ALICE GRIFFITH HOUSING (2/8/07)
Alice Griffith Public Housing was built in 1962 to accommodate military personnel. It was turned over to Housing and Urban Department (HUD) in 1974 who is turn leased the property to the SF Housing Authority. Through all this time the City and County of San Francisco has known more then they need to know about Alice Griffith.
Alice Griffith contains about 256 housing units and there are about 800 residents living in the guarded Public Housing complex. You cannot enter the complex unless you answer to the guard and if you are driving through the guard will take your license number and a few other pertinent details.
Today, most low income and no income folks live in Alice Griffith. Alice Griffith has been in the news for some time now and there has been a secret plan to demolish the entire housing complex build over 6500 homes, a new stadium, shopping malls, a 200 plus hotel this, that and the other. This vision is the brain child of Lennar Corp and Mayor Gavin Newsom and his cronies who have not been truthful and faithful to their commitment to serve the people of Alice Griffith who should never, ever be kept in the dark. The resident of Alice Griffith should be part of the process for one simple reason they live at Alice Griffith also know as Double Rock.
Not once during any deliberations, many held behind close doors have the authorities that be considered it pertinent to work with the community leaders and the residents of Alice Griffith. Lennar Corp, Sophie Maxwell, Kofi Bonner, Mayor Gavin Newsom, others mostly sellouts and especially Black sellouts should be ashamed of themselves.
I say this because many of them do not feel the pain of the poor and think they can act funny and react when they are told the truth but in fact they do humanity injustice. The truth is that the residents of Alice Griffith are confused because of mixed signals; do not trust most outsiders because again and again they have been taken for a ride. The residents can only empower themselves when the residents are sincerely helped with no ulterior attachments and no hidden agenda by any organization or City program. At this time the residents are in the dark. It does not matter what plans are made by anyone the people from Alice Griffith have the right to be consulted. No one should remove poor people from the last vestiges of low income housing and throw them into the streets. Too many folks from the Bayview Hunters Point have landed in Single Residential Occupancy (SROs) in the Tenderloin and too many have died elsewhere without a roof under their head. For the record Chris Daly has done right by helping poor people and he is White.
An important factor that no one is addressing is the diversity of the Alice Griffith Housing Complex. We have Asians, we have Samoans, we have Latinos, Whites, and African Americans - there has been no attempt to bring the community together. Some leaders have been chosen, other find out about meetings in a convoluted way, others are wondering what is happening - surely, this is not the way to do any business.
We, all as San Franciscans bear some responsibility for not doing enough for our fellow human beings that live in low income housing. San Francisco has always been a compassionate City but it is also a Racist city. We have a $5.7 billion dollar City budget and over 5000 small businesses are found in the Southeast Sector where income low and no income housing is available in plenty. The City has not invested to better the lives of low income residents of San Francisco in the Southeast Sector. 5000 small businesses pay taxes from the Southeast Sector. The City takes more and throws bread crumbs to the poor.
A long time ago the City and County of San Francisco could have easily built homes and given opportunities for the residents of low income to better themselves. The City has chosen to play politics and encourage corruption as was revealed in the many articles that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Examiner, other local San Francisco newspapers and the better online blogs and web sites.
The Alice Griffith Housing has a long history and in them lived many residents that have fond memories. Even today when you talk to the African Americans and the Samoans the two major communities that have lived there for a long time some as many as 30 years - they are not bashful to reveal the fond times and go down memory lane. Sophie Maxwell the lame duck District 10 Supervisor is all out to make money and has been on the take. There is no doubt that her relations with Roy Willis who worked for Lennar Corp as a consultant as acted as a conduit - for purposes other then the good of the community.
Sophie Maxwell loves her White constituents that live on Potrero Hill and has little to do with poor folks. The Samoans and the Blacks mostly poor do not trust her and when they find out what she tried to do to them - they will have nailed her own coffin.
Sophie Maxwell, tried to sneak in a Resolution that contained language that adversely impacted the residents of Alice Griffith directly to the Board of Supervisors. Sophie Maxwell with intent tried to keep the Alice Griffith residents out of the dialog and give power to such entities as Lennar Corp to harm the innocent residents of Alice Griffith. If, we few were NOT vigilant this woman would have had her way. Fortunately, we now will monitor her and see that she is kept on a leash.
Making matters worse for the residents that live at the Alice Griffith Housing - Communities of Opportunity (COO) - has the blessings of Mayor Gavin Newsom but does not have the blessings of the Board of Supervisors. COO does have the blessing on the lying Supervisor of District 10 - Sophie Maxwell but most poor folks consider her a Uncle Tom and a sell out.
We all know as the years go by the SF Housing Authority will be given less money. Its workforce will soon be twenty percent of what it was. In its prime the SF Housing Authority had a workforce of about 600 it now has around 250 personnel and that will be reduced to half next year.
The money given to maintain all public housing will be a trickle of what it was years ago. Section 8 and other types of amenities will disappear and any type of help or aid given to "low income" people and "no income" people will become non existent. Given these drastic situation it is right for the City to step up and help the resident from all low income housing. Missing in the equation is the Environmental Impact Report and a clean up of the areas that have adversely impacted low income housing. We can address the situation is only one way - take a holistic approach. We can spend billions fighting a war in Iraq that is none of our business but closer to home we cannot defend our Elders, our poor, and those that need help most. One critical issue facing our low and no income residents is good housing - devoid of fungi, bad plumbing, toilet leaks, roofs that leak, floors that need repairs, added rats and croaches you get the picture.
