By Elina Lingappa
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Organizers and politicians from Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission gathered on the corner of 3rd and Palou to address concerns around stopping violence in the Black community and the recent upsurge in gun violence in the Bayview-Hunters Point area.
The group said it hoped to address the death of Terry Franklin, Jr., a 40-year-old who was killed in a shooting on the same corner on Feb. 2 of this year—a concerning pattern emerging in 2021.
According to KTVU, over half of the 30 homicides which have occurred in San Francisco thus far in 2021 have taken place in Bayview-Hunters Point.
In contrast, by this time last year the area had only witnessed two shootings.
According to the SFPD, this upsurge in violence may be due in part to gang retaliation.
Also sponsored by African American Arts and Cultural District, the meeting sought to spark proactive conversation and community healing in the face of gun violence.
San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, spoke, along with Supervisor Shamann Walton and various community leaders while different city officials and SFPD were also present to engage with community members.
Mayor Breed had a particularly strong and personal speech.
In her call for community support and organizing, she brought up her own family investment in the issue.
“I don’t want money to continue to be…a barrier to opportunity. Tell me why is it that my brother is in jail right now? Why is it that I lost a sister to a drug overdose? Why is it that my cousin Charlie [was] killed in Bayview-Hunters Point by the police?” she asked.
“My point is, they should be here with me too, they should be alive. My cousin and my sister should be alive. Your brother and your cousin and your sister—they should be alive and they should be here with us, and we wouldn’t be here mourning,” the mayor added.
In February, Mayor Breed announced that, over the next two years, she plans to redistribute $120 million from police budgets to Black community support efforts.
In collaboration with District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton, this initiative includes workforce training, small business support, community health and wellness programs, housing security, juvenile diversion programs, and new culturally affirming spaces.
Even with these funds, Mayor Breed underscored at the event that community action is necessary as well.
“It is time for us to come together like we never came together before,” she closed, adding, “I love my community, I love you guys, and I want you to survive, I want you to thrive. I want you to be lifted up.”
Elina Lingappa is a sophomore at the University of San Francisco double majoring in Sociology and Politics. She is originally from Seattle, Washington, and she is deeply passionate about the spheres of criminal justice and education equity.
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