Here are stories I’ve written!

Building bonds in Bayview – one person, one community at a time (Reporting, Fall 2009)

The Bayview-Hunter’s Point District is not ashamed it is forgotten. No, it relishes in this fact. As industrial spires climb their way to the tops of San Francisco, it seems as if this area of town is proud of itself. It humbles itself so outsiders must search for the beauty here. Terraces don’t rise and grocery stores don’t buzz about with upper-middle class sensualities. Toyota Priuses don’t glide about leisurely, rather cars from America’s industrial apex grind the pavement. Cadillac DeVilles and Pontiac Firebirds puff CO into the air. A lot of Bayview-Hunter’s Point is a relic of America (and San Francisco’s) age of industry and community.

The former Naval shipyard rusts against the bay and local shops are boarded up, creating a ghost-town feel. This is not the San Francisco of brochures. Golden bridges and green parks are replaced with grey edifices and burnt tarmac, the only shade of color being the faces of people who stroll Third Street. And though this all seems fitting for a forgotten town in the southeast part of San Francisco, a new bud is blooming. Bayview-Hunter’s Point, despite its reputation, is a hotbed for community actions and involvement. But again, these developments aren’t explicit. Bayview-Hunter’s Point rewards seekers, and for some, they only had to look as far as their backyards. Others go door-to-door, and see the problems in the area and offer help, hoping to spur movements that’ll move beyond the community. Nonetheless the community thrives, and whether it’s a fifth grade student or a district supervisor, we can all learn who we are from our communities.

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Palo Alto workers untie to call for pay equity (SEIU Local 521, Summer 2009)

Nearly 300 Palo Alto City workers and their families packed the City Hall chamber Monday night to speak against permanent take-aways that target only the SEIU Bargaining Unit.

“Equity,” was the plea. With purple T-shirts on and benefits on their minds, county workers waited patiently for two hours for their turn at the microphone. Workers face pay cuts as the city is proposing to close a $10 million budget deficit.

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Quake study predicts $11bn in damage to southern SF (Newswire21.org, Spring 2010 – Featured on Spot.Us)

While homes in southeastern San Francisco could suffer $11 billion in damage after a major quake, 90 percent of them could still be occupied, according to the draft of a long-awaited study.

The data reflects the collaboration of public and private agencies studying the potential effects of the 7.2 earthquake that is expected to hit the city within a decade. The final report, covering the entire city, is due this summer. Follow up reports are expected in the fall.

The draft report, obtained by Newswire21.org, may help homeowners in the Excelsior and Ingleside decide if preparing their homes for an earthquake is worth the cost. Earthquake insurance deductibles and structure reinforcement could cost more than repairing the damage. But many residents think insurance is worth the cost.

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