Remember, global Wall Street is FAR-RIGHT WING EXTREME WEALTH EXTREME POVERTY MAKING THE RICH PROGRESSIVELY RICHER ANY WAY THEY CAN----
Clinton era 1990s was known as the TECH BUBBLE on Wall Street. Supposedly Clinton was great for the economy---jobs, jobs, jobs because this Silicon Valley technology infrastructure was being built. The goal was to connect global Wall Street around the world so most of the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS were overseas. If we watched this Silicon/San Fran Foreign Economic Zone development we would see exactly what we see under Obama and his GREEN TECHNOLOGY expansion moving from Silicon Valley to all US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
Clinton took what was a left social progressive development of US cities---with HUD---with Enterprise Zones really helping low-income communities----he took URBAN LEAGUE----NAACP----and started PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS capturing our government agencies to corporations. It is this structure that became THESE FEW DECADES OF ROBBER BARON SYSTEMIC FRAUDS AND GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION and the SHOW ME THE MONEY AND WE WILL DO ANYTHING WE ARE TOLD 5% TO THE 1%.
Here we see the early 5% to the 1% player-----VERNON JORDAN as national Urban League. Jordon took US urban development from EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND ACCESS HOUSING to selective, rich, and corporate development. This is when our US CITY URBAN LEAGUES were took to global Wall Street players. Jordon knew players living only for the day and that is who were appointed to leadership in US cities in 1990----today.
THIS WAS THE GOAL AND YET JORDAN WAS ALWAYS CALLED A CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER---WHEN HE WAS DISMANTLING ALL CIVIL RIGHTS GAINS.
Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. (born August 15, 1935) is an American business executive and civil rights activist in the United States. A leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement, he was chosen by President Bill Clinton as a close adviser. Jordan has become known as an influential figure in American politics.
He earned a law degree at Howard University School of Law in 1960. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
Jordan is the only black person who has participated in more than a few Bilderberg conferences. He was invited in 1969 and 1970 and then almost every year between 1979 and 2013
Vernon Eulion Jordan, Jr. 1971 1981 attorney
John Edward Jacob 1982 1994 civil rights activist
Hugh Bernard Price 1994 2002 attorney foundation executive
Milton James Little, Jr. 2003 2003 social worker
Marc Haydel Morial 2003 Current attorney
Pittsburgh Urban League
12/8/17 PITTSBURGH, PA
RON BROWN AWARDS GALA
Ranked in three successive performance reviews as one of the nation’s highest performing affiliates, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh was founded in 1918 with the shared National Urban League mission of enabling African-Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power, and civil rights.
The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh focuses on serving African-Americans and other minorities, but no one is ever turned away, helping more than 20,000 individuals in Pittsburgh and the surrounding counties last year alone. As the largest comprehensive social service/civil rights organization in Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Urban League helps others to help themselves through extra-curricular educational opportunities, health advocacy, housing counseling, parental education and support for early childhood and youth development, hunger prevention services, sustainable wage career preparation, and other programs that lead to improved ability to achieve economic empowerment and self-reliance. Ninety-nine years of service to the African American community in our region has earned the Urban League the community’s trust. The Urban League’s voice has gained a reputation for untarnished credibility which we strive to use strategically in order to reduce structural barriers and improve access to opportunities for those we serve.
Clinton and Jordan were back in the 1990s those pesky 5% to the 1%------today both Clinton/Jordan have worked their way to being in that global 2% FOR NOW. Between these few decades they killed 99% of white, black , and brown citizens to do so. We see that tie to GREEKS, OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE, and leadership positions in organizations PRETENDING TO BE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE.
Make no mistake----it was Clinton era Silicon Valley policies pushed to include community development that created these INJUSTICES TO COMMUNITIES OF COLOR. If we ask a white Texan citizen living in TEXARKANA PANHANDLE ---they are indeed victims too----so rural white communities were taken as well.
