[Hpn] STREET SHEET E-Zine -- July 2001 -- Wanna revolution?

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Tue, 03 Jul 2001 14:58:31 -0700


    We live under a government of men and morning newspapers.
            - Wendell Phillips
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San Francisco's STREET SHEET Online Edition - JULY, 2001

Wanna revolution?
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CONTENTS:

0   FOREWORD
        by chance martin

1  What Quality, Whose Life, and Whoケs REALLY
    ウStuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place?イ
        by COH staff

2  North American Street Newspaper Association Conference History
        by Paula Mathieu
        JOURNAL OF ORDINARY THOUGHT

3  CHCROP Update
        by CHCROP staff

4  MIZ FEINSTEINケS SKOOL OF HARD KNOCKS
        by Paul Boden and Barbara Duffield

5  King Willieケs City Budget Power Plays
        by the People's Budget Collaborative

 6  THIS YEARケS BUDGET SUCCESSES!
        by COH staff

7  Right To A Roof!
        by COH Housing Workgroup

8  Our Word is our Weapon
        by George Tirado

9  Swinging Through the Concrete Jungle
        by Hoops McCann

10  POSTCARD CITY
        by Leroy F. Moore, Jr.

11  Workforce Investment Board Can Dramatically Change Employment
        by Joel Oppenheimer, St. Josephケs Village Family Center

12  TO MONITOR IN TRAINING
        by Miss Visitor

13  Gentrification Under the Veneer of Revitalization
        by kaponda

14  Different Kind of Victim
        by West of Twin Peaks Observer

15  CITYSCAPE, SPRING, 2001
        by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

16  Santa Cruz Civil Rights Update
        by Robert Norse

17  Who Will Speak for the Voiceless?
        by Maureen Thompson with Ivory Madison


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。EDICION POPULAR EN ESPANOL!
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18  Nuestra palabra es nuestra arma
         por George Tirado

19  Hoteles de cuartos individuales: Precarios e insalubres
        por R.M. Arrieta

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0 

FOREWORD

     Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that
     corporations and other large organizations habitually engage in
     only because they cannot actually masturbate.
                - Dave Barry


Sorry this month's edition is tardy, this past weekend was the last one I
could safely take off until after the North American Street Newspaper
Conference that will take place July 26-29th at New College of California
here in San Francisco.

Frankly, I'm pretty damned excited.

Not to say the conference doesn't promise some particularly painful passages
of process -- part of the festivities will be devoted to sessions where we
actually determine the roles and responsibilities between member
publications and this still-emerging entity that we call NASNA. If our
planning's successful, and luck smiles on our efforts, NASNA will be a much
stronger and responsive organization at the end of this year's conference.

But the beauty part is that SF is in the middle of yet-another tourist
season-inspired anti-homeless campaign. How do you think seeing homeless
peoples' asses kicked by SFPD is going to impact representatives from over
40 publications in the U.S. and Canada? Can you say Tourist Boycott?

For those who can't attend, the SF Bay Area Independent Media Center
[ http://www.sf.indymedia.org/ ] will be uploading media throughout the
conference (we took over New College's computer lab, heh-heh).

Next year, we'll all go to Boston. A word of advice to our friends at Spare
Change and What's Up: please book the conference facility and accommodations
NOW and save yourself a LOT of headaches later!

But I'm also kinda sad. Adam Arms, COH staff attorney par excellence, has
left us to work as a public defender in Portland, OR. How many lawyers are
we ever going to come across who'll work for $22,500/year, create kick-ass
artwork, and play left field like a pro? I'm not optimistic.

And in honor of John Lee Hooker, who boogied on right off this mortal coil
last week, here's song lyrics for July:


The Waterfront

I cover the waterfront
Watchin' the ship go by
I could see everybody's baby
But I couldn't see mine
I could see the ships pullin' in
To the harbor
I could see the people
Meeting their loved one
Shakin' hand
I sat there
So all alone
Coverin' the waterfront

And after a while
All the people
Left the harbor
And headed for their destination
All the ships
Left the harbor
And headed for their next destination
I sat there
Coverin' the waterfront

And after a while
I looked down the ocean
As far as I could see - in the fog
I saw a ship
It headed this way
Comin' out the foam
It must be my baby
Comin' down
And after a while
The ship pulled into the harbor
Rollin' slow
So triple (?)
And my baby
Stepped off board
I was still
Coverin' the waterfront

Said "Johnny,
Our ship had trouble - with the fog
And that's why we're so late
So late
Comin' home
Comin' down"

John Lee Hooker


Hope to see y'all in SF later this month. Maybe we'll slip on down to the
Boom-Boom Room and raise a glass for Mr. Hooker.

peace,

chance


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1 

What Quality, Whose Life, and Whoケs REALLY
ウStuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place?イ

Using the police to address homelessness is nothing new. During the Great
Depression, local governments jailed homeless people using vagrancy and
loitering laws. Since the courts have found vagrancy laws unconstitutional,
what we see today in San Francisco, and across the nation, is the police
using illegal camping, blocking the sidewalk, and trespassing citations to
criminalize homeless people.

But baton-swinging as a homeless policy has not worked, and will not work to
solve the problems associated with homelessness. Mayor Jordanケs Matrix
program had San Francisco police handing out thousands of citations, and the
problem of homelessness increased. Mayor Brown claimed to end the failed
Matrix program, but the police have stepped up their citation writing. SFPD
issues tens of thousands of citations per year for simply performing
life-sustaining acts, such as sleeping. Yet homelessness remains.

Police departments are not staffed by social workers, nor do they develop
housing. They are not trained nor do they have the resources needed to deal
with the myriad problems keeping people on the street. Officers know that
writing someone a citation for ウlivingイ in a park will not get that person a
roof over their head, or medical treatment, or a living wage job. They admit
that writing citations is futile and a waste of time. But the Mayor insists
that officers continue to write these citations.

The question we must ask ourselves is this  do we want our government to
focus its attention and resources on criminalizing homeless people, or do we
want the focus to be eradicating homelessness?

Recent media pieces and statements by the Mayor have framed homelessness as
a problem in need of stricter policing and tougher prosecution of homeless
people. These statements identify the presence of homeless people in United
Nations Plaza, Justin Herman Plaza, Market Street, and Civic Center Plaza as
an issue of crime and a failure to punish. Demands for increased (selective)
law enforcement ignore what keeps people living in the streets  the loss of
affordable housing, primarily due to billions of dollars in cuts by the
feds, and the inaccessibility of substance abuse and mental health
treatment.

Mayor ウElect-Me-And-I-Will-End-Matrixイ Brown sneaked a quarter of a million
dollars into the Cityケs budget two years ago to prosecute quality-of-life
offenders. Brownケs problem was that D.A. Hallinan had enough integrity not
to prosecute homeless people for survival activities like sleeping or
urinating. So Brown added the money to the City Attorneyケs office in direct
violation of the Cityケs Charter (itケs not in the City Attorneyケs purview to
prosecute local infractions).

Under this program, the City Attorneyケs Office had two full-time lawyers
sitting in San Francisco Traffic Court prosecuting homeless people for such
ウcrimesイ as being in a park after hours or blocking the sidewalk.

Last budget cycle, Hallinanケs office absorbed this $250,000 line item and
took over the prosecution program. This budget cycle heケs cut the ウprogramイ
out altogether. Not only was this a no-brainer morally , it also stopped the
hemorrhaging of our Cityケs resources.

Although the City Attorneyケs and District Attorneyケs programs purported to
offer treatment services through pretrial diversion, they floundered,
turning into costly, unworkable fiascoes. The Coalition on Homelessness
received many documents through Public Records Act requests which contain
information verifying the prosecution programケs lack of effectiveness. The
majority of people brought into the program were channeled into manual labor
ウcommunity service.イ Zero people received medical treatment. Zero people
received housing. Many of those claimed by the District Attorneyケs office to
have received ウsubstance abuse treatmentイ were simply given information
about Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.

Just as painting over the stains from a leaking pipe can provide you with
the illusion of having ウfixedイ it, ignoring the cause of the problem will
inevitably lead to bigger problems for you in the future. Rather than
forcing homeless people to ウmove along,イ or putting them into jail, San
Francisco must address  and must force our state and federal government to
address  the causes of homelessness.

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2 

North American Street Newspaper Association Conference Meets Here July 26-29

History of NASNA Conferences
For two humid August days in 1996, Chicago played host to a historic
conference. For the first time, representatives from 26 street newspapers
across the U.S. and Canada came together to get acquainted, share ideas, and
explore the possibilities of creating a network. It was there, in a
unanimous vote by participants, that the North American Street Newspaper
Association (NASNA) was born.

Unity in Difference Street newspapers have a mission to do one or both of
the following: 1) to inform the public and shape perceptions about social
issues, poverty and homelessness, and 2) to empower homeless people through
employment.

Despite this agreed definition, it has been clear since that first
conference that there is no one best way to run a street newspaper. Papers
range from Chicagoケs StreetWise, with a monthly circulation of 90,000 and a
staff of more than a dozen, to Eugeneケs Homeless Journal, a stapled, xeroxed
booklet written and produced entirely by one homeless woman. Participants
express a range of views about how best to balance creating a marketable
publication and involving homeless people in the writing and decisions of
the organization. Ultimately, every paper adapts to its local community in
striking this balance between entrepreneurialism and activism. The sharing
of views and information at this first conference left participants
committed to the value of an association where papers could regularly meet.
A steering committee was elected to create NASNA as an umbrella organization
to share information and resources, facilitate the growth of new projects,
and promote the concept of street papers.

Annual Conferences Each summer since 1996, NASNA members have come together
for an annual conference in a city that is home to a street newspaper.
Seattle, Washington, was the site of the 1997 conference; Montreal, Quebec,
in 1998; Cleveland, Ohio, in 1999 and Edmonton, Alberta in 2000. The 2001
conference will be hosted by Street Sheet in San Francisco. Moving the
conference to a new location each year helps spread the conference
geographically to include more people from all areas of North America. In
addition, participants get the chance to learn about the local conditions
facing homeless and poor people in the host city, and the conference helps
attract local media attention.

