by Tiny (Lisa Gray-Garcia)
“Poor people shouldn’t live together – I mean studies have shown this. This is one of the ways that the RAD program will help us,” said the man in the shiny suit and the $300 shoes who was a representative from McCormack Baron, the private corporate management company that took over a public housing building in the Fill-no-more.
He made this ridiculous statement – with the racist and classist overtones that we poor people so often hear like we were 3-year-old children – at a so-called “informational meeting” about the new privatization program known as RAD or Rental Assistance Demonstration, the 21st century way to steal the last remaining public housing from the public, specifically the Black, Brown and Poor public of Amerikkka.
RAD – which means that all the formerly public housing buildings across the U.S. will be sold to private corporations like McCormack Baron, just like HOPE SF before it – is merely another title in a long line of fake titles to confuse people, so we don’t know what’s about to happen to us. We won’t be prepared or connect the dots when they criminalize our Black and Brown children for standing or convening while Black or Brown, evict our families for tiny infractions, or suddenly give us notices to vacate for “repairs” and hand us a useless piece of paper called Section 8, which is currently being dismantled.
The immediate implementation of RAD and HOPE is the demolition and/or new “corporate” management of many buildings that thousands of families live in, meaning we, the poor families, will no longer have housing and that union maintenance workers, many of whom are housing tenants as well, will be fired.
The new twist with this removal program is the Mayor’s Office made the bid for this “demonstration” program to come to San Francisco – like 20 other cities in the U.S. – in the first place and is boldly deciding on the use of all the money, doling it out to non-profiteers, many of whom present themselves as our so-called advocates, and large corporate housing devil-opers with impunity.
Several of us Poor, Black and Brown families at POOR Magazine have been holding our own truth and informational meetings on this new removal program in neighborhoods across San Francisco with no goal but to try to disseminate the truth and fight the endless stream of corporate and non-profit coverups and pyramid schemes seem to be emblematic of the WillieBrownGavinNewsomeEdLee regime.
“We need to resist the AMI (area median income, which the high incomes of the few in the Bay Area have pushed up so high, ‘affordable’ housing is unaffordable to most of us),” 81-year-old powerhouse Espanola Jackson proclaimed to the packed room at the Bayview Library on the day of Poet Warrior Maya Angelou’s transition. This is one of the ways we can fight this.”
Espanola went on to break down the herstory of corruption that built RAD, and she did what she said she is famous for, “shut down the meeting” with her truth.
Local 1021 got London Breed to hold a hearing based on the firing of the workers behind RAD, and John Avalos called for the end of the Mayor’s Office fiefdom making all the money decisions about the housing budget in San Francisco and taking them to the Board of Supervisors.
“We have already been RAD-ified,” a large group of powerful tenant leaders from Holly Court in Bernal Heights told us. They attended the meeting to tell how they were already struggling with politricksters and the attorney general to ensure the tenants who were still there had rights under the RAD program.
Us poor folks at POOR Magazine are tired of being spoken for, spoken about, criminalized and removed! We walk and talk self-determination and we are seeking a conscious law firm to help public housing tenants bring a precedent-setting law suit to establish our equity as un-reparated African peoples in diaspora, bordered and criminalized peoples in resistance to this endless displacement.
Us poor folks are tired of being spoken for, spoken about, criminalized and removed! We walk and talk self-determination and we are seeking a conscious law firm to help public housing tenants bring a precedent-setting law suit to establish our equity.
In the meantime, we will keep telling people the truth, share our 10-point organizing plan and help all of us self-organize our way out of this E-RAD-ICATION-No HOPE nightmare.
Contact us if you want us to come to your community center or building and humbly share our poor people-WeSearched Information, not akkkademik-studied disinformation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-435-7500.
RAD, (NO) HOPE and Poor People of Color Removal program brought to you by the poor people at POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE, with thanks to Yael Chanoff for her support
1. What is RAD? RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) is a federal program that allows the Housing Authority to go out of business. The Housing Authority sold all of our public housing buildings to private investors and non-profit and for-profit corporate housing developers: This is called privatization. These private companies want nothing to do with us poor folks, elders, working-class families, youth, children. The new owners are private companies like Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo, who caused the foreclosure crisis for so many of us. This is a national program beginning in a few cities across the U.S.
The Housing Authority sold all of our public housing buildings to private investors. The new owners are private companies like Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo, who caused the foreclosure crisis for so many of us.
2. Some of the “non-profit” housing developers say they are interested in creating low-income housing, but they require credit checks and applications that make it impossible for us to be approved.
3. Many of these companies have already said they are interested in mixed income housing – which means they will use tactics to get rid of the low-income tenants who already live in the buildings.
4. They might offer you Section 8 certificates, but the Section 8 program is being de-funded, so this is NO GUARANTEE to housing.
5. They will use tactics like they did against Sabrina Carter’s family to criminalize and evict us by criminalizing our young Black and Brown children
6. These are the public housing complexes that will be converted to RAD and leased to developers to manage: 25 Sanchez, 462 Duboce, 255 Woodside Ave., 3850 18th St., Mission Dolores, 1855 18th St., Robert Pitts, Westside Courts, 1880 Pine St., 345 Arguello, 491 31st Ave., 1760 Bush, Kennedy Towers, 2451 Sacramento and 2698 California, 939 Eddy, 951 Eddy, 1750 McAllister, Rosa Parks, Hunters Point East-West, Westbrook, 666 Ellis, 430 Turk, 350 Ellis, 320 and 330 Clementina, Holly Courts, Alemany, 227 Bay St., 990 Pacific Ave., Ping Yuen and Ping Yuen North.
7. These public housing complexes will be converted to RAD that are already privately managed in some way: Hunters View, 112 Middle Point and 227 West Point, Bernal Dwellings, Hayes Valley North, Hayes Valley South, Plaza East and North Beach Place.
8. RAD is supposed to lead to renovation and upkeep of buildings, not total demolition. The HOPE SF program demolishes and then rebuilds.
9. These complexes are slated for demolition under HOPE SF: Hunters View, Hunters Point, Alice Griffith, Westbrook, Potrero Terrace and Annex, Westside Courts and Sunnydale.
10. “Development teams” made up of development companies, non-profits and architectural firms have already been chosen to take over management of these properties. Right now they’re negotiating the terms, working on the language of their contracts and the amount of money they’ll get.
11. Some entity of the development teams will be leasing the properties. At least for now, they can’t legally own them, but they have long term ground leases, which means they will act as the owners.
12. People on the development teams will also manage the properties. Layoffs are threatened for 200 Housing Authority staff members, and people hired by the development teams will work at the buildings.
Tiny – or Lisa Gray-Garcia – is co-founder with her Mama Dee and co-editor with Tony Robles of POOR Magazine and its many projects and author of “Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America,” published by City Lights. She can be reached at email@example.com. Visit www.tinygraygarcia.com and www.racepovertymediajustice.org.