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View other events for the week of 11/28/2003
Bayview Hunter\'s Pt. Community Mtg w Matt Gonzalez, esp Shipyard Gentrification
Date Friday November 28
Time 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Details
Hunter\'s Point Rally at Milton Myer\'s Auditorium, 195 Kiska Ave. Hunter\'s Point 
Event Type Meeting
Community Meeting for residents of Bayview Hunter\'s Pt. to talk about community concerns with Matt Gonzalez, especially the proposed plan for the redevelopment agency to turn over control of Shipyard land to Lenar, a giant corporate developer. This is being opposed by the community. Redevelopment Planning Land Grab In Hunters Point, a Gentrification Plan by Maurice Campbell & Barbara George Thursday N Friday November 28, 2003 at 10:40 AM WE NEED TO MOBLIZE THE COMMUNITY NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT! Redevelopment planning land grab of Shipyard and all BVHP Tell Redevelopment how you feel Tuesday, Dec. 2, 4pm, City Hall Room 416 by Maurice Campbell and Barbara George The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency is making a move to grab the whole neighborhood – the Hunters Point Shipyard and nearly all of Bay View Hunters Point! While tracking efforts to ram through the agreement for Lennar to develop the Shipyard, we discovered Redevelopment’s hush-hush plot to gentrify practically all of BVHP. Instead of continuing to pursue its longstanding plan to create a new project area, Redevelopment is quietly proposing to annex the rest of Bay View Hunters Point to the existing Hunters Point Redevelopment Project Area through a simple-to-pass amendment. That way, the Redevelopment Commission can pass it quietly without full public notice and review. At the next meeting of the Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday, Dec. 2, the community is urged to come out in force, because both of these issues affect our future very seriously. Comment on both the neighborhood takeover “amendment” and the Lennar Disposition and Development Agreement (the DDA) for the Shipyard. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in City Hall Room 416. Ask the commissioners to postpone their vote on the Lennar agreement - the DDA - until the community has had its say. Many questions have been raised by community groups that have not been answered. In addition, call the Board of Supervisors today and ask them to hold an informational hearing before any vote by Redevelopment. The Redevelopment Agency, the City Attorney and Lennar should come before the supervisors and answer the community’s questions. Two Redevelopment plans — neither benefits BVHP residents The general outline of Redevelopment’s plan for the Shipyard has been known for a while, but the devil is in the details. That’s why it is so important for the Supervisors to review it. What BVHP residents want most — business development providing long-term jobs for local residents — may be delayed for years. Upscale housing is the main focus for Redevelopment and Lennar, but business is what generates jobs, not expensive homes that many people in the community can’t afford. Now this new annexation amendment of the Hunters Point Redevelopment Project Area appears intended to clear away the low-income Black population that has lived alongside the Shipyard for 60 years — with the goal of increasing the future value of Lennar’s housing. Neither of these projects helps the people who live here. Redevelopment’s ‘amendment’ to gentrify BVHP The proposed San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Plan Amendment, dated Nov. 4, 2003, would add 1,600 acres to the existing 137-acre Hunters Point Redevelopment Project Area. It would encompass all the public and low-income housing near the Shipyard, most other residential areas, the entire Third Street corridor and other sections of the neighborhood all the way to Bayshore Boulevard and the freeway (see map). The Black population in San Francisco has dropped from over 14 percent to less than 6 percent in this city. Bay View Hunters Point remains the city’s largest predominantly Black neighborhood. In Redevelopment’s brochure showing how the agency expects the neighborhood to look in the future, all the people in the pictures look White. What Redevelopment did by creating the Western Addition Project Area, bulldozing thousands of Black homes and hundreds of Black-owned businesses - wiping out most of the Black population and even renaming the neighborhood known worldwide as the Fillmore – must not happen again! We need to make it clear to the powers that be that we will not be moved. Let the Redevelopment Commission know on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. in City Hall Room 416 that you don’t want any rushed decisions for acceptance of either the annexation amendment or the DDA. You want time for review, and you want the Board of Supervisors involved. Don’t be swayed by special interests that want you to support their get-rich-quick schemes. Redevelopment wants to lock in Lennar Redevelopment’s proposed agreement