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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Environment & Forest Defense | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Racial Justice
POLLUTION AND PREJUDICE
The proliferation of pollutants, toxins, and other dangerous radiological and biological chemical agents saturate the land, air and water that Bayview Hunters Point families are attempting to survive in with their children. The decades of benign neglect has resulted in unparalleled devastation to the health and well-being of residents. This is a fact, that is now categorically a matter of record.
Yet, nothing of any substance has been done to reverse the current trend of the incalculable number of men, women, and children, who face imminent death from a plethora of serious respiratory ailments. Notwithstanding, the staggering and disproportionate number of Black Women of the community who find themselves courageously battling breast cancer, directly tied to the pollutants found in BVHP.
These women are our mothers, grandmothers sisters, cousins, aunts, and nieces. They are the mothers and care givers of our children (arguably the most valuable asset and human commodity for the future we have) and deserve to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. While I could focus attention on many subjects that illustrate the problems related to the swath of devastation and destruction visited upon the quality of life these unacceptable health conditions impose upon thousands of BVHP residents, I will direct my remarks about just one, to illustrate how pollution and prejudice work together as WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
In the early 1970's the Southeast Community Facility was built as a mitigation measure for the incontinence and disruption to the community in exchange for the support and cooperation for building a Water Pollution Control Plant. Community leaders expressed concern 35 years ago that the amount of human effluent should be re-directed to other locations of the city and not just in BVHP. To ally these fears government officials guaranteed to the community, that a "cross-town tunnel" leading to the beach at the Great Highway would be built. A multi-million dollar bond measure was passed by the voters, which assured the funding necessary to complete the mammoth construction project. However, inexplicably the cross-town tunnel was never built. For decades, city administration-after-another did not heed vociferous protests from community leaders such as the late Harold Madison, the late Ethel Garlington, and others who relentlessly cried out to the city to live up to and keep the promises made to 70,000 community residents.
They were correct at what they saw as the consequences that would eventually befall the community for acquiescence to government sanctioned tyranny disguised as development. Like an invisible raging dam over 80 percent of the effluent from the city flows directly into BVHP for secondary and tertiary treatment and pumped into the Bay. Up to 100 percent is reported to come from Colma, Daly City, and Brisbane.
As for the promise that the leaders witnessed made by government officials. They all died waiting for it to be fulfilled. The promise of jobs and training directed primarily for African American residents from BVHP was also broken. Today, the Phelps Street location of the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant is polluted not just by the choking odor of human waste of the rainy day overflow of digesters, but by the overflow of inhumane prejudice and the embolden intolerance toward Black people in their own community by hangman nooses placed in the desk drawers of Black workers.
The hangman's noose and the stressors associated with such an odious symbol of hate and intolerance made her working conditions impossible for several weeks. When she attempted to return, she was told that she needed to obtain a doctor's note. Ms. Labosiere did so. Her private doctor cleared her to return to work. However, she was then told that she would be required to see a city doctor.
Moreover, the city took the unusual step of contacting her private doctor to attempt to change the mind of her primary treating physician. The appointment with the city doctor took two more months to obtain. Needless, to say, after a 10 minute visit and no more than a visual examination the city doctor determined that she was not fit to return to work. The city then required a third opinion from yet another doctor to further delay her return to work. A few weeks ago upon the advise of her attorney she simply went to work, accompanied by Mr. Roland Sheppard, a well known labor leader.
Many of her co-workers were pleased to see her return and exchanged warm greetings with Anita. However, soon after Mr. Sheppard left, three managers of City and County of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission escorted Ms. Labosiere out of the building in plain view of the other employees. One superiors added, that if she returned she would be terminated for insubordination. Carmi Johnson and Letecia Brown are two other Black women who have either suffered the maltreatment of prejudice and segregation in the workplace or reported it to the public and PUC brass.
