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At our council retreat in San Diego Jan. 18, during the presentation on how to correct the low 1 percent participation of African Americans in Caltrans contracting in the midst of a 17.9 percent DBE accomplishment, a council member made a comment that has made me feel compelled to clarify why this council is in existence. I know that most of us, particularly newer council members, may believe that we are here because we are qualified contractors, but in this country, with its inherent institutional discrimination where qualifications of certain ethnic groups don’t matter, we are here to pursue equality and equal opportunity, known as civil rights, for all classified minorities and women.
African Americans make significant contributions to the San Francisco economy and get very little in benefits, as it was in the days of slavery. We need a new Juneteenth for the emancipation of African Americans in San Francisco. Now a NEW DAY is here! LONDON BREED, San Francisco’s first Black female mayor, is about to take office. She has promised to “open the flood gates” for Black businesses and provide real job opportunities for our African American citizens. We can reverse this out-migration!
Thanking God for reparations, we heartily congratulate San Francisco Mayor London Breed, offering her our support and our love. Rejoice, Black San Francisco, in this historic victory! Let us work hard with London to rebuild the Black community and make it thrive again. Like it or not, we live in a chaotic world, but out of chaos come opportunities. Black talent, energy and ingenuity can make San Francisco the most exciting city in the world and restore its soul.
Nobody did London Breed any favors at Tuesday’s board meeting. Not the supervisors who swept her out of the mayor’s office that had been given to her by the city charter and not Ron Conway and the big money boys whose overly aggressive support was the screen the supervisors hid their racism behind. So London heads into the June election owing nothing to anybody, only the people of San Francisco, including the most needy. We can win it and we will! Join us soon at the London Breed for Mayor campaign headquarters. Endorse London on her website, www.londonformayor.com, and contact her campaign by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and phone at 415-LONDON1.
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.
On Jan. 19, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx approved a waiver of U.S. Department of Transportation regulations to allow the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to provide group-specific race-conscious DBE contract goals for firms owned and controlled by women and African Americans. This was in response to the lack of participation of women and African Americans on SFMTA projects.
Five San Francisco groups that help provide Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless and less fortunate received more than 900 free turkeys this week from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs. The turkeys will help feed nearly 14,000 people across San Francisco. Statewide, Morongo donated another 13,000 turkeys this month to mark the 30th anniversary of the tribe’s Thanksgiving Outreach program.
Join the rally in front of the Warfield Theater, 982 Market St., San Francisco, Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m., to protest racism toward African...
The Addition, formerly Yoshi’s, closed its doors, 77 people lost their jobs and many will wind up on unemployment. Gussie’s, the Black soul food restaurant diagonally across the street, left a couple of months ago. Rassellas Jazz Club up the street on Fillmore is gone. Will the Fillmore, once rivaled only by Harlem with its 31 restaurants and jazz clubs, die? The City did this! The question is: Did the City do enough to rectify its mistakes?
“The winning team, Dragados USA, Inc., Flatiron West, Inc., and Shimmick Construction Company, Inc., collectively known as DFS, brings the necessary team experience to successfully complete the California High-Speed Rail Construction Package 2-3 Project,” the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Monday, Dec. 29. A consortium of 19 minority and women owned firms of all types – 13 Black – is part of the winning team for the $1.5 billion contract.
As a member of the Equity Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (SFHRC), I learned a lot. It was all bad for The City’s Black community. The SFHRC was formed in 1964 to fight discrimination against Blacks in The City. Today, it is clear to me that this charter commission discriminates against the Black community – with no end in sight.
Phase One of the boycott, requesting African American meetings and conventions not to come to San Francisco, is in full swing and has garnered the support of at least 10 large associations with potential revenues of approximately $32 million, with more signing on each month. “We want to make it crystal clear,” said San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce President Fred Jordan, “the boycott is on. We will continue to fight for equity for our community and opportunities for African American businesses in San Francisco.”
Another Black History Month with pomp, circumstance and countless hollow speeches has been taking place all over San Francisco. Does anyone notice it is only a matter of time until Black people living in San Francisco will become history? The 1970 Black population of “everyone’s favorite city” was a hundred thousand, according to city records. The latest census says Blacks account for just under 47,000 of the city’s 825,000 people.
We recall the words of the great Black abolition leader Frederick Douglas: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” After years of studies, pleading, begging for jobs and contracts in our city, we are prepared to call a boycott of conventions coming to San Francisco. For Jan. 1, 2014, two national organizations of Black meeting planners, controlling 75 percent of the $40 billion Black convention and meeting industry, have been notified to stand by until our meeting with the SF Travel Association and the City. SFAACC, along with a coalition of other Black and concerned organizations, will present the following DEMANDS in an upcoming meeting with SF Travel, the Hotel Board and the City of SF.
Phase One begins Jan. 1, 2014 - requesting all African American associations and organizations not to bring any of their meetings, conventions or conferences to San Francisco. Phase Two begins Feb. 1 - requesting educational organizations not to bring any of their meetings or conventions to San Francisco. Phase Three begins March 1 - requesting legal and medical organizations take their meeting and convention business elsewhere.
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs continues its tradition of giving as it provides another 11,000 turkeys statewide to help those in need. Five San Francisco groups that help provide the homeless and the less fortunate with a hot meal on Thanksgiving received 1,000 turkeys Friday donated by Morongo. The 1,000 turkeys will help feed an estimated 20,000 people in San Francisco.
Black people have largely been locked out of construction work in San Francisco since 1998. That’s a shame, because construction work is a solution to many of the ills in the Black community. Construction wages are high, and when Black contractors have work, they are generally eager to train Black workers regardless of their school, police or prison records.