to put Lennar Corp. in charge of the first phase of development of the Shipyard is called the Disposition and Development Agreement, or DDA. The DDA describes the obligations of the developer, the City and the Navy, covering such topics as toxic cleanup, employment opportunities and Lennar’s profits. It sets up the “horizontal” development - roads and utilities infrastructure - and includes decisions on open space, housing density and community facilities. The current lame duck administration is pressuring residents to approve it without seriously examining it. The DDA is an enormously complicated document, over 1,000 pages, but the mayor wanted the Hunters Point Shipyard Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to approve it in “30 days.” Some of us who are on the CAC objected that many of the listed attachments weren’t attached and other information that was promised has not been delivered. The community must know what the Redevelopment Commission is being asked to sign, and it’s our responsibility as the CAC to find out. We divided into subcommittees to look at different pieces of the DDA, and we held more than 26 meetings in the last month - because Redevelopment is in such a hurry! We’ve spent over 60 days reviewing it and recommending changes and additions, including community comments like “Not enough of the community was notified,” “Rush to judgment,” “Not getting answers from Redevelopment,” “Not seeing a very important document from Redevelopment until 6pm 11/24/03, the time of our final meeting.” The Redevelopment staff has described the CAC’s recommendations, breaking them down as either 1) acceptable to Redevelopment, 2) acceptable to the developer or 3) other — not acceptable or requires further discussion. What’s the rush? What’s the big hurry to sign an agreement with Lennar? Redevelopment is acting as if Lennar is doing us a big favor by coming here. The reality is that the Shipyard is some the world’s most valuable real estate, and Lennar, America’s largest home builder, has earned a terrible reputation by, among other travesties, building new homes on its own toxic dump in Florida. Redevelopment wants to use the DDA, along with the existing ENA, the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement, to lock in Lennar as Master Developer for the Shipyard. The Exclusive Negotiating Agreement comes up for review by the Board of Supervisors in December. By postponing Redevelopment approval of the DDA until then, we can examine the entire relationship with Lennar. No transfer, no development until Shipyard is clean Many obstacles must be cleared out of the way before work can be started on developing the Shipyard. Most important is Proposition P. Prop P is the ballot measure passed overwhelmingly by 87 percent of San Francisco voters in 2000 prohibiting any development of the Shipyard until all toxic contamination, including all traces of radioactivity, has been cleaned up and removed. In addition, there can be no transfer of any parcel of Shipyard land to the city from the Navy because the Conveyance Agreement between the City and County of San Francisco, the community and the Navy has not been signed. The Navy is eager to transfer Parcel A, where Lennar wants to build 1,600 houses, and Parcel B, but neither is clean yet. The regulators — the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), the DTSC (California Department of Toxic Substance Control) and the Water Resource Board - have not yet signed off on a FOST (Finding Of Suitability for Transfer) for Parcel A. And the Record of Decision on Parcel B just recently went through its five-year review, which drew community comments that must be answered, and a lot of cleanup work remains to be done on Parcel B. Whether you’re buying a car, a home or a cell phone plan, you don’t want to cave in to the high pressure salesperson and regret it later. This is no time to cave in to the pressure to give up the Shipyard and all of Bay View Hunters Point. Although this is happening in the midst of the holidays and everybody’s busy, this is the time to take a stand. Give the children a gift they can be proud of — a community for all the people who live here, not a gentrified community for somebody else. For more information, read “Arrested Development” by Lisa Davis in the Nov. 19 SF Weekly at The DDA can be found at Maurice Campbell is the convener of the Community First Coalition and is a member of the Hunters Point RAB (Restoration Advisory Board) that advises the Navy and the Hunters Point CAC (Community Advisory Committee) that advises the city. Barbara George is executive director of Women’s Energy Matters and a community activist. Email Maurice at By Sebastian Robles and Chris Finn Just discovered plans show that Bayview Hunters Point is slated for redevelopment - Fillmore/ Western Addition style. Four housing complexes are already slated for destruction. So are another 14 around the City. Activists have already been fighting hard against the shipyard development scheme, where Willie Brown is pushing hard to give exclusive rights of the best real estate