THE STALWART ESPANOLA JACKSON - BAYVIEW HUNTERS POINT ADVOCATE (02/09/08)
Espanola Jackson has for years stood up for what is totally right. She not only stands up for what is right but she speaks her mind. On many occasions what history has not recorded - she being an institutional memory will lay it out - simply, clearly, and with a breath of fresh air.
Espanola Jackson celebrated her Seventy Years on this Earth and her Fifty Years as an advocate in San Francisco and her contribution to this Nation.
The celebration was held at Grace Tabernacle Community Church where she is now revered as Mother Jackson. Bishop Ernest Jackson is her pastor and good friend - First Lady Doris Jackson.
Espanola Jackson is well known among all circles but as most of you know - the higher political circles. She held the post as California State President of the Welfare Rights Movement and helped thousands of children and women.
She was responsible for the first City Wide Free Lunch Program in San Francisco. Again helping so many children and poor families.
She worked with Harry Britt on the Domestic Partners Legislation.
She formed and is on the Bayview Coordinating Council that has represented the Bayview Hunters Point when most others - failed.
She was on the team to build the Southeast Facility and still commands a say in the affair of this operation. She represents the First People the Muwekma Ohlone of San Francisco and the Bay Area.
She helped organize the first Earth Day in the Bayview Hunters Point.
She was instrumental in hiring paraprofessionals working with the SF Unified School District, including hall monitors and classroom aides in San Francisco Public Schools.
Espanola serves on the Executive Park Advisory Committee and has served for over Thirty years with distinction.
She was honored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, and Federal Woman's Program. She has been recognized and honored by the last Six Mayors of San Francisco.
Once at the SF General Hospital stood the brick buildings. Espanola and other helped build the newer buildings at SF General Hospital and when these buildings were completed - the City and County took it over. Today they are all due for seismic retrofitting.
A long time ago she worked with Rev. Duffy of Self Help for the Aging in implementing a partnership with MUNI for a Five Cents Senor Bus Fair and with Fosters and Manning Restaurants for seniors to purchase meals for Fifty Cents. Does that tell you how far long ago and how deep Espanola Jackson has been in the making of the history of San Francisco?
Five Generations were there to honor Espanola Jackson and the Church was half full with her relatives.
Espanola Jackson is the proud mother of Six Children, 22 Grand Children, Forty Four Great Grand Children, and One Great, Great Grand Child - now, there is an Army ready to do battle.
There were dignitaries and commendations from all levels of government and other institutions. Espanola Jackson was truly honored for her Labor, Life, Love, and genuine Legacy and rightly so.
It has been my singular privilege to know Espanola Jackson as my best friend. I value her friendship shown by her genuine deeds. For years we two have gone before so many Chairs and Meetings and have fought for the community. Had it not been for Espanola the Bayview Hunters Point would be poorer. Her voice makes a difference and is heard.
It is a rare privilege to work with some one who is Seventy Five years old but young at heart and mind. I feel comfortable talking with Espanola Jackson then perhaps anyone else. She can read my mind and often times this helps us win cases hands down - for the community.
There was a good spread especially prepared by First Lady Doris Jackson and appreciated by all. Kudos to her loving daughters and family for organizing this singular event and Espanola deserved it being an ICON.
The music, the dancing, the food, the speeches, the décor - was excellent.
I was listening to the many speeches made by the various speakers from all walks of life. It is rare that one is BLESSED to see the fruit of one's labor so loving given back in acknowledgement. It is so rare in LIFE to reap the fruits from the good seeds that were planted all these years.
Enjoy the photographs:
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