City Visions Radio Circa 2001 - 2011


From 2001 till 2011 this was the official website for City Visions Radio. Over the years the station evolved so eventually their followers could listen to Podcasts of shows.
Content is from the site's 2001 - 2011 archived pages.

City Visions KALW 91.7 is still broadcasting from San Francisco.
Their current website is found at:


About City Visions

City Visions, the thinking person's talk radio show, has aired weekly on KALW 91.7 FM San Francisco since 1991. We are inspired by a concern for the evolution of urban society at the dawn of the new millennium. We aim to educate, stimulate, and make positive contributions to the level of political discourse.

Our production team, a talented group of multi-disciplined, public policy minded Bay Area pros, brings a broad perspective to current issues. We believe that "global is local", and strive to maintain a balance between the big picture and the back yard.

City Visions respects the complexity of issues and tries to present as many sides as possible, minimizing polarization. We invite guests who are thoughtful, articulate, and authoritative, and we aim to avoid ideologues from either the right or the left side of the spectrum.

We value your input as much as that of our guests. City Visions Radio counts on listeners to provide a crucial part of dialogue. The audience is encouraged to call in with questions and comments during live shows at 415/841-4134. Or e-mail us at anytime.


The Latest from City Visions

LIVE Monday
7:00 - 8:00 pm
KALW 91.7 San Francisco


2020 Update

Still broadcasting, bringing new voices to the air and reaching out to the diverse communities of the Bay Area.


Life goes on: This is one memorable year is an understatement: the pandemic which is now surging once again this Fall, an electrifying summer of protest/ Black Lives Matter and a presidential election unlike anything we have ever experience.

I've been listening to KALW's CITY VISIONS since it started in 1991. It's been invaluable during these last 9 turbulent months leading up to the election touching on such topics as More Distance Learning for Schools in the Fall, COVID Exposes Racial Health Gap In Bay Area, Justice For All: Re-imagining Law Enforcement, to How To Handle Election Anxiety. Every week I compare notes with my daughter who lives in NYC. The last time I called was this past week when most of the real world has acknowledged that the US has elected a new president. We compared notes about the celebrations that spontaneously took place upon the Biden/Harris win. We then discussed the pandemic and what to do about the upcoming holidays. And then I wanted to see how her work was going. Fortunately the sheltering in place / work at home shift did not overly impact her since she has always been able to work at home. She builds websites with her partner and just landed an account for a Louisiana law firm whose site is - check them out. These are Louisiana maritime lawyers who support injured employees working on vessels and rigs in the Gulf. They usually work for large corporations who are supposed to provide safe working environments. But when accidents happen, it usually takes the threat of litigation for the workers to receive fair treatment, including medical and recovery support. I'm very proud of her for helping to assist anyone in need. We always end the call with telling the other to BE SAFE.

Now it's time to listen to KALW's Kamau Right Now! with comedian W. Kamau Bell. I loved his book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell which my daughter gave me for my birthday since she knows I listen to his podcasts. It's a very good collection of essays that is part memoir, part riffs on Bell's interests, and part cultural criticism. The essays all have a meandering quality as if the writer is sitting next to you, telling you a good story filled with lots of warmth and heart and intelligence. 

Thank you KALW. You have made living through these extraordinary times more bearable.



Subscribe to the City Visions podcast and listen whenever you want from your computer or portable media player.

Coming Up Monday, March 5

Juvenile Sex Trafficking in the Bay Area

In this hour, we discuss commercial child sex trafficking in the Bay Area. Many people think that the problem happens outside our borders, but the FBI has identified the Bay Area as one of 13 'hot spots' of the domestic sex trade. Join Lauren Meltzer and a panel of experts from law enforcement and social services agencies to discuss this growing problem and how we as a community can help.

February 27, 2012

Bay Area Theatre

Host: Joseph Pace
Producer: Lisa Denenmark

Historically the theater has been one of the ways people got information, engaged with others, and built community. Now, as theater competes with other and faster news sources, from the Internet to mic checks in the Occupy movement, what is the role of theater in the Bay Area?

Who is going to the theater? What communities are seeing themselves reflected—or not? How are Bay Area theater organizations balancing their artistic visions with the unprecedented stress driven by the loss and reduction of financial support?  And how are they drawing in a new audience?


