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“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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Ammiano: Accreditation body must give City College more time

May 15, 2014

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano today called on the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to give City College of San Francisco more time to address its alleged deficiencies so the 80,000-student institution is not forced to close this year. Ammiano’s statement comes on the heels of California Assembly passage of AB 2087, his bill on community college governance, on a 74-0 vote.

Marcus Book Store, 1712 Fillmore St., San Francisco

Marcus Books: The wealth-hoarders and land-stealers change the locks on Black history in San Francisco

May 13, 2014

The undisputed flagship of Black history and literature, Marcus Books, is currently fighting to stay alive in San Francisco, which might now be known as the undisputed pinnacle of wealth-hoarding and displacement. The Johnson family is planning a series of actions to fight this unjust removal, but for now readers can call Royal Cab and tell the Sweis family to sell Marcus Books back to the Johnson family.

In Ohio before 1865, Joe Debro writes, “Blacks had to have a certificate of freedom giving name, stature and complexion as well as details concerning the method of becoming free. In addition, a $500 bond as guarantee of good conduct was required of incoming freedmen, thus discouraging many Negroes from settling in the state.” Today, Ohio remains hostile to Black tradesmen – construction workers and contractors – who held a protest in late April, telling a major developer: “Black and other minority contractors and construction workers have been denied contracts and jobs on construction projects. Though entitled to an equal opportunity, we have been crushed and broken by the one sided, majority dominated and oppressive system which has neglected and/or confined Black and minority contractors to just the crumbs of the multi-billion dollar construction industry in the Greater Cleveland-Cuyahoga County area.” – Photo: Norman K. Edwards, American Center for Economic Equality, normankedwards@gmail.com

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 4

May 2, 2014

Black labor and business in the North before 1862: Labor and business conditions were slightly better for Negroes in the North than in the South, but discriminatory practices were far from absent. Unlike the South, where slaves were protected in their crafts through the paternalistic assistance of their white masters, Northern free Negroes were faced with severe competition from immigrant workers who were preferred over native Blacks.

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PG&E vs. the people and the planet: John Avalos to the rescue

May 2, 2014

Eight months after the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission effectively halted the San Francisco City and County’s renewable power program, San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos introduced legislation that would require the City and County to at least study the option of joining Marin Clean Energy, Marin County’s renewable power program. Supervisors London Breed, Scott Wiener, David Campos and Eric Mar are co-sponsoring the legislation.

SF public housing privatization threatens tenants and union workers

May 1, 2014

The plan to privatize and sell our public housing projects in San Francisco and across the nation is harmful to the poor, elderly and disabled, including the thousands of union workers who have spent years maintaining our public housing units. Thousands of union workers are presently facing job losses due to public housing privatization schemes.

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Councilmember Jovanka Beckles

From a cage comes wise advice as Richmond considers forming Youth Council

April 28, 2014

On April 19, a Youth Summit organized by the mayor brought young people together to talk about forming a “Youth Council” to advise the City Council. Richmond native Asani Shakur is well aware of the need young people have for guidance, education, compassion and mentoring. He seems to understand that everyone in the community, including policy makers, is responsible for creating a healthy, supportive environment that’s conducive to their healthy development.

NUMSA graphic

From Marikana, South Africa, to Oakland, California: The struggle for workers’ power

April 26, 2014

Two decades after the fall of apartheid in South Africa, the ANC-led Tripartite government represents big business’ interests. This has led the government to brutally attack workers who fight back against austerity. Black poverty has worsened. Inequality has worsened. Trade union officials collaborate with employers against workers, youth and the unemployed. Does this sound familiar? Isn’t the situation similar in the U.S.?

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Treasure Island residents listen to testimony Navy meeting 041514 by Carol Harvey

Treasure Island whistleblower fighting retaliatory eviction

April 26, 2014

The City of San Francisco appears to be launching a discriminatory retaliatory eviction targeting its Treasure Island toxin whistleblower, Kathryn Lundgren, and her family. Lundgren, mother of three teens, has repeatedly sounded the alarm outing the City and the Navy for collusion in neglecting to warn her and her unsuspecting neighbors that Treasure Island is a radioactive dumpsite saturated with chemicals, toxic mold, asbestos and lead.

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'Gentrifukation' chalked on sidewalk by PNN

Degentrification Zones, a poor people-led plan to take back this stolen and gentrified land using a twist on ‘the man’s’ killer plans

April 25, 2014

For us po’ people from Oakland to the Bronx caught in the struggle of survival economies, we rarely if ever have the time, energy or resources to stop and examine the system that is criminalizing, incarcerating and gentrifying us out of our own neighborhoods, barrios and communities. But we must, ‘cause if we don’t de-gentrify, if we don’t decolonize, our hoods will die. And we can’t de-colonize without understanding the beast we have been forced to be a part of.

