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Our story begins on any weekday morning in the mid 1940s, when thousands of men, migrants from the American South to “Frisco,” converged upon the gates of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on their way to work. To do their jobs building and repairing ships for the biggest employer in the San Francisco Bay Area during the war time economic boom. By 1908, the San Francisco Drydock, operating at the shipyard, had become “the world’s greatest shipping yard.”
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.
RAD is the newest in a long line of multi-billion-dollar poverty industry ponzi schemes aimed at gentrifying public housing and leaving the poorest of the poor with nowhere to live. On Oct. 14, HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who wrote RAD, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor London Breed held a back-slapping press conference to celebrate the implementation of RAD “to re-envision, revitalize and rebuild the city’s public housing.”
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.
In 1999, San Francisco cops pounded on Liz Washington’s door and burst in with their hands on their guns. “It was like they were going to be in a shoot-out,” said Liz. Flourishing an unreadable paper that she could not identify as a warrant, they snatched her three children, literally grabbing her nursing infant from her arms. This brutal act began the chain of events that ended with the family’s long imprisonment on Treasure Island.
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.
Us poor folks are tired of being spoken for, spoken about, criminalized and removed! We walk and talk self-determination and we are seeking a conscious law firm to help public housing tenants bring a precedent-setting law suit to establish our equity.
The plan to privatize and sell our public housing projects in San Francisco and across the nation is harmful to the poor, elderly and disabled, including the thousands of union workers who have spent years maintaining our public housing units. Thousands of union workers are presently facing job losses due to public housing privatization schemes.
On Wednesday, April 8, at 9 a.m., after weeks of last minute legal maneuvers, unanswered calls to the mayor and multiple pleas for a pro bono lawyer to save the single mama Sabrina Carter and her three sons from one of the most unjust evictions I have ever witnessed, we were exhausted. The San Francisco sheriffs were outside her door in the Plaza East apartments to change the locks and throw her and her sons into the street.
Think of Treasure Island as an iridescent green glowing ghost ship whose prow divides the blue waves as it navigates San Francisco Bay waters gliding northwest under the Golden Gate Bridge. On the tidy front lawn of your market rate or low income Site 12 rental brought to you courtesy of The John Stewart Co., it is as if you are standing at the bow of the radioactive vessel as it carries its toxic contents ever forward into a stunning red-gold sunset.
Because the Democrats joined the Republicans in allowing the sequestration budget cuts to continue in the latest political deal known as a “continuing resolution” that ended the government shutdown on Oct. 16, it appears to be a very grim situation for Section 8 voucher holders in cities all across the nation. Housing officials claim that 140,000 voucher holders are at risk of losing their vouchers because of the sequestration budget cuts.
The attack on low-income families in the Section 8 voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program) in Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco and across the nation intensified Sept. 27 when the U.S. Senate voted to continue with the catastrophic across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration with their vote for the Reid-Mikulski Amendment No. 1974 to House Joint Resolution 59.
A judicial decision handed down today effectively ends the San Francisco Housing Authority’s use of city-wide nuisance injunctions and dismisses all pending criminal cases against alleged violators, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and ACLU of Northern California Legal Director Alan Schlosser announced.
Preliminary numbers from the 2010 Census put the remaining African American population for the city of San Francisco at around 3.9 percent! How did we get to this point? Why are we leaving this city in such droves? Why isn’t City Hall doing more to stop the mass exodus of African Americans from this city? Join the discussion on ‘The State of Black San Francisco’ – screening of ‘Straight Outta Hunters Point’ and panel discussions – at the Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St., SF, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2-5 p.m., child care provided.
We don’t need to be “given” a voice. We have a voice. What we don’t have is our own radio transmitters, television and radio broadcasts, and TV stations. PNN is the voices of people who are never heard.
“I have been working in the Housing Authority for over 20 years. We do not work with Indians, Indian tribes or the Indian Child Welfare Act. Never have ... never will,” said a case worker at the SF Housing Authority to Myron Standing Bear, father of two and Native American social worker.
Tonight is a night of rejoicing in San Francisco’s Black heartland, Bayview Hunters Point. After more than a decade of fighting the land-grabbing Lennar cabal – Florida-based mega-homebuilder Lennar and its sponsors, Mayor Gavin Newsom, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, richest member of the U.S. Senate Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Lennar partner Richard Blum – we the people of the poorest neighborhood in filthy rich Frisco finally won one.
The San Francisco Housing Authority is spending $5 million to create hundreds of jobs where many of us live. But Blacks will be excluded unless Black contractors can borrow from a loan fund so they can hire Black workers. Pack the Housing Commission meeting Thursday, May 14, 4 p.m., at 440 Turk St. to demand our fair share.