Honoring and highlighting our unsung Black hires 

Built-of-Rich-Earth-Stephen-Towns-2-1400x1047, <strong>Honoring and highlighting our unsung Black hires </strong>, Local News & Views News & Views
We are indeed “Built of Rich Earth,” the title of Stephen Towns’ piece. And it is Black people that have built this country, uncompensated, now we want to get paid. – Art by Stephen Towns, stephentowns.com.

by Nube Brown, Prisoner Human Rights editor

It is my pleasure to make some necessary corrections and highlight our people being put to work – years ago somebody had our back! Last month, in my story “Stop locking us out! Hire Black developers!” I made some non–factual claims in frustration, but also with passion, for wanting to uplift Black talent and expertise.

I would never want our fight to make sure Black developers and contractors are being given lucrative and meaningful contracts, that have the potential to build generational wealth, to overshadow the amazing, hard-earned presence of people like the late Boss, Yolanda Jones. Her legacy endures in the many Black contractors whose talents and expertise have been utilized in these multi-million-, multi-billion-dollar projects. 

“The late, Yolanda Jones, of YCAT-C was very instrumental to the process of building the new Southeast community facility,” writes CrystalTimms in a statement. “From the very beginning, Yolanda Jones fiercely worked with Pankow [the prime contractor] to ensure that there was a wide representation of District 10 residents employed on the Southeast job and she was most especially diligent about ensuring that Pankow specifically worked with Black contractors in the District 10 community. 

“Yolanda unwaveringly devoted her time, money and resources to ensuring that contractors were in compliance to take part in such a big job. She did this in partnerships with other local leaders: Crystal Timms, Creative Solutions; Carla Tucker, CLT Construction Services; DWayne Jones, RDJ/YCD; James Bryant, JBR Partners, during the pandemic; her daughter, Lyn-Tise Jones, served as the Community Benefits Coordinator to support the funding of several District 10 events, food initiatives and cyber education programs to support the children that would soon come to play at the new facility. 

“Yolanda and her team took great pride and care in seeing this project come to fruition as District 10 natives understand the true importance of what the Southeast Community Center means to us,” Crystal Timms concluded.

“Mission Rock Partners and RDJ Enterprises have been huge in supporting local trucking for a lot of Black District 10 truckers who barely get any work,” Tricia Gregory of HVYW8 trucking told me. For HVYW8 Trucking, on the Mission Rock project, we have had a lot of work. From day one the Mission Rock partners have been very helpful in supporting local trucking. Also, HVYW8 Trucking is a part of the African American Coalition, so whenever HVYW8 Trucking gets a job, we make sure all D10 truckers go to work.”

Below is a partial list of District 10 contractors and subcontractors who worked on the 1550 Evans St. Southeast Community Center project. Be sure to use or recommend these Black businesses so they remain viable and our dollars circulate amongst us:

AJS Painting, Decorating & Waterproofing: (415) 430-6410

Big Mouth Productions: (888) 694-6446 ex 3

Better Way Constructors LLC: 415-572-3033

Carney’s Plastering: (415) 240-9402

CIW and Sons Plumbing Company: (415) 571-0222

Coast to Coast Drywall: (415) 525-0300

Harris Hoisting (Black woman-owned): (415) 913-0143

HVYW8, Inc.: (415) 336-1191

JBR Partners, Inc.: (415) 970-9051

SF&S Inc.: (415) 643-4898

Southeast Electrical Contractors, Inc.: (415) 574-6582

Yolanda’s Const. Admin and Traffic Control (YCAT-C): 415-821-9702

Your All Day and Everyday Janitorial Service: (415) 613-4126

Question: How much of the $2.5 billion Mission Rock project went to Black contractors? Black San Franciscans being 5% of the population, parity requires $125M should come to us from the project. We need more multi-million/billion-dollar projects going to Black developers, period. The story continues … and the answers lie at City Hall.

We’ll get back to it next month. Until then, wishing you joy, light and love during this holiday season.

Nube Brown, Prisoner Human Rights editor, is a developing New Afrikan, abolitionist and Liberate the Caged Voices columnist. She hosts Prison Focus Radio on KPOO 89.5 San Francisco and KPOO.com every Thursday 11:00 to noon and also broadcasts Bay View TV Breaking News on Instagram @sfbayview every Wed-Fri mornings from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Connect with her at nube@sfbayview.com