Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
The long journey to an equitable pathway for community workers and contractors at San Francisco Unified has seen great progress over the past year; and the same policy makers, community members, labor leaders and community contractors that brought us this far appear poised to carry a torch now held by many across the line between longstanding hope and a truly historic reality.
It has been five short months since dozens of unemployed Black workers and contractors protested exclusion of Blacks from demolition and demanded inclusion of Blacks in the rebuilding of Bayview’s Willie Brown Middle School. Now SFUSD plans to ask the School Board at their meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6 p.m., at 555 Franklin, First Floor, to AWARD THE $44.6 MILLION CONTRACT FOR WILLIE BROWN SCHOOL TO A MAJOR WHITE CONTRACTOR without competitive bidding. Pack the meeting! Protest economic racism!
In late August, Aboriginal Blackman United organized over 30 unemployed union members from Bayview Hunters Point to protest construction at Bayview’s Willie Brown Academy. We did not protest because we disagree that our public schools are much in need of repair or with the $531 million that the San Francisco School District will spend to upgrade our public schools. We protested because, despite this historic opportunity for the School District to work with local communities to rebuild our schools, there are no Black workers and no Black contractors at Willie Brown Academy. And at ABU we say that if we don’t work, nobody works.
In September 1966, after police killed 16-year-old Matthew Johnson, I stood in the Bayview Opera House as police bullets from Third Street ripped through the building, hitting my childhood friend. This is how the 1966 Hunters Point riots began. Forty-five years later, blood has been spilled by police bullets just feet from where young Mr. Johnson died. Welcome the family of Kenneth Harding on Tuesday, July 26, 6:30 p.m., at the Center for Self Improvement, 5048 Third St. at Revere, San Francisco.