In 1998, for example, Tim Harris, then NASNA chair, and the staff of
Montrealケs LケItin駻aire held a press conference on homelessness in North
America, which was attended by 20 to 25 local television and newspaper
reporters. This resulted in wide media coverage of the conference and the
NASNA network. Staff from LケItin駻aire were interviewed for an hour-long
television news program regarding their work with the homeless of Qu饕ec.
According to ノric Cimon of LケItin駻aire, ウWith all the media attention, we
gained credibility, and now when thereケs something happening related to
homelessness, weケre called. What we write has credibility because weケre
linked to a lot of other papers across North America.イ In 2000, the Edmonton
conference received coverage in the daily newspapers and alternative press.
In addition, more than 100 conference attendees and local activists held an
anti-homelessness march through the streets of Edmonton. The march leader,
Our Voiceケs editor Michael Walters, spoke through a bullhorn to curious
passers-by: ウIn Edmonton, 1500 people are homeless. This is a public
disgrace. We should all be ashamed. We should all do something about it.イ
(ed. note: Edmunton has approximately the same total population but only
about 10% of the number of homeless people we have here in SF, and theyケre
ashamed.)

After the rally, organizers held the first ever North American Vend-Off,
where vendors from member papers each sold their own cityケs newspaper on a
designated stretch of Edmonton streets for one hour, raising public
awareness of homeless and of the international network. The winner, Terry
Flamond, from Calgaryケs Street Talk sold 57 papers in an hourケs time, and
won a free trip to this yearケs conference, and a genuine bag of Edmonton ice
cubes.

Workshops Probably the most valuable component of each yearケs conference is
the series of small workshops on a specific aspect of street newspaper life.
The first yearケs conference featured workshops on Marketing/Promotions,
Structure/Leadership, Producing the Paper, and Vendor Issues. In subsequent
years the workshops have grown to include Starting a Paper from Scratch,
Working with Youth, Involving Homeless People in Leadership Issues, Covering
Urban Issues, Writing Workshops, Homeless Papers and the Internet, the
Ethics of Photojournalism, Working with Volunteers, Civil Rights Issues, and
Race, Class and Poverty.

The structure of the workshops usually includes two or three people who have
experience with the topic who share their experiences and facilitate group
discussion and interaction. For example, the 1999 workshop on ウGetting
Homeless People in Leadership Positionsイ included Donald Whitehead from
Cincinnatiケs Street Vibes and Tim Brown of Sacramentoケs Homeward. Donald
told the story of a homeless man given leadership opportunities at
StreetVibes, which led to a career organizing and working on behalf of
homeless people. He was telling his own story. Tim gave short scenarios
about strategies of building consensus that engender feelings of
empowerment: ウIf people work together to generate an idea and itケs acted on,
thatケs empowering.イ The two then facilitated sharing of strategies and
questions from all participants.

Since 1997, NASNA has surveyed attendees at each conference, and the
workshops have consistently been rated of the highest value. With each
yearケs feedback, attendees request more small group workshops and more
opportunities to share personal experiences.

Keynote Speakers At each conference the participants come together to hear
one or more keynote addresses. Norma Fae Green, a historian at Columbia
College in Chicago, has spoken at two NASNA conferences about her research
on the history of street newspapers. Professor Green contextualized the
modern street paper movement by connecting it to similar papers prior to the
20th century, such as the Salvation Armyケs War Cry, printed in London, where
reporters went undercover to expose conditions in Salvation Armyケs own
shelters.

Another memorable NASNA speakers was Lee Stringer, former vendor of New
Yorkケs Street News, the original modern street paper, and author of the
best-selling Grand Central Winter. In 1989 Stringer was surviving on the
streets and supporting his drug habit, when the paper began and he started
as a vendor for them. He ウcaught the writing bug,イ worked five years as
editor of the paper, kicked his drug habit, and landed a book contract. He
told the NASNA body an unforgettable cautionary tale of the ups and downs of
Street News.

Another conference featured long-time Seattle journalist and activist, Walt
Crowley, speaking about the alternative press movement of the sixties and
seventies. The most recent conference brought Canadian writer Pat Capponi
who spoke about her experience as a recipient of ウhelpイ from mental-health
social service agencies and relayed the importance of giving leadership and
structuring decisions to people who have been marginalized.

NASNA Business and the Executive Committee At the first NASNA conference a
steering committee was elected to meet and work on proposals for the full
NASNA membership to vote on. This structure has evolved into a 11-person
Executive Committee, which strives to maintain the following diversity of
representation: 50% male/female, 40% people of color, 50% people who have
experienced poverty, and 25% vendors. The executive committee meets monthly
for a telephone conference, and through a buddy system, relays information
to member papers throughout the year.

At each conference, NASNA members have a business meeting to vote on
initiatives for the organization. The following have been approved and are
now in place: a definition of street paper, mission statement, and
membership guidelines for NASNA; articles and bylaws, a structure for
electing an executive committee, paying dues, and raising funds for NASNA;
development of electronic interaction among members, including a website for
NASNA, an email listserve, and a homeless news service for sharing editorial
content among member papers (currently being finalized); and initiatives for
member development, which includes information for and support for new and
struggling papers.

Paula Mathieu 
Journal of Ordinary Thought
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3 

CHCROP Update

The California Homeless Civil Rights Organizing Projectケs mission statement:
    
    CHCROPケs mission, directed by the voices of homeless people, is a
    commitment to securing the civil and human rights of poor and homeless
    men, women and children. We will organize through education,
    documentation, legal advocacy, legislation and non-violent direct
    action. Simultaneously, we will advocate for positive solutions to
    homelessness.
    
Throughout May 20th, 21st and 22nd, at the Housing California Conference in
Sacramento, folks of all different walks and stripes worked hard at laying
out a rock solid foundation for the California Homeless Civil Rights
Organizing Project. More than thirteen cities from across the state sent
representatives to participate. From Buena Park activists to a homeless
veteran from Modesto, with Santa Cruz civil rights advocates, San Diego
street newspaper publishers, Los Angeles community organizers, San Francisco
attorneys, Santa Barbaraケs trailblazing homeless folks and more participants
and perspectives from all points in between, CHCROPケs second face-to-face,
full work group meeting ROCKED!

The first afternoon, while waiting for the Southern California arrivals, we
used the time teaching and learning from each other.

With vigorous participation, member organizations presented workshops and
training around strategies, skills and approaches they developed in the
course of doing their local organizing and advocacy. The work put into
preparing these offerings paid off in a gratifyingly immediate fashion, as
most of them segued into killer Q & A / open discussion sessions. While
waiting for the next member organization to check in and start their
presentation, the rest of the group was able to do more than the clich
ウnetworking.イ Being a new group, but comprised of people who are
overwhelmingly NOT new to fighting the ongoing abuses of homeless peoplesケ
civil rights, plenty of ウsharedイ issues had been previously identified.
Using some of those issues in posing situations around the application of
the skills, tips or strategies presented, this unique group quickly ウcaught
fire.イ

The sparks and humor flew as the group envisioned and analyzed a San
Francisco-style outreach documenting Los Angeles cops on video camera!
Suffice to say, there are significant differences from one locale to the
next; California is a big state with incredible diversity. Thankfully,
CHCROP is structured to develop into the same  BIG and DIVERSE!

An ambitious agenda was set for the next two days of the work group meeting.
The work group participated in an action organized by SHOC (the Sacramento
Homeless Organizing Committee). The action was on the west steps of the
state capital building and ended with a confrontation between demonstrators
and State Highway Patrol Officers who illegally prevented participants from
carrying protest signs into the state capital building.

Returning to the meeting with the growing criminalization of homelessness in
mind, the work group concentrated on trying to create a stronger and more
effective organization. We reviewed the structure of CHCROP, our mission
statement was crafted, and we decided how communication between members will
be facilitated. Most importantly, we finalized an incident report form that
all CHCROP members will utilize as they document homeless peoplesケ civil
rights being abused. The completed CHCROP Incident Report Forms will be
pivotal in creating our advocacy agenda, because the information comes
directly from each member organization痴 outreach to homeless people, and
records (in their own words even, wherever possible) what is happening to
homeless Californians.

With the time and expense considerations of such a geographically dispersed
membership base, the work group incorporated regional meetings into the
communication and decision-making processes. While no final organizational
decisions will be made outside of a full work group meeting, the regional
meetings will still consider, evaluate and make proposals on all work group
agenda items and issues.

The next regional meetings will be especially important considering one
agenda item already set for us. The regional work groups will be looking at
the first results of CHCROPケs Incident Report Form. Reports will be copied
to the regional offices at the end of each month. By the time of the
regional meetings in August, there should be significant and accessible
documentation collected that is verifiably representative of Californiaケs
abuse of the human and civil rights of homeless people. Convening again in
November, the next face-to-face full work group meeting in San Diego will be
able to evaluate nearly six months worth of documentation from more than
thirteen cities across the state. That documentation will drive the next
steps in choosing our first issue to take on, and meets our mission
statement goal of an advocacy agenda driven by the input of homeless people.

Welcome to the California Homeless Civil Rights Organizing Project, where
our work is growing  but the buck has finally stopped.

Northern California will have the next regional work group meeting in late
August, hosted in Modesto. An exact date, time and location will be set by
the end of June. Call Kathleen Gray @ 415/346-3740, x319 for more
information. Southern California will also have their regional work group
meeting late in August, but the hosting site is still undecided. Contact
Rickey Mantley or Pete White @ 213/ 439-1070, after July 10 for the southern
regional meeting specifics.
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4 

MIZ FEINSTEINケS SKOOL OF HARD KNOCKS

Last month, amidst self-congratulatory speeches about helping poor children
receive a high quality education, the U.S. Senate passed an education
package that would keep many of Californiaケs poorest children in ウhomeless
onlyイ schools or classrooms.

The Senate bill would permit certain school districts that currently
segregate homeless students to continue to do so, and to receive federal
funding. In effect, the bill will make it legal for these school districts
to segregate homeless students  a practice that clearly has been illegal
under current federal law, which entitles homeless students to a free,
appropriate public education, and prohibits their separation from the
mainstream school environment.

This provision is the result of efforts by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein,
who alone among Democrats joined Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona to push for
federal funding for separate schools for homeless children. As a result, six
schools were grandfathered  five in California, and one in Arizona.

