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MINUTES OF THE
SOUTHEAST COMMUNITY FACILITY COMMISSION
MEETING WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2009 – 6:00 PM
ALEX L. PITCHER, JR. COMMUNITY ROOM,1800 OAKDALE AVENUE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94124
1.0 CALL TO ORDER
Commission President Willie B. Kennedy called the Wednesday, February 25, 2009 meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. in the Alex L. Pitcher Community Room at 1800 Oakdale Avenue. Commissioner Kennedy read the Sunshine Ordinance.
1.1 ROLL CALL
6:11 p.m. Commission Secretary – Carla Vaughn
Commissioners Present: Kennedy, Brown, Churchwell, Chung, Yang
Commissioners Excused: Jones, Sampson
Staff Present: Toye Moses, Executive Director
Ella Empleo, Management Assistant
Carla Vaughn, Commission Secretary
1.2 CONSENT CALENDAR
Commission President Willie B. Kennedy announced the Consent Calendar.
Commissioner Churchwell moved to accept the consent calendar and the minutes of the Wednesday, January 28, 2009 Commission meeting and the minutes of the Thursday, February 12, 2009 Commission meeting. Commissioner Brown seconded the motion. The consent calendar was accepted.
2.0 PUBLIC COMMENT
Carla Vaughn, Commission Secretary announced the following:
a) Statement: Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Statement on The Fifth Anniversary Of Same-Sex Marriage.
b) Press Release: Mayor Gavin Newsom To Make Seismic Safety Mandatory.
c) Press Release: Mayor Newsom Secures Wage Concessions From Nurses.
d) Press Release: Mayor Gavin Newsom Unveils Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations For San Francisco.
e) Press Release: Mayor Gavin Newsom Announces New Improvements To San Francisco’s Civic Center.
f) Press Release: President Barack Obama Praises Mayor Newsom For San Francisco ’s Universal, Health Care Program.
g) Press Release: Pfizer To Provide Free Prescription Drugs For Healthy San Francisco.
h) Press Release: Mayor Newsom Announces The Urban Forest Project─An Innovative Public Art Collaboration.
i) Press Release: Mayor Newsom Releases Rainy Day Funds To Save Teachers’ Jobs
j) Press Release: Mayor Newsom Recruits Sprim Life Sciences Consulting To Locate Their Global Headquarters In San Francisco.
Chair Kennedy welcomed Mr. Michael Gordon who introduced himself as a resident of Delancey Street Foundation. He read a letter from Ms. Mimi Silbert, Founder and President of Delancey Street, which was directed to the Commission and read as follows:
“I wish I could be here in person today for many reasons. The strongest reason is that I wish I could give Willie Kennedy a big hug. Both of us go back too many years to say. The most important thing I wanted to say about Delancey Street’s location of our training complex building 5700 Third Street are two things. Throughout our 38 years of existence Delancey Street has had many residents from BayView Hunter’s Point who have been part of our extended family. We have watched them grow and trained into talented young men and women who have graduated from us and gone on into many communities successfully.
That remains the case today. Numbers of people who are learning skills in our building come from BayView Hunter’s Point area. And second, in a less overt way that I think we might be able to help in this area is the basic way that Delancey Street functions.
When we built the home we reside in on the Embarcadero after a long and difficult struggle, we were able to convince everyone involved that we would be allowed to build our own home and learn the construction trade as we were doing so. When we bought the warehouse at 5700 Third, of course we didn’t have the same people as residents, but we used the same process. It needed a great deal of work and all of the renovation work that we did both inside and outside the building, was done by us.
I know that a great deal of construction is going to be done in the area. I hope that Delancey Street’s model of 38 years can be used as an example to the residents of BayView Hunter’s Point as you are due to have the contractors and developers of those projects utilize the residents of Bay View Hunter’s Point, a considerable portion of the talent hired to build, renovate, and do work on those buildings.
No one thought that we were able to learn the building trade, clearly we were. Clearly the residents in our area were hire-able to do the same. As you may know one of the unique features of Delancey Street is that we don’t hire anyone. I, myself as the President, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of the organization live there, but do not take a salary. Therefore, we aren’t in any direct position to hire anyone in the neighborhood; however, I do feel that we have helped people from the neighborhood through our organization. With help from the neighborhood I feel that our organization processes can be used as an example for people to get hired for other buildings which are being renovated and built.
I have asked Ali Wolfe, someone who grew up in Hunter’s Point, and whose mom and family still lives here, to speak to you of his experiences and to answer any questions you may have. Ali came to us as someone who had been in trouble with the criminal justice system. He worked many jobs, but the most important was the moving company where he ultimately worked his way up to top and managed not only the moving company for San Francisco, but became our national moving company supervisor.
