There we were – the unhoused, the evicted, the displaced, the disabled, Black, Brown, Indigenous, poor white, youth and elders on one accord, all colors, all nations, all cultures, all ages, all abilities. The 2018 Poor Peoples March on Washington was originally launched by impacted poor, houseless and formerly unhoused people from the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign 15 years ago. Poor folks walked in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor Peoples March on Washington in 1968.
Eunice Atim and her sister Sarah Atiano are disabled. Their father says it is very expensive to sustain them even in terms of taking them both to school. Eunice’s education had stopped in 2007 and was able to resume in 2014 after getting funding through publishing articles in the San Francisco Bay View and posting on Facebook. With her education, she wants to be an advocate for youth and adults with disabilities in Uganda.
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Ben Carson as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and, former disgraced HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson supports and vouches for Ben Carson to take his old job, according to the Dallas Morning News. Having Jackson endorse Carson is troubling. In May 2004, as secretary of HUD, Alphonso Jackson made headlines across the nation when he stated “being poor is a state of mind, not a condition.”
There are so many untold stories of how and why people become un-housed. Loss of a job, a partner, the onset of an illness or a crisis, but most of the time, in the Bay Area, it’s because of a greed-inspired landlord raising rent, evicting for profit so he or she can house the droves of 20-30-something wealthy, mostly white people streaming into town for the tech industry.
I listened as the supervisor at the Housing Authority of Monterey County rattled off a long list of reasons that they thought released their agency from any responsibility for the crisis of Bessie Taylor and her disabled son Devonte, who are now living houselessly in Salinas, California, because the Housing Authority took too long to move on the family’s reasonable accommodation claim, and they subsequently lost their home of 22 years.
Public housing is home to over 1.2 million families across the nation, mostly the elderly, disabled and low-income women with children. The Bay Area is home to thousands of them. In an effort to save public housing in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco and nationwide, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., wrote a letter to President Obama on Dec. 10 condemning the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, or RAD.
Dr. King led a movement that issued a stirring call for justice. Lyndon Johnson used his remarkable skills to drive an unprecedented response to that call. The prophet and the president were both remarkable leaders. We may not look on their like again. But even so, one thing is still clear: When we build the demand for change, leaders will arise to offer the response.
Crying “Have a Heart, Save Our Homes,” a large Bay Area coalition marched in a driving rain from City Hall to the San Francisco Federal Building – Causa Justa/Just Cause, San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and many more.
“POOR’s rule from the beginning was to break down the myth of objectivity and the implicit ‘other’ stance of journalism. We accomplished this through the integration of self, the use of ‘I’ in every story,” explains Tiny – Lisa Gray-Garcia. POOR needs your help right now. Become a Revolutionary Donor today!
Tears dripped down her face as she searched for her missing suitcase in the busy New Orleans bus station. "It had my ID, my children's birth certificates, my money and my credit cards," she softly cried. It was one week after she was bused out of New Orleans to a military base in Arkansas. She was supposed to be at work.