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San Francisco housing squeeze disparately impacts African Americans

February 21, 2014

San Francisco’s housing woes are characterized by inflated rent and a shortage of residential units – a combination that has left many long-term residents feeling pushed out and priced out of their city. While many groups have been affected, it is now well established that the city’s African-American population has borne the brunt of what the city’s mayor aptly describes as a “housing crisis.”

Team Richmond cropped- Gayle McLaughlin, Jovanka Beckles only

‘Team Richmond’ will continue decade of progress

February 18, 2014

“Richmond is Better Now; Let’s Build on a Decade of Progress” is the theme promoted by a progressive team of candidates for Richmond City Council, announced Feb. 13. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin – limited by City Charter to two consecutive terms as mayor – will run for a City Council seat, along with Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles and Planning Commissioner Eduardo Martinez. Mike Parker will seek the office of mayor.

Support Sonoma State University student rights for an affordable public college education – freedom from fees

February 18, 2014

Sonoma State University (SSU) President Ruben Armiñana is preparing to announce the imposition of a $500 annual fee increase for all students in the fall of 2014. The proposed increase is called a “Success Fee” and would supposedly be used for more classes. Please sign our petition in support of students and their families, and pledge to boycott future donations to Sonoma State University if the fee is not rescinded.

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Black history of 504 sit-in for disability rights: More than serving food – when will the healing begin?

February 11, 2014

I hope the Black community in the Bay Area will share their stories of that time to finally tell the full story of our key involvement in the 504 sit-in and what came out of it that helped the Black disabled community and the Black community, covering all sides of the story – racism, ableism, a sense of accomplishment, self-pride, empowerment, frustrations etc. I’ve provided below some ideas on how to help with this exhibit.

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The crime of Ellis Act evictions

February 11, 2014

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, citing California Penal Code Section 368, we, the evicted, gentrified, policed, elderly and disabled, walked into the Hall of Justice in San Francisco to bring criminal charges of elder abuse against landlords for the perpetration of the crime of Ellis Act evictions against frail, elder, disabled and traumatized residents of San Francisco.

Brightline joins Midtown residents and ALRP to file the biggest rent control petition in San Francisco history

February 9, 2014

On Monday, Feb. 3, residents of Midtown Park Apartments, joined by civil rights nonprofit Brightline Defense, legal services provider AIDS Legal Referral Panel and over 50 supporters, filed the biggest rent control petition in the history of the City and County of San Francisco. The petition requests protection against unlawful rent increases and evictions for 139 low- and moderate-income Western Addition households.

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Sonoma State University president seeks to impose new $500 annual fee on all students

February 9, 2014

President Ruben Armiñana is on a fast track to announce a $500 annual fee increase for all students at SSU. He has set up a number of Associated Students-controlled meetings starting Feb. 6 with the goal of informing his decision by Feb. 15. Experienced SSU observers believe that he has already made the decision to impose the fee and is just going through the motions of consultation required by CSU policy.

Midtown residents fight potential displacement

February 4, 2014

Nearly 100 residents of Midtown, representing virtually every household at a vibrant and diverse low and moderate income community in the Fillmore District, submitted a petition to Mayor’s Office of Housing Director Olson Lee asking him to withdraw his termination of Midtown’s 45-year-old lease with the City and County of San Francisco. Later that same day, Director Lee, a former Redevelopment Agency official, gave Midtown residents his answer: No.

Joe Debro on racism in construction: A study of the manpower implications of small business financing

February 3, 2014

All the ingredients of human bondage and denigration which characterize Anglo treatment of minority peoples in the United States are also present in Oakland, California. A study of Oakland’s socio-economic situation demonstrates, as the Kerner Report and many other similar queries have done throughout the country, that the poor are cut off dramatically from the middle and upper classes.

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Marcus Books launches ‘Keep It Lit’ campaign and vows to remain a lighthouse for our community

February 2, 2014

Marcus Book Store is in the midst of a grassroots campaign – from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20 – to raise a million dollars in 30 days. Personally I am committed to reaching out to the people directly. The power is still in the people. Exercise your power. KEEP Marcus Books LIT! For the next 30 days we would like everyone to memorize and repeat the mantra, “Please, donate $20 in your own name and HELP ten others do the same! Thank you.”

