August 6, 2010
“There was no ethics violation.” – Joseph Debro, president of Bay Area Black Builders. “Rep. Waters is far too valuable to our community to give up without a fight!” – Danny Bakewell Sr., chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. “This is a political witch-hunt that singles out advocacy for the poor.” – Len Canty, chairman of the Black Economic Council
June 11, 2010
San Francisco District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell’s legislation that will help Black contractors win contracts and hire workers and on-the-job trainees was unanimously approved. That’s another step toward Blacks building the new Bayview Library! If you want a job, come to the meeting of the Bay Area Black Builders on Saturday, June 12, 12 noon, upstairs at 1099 Sunnydale. Sign up so if Liberty Builders does win the contract, you’ll have a good chance to go to work … and make history.
May 16, 2010
“We’re trying to get in. Some people don’t want us in.” That’s the message Willie Ratcliff took from the bullet that crashed through our bedroom window at 1:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 13. Ratcliff has a hunch it was fired by someone trying to scare him out of competing to build the new Bayview Library. Someone must be scared that Black power is about to break the 12-year lockout of Blacks from construction in San Francisco. Black power does not bow to a bullet.
May 7, 2010
The state of Arizona has just exploded any pretense of civil rights. It has begun the exposure of the American labor hypocrisy. We need our labor cost to be lower than that for which Blacks are willing to work. The reality is Americans will do any job if the pay is right. We should remind ourselves that this argument is about pay.
April 28, 2010
Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff’s construction company, Liberty Builders, has advanced to the second stage of competition for the contract to build the new Bayview Library. The next hurdle is bonding, a barrier that usually locks Blacks out. Ratcliff has a long proven record of hiring from the community. Bay Area Black Builders will join the mass JOBS RALLY Saturday, May 8, 12 noon, New Federal Bldg, 7th & Mission, SF, to demand jobs for all.
April 13, 2010
Bonding has historically blocked Blacks from working. Don’t let it stop Liberty Builders from building the new Bayview Library and hiring and training the community. Tell the mayor the Bayview Library must be built by the people it serves: Call (415) 554-6141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell the Supervisors too. Get their contact info at www.sfbos.org. Good jobs will bring peace and prosperity to our hood.
April 9, 2010
The new Bayview Library must be built by the people it serves. No more exclusion of Blacks as with Third Street Light Rail. Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff’s company, Liberty Builders, is competing to build it with a team of top Black construction professionals committed to hiring from the community. Come to the Bay Area Black Builders meeting Saturday, April 10, 12 noon, at 1099 Sunnydale, Vis Valley, San Francisco.
February 25, 2010
No notice has been paid to the root causes of violence in the Black community. On CBS5, I suggested unemployment in the Black community is directly related to Black people being locked out of the public works construction and that white people might be in danger working in a Black community without a diversified crew.
January 27, 2010
The Bay Area Black Builders and friends shut down a pre-bid conference for a library in the heart of Hunters Point. This action was designed to send the mayor of San Francisco a message: If Black people do not work in Hunters Point, no one works here.
January 6, 2010
Craft labor unions since 1865 have been ambivalent about their racial policies. They were inclusive for a time. But in the 1900s through 1970 craft unions became virulently anti-Black. Because of public pressure and court actions, craft unions’ discrimination has become subtler. In coalition with large white contractors, they control training and work in the construction industry.
December 21, 2009
Since the inception of BART, this transportation system has excluded Black contractors, Black construction workers and Black riders. Charlie Walker drove a truck into a San Francisco BART excavation site before we could get contracts.
November 29, 2009
When America talks about unemployment percentages around 10 percent, I know they are talking about white people. It is talked about as an alarming figure. As a Black man, I am not alarmed. If that were the number in my community, I would rejoice. “No Blacks working! That’s what I see at every construction jobsite in San Francisco,” exclaims Willie Ratcliff, Bay View publisher and lifelong construction worker and contractor.
November 18, 2009
Supervisors Nate Miley and Keith Carson have restored my faith in Black elected officials. The leverage that public officials have just before contract award is enormous. Nate Miley and Keith Carson by their actions have established a method of enforcing contractor goals that can create economic parity in the Black community.
September 30, 2009
The law of unintended consequence works in our favor some of the time. A few weeks ago the Congress of the United States fell all over itself trying to sanction ACORN. As you remember, ACORN is a community-based organization that helps the poor throughout the country. It also registers voters. The reason for the sanction was that some members of the organization were accused of giving some illegal advice. It turns out that such a company specific sanction is unconstitutional. This law must apply to any government contractor, not just ACORN.
September 14, 2009
Lack of capacity and lack of wealth often result from our deceptive practices with each other. More often they result from the acts of malice perpetrated by powerful predators who profit from our community dysfunction. These predators come with names that are disarming. They are often religious church names. They are always controlled by the rapacious and the greedy.
July 26, 2009
Mayor Gavin Newsom claims the most important item on his agenda is the revitalization of Bayview Hunters Point. Illustrating his editorial is this picture of a Black woman laborer. She is likely to be the only Black worker on any Hunters Point construction if things do not change. I propose an anti-gentrification subsidy of affordable housing and jobs for all residents displaced or in danger of displacement.