Gentrification Wins in SF w/ Low Voter Turnout

Davey-D-purple-frameNovember 4 2015 Well the 2015 elections in San Francisco are over and it looks like it was a big night for tech billionaires like Ron Conway along with big developers, greedy landlords and AIRBnB who he backed. Measure F and lost.

In short, GENTRIFICATION won big last night. It will stay alive and well and contrary to what many would like to believe those victories garnered by gentrifiers didn’t happen because of the record millions that was spent.  Measure F which would’ve allowed people to sue AIRBnB for illegal/unregistered listings didn’t lose because we saw commercial after commercial on TV every 5 minutes claiming the measure went ’too far’.

Measure I which would’ve put a stop to luxury condos in the historic Mission district didn’t lose because local politicians like Mayor Ed Lee opposed it on the behest of the developers who own and control him… It lost because in spite of the importance of these measures and the long term impact they will have on folks who are struggling day to day and in spite of all the attention nationally and locally they had, you still have 50-60% of the people who are eligible and registered to vote, stay home. You can look at the map precinct by precinct here if you think I’m lying:

In a recent interview, long time journalist Tim Redmond of 48 Hills said everything in yesterday’s election hinged on voter turnout..Whoever can turnout their people to pull the lever will determine direction of San Francisco Gentrifiers stepped up.. Those suffering under gentrification did not bring the numbers needed to turn the tide..

Now folks can get all philosophical and give all sorts of excuses about how both parties are controlled by the same people.. And how the system is corrupt and blah, blah, blah.. We heard it all before.  It’s bullshyt with respect to this.. On the ballot were important Measures put forth by people in the community..  Folks organized, held massive rallies and marches and went down to city hall to pressure and demand that the city put moratoriums on luxury condos..

Supervisors looked out at the packed room filled with angry citizens desperately trying to hold on to their homes and community and sided with developers.. Organizers went back looked at a variety of strategies and took advantage of the citizen ballot initiative process which isn’t even available in many cities and states around the country.. They gathered the signatures, got the Measure on the ballot.. They didn’t get corporate funding, they were grassroots and understood the hard times many were experiencing, especially with seeing their homes snatched up, rents skyrocketing and in some cases, homes being burnt up under suspicious circumstances, would lead folks to taking a stand by going to the polls to reverse an egregious wrong.. It did not..and that’s sad.. That’s sad as hell..

Ron Conway

Ron Conway

One man (Ron Conway) via a company he has heavily invested in (AIRBnB) spent almost 9 million dollars to defeat Measure F.. People say corporations are evil. They say tech Companies are tone def and insensitive and vulturistic, the opportunity to smash directly was not taken. It’s not like folks are mass organizing to boycott any of the products like Facebook, Google and dozens more he has investments in, so why not hand a sound defeat via the polls?

Ross Mirkarimi

Ross Mirkarimi

In other election results we saw that the police  and law enforcement had a big victory.. The rank and file in the sheriff department did not like long time progressive Ross Mirkarimi. At every turn the power elite in SF was looking for ways to upend him. They finally did it by convincing former deputy Vicki Hennessy to come out of retirement to run against him. She describes herself as a career cop who will no doubt do the bidding Mayor Ed Lee and the gentrifier class who came out in force at her victory party last night. She also noted that she in stark opposition to Mirkarimi when it comes to the issue of Sanctuary Cities.

Also former SFPD chief and now current District Attorney, George Gascon ran unopposed and got 98% of the vote. hence we should not expect any prosecutions of out of control police anytime soon…

Aaron Peskin

Aaron Peskin

If there is a bright spot in yesterday’s elections, it comes in the form of the district 3 race for supervisor. Ron Conway and the Gentrifier class put their money and hopes behind Julie Christensen. They went all out to defeat Aaron Peskin who about the business of reigning in tech companies and developers. Conway and his squad spent historic amounts of money on that race but in the end Peskin won. He changes the balance of power on the Board of Supervisors. If he sticks to his promises and his guns, Mayor Ed Lee will not be getting free passes and rubber stamps on all his development deals. Hopefully folks will find some political openings with Peskin on the board and be able to rock with them to turn somethings around..