  • Sean San José. He is a staff member of Intersection for the Arts, the Program Director of the Performance Program, and one of the co-founders of resident company Campo Santo.
  • Karen D'Souza, theater critic for the Bay Area Newspaper Group. She has twice sat on the Pulitzer Prize drama jury, has served as vice chair for the American Theatre Critics Association, and her writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and American Theatre Magazine.




Coming up Monday, August 29

Rebroadcast:  Food Insecurity in San Francisco


August 22, 2011

Silicon Valley – Changing Parameters for Getting Hired - Especially for Those over Forty

Host: Lauren Meltzer
Producer: Lauren Meltzer

Last month a comprehensive workforce and economic study was released by four Silicon Valley workforce investment boards.  Among other findings, the study highlighted that Silicon Valley is in the midst of a reinvention that will yield job growth as well talent shortages, while heightening challenges for tech job workers, especially older workers.

What are the specifics of the report?  Why will there be talent shortages inspite of the  increased job growth; and why are older technology workers more vulnerable?


  • Luther Jackson, Economic Stimulus Manager at NOVA, the non-profit, federally-funded workforce investment board based in Sunnyvale.  While at NOVA, Jackson has managed several research projects designed to help community stakeholders understand the workforce ramifications of the fast-paced economic changes sweeping Silicon Valley and the nation.
  • Jeff Winters, CEO of, which provides no cost/low cost training that will empower mature workers to become their own best career coaches.  In addition to his work at, he also provides career counseling at ProMatch (a nationally recognized career counseling center for Silicon Valley professionals).


Coming up Monday, July 18, 2011

Growing Organic: the dirt on growing organic food

Next time we look behind the grocery store and farmers' markets to explore the secrets behind growing organic food from farmers' fields to local gardens. As the interest in organic produce continues to rise, can farmers keep up? What can individuals do in their own back yard, be it the city or the suburb? Join Lauren Meltzer and guests.


July 11, 2011

What’s Next for the Marriage Equality Movement in California?

Host: Joseph Pace
Producer: Lisa Denenmark

It’s been an eventful year in the movement to legalize same sex marriage. Last year Judge Vaughn Walker ruled California’s Prop 8 unconstitutional. Then late last month, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing same sex couples there to marry. And just last week, Rhode Island authorized civil unions. All this against the backdrop of the imminent repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the launch of the It Gets Better video campaign and the first ever Gallup poll to show a majority of Americans supporting same sex marriage.

But ask advocates for marriage equality what they think of all this and they’re likely to say that there’s more work to be done: Prop 8 is hung up in the appeals process and seems likely headed for the US Supreme Court, where it’s fate is anything but certain; there are still only seven jurisdictions that allow gay marriage, and there is the ongoing opposition to the movement from those in the Tea Party.

In this hour, we bring together three leading voices on marriage equality to discuss the legal, political and cultural landscape on which these events are unfolding.

What can California learn from the experience of other states?

What’s next for the marriage equality movement—and for marriage as an institution?


  • Kate Kendell, an attorney and the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), a national legal organization that fights for the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy and public education.
  • Polly Pagenhart, an educator and cultural critic by training, she writes about cultural and political issues affecting queer families both in print and on her award-winning blog Lesbian Dad.
  • Andrea Shorter, Director of Marriage Equality and Coalition Strategies for Equality California, the state's largest LGBT advocacy organization. She also founded and directs 'And Marriage for All' a public education campaign which reaches out to the African American community around the issue of marriage equality.





February 8, 2010

Same-Sex Marriage on Trial: A Look Inside Prop 8 in Federal Court

Next on City Visions, we'll review highlights of the historic Prop 8 trial. The trial, which drew to a close in San Francisco last week, was the first federal trial to determine if the U.S. Constitution allows states to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Called the civil rights trial of the modern era, the trial explored issues from the meaning of marriage to whether sexual orientation is a choice. Join host Joseph Pace as he talks to legal experts about the trial and what's at stake.


February 1, 2010

Remaking the Delta: How Water Management Will Affect California's Aquatic Future

As discussions of recent winter downpour mature into discussions of California's multi-year drought, the future of the Golden State's water management and infrastructure becomes a key part of the economic and environmental debate. The Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010 is an $11 billion bond proposal coming to California voters in November of 2010 that would fund improvements and enhancements to water infrastructure. In a cash-strapped state government and with tax coffers depleted, how will one of our most basic needs be addressed and financed?

