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Driving the environmental health movement in southeast San Francisco is a clear sense of urgency and duty to protect current and future generations from an avalanche of toxic chemicals linked to cardiopulmonary diseases, cancers, neurological and immune diseases, behavioral disorders, birth defects and infant mortality rates. The investigative team included myself and pioneering community scientist Raymond Tompkins. Offering academic leadership were San Francisco State University chemistry professor Dr. Peter Palmer and UCSF School of Medicine Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Carol Miller, MD. Dr. Kim Hooper of the State of California Toxic Laboratories assisted in submission of the proposal.
One photo in particular caught my attention. It’s simplicity and composition stand out when viewed from the eye of the photographer…a man dedicated to his work and loyal to his purpose as a longshore worker. Taken in the mid 1960’s, it depicts an isolated freighter ship offshore from a pier at the Hunters Point Shipyard. I call it “View from the Shipyard.” I don’t know why that cargo ship was so important it became the centerpiece of a technicolor photo. My Dad was probably the shipping clerk responsible for accounting its cargo.
Dedicated to ensuring the historic Fillmore neighborhood has an economic and cultural anchor to call its own, District Five Supervisor Vallie Brown and a group of nonprofit and African American community leaders have initiated a collaborative campaign to reactivate the Fillmore Heritage Center. Beginning Nov. 5, the collaborative is offering live music, community events, and housing and financial empowerment workshops at the former Yoshi’s site.
As a young Black woman, entering this exciting role as the editor of this legacy paper, my hope is to be surrounded by the support of a community that is just as present as they are passionate. The Bay View needs your passion and I need your presence – so next week please join us for refreshments and dialogue. With the hope of including as many of us in the conversation as possible, I’ve set up the event on Wednesday, Nov. 21, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Bayview Linda Brooks-Burton Branch Library meeting room, 5075 Third St. That’s the day before Thanksgiving.
In California and across the country, progressives are coming together to demand change. We need affordable housing for our communities. On Nov. 6, voters in California will be able to vote on Proposition 10, an amendment that will let local governments determine if housing in their area should be rent controlled based on the needs of those in their communities. Prop 10 is a key example of how we can make California and the rest of the United States affordable for all families. Vote Yes on 10!
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant and Mayor London Breed are partnering to increase access to high-quality basketball facilities and open spaces in neighborhoods that need them most, in this case youth and their families in Bayview Hunters Point. The Oct. 23 grand re-opening of the basketball court at the Hunters Point Youth Park, which was completely transformed over a four-week period, is a gift from the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, Good Tidings Foundation, Alaska Airlines and the San Francisco Foundation, the first of its kind led by KDCF in San Francisco.
San Francisco is a rich city! This election gives voters, including those of us on the “poor side of town,” the rare opportunity to spend some of that wealth on ourselves, the people who need it most. TODAY, on Nov. 6, 2018, we can vote for local Proposition C to house the homeless – put on the ballot by homeless people – and we can vote for state Prop 10 to control sky-rocketing rents to protect ourselves from the threat of homelessness. Here in District 10, we can relive the glory days when BVHP was a force for City Hall to contend with and the oldtimers told us to “VOTE 100%” -- meaning we should all vote, and on critical issues we should vote as a block.
Bayview Hunters Point is the soul of San Francisco. It’s changing but its history and heroes can’t be erased and must be celebrated. They are the foundation and inspiration for the thriving community we will rebuild. In “Picture Bayview Hunters Point,” a labor of love, says director Joanna Haigood, Zaccho Dance Theatre, a BVHP-based cultural treasure, performs that history and presents those heroes unforgettably. Bring everyone, especially the children and young people, to this lavish but free performance – inside and outside the Opera House.
On Sept. 24, our San Francisco Bay View newspaper was recognized as a Legacy Business by the San Francisco Historical Preservation Commission and Small Business Commission. This is quite significant! This status, which honors enterprises with 30 or more years of community service, means additional city and county support, education and promotional assistance to maintain their neighborhood’s traditions and excellence.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is an esteemed pediatrician and founder of the Center for Youth Wellness. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the science behind Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) everywhere she goes and in everything she does. At a recent community conversation about her book, “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity,” she answered questions ranging from information about ACEs to questions about the beginning of her career.