The other bright spot is the coalition of people who came together to put  Measure F on the ballot to reign in AIRBnB are going to regroup, retool and reintroduce it in San Francisco and in other cities.. If it comes to Oakland, folks had best be ready to ride for it or start looking for nice apartments in Modesto or Stockton..These developers and tech billionaires like Conway have lots of money and are willing to spread it around in an effort to smash.. Hence there will be more elected officials who take the money and run #staywoke

Forget the TV Show ‘Scandal’, Leland Yee’s Arrest Reveals the Darkside of Politics

Leland Yee

Leland Yee

With the recent arrest of California state Senator Leland Yee, many who work to improve their community will have lots to think about and factor in as it relates to gun related violence. One of the most disturbing things Yee was arrested for was weapons trafficking and we’re not talking something that’s minor or a big stretch  where he’s accused of selling a improperly gun to someone.

Yee’s accused of wanting to do 2.5 million dollars worth of business. That business included selling rocket launchers and all sorts of weaponry. On top of that they’re saying all the people arrested with Lee including his friend, long time political consultant Keith Jackson and his son Brandon Jackson, were part of an organized crime syndicate..

Jackson who is a well-known fixture around San Francisco and the Bay Area in general is high-powered politico who like Yee served as school board president in SF.  He was indicted for a murder for hire plot on top of weapons and drug tracking charges.

Again, if any or all of this is all true there’s a helluva a lot we should be thinking about next time we talk about how certain neighborhoods are flooded by guns and drugs. Is it really low-level street corner cats or high and mighty powerful folks who shot call and manipulate this system?

Mayor Ed Lee

Mayor Ed Lee

People should keep in mind that last year the Mayor Ed Lee was contemplating bringing Stop and Frisk style policing to San Francisco. He was concerned that there were ‘too many guns‘ on the streets. In nearby Oakland there’s a defacto stop and frisk program underway where Black folks who make up 28% of the population are 62% of police stops. You find similar targeting in other California cities. Perhaps the police should be stopping and frisking public officials and leave the average person alone. Ask yourself, where all those guns Yee and others were trafficking went to? Did anyone get killed with one of them? Let’s reflect on that for a minute.

Yee was a strong advocate for gun control. He penned some of the strongest anti-gun legislation in the state and maybe the country. He was named to the  Brady Bill Honor Roll for his strong anti-gun stances. Yee’s bottom line was all about making sure assault weapons were off our streets.

Leland Yee went hard on the industry for violent video games

Leland Yee went hard on the industry for violent video games

On top of that, Lee went HAM on the video game industry. He felt that many of the military and gun games were too realistic and would lead to folks being desensitized to violence. He also went after the military for investing money in these games. Yee was the go to guy for anti-violence and as a result was championed up and down the state, so much so that he had a good chance to become California’s Secretary of State. He just pulled out of that campaign.

Looking at all this strictly from a political stand point, Yee’s arrest alone has given the NRA and gun-lobby folks all sorts of ammunition (no pun intended) to not only make sure guns stay accessible with little or no restrictions, but it also lays ground work for folks to make arguments to enhance Castle doctrines and Stand Your Ground Laws.

One can easily see the gun-lobby making the argument that the public is at risk by ‘powerful people who are selling rocket launchers, guns etc’ to ‘nefarious types’ while an unwitting public is in the dark. The argument will be made that the public has a right to protect itself when such powerful forces using their political clout and connections are in the mix.

It should also be noted that Yee is accused of trying to buy rocket launchers for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in which the state department considers a terrorist organization. Maybe that was a freedom fighter move on his part because he supports their cause or maybe it was just him wanting to get money. Our concern should be whether or not this realization will lead to increased domestic surveillance or will the NSA and other spy agencies narrow their focus to rich and powerful vs the average person trying to make ends meet?

It’s probably safe to say that Yee is not really where the buck stops. Many feel he’s just the tip of the iceberg and while there were 26 people altogether arrested around this FBI sting operation that netted Yee, all of us should asking who else is in the mix? Are they Judges? rogue cops? the Mayor? Any Supervisors? Who else has their hands dirty? For example, in the report you read Keith Jackson’s associate stating that he got bullet proof vests straight from the police. They later corrected themselves and said the FBI? Were they stolen or gotten from someone involved?