Feinstein appears to have been seduced by the self-serving pleas of the
segregated schools, such as the ウTransitional Learning Centerイ in Stockton -
a ウschoolイ that segregates children in grades K-6 into three classrooms at a
day center for homeless people, and only provides a four and a half hour
school day. Segregation proponents claim that without separate schools,
homeless students would not attend school, and that separate schools provide
ウuniqueイ services, such as food and counseling. These blatantly false
contentions, apparently endorsed by Feinstein and Kyl, display an arrogant
disregard for current law and practice.

The McKinney-Vento Act requires States to remove barriers to homeless
studentケs enrollment, attendance, and success in school. Separate schools
were created because certain school districts refused to remove these
barriers, in blatant disregard of federal law. Rather than stabilize
children in the same school that they were attending prior to losing their
housing, or in a regular neighborhood school, some school districts have
chosen to increase the disruption and loss in the lives of homeless children
by forcing them into homeless-only schools, thereby depriving children of
the normalcy, stability, resources, and opportunities of the mainstream
education to which they are entitled. And now theyケll get federal funding to
do it.

Many school districts in California are complying the McKinney-Vento Act,
with remarkable results. For example, in the Fresno Unified School District,
there has been a decrease in student mobility, increased attendance, and
improved test scores for more than 2,000 children experiencing homelessness
throughout the district  all of whom are educated in regular neighborhood
schools. Like other school districts throughout California and the nation,
the social service needs of homeless students are met without separating
these students from their housed classmates.

Apparently unconcerned with the policy and humanity issues, Feinstein forged
ahead with her efforts, despite the objections of the California Board of
Education, the entire Bay area Congressional delegation, and integrated
education programs throughout the state  programs that the Senator never
bothered to visit.

Segregation should be a thing of the past in America. It is indisputably
unacceptable to segregate children of color, children with disabilities, and
children with a limited knowledge of English to separate schools, and the
same should be true for homeless children. Homelessness is not an
educational condition. Homeless students have the same educational needs as
their housed classmates and are capable of reaching the same academic
standards. Yet separate schools fail to provide curricula equal to that
offered in regular schools, including the opportunity to interact with
students from diverse economic and social backgrounds.

Most people remember the disastrous results of allowing public school
districts to not educate those children they do not want. It is traumatic
enough to lose oneケs home  to then remove those children from their friends
and school activities is simply cruel.

By championing segregation, Senator Feinstein has sacrificed the futures of
our most vulnerable children. Indeed, the segregation provision is the sad
triumph of politics over policy 黍f prejudice over tolerance; pity over
respect; and charity over justice. History will judge us by the strength of
our opposition.

We urge our readers to contact their members of Congress, including Senator
Feinstein, to demand that the segregation measure be eliminated in the
House/Senate Conference Committee meetings, and to ensure equal educational
opportunities for all students.
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5 

King Willieケs City Budget Power Plays

There is certainly no question that our Cityケs Mayor is an accomplished
power-broker. His skills in this area are nowhere more evident than the
Cityケs budget process, where he has managed to consolidate the lionケs share
of power inside his own office, leaving the City Departments and Board of
Supervisors behind to squabble over the scraps.

The Cityケs budget process is probably the most important venture in
policy-making that our elected officials must undertake. It determines what
priorities the City sets forward, and it shapes every aspect of life in San
Francisco. The City budget will determine how poor our citizens are, whether
we each have a home to live in, whether we have access to health care, and
even affects our civil and human rights. Within the budget constructs, Mayor
Brown has ensured he has increased control of the Cityケs budget each year
since his election.

City Departments hold budget hearings around the New Year and submit their
budgets to the Mayorケs office February 1st. The Mayorケs office releases it
to the Board of Supervisors on June 1st  a full four months later. The
Board of Supervisors, a larger legislative body, has only six weeks to
review the budget. As a result, the Mayorケs office has time to comb through
the budget, set priorities, make major funding shifts, and determine
everything the City will fund. The Board has taken steps ensuring it will
have more time next year.

Meanwhile, the Mayorケs current budget instructions have demanded baseline
budgets from the Departments. A baseline budget is the amount of funding the
Department received the year before  in other words, no new funding, and
cost increases must be funded within the total amount from the year before.
The budget instructions from the Mayorケs office have become increasingly
restrictive each year.

This has dramatically changed the way Departments prioritize. Previously,
City Departments would garner input from the community through their budget
hearings and submit a budget to the Mayor that would reflect the total needs
of those communities the Department is supposed to serve. Now, Departments
submit budgets that must cut services just to make up for cost of living
increases. The Mayorケs office is then able to do its own prioritizing of new
programs that it wants to fund. But the Mayor has no hearings or other ways
to garner systematic community input.

The Department of Public Health is notorious for making up for these cuts by
hiding them under inflated ウsalary savings,イ which is the amount of money
the City saves by leaving jobs open. By forcing the Departmentケs budget to
reflect 10% in salary savings  twice the normal amount of attrition  they
are unable to refill vacant positions. While it appears that the City is
fully funding programs, in fact the vacant positions remain vacant,
therefore the services are not being offered. These stealthy budget cuts are
hard to place a number on, and as such are difficult to organize around. And
the resulting impact on poor folksケ ability to access treatment is
appalling.

The City charter allows for Supervisors to add money back into the budget
(new funds authorized by the Board are called ウadd-backsイ), but the Supes
must first locate these funds by finding other items to eliminate from the
City budget. For the past few years, the Mayor required that the Boardケs
add-backs be ウone timeイ funding, meaning any new program funded by the Board
is funded for only one year. In contrast, new programs funded by the Mayor
enjoy annual funding every year. This means the Board must re-fund their
programs each year, making these programs very unstable  and extremely
minimizing any impact the entire participation of the Board will have in the
budget process. With one time add-backs, the Board cannot fully re-shape the
budget, shift priorities, or do much of anything but merely tinker with the
Budget.

An example of this is the money for back rent and eviction assistance funded
a few years back by the Supervisors. Once started, the program was a huge
success. However, a year later it wasnケt included in the Department of Human
Servicesケ budget, due to the baseline budget requirement. The Mayor didnケt
bother funding it, either. So the Supervisors had to add it back with
savings found by cutting from other programs. This has happened every year
for three years, and has destabilized the program  a vital component in
efforts to fight gentrification and evictions.

Lastly, the Mayor utilizes his veto power to ensure he gets what he wants in
the City budget. Last year, he threatened to veto the entire City budget if
a program to prosecute homeless people for ウquality-of-lifeイ infractions was
cut.

Our not-so-newly-elected Board of Supervisors is now positioned to radically
reverse the power structure. They can now demand their add-backs be funded
every year. They can now pool enough votes to override the Mayorケs veto.
They can now threaten funding for Mayor Brownケs pet initiatives. And they
can now resist their diminished position and finally demand that notoriously
money-grubbing and pork-laden city departments (like SFPD, SFFD, the Dept.
of Public Works, and the Mayorケs office itself) turn squandered tax dollars
over to address the real crisis our City faces.

San Francisco is a wealthy city with a permanent underclass whose most basic
needs  living wage jobs, housing and health care  are not being met. We
must meet those needs.

To learn more about the Peopleケs Budget Collaborative, or to get involved,
contact Riva Enteen at 415 / 285.1055.
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6 

THIS YEARケS BUDGET SUCCESSES!

The City budget process is not even over yet, and the Coalition on
Homelessness has already chalked up some successes for homeless and poor
people:

 The money to prosecute homeless people for being homeless has been taken
out of the budget.

 A uniform grievance procedure  modeled after the shelter grievance
procedure  for people in substance abuse treatment programs has been
funded. Folks suffering from addictive disorders will enjoy some increased
rights  they will have access to an advocate and an independent panel will
decide whether or not they should be put out of a program. It will force
substance abuse programs to begin following their own policies.

 The Coalition has been embarked on a campaign for treatment on demand for
several years. We advocated for its creation, and continue to support the
Treatment on Demand Planning Councilケs efforts. This year they got an
additional $500,000 to treat Latinos in jails; African Americans, Samoans
and Asian women in mental health programs.

 We also got two mental health initiatives funded, including the peer
counseling treatment program funded last year, and an access advocate for
mental health.
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7 

Right To A Roof! 
Organized Labor and COH to Join Forces

On July 10th, 2001 Laborfest and the Coalition On Homelessness will present
ウRight To A Roof.イ This evening of music and spoken word will gather support
for the ウNational Affordable Housing Trust Fund;イ crucial federal
legislation to end the national housing/homelessness crisis. The evening
takes place at the Musicians Union at 116- 9th Street at 7:00 p.m. and will
feature the civil rights-style gospel of Bay City Love, labor-themed
bluegrass by the Wobbly Giraffe and poetry by members of POOR Magazineケs Poケ
Poets Project.

The National Affordable Housing Trust Fund will establish permanent funding
for new housing construction, using the existing surplus interest from
Federal Housing Administration Bonds. Federal policy has been geared towards
steadily shrinking the budget for housing for the past three decades.

The Coalitionケs Housing Workgroup will make a short presentation on the
Unemployed Workerケs Movement of the 1930ケs that contributed to the
establishment of the affordable housing safety net. That movement has many
valuable lessons for the housing struggle today.

Housing shortages such as San Franciscoケs arenケt anything new. During both
boom-times and busts, we experience waves of evictions, homelessness and
gentrification. Unemployed workers in the 1930s organized creative struggles
that forced the government to build low-cost housing and ended thousands of
eviction. At the end of World War II, returning service people, unemployed
and trade unionists trade faced a severe housing crisis that even the New
Deal hadnケt addressed completely. The International Longshoremen and
Warehouse Union (ILWU), led actions, including office occupations and work
stoppages, to force federal representatives to build new affordable housing.

During the Great Depression, when the police came to evict black people in
Harlem, thousands would turn out to defy the sheriffs. Neighborhood councils
aided by radical activists would confront marshal when they came to carry
out court-ordered evictions. Through such direct actions, landlords were
deterred from evicting.

