Sunday, February 5, 2023
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Save the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

Few events reflect the priorities of elected officials more vividly than a budget crisis. It is during a budget crisis that policy-makers are forced to choose between the interests of powerful or popular constituencies and the needs of the less powerful and most vulnerable citizens. Presently, this drama is being played out in San Francisco, where social and legal services to the poor are being slashed while Police and Fire Department budgets are being protected. This Faustian bargain is displayed in Mayor Newsom's proposal $1.9 million cut to the Public Defender's budget, while adding $18 million to the Police Department budget.

Environmental justice advocates win major victory over Chevron in Richmond

Chevron's 107-year-old Richmond refinery is the largest industrial polluter in the region, and communities in Richmond, particularly low-income and communities of color, already suffer from industrial pollution-related health problems. Putting a halt on this expansion project will prevent increased pollution in Richmond and throughout the Bay Area.

A Japanese Rosa Parks at King Garvey Co-Op?

The residents of Martin Luther King - Marcus Garvey Cooperative Square Apartments, Inc. (King Garvey Co-op), who are also the shareholders of this housing complex in San Francisco's historically Black Fillmore district, known before redevelopment as "Harlem of the West," are being intimidated into a fraudulent deal that would turn over nearly $100 million in their families' assets to private developers with government connections.

Real Deal or No Deal: San Franciscans to march Wednesday against...

A march called Real Deal or No Deal, expected to be the biggest of the season, will take off at 3 p.m. Wednesday from Hallidie Plaza to City Hall. San Franciscans hit hard by the recession will join with city workers and the working poor to march against Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposed city budget.

Tutoring program brings youth and seniors together

In the Bayview, Experience Corps has partnered with Malcolm X Academy since 2004 and just expanded to Carver Elementary School at Oakdale and Keith. Of Carver's 285 students, only one in five are meeting the state standards in language arts and fewer than one in three meet standards in mathematics.

Study confirms that Public Defender Reentry Program saves money and lives

The first study to assess the impact of the San Francisco Public Defender's Office reentry social work program found that alternatives to incarceration, reduced sentencing and avoided jail days obtained as a result of reentry advocacy saved California state prisons over $5,000,000 and San Francisco County over $1,000,000.

Live from the Mehserle courtroom: an interview with Uncle Bobby, Oscar...

The female BART officer that was on that platform even stated in her testimony that she supposedly feared for her life, and she just knew that she was going to have to shoot somebody or kill somebody that night. Those were her words in court. The judge said: "Hold up. Wait a minute, who were you going to shoot first?"

Caravan for Justice III brings the heat to the lawmakers

Signs reading "Justice for Oscar Grant," "Abolish the Three Strikes Law" and "Demandamos Justicia Ya!" floated above a sea of ralliers of different ages, religious beliefs, genders and ethnicities. From Bakersfield up to Sacramento, activists, teachers and family members came together to rally against laws that have failed to serve the betterment of their communities.

Words of wisdom: an interview wit’ legendary Frisco rapper Black C...

Legendary Frisco rapper Black C has out-survived two of his group mates in Ruthless By Law (R.B.L.), Mr. Cee and Hitman (RIP), who were murdered at different times, and still continues to put out good music and has another powerhouse squad under construction, The Malitia.

‘If we can imagine the injustice, then we can have justice’

I was sitting in San Francisco, something like halfway between England and its former convict colony, Australia, when I stumbled on news that the Queen of England had placed former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, one of President George Bush's closest allies, very near the top of her list of 458 Australian birthday honors on June 9, just eight days after Australia's new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd finally pulled the last of the Australian troops that John Howard had, in 2003, committed to our Iraq War.

No blood for oil! No blood for natural gas!

The current plan to launch yet another environmental assault on Bayview Hunters Point, with three natural gas turbine combustion power plants, and yet another at the San Francisco International Airport, was tabled for two weeks by the Board of Supervisors.

Freedom West co-op shareholders fight HUD, Redevelopment displacement tactics

As the struggle to defend Black-owned land in San Francisco has hit a fevered pitch in Bayview Hunters Point through the work of resident activists, popular support for Proposition F – the “Truly Affordable Housing Initiative” – and the Stop Lennar Action Movement, shareholding residents of Freedom West Homes are bracing for a similar fight in one of the last vestiges of affordable housing in the Fillmore/Western Addition. This article honors their requests for anonymity.

Falling through the cracks: Budget cuts leave no safety net for...

It has often been said that prevention is the best medicine. But there are many obstacles in life which prevent this age-old truism from being put into practice – ignorance, laziness and something of an entirely different order – budget cuts.

Message of gang injunctions: ‘We don’t want you here’

On Sept. 18, at the Civic Center Courthouse, two judges presided over hearings to determine if gang injunctions proposed earlier this summer by City Attorney Dennis Herrera would go into effect. The injunctions target two communities of color – the Mission and Fillmore districts – where, according to city officials, gang activity has created such a public nuisance that implementing injunctions has become necessary to restore the peace.