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Be an Angelic Troublemaker

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This website is dedicated to the life and work of the late Bayard Rustin.

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"We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers." --Bayard Rustin--

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Allen Jones has lived in San Francisco since 1960.

In the course of his activism on other matters concerning San Francisco, Jones noticed, and was surprised, as a 49er fan to hear that in December 2011, the NFL had loaned the San Francisco 49ers $200 million to build a new stadium 35 miles south of San Francisco.

Aware of the NFL’s "Commitment to the Community Letter" dated June 15, 2011 made it even harder to believe. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell promised to support communities that support the NFL. But six months later, in December 2011, the NFL owners voted to loan the 49ers $200 million to leave the Black community of San Francisco that had supported the team for the last 40 years of the team's 67 years being in the city.

Jones firmly believes any sports team has the right to take its business anywhere it can make the most profit. However, there is a right way to leave and a wrong way to leave. Jones believes something was seriouly wrong with how the team moved away from San francisco's struggling Black community.

Looking into the matter further, Jones discovered more blatant hypocrisy by elected city officials of San Francisco concerning the 49er departure. That has caused Jones to revolt as a fan of not only the 49ers but also as a fan of "Everyone's favorite city."

In respect for the struggling Bayview Hunters Point where Candlestick Park was located and respect for the name San Francisco, Jones felt the duty to fight back.

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This site was created for the purpose of chronicling racism as viewed by its creator, of, the SF 49ers owner Denise York's now successful relocating of the team out of San Francisco. SF 49er Fan Revolt will continue to track racism on this same site as perpetrated by San Francisco City Hall, until major changes occur in policy decisions that affect the SF Black community.

 

Wednesday
Aug102016

Open Letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

Dear Commissioner Adam Silver,

I am fully aware of your expressed support for the proposed new arena for the Golden State Warriors to be built in San Francisco. I am also sure you will find my allegations hard to believe at FIRST glance. 

I must begin what I have to say by acknowledging, I know how serious it is to call anyone a name, especially calling anyone, racist. I fully understand the laws against slander and if that’s not enough, I was once called a “Crippled, nigger, faggot.”

This crude statement is worse, when you consider, I have never been able to walk. I am a Black man. And I am also a homosexual. So, though it is possible, it is not likely I would just hurl hurtful statements at anyone.

That being said, I am requesting the NBA look into my allegations of San Francisco City Hall for condoning racism, in such an egregious manner that the NBA should prevent the Golden State Warriors from relocating from Oakland to San Francisco on the bases of SF being an unfit home for any NBA franchise if my allegations can be substantiated.

The heads of the two city agencies that I will use for evidence are the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. Both heads serve at the pleasure of current SF mayor Ed Lee but upon request, I will gladly supply more evidence as to prove these two agencies are not exceptions to the rule.

The San Francisco Human Rights Commission (SFHRC) was first formed in 1964 to fight against discrimination against mainly Black residence of the City. Today its executive director is a White woman who was sued along with the city by a Black staffer of the agency. The two links I provide are, the published accusation and the settlement of $210,000.00.

This person, Theresa Sparks is still supported by Mayor Ed Lee in her new position as Senior Advisor Transgender Initiatives to Mayor Ed Lee for the newly formed coalition, Mayors Against Discrimination (MAD) which was created in June 2016, specifically to fight discrimination against members of the LGBTQ communities of this country. I find this promotion a total disrespect to all who have been greatly harmed by discrimination. The reprehensible move to not only promote a person with strong discriminating/racist tendencies but to make them a senior advisor in dealing with discrimination alone, should disqualify San Francisco as a home for an NBA franchise.

San Francisco has 220 parks and has between 900 and 1500 employees. An estimated 600 are part time employees for summer activities. The general manager is Phil Ginsberg for all of these parks and he reports directly to Mayor Ed Lee his boss.

I am the author of this published article of a Black man, Byron Gill who took the city to court for how he was treated while working for the SF Recreation and Parks Department. After it was published, I received several calls from current and former Black employees telling me stories that were too many to report. But they all had a similar message.

If the NBA is interested in my claims it should be noted, I have documented such claims on a website before the Warriors were sold and made plans to move across the bay. I am also a Warrior fan.