As a result of the struggle against ウurban renewal/removalイ programs of the
1960s and 70s, local government was forced to produced new subsidized
housing units. At that time, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency used the
power of eminent domain to demolish thousands of units of working-class
housing in the Western Addition, South of Market and Manilatown
neighborhoods. San Francisco non-profit housing developers such as TODCO and
Mission Housing and Development exist because communities organized to
demand control of housing development without profiteers.

Unfortunately, it was during this time that some organized labor heads
actually supported the demolition of working class housing-because of
political paybacks and wrong-headed assumptions that by simply stimulating
jobs. Even ILWU President Harry Bridges was instrumental in signing off on
the destruction of housing in the South OF Market area. By joining forces,
the Coalition on Homelessness and Laborfest hope to set a new agenda of
solidarity working for the things all workers need  jobs, housing and
healthcare. 
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8 

Our Word is our Weapon: The Selected Writings of Subcomandante Marcos

It all started at midnight January 1 1994 when a group of masked guerillas
came down from a mountain in southeastern Mexico, raised arms against a
corrupt Mexican government, and demanded Justice, and Liberty, and
Democracy.

By the time the news broke the next morning a place called Chiapas would
become a household word, and a pipe smoking, black ski-masked Zapatista
named Subcomandante Marcos would become a spokesman for not only an
uprising, but of a generation of revolutionaries.

Some would label Marcos a terrorist; others, through his writing, a new
voice of liberation. But it is through his many letters that he enlightens
the world on not only the problems of classism, but the poor, and the
effects of neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is international financeケs
strategy of removing all labor, environmental and human rights
considerations from national laws. They accomplished this through North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization
(WTO). He tells what happens to third world indigenous peoples when
power-mad countries Like The United States of America, and his own country,
Mexico, sink their claws in the poor and drain them of everything land, oil,
food, education, leaving them with alcoholism, drug addiction, prostitution,
and disease.

You cannot beat what you cannot see. This is the reason the Zapatistas wear
masks, and are nameless. ウWe are the faceless ones,イ Marcos writes, ウBeing
silent our voices are passing away.イ To the Zapatista movement this is very
important. As Marcos explains it is time we broke out of the history of pain
and humiliation and make our new history, and with this our own pantheon of
Revolutionary Gods such as Pancho Villa, Zapata, and El Cheケ.

Their voices ring out from these letters, some are funny, some are so
intense they make you cringe when you realize all they want is what the rest
of the world takes advantage of everyday, but thinks nothing about. Three
words that have changed history: Liberty, Justice, Democracy. And with their
voice they will scream ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! or 。YA BASTA!

The Word is our Weapon is an amazing collection of letters that not only
record a struggle that has been going on for 509 years but let us in to the
secret world of the Zapatista through their eyes and through their myths,
their stories. Through the letters we see everyday life - from children
fighting over candy to Marcos letting the author of a lost poem know how he
missed whispering it into the ear of his lady. In the eyes of the world
Marcos is not only a solider and a leader in the truest sense of the word,
but also a poet, and a hero. And through this timeless work he has showed us
the Zapatistaケs struggle is justified.

George Tirado


Our Word Is Our Weapon : Selected Writings
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Seven Stories Press
$27.95
ISBN:     1583220364

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9 

Swinging Through the Concrete Jungle

BAM-BAM-BAM. ウWake up! Everybodyケs gotta get out!イ No, no fire... but you
still gotta move your ass. Itケs my asshole roommate, The Mayor of Capp
Street, pounding on the door that separates my room from his in the hallway.
He thinks heケs the Eviction Drill Sergeant. This is definitely not how you
want to get started, just like when the Old Man, the Mayorケs dad and the
landlord of The Seedy Mission Flat where Iケve stayed for almost a decade,
goes into the bathroom and cranks up that circa-1940s radiator-heater that
goes ウwhirrrrrr... uh... WHIRRRRRRR-UH.イ

Not very pleasant, especially for anyone sporting a mild hangover. Itケs like
in ウMy Cousin Vinnie,イ where that Whistle That Can Be Heard All Over Town
goes off, and Joe Pesci springs up, his eyes bugginケ out, like, ウwhat the
fuck was that?!イ I dunno, but you if say you want ウgrit,イ I got it for ya
right here.

See, this is the deal: ever since the Old Man put the Mayor of Capp Street
on as part owner of the building, itケs fouled the whole thing up. They got a
rent strike goinケ on upstairs with The Three Amigos; actually, itケs more
like The Two Amigos, 慶uz one of 憩m  The One That Works  is tired of
their act of not paying utilities and bringinケ in all sorts of riff-raff. If
thatケs the case, the Old Manケs got no room to talk. I mean... the hookers.
No wonder I got shit missing. Iケll get to this latest go-round one some
other time. But right now, Iケd say we got bigger fish to fry, except for if
you look in the ウicebox,イ we ainケt even got the bones - not with all the
leeches we got, and the Old Man handing freebies out the window to guys like
No-Good Joe and Even-Worse Gary. I sure donケt want any part of those steaks,
whenever he gets 憩m, from the Two-Bit Cala Meat Department Booster Club,
led by Carry 憩m Away Callaway. No, right now, Iケm dealinケ with The Mayor of
Capp Street, whoケs fast on his way to becoming the cityケs Tyrant of the
Year. I know, competitionケs tough, but I say my guy is a lock and the key.

What I gotta do is take a quick shower, I guess hafta skip the ham-n-eggs
breakfast 慶uz, ha-ha, there ainケt none  just get my hustle on and out the
door.

Get ready sports fans, 慶uz itケ almost time to start swinginケ through the
Concrete Jungle. Get those bus passes and BART cards handy. Iケm tellinケ ya,
we ainケt gonna have any spare time for you play that game with the
Antiquated BART Ticket Machine. No matter how many different dollar bills
you try, he spits each and every one back  almost like heケs sticking his
tongue out (right back atcha)  and makes you late for your big appointment
or the Aケs game when they got a classic Hudson-Rocket match-up.

Even now, after Iケm outta the shower, the Mayor is still ravinケ, as he likes
to put it, and I donケt mean some dance party with tons oケ ecstacy. This guy
is totally flipped already anyway, and Iケd be willinケ to bet that in his
tiny little mind, he wants to boot everybody out so he can sell the place.
Then heケll fuck off all the money at The All-Night Card Room, even leavinケ
his old man, the Old Man, out on the sidewalk to rot next to the garbage,
which, by the way, they still never learned how to take out. Or screw the
cap back on the toothpaste. Or flush the toilet, which for a while was The
Best Damn Rockinケ Chair Ride you ever had. The Old Man wasnケt half-bad, and
actually, I feel sorry for him 慶uz heケs not all there. Come Rent Day, there
he is, with his hand out. But then when it comes to fixinケ anything, well,
thatケs when his hearinケ goes bad, every time, and he ウdonケt know what your
talkinケ about.イ Gotta givvum a break though, the guyケs pushinケ 90.

Anyway, I got this Lunatic Son yelling through his door in The Infamous
Hallway, plus the bathroom door. Me, I donケt like to yell, although with an
empty stomach and no first cuppa coffee, hey, thereケs a good chance oケ that
happening. No, Iケm gonna stand here, and get nutty right back; test out my
vocal chords a little by singinケ some Walt Disney:

ウZippety-do-dah, zippety-ay. My oh my what a wonderful day. Nothinケ but
sunshine, happy all day. Zippety-do-dah, zippety-ay...イ

Now, The Mayorケs getting more pissed because his plan to make everyone
miserable like himself isnケt workinケ out. At least, not this very minute.
But really, short term and long term, probably best if we just get away from
him, I mean altogether.

So what say we head down the street and on over to Kingケs Bakery on Mission,
home to one of the last 50-cent cups a coffee in town? For less than a buck,
you get a fair-shake slice oケ pound cake and a medium coffee, which no
matter day or night is always just above PIPING HOT, and one notch short of
a boil. Itケs like, ウHello, good morning. AHHHH, yesss, NOWWW weケre awake,イ
no matter what kinda night itケs been.

Iケm the corner here, waiting to catch the Muni-48 up to Potrero Hill, then
connect with the 19 thatケll take me out by the Main Post Office. After I
take care of business, I can take that 19-Polk back into town, jump off by
the Irish Bar to pick up a couple a ウgood luck drink chips,イ gotta have
those, and pay my tab. Then, maybe make a pit stop at the Coalition on
Homelessness, just to touch bases. Maybe someday Iケll have to throw myself
at the mercy of their Expert Legal Team to keep from having to throw myself
on the mercy of the court.

ウHonest, yer honor. I work and pay rent, but they never gave me a receipt.イ
That was one of the conditions of me living there  that a) I put up with
all their bullshit; and b) pay my rent, but donケt get legal documentation.
Makes it less sticky for them. Whenever I insisted, theyケd say, ウWell then
you gotta move, then,イ so Iケd drop it. I mean what else could I do... MOVE?
Yeah, right, where you gonna go? Thereケs NO VACANCY signs all over The City,
except for Dot-Com Gone Wrong and Wireless West. Got no place in The City. I
mean, can you really afford a $1,600-a-month apartment? Didnケt think so. I
know I canケt. And the SROケs, whew boy! Talk about taking a gamble, I mean
with the fires, the violence, the rats 系 the roaches, and bathrooms that...
uh... why donケt we just leave bathrooms out of it. Letケs just say that they
make mine look good, even with the caterwaulinケ radiator-heater, the
upside-down light switch (par for the house), and the toothpaste snowstorm
all over the mirror  which I have no idea what THATケS all about.

Nobody likes any oケ that, but given the Lesser of Two Evils, having to move
is the lesser one. But sometimes, you gotta move  you got no choice,
especially when Mr. Greed says, ウIケm stayinケ here now... take a hike.イ

When youケre a renter in this town, itケs like roulette  sooner or later itケs
your number that comes up. Some get chased back to whence they came on the
very first spin, others, like me, with alla our good luck charms, last 10
years, maybe 20, but not anymore. Even if youケre lucky enough to have a job
that pays the so-called Living Wage, pretty soon it wonケt be. Or one that
pays you for full-time work for full-time hours, eventually, the Landlords
are gonna win. Sorry, thatケs just how it is. Sorry to have to lay that
Sobering Fact on you so early in the morninケ, but this ride ainケt gonna be
all like a 26-Valencia that catches all the lights out to State. Buddy, this
whole Housing in San Francisco deal is rigged, Iケm tellinケ ya. You might
live out your dream for awhile, but please, donケt ever think for a minute
that you belong here, and that youケre gonna make it stick as a career. At
least, thatケs how some people think about it. Itケs all about all the money 
your money  for them, and no soup for you.

