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Saturday, July 28, 2012

TRAGEDY - SHOULD NOT BE THE DAILY REALITY - FACING SAMOANS IN SAN FRANCISCO - SO WHO WILL STAND UP?

Over the many years - more in the last fifteen years - in San Francisco - the plight of the many Samoans living in Public Housing has not been one that is holistic and environmentally friendly. San Francisco has not been fair to the Samoan community.


Samoans have contributed a lot to our Nation - more laying down their lives - in greater numbers - than any State in the United States.


All this - in the recent wars that our Nation has been involved in. I know because I worked for Six Army and Presidio of San Francisco - unlike the many City authorities - that have no clue - about reality and less about practicality - and history of the people they must serve.


While most other Polynesians - Tongans in particular have stayed away from Public Housing - Samoans wrapped in some tradition have continued faithfully to stay in San Francisco's deplorable Public Housing.


Much like we have State Housing in New Zealand - but there the housing is of a better quality.


Over many years the ties between Blacks and the Samoans in particular has been a cordial one is Public Housing. These are now beginning to wear down some.


Many Blacks marry Samoan women - and in some cases Black women marrying Samoan men - have tied the destiny of these two segments of the population.


I know many such families and it is amazing how close knit these families are. I count many of these families as my close friends - they know that and I have respected them for years.


The demographics of San Francisco are changing with most Blacks who have had some upward mobility - getting better jobs - leaving San Francisco in larger numbers.


Where once Black and Samoans occupied Public Housing in recent years Latinos, Asians, and others are making in roads.


Asians and Latinos already are found in greater numbers in the Bayview Hunters Point - Blacks fleeing - we call it "gentrification". Samoans too have felt the need to leave - but find it more difficult to do so - many a times attached to the many family members and relatives that live close by and have lived for decades.


Many cannot stand the violence and killings. More - the deplorable conditions - comparable to some third world country. All this in San Francisco one of the richest cities in the world. No one wants to talk openly about the folks living in deplorable conditions - infants and children - and on one wants to take - direct responsibility. Sanitary conditions are unbearable - and the City does not take its responsibility - seriously.


Health and Safety comes first - but not in San Francisco and not with City Hall - and those leaders that should know - but are pathetic to say the least. I for one should not be pointing out to them how to do their job. Making over $250,000 and failing to fulfill their - responsibilities.


Those that could not meet ends meet in Public Housing - took some incentives from programs called Section 8 vouchers - to move to other counties outside San Francisco.


Others were given the option to receive some money - left for some other county - spent the money quickly - and now live in dire - poverty and on the streets - facing the inclement weather away from San Francisco - in some neighboring - counties and cities like San Jose, Oakland - counties like Alameda, San Mateo and so on.


The mostly indigent Blacks have a real hard time - and are constantly embroiled with drugs, prostitution, stealing, robberies - and the like.


Hot spots of unemployment in the high 40% is not uncommon - with the City of San Francisco and its leaders - pussyfooting - especially the current Black - District Supervisor - Malia Cohen.


In the Black community at the Public Housing it is common for single mothers - to raise children. Many of the fathers lingering in jail. In lesser degree this has been the recent plight and history - of some Samoan families too - increasing as the years go by.

On some level the Samoan population in lesser numbers have also begun to seek out such opportunities - for all the wrong reasons. Drugs, stealing, and other nefarious activities must not be adhered to - by those who believe in God and know good from evil.


Those ardent Church going Samoans - who continue to uphold their traditions from back home - the islands of Samoa - and I know many of them - do not endorse the work of the devil.


Here in San Francisco - all it takes is two percent of one community - Black or Samoan - to bring disgrace. They are in the minority - and that black eye - is seen to be the norm - but this is not the case - and those decent have to fight the odds - daily in their lives.


Blacks once went to Church in greater numbers - no more.


Many Black churches in the Bayview Hunters Point are empty - you have the the very old and the very young attending - the youth in large numbers - have given up on religion. Why?


So far; thank God the Samoans - be they all Christians - belonging to the many denominations - continue to go to Church - and when there is a wedding or a funeral - you could feel as you were in Australia, New Zealand, the many other islands - with other Samoans - more Polynesian - celebrating life - and enjoying the angelic music - that I do not have to explain to many that have been touched - by such angelic voices.


Shooting and killings should not be a norm - anywhere and NOT in San Francisco - but again and again when tragedy strikes - all Samoans are affected - because as many may not know - every Samoan is related in some manner - to one another.


In recent months the tragedy of death from weapons like guns - resulting in wanton death and misery - continue to shock too many. Our Safety in impacted - in many places in broad daylight.


Shootings too - that have not led to death but maiming - involving Samoans. A missing Samoan youth -  missing since June 2, 2012.


Evictions of Samoan families from San Francisco Public Housing - has caused much pain and suffering.


Since I am very close to those that I count as my dear friends - we all suffer - together and try to bring some resolution.


There are no opportunities - less with the dire economic situation prevailing - we try to give jobs and bring succor - but that is far between - those that need help are in too large a number - and the City has failed the Samoan community - miserably.


My relation with the mighty Samoan goes to my Army days.


I have fond memories to those times. My work with All Islanders Gathering As One (AIGA1) - and other Samoan organizations - has enriched my life and those near and dear to me.


I have many good Black friends - and I have many Samoan friends - and these two communities live and have lived in harmony for decades.


