The NAACP communicates with powerful people

The REAL State of the District

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November 19, 2019

The Honorable Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Dear Mr. Thurmond,

Thank you so much for attending the San Diego Unified School Districts “State of the District” meeting at Lincoln High School.  I am pleased to see you so involved in our schools. 

As a community member of District “E” and a very vocal citizen of our school district, I need to inform you of just some of the more egregious areas where our superintendent and her board have failed our students.  

While you may read in the paper or hear in the media about her successes and triumphs as superintendent, I must inform you of the “Real State of the District” with the following factual information:

The Real State of the District

  1. The largest reorganization of the district has taken place this year and was hidden from the public which is why the 19-20 organizational chart does not exist. 
  2. San Diego State just published a report highlighting data exposing the fact that African American children are suspended at higher rates than their peers in SDUSD schools. 
  3. The district had nine significant violations regarding English Learner instruction on the Federal Program Monitoring Review and some items were impossible to correct so the state had to allow one-year accommodations.
  4. There are more special education due process filings this year than have averaged in prior years due to lack of support for students with IEPs.
  5. Community collaboration is only welcome when it serves a narrative that suits the district. The treatment of the special education CAC chair and DELAC chairs during their yearly updates to the board speak for themselves. 
  6. AP test rates and passing test rates have declined over six years—especially for vulnerable subgroups. 
  7. “Students aren’t a test score” unless Cindy likes the test. That’s why we pay attention to NAPE scores but ignore the fact that over six years SBAC scores have declined under Cindy’s leadership. 
  8. We know Cindy’s priorities—she’s her priority. That’s why without fail there is a media summary issued to staff everyday highlighting Cindy’s photo ops—but sites can’t get the staffing or support needed to operate. 
  9. Despite this and many other cries for support that we have seen in the news—this board of education just turns a blind eye—and this is the state of the district. 

While I have only listed a few areas of deficit for our students, it is most important that you understand the conditions that not only our students, but employees, are facing daily.  Superintendent Marten has reigned the past six years with terror tactics with employees that do not agree with her. Just ask the Human Resources Officer for a list of qualified, hard-working individuals within her cabinet that have left the district because of her bullying.   Her genocide of qualified African American Male administrators and cabinet members occurred because of her racial intolerance to people of color.  

I urge you to take a closer look behind the scenes at Superintendent Marten’s real story.   It is not what she spews to the public.

I am happy to meet with you and discuss this further.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Kind Regards,

Francine Maxwell, First Vice President
NAACP San Diego Branch

If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit  sandiegonaacp.org/presskit

Hanging Display in Graduate Housing at UCSD

2019-11-07

We at the NAACP San Diego Branch were deeply disturbed to hear that there was a display depicting a hanging person in Graduate Student housing at UC San Diego.

We call upon UCSD to take this incident very seriously.

The NAACP San Diego Branch is ready to assist the UCSD administration in responding to the incident, and making their campus more welcoming to African-Americans and other minorities.  This is especially important as UCSD looks to open a new facility in the East Village that it hopes will be of use to a diverse community.

Francine Maxwell, First Vice President
NAACP San Diego Branch

P.O. Box 152086 · San Diego, CA 92195-2086
(619) 263-7823 Phone • (619) 431-1633 Text

County Board Finds a Way on Satellite Offices

2019-11-05

Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego.

The NAACP San Diego Branch last week voiced our displeasure that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors was unable to protect and strengthen the voting rights of all eligible San Diegans.  The board fell one vote short of the required four “yes” votes, with Supervisors Jim Desmond and Kristin Gaspar in opposition against the recommendation of the County’s Chief Administrative Officer and County Legal Counsel.

We are gratified that last night, at a special meeting, the Board found a way to proceed with the satellite offices.

We wish we could report that Desmond and Gaspar had a change of heart, and became supporters of voting rights.  Sadly, we cannot. Ms Gaspar even had the lack of irony to say that she felt her vote (to deprive other voters of their rights) was being disrespected.

We applaud Supervisors Fletcher, Cox and Jacob for thwarting what look to be deliberate voter-suppression tactics on the part of Desmond and Gaspar.  We are glad Fletcher, Cox and Jacob share our belief that democracy works best when the most people participate.

Sincerely,

Kamaal Martin, Chair, NAACP San Diego Branch Political Action Committee
Francine Maxwell, First Vice President, NAACP San Diego Branch

P.O. Box 152086 · San Diego, CA 92195-2086
(619) 263-7823 Phone • (619) 431-1633 Text

November 1st Section 8 Lawsuit Hearing

As you know, the NAACP San Diego Branch is involved in a lawsuit to fight the San Diego Housing Commission’s discriminatory and segregationist practice of setting Section 8 voucher levels too low to allow access to all areas of our city.

There will be a hearing on November 1st at 9:00 a.m. in Department 66 at 330 W. Broadway (the Hall of Justice). Please attend and show that the public supports our cause! The Court will be hearing SDHC’s claim that its setting of payment standards is “protected activity” made in furtherance of SDHC’s “right of free speech or petition.” SDHC, which is a government entity, has alleged that if this lawsuit is allowed to move forward, it will “chill” SDHC’s “valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition.”

The Court will also be hearing SDHC’s allegation that this lawsuit was not brought “solely in the public interest” because the relief we seek – to enjoin SDHC from perpetuating racial segregation – will not benefit the public but will benefit only non-white Section 8 recipients. SDHC’s position reflects a disturbing misunderstanding of how segregation adversely impacts all members of the community, not just racial minorities. SDHC’s position also reflects a flagrant misunderstanding of how its own program works since the relief we seek will benefit all voucher recipients, not only racial minorities. 