Again, I have contracted a bad cold from my grandchildren and I’m unable to attend but I feel confident that Ali can answer any questions and that his story can provide the kind of inspiration and hope that all of us need to hear during these awful times in our country.
We have also worked closely with George Davis and the Ageing Campus since acquiring the building and we will continue to do so. Thanks, and Ali please give Willie Kennedy a big hug for me.”
Ali Wolfe introduced himself and said he was born and raised in Hunter’s Point and still lives in the area and commutes between San Francisco and San Leandro. He cares for his mother who has resided on Shafter Avenue for 60 years.
Mr. Wolfe shared his story and recounted how he came to Delancey Street in 1991 after getting in trouble with the law. His sister had been a resident and encouraged him to go. He was placed in the moving company with no prior work experience. Mr. Wolfe worked his way up to supervisor and after ten years was named national regional manager of all moving facilities.
Mr. Wolfe said Delancey Street saved his life and although they don’t hire people off the street Delancey Street keeps its doors open. He said there are residents currently there from the BayView and from all over the city. Mr. Wolfe told the Commission he had been there sixteen years and had graduated a couple of years ago, but returns to do volunteer work.
Mr. Wolfe said he now drives a bus for the city and credits Delancey Street for turning his life around.
Commissioner Churchwell asked how long do residents stay at Delancey Street?
Mr. Wolfe responded anywhere from two to three years; however he had stayed longer to help others.
Commissioner Churchwell had questions regarding the availability of counseling for other issues, such as drug use etc.
Mr. Wolfe advised every aspect of the organization was handled by residents, including counseling, because the residents were the ones most qualified to deal with the issues. He said people who had spent considerable amounts of time in the program were available to counsel the newer residents.
Commissioner Churchwell asked if there were rules enforced.
Mr. Wolfe said there were no specific rules, however, violence, threat of violence, or drug use would not be tolerated.
Commissioner Kennedy said Delancey Street does an excellent job, and she noted they had more than one facility.
Mr. Wolfe told the Commission Delancey Street had locations in Los Angeles, New Mexico, North Carolina, and New York.
Commissioner Kennedy asked if Delancey Street was able to provide training to individuals that were not in their residential program.
Mr. Wolfe responded that if a person could not manage their life and they were not a drug user they could still come into Delancey. Mr. Wolfe agreed to find out if Delancey Street would offer training to residents that were not in the residential program.
Several Commissioners had questions regarding the ability of residents to find work once they leave Delancey Street.
Mr. Wolf responded the residents are given any where from 30 days to as much time as they need to find work.
Commissioner Brown congratulated Mr. Wolfe on the work Delancey Street is doing.
Commissioner Kennedy sent her regards to Mimi Silbert and opened the floor for public comment.
Bishop Alphonso King said that Delancey Street was legendary in what they had been doing in terms of
reforming people. His question was regarding the ability of the organization to function without staff and
he said he would direct his questions to Mimi Silbert directly.
Tony Caruso, of Decorative Plants, said his company has used Delancey Street as a vendor and they do an amazing job. He asked if Delancey Street had a general contractor’s license so they could compete for contracts. He said it would be great if Delancey Street was building Hunter’s Point Shipyard.
Mr. Wolfe reiterated everything at Delancey Street is run by residents. They teach each other and don’t consider themselves to be staff, just individuals that have been through the program and volunteer their time to share what they’ve learned with residents that are new to the program.
Dr. Harrison Parker, community activist, said Delancey Street is a perfect example of people thinking outside the box. He congratulated them for being unique and successful at the same time.
Chair Kennedy thanked the representatives from Delancey Street for attending the meeting and sent a request to Dr. Silbert to answer the questions regarding training for the BayView community.
5.0 REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT
6.0 HEALTH AND HOUSING AD-HOC COMMITTEE REPORT
8.0 NEW AND ON-GOING BUSINESS
Dr. Moses provided an update on plans for the Commission retreat location and possible dates. The dates proposed were as follows:
Saturday April 18 9 am to 4 pm
Saturday May 16 or 23 9 am to 4 pm
Saturday June 6 9 am to 4 pm
After meeting with Tony Flores, WWE/Division Manager the following locations were suggested:
PUC/Lake Merced Golf
PUC will provide funds for food/drink, and will pay/provide for the facilitator(s).
The commissioners discussed the dates and agreed to accept one of the dates in May.
Commissioner Churchwell moved to accept May as the month for the retreat with the date and location to be confirmed at a later time. It was seconded by Commissioner Brown and accepted unanimously by the Commissioners.
9.0 INTRODUCTION OF NEW BUSINESS BY COMMISSIONERS
10 PUBLIC COMMENT
The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 pm in the memory of Ms. Ave Montague who was admired for her public relations entrepreneurship, and Ms. Mattie Jackson who was admired for her union leadership.
Carla Vaughn, Commission Secretary