by Dr. Willie and Mary Ratcliff

Why do Black folks catch more hell in San Francisco than just about anywhere else? Why has a larger portion of the Black population been pushed out of San Francisco than any U.S. city?

Elect Jovanka Beckles to Assembly District 15, comprising Richmond, Berkeley and part of Oakland, and London Breed Mayor of San Francisco.

We detect the reason is Black Power, which used to be wielded skillfully by community leaders back in the day. Here in Bayview Hunters Point, our beloved leaders preached for the people to “VOTE 100%” in every election, and Blacks voted as a block, the swing vote that decided many contests.

BVHP is the neighborhood that became the main Black homeland in San Francisco after the Fillmore, then known internationally as Harlem of the West, was bulldozed into oblivion in an effort to annihilate Black Power.

With London Breed, a Black woman born and raised in the projects – someone who understands us as we understand her – leading the mayor’s race, this election is our opportunity to rebuild our Black Power by making up our minds to VOTE 100%!

The Bay View also strongly encourages East Bay voters in Assembly District 15 to do all California progressives a big favor and put Jovanka Beckles in the California Assembly. She has made miracles for the poor and oppressed in Richmond and will do the same for everyone in the state if we elect her.

We also highlight the opportunity to force Nancy Pelosi, who’s represented San Francisco in Congress far too long, to debate the issues that matter to us by putting Barry Hermanson, her Green Party challenger, in second position on the November ballot.

In the governor’s race, while we endorse Antonio Villaraigosa, our aim is to defeat Gavin Newsom, who, as San Francisco mayor, was a disaster for Blacks. (See note below.) We are also impressed with Delaine Eastin, who supports free college tuition and opposes the prison industrial complex, but don’t know whether she could win. Vote anybody but Newsom.

In the governor’s race, while we endorse Antonio Villaraigosa, our aim is to defeat Gavin Newsom, who, as San Francisco mayor, was a disaster for Blacks.

Among ballot measures, we urge a YES vote on San Francisco Proposition E because tobacco is deadly and addictive no matter the flavor, and because Big Tobacco is counting on the Black Block to protect menthol cigarettes, the choice of 80 percent of Black smokers, who are killed by it at the rate of 45,000 a year. Big Tobacco is spending a fortune to defeat Prop E so it can keep killing Blacks – and addicting Black children with candy flavors. Vote YES on Prop E.

We like to go to the polls on Election Day, looking to meet up with old friends and make new ones. But you don’t need to wait. You can vote now at City Hall, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., outside Room 48, plus Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27 and June 2-3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. And on June 5, Election Day, you can vote there or at your polling place (identified on the back of your voter pamphlet) from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Learn all about voting by mail on Page 5 of your voter pamphlet or call Elections at 415-554-4375. However you do it, VOTE 100%!

Note from Dr. Ratcliff: Why I strongly oppose Gavin Newsom for governor

I am calling on Black voters across California not to vote for Gavin Newsom for governor. As mayor of San Francisco, Newsom styled himself as a buddy to Blacks, even playing midnight basketball with youth in public housing on the Hill – Hunters Point – but those youth got no help from Newsom trying to force open the doors of opportunity that are locked solid to them.

Defeating every effort by the Black community to achieve economic equity, he attacked me personally when he ordered his department heads to snatch back my $5.1 million contract to rebuild the Bayview Library in 2010. My company, Liberty Builders, had been the low bidder, but the lame excuse that we were one day late submitting an insurance certificate the City already had resulted in San Francisco taxpayers forking over an additional $3 million to the second low bidder, a white suburban contractor who rented an empty room to fraudulently claim he was neighborhood based. He not only ran way over budget but way past schedule – so inept he had to hire some of my lead workers to show him how to do the work.

Newsom’s decision to replace a Black contractor – who had always brought projects in on time and under budget – with a white one cost the Black community its proud homeland. Gentrification had begun, but the loss of the millions of dollars that would have been earned by Blacks in Bayview Hunters Point fueled the exodus, pushing family after family out of San Francisco – people I love and hate to lose.

Antonio Villaraigosa knows racism and its deadly effects. Vote Villaraigosa for governor of California!

This election is our opportunity to rebuild our Black Power by making up our minds to VOTE 100%!

Candidates – San Francisco

San Francisco Mayor*: London Breed

District 8 Supervisor: Rafael Mandelman

Candidate – Alameda County

Oakland District Attorney: Pamela Price

Candidates – California

Assembly District 15: Jovanka Beckles

California Governor: Antonio Villaraigosa

California Lt. Governor: Gayle McLaughlin

California Secretary of State: Alex Padilla

California Treasurer: Fiona Ma

California Insurance Commissioner: Natalie Hrizi

California Board of Equalization: Malia Cohen

California Supt. of Public Instruction: Tony K. Thurmond

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 4: Phoenix Streets

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 7: Maria Evangelista

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 9: Kwixuan H. Maloof

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 11: Niki Judith Solis

Candidates – United States

U.S. Senator: Kevin De Leon

U.S. District 12 Representative: Barry Hermanson

Propositions – San Francisco

Prop A, Public Utility Revenue Bonds: Yes

Prop B, Requiring Appointed Commissioners to Resign Before Running for Office: Yes

Prop C, Taxes on Commercial Rents to Fund Child Care: YES

Prop D, Tax on Commercial Rents to Fund Homeless Services (would kill Prop C): No

Prop E, Prohibiting Flavored Tobacco Products: YES

Prop F, City Funded Representation for Tenants Facing Eviction: YES

Prop G, Parcel Tax for San Francisco Teachers: YES

Prop H, Policy Allowing Police Department Purchase and Use of Tasers: NO

Prop I, Policy Against Encouraging Sports Teams to Move to San Francisco: YES

Proposition – Regional

Measure M, Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan: Yes

Propositions – California

Prop 68, Bonds for Parks and Environmental Protection: Yes

Prop 69, Restricting Vehicle Fees to Transportation Uses: Yes

Prop 70, Restricting Use of Cap-and-Trade Fund: No

Prop 71, Effective Date for Ballot Measures: Yes

Prop 72, Permitting Tax Exclusion of Rain-Capture Systems: Yes

*San Francisco uses ranked choice voting, which allows us to vote for three candidates in whatever order we choose. The Bay View recommends, for mayor, that you either leave the No. 2 and 3 choices blank or vote for Angela Alioto and Amy Farah Weiss.

Bay View publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff and editor Mary Ratcliff can be reached at editor@sfbayview.com or 415-671-0789.

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