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Saturday, August 3, 2013


Over 35 years ago I bonded with the Polynesian community - more when I worked at Sixth United States Army and Presidio of San Francisco.

Later I bonded with various Polynesian families - mostly Samoan and Tongan. Others from Hawaii, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tahiti, New Zealand and so on and I was fortunate to learn a lot about these great indigenous people - admire their culture.

The Aloha Festival came about with my facilitating this one of a kind festival - first at Crissy Field and then on the Main Post at the Presidio of San Francisco - over 18 years ago.

The National Park Service wanted to charge the Polynesian  $10,000 at that time - but I got it free of charge for them. I represent the Muwekma Ohlone - had the Chairperson invited to the first Aloha Festival, worked with the organizers, brought in the large Healing Pole - five feet wide and sixty feet long -blessed it and the rest is history.

The first few Aloha festivals at Crissy Field by the Bay in clear sight of the Golden Gate Bridge - drew authentic Polynesian dancers from many places. Bonding many Polynesian and making them feel proud - about this one singular gathering - which initially was not commercialized.

The boat races and other festivities unique to the Polynesian culture - all bring back memories - those days are gone - but deep in my heart - I felt I did what I had to do - to bring the indigenous people together - as opposed to the vain Whites - who want money for everything - and have no appreciation for culture.

In my travels world wide - I have met Polynesian Chiefs and dignitaries - the pastors and bishops - politicians - and listened to them with intent - all indigenous and many Polynesian. Most talk a good talk but when it comes to action -  there is big cultural divide - and here lies the crux of the problem.

Here in the United States of America - we know some about sports and the Polynesian - but few know the tears and suffering of those many - Polynesians - who willingly laid their lives in war - fighting for the this great Nation - the United States of America.

Polynesian have served our Nation in very large numbers - and given their lives in even greater measure. The military in all the services has been well represented by the Polynesian - they have brought great honor to their people and the Department of Defense.

A fact that  many do not know about - and those that know and do not care to appreciate this great sacrifice - have themselves to blame.

What is worthy must be high lighted for all the world to know. A life is a life is life - and no price can be put on a life. The greatest honor is sacrificing your life for your Nation.

In San Francisco we have always known the Samoan community who are well represented in many fields - sports, government, nurses, security guards, bouncers, dancers, musicians, teachers, MUNI drivers, in the construction field - and many of us admire their tenacity, fortitude - and more the genuine love they share with those they come in contact with.

Spirituality is well embraced by the Polynesian - hence the deep respect for the church and the pastors.

Here in America - some one must represent - and since the Polynesian already respect the Chiefs and the Pastors - some form of communication must be maintained - when it comes to concrete and meaningful - representation.

Starting from the mid-1980s here in San Francisco there has been a greater divide among the older traditional Samoan community and the younger ones who are caught up in mores of modern and contemporary bling, bling.

Creating a confusion of sorts - baffling the community leaders who are lost in the confusion. The sign of the times.

The older Samoans more respectful - once they find out where you come from; if you are not a Polynesian - open themselves up. In course of time - with more inter-actions - you are part of the family. More deeds less words.

As they open up - the general  problems most folks face linked to lack of finance, lack of good housing, concern for the youth getting into fights, drugs, and the many so called evils that today's society brings to the door.

The younger Samoans and I have focused on them in larger measure because even though I have dealt with most adult Polynesian - my experiences with the youth, and young adults in the Samoan community have been profound - because they have a greater - need.

Way back in 1999 - I witnessed many facts and scenarios - and I always said to myself - I have to step to the front - gather to my side those Samoan youth and young adults - and address the issues with humility - to make San Francisco and the world a better, place.

My experience in various fields working for the United States Army, the National Park Service, and finally the United States
Park Police and learning a lot of the tactics, the philosophy, the policy making, the penal codes - linked to Law Enforcement.

Digging deep into matters linked to Quality of Life issues - as the Director of Environmental Justice Advocacy linked to the local, national and International fronts and issues - again and again my inter-action with the indigenous people - has been awesome and profound.

There is nothing like meeting and speaking to the people who are the salt of the earth.

As opposed to those who stole, raped, and until 1927 could scalp a Native American in California and fetch a measly - five dollars. Yes, five dollars.

For for fifty years our San Francisco, City and County authorities who could not dare create better living opportunities -  for our Polynesian community.

Many living in Public Housing in deplorable conditions.

This and other  human factors challenged me - to take upon the task and help the Samoan youth in San Francisco with the Samoan leaders being in the cockpit.

As I always say - I am the facilitator.

If you give me a hundred turkeys during Thanksgiving for distribution - I will distribute all of them - since I have some money - I will buy me a turkey - if I care to do so.

But, to take all the turkeys home - this is uncalled for. If the cap fits you - wear it - this is what you have been doing for all these years - pretending to help the Samoan community and screwing them Royally.

It took me three years to rein in John Nauer - who then worked at Young Community Developers running programs and making good things happen.

While the then Director  Dwayne Jones - mismanaged his responsibilities. I clearly saw the disconnect and the lack of transparency and accountability. Using John Nauer to feed Dwayne's own selfish - habits.

After baiting John Nauer for three years - and winning him over - we created All Islanders Gathering As One (AIGA1) - which when pronounced the Polynesian way -  means - FAMILY.

This one act - bringing the Polynesian youth - mostly Samoan, few Tongan, others too - was a singular feat that helped us address the many issues facing the youth and young adults. We did this in 2002.

We met regularly for years with no funding from anyone - and took our successes to a better place. We had some fantastic retreats at Oxnard, California, South Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz YMCA Camp - other places - but these three stand out in my mind.

Graduates from Berkeley, University of California Los Angels, others too many to mention - but all linked to Community Based Organizations - Polynesian mentors, graduates - loved to come to our camps - where we treated the youth and young adults - with tender, loving, care - and more.

