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Don't Destroy The SF Bernal Library Mural & Privatization of SF Public Library
by Library Uses Association
Monday Jun 25th, 2012 6:22 AM
The pro-privatization board of the San Francisco Public Library has illegally violated the law to inform artists and the family of artists when their art is to be destroyed. The world famous Bernal Heights Library mural which includes Chilean political artist Victor Yaro is being eliminated by the Library Board in rigged hearings also violating the laws in San Francisco. Call you supervisor and make a statement against privatization of the library and the destruction of our public murals

Appeal to Defend SF Bernal Heights Library Mural &Privatization of San Francisco Public Library And Accountability

Appeal To Defend The San Francico Bernal Heights Library Mural

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

We were successful in temporarily -- for 90 days --stopping the Bernal Mural paintout at the last minute -- thanks to our research, help from friendly attorneys, and the concern of muralist Arch Williams's heir and personal representative.

CAN YOU HELP WORK TOWARDS MAKING THE TEMPORARY REPRIEVE PERMANENT?

We need your ideas and effort -- even an hour for helping with such things as:
--Research
--Flyering -- in Bernal Hts and at other events
--Speaking at Meetings
--Web/Blog other computer knowledge
--Contacting others
--Getting petitions signed
--Social media connections
--Writing, editing

Please contact Library Users Association -- we would very much like to hear from you!

Best Regards,

Peter Warfield
Executive Director
Library Users Association
415/ 7 5 3 - 2 1 8 0

Library Users Association

P.O. Box 170544, San Francisco, CA 94117-0544

Tel./Fax (415) 753-2180

PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: Peter Warfield

June 14, 2012 Tel./Fax: (415) 753-2180; cell/text 735-8963

Reprieve!
Library Users Association Efforts Stop Destruction
of Victor Jara Mural Temporarily
--Library Failed to Notify Heir, as Law Requires
San Francisco, June 14, 2012 – Library Users Association’s efforts to stop the paintout of the Arch Williams mural on Bernal Heights Branch Library have succeeded in temporarily halting the destruction that the library had scheduled to begin on Monday, June 11. Scaffolding was erected June 8 and remains standing.
Peter Warfield, Executive Director of Library Users Association, said “It is stunning that the Library is in such a rush to destroy and replace this community asset that they didn’t follow basic legal requirements to allow the artist or his successor to remove the mural.”
He added that there had been numerous violations of law during the process of approving mural removal, including six unanimous votes to issue Orders of Determination by the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force against the Arts Commission and Supervisor David Campos.
Library Users Association research found that the California Art Preservation Act requires the owner of fine art to give the artist, or his heirs and personal representatives, 90 days notice prior to any destruction. San Francisco Public Library had no records showing that such notice was ever given.
In addition, the Library had no documents showing that any attempts had ever been made to locate the necessary person, as required by the law.
Library Users Association notified the heir and personal representative of the artist, who had died in 1996. Under the law, such heirs and personal representatives retain rights for 50 years after the death of the artist. The notification provision is intended to provide an opportunity to remove the artwork prior to its destruction.
Nancy York, sister of muralist Arch Williams, then sent a letter to City Librarian Luis Herrera and other City officials on Friday, June 8, asserting her rights to receive 90 days notice prior to any removal of the mural. Mr. Herrera responded with an internal memo that he was “in touch with the city attorney’s office and they will be preparing a formal response. We are confident that all the necessary noticing has been done but in the interest of doing it right, we are holding off on the paint work on the Cortland and Moultrie sides [where two of the three sides of the mural are located] until the letter is sent out.”
###
The existing mural was painted by muralists Arch Williams and Carlos Alcala in 1980-1982, with participation by many adults and children. Approved by the Arts Commission and Library Commission at the time, it covers three sides of the building. The front includes the important Chilean musician Victor Jara playing his guitar, with his name, and words in Spanish and English from one of his songs. Jara was tortured and killed by the Chilean military when they seized power in 1973; the stadium in Chile’s capital where arrestees were brought after the coup is now named after Jara. The front panel also includes singer Holly Near’s name and words, and the image of an African American singer. The mural also honors working women and Native Americans. The proposed mural omits Jara, Near, working women, a local history, and more.

