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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

San Francisco legislators have a new idea to tackle all the new tech that roams around their streets: an Office of Emerging Technologies that would dole out approvals to startups and companies wishing to unleash new gadgets and services on the city.

Why it matters: San Francisco is home to many tech companies that aim to reshape urban life, but the city has often seemed ill-prepared to deal with them, whether by welcoming or regulating them.

The details: The office, established by a bill proposed last Tuesday by Board of Supervisors president Norman Yee with the support of City Administrator Naomi Kelly, would be housed in the Department of Public Works.

  • Companies would have to get permission from the office before they can test any new products in San Francisco.
  • The office would coordinate with various departments to assess the positive and negative effects a proposed product or service would create and issue an approval or denial.
  • Ideally, it would also help companies better understand the city's relevant rules and regulations from the outset. Small startups with limited regulator experience have often struggled to do more than apply for basic business permits.

Be smart: Because it's housed in the Public Works department, the office's jurisdiction would be limited to sidewalks, storefronts and the like. It's not clear that it could regulate, for example, ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft or home-rental outfits like Airbnb.

Go deeper: SF officials want to regulate cutting-edge tech. Would their plan stifle innovation?

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.