Longtime resident Espanola Jackson has asked for an accounting nearly a year ago from the PUC of revenue streams generated from payments to the city from other counties. To date, she has not received a single report. Ms. Jackson too heard the commitments made to the community years ago. The jobs and the money was to be spent in and for the benefit of community residents most affected by the building and development of the pollution control plant. Similarly, the promises of a horticulture, culinary food, and a pollution control trainee program appear to have no more value than an old Indian treaty. Not one resident works in the horticulture annex located at the Phelps plant. The so called 9916 training program at one point hired up to 10 community resident trainees. Now, that number has dwindled down to almost nothing of substance. Moreover, the training is performed in Millbrae.
Based upon the living testimonials of at least three Black employees, the PUC management operates the Southeast Pollution Plant in much the same manner as a southern plantation. It permits with impunity and without comment condones hangman's nooses, condones flagrant abuse and humiliation of a Black female supervisor, where in one instance a white male subordinate employee was allowed to call her a f..g Black bitch. No discipline followed against the insubordinate man. In a another, Sr. Chemist Anita Labosiere was thrown out of her office for reporting the maltreatment of Black Women and herself at the Phelps Street plant, which is ironically located in a predominately Black Community.
The repressive treatment by the PUC management toward Black Women has however, awakened a sleeping giant and has produced a unifying force between blacks, the white working class, progressive residents, and organized labor, who abhor legally sanctioned corruption manifested by privatization of city jobs and contract awards by favoritism and cronyism. The agenda will be henceforth to challenge pollution and prejudice, until we succeed at exposing these apocalyptic twin weapons of mass destruction to the to the extent that they impede the unalienable constitutional guarantees common to us all, of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Working for the City is a living hell
Dealing with racism in the wastewater plants
by Anita Labossiere
African Americans who work for the San Francisco Water Pollution Control Bureau know there is a well organized plan to harass Black workers and anyone who supports us.
I have been working for the Bureau for over 23 years as a supervising chemist. I have won many awards for my work. After a few years of working with me, however, my staff decided they did not want to work with me any more, and I got no support from managers at the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant. The management supported the chemists and their requests to be reassigned from me as supervisor. This made my program suffer tremendously.
No other supervisor has had to go through this. If an employee has problems with the supervisor, they work the problem out or get reassigned with a replacement. I am Black, and work is a living hell! My civil rights have been violated for years and continue to be violated on a regular basis when the staff refuses to work under me.
Over the past two years, IÕve seen the racist attitudes intensify even in people that I once had respect for. Nooses have been hung at each of our wastewater plants - at Oceanside treatment plant, Southeast treatment plant and North Point treatment plant. Many Blacks were dismayed over this. I found it difficult to come to work during this time because of the racial tension this brought to the plant. Everyone was trying to figure out who would do something that horrific at a place of employment.
This set the tone for people who may have a racist view of minorities and now show it through job selections, hiring of personnel and placement of personnel. I was given a job in September 2002 to write up some safety procedures for each of our wastewater facilities. After five months of working extremely hard and conscientiously on the project, I was abruptly pulled off. I had been told prior to this how fantastic a job I was doing on the project.
When I asked for an explanation about this, the head manager told me my old crew was shorthanded and needed me back where I came from before I got the new assignment. I was a little upset but got over it and moved on. A month later, after my return to my old crew, one of my crew members was sent to a different crew even though we were supposedly shorthanded. He was a white male.
Recently, another crew member got the assignment he wanted, but again we were supposed to be shorthanded. Furthermore, the job I had been doing was recently given to another white male when it had been promised to me if the job ever reopened. IÕm no longer shocked by this. It just confirms the racial bias that exists at our plants.
Leticia Brown has been an employee with the City and County of San Francisco for 13 years. She has worked as an engineer for both the Oceanside treatment plant and the Southeast treatment plant. During her 13 years at both plants she has experienced harassment by both supervisors and coworkers. The harassment extends from being verbally cursed at by her supervisor to inappropriate comments from coworkers.
