Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The bleaching of the City continues

Yesterday the Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community Committee with Black Lives Matter converged on San Francisco City Hall to force accountability "for the consistent indifference towards issues of education, poverty, gentrification, police brutality and mass incarceration in black communities."

Phelicia Jones from SEIU Local 1021 presided over a wide range of speakers.

Etecia Brown, organizer of December's #MillionsMarch protest presented an astonishing truth:

San Francisco is experiencing the fastest outmigration of Black residents since post-Katrina New Orleans.

Pastor Yul Dorn Sr. of the Emanuel Church of God in Christ, a lifelong San Franciscan, waved his own eviction papers, served today by some tentacle of the Chase bank empire. African Americans are 3 percent of San Francisco's current population, down from a high water mark of 13 percent in 1970. San Francisco sure wanted Black workers during World War II, but ever since other groups have been clawing back the Black toe-hold in this inflated real estate market.

Vanessa Banks is calling for a summit in October 2015 to work to change today's pipeline to prison for young people into a pipeline to success. "If you are Black or Brown, you are in as much danger now as your ancestors were back then."

Roberto Hernandez outlined the struggle in the Mission neighborhood where "8000 Latinos have been displaced over the last few years by 6000 tech workers."

Every speaker emphasized that, in San Francisco, the economic gulf between the affluent few (mostly white) and the less fortunate many (frequently of color) is yawning -- and growing. And the City is doing nothing about it.


Michael Strickland said...

Ah, we just missed each other. I checked out a bit of the Board of Supervisors meeting when it resumed at 3PM and watched a dispiriting inquisition of the SFMTA who were trying to get a contract approved by the Board with a security company for $38 million. The only problem was that the entire RFP process was laden with ethical no-no's, including the "winner" not being selected so Cypress Security could keep the contract. The contract was negotiated by a city worker who two years ago was WORKING for Cypress Security and was bragging about how they were going to "owe" him in emails.

Then there was an endless discussion about cures for the housing crisis in San Francisco which I watched at home on TV. It was hard to decide who was more odious, Scott Weiner or Malia Cohen as they pushed their sponsors' Build Lots of Market Rate Housing and it will all work out spiel.

Finally, Eticia Brown and her friends, who had sat through three hours of this crap, got up to the microphone for two minutes each of public comment, and they just eviscerated the Board in the smartest, most articulate fashion imaginable. Actually gave me some hope.

janinsanfran said...

Hi Mike: Yes. The crew whose wingding I tried to portray here struck me as some of the most grounded and effectual local activists I've seen for awhile.

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