Raymond Chow aka Shrimp Boy

Raymond Chow aka Shrimp Boy

When you read the FBI report its straight out of series like 24 or a spy novel. It has activities and people involved from all over the country. It has arms dealing on an international level. It has money laundering from here to Boston, it has marijuana grow houses around the Bay including one in Oakland. They’re shipping cocaine from here to Memphis, Tn. They’re shipping weapons all over the world. They have kill for hire plots and lots of powerful people in the so-called underworld as well as in political circles rubbing elbows. It’s all there.

The way it reads it has Raymond Chow aka Shrimp Boy the former high level gangster who had ‘reformed’ as a central figure who has been rewarded and honored by all sorts of high-profile politicians including our own Senator Diane Feinstein  but you get the sense that there’s a lot more to this-a lot more. One thing for sure, politics is a dirty, filthy, scandalous business. Check out the report HERE

On another note in recent months there have been a number of Democrats up and down the state caught up in scandals.. That’s sadly ironic when u consider Dems are often railing about the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch and other far right entities that are corrupt..One would think they of all people would keep their noses clean, but far too many have not. They are seduced by power and money like the people they criticize.

Adding to all this are the corporate payoffs to Civil Rights organizations which has resulted in them twisting their decision-making on key issues like GMO Food labeling, Soda Tax, Net Neutrality and Media consolidation (Yes a number of key Civil Rights orgs have been in favor of Comcast and Time Warner merging). Wonder what dirt doings are going on in those circles??

Its more than just Leland Yee who has a lot of explaining to do..

Blackalicious Set To Touch Down This Friday

Blackalicious Flyer

This Friday.. Blackalicious will grace the stage at New Parrish and bring some serious heat. It’s been a while since we got to see this Oakland based duo catch wreck in tha Town and everyone is looking forward to it backing Blackalicious will be ‘Jazz Mafia’. Also on the bill will be Kev Choice and Raw G and your truly (Davey D) on the turntables….In the meantime here’s a couple of interviews we did with group members Chief XL and Gift of Gab..

We caught up w/ Chief XL at Kevvy Kev’s Bang the Drum celebration at Golden Gate park.. We talked to him about his work, parenting, Hip Hop from overseas and being the Chief.

We caught up w/ Gift of Gab at Kevvy Kev’s Bang the Drum celebration at Golden Gate Pk.. We asked if emceeing was gift or skill obtained through practice


When Do We Call a Celebration a Riot? The SF Giants Win the World Series

When the final pitch was thrown and a strike out ensued, resulting in the San Francisco Giants once again becoming World Series champs, I was tempted to hop in my car and cross the bridge like I did 2 years ago to celebrate with the tens of thousands who were already out and about at local bars or at the Civic Center watching the game on a Jumbotron.

Everyone likes a winner and even more people like the celebrations and festivities that come along with winning. Everyone was upbeat last night and San Francisco was on Fire… It was on fire emotionally speaking, but within an hour of the Giants winning SF literally was on fire.. All over the city bonfires were being lit.. One was downtown on Market street. Another was on 19th and Mission. Another on 23rd and Mission.. Still another was near the police station on 16th and Valencia which was the scene of raucous Occupy protest a few weeks ago.. With each bonfire came people by the hundreds and wasn’t long before folks were tossing in everything they could get their hands on, couches, card board paint cans and other flammable which caused loud bomb-like explosions. Eventually a bus was lit on fire around 3rd and Market in the heart of downtown. We also saw a security truck flipped over with the driver in it..he got out unharmed.

This is the SF Chronicle describe last night’s vandalism

As each fire was lit and reported on by local newscasts, I couldn’t help but note the tone and wording used to describe the scene. We didn’t hear words like anarchist, outside agitators or thugs to describe those committing wanton acts of vandalism. Instead what we heard was local news outlets like NBC described what was happening as ‘instant street parties’. Others like ABC talked about how exuberant fans and overly joyous fans were celebrating in front of bonfires.

