SAN FRANCISCO'S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AND BAYVIEW HUNTERS POINT (4/14/08)
The San Francisco Human Rights Commission was formed and established in the Bayview Hunters Point in the early 1960s. It all started when Fast Food establishments like Mel's Drive In and Ford and other car dealers would not employ and treated most Blacks and others of color with disdain.
After the Human Rights Commission was created Car Dealers did employ Blacks and food and other establishments changed their hiring policies. Blacks of course played an important role in the changes and most of those that did were influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.
San Franciscans have to be reminded that the newer wing of the San Francisco General Hospital was built by a non-profit organization from the Bayview Hunters Point. I often make this point. When the newer wing was built the San Francisco City and County was quick to take over the newly built wing and relegated the work of the Bayview Hunters Point advocates to the dust bin.
In the early nineteen twenties much after the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC) was moved to twenty five Van Ness - some of us advocates went to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to remind the SF HRC of the many injustices in the Bayview Hunters Point after all these years.
The then Director of SF HRC Virginia Harmon did not look too favorably upon our request. We did remind her of the Unfinished Agenda and other atrocities committed on the Bayview Hunters Pont residents. We of course were quick to point out about the Superfund Site that is the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Cumulative Pollution - the fact is our community has been dumped upon.
Adversely affecting the community - the Phelps Raw Sewage Treatment Plant, then we had the two Power Plants the Mirant Power Plant and the Hunters Point Power plant that has since shut down. The over four hundred toxic hot spots outside the Shipyard and the quality of air that adversely impacts many, including mostly children and seniors and brings about the many respiratory diseases so prevalent in the Bayview Hunters Point.
At about this time some journals and newspapers report about the high rate of Asthma, still born children, and the many hospitalization - all well known to the SF HRC, the SF Health Commission, the SF Health Department and of course other Regulatory Agencies both Local, State and Federal.
As with the Unfinished Agenda that dealt with the plight of Blacks in San Francisco and which has recently led to thousands leaving San Francisco - there was no follow up. The SF HRC has no clout and really no enforcement powers. It is like those many corrupt leaders - that talk the talk but cannot walk the walk.
In the course of time because of our visit to the SF HRC - workshop teams were created and I helped this project and so did others like Andrew Bozeman and Espanola Jackson. A report was created on Environmental Racism and that was the extent of that project and the on going Environmental Racism that has worsened in recent years and months. It has reached saturation a saturation point.
In recent years the SF HRC has spent too much of its valuable time on life style issues. I have nothing against Queer Issues and the improvement of sound relations and protecting those that need help most. A holistic approach is better - spreading fairness, equality, and embracing all segments of the population. Everyone must be treated fairly by the enforced laws and regulations.
Our City was named after San Francis Assisi - and that says a lot. It also belongs to the First People the Muwekma Ohlone that I represent and stands for fairness.
I also see the need to follow up and address Environmental Racism all over the City and County of San Francisco but more in the Bayview Hunters Point. The so called Out Migration (linked to Blacks) report now revisited is really all addressed in the Unfinished Agenda report - that is collecting dust on the shelves and with the exception of a few that have read it - the report is waiting for some one to act on it.
The SF HRC under Virginia Harmon acted and committed some egregious acts. One that I will not forget is the treatment given to Kevin Williams who at one time was the Chief Compliance Office at the San Francisco Airport. Virginia Harmon was his Secretary.
Some of us remember the case of Nooses that were found at the San Francisco Airport and later at some of our Water Treatment Plants. The targets were Black employees and Black Contractors. The SF HRC was very slow to act and because Kevin Williams acted - he was demoted.
Stripped of his power he had to report to Twenty five Van Ness for over two years. He punched in at 9 am and left at 5 pm. His office was a dungeon on the top floor - small office, fifteen by fifteen and there the man bid his time before he could take his early retirement.
What a waste of talent from the brilliant Black man - well respected by all but a victim for standing for what was right. He took a stand against the Racism that this City and Count of San Francisco - encouraged. I often went to see him and as I a visitor - I checked in and Virginia Harmon kept a track of my visits.
Some one must investigate this case linked to Kevin Williams who has chosen to go under the radar and has cut off all links with many of his friends. This City and County of San Francisco - the SF HRC under Virginia Harmon destroyed this handsome, very intelligent, well educated - very talented Black Brother.
In recent years I have spoken against the Lennar Corporation because the SF Human Rights Commissioners and Commission have failed to fight for our children and Elders. Lennar bombarded with INTENT our community with heavy metals such as lead, mercury and asbestos fibers that has impacted thousands.
The SF HRC is fully aware that we the constituents of Bayview Hunters Point went before the SF Redevelopment Agency, the SF Land Use and Economic Committee, the SF Board of Supervisors, the SF Health Commissioners, the SF Unified School District, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the many Local, Federal and State Regulatory entities.
The San Francisco Unified School District and especially Board Member Eric Mar introduced a Resolution that mandated the testing of our children - adversely impacted by the actions of the Lennar Corporation. Also, immediately halting the work project to eliminate further adverse impacts to all San Franciscans.
Mayor Gavin Newsom and the SF Board of Supervisors were shocked when the entire San Francisco Unified School District - Board of Education, unanimously voted in favor of the Bayview Community and against the actions of the Lennar Corporation.
A few week later - the SF Youth Commission placed the same through Resolution on the table and unanimously again - voted in favor of the children, the Elders, and the constituents of the Bayview Hunters Point.
