On Sept. 4, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that cities may not punish homeless people for sleeping outside in public spaces if they do not have access to shelter elsewhere. The case – Martin v. City of Boise – started way back in 2009, when six current and formerly homeless residents of Boise, Idaho, sued the city for giving citations to people who were sleeping outside. The lawsuit rested on the notion that these citations violated the Eighth Amendment rights of Boise’s homeless residents, amounting to cruel and unusual punishment.
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 U.S. Navy had its annual dog and pony show at the Treasure Island Restoration Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. The previous meeting included a Tetra Tech representative and a loud confrontation, but this time Tetra Tech representatives were not on the panel since there are now two Tetra Tech managers in federal prison for falsifying the cleanup records at Hunters Point and an ongoing grand jury investigation with likely more sealed indictments.
California Penal Code 422.55 defines “hate crime” as a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of the victim’s disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. There are multiple state hate crime laws that provide enhanced penalties for violating the rights of people in one of those protected groups. Recently, acts of violence against the homeless have been caught on tape and circulated on the media. They show that cities like San Francisco and Oakland should enact their own local laws adding their homeless citizens to that list of protected groups.
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.
Businesses asked the city to “do something” about the encampments. Perhaps it’s up to the businesses to work out something with the homeless. The solution to the conflict between the business and the homeless is not simply to evict the people. They will not find a solution to the conflict without talking directly to the homeless people. At these discussions, the homeless must be respected and treated equally. They must be treated like citizens with their own needs, not as problems. Businesses could benefit from such discussions.
Oakland’s gentrification was supposed to benefit all Oakland residents; instead, gentrification displaced many of Oakland’s most vulnerable citizens. Oakland’s gentrification may be failing because no one made plans for the displacement of the displaced people. So they live in homeless encampments visible throughout the city. Seeing these encampments, alongside the gentrifiers’ displays of privilege, highlights the inequality of Oakland’s gentrification.
It’s because of this ongoing and increasing hate, othering, criminalizing and politricking that I and other poverty skolaz at POOR Magazine work so hard every day to manifest a homeless people’s solution to homelessness aka Homefulness. This hate and increased pimping/politricking is also why myself and other unhoused and formerly unhoused poverty skolaz are working on the Homeless 4 Mayor Campaign in San Francisco 2018.
Since the mid 1970s, Democrat and Republican politicians in Washington have prioritized the interests of the real estate industry over the need for affordable low and middle income housing for Americans. The Nixon administration placed a moratorium on new approvals for the construction of all federally subsidized housing. The Reagan administration slashed the budget of the Department of HUD. Presidents and members of Congress since then have not restored it.
I left CDCr wondering how PBSP could remain in shambles after 22 years of court oversight. As I started educating myself about prison reform, I stumbled upon Keramet Reiter’s 2016 book, “23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement.” Within those pages, I found validation and some disturbing answers. I wish this book had been available to me before I started working in CDCr.
“I’ll tell you … they really wanted that building to burn down,” said by one of elder survivors of the West Oakland apartment building fire, at 2551 San Pablo, which has taken four precious lives, hospitalized several people and displaced over 100 residents – disabled elders, community members and families with children – on a dark and cold morning on Monday, March 27, at 5:40 a.m.
Oppression is multi-faceted and disproportionately affects the homeless and people of color residing in the outer districts of San Francisco. Discrimination in the child welfare and family court systems is especially prevalent. When state and federal statutes and guidelines are adhered to, Child Protective Services safeguards children and promotes family preservation and well-being. However, Parents Against CPS Corruption alleges that CPS and family court corruption is hurting children and families more than helping them.
Most of the citizens living in Oakland's homeless encampments are African Americans born and raised in Oakland. Gentrification displaced them from housing in their own hometown. On Dec. 2, 2016, 36 members and friends of Oakland’s warehouse community died while partying in the Ghost Ship warehouse. In contrast with the people in the encampments, most were not African American or born nor raised in Oakland. According to the Oakland Council, those people who died partying in the warehouse, not the people in the encampment, have become “a symbol of Oakland’s affordability crisis.”
The “Stolen Land and Hoarded Resources Redistribution, Decolonization and Community Reparations Tour for Mama Earth and its Earth Peoples” was launched last spring by POOR Magazine, led by “Poverty Skola” Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia of POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and fellow race, disability, indigenous scholars Leroy Moore from Krip Hop Nation and First Nations Ohlone warrior Corrina Gould of the Sogorea Land Trust. They plan to resume the tour in the coming months.
Four brave Treasure Islanders who've spoken out about the radiation and other toxins sickening residents have learned they face swift retaliation engineered by the powers-that-be. Mitchell Herrington lived on Treasure Island from 1999 to 2013, when he was harassed off the island by eviction. During his tenancy, Mitchell lived with a roommate who worked for Shaw Environmental. The fact that this Shaw employee had to be protected by a hooded hazmat suit suggested the serious danger of contamination present in his cleanup zone work.
SFPD has done it again … murdered another man in cold blood … in his own community … in broad daylight. Again, officers say that they were forced to fire their weapons. Again, cowardly officers kill a man whom they claim was wielding a knife. Again, this person suffered from mental disabilities. And sadly, again, the SFPD and Chief Greg Suhr have failed our communities.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services, introduced landmark legislation that would provide significant resources to end homelessness in America. The measure is a bold effort to declare what is really needed to address this crisis. The legislation provides $13.27 billion in new funding over five years to several programs and initiatives that will help the nearly 600,000 Americans who are currently homeless.
The No New SF Jail Coalition’s position has been clear since day one – what San Francisco needs to keep its residents safe is housing, healthcare, mental health support, harm reductive substance use support, education, meaningful employment, community organizations, re-entry support and pre-trial diversion. NOT jails. We need you to call the Board of Supervisors, tell your friends and come out strong on Dec. 15. UPDATE: The vote to reject the new jail was UNANIMOUS! There will be NO NEW SF JAIL.
December is a big month for the jail fight. We have got to make our voices heard loud and clear: This jail is bad for our community and ill-informed policy. The mayor and his conservative allies on the Board of Supervisors are under pressure to push the jail plan through as soon as possible. They know we have been gaining strength, and that once January comes, with changes in the board composition, we will have the numbers to defeat this project. Let’s defeat it soundly.
Liz Washington dedicates her story to Treasure Island mothers suffering Child Protective Services’ human rights abuses. Liz Washington’s Tenderloin apartment door rattled. Bursting in, hands on guns, San Francisco cops grabbed her nursing infant. Liz’ daughter remembers her mom’s screams. “‘Please don’t take my baby!’” Even after moving to Treasure Island, Liz never escaped CPS’ ravenous appetite for masterminding abductions of her daughter and sons.