Back to the bus stop at 24th and Mission, I havenケt even made a dent in this
Kingケs coffee. Look to the West and see the beautiful rise up 24th Street
through Noe Valley leading up to Twin Peaks, but oh, wait a minute, now Iケm
hip to that the Muni-48 just one block away sittinケ on a red on Valencia.
Just enough time a few more sips, but like I said, this stuff is screaminケ
hot, and I only get halfway down before my Muni pulls up. I let the others
get on first, but thereケs no way around it  gonna hafta commit my first
minor sin of the day, or if youケd rather, a
less-than-a-misdemeanor-infraction.

ウYou gotta have a top for that,イ says Lady Driver with the Cool-Ass Hairdo
like Erykah Badu.

Hate to waste anything, especially food and drink. Forget about those poor
kids in Africa for a minute will ya, WE GOT PLENTY Oケ PEOPLE STARVINケ RIGHT
HERE!

But I gotta do it 慶uz I got places to go and people to see. Even if I
didnケt, well, Iケd still be on this Muni. You think youケd catch me laying
there back at The Seedy Mission Flat getting nothing but double-doses of
harrassment every hour on the hour?

Throw my half-filled styro-foamer into the garbage can, and Lady Driver who
you can already tell is one of the Nice Ones, says, ウWhereケs you get you
coffee?イ Halfway down the street.

ウWell, you coulda gone across the street (to the Chinese Food / Donuts Shop)
to get a cover, Iケda waited.イ

Naw, thatケs all right. We donケt wanna hold these folks up. My bad. No big. I
knew it was an E-6 right after I did it (threw the top away).

Not too many people on this particular 48, No. 8208, which is kind of a
surprise, cuzケ sometimes, Iケve had to debate as to whether I wanna deal with
that whole 継ack-em-in-like-a-sardineケ and 掲ield-day-for-the-pickpocketsケ
routine; just passed up the ride to S.F. General to pick my occasional meds.
Which reminds me, anybody need any Vicodin? Got a few leftovers. Gave it up
the day I saw that ウDATELINEウ special talking about how addictive it was,
and how it had become of the ウdrug of choiceイ in Hollywood. ウWhat? Youケre
kiddinケ? Never woulda guessed that one.イ

Besides you notice how the cost of prescription medicine in general just
keeps going up and up and up. Next time you go the pick-up window, try this:
ウNo, no. These are DOWNERS, The price is suppose go LOWER.イ On second
thought, maybe not. Hear they got Padded Room and The Straight-Jackets
playing this club. Which is sorta how I feel with this rental market: you
really canケt move, even if you try.

We get down all the way to the enda 24th, make a left onto Potrero. I dunno
why, but Iケm in the front seat, and Iケm lookinケ at Lady Driver, and that
Erykah Badu song just pops into my head. ウWatchoo gonna do when they come
for you..? hhh-hhh... work ainケt honest but it pays the bills...イ A quick
right and we go by General; head up the hill a few blocks, over the overpass
that crosses 101. When we get to Rhode Island Street I ring the bell.

ウCool, this is me. Can I ask you a question?イ I say to Lady Driver.

ウSure. What?イ

ウYou like Erykah Badu?イ She smiles a big one right at me.

ウYeah...I do. Why?イ

ウ靴uz sheケs gonna be you in my movie?イ

We was all set for wunna those, 経h-shit not-another-nut-on-the-Muniケ
reactions, like ウGeneralケs back a couple blocks. I think you missed your
stop.イ But no, this oneケs a gamer and a charmer.

ウYou got a movie?イ she says.

ウWell, no...not yet. Gotta finish the book first, which is no prob 慶uz I
already got an Editor, an Agent, a String of Photographers and Two
World-Class Artists.イ

Thereケs a little pause, and I sling my bag over my shoulder and step off the
bus. Sheケs still got the doors open, and sheケs lookinケ straight out at me.
ウWhatchoo know about Erykah Badu?イ

ウI know I like her. I like her a lot.イ With that, Lady Driver gives me
another smile, which, for me, makes my whole day. You get one of those
smiles from No. 4192 on the 48, man Iケm tellinケ ya, it changes your whole
outlook, even when your only a half-hour removed from the desperation and
deplorable conditions that is The Seedy Mission Flat.

Hoops McCann

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10 

POSTCARD CITY

Welcome to Postcard City
Where everything is picturized
But donケt look for any substance

If you donケt like it sail across the Bay

We have mountains, rolling hills and bridges
Postcard City welcomes out-of-towners
A land of tourists kicking out residents

Postcard City is temporary
Hard to keep up the appearance
A utopia stifling the other side of the story

Controlling with an iron fist
You can do anything
As long as it doesnケt go against our rules

No S R Oケs 
No studios 
No section eight vouchers

No benches 
No mats in shelters
Playing musical chairs with no music

No more lodging in public
No sleeping in cars

No sitting at UN Plaza
No immigrants 
No affirmative Action

No diversity leads to our ultimate goal, a utopia
No more artists 

No more socialists 
More and more capitalists

No more free speech
No more Government cheese
No P G& E 

Postcard City donケt care
About healthcare or welfare
Cause we got our share

No more liberals 
No more homosexuals
No individuality 

Follow the cat in the big hat
He is over sixty 
Still making babies

Politics is dirty 
In Postcard City 
You wash my back i wash yours

A 20 cent stamp 
And you can send this beautiful scenery
Across the country 

The Grass is always greener
But what you see 
Is man-made not Mother Nature

Look beyond the window dressing
Unwrap the gift 
Reality is more than a kodak moment

Leroy F. Moore Jr.
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11 

Workforce Investment Board Can Dramatically
Change Employment In San Francisco

The Workforce Investment Board has the opportunity to change the way
homeless and low-income people are employed in San Francisco, but
bureaucracy, big business and the Mayor could prevent it. Established one
year ago, the Workforce Investment Board (or WIB) was created to pen
policies and procedures to spend Welfare to Work (WtW) and Workforce
Investment Act (WIA) funds. These two funds were created by the Clinton
Administration to replace welfare as we know it by providing block grants to
the states.

The idea was that if we put people to work, we wouldnケt need to supply
direct cash assistance. These two funds, along with a Youth Opportunity
Grant creating employment and training opportunities for young people, will
provide about 18 million dollars per year to San Francisco. However, the
guidelines for the use of this money are very broad and will be decided by
the fifty-member WIB, which was appointed by Major Willie Brown, and he has
to approve all spending.

Itケs great that San Francisco gets to decide how to use this money locally,
but the bureaucracy created to dispense it is causing fear in the social
services community. The fear being if the WIB doesnケt spend the money quick
enough and get the projected results, the response will be that San
Francisco doesnケt need the money and the funding will be eliminated.

There are several ways in which the Workforce Investment Board is already
spending this money in its goal to, ウprovide a competitive workforce to
local businessイ. The plan is to create a ウUniversal Accessイ system. This
system is based on a group of centers within the city called One Stop Career
Centers. The One Stop Career Centers will cater to the local community by
providing central places for employment information  including directories
of available jobs  and skills needed for the current job market. The
centers also provide current information about services, education, and
training. Employers will also have access to databases of individuals ready
for employment. Connected via internet to these centers are Access Points
located at community-based organizations throughout the city. The two One
Stop Career Centers currently operating in San Francisco are the Career
Link, opened in November 97 at 3120 Mission St. in the Mission district,
and Career Center, opened in 1998 at 1800 Oakdale Avenue in Bayview Hunters
Point. There is no data as yet to document the success of the One Stop
Centers.

The Workforce Investment Boardケs five-year plan states ウOur first priority
is to create meaningful job and training opportunities for low income San
Francisco residents with multiple barriers to employment.イ The plan is to
establish a network of social service organizations where clients will be
referred through the One Stop Centers. What happens is all funding from
either WIA or WtW will go to educational institutions or social service
agencies to assist with the costs of job training. In actuality, the
institution or agency must submit very specific information about the
populations it serves and its success rate. If this information is
sufficient, then the agency is placed on an eligibility or vendor list, and
at that point the agency receives funding per student or client through an
Individual Training Account (ITA). Itケs not yet clear how those funds will
be dispersed to clients or students.

So how could the Workforce Investment Board help or hinder the situation for
homeless, low income, disabled, elderly, formerly incarcerated, and veterans
in San Francisco?

Two scenarios come to mind  one is ideal, the other frightening. The scary
one is 51% of the members of the WIB are from for-profit corporations like
Chevron, Bank of America, Schwab, and United Airlines, all of which could
use their leverage on the board and with Mayor Willie Brown to funnel money
to train people for current projects like SFO Airport or Mission Bay. This
is all fine and good as long as it is clear that these corporations pay a
living wage, that there is housing in San Francisco, and that needs for
child care, transportation, and benefits are met. The other scenario is that
this very young board does extensive research into the current barriers to
employment, which will show the incredible need for affordable housing,
child care, and counseling. Those of us who have worked with homeless people
know how difficult it is just to get an ID or Driverケs License from the DMV.
The WIB says it will prioritize people with multiple barriers to employment,
but it needs to be educated on how these populations are served (or not),
and how much work goes into preparing an individual for employment. The
educational institutions and social service agencies need more funding for
staff, training materials, and infrastructure improvements. Too many
agencies currently spend too much time worrying about whether or not they
will exist next year. Hopefully the WIB will streamline this system and put
the money where the people most in need will receive it, and not use it
retraining corporate employees to go work for yet another corporation.

The entire Workforce Investment Board meets quarterly, but the subcommittees
meet regularly. All meetings are open to the public and provide time for
public comment. Please call the Private Industry Council  the organization
that administers the WIB  to find out when and where the meetings are being
held. Their telephone number is (415) 923-4003.

