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A new life for Sundial Park

July 29, 2014

Reclaiming Hilltop Park, better known as Sundial Park, as a neighborhood destination has been a long time coming. Through dedicated local advocacy, an active community of neighbors and productive partnerships, this park will finally be seeing a new life in Bayview Hunters Point. Come to the community meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Joseph Lee Recreation Center, 1395 Mendell St.

This is the front page of The Black Panther newspaper that came out Aug. 28, 1971, the day of George Jackson’s funeral, alerting mourners to attend; 8,000 came.

Special assignment: George Jackson funeral

July 27, 2014

I was working at Central Headquarters of the Black Panther Party (BPP) when George Jackson was murdered by guards in San Quentin Prison in 1971. George Jackson was one of the leaders of the developing Prison Rights Movement at the time. He helped develop a new consciousness among prisoners based on political education, service to the community and the destruction of the evil capitalist system.

Bigoted bullying at Richmond City Council meetings aims to end progressive leadership

July 21, 2014

After the Richmond City Council meeting of July 1, I experienced one of the most intense and hostile encounters I have had to endure as a public official and in my entire life for that matter. Since then, there has been at least one news report and a series of deliberate misrepresentations of what took place that night. It is not my intention to respond to false accusations raised or dignify the insults with a response.

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In memory of Andy Lopez: Turn a negative into a positive

July 18, 2014

I am proposing that a fund or funds be set up in memory of Andy Lopez to help students, especially Latino students and other disenfranchised students of color, who are in need of financial support and are struggling to achieve the goal of higher education. I strongly urge that the district attorney, the sheriff, the City Council and the Board of Supervisors, as well as all law enforcement agencies, contribute to these efforts.

This looks like a wonderful place for children, but is it safe? The original caption on this San Francisco Chronicle photo reads: “The Boys and Girls Club is closed until school starts next week on Treasure Island, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. The health department alleged a Navy contractor might have inadvertently exposed children to radioactive dust at the Boys and Girls Club and at a child development center on the island.” – Photo: Liz Hafalia, San Francisco Chronicle

Doesn’t the Navy know the Boys and Girls Club left toxic Treasure Island?

July 18, 2014

The Girls and Boys Club departure is sobering for island parents. It establishes that a venerable organization refuses to participate in exposing young people – their children – to radioactive and chemical poisons it knows to a certainty exist at its former site. What if Job Corps and the other small island businesses employing many young people followed suit?

Kenneth Harding Jr.: Three years after SFPD murdered my son, just demonizing, no justice

July 16, 2014

Three years ago, on July 16, 2011, I awakened to the news that San Francisco police had killed my 19-year-old son, Kenneth Harding Jr., for allegedly evading a $2 bus fare. It’s hard when you’re trying to find out what happened to your child but no one will produce the facts that support the theory that he supposedly killed himself. The police put that message out and never backed it up, hoping to take away any sense of empathy. This month will be our 29th consecutive month of feeding the community at the very spot where Kenneth’s blood still stains the ground.

Hundreds marched Saturday, July 12, to protest District Attorney Jill Ravitch’s refusal to indict Sheriff’s Deputy Gelhaus for the murder of Andy Lopez. The march was called “Ravitch Says Justified, The People Say Homicide!“ – Photo: Daniela Kantorova

Andy Lopez inspires the people to rise up, to defend! educate! resist!

July 13, 2014

When I first heard about Andy, I had no doubt that there would be no justice coming from the D.A.’s office; it will come from the people. Expecting the D.A. to provide justice in this case would be like asking Israel to stop shelling Palestine. The oppressors will never police themselves. But what did give me hope was seeing the people rising up in Santa Rosa demanding an end to state terror.

Oscar Grant III hugs his daughter Tatiana in this 2007 photo.

Jury denies damages to father of Oscar Grant

July 3, 2014

The father of Oscar Grant III, whose shocking death at the hands of a transit police officer was memorialized in the award-winning film “Fruitvale Station” was denied damages yesterday by a federal jury. The jury found that the father – who had been in prison all of his son’s life – failed to show he had a close familial relationship with his son and failed to prove the officer intentionally harmed his son for reasons “unrelated to legitimate law-enforcement objectives.”

Hunters Point to Treasure Island: From the frying pan into the fire

July 2, 2014

Gentile, soft-spoken Sandy Agee represents a group of African-American Bayview Hunters Point residents who thought they escaped radiation and chemicals that the Navy dumped at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, turning it into one of the nation’s most radioactive EPA Superfund sites. They discovered the Navy also carpeted their refuge, Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.

Campos, Adachi and tenant advocates seek right to legal representation for any tenant facing eviction in San Francisco

June 30, 2014

In the midst of San Francisco’s affordability crisis, where evictions of tenants in rent controlled housing units have skyrocketed, Supervisor David Campos, Public Defender Jeff Adachi and tenant advocates are asking the City of San Francisco to fund enough attorneys to provide a right to counsel for any tenant facing an unlawful detainer eviction.

