Union Bank and the Promise Zone

July 31, 2020

Mayor Kevin Faulconer
City Admin Building
11th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Council President Gómez
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Cate
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Moreno
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Bry
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Kersey
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Sherman
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Campbell
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Montgomery
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Ward
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101

To the Mayor and the San Diego City Council:

If you want to go fast go alone; if you want to go far go together.

—African Proverb

For hundreds of years the lives of African-Americans have not been valued by our society.  We have been enslaved and discriminated against, either directly in law or by laws carefully designed to seem neutral but actually to be discriminatory.  As a result, we have been unable to accumulate the resources to cushion the effects of disasters like COVID-19.

We therefore ask the Mayor and City Council of San Diego to pay very careful attention to those institutions that support people in the Promise Zone, and not allow major institutions to treat them with disrespect and neglect. You know our needs are dire; 97% of the kids in the zone are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.  The long history of advantage society has given to others means we need your assistance now.

The Promise Zone continues to be neglected by major corporations, and yet neither the Economic Development Department, the Diamond Business Improvement District, nor the City takes an interest.  We are putting you on notice, and we expect you to put them on notice, that we are not going to tolerate this kind of mistreatment any longer.

Yet another major financial institution, this time Union Bank, has chosen to ignore its obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act and close its branch at Federal and Euclid (see attached).  This puts a great deal of extra stress on residents of the area, who now must travel all the way to Rolando on public transportation during the COVID pandemic. Please use your influence to get Union Bank to reverse this decision.

School will start in less than a month, and our students will once again be home instead of in the classroom.  They’ll have the electricity for distance learning, even if their parents are out of work, since SDG&E is being understanding.  They may not, however, have the Internet, since Cox is not offering forgiveness on bills.  Perhaps the City can use its influence to get relief to Promise Zone kids who need to learn.

Where, in all this, is the Diamond Business Improvement District?  Why are they not watching out for our residents and exerting their influence over businesses in the area?  Could it be because there are vacant board seats going unadvertised?  Could it be because the board President is an employee of Civic San Diego, and thus has a conflict of interest?

We are weathering two crises now; the COVID-19 virus and the COVID-19 economic depression.  We need bold leadership to see all of our citizens through these two threats.  The people of San Diego will not accept less!

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

August 13: Courage California Presents Dr Angela Davis

This looks interesting:

Join us on August 13 for “Courage for the People,” a conversation with long-time activist and educator Dr. Angela Davis led by Black Women for Wellness Action Project Executive Director Nourbese Flint and a fundraising event to benefit Courage California. The evening will spotlight the visionary leadership of Black, Indigenous, and other women of color; connect Black Lives Matter to our broader lineage of movements; and highlight how we can fight systemic racism on the ballot. The event will also feature special guests such as Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, Samuel Getachew, and a special appearance by the Emmy-, Tony-, and Grammy-winning Billy Porter!

Davis

Register HERE to reserve your spot NOW. Please note that this is an exclusive event, and to attend you must register before August 11 or while space is available. There are a limited number of tickets, and the event will NOT be recorded or made available to the public afterward.

Once you register, our team will follow up with more information in the first week of August. For questions or concerns, contact Molly Watson at [email protected].

The revolution is live, and Courage California is here for it. We look forward to having you join us on August 13!

In Solidarity,

Molly Watson and the Courage California team

Citizen’s Justice Committee to Meet August 10th

The Citizen’s Justice Committee, which will be working on police reform, is set to have its first meeting on August 10th, 2020, at 6pm via Zoom.

All are welcome to attend.

Dr R. Lee Brown, UCSD Researcher in Government & Community Relations, and an expert in risk management, leadership, employee relations, and many other things, will be heading up the committee.

If you are interested in serving with Dr Brown and working on issues of race and policing, we invite you to fill out our Volunteer Interest Form, here: sandiegonaacp.org/volunteer, and then join us at the meeting!

Zoom Requirements

For the safety of all attendees, we require the following from participants in our meetings:

  • Have a (paid or) free Zoom account and log in to it before attending
  • Use a current recognizable photo of their face as the profile picture
  • Use their legal first and last names on their profile

For help on setting up zoom, please see sandiegonaacp.org/zoom-setup

Mr Tony Wilson Did Not Have to Die

July 28, 2020

Mr Tony Wilson’s fatal encounter with the National City Police occurred on September 19th of 2019, before COVID, before Mr George Floyd, before so much that has finally brought police violence into the focus it deserves.  The case is back in the news because of a Public Records Act request made by NBC San Diego, and the subsequent release of the footage from the officers’ body cameras.

How sad that our local law enforcement agencies were still discussing their de-escalation  “philosophy” the night Mr Wilson was arrested.  How sad that they did not have de-escalation policies and procedures in place then.  This would have been a perfect time to use de-escalation.  Mr Wilson was obeying the officers; had they slowed down, had they given him a chance, he might be alive today.

Rather than practice de-escalation, which was an option is not a prescription, the force they used was unnecessary and excessive, by any reasonable standard. Despite his obedience, they jumped on him, smashing his face to the ground, and one of the officers tazed him five times in just 60 seconds.  The stress was simply too much for Mr Wilson, and after that all-too-familiar “I can breathe” and “help me” he fell silent forever.

This would also have been a perfect time for a PERT team.  San Diego law enforcement has a terrible record when it comes to the mentally ill, but one of the few bright spots are the PERT Teams.  When PERT is there, when PERT is allowed to take the lead, better decisions are made, and fewer brothers, fathers, sisters and mothers grieve the loss of their troubled family members.

The County of San Diego needs to increase funding for the mental health services we need; they must not put it off until COVID passes.  COVID makes mental health care so much more necessary!  They need to make sure there is PERT training available.  They need to make sure people like Mr Wilson can get help without having to have an encounter with the police.

As for National City, their Police Chief makes much of their newfound interest in de-escalation.  To him we say, we are watching you.  National City is the 2nd oldest Police Department in the County, and they have a history of interactions with unarmed people in mental crisis ending in death.  Let’s see if anything changes, or if you are just paying lip service to try to deflect our attention.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Climate Hub Mixer Panel Speaker July 30 2020

Date: Thursday, July 30, 2020 
Time: 5:30p 

Location: Virtual, Register Here (Note: registration is required to attend) 

You’re invited to the Inaugural San Diego Climate Hub mixer, taking place a week from today on Thursday, July 30th from 5:30-7 p.m. via Zoom. Climate justice will be the main topic of evening. We are excited about our speakers, Sonja RobinsonOmar Federico and Chris Chaleunrath, who are highlighted in the image below. The four San Diego Climate Hub organizations will be giving updates – Bike San Diego, Climate Action Campaign, SanDiego350 and Surfrider San Diego. We will also have a Zoom breakout session where you can get to know fellow activists. Registration is needed for this free event. Here is a link to the Facebook event – please help us spread the word by sharing this event with your network, helping us grow our coalition of climate warriors and creating a more just and liveable San Diego.


About the San Diego Climate HubThe Climate Hub is a center, located in Hillcrest, to strategize, collaborate, and build collective power to stop the climate crisis and advance climate justice in the San Diego region. Our mission is to bring together San Diego-based organizations to expand and accelerate our collective efforts to achieve the transformational and equitable policy and infrastructure changes required to stop the immediate and dire threat of the climate crisis. More details about the San Diego Climate Hub can be found here.