One supervisor went so far as to get in her face and scream at her using the F word. When she asked him to not use the word anymore, his response was to repeat the word several times to her within inches of her face. She was visibly in shock at this response and shaken up. She was unable to continue the job she was working on and was terribly upset that a man would talk to a woman with such disrespect, and him being her immediate supervisor made it even worse. He did this on more than one occasion.
The example he set caused some of her male coworkers to feel as though it was ok for them to act this way towards her as well. The basic respect between workers was then out the window, and she had to constantly argue and battle for something as basic as her right to work in a hostility-free environment. The hostile environment would never have existed if the supervisor hadnÕt instigated it.
Working under conditions where animosity and disrespect become the normal day to day interaction causes an unnecessarily stressful environment. A man who is a real man doesnÕt have to stoop to trying to bully a woman. This shows the sick character the individual possesses - especially when the yelling started over a question about a simple job assignment.
The all-white managers in Water Quality, with a KKK mentality, make working in the Water Pollution Control Bureau a living hell. For example, I received several safety complaints about my parking, and my manger had me in a disciplinary meeting without the union being present. The manager said he was concerned about my driving and asked if I needed help in driving back to the Southeast laboratory. I told him no, I donÕt need his help in driving back.
I told him I have been working for the City for over 23 years and have never had one accident in a city car and that I have a valid driverÕs license. During the meeting, he told me that I had to submit to a DMV driving test and that I could not drive or do any more City business. At that moment I told him that he was violating my civil rights and that I wanted the union present to represent me.
This is the way the managers harass Black people and violate every civil service law on the books. No other city employees have to go through this lack of respect. I know many employees who have had many accidents with city cars, and they are never harassed about it. It is very apparent that there are double standards for me. Many managers have this mentality. Every day you have to watch your back and go to work in fear!
On July 30, I left home to go to work with my slippers on and was planning to change my shoes when I got to work. A rumor spread throughout the plant that I was walking around without any shoes on. They were trying to make me out to be a Òmadwoman,Ó and I was forced to go to the hospital. If I didnÕt go to the hospital, they said they were going to call the police on me and make me go illegally.
I was completely outraged by this violation of my basic civil rights and had to defend myself against these allegations by going to the doctor. The doctor gave me a clean bill of health, of course.
I canÕt even begin to explain how utterly humiliating this made me feel. I felt that my reputation and name were slandered, all in the name of a despicable and cruel joke. I was told that this was all done for my own good and out of concern for me.
The positive, happy, friendly attitude that I had when I first came to the plant at the age of 18 has slowly diminished over time. IÕve seen this happen to other workers as well. By the time they retire, theyÕre bitter and angry because of this constant battle to have a healthy work environment. TheyÕve been let down, because the mangers allow the harassment to happen. I donÕt want to end up one of those bitter people.
Instead of problem solving, when you make a complaint to the City and CountyÕs EEOC, they notify the manager, even though the EEOC is supposed to be supportive of the staff. The City and CountyÕs EEOC trains managers how to use the law so that nothing ever happens to the complaint.
A lot of different races are upset with this madness. They are completely frightened by the managersÕ wrath, which is loud, nasty and very confrontational. They are always lying and being very manipulative with people through bogus rules they implement. They are doing this to me and other minorities throughout the City. TheyÕre hanging minority professionals out to dry without a fair trial.
Speaking of hanging, the nooses that have been discovered at each of our wastewater plants are physical proof of the racial mentality that the plants are operating under. An environment such as this is completely unfair to the individuals who do not have this mentality. YouÕre just an innocent bystander observing the injustice and inappropriate behavior around you.
There are some minorities who share the racist line of thinking. They go along with everything the managers say, even if they are completely wrong in disciplining the minority personnel. The City and County of San Francisco, in its mission statement, claims it provides an opportunity to work in a challenging environment with diverse employees from all racial backgrounds. Therefore, managers with racial or gender bias have no place within the City system.
