San Francisco groups call on city leaders
to stop their bickering
"Every day of political bickering, every
day of not
being on the same page,
means more blood on our streets"
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
September 29, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Two of the city's largest community
groups along with local clergy called today on San Francisco's
politicians to "quit their bickering" and stop violent
Standing in front of a blood-red sheet draped on the steps of
City Hall and adorned with anonymous, silhouetted figures representing
the 69 murders committed in the city this year, one pastor expressed
"Every day of political bickering, every day of not being
on the same page, means more blood on our streets, more blood
on the steps of City Hall," said the Rev. Regnaldo Woods,
minister of Bethel African Methodist Episcopalian Church.
Reverend Regnaldo Woods. (File
photo - 4/6/6)
Around 30 people representing the San Francisco Organizing Project
and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
also stood on the steps and pledged to take back the streets through
community action and pressure on the city government.
Criticism of the city's politicians stems from the announcement
of several different crime fighting measures and resolutions in
the last month.
While many of the proposals target crime prevention, such as
foot patrols, curfew enforcement, crime camera installation and
increased funding for police overtime, implementation of the measures
has ran into several snags. The mayor's $2.5 million crime supplemental
has been held up in the Budget and Finance Committee, the chief
of police has criticized the foot patrol plan, and the city has
yet to find the funding to install several new cameras.
"We need everybody in this city to work on a coordinated
plan if we're going to make a difference," said Deacon Nate
Bacon of St. Peter Church in the Mission District. "The only
way that will happen is by checking our egos at the door."
The involvement of faith-based organizations in the community
has recently been suggested in community meetings. At a police
commission meeting in the Bayview district Wednesday, several
commissioners called upon the mayor's office and the Police Department
to involve religious groups in the process of healing neighborhoods
marred by a summer of violence.
But while there were no city leaders at today's rally to listen
to suggestions, many hope their message will be heard.
"We can't continue to throw money at a system that doesn't
work," said the Rev. Kirk Davis of Providence Baptist Church
in the Bayview District. "The money is not reaching those
who need it the most.
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