Joel Oppenheimer, Job Developer
St. Josephケs Village Family Center

St. Josephケs Village is a homeless shelter for families in SOMA. Joel is a
member of the Homeless Employment Collaborative, an organization working to
find and improve employment opportunities for homeless people in San
Francisco.
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12 

TO MONITOR IN TRAINING
        by Miss Visitor


June 5, 2001

You think, because I am in a certain place where you would be if it were not
for your cunning manipulative behavior, that you can falsely accuse me with
your non-responsive stare and grim expression of various crimes.

You convey the expression that, by associating with those who are less
fortunate than myself, that I condone the actions of others or that I am
somehow painted with the guilty brush of intimidation that creates the
pattern of the shelter dweller.

You do not want to acknowledge my abilities because you think to do so would
make you seem small in your efforts to dumb down to your level my
intelligence and awareness.

Your response to my refusal to join your illegal games, and indulgence in
attempts to attribute your motives to me, results in your insinuations and
management by innuendo.

I am in a shelter. You are the monitor.

This week.

Next week our roles may be reversed.


Miss Visitor
GUEST IN RESIDENCE
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13 

Gentrification Under the Veneer of Revitalization


Westpoint will become the sixth neighborhood in San Francisco to be
ウrevitalizedイ with the HOPE VI program, leading to the forced displacement
of several hundred low-income African-Americans.

In 2002, 267 families who have bathed in the golden rays sprinkled lavishly
from the illustrious sun will be relocated to other parts of the city of San
Francisco and state of California. The spirited cadence to which these
families in Hunters View once strutted will be reduced to a drone, and they
will march to the tune of a dirge. Immediately after these families have
gone, their 350 aged houses located on 22 acres of hilly coastline off the
San Francisco Bay will be demolished and replaced by 442 newly developed
homes. In 2005, after the new homes have been constructed, 117 families will
be permitted to return. The other 150 families will have the only housing
they have known taken from them, as lions steal both the wildebeest and its
terrain.

But the lion is not masked, and neither is the plan that will aid in the
permanent displacement of the 150 families. The national action plan to
eradicate severely distressed public housing arose out of recommendations by
the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing. The plan,
dubbed HOPE VI, has always been met with vehement opposition throughout the
country and has been described as a device used for gentrification under the
veneer of revitalization.

In June of 2001, the San Francisco Housing Authority submitted a HOPE VI
2001 Revitalization Application to the United States Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) to create a ウtraditional San Francisco
neighborhood of attached town houses and flats to replace the existing
barracks style 継ublic housing,ケイ located in Hunters View, which is commonly
referred to as Westpoint, in San Francisco, California. If the application
is approved, Westpoint will become the sixth neighborhood to be revitalized
with HOPE VI funding. North Beach, Valencia Gardens, Bernal Dwellings, Hayes
Valley and Plaza East have also been funded through the HOPE VI Program,
causing a critical reduction in the number of African American families in
San Francisco.

ウThere is no truth to this assertion that residents are permanently
displaced,イ stated Salem Prouty, General Engineer with Public Housing in San
Francisco. ウThe rules and regulations for HOPE VI state that anybody
displaced will be given first opportunity to return. If a tenant does not
choose to return to the new house, then the unit will be given to the next
person on the waiting list - just like any other public housing,イ Prouty
stated as we spoke in his office at the Federal Building in San Francisco.

An application has been submitted for HOPE VI at Westpoint. Based on the
one-for-one policy of the San Francisco Housing Authority, each HOPE VI unit
that is demolished has to be replaced by a newly developed HOPE VI unit,
ウensuring full opportunity of all existing residents in good standing to
have first choice for the new units.イ But if only 60 percent of the newly
constructed housing will be made available to residents, it would be
mathematically impossible for every resident to return to the new dwellings
that will be perched atop the ridge at Westpoint. ウIs this correct?イ was the
dilemma I propounded to Salem Prouty.

ウWell, if you put it that way, yes,イ replied Prouty, in recognition of the
oblique language which allows for an agency to employ methods associated
with corruption in its selection of which families and individuals it will
designate to enjoy the comforts of newly developed property. This vague
language also allows for wanton disregard of the rules and regulation and
vested rights of all families and individuals to return back to the place
from which they were removed. Eviction is one method that an agency may
employ to preclude a family from eligibility of future public housing.

ウRenee Taylor is on record as being opposed to the HOPE VI Program at
Westpoint. She was evicted from Hunters View for a puppy that was given to
her son on his birthday over two years ago,イ stated Marie Harrison during a
discussion of evictions that seemed to have no other logical reason except
retaliation as their causes. ウThe puppy was stolen on the night that it was
given to her son. Everyone involved with the San Francisco Housing Authority
located on the premises of Westpoint knew the puppy was no longer at that
unit, but no one at the Housing Authority at Westpoint had been trained well
enough to instruct the Sheriffケs Department, which carries out evictions,
that it wasnケt a lawful eviction.

Renee Taylor told the Housing Authority at Westpoint that the puppy had not
resided at the unit since the night it was given to her son. She asked the
Housing Authority, 係hy is this eviction moving forward?ケ The answer she got
was that the Housing Authority at Westpoint 慧id not know how to stop it.ケ
No one at the Housing Authority called downtown to inform them that the
puppy had not been at the home of Renee Taylor since the first night she
received it, over two years ago. They could not act as a liaison between
Renee Taylor and the San Francisco Housing Authority downtown to prevent the
eviction.

Renee Taylor came home from taking care of her aunt to find her furniture
and personal belongings being carried into the streets by deputies of the
Sheriffケs Department. Her home was boarded, and she now has to find an
attorney to argue her case,イ concluded Marie Harrison.

The situation in which Renee Taylor finds herself is not unique to the cadre
of activists who are the Ghandis of their communities. They have decried the
unscrupulous conduct of the San Francisco Housing Authority and resisted all
its efforts to silence them. They have read and educated their communities
on issues like federal public housing regulations and HOPE VI Programs.

ウI know the regulations and believe in the Constitution of the United
States,イ stated Theresa Coleman, the rubber band that holds the Westbrook
community together  the community adjacent of Westpoint. ウI will make these
regulations work for the people of Westbrook. But government does not follow
its own rules. It changes the rules to accommodate the rich,イ explained
Coleman, her eyes like those of a disappointed child who stands in front of
a locked candy factory.

Theresa Coleman has a long-standing and solid relationship of activism in
the community of Bayview/ Hunters Point. Her home is also the mailing
address for Ujamaa, the Resident Management Corporation for Westbrook, which
has been recognized by the San Francisco Housing Authority, HUD, Congress
and the City of San Francisco as a legitimate corporation. But Coleman also
has openly opposed the HOPE VI Program at Westbrook because, she says, ウthe
concept of HOPE VI that the San Francisco Housing Authority has designed
does not allow for all residents to return after construction of new
housing. This hill is prime real estate in San Francisco. It has been a
lifetime dream of politicians and developers to take it.イ

ウI have the understanding to drive a HOPE VI, and to take every single one
of my people to homeownership,イ stated Coleman as she explained why she
believes that her impending eviction is politically motivated.

ウWhenever the San Francisco Police Department is called to public housing,
for whatever reason, a piece of paper is generated and sent to the San
Francisco Housing Authority downtown. A kid who lives outside of the
community was being chased by police. He ran inside my house and locked out
the people who were in my house. And my daughter and I found ourselves
trapped inside my house with this person. As I came out of the bathroom, I
saw the legs of my granddaughter flying though the air. I immediately came
to her rescue. The police were not able to penetrate the barricade. Because
my unit was involved, the San Francisco Housing Authority will soon serve me
with an eviction notice. When the report was written by the police, it
stated that I had intentionally harbored this person,イ stated Coleman. The
San Francisco Housing Authority has to employ thess retaliatory tactics
against savvy-minded activists like Theresa Coleman and Renee Taylor because
there will be no public housing lost in the creation of new, plush homes
under HOPE VI guidelines, but there will be wholesale replacement of people
who cannot afford the new homes. These intrepid activists are like soldiers
who have begun to trumpet the wake-up call in their communities. The aim of
the San Francisco Housing Authority, however, is to leave the armies in
disarray through its reprisal of removing the local generals from their
communities.

By virtue of the nature of its purpose, the San Francisco Housing Authority
realizes that there is a less than one-percent vacancy rate in housing in
the city of San Francisco. It has to reconcile any notion of a HOPE VI
Program with the stark realization upon completion that not one sheep from
Westpoint will be lost upon completion of the revitalization process. In
Westpoint 67 percent of the families have no income and 80 percent have
children. Where will the 150 families be permanently relocated, if they are
not permitted to return because they do not earn $30,000 dollars, annually 
or 40 percent of the Area Mean Income, which is approximately $70,000?

But an application has been submitted by the San Francisco Housing Authority
for Westpoint and in 2005, only a ghost of the effervescence of children
frolicking on the hillside in Westpoint will be apparent. The other children
will no longer be a concern for the city of San Francisco.

Other revitalization sites have already been designated and retaliatory
practices are already being employed by the San Francisco Housing Authority
in anticipation of resistance. According to Marie Harrison, ウOn May 16,
2001, a discrimination lawsuit was lodged against HUD and the public housing
in Shoreview by a woman, who, by all accounts, is pro-active in community
organizations and a vocal resident of her tenants association. On May 25,
2001, she was served with a 30-day notice of eviction. The woman has two
sons who were receiving social security from their dead father. She took the
first check that she received to Housing in Shoreview and had it photocopied
so that her income could be adjusted.

Housing in Shoreview said that the boys were not 18 years of age, so the
income did not have to be added to her income. Last month, however, over
eight years later, Housing decided that the social security income her sons
received is income that must be added along with hers. So, she is being
charged with fraud and has gotten a 30-day notice of eviction.イ

The lure of an attractive, revitalized community with town houses, streets
paved with new asphalt, swimming pools, and all of the amenities that come
with redevelopment would dazzle many residents whose desires fall within the
sphere of ウordinary people.イ But for the many activists whose commitments
exceed the plains of temptation and corruption, nothing short of a
one-for-one return will be acceptable.

