December 29, 2015
Funktown, which is near Lake Merritt, is rapidly being gentrified. You can still find “Funktown” scribbled on sidewalks here and there when the concrete was fresh. But economic cleansing has taken its toll on the hood. It’s just not the same any more. As the renters of Oakland are being terrorized by skyrocketing rents and greedy landlords evicting them by the thousands, city officials have mostly turned a blind eye to the economic cleansing taking place on their watch.
December 1, 2015
It is amazing how time flies whether one is moving or standing still. One looks up and sees, suddenly it seems, friends celebrating 70 and 75 or 80 or even 90-plus milestones. Wow! What a blessing that is. And while we also see the fullness of time’s passage in the lives of those who have decided to move on, too often we are caught by surprise, our mouths hung open, the words we could have said … deeds left undone.
November 28, 2015
Over 200 community members, activists, union members, transportation experts, family and friends flocked to Oakland’s New Parish for non-profit leader Lateefah Simon’s kick-off fundraiser for her 2016 campaign to join the BART Board of Directors. Despite running as a first-time candidate, Simon has already built a broad coalition that includes some of the Bay Area’s top elected officials and civic leaders. True to her reputation as a tireless community advocate, Simon spoke passionately about her personal connection to BART and her commitment to transit justice for working people.
October 16, 2015
Liz Washington dedicates her story to Treasure Island mothers suffering Child Protective Services’ human rights abuses. Liz Washington’s Tenderloin apartment door rattled. Bursting in, hands on guns, San Francisco cops grabbed her nursing infant. Liz’ daughter remembers her mom’s screams. “‘Please don’t take my baby!’” Even after moving to Treasure Island, Liz never escaped CPS’ ravenous appetite for masterminding abductions of her daughter and sons.
October 8, 2015
A federal lawsuit was filed on Oct. 6 demanding damages and relief for prisoners assaulted and tortured by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies inside the county jail on May 28, 2015. The plaintiffs, Marqus Martinez and Daniel Banks, were two of at least 20 prisoners viciously beaten in the jail’s Administrative Segregation (high security) section on that day. Other abused inmates may join the suit.
September 10, 2015
Now that the California Apartment Association (CAA) has blocked the implementation of renters’ protections, including rent control and just cause eviction protections, in Richmond, thousands of renters are at risk of being severely exploited with massive rent increases. Additionally, thousands more are now at risk of displacement and homelessness due to no-cause evictions.
July 27, 2015
On Monday, June 29, over a hundred working class families of Midtown Park Apartments were joined by community activists, concerned citizens and legal advisors for a rally in support of over 55 households whose rent increased 300 percent. The only such property that is owned by the City, Midtown’s original intent by then Supervisors Diane Feinstein and Ella Hill Hutch was to transform this complex into an equity cooperative – a promise that never materialized.
June 30, 2015
On Tuesday, June 23, the Richmond City Council vote was 4 to 2. The vote in support of just cause eviction protections and rent control was the culmination of a yearlong effort to fight back against gentrification, greedy landlords and real estate profiteers targeting renters with huge rent increases and 30-day no cause evictions. Just cause eviction protections and rent control already exist in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and other cities in California.
May 1, 2015
Richmond Mayor Tom Butt has set himself up to be the spokesman for landlords in a campaign against rent control in Richmond. The jump in Richmond rents the past few years, reflecting trends in the Bay Area, has produced new calls for the progressive city council to respond with rent control and “just cause” requirements for eviction. The mayor’s arguments are classic examples of misusing numbers and logic.
April 21, 2015
We commend Apple for taking prompt action to change a facially discriminatory policy. The Cupertino campus project, expected to yield thousands of construction jobs, can still provide a unique opportunity for Apple to support the local economy and provide work for an underserved population. It is not too late for Apple to right a wrong, prove its commitment to inclusion, and become a leader on fair hiring practices.
April 4, 2015
Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.
March 19, 2015
Report after report reminds and warns the Black community that AIDS is not yet under control for the Black population. However, when I saw several new 6-foot-by-4-foot billboard ads in the Castro district of San Francisco this past week with the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. under the heading, “AIDS is a civil rights issue,” I first thought, “Well, that’s a stretch.”
March 16, 2015
This Friday, March 20, 5-7 p.m., our students will grace the main stage at 3rd on Third – the Bayview’s free arts and culture celebration at Mendell Plaza, Third and Palou. For our students, it’s an honor – and a very big deal – to perform in front of their families, friends and neighbors. Will you join the cheer squad?
March 1, 2015
Today, Jan. 23, 2015, I appeared before the Director’s Review Board and I was granted release from PBSP SHU (Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit) after 26 years in solitary confinement. I’m to be transferred to Salinas Valley State Prison, where I’ll be able to have human contact and new experiences and hopefully be able to re-meet my family.
February 12, 2015
Leola King brought memorable class and dignity to every business she operated during a 50-year career in San Francisco. Most of the Black people here now know nothing positive of what it was like to walk and live amongst the greatness we had created there on Fillmore Street. Redevelopment viciously undermined and ripped Mrs. King’s fortune away. Her funeral is Friday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m., at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister, the repast 4-7 p.m. at West Bay Conference Center, 1290 Fillmore St., San Francisco.
January 11, 2015
“I sit up here today, reflecting on where I started, in a public housing unit right down the street, five of us living on $700 a month,” said London Breed in her Board of Supervisors presidential acceptance speech on Jan. 8. “I remember standing in line at church for donated food, and standing in line at the fire house for our Christmas toys. I remember seeing a friend shot dead when I was 12 years old. … But I had a grandmother who loved me. And early on I learned a lesson that San Francisco should carefully remember today: wealth is nothing without love.”
January 3, 2015
Thirteen-year-old Lee Weathersby was the first homicide victim in the city of Oakland of 2014. Three weeks later, his older brother, Lamar Broussard, and his best friend were also shot and killed. No matter if the gun violence is perpetrated by police, or the so-called “gangsta homie,” these murders destroy our families and communities – mostly of color – in every aspect.
December 31, 2014
Public housing is home to over 1.2 million families across the nation, mostly the elderly, disabled and low-income women with children. The Bay Area is home to thousands of them. In an effort to save public housing in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco and nationwide, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., wrote a letter to President Obama on Dec. 10 condemning the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, or RAD.
December 28, 2014
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Americans of Spanish and Mexican descent remained concentrated in what had been the Spanish and Mexican colonial territories in the southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and California. During the Spanish and Mexican colonial regimes, these territorial possessions were only sparsely populated with missionaries, soldiers, a few ranchers and farmers, and very few persons of commerce and trade.
December 3, 2014
As we move into the next solar return, there is much to look forward to despite the stasis that seems to infect this nation with the disease of white supremacy or racial domination. OK OK, perhaps the silver lining is a bit too buried to find Osumare’s twinkle beyond any pots of gold you’ve stumbled upon recently. The knowledge that no matter how it looks, the Creator is in charge and the bad guys just look like they are always winning is what sustains us.