WRAP Loses One of Its Founders, Mikey Chapman

You never saw him on television or leading a march or a meeting, but Mikey Chapman did the quiet things that keep the movement running. A memorial tribute to one of the founding warriors of The Western Regional Avocacy Project.

 

On July 16, 2011, Mikey Chapman, the original support staff person of the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) passed away.

For the past 20 years, Mikey committed his time, energy and skills to building a social justice movement, first in San Francisco and for the past six years, nationally with WRAP.

Mikey was proud to be identified as an important part of these efforts. He didn’t do it as a job. He got up and volunteered his time every day for all these years because it was who he was.

Mikey Chapman, one of WRAP’s founders, died on July 16.

You never saw him on TV or leading a march or a meeting, but he did the quiet things that keep the movement running: answering phones, tabulating people’s feedback from our outreach, greeting people as they came into the Coalition on Homelessness, doing data entry, making sure there were food and blankets and anything else people needed.

But driving was the thing he loved to do most, and that he was the best at. Better than anyone else. This was what scared him most when he began to experience a series of strokes in mid-July — the partial loss of vision. He couldn’t imagine not being able to be the courier/messenger/ferryman that he was, and that he knew we needed.

He was doing exactly what he chose to do every day and he was able to sleep well knowing in his heart that no one ever was harmed by what he did. He never had to lie, and never even thought about cheating. He lived by a code of honor, the kind of honor that outlaws and outlier’s hold, where no written contract is needed, and a person’s word is true.

He lived this with a loyal, unshakable faith for those he trusted, those who lived outside the bounds of “normal” society. He was proud and doing what he wanted, so therefore he could always just be exactly who he was. And he was very, very, very happy about that fact.

His short life impacted thousands of people, and he is loved by hundreds of us who were lucky enough to have him in our lives.

We will miss him dearly and carry on his fighting spirit.

Tags: , ,

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.