SAN FRANCISCO TIGHTENS CROSSHAIRS
ON VIOLENT CRIME
Dr. Joe Marshall's organization has now sent 100 youth through
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.
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
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
Both Mirkarimi and Newsom urge high resident turnout for Western
Addition planning Tuesday under banner of Community Connect hosted
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
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
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
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
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
"And that when it happens in our community, we report it.
I don't believe that this community is saying that 'we condone
"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
"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
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
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
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
The District 5 supervisor authored recent legislation that toughens
requirement for developers to hire local residents first as job
"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
"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
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
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
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,"
"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.
"In the heyday of the Fillmore I think about one in three
households in the community were raising children. Now it's one
"We have seen a tremendous loss of families in the city
but mostly particularly African American families," stated
"People tell us, of course it's cost of housing
to everyone in this room we are pushing as hard as we can
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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
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
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
"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
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
"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.