The election is over – the work is not. What’s not working for Black and Brown people, and what’s killing them, is one long familiar list. And there’s the other list that continues to demand our devoted attention to change and build the world we deserve by loving and uplifting our ravaged communities through relentless action.
At 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 16, 2018, community organizer Steve Zeltzer introduced former Treasure Island residents Andre Patterson and Felita Sample, who had been invited to speak at this press conference where whistle-blowers exposed the malfeasance of remediation contractor Tetra Tech on Hunters Point and Treasure Island. “I want to introduce two people today who’ve been personally affected by the corruption and the coverup at Treasure Island."
“We are surrounded by Black cops,” said Leroy Moore, with POOR Magazine and Krip Hop Nation, about the 15 Black cops who surrounded us houseless and formerly houseless mamas, uncles, children and elders from the Poor People’s March when we walked humbly into the Washington, D.C., office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to demand our housing back. “We are here to meet with Ben Carson,” we all said.
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.
Rent control and just cause eviction protections are the only fair and humane ways to slow down greedy landlords and profiteering realtors and developers from gouging renters with never ending rent increases and unjust evictions, displacing renters from their communities and adding to the already dire affordable housing crisis in California. During late April of 2018, the campaign to repeal Costa-Hawkins submitted over 565,000 signatures to place the Affordable Housing Act on the November 2018 ballot, which, if passed, would repeal the draconian Costa-Hawkins Act.
Hunters Point and Treasure Island are historical Siamese twins, inextricably linked by Navy nuclear activity and toxic dumping. As Tetra Tech’s fakery and malfeasance is exposed, Hunters Point is receiving massive attention, but Treasure Island victims continue to be poisoned and evicted, attracting scant notice and no help. Taxpayers are footing the bill to the tune of billions for massive Navy remediation, botched cleanups and two redeveloped, but toxic, Naval bases, where, in the end, no one can safely live.
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.
On Oct. 20, 2017, The Labor Compliance Managers, pictured here with participating trainees who helped facilitate the event, worked in partnership with HUD to coordinate an educational forum hosted at the SFPUC’s Contractors Assistance Center. Because of people like Dr. Espanola Jackson, today San Francisco has a local hire mandate that was approved in December of 2010, as well as other City policies that strive to bring equity and inclusion to under-represented communities throughout San Francisco, including Bayview Hunters Point.
With the Trump regime pushing for a massive $6.2 billion to $6.8 billion in budget cuts for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), so-called nonprofit affordable housing developers see the writing on the wall and are jacking up the rents on the poor, elderly and disabled renters in their projects as fast as they can, before the budget cuts take effect. The fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget detailing the cuts was released May 23.
The Trump regime’s proposed $6.2 billion in budget cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) threatens the renters in around 155 low-income affordable housing projects in Oakland with higher rents or eviction from their homes. The proposed $6.2 billion in budget cuts to HUD will disproportionately impact Black women and their families because such a high percentage of them rely on HUD’s subsidized housing programs.
San Francisco United Against Trump acknowledges that the issues faced by minority groups, particularly immigrants and people of color, under our current administration, are not only an integral part of our city’s history, but of nearly EVERY major American city’s history. Our organization aims to combat President Trump’s regressive and destructive policies, as well as fight injustice at local levels of government.
The Fillmore Heritage Center, considered to be the last vestige of Black culture in the Fillmore District, once known as the “Harlem of the West,” has been put up for sale. The Request for Proposals (RFP) by the City and County of San Francisco was issued on Feb. 10, 2017. The property, located at Fillmore and Eddy Streets, previously housed Yoshi’s San Francisco restaurant, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, the 1300 Restaurant, a jazz art gallery and a theater. The minimum bid is $6.5 million.
Poor, unhoused, barely housed, indigenous, Black, Brown and Red people don’t have presidents. We have prison wardens, police, sheriffs, anti-social workers, landlords, judges, bailiffs, poverty pimps, case manglers, ICE agents, CPS workers and debt collectors. Under Clinton, we lost welfare and the criminalization and incarceration of young people was institutionalized. Poor people don’t have presidents or governors or mayors. We have ourselves.
Renter protections will be on the November ballot in six cities in the Bay Area. No matter how hard the landlords and the California Apartment Association try to stop the renters movement, tenant advocates across the Bay Area are urging renters to vote on strong renter protections in Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Burlingame, San Mateo and Mountain View. They urge people to vote “no” against any weak proposals placed on the ballot by the city councils in Alameda and Mountain View.
A proposal by HUD and the Obama administration that is allegedly meant to combat segregation and break up concentrations of poverty actually threatens Section 8 renters (Housing Choice Voucher holders) – the elderly, poor and disabled – with higher rents and eviction. It has many Section 8 tenants worried about their future in the Bay Area, New York and elsewhere.
A “space mountain,” “a behemoth,” “a colossus,” “a palace for Jabba The Hut” and “a half-baked baked Alaska” – that’s how columnists have described George Lucas’ $400 million 300,000-square-foot Museum of Narrative Art, a collection of Americana and Hollywood memorabilia. On May 16, 2016, San Francisco Supervisor, Aaron Peskin, appeared on CBS Bay Area talk show “Matier in the Morning,” where he reintroduced Treasure Island as a site for the project.
In contrast to the hoopla and razzle dazzle of Mayor Ed Lee and company to hoodwink the public into believing that privatizing public housing is a good thing, an Oct. 7 letter from Congresswoman Maxine Waters to Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) calls for more protections for public housing and public housing tenants being threatened by the RAD privatization program.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is incentivizing communities to take steps to end criminalization in its $1.9 billion grant program for federal homelessness funding. HUD’s new requirement for applicants of federal homelessness funding follows on the heels of the Department of Justice’s announcement in August that criminalizing individuals for being homeless is unconstitutional.
At a time that the Department of Justice is calling the citing, arresting and forced displacement of homeless people for sleeping cruel and unusual punishment, new data from the SFPD indicates that it is fully engaged in this practice: Homeless people received 11,920 citations for resting in public space in 2014. A total of 13,390 citations were given to homeless people for anti-homeless “offenses.”
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.