Home   Google ARCHIVE SEARCH: Date:


Dr. Joe Marshall's organization has now sent 100 youth through college
after they demonstrated to his satisfaction more productive understanding of the difference between good and bad.
Marshall is founder of the San Francisco Omega Boys Club.
He addressed 150 underserved young men Saturday in a seminar for young men hosted by Assemblyman Mark Leno.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy

December 4, 2005

Deadly street violence tightened in crosshairs of private, state, and city efforts to eradicate it Friday and Saturday, with the San Francisco mayor set to forego political differences this week in a District 5 Community Connect anti-violence planning session.

Efforts press against ingrained skepticism of communities besieged by violence whether meaningful change really will occur, and their embitterment over belief they were left out of effective planning in the past.

On August 5, city administrators gained broad support for launch of Project CitySafe, which laid framework for individualizing neighborhood response. It calls for on-the-spot coordination of all social services and police intervention for prevention of violence and at arrest scenes.

Cops Walking a Beat

Criticism of CitySafe arose four weeks later from those frustrated that more cops walking beats - a universally prioritized goal -- had not become visible by then.

Officer Lewis Fong walking a beat on Irving Street, with Supervisor Fiona Ma reporting the only merchant and resident dissatisfaction being that they want more beats walked.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi was the first official to publicly chide CitySafe implementation, with District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell soon coining the phrase 'Project Disconnect' to reference CitySafe.

Both Mirkarimi and Newsom urge high resident turnout for Western Addition planning Tuesday under banner of Community Connect hosted by Mirkarimi.

Police Chief Heather Fong, non-profit social service agencies, and city service agencies will participate in the 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. December 6 event at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, located at 1050 McAllister Street near Webster Street. For more information, contact organizers Kyle Pederson at 415-571-0338, or Sandra Bolden at 415-292-3030.

State, city, and community leaders focused on the issue over the weekend.

District Attorney Kamala Harris joined Mirkarimi Saturday to spotlight current services available to the Western Addition. On Friday, Assemblyman Mark Leno conducted an all-day conference for underserved young men, and Assemblyman Leland Yee launched a statewide effort for men to speak out against violence against women.

I Will Come to You

"There are a lot of things that we have to offer that the community may not know about, and instead of waiting for you to come to me I decided to come to you," Harris said Saturday at the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center.

District Attorney Kamala Harris tells Western Addition residents her office is taking steps to help neighborhoods citywide.

"The reality is this: There are a number of communities in our great city who have had relationships…with law enforcement and with government that have not been good," Harris recalled.

"There are many communities that don't believe that we can help them. I know there is a history of that in the Western Addition, and that's why we're here to deal with that - to deal with that head-on.

All communities want a community that is safe, she stated, while noting prevention is essential.

"I firmly believe that every community, regardless of its history with law enforcement, wants a safe community. Part of the reason we are here today is hopefully to encourage everyone to acknowledge that. And to acknowledge if that's going to happen…we have to deal with crime prevention, providing jobs, providing job opportunities, providing education.

"But we also have to be prepared as a community to participate in making sure that people who are killing other human beings are accountable.

"And that when it happens in our community, we report it. I don't believe that this community is saying that 'we condone the killings.'

"I do believe this community is saying 'we want to protect our babies, we want to protect our families, we want to protect our seniors, we want to be able to come here to Ella Hill Hutch and to be able to walk here knowing we can be safe, we want our mothers and our grandmothers to walk up to Third Baptist knowing that they can be safe…

"That means helping by being witnesses, by being a community that protects witnesses, and being a community that takes advantage of this money that I've got, the Mayor's Office's got, to also add another layer of protection."

Harris pointed to a $400,000 state grant her office recently received to augment juvenile crime prevention efforts.

The District Attorney's Office also has received $100,000 funding from the Mayor's Office "to provide safety and protection of witnesses to crime," stated Harris.

In addition, the city now provides $5,000 burial funding in the aftermath of violent tragedy regardless of the victim's criminal history, if any. The State of California provides similar $5,000 burial costs but refuses it to families of victims with felony convictions.

"I don't care if you have committed a crime in your past - I don't want you to end up dead," Harris continued.

Survival help is available to first-time drug offenders through the Back On Track program sponsored by her office, reported Harris.

In return for a guilty plea, the program offers delayed sentence pending receipt of educational, employment, housing, parenting skills, and analysis of possible child support reduction. Sentences are usually suspended by the courts with successful Back On Track participation.

Back on Track offers free scholarships through the Academy of Art University and San Francisco City College, union apprenticing, with Nordstrom and other downtown businesses as well as the San Francisco 49ers participating.

Predatory consumer schemes preying on senior citizens and those with bad credit histories are illegal, and are prosecuted with focus on disadvantaged communities, Harris noted also.

She urged residents to report such schemes, and suspicion of physical elder abuse, to the District Attorney's Office at 415-553-1752.