Who will be the winners and losers of this new system? How do divergent water users such as farms, fisheries, cities, and conservationists agree on the right path? How much should we as tax payers and as water consumers be paying for water? With the threat of earthquakes and flood control, wouldn't creating and funding the plan now, before a disaster, be the wisest choice? With a number of conflicting interests in water usage and water ownership, the policy-making foundation for how California shares and stores water resources is being rethought with an eye toward building a new consensus for our water policy.

  • Michael Carlan, deputy general manager, San Francisco Water Commission
  • Ellen Hanak, senior fellow, Public Policy Institute of California
  • Doug Obegi, staff attorney, Natural Resource Defense Council





Coming on January 12, 2009

The Future of JROTC: Is there room for the military in San Francisco public schools?

Next on City Visions, we'll take a look at the future of JROTC in San Francisco public schools. In November, San Francisco voters expressed their support for the program, but the school board voted to end it as of this May. Now the school board must weigh its decision against the will of the people.

Is JROTC really a recruitment tool for the U.S. military? Do its benefits outweigh concerns about intentions for recruitment? What does the program mean to our students and the academic environment?

Join host Joseph Pace and guests to explore these issues and more.

January 5, 2009

The Mayor & Board of Supervisors: What To Look For in '09

The year 2009 is here and the groundbreaking election last November charted a new course not only for the country, but also for San Francisco. Four of the eleven members of the Board of Supervisors will be fresh faces at City Hall this year while the city is facing an exorbitant $575.6 million budget deficit.

Mayor Gavin Newsom offered his annual State of the City in late November through the unconventional means of a series of online videos. While some applauded the videos, others noted that he made little to no mention of the looming financial crisis. Newsom has also launched an exploratory bid for the California governor's race in 2010, which could open up a competitive crowd of hopefuls to replace him.

What can we expect this year from the Mayor and the new make up of Board of Supervisors? What might solutions look like to address the massive budget deficit? Who would be likely contenders to replace the mayor if he were to run for governor?

Joining host Lauren Meltzer in the studio to discuss these questions and more are:

  • Rachel Gordon, reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
  • David Latterman, president, Flat Line Analytics






Coming on February 25, 2008

Black History Month

February is nationally recognized as Black History month. Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month." What organizations and individuals paved the way for Black History month? What is the history and culture of San Francisco's African American community? How is San Francisco celebrating?

Join the discussion with host Lauren Meltzer and guests.





Coming on October 29th, 2007

San Francisco’s Community Justice Center: Talking Points or Restorative Solutions?

The mayor claims that his proposed Community Justice Center will reduce crime downtown by establishing a neighborhood court built around a restorative justice model. But critics have been put off by the proposal's lack of specifics and question the feasibility of many of the Center’s goals. Is the Community Justice Center merely an empty promise or is Newsom truly embracing the community justice model?

October 22, 2007

Our Neighborhood Parks: How do we improve them? How should we use them?


San Franciscans are lucky enough to live in the city with the highest percentage of parkland in the country and more than 200 neighborhood parks. Citizens are passionate about their neighborhood parks and flock to them in droves. Park renovation projects are underway all over the city and the Recreation and Parks department is undergoing major changes. Local parks also benefit from the tireless efforts of numerous advocacy groups and neighborhood volunteers.

Still, there is much to be done. A $185 million bond proposal could help but not everyone agrees on how parks money should be spent. In a recent parks survey, residents were concerned about maintenance, vandalism and out-dated playgrounds. But the city also needs to budget for new park development, especially in the eastern neighborhoods.

What do you love about your neighborhood parks? How can parks satisfy the various needs of the people who use them - from parents and dog-owners, to school kids and the elderly? What changes would you like to see? How can citizens get more involved?

Joining host Joseph Pace to discuss these issues and more are guests:

  • Jacob Gilchrist, project manager, Trust for Public Land, Parks for People - Bay Area Program
  • Dennis Kern, director of operations, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department
  • Meredith Thomas, stewardship program manager, San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council






Coming on August 7th, 2006

Communities in Crisis: The local Arab-American reaction to the conflict in the Middle East


July 31, 2006

The San Francisco Marathon: 15,000 runners and 26.2 breathtaking miles in the best running city in the country.

An estimated 15,000 people will run in this year’s San Francisco Marathon. Runners will be treated to a breathtaking tour of some of the city’s best sites, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Haight-Ashbury district.

This annual event attracts runners from around the world - some are professional athletes while others are participating in a marathon for the first time. Regardless of experience, behind every pair of sneakers are personal stories of transformation, strength and perseverance.

