“Our power comes from the fact that we create the wealth. Wealth is power; we have the ability to withhold that power.” – Boots Riley, filmmaker and activist, Juneteenth 2020 ILWU shutdown Port of Oakland
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.
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.
The contributions that Kelvin Brooks the activist, father, brother, uncle and, as the community refers to him, “OG Legend,” made towards the betterment of BVHP and the City and County of San Francisco are countless. The loss of Kelvin Brooks on Aug. 18 from an asthma attack is ironic as he spent hours in neighborhood meetings addressing the toxins in the air specifically in BVHP. The passing of this great leader will cause a deep void of sadness in the community.
Join us Sunday, Sept. 25, 1-3 p.m., and Wednesday, Sept. 27, 3-5 p.m., at the Linda Brooks Burton Library, 5075 Third St., at Revere, San Francisco, to honor the life of the many Black men and women whose lives were taken too soon and to learn more about the 1966 Hunters Point Uprising. We must, as Arthur Schomburg challenges Black Americans, “dig up our past in order to remake our future.”
The air has gotten worse, not better. So these are some of the things that are caused by the dust, the construction and the latent chemicals they have not cleaned up since World War II – plus the current concentration of light industry just outside our neighborhood that all blows into our neighborhood. Yet currently less than 1 percent of African Americans who live in Bayview work in that area and reap the economic benefits. All we get is the pollution and death.
Although Bayview Hunters Point is one of the most beautiful Black communities in California, it is also one of the most toxic places in the country due to the radiation experiments that took place on the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in the ‘40s and many other generators of deadly toxins, most of them government owned. Dr. Ray Tompkins, a historian and a scientific expert on the pollution in Bayview Hunters Point, gives an in-depth interview. Check him out in his own words.
I would like to know the reasons why the Muni constantly stops trains on the T-Line at 23rd Street as if the rest of Third Street doesn’t exist. I pay for a monthly pass and I feel that I deserve to be treated with the same services as the Mission Bay area. It’s despicable how the Muni service treats the citizens in Bayview. This is obviously a classic combination of classism and racism.
Whose community do you really want it to be? Right now, Bayview sits on the brink of change – destruction for some, destiny for many. I am fairly new to voting like most people my age and it seems like there’s no point. The sad reality is that in BVHP of the 30,000 people who could vote, only about 4,000 people actually vote. How can 4,000 votes be split among 16 Black D10 candidates? Who should stand down so we can put someone in office that looks like me and will stand on the side of the community?