S.F. Branch Library’s Victor Jara Multicultural Mural

Headed for Destruction

FLASH–Temporary Halt to Destruction 6-8 – Legal Challenge by Muralist’s Heir Nancy York


Partial View of Existing Mural at Front Entrance

San Francisco Public Library plans imminently to eliminate the historic, multi-cultural, community-created mural on the Bernal Heights Branch Library. It was painted by gay muralist Arch Williams and Carlos Alcala in 1980-1982, along with many neighborhood adults and kids.

The Library Commission approved saving the Victor Jara front as a “compromise” in August, 2009, but approved total destruction, with replacement murals in July, 2011. The Commission did not discuss the mural’s history, content, or words – or its previous compromise. Instead, it approved the results of a closed-to-the-public “community process” set up by Sup. David Campos -- lacking meeting notices, agendas, minutes, and recorded votes.

The Art Commission approved the general plan September 12, 2011, and gave final approval for removal the entire existing mural April 2, 2012 -- also without discussing the mural’s content or words or local history. The library has not properly informed the public about the existing mural’s history or meanings. For example, the library’s website includes a page describing the Bernal Heights Branch library’s history -- without once mentioning the mural -- and showing a picture of the branch more than 30 years ago -- without any mural.

The existing mural covers three sides of the building. The front-facing side includes the historically important Chilean musician Victor Jara playing his guitar, with his name, and words in Spanish and English from one of his songs. (Jara was tortured and killed by the Chilean military when they seized power in 1973; the stadium where it happened, in the capital, is now named after Jara. A documentary about Jara has recently been completed and a trailer is available online at ResurrectionOfVictorJara.com.)

The front left panel (north) also includes singer Holly Near’s name and words, the image of an African American singer modeled on Roberta Flack; the right front includes the UN symbol and children. The east side honors four working women; on the south is Bernal Heights history, including Native Americans and the BHNC.

The library plans to remove all three existing sides, replacing them with a nondescript two-sided mural. The result is to be what someone close to the original called a sanitizing gentrification, with no words or names, no Victor Jara, no Holly Near, no working women, no children, no UN. The building front is to have only what another critic called “whirls and swirls.” The side is to show a tree, plus images reminiscent of existing symbols.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

1- Write to the Mayor and the Arts Commission, copy to Bd. of Supervisors, Sup. Campos, and us:
mayoredwinlee [at] sfgov.org; juan.torres [at] sfgov.org; tom.decaigny [at] sfgov.org (Director of Cultural Affairs) Board.of.Supervisors [at] sfgov.org; David.Campos [at] sfgov.org; libraryusers2004 [at] yahoo.com

2-Get more information by going to this blog: libraryusers.wordpress.com

3. Write to your favorite newspapers and TV stations urging them to provide fair coverage.
4 - Contact Library Users Association for more information, or to volunteer & inform others:

Library Users Association, libraryusers2004(at)yahoo.com, (
Privatization of San Francisco Public Library And Accountability

Legal Challenge! Bernal Library’s Victor Jara Mural

is Now Scheduled for Total Destruction

Unless WE Help Stop It

The sister of Bernal muralist Arch Williams has challenged the legality of painting out the Bernal Library mural at this time because she was never notified and given a chance to remove the mural, as required by California Law.
Yet San Francisco Public Library has begun to paint out every square inch of this historic, multi-cultural, three-sided community-created mural at Bernal Heights Branch Library: scaffolding up 6-8-12, paint-out to start 6-11.

The replacement is to cost TEN TIMES more than the 2009 refreshment plan ($185k vs. $18k) and includes a fiscal fee of $16,800 for the Friends of SFPL. Please help save this mural.