The SF Human Rights Commissioners and Director fully cognizant of what was happening knew about the adverse impacts to the Bayview Hunters Point but really to all of San Francisco. No one chose to stand up for what is right among the SF HRC. We will appear before the SF Human Rights Commission soon and take a stand for what is right.
The SF Human Rights Commission has been slow to stand up for what is right. The reason is simple - it takes its directives from the Mayor of San Francisco and other high placed authorities like the Pacific Heights Mafia who control what happens at City Hall and in Room 200.
The SF HRC is impotent and has no clout. Recently, it could have approached me directly but chose to malign my name - having no clue the many years I have stood for Human Rights - many time alone fighting for Environmental Issues and other issues where most people do not dare to take a stand.
The President of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission has heard me represent the First People of San Francisco - the Muwekma Ohlone in the presence of Espanola Jackson and hundreds of the First People who trust and respect me.
He has heard me stand for the Iranian professionals detained and ill treated at the San Francisco Airport. I initiated a Congressional and I also stated that at, the said hearing that I would do so.
We cannot permit those that make huge amount of money by using child labor in India and yet bragging about the flag stores selling garments stained by the blood of those that work like slaves - here in San Francisco is where they have their headquarters.
We must speak out against those who want to build high rise buildings, use high density, tax increment, the corrupt and disdained SF Redevelopment Agency, and take over the last frontier and that includes Candlestick Point. Many of these have links to the Pacific Heights Mafia. Who will take a stand and speak the TRUTH?
Why has there been no hue and cry when within the SF HRC - Kevin Williams was imprisoned for over two years. Made to come to work and given no regular work or assignment?
Who is responsible for harming this intelligent Black man and all within the confines of the San Francisco Human Rights building on the top floor at Twenty Five Van Ness?
Hundreds of trees were clear cut on Parcel A and the SF HRC knows about this but chose not to speak out. Similarly, old growth Red Wood Forest has been cut down for money by some that belong to the Pacific Heights Mafia. Greed is all they are interested in. Yet, they pretend they are for Green but more for Green that is tainted money.
The SF HRC has access to thousands of health reports, thousands of Incident Reports, Empirical Data linked to Cumulative Pollution. Surely, the SF HRC has read the Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) linked to Parcel A and seen how the Rogue Company - Lennar has reneged failing to provide rental units, wasting money from the Community Benefits Fund, making promises and keeping none of them.
Chris Iglesias who is my friend and now heads the SF HRC - once worked for the SF Redevelopment Agency, then was Director of City Build, and now has been the Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission - is duty bound to report to all San Franciscans: 1. Why has the Lennar Corporation failed to abide by the DDA and why has it chosen with intent to slowly kill and poison our children and Elders in the Bayview Hunters Point area and beyond since 2004.
2. When will the SF HRC address the Unfinished Agenda and the results of the current Out Migration report. Blacks once stood at thirty four percent in San Francisco - now reduced to less then five percent. The number is spiraling and the sell outs and others have not said a word and less taken a stand. Among them the many pastors that parade in their flashy blue and pink suits and are on the take - one sits on the SF HRC Commission.
3. Surely the SF HRC is cognizant of the high crime in the Bayview Hunters Point. Recent tally of killings and shooting points to the number Thirty Four killed - but it could be more. Hundreds more die and are not recorded under this category. What is the SF HRC doing about this sad plight of the sad state of Quality of Life Issues?
4. The Bayview Hunters Point has a Treatment Plant that daily emits Methane Flares into the air. One ton of toxic Methane Gas equals adverse impacts done by twenty two tons of Carbon Dioxide. Who is monitoring this Carbon foot print of sorts? What has the SF HRC and its Commissioners to say about this situation - we brag to be a Green City?
5. Thousands of decent, hard working families have left San Francisco. We have had no report from the SF HRC on these families. Could we focus on Straight Families as much as we have on the Queer Community leaving the others aside? Theresa Sparks did much good work and knows what I stand for.
6. The SF HRC have Compliance Officers working for SF Public Utilities Commission, the SF Port Authority, the SF Airport Authority, they are supposed to monitor work sites. Can we get a detail report about one site? The site at Hunters Point - the Apartment Investment Management Company (AIMCO)? Can we find out why one person was shot and killed? The many assaulted and the Incident Reports from the SF Police Department? Why Latinos were pitied against Blacks and why there pay checks were used to defraud the workers? The role of Local Union 22?
7. Why so many schools in the Bayview Hunters Point are are being closed? Is the SF Human Rights Commission really concerned about our children in the Bayview Hunters Point but also around the City of San Francisco?
8. Has the SF Human Rights Commission studied the plight of poor folks that live in horrible conditions because of the lack of rental units? While one Art University without permits has taken over thousands of rental units, modified rental units without permits - while accommodating student from abroad and all over the States at the expense of those that may have stayed and contributed to San Francisco as San Franciscans?
9. We have over Nine Hundred Miles of Sewer Pipes and over Two Thousand Miles of Clean Water Pipes over Seventy Five Years old and polluting the Water Shed. I suppose being a Green City the SF Human Rights Commissioners have some idea about what I am talking about - so what is the SF HRC doing about this?
10. Do we have a moral compass that can take us to a better place? Are we educated on issues? Is the SF HRC a rubber stamp entity that is controlled by Room 200 at City Hall, Big Developers, the Pacific Heights Mafia, the Zionists and other such bodies with a hidden agenda?
Remember the San Francisco Human Rights Commission started in the Bayview Hunters Point. When it started it had soul but now it is a zombie - stumbling, falling, and drowning in the cesspool of its own making.