Mama Dee is Mad!

root - Posted on 01 January 2000

California Pacific Medical Center proposes to build a 1.7 billion dollar hospital in the Tenderloin..for who and at what cost?

by Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia/PNN

"I wont be able to sit in Mama dee's chair anymore, " My six year old son looked at me as he spoke with his saddest puppy look. We were sitting in the Van Ness cafe at the corner of Van Ness and Geary. He was responding to the news that the Van Ness cafe was facing demolition by Sutter Health Corporation who is attempting to build a new hospital which will span the entire block of Geary to Post on Van Ness.
The proposal by Sutter Health is a classic example of the rampant over-development fueled by corporations and real estate speculators from San Francisco to South Africa.

"We dont know where we will get another job, this is a bad economy," said Oy, one of the several employees at the Van Ness Bakery, and a long-time friend of my Mama Dee, who frequented the Bakery often for its mild old-skool-non designer coffee and chocolate ice-caked donuts.

"We are doing a survey of the tenderloin and surrounding working-class communities to see how this 1.7 billion dollar health facility will really serve the working-class community it is planning to be in," said Robert Webber, community activist in the tenderloin.

When my son and I heard about the pending proposal to demolish and build, not only did we know that the spirit of my Mama dee, co-founder of POOR Magazine, who passed on her spirit journey in March of 2006, was very angry with the demolition of her favorite spot, but more importantly as someone who struggled with poverty, racism and gentrification her entire life, i knew my mama was also mad, like I was, at the lie of California Pacific Medical Center for proposing to build a hospital that isnt really needed in a community that it isnt really geared at, and in the process dismantling the jobs and livelihoods of poor workers and small business owners and putting more strain on a tired pacha mama with gratuitious building.

"The manager or someone came out here the other day and told us that maybe we have six months more in this place, but they were real vague,we dont know what to think or do. Then they told us not to bother coming to the hearing on the 15th, because it was alreadty decided on." Oy concluded.

After speaking with Oy i did some more investigation and the whole proposal is not a "done deal". We still have a voice. We can still be heard. And just like our brothers and sisters in South Africa facing demolitions of their homes so the World Cup Stadium can be built, the corporations would love to silence us, but we must continue to fight, for us, for our families, for our ancestors, for Mama dee.


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