Traveling from 3rd Street to the Alice Griffith Housing is all level land leading to the complex. From the edge of the complex are landfills and the large parking area that accommodates hundreds of vehicles when the Candlestick Stadium has its games.
If it rains and you happen to be in this parking lot be sure to wade in a couple of inches of rain water. This land is prone to heavy flooding and you need not be a rocket scientist to reckon that it is prone to liquefaction.
Built in 1962 by the military the housing was never meant to be permanent. The City and County of San Francisco has failed in its responsibility to help those that need help most. It is quick to penalize the tax payer, gather large taxes - but very, very slow to help those that need some uplifting.
About a year ago suddenly the San Francisco City officials zeroed on Alice Griffith to make some superficial improvements. The roads in the complex were asphalted. A Center was built - the structure itself was barged from AT &T Park - a far off over the Bay. Even the Governor's wife paid Alice Griffith a visit. Hoopla never ever seen took place and some were wondering why. The crooks were preparing the way.
While Mayor Gavin Newsom was having his bouts with his drug, alcohol, women, and God knows what problems. Really, not returning calls talking to fake authorities while riding high - the 49ers and others were jerked around. There is only so much of pussyfooting that anyone can endure. Doctor John York and his Jed York have had enough of Mayor Gavin Newsom and the cronies that surround him. The same can be said of Lennar Corp and a few so called City attorneys that are playing with fire and adversely impacting the constituents of Alice Griffith and those of Bayview Hunters Point and Sunnydale.
In November, 2006 the 49ers told the City and Mayor Gavin Newsom and Lennar Corp to go take a HIKE. The 49ers were not ready to make San Francisco a site for any future stadium and lend their name to it. Folks like Angelo King and Sophie Maxwell were shocked but then fools on the take are always shocked when they do not serve the people but their own pockets.
The House Negros who bet on a plan with the 49ers and earlier with the failed Summer Olympic plans - now had nothing to fall upon - disaster had struck them one after another. These folks and I can name many more have never ever been for the people but for themselves. The pity is that most of them are Black and a disgrace to humanity. Adding to the disgrace many so called pastors who are on the take.
In the interim the crooks had grandiose plans to evict the low income residents and do as they please. Sophie Maxwell who loves to lie introduced a Resolution with clear language about Alice Griffith and the tearing down of the complex before the Board of Supervisors (BOS).
Espanola Jackson a long time advocate and Francisco Da Costa, Director of Environmental Justice Advocacy joined a number of Alice Griffith residents during Public Comment to request the issue of Alice Griffith be sent back to the Land Use and Economic Committee for discussion. It was simply unfair to introduce such a Resolution with far reaching policies that could mandate the removal of Alice Griffith Residents without a say.
The lying Sophie Maxwell who wanted to sneak this Resolution saw the writing on the wall and sent the Resolution back to Committee. The matter was heard before the Land Use Committee with a slick amendment offered to the Public at the eleventh hour. The amendment simple said : Further resolved, that any new development that involves the site of the current Alice Griffith Housing Development must provide the 1:1 replacement at existing income level of such housing and phase the development so that the residents of Alice Griffith Housing Development will be provided with new housing before they are required to leave their existing homes."
We want another amendment and we will get it. The new amendment will demand housing 1:1 and for all current low and no income residents of Alice Griffith. We will not stop short of that and fight this case for how ever it takes until we win on our terms.
Sophie Maxwell has not learned a lesson from the Maytag fiasco on Potrero Hill - trying to carve out projects to help big developers while trying to screw small time developers who live in the City and County of San Francisco by adding stupid encumbrances - defying logic.
Sophie Maxwell just won her seat and is a lame duck representative seeking to make as much money - taking money from folks like Lennar Corp, the Maytag mogul on Potrero Hill, massaged by the Boosters who will fanny up to her, she shops at Delirious at Potrero Hill and that says it all - Sophie Maxwell has no time or compassion for poor folks. She has all the time to be on the take.
Alice Griffith low income housing is one of the few areas that offer low income and no income housing. It is situated in the last frontier. The developers and Uncle Toms like Sophie Maxwell can go elsewhere fishing and tarnishing their conscience. Leave Alice Griffith alone.
So, can uneducated folks like Olin Webb whose one trip to South African armed with ignorance makes him an Environmentalist? He has failed before and will fail again and again with or without his racist remarks that make no sense. He surely does not represent nor has he worked for the Alice Griffith residents - we have never seen him at any of the meetings. He wants to back Dwayne Jones without any collateral. Alice Griffith was and is built on landfill. Any one can gauge that for themselves. Alice Griffith is low income and no income housing and must remain to help those that need help most. It is fine to build new housing on the site but the residents have to be accommodated on their terms and not shoved around.
In the meantime if any sincere organization with Transparency and Accountability need help the residents of Alice Griffith - Espanola Jackson and a host of other leaders will step up and serve the community and the worthy residents of Alice Griffith.
Sophie Maxwell came into the community in the late 1990s from the Haight Asbury area. She thinks White and has never, ever fought for the poor. Her idea is that everyone that is Black should be middle class. This is only possible if Black folks and other are given opportunities. Sophie is a pathetic liar, inept and ignorant, and time will tell when she is exposed.
Sophie Maxwell has tried too many times sneaking in legislation before the full Board WITHOUT proper hearings. This time we whipped her ass and we WILL whip her ass again and again in the future.
Dwayne Jones and the community.
Year old Alice Griffith Community Center.
Alice Griffith looking towards Candlestick Stadium.
Alice Griffith look towards the Shipyard.
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