June 17, 2013
Black people have largely been locked out of construction work in San Francisco since 1998. That’s a shame, because construction work is a solution to many of the ills in the Black community. Construction wages are high, and when Black contractors have work, they are generally eager to train Black workers regardless of their school, police or prison records.
May 3, 2013
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.
March 6, 2013
RUMEC has been at the forefront of the new labor movement. We would like to unify our people through construction, religion, art, music and education. We seek the liberation from outside forces that foment ignorance, oppression and poverty. We aspire to escalate into an established position of recognition and respect as an independent, all inclusive institution that represents our striving people.
February 4, 2013
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!
August 29, 2011
On the corner of Third and Revere, where the Bayview Library used to be, nothing is left but bare ground. One of the few places in the neighborhood where youngsters felt safe and enriched and everyone was welcome is gone. If the City had allowed the low bidder to build the new library, it would have been at least halfway to completion by now. The youngsters who love the library would be watching their parents and older brothers and sisters build a beautiful new library for them to return to in a matter of months. Liberty Builders, my general contracting company, was that low bidder.
August 7, 2011
Minutes after the outrageous police killing of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding a stone’s throw from my home and office, I joined the crowd and for two hours listened to the witnesses, shared the anger and echoed the calls for unity. Let us demand the right to “own and operate and control the economy of our community,” as Brother Malcolm advised. Now – right now – is the time for us to prove that it’s not the police, it’s not the prison guards or the big developers who have the power to impoverish and enslave us and drive us off our land. The ultimate power belongs to the people, and we will use it.
June 3, 2011
While Assemblymember Jerry Hill and his controversial anti-local hiring bill AB 356 were busy drawing statewide opposition, the counties of San Francisco and San Mateo were calmly settling their differences for the betterment of workers in both jurisdictions. “There has been one positive thing resulting from the AB 356 debate: It has united leaders and communities all over the state to say that local hire is crucial to economic recovery,” said Greenlining Institute general counsel Samuel Kang. “Jerry Hill awoke a sleeping giant. By trying to kill local hire, he’s only made it stronger.”
April 28, 2011
A sea of overwhelming opposition in cities from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles has risen against San Mateo Assemblymember Jerry Hill and his anti-local hiring measure, Assembly Bill 356, which threatens state funding for any California city with a local hiring policy.
April 7, 2011
After many months of discussions with the City regarding the rescission of an award to rebuild the Bayview Library, Liberty Builders has retained San Francisco civil rights attorney DeWitt Lacy to pursue legal remedies for discriminatory breach of contract.
January 3, 2011
Liberty Builders continues to fight for its right to reinstatement as the prime contractor for construction of the Bayview Branch Library. Liberty Builders is trusted by the people of Bayview Hunters Point, who have long been locked out of City construction work, to give them full and fair opportunity to build the library they love. Tell City Hall: “Our library, our jobs!” Tell Mayor Newsom how you feel about this and what you want – call (415) 554-6141, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Room 200, City Hall.
December 14, 2010
I am back with you fighting for our jobs at a time when I should have been preparing to choose many of you to work with me to build the new Bayview Library. The contract to build our library in our neighborhood was taken from my company, Liberty Builders, and awarded instead to a white contractor, K C K Builders, whose bid included no Blacks at all. This time we won’t let the gate swing shut again for another dozen years. We’re all fighting back – and we’re winning, especially with the passage of Supervisor John Avalos’ Mandatory Local Hire ordinance.
December 13, 2010
Supervisor John Avalos won overwhelming support from his colleagues for his landmark local hiring legislation Tuesday, Dec. 7, calling the law a “New Deal for San Francisco.” City procedure requires a second and final reading of the measure next Tuesday, followed by a vote to send the law to Mayor Newsom for his signature.
September 4, 2010
My sorrow is for what’s happening to the Black contractors and their crews in the Bay Area trying to get bonding but being rejected by the bonding companies. The Black and Brown vote is too large for us to keep on being set aside and ignored.
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 4, 2010
Who will fight for the people? Who will stand with them on tough issues? Nyese Joshua. Why is Bayview Hunters Point at the center of my focus? Because it is the political boiling point; Bayview, as they say, is San Francisco’s future.
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.
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 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.
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.
March 31, 2009
A time bomb is ticking, waiting to explode in communities of color across the nation. Law enforcement officers have become an occupation force. If we are to have peace, we first must place economic justice at the top of our agenda. The day Lovelle Mixon died, those close to him mentioned two explanations: He dreaded being sent back to prison yet he couldn’t find a job.