The managers blame the minorities for everything that goes wrong and send us to suspension hearings in an effort to terminate us. They generate a false paper trail, writing unsubstantiated charges in our personnel folders to facilitate the termination process.
The hiring process is another issue of importance that needs to be addressed. The hiring process does not count seniority as a basis for promotion, while other City agencies weigh seniority very heavily. This enables the managers to be biased in the selection and promotion process and to pass over dedicated employees who have served the City for many, many years. Their perseverance, dedication and loyalty is not taken as a criterion anymore. This causes me not to want to come to work under such stressful conditions. IÕm sure this is exactly the way the managers want us to feel.
The example that is being set for the personnel is that people who think like this can get away with harassing and trying to intimidate their fellow workers. IÕve dealt with my share of this attitude, which has filtered down and created a hostile environment in which weÕre constantly defending ourselves.
The management has created monsters out of these workers, who start to feel like swearing and being disrespectful and corrupt is normal behavior in a work environment. The employees who act in this manner didnÕt start off acting that way; it happened over time by working in a chaotic environment.
TheyÕve been trained this way by the examples that are set on a daily basis. I have been harassed both on and off the job by these monsters, who have been created and cloned after the manipulative management. They start to take on the ÒIÕm untouchableÓ attitude that the management has and even feel justified in this harassing behavior and find it humorous to act in this illegal way.
This is just one example of their idea of aÓ normalÓ workday at the plant. Working under so much stress on a daily basis causes you to get sick with the following: lack of sleep, severe migraine headaches and loss of appetite. IÕve had to take a leave of absence just to deal with this disgusting, ghastly, repulsive, sickening behavior. I have the right to work in a hostility-free environment as stated in the civil service charter by the City and County of San Francisco.
IÕm no longer willing to look the other way. Something has to be done immediately about this crisis situation. I want people in the community to have some insight into whatÕs happening in their backyard.
Will PUC stop racism at wastewater plants?
Picket & rally Monday, Dec. 29, 4:30pm, City Hall steps
by Roland Sheppard
San Francisco - On Dec. 1, Anita Labossiere, along with this reporter, expressed some of our concerns to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission that overt racism Ð replete with hanging nooses Ð continues to raise its ugly head in the cityÕs wastewater, or sewage treatment, plants.
Placing a noose where a Black worker will find it is becoming an increasingly common form of racist terrorism in workplaces around the country. The nooses are intended as a reminder of the thousands of Blacks lynched by Whites just a few decades ago. Stationary engineer Carmi Johnson,who found a noose and other fellow workers, who found nooses in their desks, are victims of noose terrorism at the PUCÕs wastewater plants.
Anita told the PUC, ÒI have been working for the San Francisco Water Pollution Control Bureau for over 23 years as the only African American supervising chemist. In the City and County of San Francisco, there is a well-organized plan by the managers to harass any minorities, minority supervisors and employees who support Black workers.
ÒAfter the article I wrote, published in the Bay View newspaper last Aug. 20, ÔWorking for the City is a living hell: Dealing with racism in the wastewater plants,Õ I have been kept away from work by the managers at PUC. They are using every legal and illegal trick to keep me from returning to work from my personal leave,Ó Anita testified, adding, ÒI should never have to work in this living HELL! You are damned if you do and damned if you donÕt.
