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Mario Woods, 26, executed by SFPD in his own hood

The community is outraged at the execution of young brother Mario K. Woods. On Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, at the young age of 26, Mario Woods was gunned down by SFPD, the largest gang in San Francisco. Chief Greg Suhr didn’t even claim his officers feared for their lives, saying only that Mario “could not be allowed to move away from the scene.” Surrounded by 10 or more officers and shot over 25 times – that is not fearing for your life or safety; that’s overkill, that’s murderous behavior – and the community is demanding the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr!

Wanda’s Picks for December 2015

It is amazing how time flies whether one is moving or standing still. One looks up and sees, suddenly it seems, friends celebrating 70 and 75 or 80 or even 90-plus milestones. Wow! What a blessing that is. And while we also see the fullness of time’s passage in the lives of those who have decided to move on, too often we are caught by surprise, our mouths hung open, the words we could have said … deeds left undone.

Win transit justice: Lateefah for BART!

Over 200 community members, activists, union members, transportation experts, family and friends flocked to Oakland’s New Parish for non-profit leader Lateefah Simon’s kick-off fundraiser for her 2016 campaign to join the BART Board of Directors. Despite running as a first-time candidate, Simon has already built a broad coalition that includes some of the Bay Area’s top elected officials and civic leaders. True to her reputation as a tireless community advocate, Simon spoke passionately about her personal connection to BART and her commitment to transit justice for working people.

Imprisoned on Treasure Island

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.

‘Went in like Gestapo’: Sonoma sheriffs’ bloody rampage

A federal lawsuit was filed on Oct. 6 demanding damages and relief for prisoners assaulted and tortured by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies inside the county jail on May 28, 2015. The plaintiffs, Marqus Martinez and Daniel Banks, were two of at least 20 prisoners viciously beaten in the jail’s Administrative Segregation (high security) section on that day. Other abused inmates may join the suit.

More street trees coming to Bayview Hunters Point in November

Business owners, property owners and residents of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood have until Oct. 5 to sign up to receive a street tree in the planting that Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) is organizing for Nov. 7. People who have eligible sites in front of their properties can save money by participating in FUF’s neighborhood tree planting program; most of the costs are covered by grants, government funding and private donations.

How big money stole Richmond’s renters’ protections in less than a...

Now that the California Apartment Association (CAA) has blocked the implementation of renters’ protections, including rent control and just cause eviction protections, in Richmond, thousands of renters are at risk of being severely exploited with massive rent increases. Additionally, thousands more are now at risk of displacement and homelessness due to no-cause evictions.

Part Two: She was homeless, so cops and Child Protective Services...

Loud pounding exploded on Liz Washington’s townhouse door on Treasure Island one day in 2005. A large African-American woman stood outside on the stoop. When her children's father cracked open the door, four burly male cops stormed in from behind her and pushed their way into the house. The worker announced coldly, “Someone at the school called CPS on you. I’m here to take your kids.”

Midtown Park Apartments residents, promised ownership, rally against 300% rent increase

On Monday, June 29, over a hundred working class families of Midtown Park Apartments were joined by community activists, concerned citizens and legal advisors for a rally in support of over 55 households whose rent increased 300 percent. The only such property that is owned by the City, Midtown’s original intent by then Supervisors Diane Feinstein and Ella Hill Hutch was to transform this complex into an equity cooperative – a promise that never materialized.

Just cause eviction protections and rent control supported by Richmond City...

On Tuesday, June 23, the Richmond City Council vote was 4 to 2. The vote in support of just cause eviction protections and rent control was the culmination of a yearlong effort to fight back against gentrification, greedy landlords and real estate profiteers targeting renters with huge rent increases and 30-day no cause evictions. Just cause eviction protections and rent control already exist in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and other cities in California.

On the 23rd of every month, Californians demand, ‘End solitary confinement!’...

On May 23, 2015, families and loved ones of people in solitary, community organizations and prisoner-class human rights advocates once again mobilized Statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement (SCATESC) throughout California and in Pennsylvania. Since the actions began on March 23, 2015, over 30 organizations – statewide, nationwide and worldwide – became co-sponsors, 45 endorsed, and the movement keeps growing.

Verlie Mae Pickens: Celebrating my 99th birthday!

Ms. Verlie Mae Pickens will be celebrating her 99th birthday on June 11, 2015! A resident of San Francisco for 66 years and a community leader in the Bayview and throughout San Francisco, Ms. Pickens serves as an inspiring role model for all of us. Ms. Verlie Mae Pickens, we in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco and the nation and world deeply honor you and wish you a happy 99th birthday! We salute you!

ReBUTTal: The arguments for rent control in Richmond

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt has set himself up to be the spokesman for landlords in a campaign against rent control in Richmond. The jump in Richmond rents the past few years, reflecting trends in the Bay Area, has produced new calls for the progressive city council to respond with rent control and “just cause” requirements for eviction. The mayor’s arguments are classic examples of misusing numbers and logic.

Apple lifts ban on construction workers with felony convictions, must do...

We commend Apple for taking prompt action to change a facially discriminatory policy. The Cupertino campus project, expected to yield thousands of construction jobs, can still provide a unique opportunity for Apple to support the local economy and provide work for an underserved population. It is not too late for Apple to right a wrong, prove its commitment to inclusion, and become a leader on fair hiring practices.

California: For rich people only?

Thousands of families, elders and babies across the state are under attack by the concerted forces of gentrification and removal by the white-supremacist nation that would like to remove us all. From police terror to the acts of elder and child abuse caused by eviction to the endless building of prisons and militarizing of these colonizer created borders leaves us all asking who is this shiny state being built for?

Wanda’s Picks for April 2015

Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.

AIDS group’s Castro billboards with Dr. King’s image have whites-only feel

Report after report reminds and warns the Black community that AIDS is not yet under control for the Black population. However, when I saw several new 6-foot-by-4-foot billboard ads in the Castro district of San Francisco this past week with the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. under the heading, “AIDS is a civil rights issue,” I first thought, “Well, that’s a stretch.”

Performing Arts Workshop’s Beats of the Bayview coming Friday at 3rd...

This Friday, March 20, 5-7 p.m., our students will grace the main stage at 3rd on Third – the Bayview’s free arts and culture celebration at Mendell Plaza, Third and Palou. For our students, it’s an honor – and a very big deal – to perform in front of their families, friends and neighbors. Will you join the cheer squad?

On leaving solitary confinement after 26 years, I salute all the...

Today, Jan. 23, 2015, I appeared before the Director’s Review Board and I was granted release from PBSP SHU (Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit) after 26 years in solitary confinement. I’m to be transferred to Salinas Valley State Prison, where I’ll be able to have human contact and new experiences and hopefully be able to re-meet my family.

Legendary ‘Queen of Fillmore’ Leola King leaves proud legacy of struggle against...

Leola King brought memorable class and dignity to every business she operated during a 50-year career in San Francisco. Most of the Black people here now know nothing positive of what it was like to walk and live amongst the greatness we had created there on Fillmore Street. Redevelopment viciously undermined and ripped Mrs. King’s fortune away. Her funeral is Friday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m., at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister, the repast 4-7 p.m. at West Bay Conference Center, 1290 Fillmore St., San Francisco.