I hope my concerns will be taken seriously. I have an interesting story to tell on how I became a basketball fan and I know I will not be able to continue being one if the city of San Francisco is allowed, with the NBA by ignoring a issue that I view as serious as the handling of the Donald Sterling saga as well as the issue of the 2017 All Star game being removed from the state of North Carolina because of the “Climate” the NBA claims HB2 has caused.

NBA Corporate Office Headquarters

NBA Corporate Office | Headquarters   
645 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212)407-8000
Urge Adam Silver to respond to the above letter sent to the NBA commissioner, using their online form.

 

 

Monday
Jul182016

Think "My Brother's Keeper" on proposed Warrior SF arena

NBA Stars need to push for Referendum on Racism in San Francisco

Photo: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

National Basketball Association stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James opened up ESPN’s 2016 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards ceremony with what many have called a powerful statement and commitment, to add their voices to this country’s racial tension, caused by American injustice. 

The recent shootings of two Black men, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castillo in Minnesota by police, and the Sniper attack by a Black man against White Dallas police; all in the same week, prompted these NBA stars to say something. 

But recent history reminds me that the current crop of NBA stars ONLY symbolically are willing to give the shirts off their backs to address injustice and racism in America. Therefore, I highly doubt any are willing to risk their careers by supporting a referendum on racism, in of all places, San Francisco. 

The proposed referendum would read: Should the Golden State Warriors be allowed to build an arena within one mile of a hospital that has an emergency room? 

This referendum will undoubtedly be asking San Francisco voters to look more closely at what San Francisco City Hall is trying pull over on the city of Oakland just to claim bragging right. And what the Warriors are willing to do just to make a buck. 

A stakeholder group called, Mission Bay Alliance does not want the Warriors to build right across the street from the newly built UCSF Hospital and they are in court to stop the City and the Warriors from building on the Mission Bay site in what one report called, “Billionaire verses billionaires.” 

On their website, Mission Bay Alliance has sounded the alarm of building on the site would be a traffic nightmare denying some patients of emergency care due to game day traffic. They even brought into their lawsuit the mother of an 8-year-old UCSF Hospital patient. Juxtapose that tactic with a stronger argument of what the move does to so many in Oakland and they sound like NIMBYs who couldn’t care less about any other community impacted by this project. 

Common sense tells me that if a Warrior arena was on the Mission Bay site first, UCSF would have never considered building a new hospital across the street from a Basketball arena. So I’m with Mission Bay on that point. But common sense also tells me that Mission Bay Alliance is desperate by using a sick child to make its case. And if the judge in this matter is not willing to send the plaintiffs a strong message by tossing this portion of their suit as speculation, it should not surprise any if that same judge was seen courtside at the new arena. 

I’ve seen way too many famous people come in like the Calvary on important issues, but the only dirt kicked up was from the horses as they rode off into the sunset. But the grandstanding by these NBA players is equal to the promises of politicians who only read the headlines and no none of the facts. 

April 2014 during the pre-game warm-up of a playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clipper, players denounced then LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling for racist remarks he made during what he thought was a private conversation. 

Clipper players gathered at center court and removed their shirts and left them at center court as some sort of statement. ---They would have made a more impactful statement had they mooned their boss before tipoff. 

Nevertheless, owners of the other 29 NBA teams followed up the revelation of Sterling’s racist rants with another weak statement when they voted to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. 

The Los Angeles Clippers were valued at $450 million in April of 2014. The forced sale of the team went to the highest bidder, which was Steve Ballmer who laughed while using only his piggy bank to hand over $2 billion to purchase the team. 

Instead of giving racism a black eye, the NBA, by mishandling this embarrassing racist rant by one of its own, handed a man with racist views a golden parachute that even after the IRS sent its thank you, the 80-year-old Sterling walked off with one billion dollars. 

This one sale also greatly raised the value of all NBA franchises at the same time, doing nothing towards lowering racial tension in America. And if the Golden State warriors are allowed to move to San Francisco, I envision a similar fate or worse for the Black communities of Oakland and San Francisco. 

It should be the right of any professional team to move to where they can make the most profit as a business. But no professional sports team should be allowed to profit off of racism or disrespecting a community just to make a buck. 

The Oakland Athletics are not drawing enough in attendance to argue against their desire to leave town. However, the owners of the team are still raking in millions. How? Major League Baseball shares league revenue with underperforming (financially) baseball teams. In other words, even if the stands look empty at an A’s baseball game, the owner’s pockets are full of cash. So why the owners of the A’s will not invest in a new Oakland baseball stadium? I would argue its racism. 

