From E-RADication to Reparations

POOR Magazine’s Nandi speaks out for human rights over corporate profiteers trying to privatize life! – Photo: Tiburcio Garcia

The people resist the lies called RAD and No Hope VI

by Tiburcio Garcia with Kimo Umu, Ziair Hughes, Amir Cornish, Akil Carrillo and all the Poor and houseless mamaz and grandmamaz who brought them into this journey 

Editor’s Note: All the authors are students, themselves victims of gentrification, eviction, displacement and homelessness, at the liberation school known as Deecolonize Academy. They “learn” through books and study action and liberation to learn the true her-story of this stolen land. They collaborated with their teachers and poverty and Indigenous skolaz to create the attached Fact Sheet.

“RAD has been around for decades, and now it’s being enforced,” Leroy Moore, founder of Krip Hop Nation, co-founder of Homefulness and writer for POOR Magazine, said with frustration written on his face, squinting in the morning sun. 

It was a clear day on the morning on April 20, the day that POOR Magazine and all of us youth and family “poverty skolaz” at Deecolonize Academy and Homefulness demonstrated in front of City Hall to protest RAD and Hope VI, two bills that have been used by devil-opers – like my mamá Tiny calls them – such as Mercy Housing, John Stewart Co. and many more in the Bay Area recently to evict large numbers of families to make room for higher paying tenants. “Repeal it, Biden!”

“Non-profiteers CONtinue to profit off of our poverty and problems while helping to create our problems.”

“We’re here because we’ve been receiving letters of eviction, and they are offering nowhere to go. They are just taking our homes away,” Teresa Molina, a tenant and a resident of San Francisco who is currently fighting RAD and HOPE VI, said, talking about her fellow tenants in her apartments. 

The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) is a program put in place by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that allows big housing companies to privatize previously public housing, making it easier for them to remove the tenants who relied on Section 8 to pay their rent.

“Cuz even when me and my children’s lives were in danger, the quote un-quote housing authority still didn’t look at us and recognize that our Black Lives Matter.” – Mama Queennandi XSheba, pictured, is a poverty skola, public housing tenant, writer with POOR Magazine and Fillmo’ native. – Photo: Tiburcio Garcia

“I was born and raised in Fillmo’,” Mama Queenandi XSheba, poverty skola, public housing tenant and writer with POOR Magazine said when she got up on the mic, gesturing rapidly. “Cuz even when me and my children’s lives were in danger, the quote un-quote housing authority still didn’t look at us and recognize that our Black Lives Matter.”

“Non-profiteers CONtinue to profit off of our poverty and problems while helping to create our problems,” my Mama Tiny, known as “PovertySkola,” a poet, teacher, visionary and co-founder of POOR Magazine, Homefulness and Deecolonize Academy, where we are all students. 

San Francisco’s war on the poor continues. Tresa, an activist with POOR Magazine, speaks out against the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) bill, which allows big housing companies to privatize previously public housing, making it easier for them to remove the tenants who relied on Section 8 to pay their rent. – Photo: Tiburcio Garcia

Tiny went on to explain that RAD and No Hope VI was launched under Obama, and “housing advocacy” non-profits in San Francisco were some of the authors of the RAD program, which has effectively killed all the public housing across the “United Snakes,” as she and other revolutionaries call it. 

“We are demanding equity and reparations for Black and Brown and Indigenous houseless residents of these no-longer public housing buildings so we can build our own solutions like we are with Homefulness,” she said, concluding, “E-RADication to Reparations!”

Tiny and Queennandi XsheBa at POOR Magazine wrote extensively about RAD in 2013 when they snuck it through. No one but the Bay View newspaper and POOR Magazine published these stories – links below – but they were powerful “Wesearch,” as Mama Tiny calls it – poor people-led research – on these evil moves for our youth and family created “Fact Sheet” on RAD that we did in Mama Tiny’s Deecolonize English Class.

Power to the POOR! Power to POOR Magazine for not asking for but taking back justice! – Photo: Tiburcio Garcia

I had to agree with Queennandi and my Mama, and I felt for everyone at the mercy of RAD and HOPE VI, its predecessor, nearly being evicted and put on the streets, because me and my mother have been in that situation before. This was a powerful action, and I loved the words that were being spoken, that often go unheard, and the point they made.

“If we fight back, we can resist this removal, like we have done in Westside,” said Uncle Greg, a powerful organizer and member of this movement of POOR Magazine to help launch a tenants’ union and resist the politricks, as my mama calls it, of RAD. “You all inspire me. We have power,” he concluded. 

This May 5, 2021, POOR Magazine is hosting a Stolen Land/Hoarded Resources Tour starting in Berkeley to continue their mission of giving a people’s history of the Bay to radically redistribute the narrative to those silenced by displacement, incarceration and genocide.

“We are poor people who resist with our voices,” said Mama Junebug, teacher, poet and poverty skola describing the powerful principles of POOR Magazine. “We can speak for ourselves and solve our own problems!”

Tiburcio Garcia, Kimo Umu, Ziair Hughes, Amir Cornish and Akil Carrillo are activists, journalists and poverty skolas with POOR Magazine and Poor News Network. They can be reached via poormag@gmail.com. To learn more, visit www.poormagazine.org and www.racepovertymediajustice.org.