Most of our members went on to becomes productive citizens - learning to be proud of their Polynesian Culture.

I keep in touch will all of these adults - and when we meet - the joy of all we did - comes flashing before our eyes. Tears of joy and happiness.

Our achievements working with Polynesian as a team has been extra-ordinary.

We saw this not only here in San Francisco - but in other places where I visited - be it Hawaii, Auckland, New Zealand, in Melbourne, in Australia - all over the United States of America.

Any model created with the team concept in place - with sound leadership - with clear instructions, with clear goals - providing sustainable nutrition - that is good food - and you are set to attain - any mission objective with excellent results -  with the Polynesian.

It is this model - that allowed the Polynesian to traverse the oceans - thousands of miles -  and occupy islands from New Zealand all the way to Hawaii and beyond.

In San Francisco our Mayor Edwin Lee knows about the Polynesian families.

From Mayor Edwin Lee's many years - working as a City employee - until trust into becoming the Mayor.

Mayor Edwin Lee wants wants to do good - but he is surrounded by "bad apples" - who are now putting hurdles - curtailing help to the community at large - and having a tunnel vision that is not holistic.

There is only so much sacrifice that anyone can make - there is only so much money any one person can expand - when the City and County of San Francisco has a budget of $8 Billion - Yes, $8 BILLION.

When the City policy makers have no clue about Quality of Life issues - are NOT educated on real issues.

Cannot connect the dots - and will take NO time - to listen to community at large. We have had it with the buffoons.

In the interim - the few do what they have to do - because they love this City named after Saint Francis of Assisi. It does not matter if they have to dip into their own pockets - which they do. Enough is enough.

The Chief of Police - Gregory Suhr knows what is lacking - when it comes to - Community Policing. 

We can talk about it - beat the horse to death, and revive it only so many times - in the best sense of the words -  the implementation of " genuine Community Policing " has been put on the back burner.

We should not have the killings and shootings in our community.

We have them because Law Enforcement lacks the tools, the understanding - about culture - and cultural competency.

If you say that to their face - they think something else - much as when you call those who are rednecks - which they are. Few have the balls to call them that to their face.

Our present San Francisco Board of Supervisors are a JOKE.

Leading the jokers - one Malia Cohen - who should step down - and forget running for second term in District 10.

Many of the deaths and the lack of services and amenities - are there because Malia Cohen has failed to "represent" and is an "air head".

Malia Cohen - loves to take junkets to Israel, to China, to Ireland - anywhere where she can pussy foot around.

This guy Anderson and Maria Aroche; who work at the Mayor Office have been an outstanding failure - when it comes to violence prevention and killings - which comes under their jurisdiction.

These two do not understand nor are they respected at ground zero. Their days pandering - with the panders - who took money and did nothing meaningful are over. The likes of Jacob Moody.

Our only hope - is our Mayor Edwin Lee. He must step up - as he is now stepping up trying to stop the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) strike - which is a Regional issue.

What about the issue of violence and killing in your backyard?

For sure a more pressing issue are the killings and shootings.

The Mayor knows within the Polynesian community - in last two months - we have put a lid - working round the clock. In fact I told him that myself - and he said - he understood.

Good leaders know the way, show the way and go the way.

The time is come to address the issues dealing with men who have guts - women who want to stand shoulder to shoulder and save lives.

Not only Polynesian lives, not only Black lives, not only Asian lives, not only Latino lives - but any human life - Native American, White, others, too. All life. Does the Mayor get it ? We want to know.

Indigenous people are loving, generous, hospitable, have a culture that is second to none - all over the world. Their dance, their music, the many good things that can calm the soul and more.

So why all this violence?

When will this City build affordable housing - instead of Market Price housing?

Hoarding indigent folks to live like animals - while talking stuff that we are a Transit First City and that we care about our Carbon Foot Print.

My foot, you do not know what you are talking about - in this land of the First People - the Ohlone that I represent.

Decency, caring, hospitality, loving, compassion comes first - and this City and County of San Francisco with corrupt politicians, shallow, inept, immoral folks like Malia Cohen - have been given a pass to do worse.

Elsewhere; in our City Department cheaters, liars, so called environmentalists who have funneled thousands to an entity like Green For All - have been told they did nothing wrong - when indeed she did - WRONG.

Make no bones about it. Bragging that no one can touch her -  after being severely, reprimanded. You bet I can - single handed.

Mayor Edwin Lee this is your challenge - as I  have been supporting you - with deeds not words and plain talk.

Get rid of the rubbish - incinerate the rubbish - we do not want crooks in San Francisco - screwing San Franciscans and making hay while the sunshines - helping Green For All, Habitat for Humanity, San Francisco Foundation - other non-profits that are NOT respected in San Francisco. 

Folks that take blood money from Lennar - folks that did not stand up when our children were harmed, our seniors were harmed - when people that needed help most were - adversely impacted.

Mayor Edwin Lee I congratulated you and was in your office that memorable day - when you were sworn in office.

You must stand your ground and to the right thing. That is what you promised me - help me to serve the community.

The time is now - the  action plan should have been in place five years ago - so we are five years late - and catching up takes hard work.

We have the plan, we have the people, we need the resources and that is possible - because we have HOPE and care to serve with humility.

Channel the resources to the right people and operations with standards and people who have morals and are ethical.

This can only be done with the right people at the helm of affairs - not the crooks that we see committing crime - and allowed to stay - they must go - they, and those hired - evil hirelings from the East Bay - when we have so many good, astute, stellar people in San Francisco. 

As to the Polynesian people - more the Samoans people - who I have cared for and worked for - their time in now and we are ready to walk the walk. Aho.