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.
August 20, 2010
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who waged a more successful war on drugs than the entire U.S. government, was concerned with people like Ronald Reagan and George Bush, who made enormous profits from this trade by flooding urban America with poison. Her efforts to investigate were suppressed by Porter Goss, who then chaired the House Intelligence Committee. Now Goss heads the ethics office that charged Waters with ethics violations for her legitimate advocacy for Black banks and economic justice for Black and Brown people.
August 16, 2010
On July 28, the Oakland redevelopment commission met to consider recommending that the City Council adopt a city wide Project Labor Agreement. Such an agreement would put small contractors out of business and keep the unemployed of Oakland out of the work force.
August 14, 2010
Congresswoman Maxine Waters conducts her drug war from the top down. Her view is to follow the money. Our government wages drug war on street vendors. The government’s view is to lock up as many young Blacks as is possible.
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 email@example.com. 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.