Archive | August, 2010

Federal Government’s Complicity in Dismantling the Nation’s Affordable Housing and Shredding the Safety Net

WRAP housekeys graphic

Local municipalities have created laws that dehumanize and criminalize the homeless masses who simply have no place left to go. County jails have become this country’s largest residential mental health facilities.

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Life in the Slow Lane, An Old Man, A Van and His Dog

Framed. Although he is living a difficult life as a homeless vehicle dweller in San francisco, he adamantly rejects the notion that he is a homeless person. in his mind, he is a misunderstood, highly principled artist. Robert L. Terrell

I have never seen him visited by a relative or friend. Although he is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people, his is an extremely lonely existence.

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Bay Area Protesters Defend the Rights of Immigrants

Protesters in the bay Area marched against Arizona’s law. David Bacon photo

“It’s no coincidence that Arizona has this outrageous law, because all the proposals from Washington on immigration reform encourage the same criminalization, racial profiling and discrimination. Immigrant communities are demanding an end to these policies and laws, including ‘Secure Communities’ and ‘E-Verify.’ We deserve a new direction from Washington, with real change, including legalization and workers’ rights.” — Renee Saucedo, La Raza Centro Legal

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‘This Law Is Very Unjust!’

Teresa Mina was fired in a crackdown on immigrant workers. David Bacon photo

Teresa Mina was a San Francisco janitor, member of Service Employees Union Local 87, when she was fired because the company said she didn’t have legal immigration documents. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told her employer to fire 463 workers because they lacked legal immigration status. She told her story to David Bacon the day before she returned to Mexico.

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The Message of Arnieville Lives On

A banner at the entrance to the Arnieville encampment quotes the prophetic warning of Martin Luther King: A nation that spends more money on the military than on programs of social uplift approaches spiritual death. Photo by Lydia Gans

The homeless people “really stood in solidarity with the disabled in this class action and took care of them — helped them get in their beds, helped them turn over at night, carried them in and out of their tents, stayed up all night with security.” — Dan McMullin

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No Place at the Table

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

Across the nation, cities restrict charitable meal programs for the hungry and homeless. “As the recession and foreclosure crises drive dramatic
increases in poverty and homelessness, communities should
be embracing solutions to homelessness, rather than punishing
people for feeding those in need.” — Maria Foscarinis

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Poetry, August 2010

“Wet Night on Sutter Street” “Wet Night on Sutter Street” by Christine Hanlon, oil on canvas, 20” by 32 1/3”


by Claire J. Baker/

May you/
arrive at/
not by dying/
but by LIVING./
May the end/
begin a/

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PETRA Spells the Death of Public Housing

Holiday Home Luke 16: 25” A homeless man finds no home in this scene reminiscent of Thomas Kinkade’s art. Market-rate housing means mansions for the wealthy, shopping carts for the poor Painting by Jos Sances, 33” x 33”

The privatization scheme threatens to displace hundreds of thousands of low-income families, elderly and the disabled from their public housing units, and future funding shortfalls in the Section 8 program would place the housing units at risk of bank foreclosure.

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Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.