June 1, 2017
It’s Friday afternoon at the drop-in center known as Mother Brown’s on the corner of Jennings Street and Van Dyke Avenue. Despite the iron-gated door fronting the entrance, people drop in freely to check their mail, take a shower, do laundry or chill out in the reception area. For a nominal fee, Mother Brown’s rents out lockers. Gwendolyn Westbrook, the director of the United Council of Human Services – the official name of Mother Brown’s – as well as staff, describe the place as a community center. Client Johnny Scott likens Mother Brown’s to a family. “This here is a place where people get along,” he says.
May 3, 2017
Dr. Valerie Yerger, ND, of UCSF and Carol McGruder, co-chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC), stood with Supervisor Malia Cohen, Mayor Ed Lee, Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington, researchers and community leaders as Cohen announced historic legislation restricting the sale city-wide of menthol and other flavored tobacco products in San Francisco.
March 9, 2017
The redevelopment of the Hunters Point Shipyard was derailed last year by whistleblower reports that Navy contractor Tetra Tech had faked more data than previously believed about the cleanup of the toxic and radioactive Superfund site. With land transfers on hold and city powers reeling, the Navy hired global engineering company CH2M Hill to review Tetra Tech’s data and do community outreach. One problem: CH2M Hill also faked environmental data on the very same project.
February 24, 2017
When SF’s top officials gathered for the annual State of the City address on the morning of Jan. 17, 2014, instead of the elegant environs of City Hall, they descended on a construction site at the Hunters Point Shipyard. Despite the rosy picture painted by the mayor, some of the people working at the Shipyard were on their way to losing everything. The program meant to help small local construction companies benefit from the development was instead driving some against the wall. A survey of the Shipyard’s local contractors and a review of public documents reveal systemic issues with the local builders program.
February 12, 2017
Iris Canada, a New Afrikan Queen and one of San Francisco’s few centenarians, has just been evicted from her home of over 60 years on the southern edge of the historic Fillmore district, now “Hayes Valley,” by Sheriff Vicki Hennessy. In a move that can only be construed as Machiavellian, the sheriffs arrived and changed the lock while Mrs. Canada was at her senior program! As of the date of writing it is unclear whether Mrs. Canada is even aware that said eviction occurred.
January 20, 2017
To honor the call for 120 hours of direct actions to uphold the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., local community organizers have been camping out in front of San Francisco’s City Hall until Jan. 20, 2017. Camp 120 is occupying space in front of City Hall to highlight the ineffectiveness and inaction of DA Gascón and Mayor Ed Lee regarding the heightened policing of Black and Brown residents by the San Francisco Police Department.
November 24, 2016
Poor, unhoused, barely housed, indigenous, Black, Brown and Red people don’t have presidents. We have prison wardens, police, sheriffs, anti-social workers, landlords, judges, bailiffs, poverty pimps, case manglers, ICE agents, CPS workers and debt collectors. Under Clinton, we lost welfare and the criminalization and incarceration of young people was institutionalized. Poor people don’t have presidents or governors or mayors. We have ourselves.
October 17, 2016
The “Merit Center” at the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center is a new room at the detention facility designed to reward kids for good behavior. According to staff, it was “100 percent complete” eight months ago. According to Juvenile Justice Center Chief of Probation Allen Nance, it is “95 percent complete” as of Oct. 6, 2016, and will be ready in “a few weeks.” No kid will be able to enjoy or play one game in this new room, until Allen Nance is finished playing the bizarre “Dog and Pony” game.
October 17, 2016
The news was expected to be bad. San Franciscans for Police Accountability (SFPA), a civilian watch group, held a public forum in the Koret Auditorium of San Francisco’s Public Library. It was Saturday, Sept. 24, and featured D.A. George Gascón’s specially appointed Blue Ribbon Panel – the forum appropriately titled, “Making SFPD Accountable: A Community Conversation.” And what a conversation this was – one I could not miss!
September 30, 2016
The Navy is withholding from San Francisco taxpayers that, to jump-start billions for FivePoint Holdings, a branch of the Lennar corporation, it is fast-tracking Treasure Island redevelopment. San Franciscans remain uninformed that because the Navy is conducting 20 simultaneous building demolitions and site excavations, 39 chemical digs, and 820 radiation, arsenic and petroleum removal actions, islanders are currently hard-hit by wind-borne toxins.