A pair of planned replacement murals was described by a person close to the original as “sanitized” and “gentrified.” They lack the current mural’s history and most of its content – including Chilean folk hero Victor Jara, Holly Near, children, the U.N. symbol (front), working women (side), and local history (rear).
The decision-making occurred mainly through a so-called community process, initiated by Mayor Newsom and Sup. David Campos, that lacked basic openness for all, such as public meeting announcements, agendas, minutes, and recorded votes. S.F.’s Sunshine Ordinance Task Force found multiple violations of open government law by Campos and the Arts Commission -- preventing public participation and awareness. The Library Commission approved the group’s plans in July, 2011 -- reversing its own “compromise” of 2009 to refresh the front panel of the mural.
WHAT YOU CAN DO

1 - Write to the Art Commission and the Mayor, copy to Bd. of Supervisors, Sup. Campos, and us:
mayoredwinlee [at] sfgov.org; juan.torres [at] sfgov.org, tom.decaigny [at] sfgov.org, (Arts Commn.) Board.of.Supervisors [at] sfgov.org; David.Campos [at] sfgov.org; libraryusers2004 [at] yahoo.com

2 - Get more information by going to this blog: libraryusers.wordpress.com

3 - Contact Library Users Association for more information, or to volunteer & help inform others:
Library Users Association, libraryusers2004 [at] yahoo.com, (415) 753-2180 Rev. 6-9-12v7



Legal Challenge! Bernal Library’s Victor Jara Mural

is Now Scheduled for Total Destruction

Unless WE Help Stop It

The sister of Bernal muralist Arch Williams has challenged the legality of painting out the Bernal Library mural at this time because she was never notified and given a chance to remove the mural, as required by California Law.
Yet San Francisco Public Library has begun to paint out all of this historic, multi-cultural, three-sided community-created mural at Bernal Heights Branch Library: scaffolding up 6-8-12, paint-out to start 6-11.

The replacement is to cost TEN TIMES more than the 2009 refreshment plan ($185k vs. $18k) and includes a fiscal fee of $16,800 for the Friends of SFPL. Please help save this mural.

A pair of planned replacement murals was described by a person close to the original as “sanitized” and “gentrified.” They lack the current mural’s history and most of its content – including Chilean folk hero Victor Jara, Holly Near, children, the U.N. symbol (front), working women (side), and local history (rear).
The decision-making occurred mainly through a so-called community process, initiated by Mayor Newsom and Sup. David Campos, that lacked basic openness for all, such as public meeting announcements, agendas, minutes, and recorded votes. S.F.’s Sunshine Ordinance Task Force found multiple violations of open government law by Campos and the Arts Commission -- preventing public participation and awareness. The Library Commission approved the group’s plans in July, 2011 -- reversing its own “compromise” of 2009 to refresh the front panel of the mural.
WHAT YOU CAN DO

1 - Write to the Art Commission and the Mayor, copy to Bd. of Supervisors, Sup. Campos, and us:
mayoredwinlee [at] sfgov.org; juan.torres [at] sfgov.org, tom.decaigny [at] sfgov.org, (Arts Commn.) Board.of.Supervisors [at] sfgov.org; David.Campos [at] sfgov.org; libraryusers2004 [at] yahoo.com

2 - Get more information by going to this blog: libraryusers.wordpress.com

3 - Contact Library Users Association for more information, or to volunteer & help inform others:
Library Users Association, libraryusers2004 [at] yahoo.com, (415) 753-2180 Rev. 6-9-12v7.5



PETITION TO SAVE ALL OF THE BERNAL HTS BRANCH LIBRARY MURAL

We urge all necessary steps be taken to PRESERVE AND REFRESH ALL THREE SIDES of the mural on San Francisco Public Library’s Bernal Heights Branch Library.



All three sides of the existing mural are currently (June 2012) scheduled to be painted out completely -- and be replaced with brand-new products that do not respect this mural’s content and history.



PLEASE USE TWO LINES * = OPTIONAL

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*Optional



Member, Board of Supervisors
City Hall
San Francisco, CA 94102

Re: Friends of the Library -- New Disclosures of Privatization

Dear Supervisor:

A basic factor of any accountability is timeliness. To be meaningful, openness and disclosure must be available when the information can have an effect.

