SAN FRANCISCO AND THE RECENT KILLINGS AND SHOOTINGS
AND OTHER ADVERSE IMPACTS
The City and County of San Francisco should protect the constituents of San Francisco and pay special attention to health and safety issues. While from time to time some attention has been drawn to the shootings and killings all over the City and County of San Francisco little or no attention has been paid to Quality of Life issues that adversely impact the youth and the adults when it comes to good jobs, quality skills, good recreation facilities, health issues, quality food products, and the other vital support that any constituent should have to lead a normal healthy and safe life.
Public Housing all over the City and County of San Francisco have been neglected for years and while Mayor Gavin Newsom purports to have done some changes the conditions of those that live in Public Housing is growing dangerous day by day. The people must be empowered to take their own destiny into their hands and make good stuff happen.
I attended the latest SPIN show put up for the Media where Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke about the recent crime statistics at Northern Police Station. While the figures the Mayor stated did reflect a slight change for the better in the killings that have taken place this year compared to last year the figures that the Mayor had on that day did not mention the recent killings in the last weeks. Adding those few killings do make a great difference and to added fuel to fire the timing could not have come at a worse time because a couple of hours before the Press Conference a dead body was found not far away from the meeting site.
The Press Conference was held to impress the Press and the San Francisco Press has been devoid of investigative reporting related to the killings and shootings. Most of the Press Representatives are White and as much as they may try to figure out the adverse affects and horrible conditions in the high crime areas they always fall short because they are strangers to turf and all that the turf means to those that are close to it. Hence the very general shallow statements and double standards from the Press. Quite the opposite when a crime takes place in a neighborhood that has richer folks that live and have clout at every level. Mayor Gavin Newsom made no mention of recent shootings when on two separate occasions two Samoan women were shot and killed at Hunters Point. Both victims were visiting San Francisco and both were mistaken as an enemy that were in the neighborhood to engage other gang members in an on going feud that has put fear in the hearts of many innocent folks.
Mayor Gavin Newsom made no mention of the shooting of another Samoan just 20 years old an incident that took place in Sunnydale. According to the Mayor no killings took place recently in Sunnydale or as he put it Visitation Valley! I know once it consults some one he will find out the truth.
It is imperative that public officials learn to speak the truth and have as their facts proven data. While none of us want one single killing to take place and abhor the shootings and killings the Press should know what exactly is happening. Painting a rosy picture does not encourage the Press to pursue investigative reporting and delve into the deeper issues that adversely impact the whole City and County of San Francisco.
Many of us applaud the role of Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi who not only asks the pertinent question but genuinely is concerned about any killing or shooting that takes place in his district. I wish we could say that of the most inept, ignorant, and arrogant Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. The woman is so out of touch of reality that she has failed her constituents and her actions are now affecting many other areas and pertinent issues of daily living.
Of late some of us have been doing outreach to certain hot spots that have very high statistics linked to crime and that include shootings. The despair that we see is so apparent and no one is really doing any meaningful outreach that helps the constituents. The youth especially are left to fend for themselves and the dealing and selling of drugs and other illegal stuff keeps the daily routine of those that cannot find jobs and earn a decent living paying taxes and getting a legal salary.
Shots sometimes the ring and I have crunched while those that are used to it do not move and blink an eye. Crime has become part of daily living even as those that are used to the violence on the streets of Iraq and Baghdad. It pains the heart of see young children left to fend for themselves. On closer inspection many have not had a meal and still others have no father. Single mothers carry the burden of bringing in the money and more putting food on the table. Clothing the children, trying to send them to school, paying health bills and some how maintaining some discipline.
Our outreach has led us to study a pattern of youth some as old as 10 to 13 years who go in and out of the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Department. African Americans, Polynesians, Asians, Whites, Latinos it does not matter. Somehow the incarceration of our youth and this revolving door they go in and out and in and out and then they are sent to be incarcerated as adults to another State at an expensive of around $45,000 per youth.
Many of these youth come to the hood after years of incarceration and when they arrive they want to be free. The freedom they think they want to have is not freedom but license. Most of them so fed up with society for treating them bad when in the first place they made the wrong choices themselves.
But there is no arguing with these young he and she thugs all they see is themselves - the way they want to see their world. Drugs, guns, and all the crimes that we read in our daily incidents reports all over the City and County of San Francisco speak for themselves.
The crimes carry over to businesses carries over to our Public Transportation system, to our shopping malls, to clubs, to schools, to any areas where most peaceful constituents congregate. Here in San Francisco the killings and shootings may have dropped a wee bit but the general health and safety situation has worsened. Long time residents will tell you the truth one has just to ask them. Many stay at home and are hostage to what goes around them.
