Vote Yes on Prop F to stop our beautiful city from being corrupted by an ugly act of greed

Kalann-Johnson, Vote Yes on Prop F to stop our beautiful city from being corrupted by an ugly act of greed, Archives 1976-2008 Local News & Views
Kalann Johnson

by Kalann Johnson, 11th grade

People in Hunters Point shouldn’t have to relocate. They want improvements in their neighborhood, not to be sent somewhere else. They’re being forced out. People feel like they’re being targeted. New housing is being given to white and upper class people and not the current Black residents.

African American residents are steadily decreasing due to gentrification. Gentrification is racist and therefore illegal, but no one is doing anything about it. It isn’t just immoral to force someone out of their home because they’re Black, but it’s immoral to force anyone out of their home period. How are people forced out of their homes? The city raises their property taxes and they can’t afford to live in a home they own. This is odd when you consider that Bayview Hunters Point has the highest rate of home ownership in the city.

Please help stop this grave injustice. Help us find a solution that will restore this once glorious Black community and not destroy it. There are shops on Third Street that have been there for years. Most of the stores are family owned. Many streets have community gardens. Did you know we had an Opera House?

In ‘05 the African American population dwindled to 46,779 in San Francisco, just 6 percent of the city’s population. That’s down from 79,039, or 12.4 percent, just 25 years ago.

In ‘01 the Urban League decried the institutional racism that underdeveloped the African American areas of the city and forced the population out. The Fillmore district of San Francisco was once a vibrant center of commercial ownership for African Americans. Of the nearly 1,000 Black-owned businesses, 80 percent were in the Fillmore district and nearly 100 were located on Fillmore Street.

The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency demolished hundreds of city blocks, displacing 15,000 people, primarily African American. Developers have now targeted San Francisco’s predominantly African American community of Hunters Point.

Something that we could do as a community and a city is vote Yes for Proposition F, which would require a minimum of 50 percent of any new housing built be affordable to the people who live in Hunters Point today. San Francisco is supposed to be a liberal city, but when wrongs such as these occur it makes me question that belief.

This should outrage you: our beautiful city being corrupted by this ugly act of greed.

Another thing that could happen: Residents from all over Hunters Point, young and old, should come together and help find a solution to our insular problems of violence, which means squashing all beef between turfs and uniting as one at least to some degree.

We could march in protest so we can capture the attention of the media and by doing that capture the attention of the country, gaining support from those who can relate to our predicament. We could create our own proposition based on what we want as a community.

If we can’t listen to each other or help one another, how can we ask or expect anyone else to do it. There is a responsibility of the city and community to work this out, so please let’s work this out.

When her 11th grade student Kalann Johnson, aka KK, wrote this speech, his teacher, Cheryl Hendrickson,, was so impressed she passed it along to the Bay View for publication. While KK’s talent and leadership potential is obvious, every one of our children is priceless. Let us love and encourage them, and let us all take KK’s advice, come together and see what the power of the people can do. Be sure to register and vote Yes on F!