ウUnless I am dead and planted up under the dirt somewhere, Westbrook will
not be gentrified with the lure of buildings like the Taj Mahal and other
mansions. The black community has been raped too many times,イ stated an
emotional Theresa Coleman.

kaponda
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14 

Different Kind of Victim

We recently responded to a rare West Portal occurrence  a strong-arm
robbery in which the suspect was described as ウthe homeless guy who sells
STREET SHEET in front of the bank.イ The victim, an employee of a nearby
baked goods outlet, was, she said, taking the dayケs reciepts to that very
bank when the suspect dropped his papers, grabbed the loot and jumped into a
waiting car. The loss was in the $2,000.00 range and Avenue merchants were
rightfully outraged.

Local beat Officers knew the alleged suspect. This type of behavior was not
part of his M.O. and heケd never had access to a car. Nevertheless, they
located the man several days later. He denied any involvement. ウDo I look
like I just came into a bag of money?イ he asked. Even the cops had to agree
with him on that point, so Sergeant John Haggett and Robbery Inspector Bob
Paco began asking more questions of the alleged victim. Finally, she gave up
the real story.

No, she hadnケt really been robbed. She made up the story and picked the most
ウlikely suspectイ she could think of. Then she and her boyfriend had blown
the cash on 2 1/2 days of high living  including a $400-a-night hotel room.
ウItケs all gone,イ she said of the loot. All gone, too, was her West Portal
job! The real victim turned out to be the STREET SHEET seller and some good
police work not only cleared him, but also put his accuser in jail instead.

(Reprinted with permission from the April 2001 issue of the West of Twin
Peaks Observer.)


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15 

CITYSCAPE, SPRING, 2001


On tin cup corner

His face like a wrung-out rag

Begged for spare change


Lawrence Ferlinghetti
[for George Tirado]

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16 

Santa Cruz Civil Rights Update

Homeless activism is on the rise in Santa Cruz. In early June, the same
Superior Court Judge Samuel Stevens who granted a temporary restraining
order barring homeless activists from coming within 50 yards of City Hall
and the Mayorケs Administrative Aide Anna Brooks, refused to turn that TRO
into a Preliminary Injunction. Stevens found that Becky Johnson, Bernard
Klitzner, and Robert Norse, the three leaders of the City Council Koffee
Klatch and Tag-team Teach In, had no intention to harass Brooks. The Koffee
Klatch was a 3 week lobbying effort that provided breakfast, coffee and
moral support to homeless people willing to wait for a council member and
try to get Sleeping Ban Repeal or Shelter Expansion on the City Council
agenda.

But in a backhanded gift to Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice, Stevens said the Sleeping
Ban opponents had no right to be in the public reception area, even during
business hours, and suggested their behavior could be tightly regulated.
Stevens expelled them from the City Council offices in December on the basis
of Brooks claims that they were, among other things, ウoccupying office
furnitureイ by sitting in it, paying for copies of public documents ウwith a
$20 bill,イ and ウpilfering pens.イ Stevens rejected these claims as
insufficient evidence for harassment (after keeping his own TRO in force for
5 months), he ruled Fitzmaurice could institute new ウoffice decorumイ rules.
Fitzmauriceケs new rules forbid ウprolonged conversations,イ ウholding
meetings,イ ウloitering,イ and ウflyeringイ in what had previously been
acknowledged as a space open to the public.

Within two weeks after Stevensケ decision, Fitzmaurice ejected Norse twice
from City Council meetings: once for asking for a right of reply to a
Council member who had attacked him by name; a second time for asking when
the public comment period was  a question the Mayor refused to answer until
Norse was barred. In that session, the Mayor ended by refusing to allow tent
city resident Larry Templeton to ask any questions about homeless services
appropriations.

Templetonケs Camp Paradise  a clean-and-sober neat-and-tidy makeshift
campground created along the San Lorenzo River near a Dennyケs restaurant by
homeless people with no legal place to sleep  became the subject of
front-page newspaper coverage with its flower gardens, bicycle repair shop,
and self-sustaining electrical generator. The Paradise campers hauled tons
and tons of garbage out of the area, earned the respect of the nearby
funeral home and cemetery, and turned a drug-and-violence-ridden area into a
safe zone within several months.

In response, Fitzmaurice visited, promised a port-o-potty and dumpster, and
commended the campers. He then silently directed police the next day to
uproot sick campersケ medical marijuana plants, and then announce the
following week that campers had to move by July 1st or face citations and
jail and confiscation of their property. Paradise partisans struck back by
going to the community and the media. By press time they had rejected the
Cityケs ultimatum, and declared they would only move if offered a lease on
another city property. Campers scheduled a community barbecue, secured a
volunteer attorney to publicly demand the city negotiate with Camp Paradise,
and organized paralegal volunteers to draft an injunction to prevent the
police from enforcing the cityケs Camping Ban, which even forbids sleeping
and covering up with blankets from 11 p.m. until 8:30 a.m.

ウThe Cityケs shelter program canケt provide spaces for the homeless and sends
them to us,イ declared Templeton, a Camp Paradise organizer, who noted 20
people had been sent by the Interfaith Satellite Shelter Program in the last
two weeks.

Templeton said they had found space for them all. The California Supreme
Courtケs Eichorn decision allows campers to use Defense of Necessity,
invalidating citations when there are no other legal places to sleep, noted
writer and video-journalist Becky Johnson. ウIf the citations wonケt stick,
then why should the police be allowed to destroy the only homes people have?
Claims that campers pose an environmental hazard to the river have to be
balanced against the 24 tons of trash these same campers have removed from
the area.イ

While Camp Paradise women prepared ウWe Wonケt Moveイ signs, unknown vandals
hosed down various city offices as well as the state parks office, causing
the San Jose Mercury News to point a crooked finger at homeless activists.
Santa Cruz County state parks have recently been declared off-limits to
campers if they have spent more than 30 days there in any calendar year  a
new ruling unique to Santa Cruz, which intensifies the suffering of the
homeless community there.

Robert Norse

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17 

Who Will Speak for the Voiceless?

You cannot pick up a newspaper that does not showcase some kind of brutality
committed by the government against its own citizens. Every day, someone is
forced out of their home, someone is forced into prison, someone is murdered
by the government. As the clich goes, there are a million stories in the
naked city; many of the more tragic urban nightmares involve an imbalance of
power.

You hold a copy of the Street Sheet in your hand. I would like to think that
this is because have the courage to hear the voices that are the most
difficult to hear, the voices of the most marginalized members of our
society. In the legal system, these women, men, and children are not only
without a say, they are without representation and without access to the
most fundamental guarantees of governmental protection. How can we call
ourselves a civilized society and deny justice to the poor?

I live and work in the city. Everyday, I navigate through dozens of my
neighbors without names. Everyday, walking down the street, when I am asked
for some change I pull out what I have, realizing that this person is
depending on the kindness of strangers for their sustenance. Of course, like
many people, I have a limited income; if I gave more than a certain amount
each day, I would begin having trouble sustaining myself. I have a friend
who insists that if I keep throwing my money at ウthe homeless problem,イ not
knowing where the money is going, I could be perpetuating an addiction. I
have told her that it is not my place to decide where it is going, these are
human beings who deserve the dignity of making their own life choices.
Furthermore, with just a slightly different life story, she or I might crave
something stronger than coffee to make the hurt, pain and frustration go
away.

These people are real to me. I am constantly exposed to people on the edge
of homelessness, being pushed onto the street by government apathy, greed,
or injustice. I am walking down Van Ness Avenue not to go to a dot-com job,
but on my way to volunteer for the Coalition of Concerned Legal
Professionals (CCLP).

Today, I was in a courtroom at a hearing in Sacramento involving 12,000 farm
workers who have filed suit, with the assistance of CCLP, against the State
of California. The farm workerケs rents for state-owned housing doubled
without notice, and also without an increase in wages. This left them on the
verge of homelessness. As an aside, the conditions they were living under
were inhumane and fell far below any housing code standards in the state.
The governmental slumlords were charging these people to be essentially
warehoused in rotting sheds. Then came the inexplicable rent increase,
making them homeless.

When I began doing public service work, I found that everything seemed to be
a temporary Band-Aid. No one was staving off the real cause of the pain.
Good Samaritans gave food, money, clothes, yet the systemic problems
persisted. I could never give enough to help everyone. I recognized that a
solution must be employed to prevent people from falling through the cracks
in the first place. That was when I faced the daunting - and clich馘 -
imperative to change the system.

Getting involved at CCLP here in San Francisco was the natural next step for
me. CCLP is an all-volunteer organization of attorneys, law students,
paralegals, court reporters and other concerned community members.
Volunteers have united to commit their time and skills to help to make
justice a reality for the poorest and the most disenfranchised among us.
CCLP represents those who are fighting a Davidケs battle against the
governmentケs Goliath; we try to keep in mind that David won, of course, but
it is still a massive undertaking. The organization is unique, because they
refuse to take government grants that might compromise their mission.

I chose the legal path towards helping poor and homeless people because I
want to be in the one arena where justice is both talked about constantly
and rarely achieved: the courtroom. I want to fight bad laws, challenge
oppressive government agencies, and speak up for those who will otherwise
not be heard in court. I want to achieve a measure of justice that will go
on the books, and endure. We cannot let fairness be a privilege enjoyed only
by those who can afford attorneys.

I am writing this article for two reasons. First, I want to spread the word
to low-income and working-class citizens that there is such an organization.
If you need legal assistance in any way, please call CCLP, at the number
below, to see if they can help you Second, if you are looking for an
organization through which to fight the incredible injustice facing the
homeless and the poor, by giving them a voice against injustice, you can
volunteer with CCLP. All that is required is a passion for justice, and a
willingness to work for it.

I admit I am young, optimistic, and nave  but I do know that in order to
overcome deeply entrenched inequity, the work of many hands is needed. There
is always a job for everyone, as Helen Keller once said, ウI am only one; but
still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will
not refuse to do the something I can do.イ

The Coalition for Concerned Legal Professionals is located at 2107 Van Ness
Avenue, Suite 303, in San Francisco. They can also be reached by phone at
(415) 614-0978.