In addition, the Court will be hearing SDHC’s request to have the case dismissed, and SDHC’s claim that its CEO’s repeated use of “social engineering” to describe an Obama-era desegregation policy cannot be used in the lawsuit to show discriminatory intent.

We were also joined by our Assistant Treasurer, Wanda Rogers and NAACP members Abdul Waliullah Muhammad and Bro. Charles 3X, as well as at least one Section 8 client. 

The Court has directed the San Diego Housing Commission to share the documents we have been requesting for four months now and that is a win, the Housing Commission is not allowed to withhold this evidence and we feel this evidence will further demonstrate the extent to which the Section 8 payment standards perpetuate racial segregation. 

Overall, we had some gains and some setbacks, but we are still moving forward. There is a lot of information that the Commission has not given us that we need for our case and the judge  authorized us to get as least some of it from the Commission. We will be doing that as well as working to get everything we need to prevail in this case. Our extraordinary attorneys, Paraja Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Bryan Pease and James Crosby are putting in incredible hours and doing an incredible job for the people and for the NAACP. 

This will be a long case but we are in it to win it. We will keep you posted on developments. It appears clear that we will need to go beyond the courtroom to other methods of persuasion to achieve our goal of equity in housing in San Diego. Stay tuned.  Thanks to those who came out and supported us in the courtroom. 

Disappointed With “No” Votes on Satellite Offices

2019-10-30

The NAACP San Diego Branch would like to voice its displeasure that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors were unwilling to protect and strengthen the voting rights of all eligible San Diegans.  The board fell one vote short of the required four “yes” votes, with Supervisors Jim Desmond and Kristin Gaspar in opposition against the recommendation of the County’s Chief Administrative Officer and County Legal Counsel.  Once again, they’ve proven themselves to be roadblocks to a free and inclusive political process that respects the rights of all.

County Registrar Michael Vu said “if supervisors didn’t move forward with opening satellite offices, it could result in longer lines.  In addition, the county might be at risk for not certifying the next election within 30 days.” That would lead to the county seeking an extension through the courts, Vu added.

Chief Administrative Officer, Helen Robbins-Meyer said “We don’t have the opportunity to say…we’re not going to do it.” Ms. Robbins-Meyer went on to say that opening these satellite stations would be critical and urged the Board to vote to approve them.  

A state law passed earlier this year made the March 2020 race the first election where people on election day will be able to register to vote or change their party identification at any polling location.  The plan would have created four satellite locations which would have more technology and access to voter registration files, so the county would need fewer provisional ballots, all while providing several new locations for residents hoping to register and vote on the same day.

The NAACP San Diego applauds the three “yes” votes from Supervisors Fletcher, Cox and Jacob, who share our belief that democracy works best when the most people participate.

Sincerely,

Kamaal Martin, Chair, NAACP San Diego Branch Political Action Committee
Clovis Honoré, President, NAACP San Diego Branch


Press Conference Calling for an End to Restrictive Zoning

Recently the NAACP San Diego Branch participated in a press conference and comment at the City of San Diego Land-Use and Housing Committee. The goal of the press conference was to ask for an end to restrictive zoning, so that we can build more multi-family housing to address our housing crisis. Please follow these links to learn more about what happened:

10 News:  https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/group-claims-zoning-enables-housing-segregation

KUSI:  https://www.kusi.com/advocates-urge-end-to-zoning-that-they-say-causes-housing-segregation/

San Diego Union Tribune:  https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/growth-development/story/2019-10-09/coalition-calls-for-an-end-to-zoning-restrictions-that-prevent-multi-unit-housing

San Diego County Board of Supervisors

We were recently approached by Supervisor Cox, who wanted to honor the Branch on its 100th Anniversary. At our October 3rd General Membership Meeting, we voted to decline the honor, due to longstanding issues with the Board of Supervisors treatment of African-Americans and other people of color, including the essentially broken CLERB, the resolution opposing AB-392, their failure to adequately address the housing crisis and other issues of interest to our Membership.

We plan instead to present a letter to the Board, outlining our complaints over their actions and policies.

However, we are aware that only a small part of our Membership is able to attend the General Membership Meetings, and we want to give everyone an opportunity to make their concerns known or give us feedback on the letter.

So, please, if you have input on what we should tell the supervisors, let us know by sending us an email!

September 13th Section 8 Lawsuit Hearing

Bryan Pease, Carol Spong, Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi and Clovis Honoré

Our President joined our Housing Chair, Carol Spong at the hearing on September 13th regarding our lawsuit against the San Diego Housing Commission, alleging that the way the Commission sets Section 8 voucher values, and its impact on people of color and low-income San Diego Residents, should be changed to be more equitable.

We were also joined by our Assistant Treasurer, Wanda Rogers and NAACP members Abdul Waliullah Muhammad and Bro. Charles 3X, as well as at least one Section 8 client. 

The Court has directed the San Diego Housing Commission to share the documents we have been requesting for four months now and that is a win, the Housing Commission is not allowed to withhold this evidence and we feel this evidence will further demonstrate the extent to which the Section 8 payment standards perpetuate racial segregation. 

Overall, we had some gains and some setbacks, but we are still moving forward. There is a lot of information that the Commission has not given us that we need for our case and the judge  authorized us to get as least some of it from the Commission. We will be doing that as well as working to get everything we need to prevail in this case. Our extraordinary attorneys, Paraja Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Bryan Pease and James Crosby are putting in incredible hours and doing an incredible job for the people and for the NAACP. 

This will be a long case but we are in it to win it. We will keep you posted on developments. It appears clear that we will need to go beyond the courtroom to other methods of persuasion to achieve our goal of equity in housing in San Diego. Stay tuned.  Thanks to those who came out and supported us in the courtroom.