ÒThe following lyrics from the song ÔStrange FruitÕ explain my feelings. I feel like I am a strange fruit swinginÕ in the Southern breeze: ÔSouthern trees bear a strange fruit/ Blood on the leaves and blood at the root/ Black bodies swinginÕ in the Southern breeze/ Strange fruit hanginÕ from the poplar trees/ Pastoral scene of the gallant South. ...Õ
ÒPUC Personnel has refused to allow me to return to work. I was on a leave of absence brought on by stress. There are many Black employees throughout the City who are going through what I am going through. My case is very typical of how Mayor Willie Brown has ignored all of the Black employeesÕ concerns, even allowing them to be fired on trumped up charges. We have not gotten any help from Mayor Brown.Ó
Anita concluded with a call to action: ÒThe PUC needs to conduct an immediate and open investigation and hearing about this racism in the water and wastewater plants.Ó
We were both well received by the PUC, and they agreed that this is an important matter. They stated, for the record, that they will investigate this intolerable situation within the wastewater plants.
But the truth of the matter is that the PUCÕs department managers have implemented a rule known as Sec. 120.22 Compulsory Sick Leave in order to keep Anita from going back to work.
On Dec. 15, she was forcibly removed from the job under this city rule, even though she had been accepted back to work earlier in the day. An absent, so far unnamed, supervisor evoked rule 120.22.1.
That section of the city rules states: ÒAn appointing officer or designee who has reason to believe that an employee is not medically or physically competent to perform assigned duties, and if allowed to continue in employment or return from leave may represent a risk to coworkers, the public and the employee, may require the employee to present a medical report from a physician designated by the Human Resources Director certifying the employeeÕs medical or physical competency to perform the required duties.Ó
In fact, this rule was put in operation after Anita wrote her article for this newspaper on racism in the wastewater plants and was already on stress leave due to the racist environment that is allowed to exist and fester at the plant.
The way the rule is being interpreted in AnitaÕs case, the Òappointing officer or designeeÓ has the right to discriminate against any employee. Every employee who gets injured on the job, under this interpretation, could be prevented from returning to work.
In this case, it is simply another type of noose that is left dangling before every city worker - especially those, like Anita, who have Òblown the whistleÓ on racism. PUC managers even dare to implement this policy in the heart of the largest remaining Black neighborhood in San Francisco!
The Southeast sewage treatment plant would never have been built in Bay View Hunters Point if African Americans Ð both skilled professionals like Anita and blue collar workers Ð had not been promised jobs and equal opportunity to rise through the ranks. The Black community, in one of its strongest demonstrations of unity in San Francisco history, stopped construction of the plant, protesting that the neighborhood was already being poisoned by the PG&E power plant and other pollution generators and that race discrimination pervaded city employment.
Only when the city promised to minimize pollution and hire residents was construction allowed to proceed. Despite repeated protests over the years, the city has made little effort to fulfill either promise.
Anita is a strong person and, so far, she is standing up to and enduring the attacks against her. If the Black community stands up with her, she will win and all of San Francisco will gain.
On Monday, Dec. 29, at 4:30 p.m., a picket line and rally will be held on the steps of City Hall to address this issue. All are welcome to come and raise their voices.
We must remain ever vigilant so that a proper investigation is carried out and that the PUC does not just Ògo through the motionsÓ of an investigation and that racism in city government is rooted out and punished.
A Town Hall Community-Labor Speakout will be held on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Green House, 4919 Third St., between Palou and Quesada, to demand this investigation by the PUC and an end to racism in city employment. For more information, call (415) 867-0628.
A tale of two lawsuits
San Francisco says it was defrauded by construction giant Tutor-Saliba, but a whistle-blower charges that city officials share the blame
By A.C. Thompson
December 24, 2003 Early next month San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren will hear arguments in the case formerly known as John Doe v. John Doe.
The case was filed in August 2002, but all details about this unusual legal skirmish were kept secret for more than six months, shrouded by the California False Claims Act, the state's whistle-blower statute.
The law allows private citizens to file suit against government officials for wrongdoing Ð typically embezzling or taking bribes Ð and keeps such proceedings confidential, at least initially. The idea behind all this secrecy is to protect the whistle-blower from reprisals.
The wraps came off Doe v. Doe in March 2003, when a court order sealing the case expired, revealing a man named Kevin Williams as the initiator of the lawsuit Ð and adding a new, previously unreported wrinkle in a long-simmering controversy.
