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 13, 2010
In response to “Why are no Blacks working?” by Bay Area Black Builders President Joseph Debro that appeared in print and online in the SF Bay View, Tom Owens, a high level official with the AFL-CIO Construction Trades Department, sent the following message via email to Debro. Debro’s emailed rebuttal follows.
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.
January 6, 2010
Since President Barack Obama signed his stimulus package into law in February, the U.S. Department of Transportation has handed out more than $150 million in contracts to companies for street, highway and bridge construction. New statistics released by the Transportation Equity Network (TEN) show that from that pot of money not a single dollar had been allocated to any African-American owned business.
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 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.
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.