Block Report: Plots, plans and the Dan Siegel campaign

February 2, 2014

The Block Report is in a rebuilding phase after being unjustifiably banned from the Pacifica airwaves under a plan engineered by former Pacifica lawyer and current Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel. One of the main campaigns we are working on right now is to expose Siegel’s pro-police history to the left leaning crew that supports him in his Oakland mayoral campaign.

John Stewart management evicts cancer surgery patient for having care provider

February 1, 2014

I’m writing to express what I believe to be fraud by The John Stewart Co., which manages the Martin Luther King Marcus Garvey Square cooperative apartments where I lived for 26 years. I was evicted for having a care provider in my home. To demand a thorough investigation of the fraud at King-Garvey, I’m asking all who read this to call HUD Operations Director Angela M. Corcoran: (415) 489-6400.

Andy Lopez coalition blasts DA Ravitch and SRPD for refusal to release report or indict Deputy Gelhaus

January 30, 2014

In what increasingly appears to be a concerted whitewash of the Oct. 22 shooting of 13-year old Andy Lopez by Deputy Sheriff Erick Gelhaus, DA Jill Ravitch and the Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD) continued to maintain an impenetrable cloak of silence blanketing the “investigative report” into Deputy Gelhaus’ murder of toy gun touting Andy Lopez.

The rich ride for free, the po’ get po’liced: Mayor Lee orders Muni sweeps

January 29, 2014

“People are evading their fares. We are only here because the mayor wants to cut down on all the crime,” Officer Carrasco barked at me, while issuing a citation for alleged fare evasion to a young African-descendent student on his way to school. This young brother was one of over 25 people caught in a “sweep” – read invasion – of a Muni bus, who were pulled off the bus so citations could be issued.

Three months since the police killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez

January 24, 2014

When we got to the memorial site at the park, just to the right, Andy’s mother, Sujey, started crying, then wailing loudly. Her husband held her as she buried herself in his chest and arms. A small group of women surrounded them, as tortured sounds of grief poured out of her, heart-rending sounds that I cannot really describe. Some of us formed a loose circle around them. Everyone was quiet.

In honor of Dr. King: Day of Action for Homeless Bill of Rights

January 16, 2014

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the weekend commemorating his work in the Civil Rights Movement, Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) member organizations are creating model legislation for California and Oregon Homeless Bills of Rights. Groups across California and Oregon will be holding events and rallies throughout MLK weekend.

Why is the SF DA trying a 14-year-old as an adult?

January 6, 2014

On June 24, 2103, an SUV pulled up near a Muni shelter at West Point Road and Middle Point Road in Hunters Point. According to video images later collected by the police, someone got out of the vehicle and, standing near the rear of it, fired 23 shots with a 9 millimeter gun into the shelter, killing Jaquan Rice, 19, and injuring his 17-year-old girlfriend.

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City College wins reprieve, as court enjoins ACCJC from terminating accreditation

January 2, 2014

A SF Superior Court judge has granted a key aspect of a motion by City Attorney Dennis Herrera to preliminarily enjoin the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from terminating City College of SF’s accreditation next July. Under terms of the ruling Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow issued late this afternoon, the ACCJC is barred from finalizing its planned termination of City College’s accreditation during the course of the litigation.

San Francisco Black boycott

January 2, 2014

We recall the words of the great Black abolition leader Frederick Douglas: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” After years of studies, pleading, begging for jobs and contracts in our city, we are prepared to call a boycott of conventions coming to San Francisco. For Jan. 1, 2014, two national organizations of Black meeting planners, controlling 75 percent of the $40 billion Black convention and meeting industry, have been notified to stand by until our meeting with the SF Travel Association and the City. SFAACC, along with a coalition of other Black and concerned organizations, will present the following DEMANDS in an upcoming meeting with SF Travel, the Hotel Board and the City of SF.

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Joe Debro on racism in construction: A study of the manpower implications of small business financing, Part 1

January 2, 2014

“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, and one white – separate and unequal.” And, unless immediate corrective action is taken, “large scale and continuing violence could result, followed by white retaliation, and, ultimately, the separation of the two communities into a garrison state.” These are words from the much publicized and relatively blunt report of the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders.

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