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  Supporting Cast Member
October 12, 2014

This is just too strange not to pass on. This is the latest in a series of BAPAC hit pieces. The two previous are:

·         Why BAPAC is Supporting Corky Booze?, September 20, 2014.
·         Next Chapter of BAPAC's Fiction Now Out - Slavery by Another Name, September 29, 2014

Some factual corrections:

·         My opponent, Nat Bates, and BAPAC, feel compelled to relentlessly accuse me of a lack of compassion for a remark I made on Facebook back in March of 2014, and others continue a drumbeat for an apology.  Been there; done that. In Feeling the Elephant March 08, 2014, I wrote:
Hotel Rooms and Maid Service
Following a recent drumbeat of media articles and videos featuring Hacienda residents demonstrating the failure of management to address complaints ranging from vermin to vice, and calls from some of my fellow City Council members to bulldoze Hacienda, I was both appalled and frustrated with the complete lack of circumspection. From my own inspections and those of others, as well as statements from tenants, I knew that some of the problems, particularly those related to mice and roaches were at least partly a result of some tenants leaving out food and garbage. This is as much a tenant problem as it is a management problem. In a Facebook post responding to even more accusations of management failures, I wrote, “There are hundreds of people on the waiting list for these public housing units that provide clean, safe and affordable housing at far below market rates. It seems that once people get into public housing, they think they are in a hotel with maid service."
I concede that generalization was both inaccurate and insensitive. Most of the residents at Hacienda follow the rules and keep their apartments clean and neat, and for any of them who were offended, I apologize.
However, successful operation of public housing is a two-way street. The Housing Authority is required by HUD and state law to maintain the units in a habitable condition, which includes an absence of mold, mice and roaches. They can’t do this alone. Residents are also required to follow rules. See Your Friendly Guide to Public Housing. In an apartment building, roaches don’t have boundaries. When one tenant leaves a mess, roaches can spread throughout the building.
My observations were verified by Felix Hunziker, a Police Commission member, who wrote in the same Facebook string:
I think Tom has a valid point - it is a two way street. My one and only visit to the Hacienda was on an RPD ride-along where we visited the apartment of an elderly disabled gentleman whose mentally ill son was causing problems.

That apartment was filthy. There were old, open food containers everywhere, tins of spoiled cat food on the counter, piles of unwashed laundry strewn about, unwashed sticky floor, and several cockroaches checking us out. The smell was so bad I had to breathe through my shirt.

I'm not suggesting that what I observed is the norm, nor am I suggesting that the RHA hasn't failed to perform their duties adequately. But if a tenant isn't capable of caring for him/herself, since when is it the Richmond Housing Authority's job to do so? Can you blame the RHA if there are repeated problems in such a unit?

·        The discrimination suit against the City of Richmond and Chief Magnus went nowhere. See Police Chief Magnus, Richmond, cleared of wrongdoing in racial discrimination suit. Eventually, all seven plaintiffs lost in court or settled at a significant disadvantage. On September 30, 2014, the Contra Costa Times wrote: “When a group of officers sued the city and Magnus for alleged discrimination in 2007, the city refused to settle and instead went to trial, spending more than $4 million in legal fees. Magnus and the city were cleared of all allegations, and the plaintiffs and their attorneys lost millions of their own money.” BAPAC was on the wrong side in this fight.

·         I have consistently supported the Richmond CARES program every time it has come to a vote. BAPAC is in the pocket of the real estate lobby.

It looks like BAPAC’s next target is free-lance journalist John Geluardi, who has been critical of some of BAPAC’s candidates.




Lloyd Madden, President   ---  Donald Hampton, Vice President   ---  Joe Fisher, Treasurer


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Did You Know

Tom Butt and Jovanka Beckles
(his first Supporting Cast Member)



Tom Butt

Tom Butt

After connecting the dots, it's easy to see why Tom Butt dismissed Michael Parker and took control of the RPA movement. His initial candidate for Mayor (he thought) who he strongly supported changed his mind to do the right thing. So like Mister Epps in Twelve Years a Slave, Butt took control and entered himself into the race for Mayor. Sometimes, people may really mean well and still be blinded to their own prejudices. For instance Tom Butt never thought anything wrong or racial regarding his statements he made about people living in the Hacienda public housing complex. In the Contra Costa Times on March 6, 2014, Butt stated "There are hundreds of people on the waiting list for these public housing units that provide clean, safe and affordable housing at market rates. Butt went on to state that once people get into public housing, they think they are in a hotel with maid service. "How insensitive is that coming from a civic leader? He never thought anything wrong or racial about his comments made to BAPAC stating that because we are a Black Political Action Organization we should only support Black people.

Butt never thought anything wrong or racial regarding comments he and Jovanka Beckles made attacking BAPAC, when seven Black Richmond Policemen came to us and asked for our support regarding their discrimination suit. This supporting cast member Jovanka Beckles wrote a quarter page article in the Globe Newspaper attacking BAPAC for getting involved. This type of activity existed during slavery, it existed in Slavery by Another Name and it exists today with The New Jim Crow attitude, where one black is used against another black to hold blacks back. Well the Seven Black Policemen lost their case in Contra Costa County Superior Court, a County made up of about nine Cities, nine cities that couldn't find one, not one black person that would be accepted to serve on the jury! We really need to ask ourselves do we want people like Tom Butt and Jovanka Beckles representing us as our leaders. As recent as September 28, 2014, Tom Butt was quoted in the Contra Costa Times "The Richmond Cares program was really a creative, brilliant idea, and I supported it," Butt said of the controversial eminent domain program. "But the fact is that it is extremely complicated, and I don't think it's ever going to work. I think it's just sort of going to quietly go away." In a letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee dated October 2, 2014, Butt wrote, "I understand that you are considering joining Richmond in a JPA that could implement the CARES program. This is a creative and innovative program that uses the unique powers of local government to address serious problems that local government did not cause but continues to suffer from. I have two years remaining on my current term, and I am one of three candidates for mayor. I have consistently supported CARES, and if elected mayor, I will continue to support it." Tom Butt seems to be sending mixed messages depending on who he's talking to. Where is the honesty and integrity and can he be trusted.

BAPAC can also recall when Tom and Jovanka told a deliberate lie when they said that BAPAC was trying to get Chief Chris Magus and City Manager Bill Lindsay fired, just like Butt lied when he told his E-Forum readers a few weeks ago that if Nat Bates is elected that our police chief and our city manager would quit. Wow! The same two city officials they used a few years ago. This type of behavior and attitude can be found in the book written by Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name and The New Jim Crow written by Michelle Alexander. 

Next supporting cast:  
Who is John Geluardi? How does he fit in to the supporting cast?  


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