Joining host Yumi Wilson to talk about the race and the challenges and rewards of long distance running are:

  • Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter, sports psychologist, and best selling author of "Your Performing Edge: The Complete Mind-Body Guide for Excellence in Sports, Health, and Life"
  • Dean Karnazes, author, "Ultra Marathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner," and host of this year’s SF Marathon
  • Ruby Reyes & Dan Elmer, first-time marathon runners, who with no previous running history, embarked on a grueling six-month training schedule to compete in the SF Marathon




Listen Live
Requires Realplayer

Monday, November 22

The Ethics of Eating: Focus on Foie Gras

7:30 PM




Listen Live
Requires Realplayer

Obesity in America

Monday, July 28

7:30 PM




Rose Levinson

executive producer and anchor host

Rose Levinson first produced and hosted City Visions in 1991. Over the years, she has trained and worked with a number of talented and dedicated producers. After being City Visions's sole anchor for over fourteen years, she looks forward now to sharing host duties while continuing her involvement as executive producer and anchor host.

Along with the public policy concerns that inform City Visions, Rose has a deep and abiding passion for literature. She taught literature at the College of Marin, and currently facilitates literary seminars with a focus on nineteenth and early twentieth century British and Russian writers. Recently, she began a Ph.D. program which will deepen and strengthen her knowledge of both theory and primary text.

Rose has published a number of essays focusing on identity issues in contemporary life, and was recently chief author of a book which addresses the issue of diversity within the Jewish community.

She also does a great deal of public speaking, on topics both literary and policy related. Along with her life-partner David, she travels extensively each year--and is almost able to get by in France speaking only French, a fact which continues to astound her.

Emily Dulcan


Emily Dulcan loves investigating the nooks and crannies of San Francisco and producing meaningful conversations for the City Visions audience at KALW. Currently working as a communications consultant, Emily earned her master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. While living in southern Mexico and working with the indigenous Mayan population, Emily developed a keen interest in human rights and practices for improving communities from the ground up – be they in the midst of mountainous corn fields or among the streets of the world’s most urban peninsula. When she’s not working to live, Emily enjoys travel, photography, and eating and drinking well.

Daphne Humes


Daphne became a City Visions producer in 2004. She enjoys producing shows on a variety of topics ranging from California's mixed race baby boom to the ethics of eating to the politics of reproductive medicine. In addition to her work as producer (and now website manager) for City Visions, she is a phone counsellor at the TALK Line Family Support Center. Daphne's educational background is in linguistics and Romance languages, with extended visits to Morelia, Mexico and Venice, Italy. Before becoming a parent, her career was in high tech where she experienced first hand the surreal chaos of the boom and bust of the late '90s.

Morgen Humes

senior producer

Morgen is a Bay Area native who lived in England, Costa Rica and even Illinois before coming home to roost in San Francisco. She is the Director of Training and Research for the Bay Area nonprofit Seneca Center for Children and Families. She is also a mom. She received a Master's in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and has a BA from UC Santa Cruz in psychology. She joined City Visions as a producer in 2003. Her programs for City Visions reflect curiosity about everything from foster care reform and immigration to paperless voting and local politics. She delights in the forum City Visions provides for engaging us all in discussions about the micro and macro issues affecting our community.

Ann Maley


Lauren Meltzer


Lauren has been a free-lance producer and reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001. Her work has aired on KQED, Free Speech Radio, KPFA and KALW. She has been with City Visions since 2002. In addition to radio, she is a moderator for consumer and user research. Lauren received a masters in education from Harvard University where she focused on the use of technology in education. When Lauren is not facilitating conversations as a host or moderator she listens to the profound thoughts of her toddler.

Maya Mirsky


Maya Mirsky is a reporter based in the East Bay. Before moving to the Bay Area she spent ten years in Budapest, Hungary. Currently reporting on local Oakland and Alameda communities, her journalism experience includes writing on environmental finance, Eastern Europe, literature and business.

Dave Momphard


Brian Moran


Kevin O'Connell


Kevin's show production interests range from water policy to travel book writing, slow food to technology. His current work with the California Court system focuses on criminal justice policy, data analysis, and research methodology. Previous to working with the courts, he worked as a policy analyst on economic development projects in Croatia and Guatemala, as well as a regional rule of law initiative in the Balkans. Kevin received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Davis in political science and history, and his masters of arts from the University of California, San Diego in international relations with a focus on public policy. Away from the desk, he enjoys woodworking, home brewing, monitoring international elections, and playing baseball.