No Community Involvement Means No Success

Without effective use community-based planning, city agencies cannot be relied on for violence reduction, Mirkarimi told the gathering.

District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi predicts
"the planets will align for disaster"
if community involvement is bypassed.
Mirkarimi represents Divisadero, Lower Haight,
Fillmore and Hayes Valley neighborhoods.)

"One of the things we are trying to do…is not just give definition to the idea of community policing…but to finally make community policing accountable, so that people know what it means, whether they feel that they have some choice, or they need to regain trust with the Police Department or the city…" explained Mirkarimi.

The District 5 supervisor authored recent legislation that toughens requirement for developers to hire local residents first as job opportunity expansion.

"If you don't hire people from the community you're going to be fined significantly…if you don't correct the problem it's going to be triple the fine…third strike, you lose your contract with the City and County of San Francisco," warned Mirkarimi.

"Nothing stops a bullet like a job, as far as I'm concerned."

Closure of three Western Addition schools within a seven block radius, and moving city recreational funding to more affluent neighborhoods impede violence reduction, Mirkarimi added.

"This is why I got $250,000 for Hamilton Rec Center to finally do the massive overhaul…" Mirkarimi explained.

"It may seem like a very decentralized mosaic, but it all connects in the dots and it's all required for finally the community and the city to get together to make sense of what a comprehensive plan looks like."

More Officers Added to Western Addition

More police officers have been added to the Western Addition in response to increased killings, Police Captain Kevin Dillon reported.

San Francisco Police Captain Kevin Dillon,
who heads up Northern Station,
is seen at Ella Hill Hutch Center
without a smoker in sight.

"Obviously the current issue in this neighborhood is the spike in violence in this last year," stated Dillon.

"The number of homicides have increased, the number of shootings that did not result in homicides have increased…the number of guns that are taken off the street has increased substantially.

"In response to that the number of officers has also increased in this neighborhood.

"While we've seen a drop in ten officers at the Northern Station in the last year, we've seen an increase since September 2004 by another ten officers…in the Western Addition, most all of those officers are walking foot beats down in this area.

"There are a lot of resources that are moved around the city depending on where the violence is," Dillon said. Police Chief Heather Fong has called for the hiring of an additional 250 officers.

Improved Police Relations with District Attorney's Office

"I'd just like to point out in the past there's been a lot of friction between, especially in the last administration, between the Police Department and the District Attorney's Office," Dillon continued.

"I have to say the present District Attorney, Ms. Harris, goes out to the police stations. She talks to officers. She lets them know what her plans are. She comes to the Captains' meetings. She talks to the ten district captains. She lets them know what she's doing. She give gives us a chance to ask her questions about what her plans are…I think it's gone a long way toward improving relations between those two institutions."

Northern Station Officer Cultural Backgrounds

Six African American patrol officers are assigned to Northern Station in addition to eight African American supervisory police officers, Dillon told the Sentinel.

Seventeen officers are Hispanic, 14 officers are Asian, and 84 officers are Caucasian, added Dillon.

Services for Families and Children

Loss of 40% of African American families with children over the last ten years "is the most profound demographic shift that's occurred in the city" in the last half century, recounted Margaret Brodkin, director of the city Department of Families, Youth, and Children. Brodkin was the decades-long chieftain of Coleman Advocates for Children before accepting her current post.

Margaret Brodkin

"In the heyday of the Fillmore I think about one in three households in the community were raising children. Now it's one in ten.

"We have seen a tremendous loss of families in the city but mostly particularly African American families," stated Brodkin.

"People tell us, of course it's cost of housing…I commit to everyone in this room we are pushing as hard as we can…we want the city to do more in terms of helping people have home ownership, we want to change the inclusionary ordinance so that people have more affordable housing with multiple bedrooms."

Children Deeply Impacted by Exposure to Killings

"People now do pictures of the brains of children who have been traumatized by violence, and you can see the change in the way their brains operate.

"So we have initiated something called SafeStart. We have a team that goes out and works with the children, and train the people who work with children about how to deal with kids who have been exposed to violence.

To reach SafeStart, telephone outreach coordinator Andrea Lee at 415-565-0698, or email alee@dcyf.org.

"One of the programs we are trying to start is called Family Ambassadors because we know how hard it is for people to get information, and have people in Laundromats and in the housing complexes…" Brodkin added.

Skeptical Youth Respond to Leno' Young Men's Conference

Some 150 underserved young men from San Francisco high schools and community groups attended an all-day conference Saturday coordinated by Assemblyman Mark Leno.

Held at the California State Building, conference participants included
Dwayne Jones, director of the Mayor's Office of Community Development; Shawn Richard, of Brothers Against Guns; Rudy Corpus of United Playaz; Larkin Street Youth Services, and youth panelists who led workshops ranging from college and career preparation to violence prevention and personal expression.