When cars and homes are stolen and vandalized it affects the health of the constituents. When one lives in fear it affects the health of the constituents. When good youth cannot go to school and live in the fear of she and he thugs it affects the health of the constituents. When our Elders cannot walk the streets and have to watch over their shoulders least they be robbed or assaulted it affects their health. I hope the Law Enforcement Agencies, the Mayor, the City Officials understand the depth of the seriousness of other rampant and increasing crimes that affects good tax paying constituents. Millions of dollars are given to Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to help the community and the youth. It is a shame when we have so much good that can be done with money that could do good we have some CBOs that will pocket the money and spend it on outreach and other projects that are not conducive to general Health and Safety of the neighbors, neighborhoods, and our children.
A glaring example is Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ). They have wasted over $350,000 at Heronıs Head Park also known as Pier 98. They received the money that should have gone to help our constituents in the Public Housing and around the poor neighborhoods. But what LEJ does is it defies long time environmentalists like Espanola Jackson and harms our children by taking them to a toxic dump that is Pier 98.
LEJ is being helped in this quest by San Francisco Environment (SFE), Annie Eng the point person at SFE and a host of City officials that do not understand the plight of the poor living in and around Pier 98.
While most people can understand the logic and the relationship between guns and killings many do not dig deeper to evaluate the pollution that surrounds them and which can trigger health situations that lead to crime. Hypertension and a host of respiratory diseases weaken the immune system and steroids and other chemicals can and do trigger people to get angry and commit crimes. We see this in our schools and we see it on the playing fields. We see on our streets and we take it for granted that such abnormal behaviors will go away.
No one wants to treat our youth that are poor with dignity. I have been monitoring the situation of over 10 years and every year the situation grows worse. It is simply wrong for CBOs that take money to help the youth and use the money for other purposes other then servicing the youth. The City and County of San Francisco and the Mayorıs Office have now established some protocol with the SF City Controller Office taking the lead but we have yet to enforce the regulations governing all non-profits and those that receive over $250,000 from the City and County of San Francisco. In the case of LEJ with NO business plan they spent the money on architects, fake outreach, and other administrative expenses thinking they have no one to be accountable to. This has been the case with other CBOs that fail to comply, do not fill out the evaluation documents, do not maintain any standard and yet year after year get money. No accountability and no transparency.
Our City and County of San Francisco has a 5 billion dollar budget. Millions of dollars are collected in property taxes. Over 60 percent of the constituents in District 10 own homes yet we see poor services and the exploitation of the environment.
All the power plants the City wants to have they have them placed in the Southeast Sector that technically adversely impacts a 6 mile radius. We now have two power plants and soon San Francisco Public Utilities Commission wants to add 3 Combustion Peakers using very expensive fossil fuel at an expense of over $200 million.
Added to that we have a Superfund site that is Hunters Point Naval Shipyard that SFE says is a Shipyard but no Superfund Site. SFE Director who has no clue blatantly states most of the Shipyard at Hunters Point has been cleaned. It really is difficult to have a dialog with so called supposedly informed City Officials that are ignorant on issues.
Of course over $300 million were spent in the previous clean up but most of the money was stolen by International Technologies (IT). Even today with the $200 million present budget at Hunters Point Shipyard the clean up is very slow.
One would require over a Billion Dollars to clean up Parcel E. But folks like Jared Blumenfeld and some other City Officials are in favor of development much as Sophie Maxwell is they do not care about the Cumulative Pollution Impacts, care less about liquefaction and still less about Quality of Life issues.
Some of us have to move forward and we cannot bang our heads and pull our hair and pretend we are making progress when the City and County of San Francisco has no clue on some critical decision they are making that will adversely impact thousands in the years to come. One of them is Parcel A. It is simply wrong to build 1600 homes in the middle of Chernobyl. It is simply wrong not to factor the Cumulative Pollution factors. It is completely wrong to ignore the constituents that live in and around Parcel A that are now suffering from cancer and a multitude of other serious ailments
Many fail to make a deep connection between pollution, serious diseases, and crime. This is one serious problem and it has been around for years in San Francisco. The San Francisco Health Department does not want to hear nor serve the people around Hunters Point. Recently we had a raging fire that covered over 70 acres. The Navy said 3 acres. No one came to test the air, the water, and the people not the City and County of San Francisco and no mention was made in the newspapers even though the media had some reports. Recently another large fire at Yosemite Slough the site of high levels of PCBs. No mention in the Press and no mention in the media.
Killings and shootings, hypertension, all sorts of crime, poor living conditions, all have their roots and have to be taken care of. Mayor Gavin Newsom continues to play to SPIN and the MEDIA but the truth will come to bite him in the butt. I know he loves that but hope he learns the TRUTH sooner then later.
He keeps making statements that his enemies and those that do not like him put him down. I do not think there is an iota of truth in that statement and he made one at the recent Press Conference on Crime. He feels like he is treating all symptoms as if each of them is minor and that the good, bad, and ugly are all the same. He surely talks the talks but I am waiting for the day or night when he can walk the walk. Today our children are dying. Many more children of color incarcerated. We cannot look away and do nothing about it. Who will challenge those that can do some good but do not have the balls to step up to the podium?