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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.

Who is Dan Siegel? Tracy Rosenberg speaks

June 5, 2014

Who is this white lawyer posing as a left wing candidate in the Oakland mayoral race, a man with a long history of collaborating with and representing police and backing legislation, as a public servant, that has gotten people killed? Dan “the opportunist” Siegel.

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Californians gaining momentum against prison and jail expansion

June 3, 2014

Anti-prison expansion activists across California have had a busy spring pushing back against controversial expansion plans. Members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) acted swiftly last month to defeat two legislative bills which would have rammed forward over $4 billion in prison and jail construction money [AB 2356 (Gorell) and SB 1377 (Nielson)].

The future is bright for students in the computer classes at City College’s Southeast Campus, 1800 Oakdale Ave., in Bayview Hunters Point. Register now! – Photo: Lance Burton, Planet Fillmore Communications

Black success begins at City College of San Francisco

June 1, 2014

By the late 1940s, after the war, virtually every young Black youth in San Francisco had a chance to attend City College, for free. We now need another generation of K-12 Black students to gain that chance. Now, the challenge for an entire community of Black people is how to ignite the interest of young Blacks to compete for the education they need – as Malcolm X once stated, “by any means necessary.”

Since the Christmas Eve calamity, Midtown residents have organized the “We Are Midtown” campaign seeking community support. – Photo: Mike Koozmin, SF Weekly

Community struggle, resiliency and determination at San Francisco’s Midtown Park Apartments

May 31, 2014

The cover story of this week’s San Francisco Weekly is the saga of Midtown Park Apartments that faces a struggle for its very existence in light of dubious actions and activities by San Francisco Housing Director Olson Lee and his staff. The City, which owns the Midtown property, has neglected to make millions of dollars worth of repairs over the past several decades despite hiring property managers to maintain the property, collect rents and enforce terms of tenancy.

Griot Leon A. Waters leads a Hidden History tour on the New Orleans General Strike of 1892, the first one organized by Blacks and whites together. Three unions – two white and one Black – demanded a shorter work day of 10 hours, overtime pay after 60 hours and a union shop. The 25,000 striking workers won a 25 percent wage increase, a shorter work day and other gains. – Photo: HiddenHistory.us

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 5

May 30, 2014

The movement from farm to city forced the proletariat to unite in order to wrest decent pay and working conditions from large corporations, which tended to control entire industries as well as to reduce competition from immigrants and others, including Negroes. The history of the American labor unions, like that of big business itself, is filled with examples of racism, nationalism and exclusionism.

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Stop the censorship! Restore the Urban Dreams website!

May 28, 2014

Members of the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, including (among others) the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, BART workers and AC Transit bus drivers, were appalled to hear that the Oakland Unified School District succumbed to pressure from the Fraternal Order of Police and the right-wing Fox News by shutting down the educational Urban Dreams website, which includes material on Mumia Abu-Jamal and Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. constantly faced hostility from police, just as Mumia does today. Here, state troopers bar him from the Alabama Capitol on March 25, 1965. – Photo: AP

Oakland Unified School District bans lessons on MLK and Mumia: Demand they restore them! Protest May 28

May 28, 2014

Under pressure from the Fraternal Order of Police and Fox News, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) just shut down the entire Urban Dreams website including material on Martin Luther King and Mumia Abu-Jamal authored by Oakland teacher Craig Gordon. OUSD is censoring and attacking the academic freedom of students in the Oakland schools and of teachers. This shameful action must be reversed immediately!

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This photo, taken May 21, shows a desecrated Marcus Book Store, San Francisco’s shrine to Black culture and the oldest Black book store in the U.S., emptied of thousands of books and other treasures, its shelves and furniture smashed with sledge hammers by the new owners.

Desecration of Marcus Books! Sweis family declares war against Blacks in San Francisco

May 25, 2014

Last week, rather than allow Marcus Books family members to relocate after evicting them, the Sweis family stole all of the books and used sledge hammers to smash the book shelves and furniture. To the Black community, this is a repeat of history, where invaders come in time and time again to smash the symbols and evidence of a people’s greatness. This will NOT be tolerated. Will you stand with us and DEMAND the Sweises respect our history? We need to pressure the Sweises to do the decent thing.

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Allen Jones

Mayor Lee uses San Francisco Human Rights Commission to discriminate against Blacks

May 20, 2014

As a member of the Equity Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (SFHRC), I learned a lot. It was all bad for The City’s Black community. The SFHRC was formed in 1964 to fight discrimination against Blacks in The City. Today, it is clear to me that this charter commission discriminates against the Black community – with no end in sight.

PG&E, Ed Lee and the SFPUC v. clean energy

May 19, 2014

This weekend was the conference on Dirty Energy and Clean Solutions. ​Ironically, the conference in San Francisco came at the same time that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proposed to cut the entire $19 million dollar budget that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors had set aside to create a renewable power option for city residents looking for an alternative to PG&E power.

“A school bus picks up children at Washington Elementary School as part of Berkeley Unified School District’s desegregation effort” is the caption for this photo illustrating a story about the persistent achievement gap at BUSD published in the UC Berkeley student newspaper, the Daily Cal, in 2009. Since then, the Black student population at UC Berkeley has continued to plummet, jeopardizing coverage of issues critical to the Black community. – Photo: Karen Ling, Daily Californian

March and Rally for Equity in Education: Parents of Black students in Berkeley public schools plan May 19 protest

May 19, 2014

A team of parents and supporting organizations announced today that they will march and rally on Malcolm X Day, May 19, 2014, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to support equity initiatives in public schools and protest unfair disciplinary actions and a culture of low expectations for Black children. The team is also pressing school districts to target the needs of Black students with new state funding pursuant to a Local Control and Accountability Plan.

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