In This Section
Affordable Housing and Displacement Sources to Watch
Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth has become an extremely effective childrenʼs advocacy organization over the last 30 years, winning policy and budget victories that have tangibly improved the lives of tens of thousands of San Franciscoʼs children, youth, and families. The results have been dramatic and long-lasting, and have led Coleman to be a nationally recognized advocacy organization and a respected local powerhouse for kids.
Coleman has significantly expanded their commitment to grassroots parent and youth leadership, to build a much stronger voice for low and moderate income families in San Franciscoʼs local policy debates. Coleman is now comprised of
two components: our advocacy and provider network called Coleman Action Network, and our membership, Coleman Families. Coleman Families, in turn, is comprised of three organizing committees: parents for education equity, parents for affordable family housing, and Youth Making a Change (Y-MAC). In addition, the entire organization is working on the two crises leading to the exodus of working class families in San Francisco and why the city has the lowest child population of all the major U.S. cities: the lack of affordable family housing and the state of our public schools.
Ingrid Mariano Gonzales-Padilla, Ed.D., Development & Communications Director
Ingrid received her Doctorate in Education at the University of San Francisco’s International & Multicultural Education Program with a minor in Organization and Leadership. Ingrid’s academic and professional background is deeply rooted in student and youth organizing, student retention in higher education, the disconnection of young adults, school and community partnerships, Asian American Studies and Pilipino American Studies. Contact Ingrid for information about city-wide public school reform in San Francisco and to talk to youth or parents about why this issue is critical to their right to stay in the city.
People Organized to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER)
PODER is a grassroots, environmental justice organization based in San Franciscoʼs Mission District. PODERʼs mission is to organize with Mission residents to work on local solutions to issues facing low income communities and communities of color. PODER believes that the solutions to community problems depend on the active participation of all people in decision-making processes.
Antonio Díaz, Director
Antonio Díaz is the Project Director for PODER, Prior to joining PODER, Antonio was the Co-coordinator of the EcoJustice Networking Project at the Institute for Global Communications in San Francisco. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board of CorpWatch, the Board of Directors of the Center for Environmental Health and is the Board President of the Environmental Support Center in Washington, D.C. Contact Antonio for his expertise in environmental and health impacts that result from development policies. Antonio is bilingual and available for interviews in Spanish or English.
Oscar Grande, Community Organizer
Oscar Grande is the son of working-class Salvadoran immigrants, Emma and Oscar, who came to San Francisco in the late sixties in search of a better life for their kids. Born and raised in the Excelsior and Mission Districts of San Francisco, Oscar, along with his partner Cynthia, are raising their daughter Xiomara in the same neighborhood he grew up in. His work over the past couple of years has been focused on organizing Mission residents and workers against the displacement of low income Latino/as in the Mission District. In addition to developing grassroots leaders, Oscar has spent much time working alongside
Mission youth to fight for their homes, jobs and community. Prior to PODER, he had worked for several years on the streets of the Mission Barrio outreaching to gang affiliated youth, connecting young men and women with the vital resources needed in order to escape the cycle of violence found on the streets and at home. Contact Oscar as an expert in Mission land use issues and community solutions to problems of development and displacement issues, like PODERʼs work on the Peopleʼs Plan for jobs, housing and community. Oscar is bilingual and available for interviews in Spanish or English.
People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER)
www.Unite-to-fight.org coming soon: www.peopleorganized.org
POWER is an organization made up of and led by no- and low-wage workers fighting for real change. We have united to fight against the people who defend the economic and social systems that are keeping us down. We will not sit silently while others profit from our poverty. As an organization of largely women and people of color, POWER connects its struggle with the struggle of other working people around the world who make up the backbone of the global economy. In order to build a movement that can change the world, no- and low-wage workers are creating organizations like POWER so that we can rid the world of poverty and oppression — once and for all.
Alicia Schwartz, Director
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Aliciaʼs previous work includes youth organizing and other racial and economic justice organizing projects. She also has extensive experience organizing around issues of reproductive health justice and in peer education and leadership development. Currently, Alicia is a Lead Organizer on POWERʼs campaign to support residents of Bayview Hunters Point in their development and environmental struggles. Contact Alicia as an expert in BVHP development issues, and to broker relationships with community residents under threat of displacement.
