The July 2006 Edition of Street Spirit

A publication of the American Friends Service Committee


National AFSC AFSC Economic Justice BOSS Website



In this issue:

Corruption at Oakland Housing Authority

Shot Through the Heart in S.F.

Legal Challenge to Cruel Attacks on SF Homeless

GRIP's Shelter in Richmond

HUD Plans to Demolish Public Housing in New Orleans

Fresno Homeless Attacked

Stonewalling by Bush's ICH on Homeless Issues

Are We Not Our Brother's Keeper

Congress Refuses to Raise the Minimum Wage

Beyond Prisons: Challenge to the Prison System

Penal Servitude

The U.S. Racial Wealth Gap

Poor Working Conditions for Immigrants

AFSC Sues Defense Dept. for Surveillance

Surveillance and Orwell's 1984

Enron's Good Fight

Poor Leonard's Almanack: On Self-Realization

July Poetry of the Streets

Child Slavery on African Cocoa Farms

The Worth of Education in the Phillipines


June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005




Street Spirit is published by American Friends Service Committee.

All works are copyrighted by the authors.

The views expressed in Street Spirit are those of the individual authors alone, and not necessarily that of the American Friends Service Committee.

Probe into Corruption at Oakland Housing Authority

by Lynda Carson

Attorney Marc Janowitz, Attorney Laura Lane and Housing Coordinator Gracie Jones of the East Bay Community Law Center meet with tenants threatened with eviction due to corruption by an Oakland Housing Authority official. Lydia Gans photo

An investigation into corruption at the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) continues to shed light on questionable activities at the OHA's East District Office, leading to events in which 34 families have been accused of wrongdoing and are facing eviction from public housing at Lockwood Gardens, a Hope Vl project.

In April 2006, the OHA announced that a former employee, Carolyn Wilson, was involved in 34 instances of fraud and theft during the process of moving 34 families into public housing. At the same time, the OHA contends that the 34 families moved into public housing by Wilson are in some manner responsible for the fraudulent activities of the OHA's own employee.

The OHA is trying to evict at least 34 low-income households from public housing, but two recent rulings in Alameda County Superior Court have prevented officials from carrying out the evictions.

Wilson scammed tenants out of at least $10,750.00 as the price of moving them into housing units at Lockwood Gardens. Recently, OHA police investigators were forced to serve a search warrant on the very agency they are paid to serve, pointing to a lack of cooperation between OHA executive management and the OHA police as they pursue this investigation.

More on this story

Shot Right Through The Heart

An inquiry into the recent deaths of so many African American youth in San Francisco

by Carol Harvey

In San Francisco, Idriss Stelley's mother Mesha (center) leads marchers protesting the police shootings of young black men.

'I put a lot of love into him'

A youngish African American woman with curls and braids in her hair sat a few chairs away from me in the Emergency Room watching television. She shifted her weight. A tear coursed down her cheek, tracing a track on the side of her face. She glanced at me, rubbing a tissue over her eyes. The show was about a kid who shot another kid. "That's sad," I observed.

"My son was shot a month ago," she said.

"I'm so sorry," I gasped.

"A drive-by near the Market Street Safeway," she said. "The female MUNI driver got off the bus and looked in his face. She told me, 'He stared up with big wondering eyes. I could tell he was a really good person.' He was 26 years old, always just a quiet, good kid. He didn't deserve that."

"He did not deserve that," I agreed.

She shared her grief freely. Tears poured from her eyes. "He would sit in his room," she continued. "We would talk. He told me everything he was doing. He was naturally quiet. No trouble. No drugs. No alcohol. Good job. He went to computer school and worked at a tech center."

More on this story

1515 Webster St,#303
Oakland, CA 94612Phone: (510) 238-8080, ext. 303

E-mail: Spirit

© 2002-2006 STREET SPIRIT. All rights reserved.

Published by American Friends Service Committee

Editor and Web Design: Terry Messman