High-Tech Environmental Racism: Silicon Valley's Toxic Workplaces
David Naguib Pellow and Lisa Sun-Hee Park
Research on environmental racism and environmental inequalities has yet to take seriously the question of
workplace toxics and their impact on people of color, immigrants, and women. This paper is a step in that
direction. We argued that the workplace should play a prominent role in research on environmental inequalities
because the workplace is where 1) toxics are first produced and first come into contact with human beings, and
2) it is also where people begin the resistance process against environmental injustice. We support this
argument by drawing on data from the high-technology sector of Silicon Valley.
High-Tech Environmental Racism
Research on environmental racism and environmental inequalities has yet to take seriously the question of
workplace toxics and their impact on people of color, immigrants, and women. This paper is a step in that
direction. We argue that the workplace should play a prominent role in research on environmental inequalities
because it is where 1) people are first exposed to environmental contamination, and 2) it is also where people
begin the resistance process against environmental injustice. We illustrate this argument by drawing on data
from the high-technology sector of Silicon Valley.
Research on Environmental Racism
Environmental racism is a scourge that has burdened people of color around the globe for centuries. However,
scholars have only recently begun to focus attention on this problem and attempt to define it. One sociologist
defines environmental racism as "the unequal protection against toxic and hazardous waste exposure and the
systematic exclusion of people of color from decisions affecting their communities"2 Environmental racism is
an example of an environmental injustice or environmental inequality, which occurs when a particular social
group is burdened with environmental hazards.
Here is an article from 2001-----this was end of Clinton beginning of Bush era and as we have known these few decades------all of this technology boom killed workers---killed communities-----and it was what brought CLIMATE CHANGE.
The left social progressives were back in 1990s shouting against CLINTON AND THE URBAN LEAGUE for backing all these public policy stances in development because this was when DEREGULATION AND DISMANTLING OF OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY GREW. Where California WAS #1 in world in environmental issues now CLINTON/JORDAN took US to worst in world history.
This is when our 80% of labor and justice Democratic voters should have fought and protested to get CLINTON/JORDAN out of the people's Democratic Party. Instead, the 99% kept believing in JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, AFFORDABLE HOUSING AFFORDABLE HOUSING not knowing that CLINTON/JORDAN were OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE working for the global 1%.
THIS IS THE EXACT PICTURE HAPPENING TODAY IN OUR US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES-----AGAIN, IT IS THAT 5% TO THE 1% BLACK, BROWN, AND WHITE POLS AND PLAYERS DOING ALL THE DAMAGE. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. LET'S JUST DO IT!
“Most of our [health] regulations are predicated on workers being exposed to one chemical, maybe two or three — but what do you do when they’re exposed to a hundred?” LaDou asks. “What we have here is a brand-new work setting with an almost scientifically impossible question to answer — how do you determine if a recirculated mix of chemicals is safe? — and there is no magic formula.”
Monday, Jul 30, 2001 08:32 PM EST Poison Valley
Is workers' health the price we pay for high-tech progress? First of two parts. Jim Fisher
Topics: Cancer, Environment, Silicon Valley, Entertainment News
At the south end of Silicon Valley in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, beside a creek thick with buckeye and sycamore, lie the ruins of California’s first and richest mine. For over a century the red ore known as cinnabar, first roasted for its metal in 1845, was burned in furnaces at New Almaden Mine and reduced through a series of condensation chambers into approximately 100 million pounds of liquid mercury, used to extract silver in Nevada’s Comstock mines and gold in the mother lode.
The mine is also the single greatest source of mercury pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area. After the mining companies sweated the quicksilver from the rock, they dumped an estimated 800,000 cubic yards of burnt cinnabar into nearby Alamitos Creek: To this day, drops of liquid mercury and cinnabar slag are readily found in samples collected anywhere between New Almaden Mine and the city of San Jose. If you follow that creek into Silicon Valley you’ll pass signs showing a fish on a poker, and the warning:
FISH IN THESE WATERS ARE CONTAMINATED WITH DANGEROUS LEVELS OF POISONOUS MERCURY. DO NOT EAT FISH CAUGHT IN THESE WATERS.
