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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gentrification and related issues facing the community in the Southeast Sector.

GENTRIFICATION AND RELATED ISSUES FACING THE COMMUNITY IN THE SOUTHEAST SECTOR OF SAN FRANCISCO.

The southeast Sector of San Francisco has been suffering a lot from neglect.

The present economy has made things - worse. This City of San Francisco can bring about some change - but, has deemed necessary to play games and look the other way.

When Mayor Gavin Newsom was the Mayor of San Francisco - Gavin Newsom failed to read the "Unfinished Agenda" that dealt with all the problems most Blacks faced when other Mayors were in office too - in the years that preceded - him.

That document the "Unfinished Agenda" revealed in details the plight of the Blacks and what would happen - if nothing was done.

So, when Mayor Gavin Newsom had Fred Blackwell, Doris Ward and others to address the concerns of the flight of Black from San Francisco - and created a new document named the "Out Migration of Blacks".

This exercise in futility - clearly - pointed who really was in charge of the Gentrification in our great City - the City itself and leading the charge our Mayors. In this case linked to the "Out Migration Report" - Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Large areas where thousands of units were available for affordable housing - in Public Housing and once were housing stock that belonged to poor people - were original built by the Army and Navy. When the Army and Navy went away - the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took over and for a long time they rent the units.

Then; the San Francisco Housing Authority chose to rent the housing and when that happened - all hell broke loose. Now, the housing stock at Potrero Hill, Huntersview, Kiska Road, Oakdale, Sunnydale and in other places - could first have been maintained - but this was not done - deferred maintenance was chosen instead.

Pretending that the housing was in poor condition - having done everything to arrive at that stage - the thousands of Public Housing units and the sites - have now been given to Developers to develop.

The plan was to have San Francisco Redevelopment Agency provide the funding - but, that cannot be done any more. Governor Jerry Brown has decided not to fund the SF Redevelopment Agency any more.

However, the plan in mind was "gentrification" which simply means the removal of the targeted unwanted population - and building "gated communities" to populate a complete new type of population.

Now, those mostly impacted are the Polynesians and the Blacks.

For years I have been trying to reach out to these two segments of the population but as much as some serious efforts have been made - my efforts and those of many other advocates have not been successful.

The Polynesians community and among them the Samoan population precisely; have been adversely impacted.

I have had only one Pastor who is Samoan who truly understands the situation at hand. The others could not care - not because they do not care - but because they are not educated on issues. The Pastor who understand is Pastor Alex Toeaina.

It was totally wrong of Mayor Gavin Newsom to do a study on the Black population and leave out the Polynesian community - that is also seriously affected by - what Mayor Newsom and his crones - term "Out Migration".

I read the report - and even though the report attempts to address a few issues - it is a convoluted report that says a lot and really offers nothing much.

At least the "Unfinished Agenda" had empirical data - and pointed to solutions that could be followed to take the then Black population to a better - place.

The Black population in the Bayview has no clout - and the few that shout and scream - what we called in the old days - Mau Mau - are stuck in a place where there is no movement and no progress - doldrums.

Many of them backed Lennar, a Rogue Developer - only for Lennar to let them down.

Our Black youth in the Bayview Hunters Point deserve better.

The main problem the youth in the Bayview Hunters Point face - is lack of leadership.

The older generation have been so focused making money and catering to their own needs - that no one has taken the time - to hand over the "torch", the experience, the know how, the wisdom - to the younger generation.

The condition of people and especially the youth is pathetic.

Making this worse are the thousands of youth mostly Black who have not completed High School, those that can now go to school and get some education are truants. Over 6000 chronic truants - and other in and out of the incarceration - system.

Of course the old generation those that could afford to sell their homes for more money - sold their homes and moved to places like Vallejo, Tracy, and further away. For some time they saw some and experienced some solace - only to caught up once again - in the rat race.

Hit, by the present Economic Situation that has forced many of them to sell their homes - caught in a bind - because of the sub-prime scandals, the other ploys and machinations - involving the banks and other financial - institutions.

Today, the paradox is some of those that went away when the going was good - are coming back to their old hunting grounds - and find it better here then far away like Tracy, Folsom, and Sacramento.

It is the same with the Polynesians.

Caught in the bind - those that have taken refuge in the Tenderloin - District Six - many living on the streets - and to make matters worse - whole families - and that is crying - shame.

Of course the City and County of San Francisco - will say - that they have nothing to do with plight of those I have mentioned. That is the typical behavior of any entity that has no conscience.

The City and County of San Francisco will rake in all the taxes and have NOT given opportunities to those they could - all these many years - but, it is too late - now.

Some things can be fixed but not the deliberate plan with "intent" to do harm - called and know by most that are astute as - gentrification.

The rest of the related issues are many and I will address them as the weeks go by.

Francisco Da Costa
Director
Environmental Justice Advocacy