Reporters would utter the word vandalism in the most casual tone and downplay the smashing of bank and storefront windows, crowds chanting ‘F– Tha Police and cars being burned or flipped. The main focus by these local news outlets was about highlighting the excitement around this world series win.

It was hard not to contrast the sanitizing words used to described the destruction happening all over the city of San Francisco with how many of those same news outlets described Occupy, Oscar Grant and anti-war protests where far less damage and mayhem was caused. It was hard not to contrast the way many of those media outlets described spirited celebrations in neighboring Oakland ten years ago (2003) after the Raiders won the AFC Championship.

At that time, one car was flipped over on International Blvd and burned and the entire city was described as one that was in turmoil ‘out of control ‘and the scene of a riot. If you don’t believe me take a look at the picture that ran in the same SF Chronicle where the headline this morning reads ‘SF Giant fans Delirious With Joy‘. Again this is in spite of the fact that celebrating fans burned a city bus in the middle of downtown on top of flipping a car.. As you can see the SF Chronicle headline described the much smaller Oakland celebrations in much more stark ominous tones..using words like ‘Raider Rage‘ and ‘Street Mayhem‘.

This was the scene last night on Market street.. At the time this security truck was flipped over local news outlets described it as ‘over joyous fans celebrating and getting a little out of hand’.

We could spend more time making similar comparisons to the words used to describe more recent events especially since both Occupy Oakland and Occupy SF had one year anniversaries. If you look at the coverage of given to occupy you heard news casters talk about the menacing Black Bloc and how everyone should board up their windows and be prepared. As one Facebook poster jokingly noted on my page last night, its funny that media didn’t warn businesses to watch out for the marauding bands of Orange and Black bloc folks

Even the police when interviewed held measured tones. On ABC news, one of the SF Police captains talked about how his officers were doing all they could to keep everyone safe and the celebration going. In fact at one point, officers on motorcycles came to 19th and Mission while the bonfire was going and gently moved the crowd back vs outright dispersing them.

On one of the live streams monitoring the stuff on Market street, you saw Giant fans getting all up in the face of SFPD talking smack. The police exercised lots of patience not arresting folks or anything like that..Eventually they gave dispersal orders, but the demeanor and overall tone taken was way different from when people were out marching against banks and foreclosures or when folks were protesting the shooting deaths of Kenneth Harding or Charles Hill. The tone taken by SFPD was much harsher as protestors were demonized before they even started. The police message was one of immediate containment, shut down and dispersal. If folks recall we saw over 120 people arrested during an Oscar Grant protest where no bonfires or windows were broken.. We saw over 400 people arrested during an Occupy protest here in the Bay w/ no bon fires. Last night we saw SFPD literally make a walk way to one of the bon fires people lit in celebration of the Giants winning. Throughout most of the evening hardly anyone was arrested, before the night was over close to 40 people were arrested by SFPD.

Imagine if this was an Occupy protest.. would the news outlets reporting this use such sanitizing words?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not pointing all this out because I want to see a police state nor am I condoning vandalism.. I’m also not naive, I realize that after most sports wins there are crazy celebrations that take place all over the world.

It was just last year we had folks going nuts in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup was won. I attended UC Berkeley and recall after damn near every Big Game between Cal and Stanford folks went nuts busting windows and setting fires.Heck I recall how folks flipped car and set fires after Penn Sate coach Joe Paterno was fired..

What I do want people to note is how and when media outlets and the police themselves turn up the ‘fear and danger’ ratchets and when they don’t . I want people to ask themselves and the people doing the reporting why they take particular tones. Last night I tweeted several requests to Bay Area ABC News publicly asking them what do they consider the difference between a riot and a celebration? I never got a response. What I concluded is they and other news outlets are quite deliberate in the tone that they set . More often than not that tone is attached to a political and economic agenda.

This is a scene from an Occupy Oakland demonstration. here the words anarchist, black bloc and outside agitators were used to describe the scene before police moved in in full riot gear w/ weapons drawn.

San Francisco is a tourist city and image is everything if it expects to attract visitors and businesses. The result of this is all hands are on deck to keep a smiling face on what many would consider unacceptable and outrageously dangerous conditions. Hence a riot in San Francisco when done by a whiter and more affluent crowd is just a few ‘delirious with joy fans celebrating a bit too hard‘. The police are restrained and they go all out to ‘protect and serve..

