Truth-telling in the "Moe"- The Poor Peoples District 5 Candidate Forum
(image of Mrs. Martha Hollins, life-long resident of the FIllmore district and advocate speaking her truths to the candidates)
"We went to city Hall over 65 times last year and at the end of the day we got no support from the City for our young people," said Martha Hollins, mama and auntie to many at the Plaza East Housing Complex in the (post-gentrified) Fillmore district of San Francisco. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs Hollins because my sister-mama/welfareQUEEN, Queenandi XSheba and I were talking about what to do about the violence and ongoing death and disconnection that this majority Afrikan peoples community faces daily and how maybe we could bring some desperately needed attention to the neighborhood through a candidate forum.
"I am schooling every young person who stands in front of my house," QueenNandi explained to me as she and i spoke like we do weekly and daily about what we can do as mamaz in resistance about the strong young Black and Brown folks who stand on corners in this neighborhood (undergoing a new wave of gentriFUkation) and often end up dying behind rampant gun violence.
Mrs. Hollins, Queenandi and I and all of the POOR Magazine poverty, race, disability, migrant, indigenous, youth and elder skolaz and artists did end up deciding to host a candidate forum right there in the "Housin' project community room. Our night was full of community voices and cultural art ( cause that's how we roll, even a candidate forum don't got to be boring) so we had spoken word, poetry and performance from the Po Poets project and welfareQUEEN's which includes life-long Fillmore residents, Queenandi, Jewnbug, Ruyata, Tony Robles, and family from all over the bay in solidarity, as well as the Village Time-Keeper - cause at POOR Magazine we really ARE the Village that so many politricksters talk about- a poor people-led,indigenous peoples- led self-determined revolution.
And the night had most of the candidates, Christina Olague, London Breed, Julian Davis, Thea Selby and Andrew Resignato who all spoke their platforms and answered communities' questions.
"I am from here, grew up right down the street raised by my grandmother," London Breed stood up and told her story and vowed to bring resources to Plaza East.
"I have been organizing with low-income communities of color for a long time, I didnt just invent myself as an organizer, I am committed to listening and supporting this district, incumbant Christina Olague declared
I am a mother, its why i got into politics, I am also a small business-owner committed to this district, " Thea Selby said.
"I will be organizing and keeping my door in City Hall open, I have a long-time track record of working in the community as an organizer", Julian Davis said
"I really care about poverty, thank-you for naming it, it needs to be spoken directly about," said ANdrew Resignato.
“Our kids can’t go outside and play,” said Mario Rogers, son of revolutionary ancestor Maria Rogers who worked tirelessly against the deep and wrong displacement that happened to Afrikan peoples and Filipino peoples and Japanese peoples of the Fillmore thanks to the wrongology of San FRancisco Re-Devil-opment agency moves in the 1960's and 70's
In the end, the night was fast and furious, people were angry. Black children and elders are dying every week in this neighborhood. And Voices were defintely heard. Not always an easy pill for candidates to swallow but big love to all that came and stayed and listened.
From our perspective at POOR Magazine, we believe that as poor, indigenous, landless peoples we need to create our own self-determined futures. With our meager resources (cuz POOR is in Fack Po', ) we did this event to make sure that this silenced community is really truly listened to by whomever wins this District 5 election. But the real change will only come from the people moving together with our own backs to do the work we already know how to do Mamaz and Daddys being supported to Raise our children, feed our babies, teach the ways of respect and eldership and love. Listen to our ancestors. Which is why POOR Magazine family will be faciliating a mamaz/grandmothers/
"No-one pays attention to this neighborhood," Mrs Hollins plantively spoke to the candidates. Her voice was clear, her mind was sorrow-filled, her body was ready to keep doing what she always does, fight and work and hope for the families, elders, and young people of the Fillmore and plaza East Housing , Ashe.Mama Hollins, and all the powerful ancestors shoulders you are standing on. Candidates, all of you, you have been put on notice. The work continues.
For community members who are interested in being involved in mamaz circle stay tuned to POOR Magazine and The Bay View