to Lennar in the last month before he leaves office. This is small potatoes compared to what the Redevelopment Agency has in store. Their Plan Amendments, dated November 4, 2003, seeks to expand the Redevelopment Agency’s control over more than ten times the area now subject to their control. Over ten thousand African Americans have already been driven out of the City during the more recent development boom. The plans under way, if allowed to carry through, will redevelop and gentrify the remainder of the community out of town. A Crucial Election This year, the votes of Bayview Hunters Point and the African American population in the City will be crucial in determining the outcome of the runoff election and thus the landscape of San Francisco politics for years to come. But now liberal and progressive San Francisco voters in general may also have in their hands the decision whether African Americans will continue to live in San Francisco. As happened with the construction of ‘low-income’ housing in other parts of the City, housing complexes will be destroyed to make way for new ones. The people currently living in them will obviously have to find somewhere else to live. A few might be able to eventually move back, but the majority of the housing will be market rate housing, with state law mandating that all new housing not be subject to rent control. When the Third Street Light Rail is finished, if politics continues as normal, rather than helping to develop the existing community, “re-development” of the 3rd Street corridor will bring further gentrification, pushing out African American homeowners, tenants and small businesses in a similar fashion to what happened in the Fillmore District a few decades ago. This election represents a stark choice. Gavin Newsom represents someone who will not only continue the policies of development and big business, but become more blatant in moving the local political machine further to the right. Not being as smart as Willie, and having the arrogance that comes with having everything handed to him directly by big money interests, he won’t feel the need to toss the community any bones to keep their favor. Matt Gonzalez is not beholden to and has consistently been a solid vote against those interests and types of policies. This election is not just about the candidates, but about who will be represented in City politics once the new mayor is sworn in and whether these policies will continue or be reversed. Getting Ready to Settle an Old Battle The issues affecting Bayview Hunters Point have been ongoing for decades, but have intensified in the last eight years at the hands of a strong organized political machine working in the interests of developers and other big businesses and speculators. After fighting development and gentrification battles for the last eight years, the community is eager to see a candidate that is willing to stand up to the local machine for working class people and communities of color. Around 100 activists and members of the community turned out November 16 for the opening of the Gonzalez campaign office in Bayview Hunters Point to speak about the changes necessary and what it would take to make them. This was not one of those well-funded offices of a candidate just paying people to be there. There were no politicians from the local political machine. There were no champagne or other extravagances of a campaign backed by big money. The space was donated by members of the community and was packed full with local activists and residents discussing with Matt the important issues affecting their neighborhoods. Many of these activists and residents had voted for Angela Alioto the first time around, seeing her as a civil rights and anti-discrimination attorney running against Gavin Newsom and the Willie Brown machine. Now that the runoff is Gonzalez vs. Newsom, many of Angela’s and others’ supporters are lining up behind Matt. Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the San Francisco Bayview, cites Gonzalez’ willingness to represent African Americans and poor folks when he was a public defender for ten years. Matt even went to jail when he challenged a judge who wasn’t giving a client a fair trial. The charges were later dropped. “Who else would stand up for poor black folks like that?” Clear Differences African Americans can easily list the major issues affecting them in the City – unemployment, economic development, environmental justice, health issues, lack of and privatization of services, police reform, education, reparations, gentrification, redevelopment, and plenty others. These issues are interrelated and are often tied to decisions made in the mayor’s office for the benefit of developers, contractors, and big business interests at the expense of the community. The two candidates differ strongly. Newsom has been supported throughout his career by oil money from the Getty family. He was appointed to the Board of Supervisors by Brown to add diversity – the Board apparently didn’t have any straight white rich men on it at the time. Newsom has since been a reliable