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Gimme Some Truth

“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can’t change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”

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Hunger and Food Insecurity on the Rise: East Bay /San Francisco

Lydia Gans and Buford Buntin share reflections on living hungry in the San Francisco Bay Area. The economic crisis is spreading the problem of hunger beyond families that are totally destitute. An estimated 42 percent of the households served by the Food Bank have at least one person who is employed, yet they still do not have enough money to buy all the food they need.

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Reflections by Judy Andreas and Buford Buntin

A homeless woman endures a rainstorm on a wet, cold sidewalk in San Francisco. Robert L. Terrell photo

Universal Health Care Life is simple — everybody needs food, shelter and, at some point, medicine. by Buford Buntin f Trent Lott wants to pay all that money for his health care, let him, though health care for members of Congress is paid for already by our tax dollars. The millions of Americans who don’t […]

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Are Homeless People Beautiful?

We all find sunsets and meadowlarks and fields of flowers beautiful, whether we are rich or poor, housed or homeless. How did beauty become a cudgel to beat people up?

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Remember the Children Born On Our Streets

The International Day for Human Rights, held at St. Mary’s Center, was an occasion to honor the memory of people who had died homeless on our city streets during the past year. But more than that, it was a time to reaffirm a commitment to the fight for social change.

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Abused

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

Marie was certain this would be the best holiday ever. After the two-year separation, she was back with her children and had found a job. The apartment was small and dark, but to Marie, it was filled with light.

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A Capital Offense

Painting of Mother Teresa of Calcutta by San Francisco poet Judy Jones.

A reminder of the intolerable reality that in a nation of incredible wealth, we allow people to die—abandoned, suffering, alone.

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Reverence for All Life

“Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I undertake to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk, peace activist, scholar, and poet

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One More Way to Harass the Poor

by Buford Buntin young man sits in a seat on the Muni subway platform surrounded by Municipal Railway fare-checkers, eight or ten of them, I’d say. One interrogates him. I’m not aware of what he’s done, except not have his fare, perhaps. His hair is a little out of place, I guess, he looks a […]

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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.