Maureen Thompson 
with Ivory Madison

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。EDICION POPULAR EN ESPANOL!
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18 

Nuestra palabra es nuestra arma: Obras selectas del Subcomandante Marcos


Todo empez en una media noche 1o de enero de 1994 cuando un grupo de
guerrilleros enmascarados baj de las montaas del sudeste de M騙ico, y alz
las armas en contra del corrupto gobierno mexicano, demando Justicia,
Libertad, y Democracia.

A la maana siguiente cuando las noticias se oyeron un lugar llamado Chiapas
sera la palabra comn , y una pipa humeante, un personaje Zapatista con
mascara negra llamado el subcomandante  Marcos se convertira en el enviado
para expresar la palabra no slo de la clase oprimida, sino tambi駭 de una
generacin de revolucionarios.

Algunos llamaran a Marcos terrorista, otros,  a trav駸 de sus escritos, una
nueva voz de liberacin. Pero es a trav駸 de sus mltiples cartas que 駘 da
luz  al mundo no slo para tratar temas sobre los problemas de clases sino
las del  proletariado y los efectos del neoliberalismo. El Neoliberalismo es
un aliado internacional de las estrategias para remover todos los derechos
de los obreros, los derechos del medio ambiente y los derechos humanos
considerados as por la ley de derechos nacionales. La clase opresora se
convierte en cmplice de esto  mediante  el tratado  de libre comercio
(NAFTA) y el tratado de intercambio mundial (WTO). Por otra parte Marcos
describe que pasa con los indgenas del tercer mundo cuando los Pases
Capitalistas  como los Estados Unidos y el propio M騙ico  ambiciosamente
hunden sus garras para saquear la ya empobrecida tierra indgena y
arrebatarle todo desde tierra, petrleo, comida, educacin, cultura,
dej疣dolos en la mis駻ia del alcoholismo, adicin a las drogas, prostitucin
y enfermedades.

No puedes luchar contra lo que no puedes ver.  Esta es la razn por la cual
los Zapatistas portan mascaras , y se esconden bajo el anonimato ウNosotros
somos los sin rostro.イ afirma Marcos en sus escritos, ウEstando callados
nuestras voces est疣 muriendo.イ Esto es de suma importancia para el
movimiento Zapatista. Como Marcos explica ya es tiempo de que nosotros
destruyamos  la historia de dolor y humillacin y crear una nueva, con
nuestro panten de dioses revolucionarios como Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata
y el Ch Guevara.

Sus voces resuenan de estas cartas, algunas son chistosas, algunas de gran
intensidad que te hacen temblar al darte cuenta que lo que ellos demandan
es lo mismo que el resto del mundo est teniendo ventaja a diario, pero ni
siquiera piensan en ello. Tres palabras que han cambiado la historia :
Libertad, Justicia y Democracia. Y con sus voces ellos gritaran es
suficiente 。YA BASTA!

La palabra es nuestra arma es una maravillosa coleccin de cartas que no
slo contienen  la narracin de la lucha a la que se ha enfrentado durante
509 aos este pueblo sino que tambi駭 nos permiten entrar al mundo secreto
de los Zapatistas a trav駸 de sus ojos sus mitos, y sus historias. A trav駸
de las cartas que leemos a diario. Desde los nios peleando por dulces
hasta permitir que el autor de un poema perdido sepa como el extraa
susurrarlo al odo de su amada. Ante los ojos de el mundo Marcos no es slo
el  soldado, y el lder en el sentido estricto de la palabra. Sino tambi駭
un poeta, y un H駻oe. A lo largo de su incontable trabajo 駘 nos ha
demostrado que la Lucha Zapatista est Justificada.

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19 

Hoteles de cuartos individuales: Precarios e insalubres

Clari y su hija de 5 aos viven en una habitacin de 8x10 con una ventana
que da a un tragaluz en el distrito de la Misin en San Francisco, cerca de
la calle 16. Ella nnca sale de la casa despu駸 de las 9 de la noche. Y si
una de ellas tiene que utilizar el cuarto de aseo prefieren hacerlo en su
cuarto, utilizando un recipiente designado para esos menesteres.

En el piso hay una cama que comparten la madre y la hija, Heidi. La
bicicleta de la nia cuelga de la pared porque es el nico lugar para
guardarla. Del otro lado de la habitacin esta la estufa y el lavamanos.
Vivir en ese cuarto y acomodar lo que se pueda es un caos. Clari ha estado
viviendo en un crculo de pobreza, limpiando casas, cuidando gente de la
tercera edad. An asi, no le alcanza para mudarse a un apartamento.

El cuarto de bao lo comparten con las demas personas que viven en la misma
planta. El bao  uno para los hombres y otro para las mujeres  no tiene
lavamanos ni papel higi駭ico. Los residentes tienen que proveerlo. En cada
piso, hay tan solo una regadera que es compartida por hombres y mujeres.
Clari vive en un hotel de piezas individuales (SRO por sus siglas en Ingl駸)
uno de los 514 hoteles de propiedad privada en la ciudad.

ウSi uno de los baos en un piso esta tapado, todos bajan o suben al
siguiente,イ dice Clari. Los nios no tienen donde jugar  slo en el
pasillo. No tenemos ventilacin, ni lavadoras ni secadoras, ni buzn.イ

Para esto, Clari tiene que pagar $359 al mes con un porcentaje del 2 por
ciento de incremento anual de la renta.

Clari tiene suerte porque slo comparte la pieza con su hija. Figurese las
mismas circunstancias para familias enteras que comparten uno o dos cuartos.
Son una poblacin invisible cayendo por las cuarteaduras, algunos dicen que
los defensores de nios y de destituidos no consideran a estas familias como
sus constituyentes.

En San Francisco, una grupo especial est llevando a cabo una campaa en
cuatro 疵eas de la ciudad: La Misin,, Chinatown, Tenderlion y South or
Market, donde familias con nios residen en los SROs.

La campaa est siendo dirigida por un equipo representativo de nueve
organizaciones comunitarias y debera completarse a finales del verano.

Con fondos del Departamento de Salud Pblica, una coalicin de grupos
comunitarios llamada SRO Collaborative, determinar el nmero de familias
con hijos viviendo en estos hoteles, y los obst當ulos que enfrentan que no
les permiten mudarse.

ウEl censo nos ayudar a saber ex當tamente que tan grande es la crisis para
que la ciudad pueda crear nuevas plizas que cambiaran las cosasイ, dice
Maria Poblet, del Comit de Derechos de Vivienda San Pedro.

Un reporte reciente de las familias del grupo de trabajo de SROs dice que
los efectos de vivir en los hoteles son devastadores, con familias
maniobrando en condiciones insalubres e inseguras. Segn el reporte, el
grado de contraer tuberculosis es tan grande como en Sub-Sahara, en Africa.

El reporte menciona que las familias no cuentan con lo b疽ico  como
necesidades alimenticias. ウLa carencia de espacios adecuados para la cocina,
la limpieza y el abastecimiento deja a las familias dependiendo de lugares
donde se vende comida r疳ida. Las estampillas de comida solo cubren un par
de semanas del presupento mensual destinado para los vveres.

ウLa manera de vivir es comprando en la tienda de la esquina,イ dice Krea
Gmez, del Departemento de Plizas y Abogaca del Programa Prenatal de
Destituidos. ウComemos panecillos de 30 centavos para el desayuno, cuatro
paquetes de queso por un dlar, y galletas, y cuando mam recibe su cheque
el da primero comemos algo del McDonaldケs; pero eso no es comidaイ.

Gmez debera saberlo. Por seis meses ella vivi con su marido y sus dos
hijos en un hotel porque la casa donde rentaba a largo plazo en Oakland la
perdi cuando el casero decidi venderla. Segn ella, muchas familias pagan
entre $250 a $500 dlares por semana para vivir en escualidas condiciones.
Gmez pagaba de $420 por semana a 1680 por mes.

ウMiles de familias no son escuchadas por la ciudadイ, dice Miguel Carrera, de
Hogares Sin Barreras/Housing Not Borders. ウPor eso formamos una coalicin.
Para enfocarnos en las familias que viven en los SROs. Queremos contar a las
familias, unirlas, organizarlas y hacer un llamado para que la cuidad sea
m疽 responsableイ, 駘 dice.

Mientras tanto, el trabajo por continuar las mejoras en los hoteles
contina. El reporte de SF Families/SROs fue presentado en mayo a la SRO
Fuerzas Especiales de Salud y Seguridad de la Mesa de Supervisores para
poner manos a la obra.

ウEsperamos que la mesa de supervisores cree un equipo que llegue hasta estas
comunidadesイ, dice Mara X. Martinez, directora de la Comisara de Salud de
la Poblacin y Prevencin del Departamento de Salud Pblica de San
Francisco. ウEsta fuerza especial pide un liderazgo en t駻minos de darle
preferencia a esto que esta pasando en la ciudad y nosotros queremos
continuar los fondos de SRO Collaborative para continuar con el trabajo,イ
aadi. 

ウNosotros pensamos que no son las familias las causantes de este problema
sino la cuidad, la cual ha permitido que se agrande por nunca ponerle
atencin a los pobres. A ellos no les importa si viven en un hotel o en las
calles,イ dijo Carrera.

R.M. Arrieta
Traducido Por Luis Pardio

(Este articulo fue publicado en El Tecolote)


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CONTRIBUTORS AND EDITORIAL STAFF

Adam Arms, R.M. Arrieta, David Aquino, Paul Boden, Vince Bunten, Miguel
Carrera, Barbara Duffield, Nancy Esteva, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jennifer
Friedenbach, fukiya, Angelique Gonzalez, Kathleen Gray, Tim Hackett, Jackie
Henderson, Bianca Henry, kaponda, Lorraine Leavitt, Allison Lum, Hoops
McCann, Mario McCarthy, Ivory Madison, chance martin, Paula Mathieu, Jesse
Mayes, Leroy F. Moore Jr., Federick Noland, Robert Norse, Joel Oppenheimer,
Luis Pardio, Ruth Pleaner, Mara Poblet, Mara Raider, Brian Russell, Naomi
Szoke, El Tecolote, Maureen Thompson, George Tirado, James Tracy, Miss
Visitor, Mariana Viturro, Arnett Watson, West of Twin Peaks Observer, John
Wilson, LS Wilson

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America's one of the finest countries anyone ever stole.
    - Bobcat Goldthwaite


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