If you’ve been around the Tenderloin for a while you might already know James Lowe, a prolific graphic novelist who uses his art form both to entertain and to give back to the community. James first got involved with the Street Sheet 10 years ago when he spent 10 months homeless and out on the streets. He says the Street Sheet originally inspired him to use the power of the written word, and eventually he moved on to creating graphic novels because he felt it was the best way for him to communicate.
drop your heads and weep
for the homeless
found frozen on the streets
while we laid
in our cozy little beds
all warm and fed
with dollar signs dancin thru our heads
who will hear our own
blood curdling screams
as we die freezing on the streets
will one person leave
their warm homes
to claim our no-name bodies
at the cities’ morgues doors
Something that I wanted to touch on is the fact that I am a Hepatitis C survivor. Did you know that 1/3 of those diagnosed with Hepatitis C are African-Americans when we only make up 6% of the population? After my diagnosis, I was worried, lost and at one of the lowest points of my life, and I was scared to seek treatment. I was feeling lousier by the day. Upon my diagnosis it was clear that it was the time to act,
An alliance of tenant organizations is demanding a “full repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, nothing less.”
That could happen if enough Californians approve Proposition 10, the Affordable Housing Act. It would empower the city of San Francisco to pass its own rent-stabilization ordinances. It could also give residents a fighting chance to stay in their homes.
The San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition issued its findings in a report, “The Cost of Costa-Hawkins,” published in July.
Blessed be the hands
that weave the threads
pick the plants
overworked bodies of a forgotten war
wounded of Vietnam
Left open sores
That comprise my clothes
Cover my toes
Whose children breathe in sharp dust
little ones of Africa
held hostage working in open graves
Mines of must
tiny hands in cramped spaces
Patrolling and controlling our public spaces— sidewalks, streets and parks— Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are privatizing our downtowns and main thoroughfares. Our public spaces are becoming corridors and shopping centers that are welcoming consumers with open arms and excluding everyone else. Most particularly impacted by this emerging trend are the houseless communities, who are seeing these areas to rest and sleep, free from harassment and criminalization, shrink.
BIDs have been growing significantly across the United States.
NATIONAL PRISON STRIKE
On august 25th, the Bay Area witnessed an outpouring of more than 300 people mobilizing for a call to action at an entrance point of the San Quentin State Prison. The Mobilization and Call To Action was organized by the Bay Area National Prisoner Strike Solidarity Committee, a regional network of organizations that includes POOR Magazine/Poor People’s Revolutionary Radio, the Anti-Police Terror Project, Worker’s World Party, California Prison Focus, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (Oakland),
Cities across the United States have tested the housing first model and found that it works very well, presenting a compelling case that housing first should be expanded where it is already used on a small scale and implemented where it is not public policy.
Despite the immediate costs and political resistance with building housing for chronically homeless people, the shift to putting homeless people in permanent, personalized shelter is justified on a range of grounds.
This is a growing movement and the Nationwide Prison Strike of 2018 is an unparalleled success for prisoner organizing in the modern era. However, it is important that in recognizing that success that we not lose sight of the demands that prisoners have laid out. Each of them is crucial. As the continued prisoner-on-prisoner violence within prisons over the past week suggests, the people who run the US prison system have not yet made the necessary changes to stop the violence they produce behind the walls.
It would be easy to miss, with Prop C in full swing, with political candidates talking about their “solutions to the biggest challenges facing the city today”, with successive mayors intensifying the criminalizing sweeps of our friends and family on the streets… But San Francisco is making radical steps – leading the country, in fact – with the first ever demonstration model of a safe injection site in the United States.
“Safer Inside: A Community Demonstration” took place in the last week of August,