The Oakland Raiders are currently looking to relocate to Las Vegas as a business deal after unsuccessfully trying to move to the LA market or get a new Oakland stadium. I cannot blame the team for looking elsewhere, but this too reeks of racism. If Oakland was known as a White community, the Raiders would have tons of investors lining up. Oakland has a population of 26% Black and 25.7% White.

Looking at the Warriors proposed move to San Francisco is the clearest picture of racism and greed as I see it: Why would the owners of the Golden State Warriors want to leave Oakland? They have sold out every game for the past four years and have a season ticket waiting list of 20,000 for their current location at Oracle Arena.

If these three teams are successful in moving out of Oakland, I can see Oakland turning into a town where even ghost would be fearful of walking its depressed neighborhoods. Never mind the fact that the concept of “My brother’s keeper” is not to take from but to help or look after your brother.

What city leaders of San Francisco are attempting; by simply supporting this move is, take from our brothers and sisters across the bay. And if people cannot see how the quality of life in Oakland will greatly suffer from this move, how can these same individuals offer up suggestions on how to improve relations between police and the Black community?

And as far as redevelopment of the area after all three teams relocate, it is a safe bet that Oakland, which once had a population of 46% Black and now at 26%, will only find new hope when the Black population of Oakland hits 16%.

“Not in my back yard” (NIMBY) has a racist connotation. However, it has never been a more appropriate term when applied to racism. And it is no stretch to say that a no vote on such a referendum would offer a much needed shot in the arm if you will, of respect between the two races. 

History gives the sports community a solid B grade for brining Whites and Blacks together. But as far as today’s sports community, it’s time to put up or shut up.

Friday
Jul012016

Just say "No" to proposed new Warrior SF arena (interview)

Sunday
May152016

Racism Reigns at James Rolph Park, San Francisco


Byron Gill (left) and his attorney, Gregory P. Brock. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

 Gill, represented by attorney Gregory P. Brock, described the matter in his closing arguments as “Death by a thousand cuts.” He painted a picture of employer retaliation and harassment. Defending the city was attorney Lisa Berkowitz who tried, to paint a picture as a case of, “Sour grapes” by Gill for being passed over for a promotion. 

The twelve person jury, nine of which who were Whites and no Black jurors might be puzzled and possibly angry to learn that they were blindfolded from seeing clear evidence of racism. Gill’s attorney was not able to bring into trial racial evidence or even use the word “Race” as a matter of law simply because Gill was unable to prove he was the most qualified gardener in his initial dispute. 

This doomed his case and sent a sobering message to other Black gardeners: Racism will continue its reign over The City’s Black gardeners. 

Byron Gill has worked for the city for over thirty years. Since 1996, he worked as a gardener, mainly, at the city’s James Rolph Park but also Garfield Park and Mission Recreation Center. His “Exemplary” work began to change only in the eyes of his two White supervisors.

In 2011, Byron Gill, took interest in the call by Rec. and Park for the position of “District Captain.” (Similar to lead gardener) He was the only person from the Mission Complex to apply. Although the City needed a captain for its Mission area parks, the City denied Gill the position and left it unfilled for the next two years.

April 2013, Gill showed up to work only to be blindsided by the announcement; by his immediate supervisor at the time, Park Service Manager Adrian Field, that Michelle Pallavicini was selected as District Captain. 

May 2013, Gill filed his first Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) complaint for unfair treatment because he was harmed knowing that Pallavicini lacked the experience needed to be captain. She was a recent hire in 2011, and Gill trained her when she first became employed by the City’s Rec and Park. She only served as a lead gardener for 20 days and had never served as an acting supervisor for the City. He also learned that a “Secret process,” where the only name submitted for District Captain by Field was that of, Michelle Pallavicini, an “Award winning gardener.”

This slap in the face to Gill, by Field, showed no appreciation or respect for Gill’s decades of good service, which included being the man Field called on for over eleven years to be in charge (District captain) whenever, Field went on vacation. This gained confidence in Gill, by Field, immerged from a rocky first day the two gentlemen ever worked together where Field called Gill a, “Liar.”

During Gill’s tenure at James Rolph Park, the park received high ratings in City park inspections. In September 2013, the Park received an overall rating of 98.1%. In December 2013, the overall rating was 95%. And in July of 2014, Frances Taylor a neighbor of Rolph Park sent a letter to the City praising Gill as a person and his work. The City even sent Ms. Taylor a response thanking her and glowing with pride for having Gill in the department. 

