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In this architect’s rendering, the massive 5M project rises up out of SoMa like a ghostly – ghastly – tyrant. – Photo: Forest City

From 5M to The End (of SoMa): How does a corporation wipe out an entire community?

November 22, 2015

The light from their eyes was missing; in its place was the color of fear. This was the scene at City Hall last week as the people stood up to behemoth developer Forest City, about to build multiple luxury condominium towers and office buildings that will span almost an entire city block in San Francisco’s long-time Filipino community, effectively wiping out the last shred of this working class community of color.

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Black farmers proudly display their produce and show how to make a feast of it. – Photo: Fatima Nasiyr

The successful Black Urban Growers conference

November 22, 2015

One of the most important conferences hosted in Oakland over this past year for the Black community has been the Black Urban Growers Conference. With several hundred people attending, there seems to be a lot of interest surrounding one of the most fundamental things that human beings do: grow food to eat. I talked with Kevin Cartwright, who worked with the organizing committee to make this conference happen about his thoughts on the gathering.

SF Supervisors split over controversial jail plan, communities demand alternatives to imprisonment

November 20, 2015

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, members of the No SF Jail Coalition mobilized against a controversial jail construction plan at the Board of Supervisors meeting, where legislation regarding the plan was introduced. The continuing pressure and testimony from community groups has compelled the board to seriously consider the harmful impacts of imprisonment on marginalized communities in San Francisco and to question whether a new jail is even necessary.

Berkeley High students rallied on the UC Berkeley campus Thursday, Nov. 5, in support of racial justice after a threat to lynch Black lives appeared on a BHS library computer. – Photo: Lance Knobel, Berkeleyside

Berkeley High students fight racist attacks: Navigating the shoals of increasing racial profiling

November 11, 2015

On Thursday, the majority of the 3,000 students at Berkeley High School marched from their school to rally on the UC Berkeley campus. In a statement, the BHS Black Student Union wrote: “Tonight the BSU was made aware of a hateful message that was posted on the Berkeley High website. The words ‘Fuck all the niggers in the world,’ ‘KKK forever public lynching Decmber 9th 2015,” and “I hung a n*gger by his neck in my backyard’ were left on the library homepage.” This is the third racist attack at BHS in the past 13 months.

Uber promised to create 1 million driver jobs for women by 2020. But many women have safety fears, though ride-hailing apps keep drivers safer than cab drivers by getting rid of cash and tracking each ride. – Photo: Washington Post

Opus for Work can help you find on-demand jobs

November 6, 2015

In an era when the 9-to-5 is being replaced by on-demand jobs and the costs of living are rising, Opus for Work empowers people to find flexible work that best fits their individual schedules and needs. New companies in this space have nearly tripled within the last five years, creating tremendous room for new on-demand jobs and employees.

Stop the disproportionate incarceration of Black and Brown men, women and youth in San Francisco’s jail and juvenile hall

October 28, 2015

The current campaign to elect a sheriff for the City and County of San Francisco can and must become San Francisco’s “eyes wide open” opportunity to review what this city and county can and ought to do to identify and promulgate a new path for how it will identify and adopt aspects of the national Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. The City and County of San Francisco can initiate and begin the effort to deincarcerate San Francisco’s jails and juvenile justice center.

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Macio, owner of Lyons Transportation and Logistics Corp.

Kiva in SF: Local entrepreneurs receive crowdfunded loans to serve their communities

October 28, 2015

Del, Carlina and Macio are three local San Francisco entrepreneurs creating opportunities for themselves and people from marginalized populations – homeless youth, veterans and low-income communities. While they all have different stories, they share the fact that their small businesses were started with help from a $5,000 Kiva loan. Kiva is a global non-profit organization that has worked to alleviate poverty through lending for the past 10 years.