When its a protest challenging the police, unfair economic conditions or a mostly Black and Brown fan base in a city like Oakland ‘expressing their joy, than ‘celebrations‘ turn in ‘street mayhem over run by thugs‘.. Protestors are tarred as out of control anarchists etc. Police are no longer restrained but instead use the large crowds as an excuse to test out new weaponry and crowd control maneuvers. Its social engineering at its best..

Something to think about as we gear up for a big parade to celebrate the San Francisco Giants being World Series champs once again…

written by Davey D

The scene on 19th and Mission Last night after the Giants won and people began ‘celebrating photo: Jill Filipovic

Big Daddy Kane.. Setting It Off & Still Getting the Job Done (Breakdown FM Intv)

Got a chance to build with Hip Hop legend Big Daddy Kane who is on his way to San Francisco this weekend to perform at Yoshi’s Jazz Club.You have to marvel at a guy who’s been putting in work since 1986, when Kane first hit the scene as a member of the Juice Crew and still manages to keep himself and his music relevant 26 years later…

In our interview we talked about his longevity in Hip Hop.. Kane explained it was always his intention to stand the test of time. He noted he never approached his music or any of his performances in a lackluster way. It was always about leaving a lasting impression and having folks one day wanting to mimic everything from his rhyme flow to his overall steeze.

I asked Kane why he never took his music career into acting the same way many of his peers had. Kane was often dubbed the leading man of rap aka Dark Gable, a play upon the famed actor Clark Gable. He also was dubbed Blackanova a play upon Casanova. Kane said he was open to doing more acting, he just hadn’t been offered good roles. At the same time he noted he hadn’t pursued things as hard as he could. Nowadays he’s open and wants to step into the acting arena and really give things a try..Thus far kane has appeared in movies like; Posse, Meteor Man, Dead Heist, Brown Sugar and Gunmen.

In terms of music, Kane explained, that he’s been working with singer Showtyme, who we know for the work he does w/ Pharoah Monch.. They have assembled alive band are currently working on an album. Kane didn’t say when it would drop, but noted they were putting down the finishing touches.

We also talked about the art of freestyling vs writing a good song. Kane explained that a true emcee takes time to create pictures and those pictures get perfected when you write. There’s no getting around it. He noted that the term freestyling initially meant to rap without form, meaning that you may touch upon a variety of subjects in song. he explained that song like Raw was him freestyling. The term ‘coming off the dome’ meant spitting rhymes on the spot. He said its a good when doing a show and you forget a lyric and have to change up for a few bars, but ultimately an emcee takes time to craft vivid pictures. Coming off the dome doesn’t allow that with any sort of regularity

We concluded our interview by talking about Kane’s favorite song.. He went into detail explaining why Set It Off was his best work. He noted he was trying to mimic James Brown‘s sex machine..

Kane will be appearing at Yoshi’s in SF this Saturday August 11th … for more info click this link

Listen to the Breakdown FM Intv w/ Big Daddy Kane


National Lawyers Guild’s Statement on the Suspension of SF Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi & Ethics Commission

As an organization of Bay Area attorneys, legal workers, law students, and community members, the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter urges the City of San Francisco to stop using public resources to oust Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office.

We are deeply concerned that his suspension without pay by Mayor Ed Lee is an affront to the democratic will of the people of San Francisco, and that the current efforts to remove him from office both lack sufficient due process protections and are politically motivated. We take the accusations of Eliana Lopez very seriously and believe domestic violence must be dealt with in a way that respects the survivors and reduces harm. However, the official reaction to the abuse Mirkarimi undoubtedly committed has been dominated by political grandstanding, not concern for domestic violence survivors.

Notwithstanding this criticism, the Guild also calls on Sheriff Mirkarimi to take full responsibility for his behavior and, if he retains his office, to work with community based organizations on restorative approaches to domestic violence beyond the criminal justice model.

