December 4, 2013
In November 2010, Joe Debro sent the Bay View a 200-page “book” he wrote in 1968 on racism in construction. His family has generously agreed that it be published in the Bay View. To begin, here is the prolog he wrote in 2010 to update it. In 1968, three of us undertook a study of the manpower implications of small business financing. In 2010, 42 years later, not much has changed.
November 18, 2013
Oakland resident Joseph R. Debro Jr. was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on Nov. 27, 1928, and passed away on Nov. 5, 2013, at a VA facility in Martinez, California. Joe Debro was the eldest of three children born to Joseph Debro and Seleana Gaylor Debro. Mr. Debro’s two younger siblings, Julius Cesar and Gloria Etta, were born in 1931 and 1935.
August 4, 2013
I saw nothing in the Zimmerman case that surprised me. The system worked as it was intended. Zimmerman, a White man, was tried by a White justice system for killing a Black boy. The outcome was predictable. Many White people saw this as a non-racial event. As an angry old Black man I have seen the diminution of racism in my lifetime. We are not there yet. It is unlikely that we will get there in the lifetime of my grandchildren.
March 28, 2013
Like President Clinton in his first run for president, Oakland’s city auditor developed her creds in the conservative community by creating a Sista Souljah moment. She publicly spanked two Black City Council members. These council members, Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, were trying desperately to level the economic playing field in Oakland. They were trying to integrate the money.
October 5, 2012
As a descendant of former slaves and as an immigrant from the South, I have a unique perspective on segregation. My parents migrated to Oakland from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. In Jackson there were signs which posted the segregation policies. In California there were segregation policies, but no signs.
May 28, 2012
Bayview Hunters Point might consider investing Lennar’s “community benefits” in a scholarship fund, a community development group, and a credit union that can pool the funds with residents’ own deposits and loan them for higher education, buying or improving a home, and founding or expanding a business to residents who have long been redlined and betrayed by banks.
January 28, 2012
We finally have legislation that benefits the taxpayers of Oakland. Desley Brooks took a giant step to bring economic parity to the community of the poor. What she has done will slow down the Oakland process of importing labor and exporting capital. Pack the Oakland City Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 7, regarding local hire and a Jobs Center.
December 9, 2011
On Friday I walked the BART connector project. I found one worker who was a descendant of slaves on this $1 billion project. The minority contractors, who tend to employ members of their own tribe, have contracts whose value is less than 1/2 of 1 percent.
May 4, 2011
The Black community continues to support craft unions while they effectively lock out the Black community from construction jobs. This is why you do not see Black men and women working on any projects, even in our own communities.
April 10, 2011
A felony conviction for a Black offender is a life sentence. It is a sentence to the underclass for life. Who is going to hire a Black man who is a felon? Felons can’t vote. They have no rights. They are locked into the underclass for life.
April 3, 2011
The nation has lost one of its unsung civil rights heroes: Ray Dones was the Martin Luther King of the construction industry. We lost Ray at a time when his kind of leadership is most needed. We all recognize now that the best way to fight violent crime is with a well paying job.
March 13, 2011
I know that donating one’s body to science will not work for everyone. For those who must borrow to bury a loved one and for those who, like us, resent the exploitation, this is indeed an option that is worth your consideration.
March 10, 2011
Washington (Bob) Burnsis a retired pathologist. Unlike most retired doctors, he has spent the past 15 years trying to aid those who have been dealt a hand of poverty and desperation.
January 23, 2011
On Saturday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m., the Bay Area Black Builders plan to picket the Lord’s house. Beth Eden Church, a great church in the Black community, indicates that it has contracted with a White contractor apparently chosen by the lender, to build an addition.
January 12, 2011
How do we as a Black community build capacity in our own people? How do we learn to circulate our money in our own community? It is not just Beth Eden; it is all of us.
December 9, 2010
Utuma Belfrey, a mother and electrician who lives in Hunters Point, is one of the community leaders who helped pass a revolutionary new jobs law. Supervisor John Avalos proved with his Mandatory Local Hire ordinance that even in San Francisco, where Blacks have been locked out of the construction industry since 1998, jobs for the people, including Black people, can be mandated by law. His genius at pulling warring factions together for veto-proof passage also proves what a great mayor he could be.
December 2, 2010
The Bayview Library is a second home for the children and all the people of Bayview Hunters Point. Now the City wants to replace it with a new building, but who will build it? Low bidder on the project was Liberty Builders, located a block from the library and owned by Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff, who is trusted to hire from the community. But the City just snatched the contract from Liberty and gave it to KCK Builders, a white contractor with no Black participation. Will the community allow KCK to build the library?
September 26, 2010
In the firestorm created by implicating Maxine Waters in what is called an ethics violation, we take our eyes off of the ball. The community of descendents of former slaves needs contracts. We need Maxine to embarrass Treasury about how few contracts reach our community. We need Maxine’s voice to speak out on how few public works contracts – and the good jobs they create – reach our community.
September 4, 2010
Jimon Clark, a young bright Black male, 13 years old, was executed on the mean streets of East Oakland on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010. His execution was a one-day news story. His young life was so much more. We need police who are trusted by the East Oakland community.
September 3, 2010
On Sept. 1, we learned that Liberty Builders, owned by Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff, will build the new Bayview Library. That’s a great breakthrough for Liberty Builders, the Bay View and the entire community and a step toward heeding the advice of Malcolm X: “We should own and operate and control the economy of our community.” Keep an eye on www.sfbayview.com. In about a month, we should know when the jobs will begin and how you can benefit.