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Once upon a time … in a reality far, far away … Amy D.C. Brownell, PE, a licensed professional engineer with the Environmental Division of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH), accepted the mandate to protect human health and the environment as a permanent regulator seated on the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) of the Hunters Point Shipyard, a federal Superfund site. RABs are democratically elected bodies created by Congress to empower community stakeholders with the opportunity to direct the cleanup and reuse of former military installations.
After 18 years subjecting San Franciscans who were homeless, poor and mostly of color to massive toxic hazards and environmental racism on radiation and chemically contaminated Treasure Island, the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA)’s redevelopment consortium – Five Point, Stockbridge Capital Group, Lennar, Wilson-Meany, John Stewart Co. and other financial interests – seem to be attempting to induce tenants to leave the island while forestalling possible legal roadblocks.
San Francisco has the highest employment disparity between Blacks and Whites in the country according to a February 2017 report from the Brookings Institution. The legend of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men who stole from the rich to give to the poor has more myth than truth to it. However, in San Francisco, the story of Mayor Hood Robin’ and his Merrie Men, who steal from the poor to give to the rich has more truth than myth.
Once a killer cop, always a killer cop! Black San Francisco is demanding that Mayor Ed Lee face the music and fire Chief Greg Suhr, as well as the five officers involved in the execution of Mario Woods, a young man with special needs who was gunned down by five gang members of the SFPD. Records reveal that many of the officers involved had used deadly force on unarmed individuals in the past.
On Dec. 9, Supervisor John Avalos introduced a resolution to the Board of Supervisors to address racial profiling and the use of force by police officers, nationally and locally, as well as to uphold the right to nonviolent protest. Supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Malia Cohen and Eric Mar signed as cosponsors. A final vote on the resolution will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 16, and a large showing of support is vital to its passage.
The cover story of this week’s San Francisco Weekly is the saga of Midtown Park Apartments that faces a struggle for its very existence in light of dubious actions and activities by San Francisco Housing Director Olson Lee and his staff. The City, which owns the Midtown property, has neglected to make millions of dollars worth of repairs over the past several decades despite hiring property managers to maintain the property, collect rents and enforce terms of tenancy.
There’s a good old-fashioned muckraker’s war going on in Richmond, Calif., and Chevron’s “community-driven” news site Richmond Standard is the latest fighter to step into the ring. This sprawling city east of San Francisco is home to Chevron’s oil refinery, which has made it a battleground between the company’s business interests and environmental activists who are calling for checks on air quality and safety.
On Monday, Feb. 3, residents of Midtown Park Apartments, joined by civil rights nonprofit Brightline Defense, legal services provider AIDS Legal Referral Panel and over 50 supporters, filed the biggest rent control petition in the history of the City and County of San Francisco. The petition requests protection against unlawful rent increases and evictions for 139 low- and moderate-income Western Addition households.
Despite quadrupling the number of solar panels in the City in just over four years, the GoSolarSF program is proposed to be gutted and City leaders have remained mum as environmental and cleantech industry opposition to the cuts grows. The Board of Supervisors will vote on a final two-year city budget as early as tomorrow.
Kenneth Harding Jr., 19, was shot and killed on July 16 as he ran away from two police officers interrogating him for his alleged failure to pay a $2 fare for a ride on the city’s light-rail train. Incredibly, after originally admitting that two officers shot and killed Harding, the new story from the police some days later is that the young man must have killed himself.
Bayview Hunters Point is a community not exempt from poverty, violence, racism, police terrorism, gentrification, institutionalized ignorance, displacement and demonizing media coverage. With the Tough House Project, founder Jamal James Modica hopes to give this community a voice.
No notice has been paid to the root causes of violence in the Black community. On CBS5, I suggested unemployment in the Black community is directly related to Black people being locked out of the public works construction and that white people might be in danger working in a Black community without a diversified crew.