We take seriously the need to protect and support people who are subject to violence of any kind, including within the family. Here, the needs of the Sheriff’s wife, Eliana Lopez, and their child, are of utmost priority. Lopez’s wishes, her definition of her experience, and her desire to rebuild her family are being completely ignored. Ms. Lopez has stated as much:

“I am sad and hurt by the elected officials of the city of San Francisco: Mayor Lee, City Attorney Herrera, District Attorney George Gascón, and Judge Wong. I believe what Judge Wong, the District Attorney, the City Attorney, and Mayor Lee have done to me is far worse than anything they accuse Ross of doing. I hope they realize after reflection that what they have done is irreparable and perpetually damaging to me and my family.”

We cannot support efforts that deny a survivor any voice and undermine her opinions and experiences. Doing so contravenes the purpose of domestic violence protection.

Because Mirkarimi has a record as a political progressive who has championed policies that many in law enforcement vigorously oppose, we believe this process is largely motivated by politics and not concern for victims of domestic abuse. Mirkarimi has been a strong supporter of San Francisco’s Sanctuary city policies that protect immigrants, has consistently opposed racial profiling by police, and supports efforts to decrease the jail population as part of the budget and jail re-alignment processes. In contrast, Mayor Lee has recently called for NYC police style stop-and-frisk programs in San Francisco. If District Attorney Gascon and Mayor Lee succeed in removing Mirkarimi from office, we are concerned that law enforcement policies in San Francisco will become more oppressive, and the jail population will increase.

Ross Mirkarimi

By suspending an elected official for a misdemeanor committed before taking office, Mayor Lee is subverting democratic will before Mirkarimi has even had a chance to put his policies in place. A recall would be the appropriate, democratic mechanism for accomplishing Lee’s stated goals. Instead, the process before the Ethics Commission, and ultimately before the Board of Supervisors just before an election, disenfranchises San Franciscans.

Unlike the accused, the Mayor has the unlimited resources of the City Attorney at his disposal; and four of the Ethics Commissioners are appointed by people who are or will be directly involved in this case: the Mayor, the City Attorney, the District Attorney and the Board of Supervisors. At the very minimum, the situation raises the appearance of impropriety, conflict of interest and bias.

For the reasons stated above, we request that Mayor Lee immediately stop using scarce city & county resources to attack a democratically elected official. Should neither the Mayor nor the Commissioners have the integrity to end this assault on democracy, we ask that the Board of Supervisors vote to uphold the will of the voters.

* * * * * * * * * *

As folks read this statement by the NLG.. they may also wanna keep in mind that Mayor Ed Lee has returned to the war path about trying to bring Stop and Frisk police policy to San Francisco. He’s using the Colorado massacre as his excuse.. Recently Reggie W Lyles and former police captain and Deacon at Allen Temple church noted in a facebook post..

What -does  “Stop and Frisk” got to do with preventing a Krazay man who can buy 6,000 rounds of ammo, an AR-17, Remmington shotgun and two Glock 10’s within weeks over the internet? Mayor Lee just wants to harrass Blacks like Alioto did when he ordered every Black person to be Stop and Frisked coming into San Francisco from across the Bay Bridge, during the Zebra killing spree. Pittsburgh Steeler’s Lynn Swan and his brother got “Stopped and Frisked and assaulted” by SFPD, sued and won. If I am not mistaken, Swann had won the MVP of the super bowl at the time.

Recently the good folks from Poor People’s News Network posted up this commentary expressing opposition and outrage to Mayor Ed Lee

The opposition to what SF Mayor Ed Lee is doing with the help of some agencies of San Francisco’s Government is growing. And it is just starting.

Anyone can help by sending emails or calling the different entities at the City Hall in San Francisco.
Eric Mar <>; David Chiu <>; Christina Oleague <>; John Avalos <>; Mark Farrell <>; Carmen Chu <>; Jane Kim <>; Sean Elsbernd <>; Scott Wiener <>; Malia Cohen <>; Office of the City Attorney <>; <>; Ethics Commission

*John Avalos 415.554-6975, David Chiu 415.554.7450, David Campos 415.554-5144, Carmen Chu 415.554.7460,
Malia Cohen 415.554.7670, Sean Elsberard 415.554.6516, Mark Farrel 415.554.7752, Jane Kim 415.554.7970,
Eric Mar 415.554.7410,.Christina Olague 415-554-7630. Scott Wiener 415.554-6968, Mayor Ed Lee 415.554-6141.
*Ethics Commission phone # 415-252-3100

Mayor Ed Lee Clarifies his position on Stop & Frisk Policy In San Francisco


In recent days SF Mayor Ed ‘Emperor’ Lee has come under fire about his public admiration of New York City’s infamous Stop and Frisk Police..The idea that he might adapt that policy led to a series of angry denouncements, demonstrations, lots of emails and phone calls to his office. Topping all of this was this recent stinging rebuke from Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report..