August 25, 2016
Over the past week Donald Trump has been giving all sorts of speeches where he’s telling Black and Brown folks what he will be doing for us if he gets elected. Now most of us know Trump is full of shyt, and while his remarks have gotten folks talking and many more laughing, he inadvertently does raise a few questions. For those who are voting for Hillary Clinton, one should ask, “What is she putting on the table?” The answer should be more than “she won’t be as bad as Trump.” What exactly is she promising that folks can hang their hats on?
August 15, 2016
Four brave Treasure Islanders who’ve spoken out about the radiation and other toxins sickening residents have learned they face swift retaliation engineered by the powers-that-be. Mitchell Herrington lived on Treasure Island from 1999 to 2013, when he was harassed off the island by eviction. During his tenancy, Mitchell lived with a roommate who worked for Shaw Environmental. The fact that this Shaw employee had to be protected by a hooded hazmat suit suggested the serious danger of contamination present in his cleanup zone work.
July 27, 2016
On July 28, 2016, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission will be presenting the Frisco 5 with a Hero Award. While we appreciate the consideration, some of us cannot accept this award. It is insulting to us that the very administration who executes the will of developers and big business instead of the will of the voters would think that awarding us for fighting their failed policies would be acceptable. How can we accept such an award when our city is in a state of crisis?
July 25, 2016
The truth about the radiation and chemicals that poison Treasure Island has been deliberately hidden from view since 1941, when the Navy began using the island as a trash dump. To conceal the extent of the toxicity and the poisoning of many sailors and civilians, recent plans to redevelop the island have required powerful players to shroud activities there in an even thicker fog than the mist that daily crawls under the Golden Gate Bridge.
July 18, 2016
Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, aka Cephus Johnson, speaks about the recent police execution of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Phil Castile in Minneapolis. We talk about the role of new media in exposing these two cases. He also discusses Obama’s response to the police executions of Black and Brown people and his inaction. We also discuss the Dallas sniper killing a number of police officers last night in response to the rampant police terrorism plaguing the Black communities of the U.S.
June 30, 2016
A 20-year vision became reality when Bayview Senior Services invited the people of Bayview Hunters Point to the grand opening of the Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center and Residence on Saturday, June 25. The celebration marked the victory of a dream over despair. As we all gain inspiration from his memory, his wife, Cathy Davis, has captained the project to a successful completion with last Saturday’s unforgettable grand opening.
June 16, 2016
This upcoming Friday, activist and rapper Sellassie of the Frisco 5 will be interviewing Bobby Seale, the co-founder and chairman of the Black Panther Party, in front of an audience. I hooked up this Q&A with Sellassie so he could talk about his experiences with the Frisco 5’s hunger strike as well as his upcoming event with Bobby Seale. Stay tuned.
June 1, 2016
I am interviewing Equipto of the Frisco 5 Hunger Strike about the history of their movement, as well as his feelings on the resignation of Police Chief Suhr in San Francisco, after the police murder of Jessica Williams-Nelson. M.O.I. JR: What prompted you to organize the collective that eventually became known as the Frisco 5? Equipto: It was just a group of people that came together and decided to go on a hunger strike. The movement just sprouted from that basically.
May 24, 2016
May 19 was less than a month since the “Frisco 5” began their hunger strike with a single demand: that Police Chief Greg Suhr resign or be fired … this chief, who for five years has been crying crocodile tears while justifying every police killing of a Black or Latino person … this chief, who for five years has been vigilantly protected by the mayor, the media and the city’s Democratic political establishment. On May 19, the mayor forced him to resign.
May 12, 2016
Four journalists filed official complaints on May 10 against the SF Sheriff’s Department charging they were intimidated and unlawfully roughed up while attempting to report on a May 6 protest inside City Hall that called for the firing of Police Chief Greg Suhr and the resignation of Mayor Ed Lee. Natasha Dangond and Gabriella Angotti-Jones are photographers for the City College campus newspaper, The Guardsman. Joel Angel Juárez photographs for the Mission neighborhood newspaper, El Tecolote. Sana Saleem is a reporter for 48Hills.