Charged

Do cities go too far with tickets and fines? San Francisco hires a director of financial justice to find out.

Read Original Article
Media Outlet: California Sunday Magazine

On a recent morning, Anne Stuhldreher, her long hair stuffed under a yellow helmet, biked from her home in San Francisco’s Mission District to City Hall and settled into the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector. In the cubicles around her, city workers processed tax payments and chased late fees for everything from fire alarm pranks to General Hospital bills. Stuhldreher was there, however, to question the fairness of those fees and more like them — the $71 parking ticket, the $116 Muni fare-evasion fine, the $150 homeless camping citation. She’s the country’s first-ever director of financial justice for a city. Her job is to figure out which government fines and fees unfairly punish the poor and middle class.