vote for the local Willie Brown machine, voting in favor of big business and developers. He recently targeted the poor and the homeless with his Prop M, which takes welfare money away from homeless people, without guaranteeing them any services – basically filling the City’s budget holes with money taken from the poorest people of the City. Gonzalez passed an amendment, which was signed into law, guaranteeing these people get the services they were promised. Gonzalez initially ran against and defeated the candidate handpicked by Brown in a landslide victory. He voted against the big business settlement which Newsom supported, which cost the City over $100 million. He has since been a reliable vote favoring working class issues and the neighborhoods. According to the Examiner, “Gonzalez said he would work to make loans accessible to minority business owners, preserve affordable housing and force the closure of the two area power plants. He said his work on raising the minimum wage reminded him of fighting for justice as a public defender, and that the community can have confidence in police only if they are held accountable.” The Light Rail project on 3rd Street is a major issue for the community. As with the past history of contracting and job promises for the community, African American contractors are not involved in the construction project. Neighborhood activists demonstrated to force contractors to hire locally, but local workers were laid off soon after the protests stopped. Newsom Is Worse Than The Past Newsom’s position on these issues? Maybe he’ll try to make a nice speech or tell you it’s all in a position paper, or that he doesn’t have time to detail his whole position, but he’s chosen as his head campaign consultant, Eric Jaye, who has run several campaigns that ran completely counter to the interests of the community. Jaye ran the campaign for another Brown development project – getting the Mills corporation exclusive bargaining rights for the Pier 27-31 development project. He also ran Brown’s Prop A, getting San Francisco voters to approve a $1.6 billion bond to rebuild the Hetch Hetchy infrastructure – when only about half of that was needed, resulting in around $800,000 in slush funds paid for by San Francisco residents. Jaye also managed the failed campaign to elect Andrew Lee to the Board of Supervisors. Lee is one of the recent controversial Brown patronage appointments to the Public Utilities Commission. The African American community knows the importance of commission appointments, something the new Mayor will have control over. The Redevelopment Commission is a case where all seven commissioners are appointed by the Mayor. This is the commission which oversees the decisions regarding the Hunters Point shipyard and has entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Lennar Corporation in a process that triggered another FBI investigation into contracting schemes. Despite Federal law mandating that the Navy clean the site and turn it over to the City once it was decommissioned, the City did nothing to push the Navy to do so. Local activists organized in 2000, 26 years after the shipyard closed, to get Prop P on the ballot mandating that the Navy follow through with the clean-up, winning overwhelmingly. Transfer to the City is not supposed to take place until the entire shipyard has been determined to be clean and safe which is slated to take another five years. Brown is pushing the Commission to approve granting transfer of the prime section of the shipyard property to Lennar before he leaves office in January. Newsom, as part of the local Democratic Party machine, will continue these politics if elected Mayor. The planned amendment to the shipyard Redevelopment area would put the rest of Bayview Hunters Point under the control of the Redevelopment Commission and the Planning Commission, where Brown won’t tolerate even one vote of dissension. Gonzalez supports increasing pressure on the Navy and utilizing City resources to implement Prop P. He should also push to stop the ramming through of the DDA, the agreement which would hand over the prime sections of the property to Lennar before the cleaning and approval process is complete. The community is fighting for community control over what happens to the shipyard property. Although Lennar wants to develop housing, something which is in demand in the City, this type of development brings no jobs to the area and increases the fears of the residents of housing developments nearby who fear eviction. The ‘low-cost’ housing will be beyond what community members can afford, extending the base for gentrification. Four of the housing complexes in Bayview Hunters Point are slated for destruction. Statements by Gonzalez that housing needs to be protected and that working class families and communities of color need to be able to live in the City resonate strongly with residents. Gonzalez’ platform addresses many of the issues facing African Americans: measures to facilitate economic development (low-cost credit for small businesses through a municipal/community