The story of how the Richmond Progressive Alliance took power – as of November 2016 with 5 of 7 seats on a weak-mayor city council – is eloquently and lucidly described by veteran trade unionist and labor journalist Steve Early. Early moved to Richmond late in life, but has now produced a compelling work that describes the halting process of holding Chevron and the real estate lobby accountable for its frequent misdeeds by building a dynamic multiracial coalition that eschews traditional party politics.
John Brown, a 68-year-old Vietnam vet and former firefighter, is happy in his one-bedroom unit in Bayview; it’s small but comfortable, clean and tidy. He’s at risk of losing his home. It’s an odd situation: Brown has no problem paying the rent, he’s not violating his lease, he gets along fine with his landlord, there’s no Ellis Act or Owner Move-in taking place. The building hasn’t been sold. He’s facing eviction because his apartment was built illegally – and now the city is cracking down. The tenants are appealing the demolitions to the Planning Commission, which will hear the case Thursday, July 27.
Along with the phrases “alternate truth” and “fake news,” another phrase, even more ominous, is being bandied about, “net neutrality.” Net neutrality means internet freedom. It means that everyone has equal access to internet content – that is, content and all applications regardless of the source. In other words, the bus that takes you to the mall may not control what you see and where you shop when you get there.
The politics, color and income of Oakland is changing rapidly, similar to what happened over in San Francisco, where the population went from 16 percent Black in the 1970s to 3 percent Black and shrinking today. Oakland, like many other largely Black cities, is being plagued by gentrification. Instead of suffering in silence, Timothy Killings, a member of the Northern California People’s Housing Union, invites you to join the collective this Saturday, 12-3 p.m., at the Quilombo Community Center, 2313 San Pablo in West Oakland. Food and child care will be provided and all are invited.
The overwhelming challenges faced by Black businesses were probably not on the minds of the 30 speakers, all white, at the Silicon Valley crowdfunding conference, but equity crowdfunding may prove to be a way to bring Black businesses roaring back – to once again anchor and stabilize Black communities and make them thrive. Crowdfunding under Title III will become a reality. Companies must wait until May 16, 2016, to begin raising money under Title III.
If America hadn’t become a nation that excessively incarcerates Black men for minor, nonviolent offenses, Walter Scott’s funeral would not be happening because he’d likely still be alive. That’s the conclusion drawn by Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project.
Intel hosted Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s “Next Steps for Technology Forum” Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the Intel Campus in Santa Clara. The forum, which was sponsored by Rainbow PUSH Silicon Valley Digital Connections Project, is a part of the Rainbow PUSH “21st Century Technology Innovation Diversity and Inclusion Campaign,” which nudges technology companies to implement an actionable diversity and inclusion strategy.
The internet, founded by the U.S. government, was made accessible to the masses in the mid ‘90s. It has revolutionized how people access information and how quickly they can get information on almost anything from sources internationally. Now there is a battle going on between grassroots people across the country, small media organizations and media activists against a major attack on that speedy access by giant telecom and media conglomerates.
This week, Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Color of Change launched a Twitter-based social media and online petition campaign to hundreds of thousands of their subscribers demanding that Twitter release its EEO-1 workforce diversity inclusion data and convene a direct dialogue with SF Bay Area community partners on solutions and strategies. On July 23, a few days after the launch, Twitter finally delivered its “pathetic” data.
The fiery H. Rap Brown, chairperson of SNCC, minister of justice for the Black Panther Party and one of the original four targets of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO to neutralize Black power, is presently entombed in the federal prison at Florence, Colorado, one of the world’s 10 worst prisons. Pursued relentlessly since the ‘60s, he was wrongfully convicted in 2002 – the prosecutor bragging that they finally got him after trying for 24 years. His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells his story on the Block Report.
Rev. Jesse Jackson led a delegation to the Hewlett Packard annual shareholder meeting on March 19, calling attention to the lack of minority inclusion in Silicon Valley. He emphasized the virtual absence of African Americans in corporate boardrooms, corporate suites, financial transactions, advertising and professional services. The following day, he met with community leaders in the East Palo Alto city offices.
“People are evading their fares. We are only here because the mayor wants to cut down on all the crime,” Officer Carrasco barked at me, while issuing a citation for alleged fare evasion to a young African-descendent student on his way to school. This young brother was one of over 25 people caught in a “sweep” – read invasion – of a Muni bus, who were pulled off the bus so citations could be issued.
One of our great African American mental giants is often called the “Godfather of Silicon Valley.” Roy L. Clay Sr. is the name of this African American star. In 1965, he created and headed the Hewlett-Packard computer division. It was the first computer company in the Silicon Valley. In 1966, Roy and his team created the HP-2116, the world’s first mini-computer.
The Egyptian revolution was successful because it had no leaders, only coordinators of bottom-up energy. This new form of leadership among Egypt’s – and ultimately the world’s – young people suggests there will be many more such surprises in the future, both at home and abroad.