January 2, 2014
“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, and one white – separate and unequal.” And, unless immediate corrective action is taken, “large scale and continuing violence could result, followed by white retaliation, and, ultimately, the separation of the two communities into a garrison state.” These are words from the much publicized and relatively blunt report of the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders.
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.
October 5, 2013
The protest was staged in response to practices permitted by the San Francisco 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and executed by Turner Construction and its joint venture partner Devcon Construction, to intentionally and systematically exclude Black and minority contractors from participation on the $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium project.
April 30, 2013
“We must leverage our athletic success for economic development in our community,” says Magic Johnson. Everett L. Glenn, president of the National Sports Authority, a division of ESP Education & Leadership Institute, is applying that principle to construction of the 49ers’ new stadium under construction in Santa Clara.
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.
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.
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 12, 2011
African American contractors are more likely to hire workers of color, so a barrier to the contractor has a broad impact. Now a new initiative in Oregon is working to stop the lockout of Blacks from construction.
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.
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.
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.
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.