bank), a policy of bringing Black contractors to the table, a “local hiring” policy and ownership of land and underground through a type of a land trust paid for by the city along the lines of the proposal for low income housing. Economic Development and Jobs Gonzalez has pushed the idea of a municipal bank that would provide low-cost credit to small businesses and for the construction of low-income housing. This runs counter to the long history of redlining and denial of credit to African Americans. The community wants to anchor local businesses within the City/African American community to prevent big chain invasions and provide viable alternatives. One of Gonzalez’ platform issues is to give communities more control over limiting expansion of big chain stores into communities, which then price out smaller community merchants and businesses. Gonzalez’ office originated Proposition L, raising the minimum wage from $6.75 per hour to $8.50, which was passed overwhelmingly by the voters on November 4 and will benefit thousands of African Americans, Latinos, women and youth. Newsom did not endorse Proposition L until the last minute when he saw it was well ahead in the polls, and most of his employees at his more than a dozen businesses are paid minimum wages. While Gonzalez favors jobs at union wages, Newsom – who recently stated he is “proud” of San Francisco as a Union town – did not allow his own employees to organize a union and opposes the right to a card check. Gonzalez wants to diversify the economy to create lasting well-paid jobs for the various communities. He calls for increasing the resources allocated to improving conditions for small businesses, which are more likely to provide stable employment for community members. He also differs with Newsom about what type of business tax structure the City should have. Gonzalez favors a gross receipts tax, which only taxes big businesses once they make over $800,000, instead of a payroll tax, which inhibits job creation. Environmental Justice Now that the Mirant corporation that acquired the Potrero Hill power plant from PG&E has gone under and given up its attempt to retrofit its polluting plant, the road is open for the City to acquire the land, close down the old generator and replace it with an environmentally sound public power alternative. Newsom is reluctant to speak on the issue and in the past has opposed the plant’s closure. The other old, polluting plant owned by PG&E in Hunters Point is also the focus of opposition by neighborhood activists, environmentalists and many parents who are concerned with health care issues for their children. At every step of the way Newsom has opposed public power – the only possible scenario under which a community decision making process and both production of clean energy and environmental justice could be achieved. Gonzalez supports public power and has a record of advocating for environmental justice. His preference is to support the development of alternative energy sources. Bayview Hunters Point is an ideal place, because of its sunny weather, for solar panels and alternative forms of energy production. Neighborhood activists are interested in the City promoting or providing credit to install them in new buildings as well as existent housing. Gonzalez promotes this; Newsom has not spoken about it. Health Care This issue is intimately linked to the environmental disaster created by the waste (including nuclear waste) left by the Navy, the polluting power plants and the sewage disposal on the coast of Hunters Point and the lack of jobs and the concomitant lack of health insurance. The health care crisis in Bayview Hunters Point is reflected by its having one of the highest rates in the country of breast cancer and asthma and other pulmonary diseases and illnesses associated with pollution. While the City is on record for its desire to provide health care for all San Franciscans, the political machine in power, of which Gavin Newsom is an integral part, has done nothing to implement such a goal. Hunters Point is also badly in need of an emergency room, screening clinics and a system of preventive medicine. Police Reform While community members celebrated the victory of Proposition H granting police reform, Newsom opposed it. Recent incidents at Thurmond Marshall, where a teacher was physically assaulted by police officers and the recent invasion of the neighborhood by cops hurting innocent bystanders only highlight the importance of police reform for the neighborhood. Proposition H, diminishing the power of the Mayor to appoint members of the Police Commission and giving the Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) some more teeth to bring charges against police abuse, passed overwhelmingly in Bayview Hunters Point and other predominantly African American neighborhoods. Gonzalez is one of the co-sponsors of Prop H. Newsom opposed it, campaigned against it, and counts on the endorsement of the POA (Police Officers Association), the strongest opponent of any and all police reform. Newsom limited himself to requesting more economic