California Board of Equalization Chair Jerome Horton

Not all state agencies are created equal

October 25, 2015

According to CalHR, the state’s human resources department, employment and advancement opportunities for women and minorities do not seem to be getting any better. In the most recent State Employee Census, compiled by CalHR and published in January 2015, one of the state’s largest agencies, the Board of Equalization, posted favorable numbers for African Americans and women.

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Crowding into Room 200, the office of Mayor Ed Lee, on Oct. 20, Bayview Hunters Point residents, their faces reflecting their determination to fight to stay in San Francisco, demand a real housing plan to allow them to afford to live in the community they love. Many have roots as deep as five generations. – Photo: ACCE

San Francisco Black community demands a real housing plan

October 21, 2015

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, dozens of long time Black San Francisco community residents – many whose families arrived generations ago – took over the Mayor’s Office demanding real solutions. Pastor Yul Dorn, ACCE member and Bayview resident facing eviction, was in attendance and spoke in front of 60-plus protesters crowded into Mayor Ed Lee’s office. ACCE provided a list of demands, also criticizing Ed Lee’s plan to rebuild public housing.

POOR organized this rally against public housing privatization way back on Sept. 24, 2013, alerting most San Franciscans for the first time to the evil scheme called RAD. The speaker is poverty skola Ayat-Jalal Bryant. – Photo: Poor News Network

From privatization to reparations

October 20, 2015

RAD is the newest in a long line of multi-billion-dollar poverty industry ponzi schemes aimed at gentrifying public housing and leaving the poorest of the poor with nowhere to live. On Oct. 14, HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who wrote RAD, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor London Breed held a back-slapping press conference to celebrate the implementation of RAD “to re-envision, revitalize and rebuild the city’s public housing.”

Bayview Legal Google Impact Challenge poster

Help ensure justice for all at – last day to vote Tuesday, Oct. 20!

October 19, 2015

Update: Thanks to all, Bayview Legal is a winner! It is startlingly clear that legal aid is essential to achieving justice and equality. Fewer than 20 percent of low income people’s legal problems are addressed with the help of a lawyer. So, what’s to be done? This is the question that Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal is actively working to address. Vote for us in the Google Impact Challenge and help us win $500,000. We’ll use the money to prove “justice for all” is not just a slogan but an achievable goal.

The real criminals in Sonoma County: A statement from the Police Accountability Clinic & Helpline

October 17, 2015

It has been two years since 13-year-old Andy Lopez was shot down while walking to his friend’s house with a toy gun, killed by Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus. Gelhaus still patrols the streets of Santa Rosa, free and unprosecuted, as Andy’s family, friends and supporters continue to seek and demand justice. Now comes this most recent local news: A lawsuit, filed Oct. 5 by attorney Izaak Schwaiger and the Scott Law Firm, exposes Sonoma County as the “jail from hell.”

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Liz Washington

Imprisoned on Treasure Island

October 16, 2015

Liz Washington dedicates her story to Treasure Island mothers suffering Child Protective Services’ human rights abuses. Liz Washington’s Tenderloin apartment door rattled. Bursting in, hands on guns, San Francisco cops grabbed her nursing infant. Liz’ daughter remembers her mom’s screams. “‘Please don’t take my baby!’” Even after moving to Treasure Island, Liz never escaped CPS’ ravenous appetite for masterminding abductions of her daughter and sons.

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BART Police officer Johannes Mesherle, left, shot and killed Oscar Grant, right, then claimed to have mistaken his gun for his taser.

Tasers in Berkeley?

October 14, 2015

Both the Richmond and BART Police Departments sent taser advocates to the Oct. 6 Berkeley City Council hearing, but neither is an exemplar of responsible taser use. BART Officer Johannes Mehserle claimed to have mistaken his gun for his taser after he shot and killed Black teenager Oscar Grant, and Richmond officer Kristopher Tong tasered Black teenager Andre Little in the testicles. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Berkeley Copwatch co-founder Andrea Pritchett about the hearing.