Mayor Ed Lee

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement on San Francisco and “Stop and Frisk Policy”:

“The month of June in San Francisco experienced a spike in shootings and homicides in our Southeast
neighborhoods. This is unacceptable and while I take this issue extremely seriously, I want to be clear that I
have not considered implementing a policy in San Francisco that would violate anyone’s constitutional rights or
that would result in racial profiling. I have stated that I am willing to look at what other cities are doing to
reduce gun violence, including cities like New York and Philadelphia that both have stop and frisk programs.

I have been meeting with community leaders, have attended services to meet with congregants and have met
with law enforcement about this issue. We share grave concerns about gun violence and its disproportionate
impact on communities of color and youth in San Francisco. We need to do more.

Public safety can only be achieved through collaboration and partnership between law enforcement and the
communities we all serve. Community policing and community development efforts have important roles to
play in the prevention of violence, and I will continue to meet with community leaders and faith based
organizations to advance these priorities.

I want to be very clear. As a former human rights director and civil rights attorney, I hold the individual
protections afforded to us all under the 4th Amendment as sacrosanct. As we continue our discussions to reduce
violence and get guns out of our communities, I will not support, nor will I put forward any proposal that will
violate any such protections, but I am willing to move forward with bold ideas that get to results.

I will continue to work with the community to end gun violence in San Francisco.”

7.17.12 Clarifying Stop & Frisk Policy Statement


Is the Case to Remove Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi a Political Witch-Hunt? It Sure Seems Like It

The domestic violence case involving newly elected SF Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and the all out efforts to remove him from office is an interesting one that raises a bunch of questions on a number of levels. Is this a political witch hunt or a concerned group of politicians showing zero tolerance for domestic violence and unethical behavior by the sheriff, law enforcement and public officials in general?

Such questions are asked from the standpoint of watching the  Ethics Commission meet today to determine what procedures will be followed during Mirkarimi’s upcoming hearing and seeing how SF Mayor Ed Lee over the past couple of months has gone all out leaving no stone unturned in his dogged determination to remove Mirkarimi from office.

We’ve heard Mayor Lee say things like; He has ‘concern for public safety‘ and he wants to ‘restore the public trust‘.. Ok,we can all get that.. very few would disagree.

So one has to wonder why such determination isn’t shown when the police do things like brutalize and shoot its citizens in highly egregious and questionable circumstances?

We didn’t see Mayor Ed Lee go all out when Kenneth Harding was shot and left to die over a $2 bus transfer last summer?  Hundreds of people came out to confront the police over that shooting. Scores of witnesses said it was unjust  yet,  we didn’t see the Mayor try to restore public trust in that situation..For that matter there have been scores of demonstrations in SF around the issue of police misconduct, many of them much larger and more widespread than anything around Mirkarimi, yet we have never seen this type of fervor to correct wrong doings and restore public trust

It was just two years ago we saw how SFPD was rocked by one of the largest scandals in the department’s history. Here we saw over 50 felony cases get overturned thanks to unethical behavior by cops who falsified reports and may have planted evidence on folks., yet we didn’t see all the stops pulled out around that.. We didn’t see procedures to remove the chief or any other supervising officer for allowing that to go down on their watch..One has to wonder why..

Mayor Ed Lee

Even if there are rules in place that hand tied  Mayor Lee, one still might ask why didn’t we see him simply  express anger and disdain the way he’s done around the Mikarimi situation?

Is this a case of politics? We know that Makarimi a former SF Supervisor and co-founder of SF Green Party,  has long been one of the more progressive voices in SF politics. He’s well-known and well liked. When he was running for sheriff he talked about how he would be one help out homeowners and not the banks when it came to foreclosures. If anyone could start the process of changing the inner workings of law enforcement and moving it in a decidedly more progressive direction, it would be Ross Makarimi.