Siouxsie Oki



Joseph Pace



Amanda Stupi



Yumi Wilson

former host

Yumi Wilson is an assistant professor in journalism at San Francisco State University. Prior to that, she spent 11 years at the Chronicle where she held various titles, including: deputy readers' representative (deputy ombudsman); Open Forum editor and City Hall reporter. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 1990.

She joined City Visions in 2005 as a producer and host, and her favorite topics are politics, public policy and multiracial issues. Yumi is currently working on a book that traces her Japanese mother's footsteps back to Japan where she met her African-American father, who was an Army soldier at the time. Her research began at the University of Michigan where she studied history, political science and creative writing as a Knight-Wallace Fellow for the 2000-2001 academic year. She continued her research in Japan as a Fulbright research scholar in the fall of 2001. She wrote about her journey for the San Francisco Chronicle in March 2002.


Lisa Malaney

former executive producer

Lisa Malaney called more than a dozen cities home before moving to San Francisco at the end of 1998, determined to roam no more (except on vacation). In pursuit of tidbits to help her hold her own in debates with natives, Lisa joined the City Visions team in early 1999, producing shows on perennial San Francisco issues - housing, parking, and growth - as well as topics ranging from healthcare to commercialization in schools. She was executive producer and fill-in host from 2001 to 2005. An academic and professional background in communications has resulted in a satisfying work life including marketing, PR, editing, fundraising, education, and program and content development for multinational companies and non-profits in the United States and in Japan, though Lisa's favorite job is raising her daughter.

Judith Sansone


Lisa Denenmark


Lisa, who holds an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation,is a longtime media reform activist, cable access producer, media literacy advocate, and educator who works toward integrating emancipatory scholarship with social action, particularly as it relates to self-determination for communities under-represented by mainstream media.

Also a playwright, journalist, ethnographer, and editor, she has spent several years working in online news organizations and academia/nonprofits as Deputy Bureau Chief, Managing Editor, Copy Chief, and Web Manager.

She is tickled that she got to be a freelance question writer for Trivial Pursuit, where she wrote stealth anticolonization, multicultural, feminist, and LGBTQI questions, staging public resistance through the production of countermemory and multitextual knowledges that intervene on dominant systems of truth.

Lisa can often be found on a public tennis court trying to develop a monster kick serve or at home designing bumper stickers to raise money for nonprofits.

Safa Shanneb

former producer

Safa Awad Shanneb, the newest addition to City Visions' production crew, is a 2004 graduate of the Political Science department at the University of California at Berkeley. Libyan born, her family's exile has taken her to many places, creating in her an international citizen with an unending curiosity about human nature, socio-political, and economic dynamics.

Shanneb moved to San Francisco after living and working in the last Libyan city her father had seen before fleeing in 1978: Tripoli, Libya. She then lived in the United Kingdom, Egypt, and the US states of Pennsylvania and Missouri before heading West to California in 1992 and returning in 1998.

Safa takes to heart her lessons from life and hopes to bring at least one to City Visions: A liberal democracy is a beautiful ideal that can only be sustained by a society's involvement and can never be taken for granted.

Jill Slater

former producer

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jill Slater is a lover of great cities, on the clock and off. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1992 with an interdisciplinary degree in Urban Studies and attended graduate school at UC Berkeley. Her interests have expanded from "all things urban" to collecting acorns, kayaking, bouldering, film festival volunteering, surfing, political and community/bike activism, making video shorts, and, last but not least, mastering the accordion. She imagines City Visions as a vehicle for such issues as the changing economic state of San Francisco and the continuing role of the arts in the City. Now back in New York City, Jill remains tethered to the San Francisco Bay Area and City Visions in particular.

Jennifer Spoerri

former producer


Irene Yen

former producer

Irene was born and raised in Michigan. Her day job is as a research epidemiologist at UC San Francisco, focusing on how neighborhood environments and social and economic circumstances affect health and well-being. She has bachelor's degrees in microbiology and political science from Stanford University. Her graduate training is in epidemiology from UC Berkeley. Past jobs include health worker in an STD clinic, ESL teacher, editor, and project director of a spina bifida study in China. She joined City Visions as a producer in 2004. She has been fascinated by radio programs ever since her childhood days of listening to Dick Estell's Radio Reader program.