Kelly Carlisle poses amid healthy, wholesome collard greens growing on the Acta Non Verba Urban Farm at Tassaforanga Park in East Oakland. A veteran who discovered the therapeutic effect of gardening when returning from service in the U.S. Navy, she works with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to place unemployed veterans in agricultural jobs.

The Black Urban Growers Conference is at Laney in Oakland this weekend

October 13, 2015

The Black Urban Growers Conference takes place this weekend. Some of the presenters will be local author and urban gardener Menhuam Ayele, local healthy food and social justice advocate Paula Beal, and organic gardener, educator, broadcaster and Hip Hop artist DJ Cavem, hailing from Colorado. I caught up with organizer Kelly Carlisle, who also runs the Oakland non-profit Acta Non Verba Urban Farm, to fill us in.

The Blue Angels FA-18s zoom past the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, in October 2007. – Photo: Clark Cook

The Blue Angels air show: San Francisco’s choice

October 10, 2015

Few aside from the USA’s military industrial giants have made more money on the Iraq War than California’s U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum. The Blue Angels first came to San Francisco in 1981, when Feinstein was mayor. Will the MSF hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan, put a damper on San Francisco’s annual celebration of war and militarism? The Blue Angels are San Francisco’s choice. The Pentagon does not force them on San Francisco or any other city.

San Francisco NAACP President Amos Brown meets with the Board of Supervisors about the growing racial income disparity in the city. – Photo: Scott Strazzante, SF Chronicle

Black San Franciscans protest growing poverty as rich San Franciscans meet President Obama and Kanye West

October 9, 2015

Join the rally in front of the Warfield Theater, 982 Market St., San Francisco, Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m., to protest racism toward African Americans in San Francisco by Dr. Amos C. Brown, Carletta Jackson-Lane, Fred Jordan, Shawn Richards, Mattie Scott and Rev. Arnold Townsend The Democratic fundraiser featuring President Obama and Kanye West at […]

Contra Costa County begins counting Richmond anti-rent control petition signatures

October 9, 2015

According to Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, on Oct. 5, Contra Costa County began counting signatures from the petition that blocked renter protections in Richmond from taking effect on Sept. 4, 2015. When the petition was turned in Sept. 3, the California Apartment Association (CAA) announced that they were behind it. Now people in Richmond are anxiously waiting to find out if enough valid signatures were turned in.

Laurie Banks, left, mother of plaintiff Daniel Banks, is comforted by Karina Arango Lopez, sister of Jesus Arango Lopez, while Banks reads a letter from her son describing how he, Lopez and a total of 20 prisoners were beaten by guards at Sonoma County Jail, during a press conference at the law office of Isaak Schwaiger, far left, in Santa Rosa, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. – Photo: Alvin Jornada, special to the SF Chronicle

‘Went in like Gestapo’: Sonoma sheriffs’ bloody rampage

October 8, 2015

A federal lawsuit was filed on Oct. 6 demanding damages and relief for prisoners assaulted and tortured by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies inside the county jail on May 28, 2015. The plaintiffs, Marqus Martinez and Daniel Banks, were two of at least 20 prisoners viciously beaten in the jail’s Administrative Segregation (high security) section on that day. Other abused inmates may join the suit.

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Mansour Id-Deen heads the Berkley NAACP. – Photo: Berkeleyside

Mansour Id-Deen of the Berkeley NAACP speaks on Barbara Lee funding 18 new cops

October 7, 2015

Mansour Id-Deen speaks wit’ The People’s Minister of Information JR about the Berkeley police stopping Black motorists at a disproportionate rate in violation of our human rights. “The disparity is unbelievable,” says Id-Deen. Blacks are stopped more and often “for no reason.” We also speak about “progressive” Congresswoman Barbara Lee securing over $2 million to hire 18 police officers in her district, which includes Berkeley and Oakland. She needs to pay “more attention to local issues and have conversations with local leaders,” Id-Deen says, to make “a better decision.”

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