Jaron Browne, Campaign Director
Jaron has been an organizer with POWER since 2002, working in the welfare rights organizing project and the Bayview Justice Organizing Project. Before joining POWER, he did organizing and campaign research with youth and community organizations against racism in the criminal justice system. Jaron was trained as an organizer in Los Angeles at the Labor/Community Strategy Centerʼs National School for Strategic Organizing. His writing has been published in the journal Race, Poverty, and the Environment, and the book Criminal Injustice: Confronting the Prison Crisis, by South End Press. Contact Jaron for his expertise in actual conditions for families and communities living under the threat of displacement. Jaron is bilingual and available for interviews in Spanish or English.
Just Cause Oakland
Founded in 2000, Just Cause Oakland (JCO) is a membership-based organization building a powerful voice for Oakland’s low-income tenants and workers. Our mission is to create a just and diverse city and region by organizing Oakland residents to advocate for housing and jobs as human rights, and to mobilize for policies that produce social and economic justice in low-income communities of color.
Vanessa Moses, Organizer
In January of 2006, Vanessa joined the Just Cause staff as Organizer. In the Bay, Vanessa became active with several community and political organizations, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Generation Five, and the Center for Political Education, working for racial justice, against the criminal (in)justice system and for transformative justice. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999, and was trained as an organizer at the National School for Strategic Organizing with the Labor/Community Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles. Contact Vanessa for affordable housing, zoning, budget and displacement issues in Oakland.
Magdalene Martinez, Organizer
Magdalene is an organizer at Just Cause Oakland. She began social justice work at FIERCE, a youth LGTB, member-based organization in NYC. She was a SOUL intern last summer where she had the opportunity to work with organizations like St. Peterʼs Housing Committee, a housing and immigrant right organization in San Francisco and She graduated from St. Johnʼs University with a degree in Psychology. She worked with youth and adults in the educational and mental health field for 5 years. Contact Magdalene as a resource to broker relationships with community residents living under threat of displacement. Magdalene is bilingual and available for interviews in Spanish or English.
South Of Market Community Action Network
The mission of SOMCAN is to build and support a strong, organized community that takes collective action to achieve equity for the low-income, people of color, immigrant and working class communities in the South of Market through organizing, leadership development and community planning.
Miami Workers Center
The Miami Workers Center is a strategy and action center that builds the collective strength of working class and poor Black and Latino communities in Miami. We work to increase the power and self-determination of these communities by initiating and supporting community-led grassroots organizations that confront the critical social issues of our time: poverty, racism, and gender oppression. We achieve this by building the broadest and deepest base among our constituencies; developing the strategic and tactical leadership capacity of low-income Blacks and Latinos; shifting the public debate around issues impacting our communities; and building coalitions and alliances that enable us to amplify our power and message.
Gihan co-founded the Miami Workers Center together with Tony Romano in 1999. Gihan is a native of Sri Lanka and grew up in South Los Angeles. Prior to founding the Center Gihan was a union organizer, leading union recognition and contract agreement campaigns in Miami, South, and North Carolina. He began his activism at an early age and became a trainer and recruitment director for the AFL-CIO’s Organizing Institute before completing college work. He is also a recognized strategist, published writer, and public speaker. Contact Gihan for insightful analysis of the harmful human impacts that arise from corporate development and real estate speculation.
Right to the City Alliance
Right to the City offers a framework for resistance and a vision for a city that meets the needs of working class people. It connects our fights against gentrification and displacement to other local and international struggles for
human rights, land, and democracy.
We are coming together under a common framework to increase the strength of our community organizations and our collective power. Our goal is to build a national urban movement for housing, education, health, racial justice and democracy.
Claire Tran is the National Organizer—Civic Engagement at Right to the City. She is based in New York; contact her for nationalizing local stories and a birdʼs eye view of whatʼs going on around the country.
In this edition of VisionTalk, Saru Jayaraman talks about how Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) are building a powerful movement to improve the working conditions and wages of the nation’s 10 million restaurant workers.
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In this edition of VisionTalk, Saru Jayaraman talks about how Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) are building a powerful movement to improve the working conditions and wages of the nation's 10 million restaurant workers.