San Francisco has 220 parks and the Recreation and Parks Department oversees them all, employing 900 permanent and 600 part-time workers over the course of a year. Of the hundreds of gardeners there is little doubt amongst many gardeners that Gill, is the “Go to” guy.

Once Park Service Manager Adrian Field discovered that, Gill had filed a complaint with Fair Employment and Housing, his immediate response to Gill, was, “Why did you do that?”

Methodically and reminiscent of wrestling “tag-team” partners, both Adrian Field and Michelle Pallavicini took turns harassing Gill. This included filling up Gill’s employee file with petty write-ups, threats and suspensions.

One Gill “written reprimand for insubordinate behavior”, dated June 4, 2015, reads like a, master to slave, dress down. But actually it was written by his now immediate supervisor, Michelle Pallavicini; the White woman he welcomed and trained when she was first hired at SF Rec and Park. 

In April 2015, Gill filed another DFEH complaint that angered both Field and Pallavicini. 

In May 2015, Pallavicini took away Gill’s work truck. At that time, Gill was required to work at both Rolph Park and the Mission Recreation Center, situated about a mile apart. Gill then used his personal truck to move between parks. Pallavicini arbitrarily forbid him from using his personal vehicle at work, then disciplined Gill for continuing to use his personal vehicle. The City ultimately suspended Gill for 10 days in 2015, largely for using his personal truck. 

Blacks need not apply

Other qualified Black gardeners were also passed over for captain positions in 2013. Clarence Robinson had scored 100% on the City’s supervisor test, yet Field didn’t even consider submitting Robinson for a captain job. Anita Lofton also a black gardener was denied a captain position in 2013 in favor of a white male who had only four months in the department. Lofton field a complaint with DFEH.

In June 2015, it was deja vu for Black gardeners once again passed over for the Captain Position. The City appointed two park services captains to the Mission Complex, Richard Hernandez and Ryan Balderas, neither is Black. Pallavicini was involved in the selection of these two park captains, where both of these appointees were significantly less qualified than Gill: Richard Hernandez began working for the City in 2011; Ryan Balderas started as a gardener in 2014.

Another damaging document that showed a pattern of promotions beginning in 2011 that excluded all Black gardeners but promoted seven, who were White and one Hispanic. 

Field and Pallavicini took actions against Anita Lofton, who asked for equipment and supplies and a truck, they refused her. She was left stranded at a work site with no transportation and had to walk a mile to get back. Field and Pallavicini also took a work truck away from Clarence Robinson. They did not take a work truck from any non-Black gardener.

When Pallavicini took tools from Gill’s cargo container in 2015, Gill requested the tools be returned. It took her over 3 months to return the tools to him. The lack of tools made it much harder for Gill to do his job.

In 2015, Pallavicini gave Gill a performance evaluation with an overall rating of “1”, even though she admitted Gill is an ambassador for James Rolph Park and that he’s well-known and well-liked by the community.

Pallavicini rejected Gill’s 2015 bid for reassignment to Glen Park - where he would have been away from Pallavicini. If Gill was such a problem for Pallavicini to the point that she was constantly criticizing his work, she could not think of a reason when asked during a deposition why she denied Gill’s request for a transfer. Other gardeners with less experience, such as Peter Andrews who is White was granted a transfer. 

Racism killed the grass

Gill testified that every two years the grass is replaced at Rolph Park baseball diamond by outside contractors while he over sees their work. This practice was the same the entire time he was working at Rolph Park. 

In 2015, the only difference when laying the new grass, was that Gill was set to go on vacation the following day. Gill left clear instructions that the grass needed to be watered a lot. At trial he explained that the reason was the roots will chase after the water. And the more water, the further down the roots will travel to get it. 

The new green grass turned brown and died while Byron Gill was on vacation. The District Captain and award winning gardener who, did not water the grass was, Michelle Pallavicini.

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Portions of this story were extracted from document files in the matter of Byron Gill vs CCSF, San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-15-545484

Thursday
Apr282016

Continued Marginalization of SF Blacks 

San Francisco Examiner reporter, Jonah Owen Lamb paints a clear picture of the continued marginalization of Blacks in San Francisco. Click here for the story.