The creek flows down through the serpentine foothills, through blue oak and California laurel, until it passes under McKean Road at the valley floor. A couple of hundred yards northeast on McKean takes you past a walnut orchard and across Calero Creek, also flowing down from the New Almaden hills and contaminated with mercury, until you hit the foot of the Santa Teresa Hills and the checkpoint for IBM’s Almaden Research Center. IBM ARC, the first computer research lab west of the Mississippi, is the birthplace of a host of technological innovations as valuable as mother lode gold, and, according to a wave of recent lawsuits, as toxic as New Almaden Mine mercury.
If you make a U-turn at the check gate to IBM ARC and follow the run of Calero Creek as it flows along Camden Avenue, the pepper trees and flowering plums thin and shift from the creek bed to the center divide. After approximately five miles you reach the stoplight at Blossom Hill Road. To your right is the parking lot for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and behind it are the Alamitos Groundwater Recharge Ponds, where the joined creeks of the eastern New Almaden hills (Alamitos and Calero) meet the Guadalupe River, flowing in from the west side of Almaden Quicksilver County Park. The combined water is then spread across the ponds, seeping through the earth’s porous layers until it reaches underground aquifers, where it is stored until tapped by the county. Signs posted around the pools warn again of poisoned fish.
You are now officially in Silicon Valley. A few blocks ahead is the West Valley Freeway. Go east on the West Valley Freeway and after five miles you’ll have driven over one of the largest plumes of poisoned groundwater in the United States, over 3 miles long and 180 feet deep, contaminated with xylene, toluene and other volatile organic compounds, including the chlorinated solvent trichloroethane (TCA). Pump-and-treat groundwater cleanup operations continue to this day. The original source of this poison? Underground Tank Farm No. 1 of IBM’s Cottle Road Disk Drive Manufacturing Facility.
Built just three years after the disk drive was invented at IBM ARC in 1956, the Cottle Road plant was the first among dozens of manufacturing facilities — including those operated by Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Applied Materials and National Semiconductor — discovered in the early 1980s to have collectively leaked tens of thousands of gallons of organic solvents and other toxic contaminants into the groundwater of Silicon Valley. Today, the valley is home to more EPA Superfund sites (29) than any other county in the nation, with the most notorious of those sites — from a leaking tank at a Fairchild Semiconductor fabrication plant — poisoning a well that served the south San Jose neighborhood of Los Paseos. A subsequent study by the state’s Department of Health Services found 2.5 to three times the expected rate of miscarriages and birth defects among pregnant women exposed to the contaminated drinking water, leading to a lawsuit and multimillion-dollar settlement in 1986 with over 250 claimants.
The toxic details of Silicon Valley’s mercury-laden streams and contaminated aquifers are relatively well known. But another, even more troubling potential vector of deadly pollution has required more time to come to light — the “clean rooms” in which high-tech workers come into direct contact with a vast array of chemicals as they manufacture semiconductor-laden circuit boards and computer hard drives. According to a lawsuit filed in 1998 in Santa Clara County Superior Court on behalf of four cancer-stricken IBM employees and the families of five deceased workers — the number of plaintiffs has since quintupled to 45 — Big Blue and its chemical suppliers, including Union Carbide, Shell Oil and Eastman Kodak, fraudulently concealed from their employees the risks of adverse health effects, including fetal toxicity and cancer, arising from chronic, low-level exposures to chemicals used in the manufacture of disk drives and related circuitry. Solvents named in the complaint include many of the toxic compounds leaked into the groundwater two decades before.
In January, IBM and two chemical suppliers (Union Carbide and Ashland Chemical) settled a separate case in a similar wave of lawsuits involving about 200 current, former and deceased IBM employees, most of whom worked at a huge chip-making plant in East Fishkill, N.Y. But the amount of the settlement was not made public and IBM admitted no guilt.