In his suit Williams accuses San Francisco International Airport director John Martin and five other city employees of allowing three corporations, including construction giant Tutor-Saliba Corp., to defraud taxpayers during the course of the $2.9 billion expansion of the international terminal. Williams has firsthand knowledge of the airport's byzantine contracting process because he was a city employee paid to oversee a key aspect of the epic-scale construction job from 1995 to 2000.
He's not the only person who says Tutor-Saliba vacuumed cash out of public coffers. Three months after Williams filed suit, San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera brought his own, remarkably similar lawsuit charging Tutor-Saliba with conspiring to rip off $30 million in city public funds.
There's a key difference between the two cases, however: In Herrera's version of reality, the city had no clue about Tutor-Saliba's nefarious activities. Williams, on the other hand, says specific city staffers are partially responsible for the purported scam bonanza.
The distinction is more than semantic. If Williams is right, then perhaps those city employees should have to answer for their actions. And if city officials were aware of what was going on, Herrera will have a harder time arguing that the city was defrauded.
Management at the airport, says attorney John Scott, one of Williams's lawyers, allowed the city to be scammed, either through "negligence or collusion [with Tutor-Saliba]."
The City Attorney's Office, Scott says, "is circling the wagons to protect these people instead of investigating them."
Tutor-Saliba has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. In a Bay Guardian interview last year, president Ron Tutor described the allegations as "too absurd even to comment on."
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Herrera's suit is a declaration of war against the firm, one of the largest contractors specializing in public works jobs in the country. The City Attorney's Office is seeking $30 million, plus punitive damages, and a court order barring the company from working on any city-funded San Francisco public works jobs in the future.
According to Herrera's 56-page legal complaint, the Los Angeles County-based firm, which has ties to outgoing mayor Willie Brown and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, submitted "false and inflated pay applications to Airport," cooked its books "to hide its grossly inflated and fraudulent profits," and ran roughshod over the city's affirmative action system, which sets aside public works contracts for minority- and women-owned businesses.
In court documents, Herrera says Tutor-Saliba asked for and received innumerable contract modifications that boosted its payment from $620 million to an astronomical $980 million. Many of those changes, the city attorney claims, were designed to improperly enlarge the company's profits.
Herrera's wide-ranging attack employs a variety of legal weapons, including the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a statute designed to take down organized crime outfits.
But Herrera hasn't gone after any airport staffers or other city employees who OKed the dubious contracts. "If there were any legitimate charges against these people, we would have pursued it and investigated it," city attorney spokesperson Matt Dorsey says. "Kevin Williams is not a whistle-blower and has not made any meaningful contribution to any investigation or litigation pursued by this office."
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Williams lives in a different world. He says if people had only listened to him back in 1999, Tutor-Saliba would never have bilked the city.
"There were hundreds of millions in contracts approved over my objections," says Williams, who scrutinized the company's dealings with the airport from the late 1990s until 2000 for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
His work with the HRC took him to the airport, where he headed an affirmative action program, ensuring that a chunk of the multibillion-dollar expansion project at SFO went to minority- and women-owned businesses.
He says airport director Martin and deputy directors Tom Kardos, Earnie Eavis, and Jackson Wong are partially to blame for the Tutor-Saliba mess. He also lays blame on HRC staffer Zula Jones and former HRC director Marivic Bamba.
All have denied the allegations in court documents.
You may remember Williams from the newspapers a few years back. He's the guy at the HRC who captured headlines with a string of bombshell allegations about corruption and cronyism in the administration of Mayor Willie Brown (see "SFO Cover-up," 8/1/01).
His testimony led to criminal indictments against the HRC's Jones Ð later dropped in part because the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided her office without a warrant Ð and prompted Scott Co. of California to plead guilty to federal wire fraud charges.
