businesses that are re-circulating the food dollars to bring health and wealth to local residents, farmers, and artisans.

image courtesy of sudocrem

City Visions explores the ways that digital media use by school-aged children may be changing how they perform in the classroom.  Are students losing their ability to focus as a result of spending so much time online? Or does digital entertainment provide positive tools to boost students’ creativity and motivation? Host Joseph Pace and guests discuss a study that examined these questions and more.

Understanding the Quantified Self

Nov 27, 2012

City Visions explores the growing "quantified self" movement in the Bay Area. Proponents say that gathering, analyzing -- and sharing-- data about our everyday activities can help us sleep better, lose weight, avoid disease, stay happier and live longer. What kinds of self-tracking technologies are out there, and is there ever such a thing as too much self-knowledge?

Star Search: Can You Trust Online Reviews?

Nov 14, 2012

Caveat empty?

Maybe that hotel has bedbugs. Maybe the competitor's brother-in-law wrote the review. And just maybe that root canal in Freemont was almost pleasurable?

Think you can spot a fake review on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, or even RateMyProfessors?

We discuss online reviews and their impact on consumers, small businesses -- and the (de)centralizing of information.  Also, who's gaming the system, and how have consumer-generated reviews changed the game?

Election Special!

Oct 31, 2012

Election day is almost upon us - but for Californians there is much more at stake than just electing our next President. Voters are being asked to weigh in on issues ranging from criminal justice reform to fixing our state budget, GMO food labeling, and the influence of unions in elections. City Visions runs down California's propositions and the many local issues on the ballot.


Propositions 34 and 36

Oct 22, 2012

On November 6, voters will have a chance to weigh in on two proposals that could have a big impact on how criminals are treated in California. Prop 34 would eliminate the death penalty and replace it with life in prison, while Prop 36 would alter California's "3 Strikes" law to impose a life sentence only when a new felony conviction is "serious or violent."

Supporters say these propositions are step towards a more cost-effective approach towards incarceration, while opponents claim that these initiatives will cause an increase in crime rates and harm public safety for Californians. City Visions takes up the debate.