Shawn Richard, Rudy Corpuz, Dwayne Jones, Manuel LaFontaine
and Marquez Gray

Dwayne Jones, director of city Community Development Department

Shawn Richard, Brothers Against Guns

Rudy Corpuz, United Playaz

Manuel LaFontaine, CCSF Peer Advisor

Marquez Gray, Communities in Harmony Advocating
for Learning and Kids (C.H.A.L.K)

Rappers Radio Active, Selassie, and 16-year-old Mission High School student Michael modernized timeless message of to thine own self be true.

Selassie seen at left, with Michael performing table beat, and Radio Active at right. To contact Radio Active, telephone 415-529-3343. Selassie may be reached at 415-414-0081.

Radio Active insisted Leno participate in a three-way rap.

Leno aide Susan Sun, wife of San Francisco Assessor Phil Ting,
joins awe of expectation for Leno rap.

The 54-year-young white Jewish boy managed to keep rap beat while intoning a blessing in Hebrew, translated in English as "Blessed are you, creator of the universe, who has given us life and sustained us, and brought us to this time and place."

Apprenticing Youth Serve Conference Buffet

California Culinary Academy students dish up delicacies prepared for the Leno conference. Shown from left, Gary Freund, Joanna Karlinsky, Anthony Becker, James Isaac, Joseph Urrutia, Alvin Ung, Ervice Castano, and David Rodriquez with Leno and Leno field representative Julian Davis. Freund coordinates John O'Connell High School culinary apprenticeships. Joanna Karlinsky oversees Culinary Academy students, and is reopening the Elite Café located at 2049 Fillmore - for reservations telephone 415- 346-8668.)

It's What Daddies Do

Sending kids to college is what daddies do, Dr. Joe Marshall answers young skeptics who wonder why Marshall would put them through college.

The founder of Omega Boys Club, Marshall recently surpassed the 100 mark of students attending college through club scholarships. Marshall requires interested young men to demonstrate to Marshall's satisfaction they successfully have retooled their productive concept of good and bad, he said.

"If your friends lead you to danger, they are not your friends, " Marshall instilled.

Dr. Joe Marshall

Yee Addresses Violence Against Women

Also on Friday, California Assembly Speaker pro Tem Leland Yee launched a statewide effort, called the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC), for men to speak out against violence against women.

Although this marks the first such statewide campaign in California, the WRC is actually the largest worldwide effort of men working to end violence against women, Yee stated.

Photo courtesy Assemblyman Yee

"The White Ribbon Campaign is a forum for men to speak out on this important issue and get involved in violence prevention," said Yee.

"It is vital for men throughout California to make a statement that we will never commit, condone, nor remain silent about violence against women."

The White Ribbon Campaign will be an ongoing multilingual effort urging men to show their support for ending violence against women by wearing white ribbons and signing commitment cards. Campaign goals are to raise awareness of this problem in the community; conduct educational work in schools, workplaces, and communities; and support organizations that deal with the consequences of violence against women.

"We must work together to bring about a culture that does not tolerate domestic violence in any form," said San Mateo County Supervisor Mark Church, Chair of the San Mateo County Domestic Violence Council.

"Through education and awareness, the White Ribbon Campaign serves to promote domestic violence prevention and intervention by asking all men to take responsibility for themselves and each other by steadfastly denouncing domestic violence against women."

According to Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) in San Mateo County, national data shows that nearly 1 in 3 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime; 3 to 10 million children witness domestic violence every year; and 1 in 5 high school females experience dating violence.

According to the California Department of Justice, over 600 incidents of domestic violence are reported every day in California. In addition, 57% of homeless women report that domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness.

"It is incredibly refreshing to see men step up to the plate and promote zero tolerance when it comes to violence against women," said Melissa Lukin, CORA's Executive Director.

"Family violence is not just a women's issue; it's a community problem that needs men and women working together. The White Ribbon Campaign is a meaningful way for men to help create a society free from violence against women."

As the number one cause of injury to women, domestic violence costs American businesses between $3 billion and $5 billion a year in absenteeism, medical costs, employee turnover, and lost productivity.

"A price tag can't be put on the physical and psychological effects that are forced on victims of violence," said Speaker pro Tem Yee, who is also a child psychologist. "But through the White Ribbon Campaign, men can truly make a difference by taking personal and collective action against violence."

In January, Assemblyman Yee will introduce a state resolution in the Legislature to officially declare California's White Ribbon Campaign.
For more information, telephone Yee's office at (415) 557-2312 or (916) 319-2012.




The Hunger Site

Cooking Classes
in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires B&B

Calitri in southern Italy

L' Aquila in Abruzzo

Health Insurance Quotes


Bruce Brugmann's


Civic Center

Dan Noyes

Greg Dewar

Griper Blade


Malik Looper






MetroWize Urban Guide

Michael Moore

N Judah Chronicles


Robert Solis

SF Bay Guardian





SFWillie's Blog



Sweet Melissa