A private nonprofit corporation known as The Friends of the Library (the actual name of the group is the Friends & Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library) like other nonprofit organizations, is required to file financial statements with the California State Attorney General. The disclosure for the period ending June 30, 2011, is finally available. Under California Government Code §§12586 and 12587, it must be filed within 4 months and 15 days of the close of the reporting period, in this case it was due on November 15, 2011. It was actually filed with Attorney General's Office on March 22, 2012, and not available to the public until June 12, 2012, exhibit A, attached.

While it would have been more satisfactory to have the data at the end of the reporting period, the virtue is that all but two branches have been completed in the Branch Library Improvement Program. That program, known as BLIP, began in 2000, and was intended to be completed in January of 2010, so there has been an additional two and one-half years of fund-raising. With 11 years of reports, it is time to draw some conclusions about this “public-private partnership,” and whether it shows fraud or just broken promises. I have reviewed that information and created a table which is attached as exhibit B. The information is readily available for those who wish to verify the figures.


One factors that we have not considered in the past is the relationship of income to expenditures. We have always demonstrated the meagerness of the Friend's benefit to the public library by comparing it to the Friend's income. In fact, a comparison to its expenditures is the more apt comparison. In three of the past eleven years, the Friends took in more than they spent, and for eight years, the Friends expended more than their income. If we add up those figures for income and expenditures, we now know that the Friends of the Library had income totaling $40,038,542. During that same period, the Friends of the Library expended $48,179,251. In 2011 alone the expenditures exceeded income by $2,131,640, (Income: $4,311,050, Expenses: $6,442,690).

If we look at assets, at the height of its wealth in 2000, Friends had assets of $20.3 Million. By the end of 2011, its assets were $10.3 Million. This would be good news if they were spending that money on the Library.

No such luck. Not only is the non-profit required to make disclosures to the Attorney General, but the Library Department is required to make disclosures of, not just donations, but private money to assist any city department or function under Admin Code Sec. 67.29-6, which states: “No official or employee or agent of the city shall accept, allow to be collected, or direct or influence the spending of, any money, or any goods or services worth more than one hundred dollars in aggregate, for the purpose of carrying out or assisting any City function unless the amount and source of all such funds is disclosed as a public record and made available on the website for the department to which the funds are directed.” This means that all funds whether spent directly or indirectly to assist the library is reportable. The most recent report is attached as exhibit C, and the eleven years of disclosures total $4,909,771.

It is reasonable to assume that the Library Department and the Friends noticed how bad this looks because 35% of the support to the library has taken place in the last two years. The only other year above average was the election year of 2006-7 reflecting support of the Proposition E campaign.

This means that of the $48.1 million expended by the Friends, only 10.2% ($4,909,771) was ‟for the purpose of carrying out or assisting” the public library. By comparison, the Friends’ executive level employees earned $6,642,803 in the same period.

The Board of Supervisors allows the Friends of the Library to present themselves as the benefactors of the City, but the Board provides no oversight whatsoever. If the supervisors were responsible, this “public-private partnership” would be investigated for defrauding their donors, never mind the fact that the public library is a civic institution. The real damage is to our faith in public institutions and democracy

Very truly yours,

James Chaffee
cc: Interested citizens & media
§Helping to destroy the mural
by Library Uses Association Monday Jun 25th, 2012 6:22 AM

One of the privatizers helpers who was supervising the destruction of the mural
§Destroying the mural at the Bernal Heights Library
by Library Uses Association Monday Jun 25th, 2012 6:22 AM

The Democratic party controlled city and Democratic supervisor David Campos has been completely silent about the destruction of the Bernal Heights Yaro mural and the blantant violation of city rules and transparency by the privatization board of the San Francisco library.
§Campos Complicity On Destruction Of Murals
by Library Uses Association Monday Jun 25th, 2012 6:22 AM
campos__dave.jpeg
campos__dave.jpeg

"liberal" SF Democratic party Supervisor David Campos has been part of the cover-up in the destruction of the Mural containing Victor Yaro. He has helped the privatization by the corporate board of the Library and Mayor Ed Lee
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