San Francisco’s Mission is the front line battle for America’s dream of equality.
“I” love San Francisco, so on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, “I” fight for San Francisco. Vote yes on Proposition “I.”
Proposition “I” is our front line fight for many reasons, such as saving our artists, activists, and educators, but Proposition “I” is most important for protecting and empowering the FUTURE of our youth. San Francisco embodies opportunity and muscle that our youth must be able to access. There is absolutely no better way to access this miracle but to literally be in it, San Fran.
I am who I am because I was born and raised in San Francisco. If I had been raised in Tracy or Antioch (no disrespect to these places that have welcomed our gentrified gente), I simply wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I would not have the crazy cosmopolitan view I hold, and neither would many other people of proof, such as longtime homegrown activist, Roberto Hernandez. SF offers a unique, open, international diversity and style. I learned to walk the streets of Chinatown, North Beach, Excelsior, Hunter’s Point, Sunnydale, Downtown, the Sunset, and, of course, the stomping grounds of La Mision and Cortland Streets. We dealt with many different types of people, from the homeless can collector to the tourist who would watch us break dance at Fisherman’s Wharf. As a twelve year old youth, break dancing was one of my first jobs because in San Fran anything was possible.
Some years ago I cruised a few Modesto adolescents to the top of Twin Peaks. Once we unloaded, they were frozen staring at the sparkling view. One youngster stumbled in a daze gazing over the majesty of mountains, bay, bridges, highrises, and neighborhoods, then in curiosity and seriousness, turned to me and asked:
“Is that New York?”
God bless their souls. They held such a cruel innocence, but that question is a product of what can happen to our young gente living in the valley and dealing with the hardships of that life. If we’re sober about learning this city system and progressing forward and learning from different cultures and arts, then we gotta stay in SF. The books do not replace the feel of home. The internet cannot substitute for the energy of the streets. Once we get kicked out, we may come back from time to time and get nostalgic, but it aint the same, homes. With traffic and distance, it gets harder and harder to return, and then homeboys and homegirls may just come through once a year or never again. Life goes on and life is lost. Note that there are teenagers from Richmond who have never even visited San Francisco! How will our future youth understand the nuances of big city culture and etiquette, and how will they connect to community there? Unfortunately, they won’t.
Many times it is easier to stay stable in the desperation they know.
What is lost is the youth’s ability to relate to a big city and all the healthy and unhealthy insanities associated with that. Youth get shy and alienated and may make excuses that the city just aint for them, which locks us out of power even more. In the big cities there is opportunity: economic, cultural, musical, artistic, revolutionary, etc. There is a sublime root in the jungle, but as the famous James Baldwin once stated, “I was unfitted for the jungle.” So going back to the jungle is not an option. San Francisco is where our youth live, and the time to protect and empower them is now.
Yes on “I” Love San Francisco protects our youth so that they have the chance to thrive and be part of all of its resources and activities. If we aint got access to one of the world’s most vibrant and powerful cities, our future generation will become more apathetic and isolated, to the point where we will not know what is happening, and then we will be completely eliminated from participating in important discussions and taking action against oppression. It will be our fault that the destructive cycles plaguing our communities will continue.
The international arena of San Fran must remain home for our future’s creativity.
Yes on “I” is a way for La Mission and the rest of America to pause and plan, something very much needed because we cannot allow the system to literally bulldoze over us any longer. The people wrote the “I” ballot measure. The people must rise and vote. Time doesn’t stop for anyone, so let’s go forward together.
Yes on “I” love San Francisco!