Following an uplifting musical program by Larkin Street Glee, TNDC Executive Director Don Falk addressed about 100 guests in the verdant Tenderloin National Forest (a previous alleyway alongside the hotel transformed into a sustainable green/art space).
Asked if a potential Board vote on whether suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi should be removed from office is “weighing heavily” on his mind, Mar told Fog City, “I really cannot make any comment about my former colleague, Ross Mirkarimi, but I’ll just say that I always will be a fair person that listens to all the evidence and does my best to be fair – and I know that is going to be a difficult decision.”
In particular, the Day of Action, which brought demonstrators out in cities across the U.S., trained its sights on Verizon Communications, where management and unions have been locked in a fight over benefits since a contract lapsed in August.
Lee, who had asked Mirkarimi to step down Monday or face suspension, announced his decision to suspend the Sheriff following Mirkarimi’s announcement that he would not resign. Mirkarimi now faces an Ethics Commission probe into whether his conviction rises to the level of official misconduct as defined in the city Charter, a finding that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for a vote. Nine of eleven supervisors must vote in the affirmative to remove an elected public official from office.
Following the rally, Supervisor Avalos introduced a resolution – co-sponsored by Supervisors David Campos, Christina Olague, Jane Kim, Eric Mar and David Chiu, “Urging city and county officials and departments to protect homeowners from unlawful foreclosures.” The measure also urges mortgage and banking institutions, “especially San Francisco-based Wells Fargo,” to “suspend foreclosure activities and related auctions and evictions.”
Supervisor Avalos will introduce the resolution at the Board of Supervisors meeting at 2pm. The resolution expresses support for the California Homeowner Bill of Rights which are 5 legislative measures introduced at the California State Legislature and designed to provide basic standards of fairness and transparency in mortgage processing, community tools to prevent blight, tenant protections, enhanced law enforcement to defend homeowner rights, and a special grand jury to investigate foreclosure crime.
Lopez is expected to tell the untold story of what happened on December 3 that led to an altercation between Lopez and her husband, an argument that resulted in Ms. Lopez sustaining a bruise on her right arm. Court documents paint a picture of a couple experiencing marriage difficulties with concerns over a possible divorce and child custody battle.
Gascón said he recognized that there are those who wanted him to “go for the jugular” and keep the trial going; others felt that the prosecution of Mirkarimi was a political vendetta. Gascón concluded that since “ideologues on both sides” may be disappointed in the plea agreement, “This gives me comfort and reassurance that I have not politicized the case and that I have done my absolute best to treat it like any another domestic violence allegation.”
Missing from his prepared statement was a recount of the events that occurred on December 31 that led him to this point. When pressed, he stated, “I understand that some of this continues and that I should be guarded.” He also did not respond to the question of whether he had the moral authority to continue running the Sheriff’s Department.
Elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2008, Avalos was joined by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Supervisors David Campos and Eric Mar, as well as union reps, community organizations and residents.
Along with the CWA-Verizon campaign, the protest will also raise voices against corporate flim-flam punishing members of the Service Employees at Wells Fargo and the Westfield Mall. The Westfield shopping center located at Fifth and Market — near the Powell Street BART station — will be the first opportunity to get loud. Marchers then plan to drop by the Verizon store at 768 Market Street, between Fourth and Third streets, before finishing the action at Wells Fargo at Montgomery Street.
An ACCE and Occupy Bernal letter of demand addressed to Dean and hand-delivered to his Dignity Health office in San Francisco, demands he stop Wells Fargo, the nations largest mortgage provider, from foreclosing homes on San Francisco residents, particularly those homeowners in hard-hit areas in the Bayview, Excelsior, and Bernal Heights neighborhoods.
Four barbecues are scheduled through mid-April, with the March 17 event from noon to 5 p.m. at Arroyo Viejo Park, 7701 Krause St. in East Oakland near Bancroft and 77th streets. All will include free food, arts and crafts, music, a children’s play area, literature and workshops.
Calling the Sheriff “a national embarrassment,” Cathy Black, the executive director of Case De Las Madres, a shelter dedicated to victims of domestic violence, told a bevy of reporters gathered on the steps of City Hall, “I think it would be best for everybody involved if he would step aside. If Sheriff Mirkarimi will not do the right thing, then the mayor and the Board of Supervisors must.”
The OWS movement, which protests social and economic inequity and predatory practices that benefit the wealthiest 1 percent at the expense of the rest of society, was kicked off by the Canadian group Adbusters and began in September in the heart of New York City’s financial district. Since then, the movement has been adopted and localized in cities across the nation, some focused on specific issues.