While working at the airport, Williams became well acquainted with Tutor-Saliba. In 1999, Williams began telling his superiors, both publicly and privately, that white-owned corporations including Tutor-Saliba were scamming the system by using bogus "front" companies to score contracts set aside for minority- and women-owned companies.
In internal city memos obtained by the Bay Guardian, Williams claimed the firm scored contracts by listing two different black-owned construction companies as subcontractors but barred those companies from actually doing any work.
In December 1999, Williams implored Controller Ed Harrington to stop paying Tutor-Saliba until the company started playing by the rules; Harrington didn't take that step.
Williams says officials at a variety of agencies blew him off. "I reported these things to my bosses, to the Airport Commission, the Human Rights Commission," Williams recalls. "I didn't get any feedback."
Throughout 1999 he showed up at Airport Commission meetings to blast the body for giving contracts to Tutor-Saliba. In court documents Williams claims the commission, which is supposed to oversee the publicly owned airport, circumvented affirmative action requirements by approving $650 million in contracts and contract modifications without any review from the HRC.
"He was pointing out fraud, and the city continuously ignored him," says Eric Safire, another lawyer representing Williams. "They knew those companies were fronts. And if they didn't, all they had to do was read one of Kevin's memos."
SFO refused to comment on the allegations. "We don't comment on pending litigation," spokesperson Michael McCarron says.
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Two lawsuits. Two versions of reality. One big mess. The intertwined suits, to lift a line from famed muckraker Jonathan Kwitny, form a complex double helix of politics and law enforcement. But at the core is a simple question: who's responsible?
These days the city seems more interested in going after Williams than in going after the people who may have played a role in the contracting quagmire at the airport.
In 2000, after testifying before a federal grand jury against Jones, his boss at the HRC, Williams was demoted and stripped of his role as a contract monitor. He's since been hit with termination proceedings Ð which he's fighting in court.
The Human Rights Commission
The Home of Environmental Racism
Commission Executive Director Virginia Harmon is subjecting San Francisco Human Rights Compliance Officer Kevin Williams, an 18-year veteran African American anti-discrimination investigator to segregated working conditions. Join us to question the Commission why the City is tolerating segregation by a city department.
Mr. Williams has been a constant victim of retaliation since he testified before a federal grand jury in a corruption probe in 1999, which led to the indictment of his supervisor Zula Jones on April 28, 2000;
He has received several anonymous death threats, which were placed in his employee mailbox at the 25 Van Ness main office location of the Human Rights Commission;
Mr. Williams has been subjected to prolonged segregated working conditions, and not permitted to work on any job assignments with other managers, commissioners, or compliance staff of the Human Rights Commission. He is forced to work alone on his work assignments in order to justify false charges alleging his failure to perform in a orchestrated scheme designed to manufacture the count less bogus disciplinary actions taken against him;
Racist and avowed segregationist Harmon has ordered him placed under surveillance at his office and home, his computer seized, and computer files confiscated, bypassing his government employee confidential password. From the files seized it was determined by her that Williams is guilty of doing personal work on City time and must be fired.
He has recently learned that he has been the subject of a secret investigation into his political activities involving the mayorÕs race since February 9, 2003. She also has ordered that any outgoing mail from Williams be immediately opened and inspected. Mr. Williams was never told that he was ever the subject of an investigation for termination of his employment for nine consecutive months, until Harmon served him with termination papers on August 15, 2003.
A Town Hall Community-Labor Speakout will be held on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Green House, 4919 Third St., between Palou and Quesada, to demand this investigation by the PUC and an end to racism in city employment. For more information, call (415) 867-0628.
Coalition For Justice and Human Rights, P.O. Box 15086, San Francisco, CA 94115
a_labossiere1 [at] yahoo.com, carltv214 [at] aol.com
Endorsed by San Francisco Bay View, Labor Action Coalition, Peace And Freedom Labor Committee,
Campaign Against Taft-Hartley, Repression and Privatization