The Healthy Retail SF Program, in collaboration with a host of community partners, celebrated its 10th store with the grand re-opening event of Sav-Mor Mart at its new location at 4522 Third St., between LaSalle and McKinnon. A community market that has been serving the Bayview since for over 20 years, Sav-Mor will now offer more fresh produce from local sources as well as a larger variety of healthful choices for its customers.
On July 22, 2018, on what would’ve been Mario Woods’ 29th birthday, Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods hosted the Third Annual Mario Woods Remembrance Day. It is our biggest event of the year, as it is our statement to the community and to the world, and most especially to the City and County of San Francisco, that Mario will NEVER be forgotten, and we are so pleased and humbled by the outpouring of love on this past July 22. Our work to seek Justice for Mario and for all victims of police violence continues.
As I watched your inauguration, saw you take the oath to serve once more, spoke from the heart to all of your people, and heard the declaration that you will continue to advocate for the poor, the forgotten, the homeless and the immigrants who can still find sanctuary in this City, I was filled with pride. Our local economy will thrive in your hands because of fair play for big and small business alike that allows San Francisco to be an example to the rest of the nation. Because of you, we are reminded that “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” It’s been a long time coming, my dear. The crowd roared as you spoke from the heart. We felt your love.
“The End of Policing,” a new book by Alex Vitale, examines the histories and failures of policing policies and provides examples of alternatives that successfully divest from dependence on police while strengthening the community. Vitale’s chapters on criminalizing homelessness and gang suppression in particular can be a useful tool in revealing ineffective policies in effect today in San Francisco. Join the San Francisco No Injunctions Coalition on July 12, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s last planned court hearing to remove names from the city’s gang injunctions.
On behalf of our many members and constituents in Bayview Hunters Point, we thank you for holding a hearing in response to Tetra Tech’s fraud at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Superfund site. During the hearing, the Board of Supervisors sent a loud and clear message to the Navy, its contractors, state and federal regulatory agencies, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Now it is imperative that we do everything in our collective power to ensure the Hunters Point Superfund site remediation is comprehensive, transparent and trustworthy.
San Francisco is home to the former Hunters Point Shipyard. Once called “the world’s greatest shipping yard,” it was declared a federal Superfund site in 1989, defined by USEPA as “one of the nation’s most contaminated lands.” Contaminated by radioactive and toxic waste from decades of military and industrial use, including toxic metals, PCBs, radionuclides, pesticides and volatile organic compounds. Numerous studies document Southeast SF is burdened by adverse health impacts due to cumulative exposures to toxic air pollution, carcinogens and industrial waste.
On behalf of thousands of victims including residents, deceased family members and unborn children, renowned civil rights attorney Charles Bonner filed a $27 billion lawsuit on May Day for damages arising from threats of cancer and other incurable illnesses relating to the documented fraud by U.S. Navy contractor Tetra Tech in assuring that the radiated land at the Hunters Point Shipyard had been cleaned. Learn more and JOIN THE LAWSUIT at the townhall meeting on Saturday, June 9, 1-3 p.m., at the Joseph Lee Rec Center, 1395 Mendell St. in Bayview Hunters Point.
Third Street at Jerrold Street is bustling with a new farmers market that launched May 5. Sponsored by the Merchants of Butchertown and Economic Development on Third (EDoT), the market is open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. every Saturday at 1605 Jerrold (All Good Pizza). Bringing more fresh food options into Bayview Hunters Point was the goal of the market. Two local farms are anchoring the market with plans to add more as the growing season becomes abundant.
The most elegant event we’ve ever attended was the San Francisco Housing Development Corp.’s 30th Anniversary Gala at the wondrous California Academy of Sciences – yes, guests could see the exhibits! – on Friday, May 11. We, Dr. Willlie and Mary Ratcliff, were invited to accept the Power of Words award, and we were thrilled to be presented it by SFHDC Board Member Dorris Vincent, an old friend and a pillar of the Bayview Hunters Point community. These are her remarks:
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? We detect the reason is Black Power, which used to be wielded skillfully by community leaders back in the day. 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%!