Sabrina Carter's plywood-covered door nailed shut on eviction day 040814 by PNN

A family destroyed by eviction

April 16, 2014

On Wednesday, April 8, at 9 a.m., after weeks of last minute legal maneuvers, unanswered calls to the mayor and multiple pleas for a pro bono lawyer to save the single mama Sabrina Carter and her three sons from one of the most unjust evictions I have ever witnessed, we were exhausted. The San Francisco sheriffs were outside her door in the Plaza East apartments to change the locks and throw her and her sons into the street.

Navy's boxcar-like containers of radioactive soil Site 6 Avenue M Treasuer Island 1113 by Michael Short, Bay Citizen

Treasure Island radiation cleanup Subsite 6: Fires to put out fires

April 9, 2014

Behind a chain link fence on Site 6’s northern border across Avenue M from the island’s Wastewater Treatment plant, the Navy stores, moves out and continually replaces a trail of thousands of large boxcar shaped containers full of radiologically toxic materials to be shipped off-island. “There have been several (high-radiation) shipments and about a thousand intermodal (containers) of radium waste shipped from Treasure Island.”

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Art student Maria Johnson accidentally entered Treasure Island radiation zones not fenced off 0314 by Carol Harvey, web

Treasure Island Subsite 31: The Chernobyl trees at Mordor

April 9, 2014

Art student Maria Johnson, searching for Treasure Island friends, wandered in “cordoned off areas” to find bus stops.
She “saw many buildings with asbestos hazards laden on them, graffiti made with spray paint and shattered, old windows. It looked very desolate. I am just shocked that we’re allowed to access this ‘normal’ location even though the island is basically contaminated beyond repair.”

USS Pandemonium

Treasure Island: Pandemonium at Halyburton Court

April 9, 2014

Situated at Treasure Island’s northwest corner on Site 12, Halyburton Court consists of a small cluster of vacant 24-unit apartment buildings that, from the 1970s to 1996, housed military families. Considering all possible contamination sources, it is noteworthy that from 1957 to 1969, before Halyburton Court was built, the Navy operated a radiological training school just south along the perimeter facing San Francisco.

Treasure Island Elementary School class 2005-2006

Site 12, Treasure Island’s toxic bullets: Someone’s about to get hit!

April 9, 2014

Think of Treasure Island as an iridescent green glowing ghost ship whose prow divides the blue waves as it navigates San Francisco Bay waters gliding northwest under the Golden Gate Bridge. On the tidy front lawn of your market rate or low income Site 12 rental brought to you courtesy of The John Stewart Co., it is as if you are standing at the bow of the radioactive vessel as it carries its toxic contents ever forward into a stunning red-gold sunset.

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St. Charles Borromeo School, San Francisco, opened in 1894

Systemic racism and abuse of Black student at St. Charles Borromeo School goes to trial

April 8, 2014

On Dec. 21, 2011, St. Charles Borromeo School, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Principal Dean, Superintendent Maureen Huntington and others were named as parties in a civil rights lawsuit filed in California’s Superior Court on behalf of Mildred Kayondo and her son, who is now 14, yet still suffers from the appalling, repeated abuse and indifference he experienced at St. Charles Borromeo. The jury trial – after nearly two years of litigation by attorneys Richard L. Richardson and Joel Siegal – is now set for July 14.

We’re sick and tired of being locked out

April 3, 2014

In San Francisco, whose Black population has dropped from a high of over 12 percent to under 5 percent in three decades, the population in its 3,300 public housing units being transferred to private control is nearly 80 percent Black. But major developers had already made decisions, and the two predominately Black teams were denied any future consideration. “No mo’ Fillmo” and “We are sick and tired of being locked out!” were the protest cries in subsequent SFHA board meetings. This re-envisioning of public housing is the latest strategy to advance the out-migration of Black people in particular and the poor in general from the city by the Bay.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 3

March 31, 2014

Here we attempt to trace some of the historical antecedents and current socioeconomic processes that have served to prevent Black and Mexican American entrepreneurs from being assimilated into the mainstream of national business activities. In so doing, we must examine the evolution of Negro and Mexican American labor in the United States and its relationship to white-controlled labor unions, business and government.

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Lawsuit challenges explosive crude-by-rail shipments to Richmond, Calif.

March 30, 2014

Environmental justice and conservation groups filed a lawsuit March 27 against Kinder Morgan and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to halt the shipment of highly explosive and toxic crude oil into the City of Richmond, a community already burdened by intense pollution caused by the fossil fuel industry. “This dirty and dangerous project does not belong in Richmond.”

Alejandro (Alex) Nieto, cropped

SFPD-enforced gentrification killed Alex Nieto

March 27, 2014

The standing-room-only town hall was yelling above the police as they spoke about the murder on March 21 of young Raza organizer, City College of San Francisco student and beloved son de la mision (of the Mission), Alejandro Nieto, 28, by police in Bernal Heights Park. Join the march on Saturday, March 29, for Alex Nieto at 2 p.m. from Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission St., to Bernal Heights Park, San Francisco.

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