This COVID19 pandemic has had unprecedented impacts on San Francisco, and we, as the City’s only chartered youth advisory body, are committed to advocating for the rights, needs, and voices of all San Francisco youth in this crisis. During this time, COVID-19 has affected us all but especially has disproportionately impacted communities of color, so it’s important for us to leverage our power and continue our work advocating for an equitable and healthy San Francisco. Our hearts go out to all of the people who have been impacted by the pandemic and all those who live with the constant fear of racist violence. We also want to thank all essential workers and medical staff that are risking their lives to make sure that their communities stay safe and healthy.
We want to also take this time to acknowledge that our city’s bureaucratic systems are built on racism, most notably anti-blackness, especially institutionalized in our police department. Our city has a track record of police brutality, environmental racism, and gentrification, among many other injustices towards BIPOC. This current onslaught of outrage is not just a result of the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor - it is a buildup of historic tensions from countless incidents of police brutality, hate crimes towards the Black community, and a system that enforces white supremacy.
June is the 50th anniversary of Pride in San Francisco and the end of June marks the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Stonewall was an anti-police uprising and the first brick was thrown by Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans revolutionary. This month and time demands that each of us—especially those of us who are not Black—act with great urgency in defense of Black lives, to support the work of ending police brutality and white supremacy. To bring forth a new world order, we must unite and fight for the collective freedom of Black people.
Let us all, do the hard work of interrupting racism in ourselves, our families, and communities.
Together, we will win justice and safety for BIPOC and that will bring justice and safety to all of us.
San Francisco Youth Commission