by Nyese Joshua
Prior to 2007 I had the view that downtown politics was a Them and They arena. I did not see that business as my business. Then, I learned that the San Francisco Health Department, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the mayor and others had allowed inspector documented, readily visible toxic dust plumes to leave the Hunters Point Shipyard Superfund site unabated, taking blind consideration of the City’s Precautionary Principle, pointing the finger at other agencies, abdicating their capacity to do all they can to prevent harm and protect the existing community. It is out of this abhorrent disregard that I realized just voting and going home was not enough.
Essentially, I was invited to become actively involved on this level by all the parties who have stood in silence in the face of environmental racism and backhanded policies that set the stage and play out the process of gentrification primarily driven at its root by unscrupulous greed. See Dr. Ahimsa Sumchai’s article entitled “Singing in the rain: Hunters Point Shipyard enriches SF’s most powerful families.”
I have entered this race to combat destructive social engineering policies, such as gang injunctions, massive so-called redevelopment, wisely guised Jim Crowism and the wholesale onslaught of displacement of Black families throughout District 10. Since I have become informed, I have learned about questionable evictions of public housing residents, the correlation between the increase in crime and “redevelopment.” I do not believe that the most creative solutions to the great list of challenges our district faces should be or even can be resolved with the simple removal of the Black population over and over again. See bss.sfsu.edu/pamuk/SFDemographics.ppt.
It is amazing to me to see these plans laid out repeatedly touting jobs, community benefits, saving the existing destitute community. But in the end the same population that is used to move the plan, the same population that is divided for and against the plan, becomes scarcely noticeable at the end of the plan.
San Francisco has the highest rate of Black displacement of any major city in the country and yet the City is still in a financial hole. So something else, some other more creative planning must be brought to the table. This is why I am in this race: to bring forward this paradigm change, to expand our thinking beyond business as usual.
District 10 citizens need to look to small businesses as the backbone of real forward movement. The Third Street corridor has great potential if the so-called blighted, beleaguered, neglected community would be given a real financial commitment from the City and its representatives.
Right now Liberty Builders is attempting to seal the deal to rebuild the library on Third Street, which makes all the sense in the world. They have been pre-qualified and they are Black owned, reputable and certain to hire from the community, which can help reduce crime.
For our youth to see a Black contractor hiring them, this commitment from the City would spark the hope that springs eternal but has been deeply suppressed. It is well know that a tiny few members of this community were hired when the Third Street Light Rail was brought here, and that is tragic. The Supreme Court has ruled that cities faced with great economic racial disparity are allowed to make decisions that would aid to reduce the disparities.
But who will fight for the people? Who will stand with them on these tough issues: Nyese Joshua.
Why is Bayview Hunters Point at the center of my focus? Because it is the political boiling point; Bayview, as they say, is San Francisco’s future.
As I stated on the record at City Hall, the displacement of Black families in District 10 is worse than what trampled the Fillmore. What is happening in the southeast sector is akin to the Fillmore so-called redevelopment displacement process on steroids. We are being made sick and being ushered out at a rapid rate.
Whatever happened to Proposition P? The Board of Supervisors must stop violating and ensure the enforcement of that proposition which was passed by nearly 87 percent of voters from all over San Francisco in 2000 to mandate cleanup of the whole Shipyard to residential standards and only then to begin development.
The displacement of Black families in District 10 is worse than what trampled the Fillmore. We are being made sick and being ushered out at a rapid rate.
District 10 needs an advocate at the Board of Supervisors. I believe there are other supervisorial candidates and seated Supervisors who are looking for this political commitment and will.
Recently I attended a groundbreaking ceremony at Middle Point/West Point. At the podium, City representatives were pointing to future areas where residents would move when the proposed new housing is built. Each one mentioned how neglected the community has been for so many years. The question has to be why – why the neglect for so many years?
At the same event, standing behind the seats were young people and older residents holding up signs asking, “Where are the jobs?” The residents were ignored by the presenters. Within a few days many of the buildings were demolished, their residents displaced or living doubled up with another family in crowded situations.
I believe there has got to be another will and another way. This neglect of communities for years and years, this dismissal of young people appropriately expressing their frustration, leaving a community without resources to develop economic opportunities and create jobs within their immediate surroundings: That is our past, but it must not be our future!
Meanwhile, Lennar has become San Francisco’s biggest welfare recipient – allowed to purchase 770 acres of Superfund Shipyard property for $1. Yet the City cannot figure out how to make resources available to this neglected community? It does not add up to me.
Organic to San Francisco and District 10
I was born at General Hospital. My family lived in the Haight Ashbury and later moved to 18th Street at Guerrero. During the period of both desegregation and earthquake retrofitting, I attended several elementary schools throughout the City, including Excelsior, Spring Valley and Starr King. By May of 1978 we moved to Shafter Avenue in Bayview. I was 11.
After a couple weeks, one day some of the girls on the block came to my house to make their introductions and, of course, figure out who I was. I just have to say the fondest memory I have of all of us is sitting in stair-step order at the Bell family house two doors up and braiding each other’s hair.
I attained my diplomas from Lowell High School and San Francisco State University. My degree is in Black Studies.
Your Bayview Hunters Point District 10 candidate for Supervisor: Nyese Joshua
I thank you for taking your time to read and consider my candidacy. I have set up a Facebook page to receive your input and comments under my name, Nyese Joshua. I look forward to getting to know many more of the residents of District 10 and building your trust and confidence as your candidate for District 10 Supervisor.
Anyone with real political vision does not start by considering what cannot be done. Rather, a visionary looks well beyond what can currently be seen and measures out the possibilities with painstaking work and a committed body of participants. This is the collaborative, successful future of D10 that I see.
I would welcome you on my team. With my sincerest appreciation, thank you.
Nyese Joshua, candidate for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in District 10, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. And visit her Nyese Joshua Facebook page often for updates and ways for you to get involved.