As I have tried to paint a picture - there should not be feuding among these two communities - but the negative has become the norm and now some in these two communities are angry and become - blind. There is so much anger - that guns and other weapons are use to resolve - disputes. Turf wars that are senseless. 


The time has come to put a stop to this senseless killing. Many of those involved in fighting - totally uncalled for - one Samoan against the other. This especially is totally uncalled for and should not become the norm.


The Elders and the OGs should step up and do something on a war footing - and not wait for Law Enforcement to do something.


It is the same with the Black families - some one must step up - and lay the law - and not expect anything decent and homily - to come from the San Francisco Police Department.


The San Francisco Housing Authority has not been accommodating to the Samoans living in Public Housing.


The Director Mr. Alvarez should take this clarion call - and do something immediately - he loves to talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. I could lead a delegation to his office - with some USOs but the scene would not be pretty. So - do something while you can - stop pandering to the authorities. 


Like the time you found 52 empty units - under pressure - when some rich family donated $1 million - when you see dollar signs - just like the many Board Members on the SF Housing Authority - you all get perked up and do something.


It is simply and totally wrong to evict so many Samoans from SF Public Housing. Once built by the Department of Defense - handed over to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - who in turn has handed it over - to the despicable - San Francisco Housing Authority - that is inept and shallow.


Over the years the SF Housing Authority has - "with intent" - used deferred maintenance to run down units - boarded hundreds of units - put "Police Stations" right in the middle of SF Public Housing - and created animosity.


Toilets that do not work, ceiling and walls that are peeling, filthy surroundings not fit for animals. Asbestos everywhere - thousands have been inflicted with cancer and other chronic diseases and the SF Housing Authority - and been pimping and whoring all these many years.


Raw Sewage flows on Caroll Street by Alice Griffith Housing. The SF City has been covering the areas a wide area - with mulch - and the wood chips from the felled trees - absorb the smell some - Eucaluptus Chips and more - but this nonsense has been going on for over 15 years if not twenty years.


What is the Mayor - Ed Lee doing about this situation?


What is the SF Health Department doing about this situation?


What is the SF Housing Authority doing about this - emergency situation? You do not treat human beings like - animals?


The same situation is seen at Potrero Hill Public Housing, Bayview Hunters Point Public Housing by Kiska Road and Middle Point, at Oakdale Public Housing in larger measure - at Sunnydale Public Housing - but Alice Griffith is the worst of them all.


The environment at Alice Griffith is the worst ever. With several high profile crimes committed. There is now active feuding among the Samoans and the Blacks. And I do have to tell you who will win.


Over a million dollars is given to the SF Police Department besides the regular appropriation - to police the area - and maintain some order - respecting the people - and building trust .

As days turn to weeks, to months, to years - the situation has worsened.


HOPESF is a program - meant to bring relief to the people of Alice Griffith - who backed the Rogue Developer Lennar - today - most of the Alice Griffith residents are suffering - the promises made not kept - and today - their very lives are at stake.


San Francisco leaders and especially Sophie Maxwell and the current nonchalant representative - Malia Cohen - both of them Black should be ashamed of themselves. You who voted for these two despicable Black women - should hold them responsible.


Alice Griffith Public Housing is situated in the most contaminated area. Very close to a Superfund Area - the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.


Still babies have been born - both to Black and Samoan women.


The SF Health Department knows about this, Mayor Ed Lee knows about this - folks like the Director of  Public Health Barbara Garcia knows about it - the man who can do something Rajiv Bhatia knows a lot - but all of them shun their duties.


Naomi Kelly is the City Administrator - she should visit the are in cognito - and see things for herself. It is easy to hold a position - but difficult to take a stand and try to help your people. Naomi Kelly is Black and can and should do something with Alice Griffith Public Housing.


I want the Police Chief to go to Alice Griffith in cognito and check the things I have stated - enough is enough.


In lesser and greater measure such despicable living conditions are found at Potrero Hill, Middle Point and Kiska Road, at Oakdale, in Sunnydale, the other housing projects all over our City.


Daily gun shots heard - and people angry - no food - no jobs - and those in charge making over $250,000 and smiling with glee. Where is your conscience? You will burn in hell - if you know - you can do something and do nothing - at all.


I attended a recent Safety Meeting at City Hall - it was a JOKE.


Our City has a population of 805,000 - not millions like other major cities - even San Jose has a greater population.


Our City employers over 26,000 City employees - and the City Administrator knows this and more.


Our Mayor just signed a $7.2 B I L L I O N so called balanced budget - but there is NO relief to the Seniors, the infants, the youth, the indigent.


Please - set your priorities straight - stop wasting millions on something like the Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi case - this City will fall flat on its face - at the end of this sordid - episode.


The killings in the Southeast Sector and Western Addition will increase - and we have no leadership to address the situation at hand. People are simply fed up - but - do not push the buttons of the Samoans - they will keep still and quiet for just so long - and then hell will break loose.


The tragedies should not happen and the victims must be compensated directly - do not give money to any Community Based Organizations - give money directly to the victims.


With all those entities that say they can do this and do that - on the side line - but do nothing - put these jerks to work.


Barbara Garcia, Naomi Kelly, Ed Lee, Greg Suhr should sit down without any of the so called experts - and come out with a viable plan.


For too long - have too many suffered - and you do not want a riot - or a revolt - a magnitude that you have not witnessed before.


This clarion call is not that siren - that you hear at 12 noon every Tuesday - it is a one time warning - enough is enough.


Talofa.