Daryle Washington on the job at Recology

Noose hung on Recology worker’s job

June 29, 2014

Daryle Washington is the victim of a racist employer who has jeopardized his ability to provide for himself and his five children. According to Mr. Washington, he is not the only one mistreated by this employer, Recology Corp. of San Francisco. There has been a pattern of poor training, physical stress, injuries and emotional distress of racial jokes and remarks, as well as nooses placed in full view of Black employees.

Berkeley public housing residents protested for years but were finally evicted or threatened with eviction by Charles Ramsey until they left “voluntarily.” – Photo: Alexander Ritchie

Eviction attorney Charles Ramsey wants to be Richmond’s next mayor

June 28, 2014

Eviction attorney Charles Tillman Ramsey is in the race to be Richmond’s next mayor. Competing candidates include Mike Parker of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), City Councilman Nat Bates, and Uche Uwahemu, CEO of Cal Bay Consulting Group LLC. Voters will choose when they go to the polls in November for the next general election.

Kevin Weston’s wife and daughter, Lateefah and Lelah, the love of his life, sat in the front of the well attended memorial service for this great writer and editor. It was held Saturday, June 28, at the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco. The community must make sure that we do all we possibly can for the family of a man who gave so much to Black journalism, ethnic journalism and youth media. Contributions to help his family pay massive medical bills can be made at www.GoFundMe.com/makeitrain4kevinsfamily or mailed to Lateefah Simon, Rosenberg Foundation, 131 Steuart St., Suite 650, San Francisco CA 94105. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

Kevin Weston, maker of media-makers

June 24, 2014

Kev seemed almost immortal to me. Two weeks before he passed, I went to hang out with him at his house. I could see the sickness visibly eating at him, but when he opened the door, his eyes lit up, and he smiled like in the old days. I believe wholeheartedly that Lateefah’s love kept his immune system intact as long as it was. I had to write this so his family could know the giant that Kevin Weston was to me. Salute to one of the greatest editors that I know. Salute also to Lateefah for giving Kev a love he’d never seen before and for showing that there is still such a thing as Black love.

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Parents and Children of African Descent (PCAD), led by Berkeley students, march down University Avenue on Malcolm X Day, a school holiday in Berkeley, demanding equity to close the large achievement gap for Black students. – Photo: Laura Savage

Berkeley parents rally for equity for Black students

June 20, 2014

Parents and Children of African Descent (PCAD), which advocates for equity and results in education, and other organizations sponsored a march and rally on Malcolm X Day, which is a school holiday in Berkeley, in support of accountable results by BUSD to close the achievement gap between Black students and their peers. “I have had zero Black teachers,” says ninth grader Nya Sandeford. “If you definitely believe that something needs to be changed, then fight for it. Don’t just sit back and let things happen.”

CURB responds to Legislature’s compromise Corrections budget deal

June 17, 2014

In the face of community and court pressure for sweeping criminal justice reform, Gov. Brown and the Legislature have made only small changes to their ongoing commitment to mass incarceration. The budget deal continues to send billions of dollars down the ‘rat hole’ of incarceration while including no significant restorations to anti-poverty and social safety net programs that have suffered years of cuts.

Treasure Island’s mold monster, Part 2: Damian shows how renters can get what they want from a realtor or manager

June 12, 2014

Damian is clear that people should feel their home is a safe, healthy place. If parents’ and their children’s health is compromised or damaged, they should not be retaliated against for going to management and asking them to fix unsafe conditions. “Do not let fear keep you trapped where you’re not happy and not getting your issues addressed,” advised Damian. “You have your children to keep in mind.”

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The people fight the lies of e-RAD-ication and No HOPE

June 11, 2014

Us poor folks are tired of being spoken for, spoken about, criminalized and removed! We walk and talk self-determination and we are seeking a conscious law firm to help public housing tenants bring a precedent-setting law suit to establish our equity.

The human cost of rising rents in Richmond

June 10, 2014

As gentrification increases in the Bay Area, low- and moderate-income renters are finding it increasingly difficult to find housing at affordable rents. Renters, including young professionals who can no longer afford to live in San Francisco, are steadily moving to the East Bay. The inevitable result is, of course, increased demand for rental units and increased rents to renters.

Treasure Island and Hunters Point Shipyard unfit for human habitation

June 9, 2014

Whistleblowers at the Hunters Point Shipyard told a reporter, “I wouldn’t feel comfortable living there having a yard where I could grow a garden. Absolutely not.” “I wouldn’t go there, I wouldn’t take my grandchildren there, I wouldn’t walk my dog there.” A Treasure Island whistleblower said, “My job is to protect people and the environment, and it’s just not getting done.”

Treasure Island’s mold monster

June 8, 2014

Like all residents on Treasure Island, a man-made landform drenched in water, heat and humidity, wherever Damian Ochoa moves in John Stewart’s market rate “Villages,” mold spores float stealthily in the air behind him. Three years ago these spores “mushroomed” into spotty patches in his immaculate home. But Damian is winning. He shows ways that renters can get what they want from a realtor or manager.

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