and technical resources for the SFPD with no mention of reforming it. Education Many residents of Bayview Hunters Point favor smaller schools as a way to individualize education, to allow students to excel and to help students avoid violence and the gang lifestyle. Many residents mention repeatedly the need of the neighborhood for more schools, elementary, middle and high schools. They prioritize the need for an additional high school as Thurgood Marshall is overwhelmed and receives students from all over town. Many residents favor a high school to the East of 3rd Street. Gonzalez is in favor of smaller schools, including a new neighborhood school in Bayview Hunters Point. He is also in favor of integrating the various schools and colleges in the City to ensure all residents receive the education they need to get jobs and lay a foundation for sustainable economic development. The Bayview Hunters Point Reparation Act In 2000, the Bayview Hunters Point Reparations Act was put on the ballot proposing a fund administered by an elected neighborhood council to provide jobs and economic development for the neighborhood. The political machine, including Newsom, opposed the measure, which received 70,000 votes citywide and which passed overwhelmingly in Bayview Hunters Point and other African American, Latino and working class neighborhoods and communities of color. Matt Gonzalez supported the initiative. Backing A Winner – But Can He Win? Can WE Win? Some voters want to vote for the candidate they believe will win. Some see Newsom as unbeatable, since he’s backed by the local machine and millions of dollars. Newsom has been campaigning for two years though, with the support of the machine and those millions, and still hasn’t been able to get ahead in the polls. The latest polls, which have been successful in predicting winners in mayoral races throughout the country, have shown Matt beating Newsom, and winning by a large margin among voters who were undecided or voted for other candidates in the November election. And Gonzalez’ campaign is still gaining ground. In the November election, Gonzalez was relatively unknown compared to the other candidates. As more people focus on Matt as the opponent to the local machine and status quo politics, he keeps climbing in the polls. Newsom is backed by big money, with most of his donors giving the maximum donations. Matt refuses to accept corporate donations and is still edging ahead of Newsom. The votes of Alioto, Ammiano and Leal supporters in the African American community would further increase Gonzalez’ lead. To The Polls for the Survival of Our Communities! Every community in this City needs to look at the mirror of their future in Bayview Hunters Point. What is at stake there is at stake everywhere, even if not with its acuteness and sharp contradictions. Millions of dollars are being spent to ensure Newsom wins and big business keeps its ability to control San Francisco politics at the expense of working people and people of color. It’s still a dead heat, and getting the community out to vote will be the determining factor. Unfortunately, San Francisco has a history of flawed elections. One of the better-known examples was the election for Propositions D and F for the building of the mall and new 49ers stadium. The local political machine promised jobs for the community and retail locations in the new shopping mall, which never materialized. Campaign precinct captains were caught voting more than once using other peoples’ identities. Even dead people voted. Residents reported their homes being barraged with fake voter registration documents, showing that someone had illegally used their addresses to register non-existent voters. Reports from some residents along Third Street indicate the same is happening again in this election. People are being paid to gather signatures for absentee ballots from homeless residents who are not even registered. Some told us they were told just to sign the form so that the signature gatherer could get paid – it didn’t matter whether they were really registered or not. It’s no surprise that Newsom’s campaign manager states that this race will depend largely on absentee ballots. This isn’t just about voting for a candidate - it’s about voting to end the local machine politics. It’s about fighting for working class people and communities of color to be able to stay in the City. We know what happened to the African American community in the Fillmore/ Western Addition; we know we lost thousands of families more in the more recent development boom. We’ve been fighting these politics for decades, and especially the last eight years. We cannot afford the luxury not to show up on December 9. Let’s fill the polling places with lines of progressives, people of color, immigrants, labor and young voters and fill the voting machines to the hilt with the votes in solidarity with Bayview Hunters Point and with the African American community and for a progressive left Mayor.
Added to the calendar on Friday Nov 28th, 2003 2:06 PM
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