Needless to say his run for Sheriff attracted a lot of attention and gave folks hope. It may have also garnered him some political enemies who seized upon any opportunity to bring him down..

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s no excuse for domestic violence. It should not be tolerated on any level  and if there’s procedure to go through Mirkarimi, no matter how progressive and likeable should go through it and accept his fate.. But given that this procedure being pursued by the Mayor is applicable to all types of ‘unethical behavior’ among public servants, why start and stop with Ross and no one else? Where’s the political muster to after other public servants and their transgressions?

Moving this scenario above and beyond San Francisco, one has to wonder why we don’t see the political brass of a city like Oakland going all out to remove police chiefs and officers when we have cops blatantly lying as they did recently when they shot and killed unarmed Alan Blueford and then claimed he shot them injuring an officer.. Evidence surfaces showing the officer shot himself, yet we see no procedure to remove him or the police chief who publicly covered for him.. Why is that? Is shooting, killing and lying about it not a threat to public safety? Is it not unethical behavior by a public servant?

People have fought long and hard to hold public officials in particular police officers accountable. We need to keep our eyes on this case around Ross Mirkarimi. from the looks of it this seems to be political payback where folks are pretending to be concerned about unethical behavior and domestic violence.. If Mayor Lee’s zeal for protecting the public is disingenuous and we see little or no movements in other areas then he will have done 3x as much damage to the public trust than Ross Mirkarimi ever did.

Dregs One: A Letter to the President (Some Serious Food for Thought)

This is the homie Dreg’s One out of San Francisco.. Folks need to be up on him… He’s a serious activist, commentator and dope emcee..He’s one of the increasing number of artists especially out of the Bay Area who is all about taking his/her music and using it as a tool to serve the people.. In the tradition of Chuck D from Public Enemy , Dregs is not about rhyming for the sake of riddling, that’s clear by his new song and video ‘Letter to the President‘…It’s one that our Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama may wanna peep.

Below is one of the many commentaries Dregs One  does on issues off importance..  check out this joint here where he breaks down the impact of gentrification in his native San Francisco


OccupySF Raided by Brutal Police-Connecting the Dots Between Occupy & Fly Benzo

Last night hundreds of San Francisco police showed up at Justin Herman Plaza in riot gear to forcibly remove a hundred or so people at the encampment of OccupySF… Occupiers described it as a sneak attack as police swarmed in from all directions including cops on motorbikes.. 70 people were arrested as police stood guard while sanitation workers trashed tents and threw away full backpacks containing everything from homeless people’s life possessions to laptop computers.

During the raid there were a number of cops who could be seen sneering and laughing at the protestors who yelled at them to stop. As cops made arrest of those refusing to disperse, folks yelled out badge numbers so those watching on live Ustreams could bear witness and better identify offending officers.

As folks watched the officers go to town on SF Occupiers one could not help but note how important it was that they connect the dots and be reminded about the brutality SFPD routinely unleashes on citizens in SF’s Bayview district.

Fly Benzo

One individual in particular, Fly Benzo is a frequent target by police because he’s so outspoken on their brutality. He has been a leading dissenting voice after SF police shot to death 19-year-old Kenneth Harding this summer. Harding was accused of not paying a two dollar bus fare and fleeing from police when confronted… Benzo during a press conference angered police by pointing out how what they did in killing Harding was not unusual. He also noted the irony of the police not being able to solve any of the murders in their community, but somehow seem to be able to ‘find’ everyone who doesn’t have proper permits for amplified sound, expired car tags or drinking in public.. For speaking out Fly Benzo found himself being arrested and hemmed up by police on at least two occasions…

Today when OccupySF regroup at the Ferry Building at noon, we hope those who were brutalized by police last night keep in mind the plight of folks like Fly Benzo and find ways to break bread, share resources and fight back the police together… Here’s a recent video from Fly

We also wanted to share with you some of the day to day work Occupy SF was and continues to do… below is some of our coverage from a march they did over the weekend about foreclosures….