And yet, IBM’s own corporate mortality statistics, charges the Santa Clara lawsuit, record a death rate from brain cancer among its employees about 2.5 times that of the general public. Did the chemicals involved in high-tech manufacturing cause the cancers? No one, not even experts who have long been critical of the potential safety hazards associated with clean-room workplaces, can say for certain. But numerous scientific studies have established that certain chemicals used in manufacturing semiconductors are statistically associated with increased rates of reproductive problems and various types of cancers. And the heart of the Santa Clara suit is the assertion that IBM repeatedly assured its workers that those workplaces were safe.
To the handful of experts occupied with the dismayingly difficult challenge of assessing the health threats of semiconductor manufacturing, IBM’s alleged confidence could not possibly have been merited. There simply hasn’t been enough testing and research into the health hazards posed by low-level exposure to combinations of toxic chemicals. If anything, the experience of the semiconductor industry should be sobering — the complexity of the chemical cocktails at use in modern high-tech industrial manufacturing is mind-boggling, and it is always getting more so. There is little chance, warn these experts, of ever catching up with the public health challenges inherent in new advances in technology, especially when the rate of change continues to accelerate. We may know that mercury is deadly, we’re pretty sure that drinking water contaminated with trichloroethane isn’t a good idea and we may finally be waking up to the dangers of making clean-room workers breathe the same recirculated air, laden with complex chemicals, all day long. But what do we know about the explosion of research in biotech, and microelectronic machines, or the next wave of advances in semiconductor manufacturing?
Is the price of technological advancement, and its consequent economic growth, to be paid in workers’ health? The legacy evident in Silicon Valley, since at least the 1850s, might hint at such a conclusion, although it also raises an obvious question: What alternatives do we have, if we are intent on technological progress? The lawsuits against IBM — the consummate symbol of high-tech prowess — might also give pause to the Silicon Valley’s more ardent advocates of high-tech progress. But instead of attempting to help public health officials and their own workers keep up with the challenges of accelerating technological change, for years the semiconductor industry has been more interested in investing its dollars in pretending that problems don’t exist.
Cottle Road, which today forms the western boundary of IBM’s disk drive manufacturing facility in San Jose, is named after one of the valley’s pioneer ranching families and forms part of what was once a vast Spanish land grant rancho. Orchards planted by the Cottles and dozens of other 19th century growers turned the valley into a world-famous provider of prunes and apricots, inspiring its first commercial nickname: the Valley of Heart’s Delight.
In the 1950s the prune and apricot orchards began to disappear to make space for the more than 2,500 electronics manufacturing firms that, by the early 1980s, had come to dominate the valley and would eventually lend it a new name, after the most common semiconductor substrate: silicon. The IBM campus, occupying approximately 1 square mile below Coyote Creek to the north and above the West Valley Freeway to the south, was built in 1959 on the commercial promise of the disk drive and solid-state electronics. At its peak it employed between 10,000 and 15,000 workers.
Virtually every computer currently manufactured owes something to the research carried out by IBM ARC scientists and the products then manufactured at the Cottle Road plant. ARC researchers came up with things like thin-film inductive heads, rotary actuators and sector servos — technologies found in most every modern hard drive, be it Quantum, Western Digital or any other brand owing its skeleton to IBM patents. Without a hard drive, no computer, not the IBM Thinkpad 600E on which this story is being typed, nor any of the rack of high-powered Web servers on which this story is being served, would be anything more than so much heavy metal and miscellaneous plastics.
Today, the Cottle Road plant is still the principal factory transforming the research and development of IBM ARC into salable product. This is where patented chemical formulations used in optical lithography — a process in which chip circuitry patterns are transferred onto silicon wafers — and disk-drive coating are mixed, packaged and shipped. It is where proprietary microcircuitry and subassemblies for new generations of disk drives are manufactured in the famous clean rooms — the factory floors of high-tech production whose highly protected environments require that workers take air showers before entering the “fab,” and wear head-to-toe “bunny suits” to protect the wafers from microscopic debris.
“The tiniest speck of dust on a chip could ruin thousands of transistors,” reads an exhibit at the Intel Museum in Santa Clara. Nowhere in the museum is it mentioned what health professionals and activists have attempted to point out since the late 1970s: that this “clean” environment has very little to do with safeguarding worker hygiene. The bunny suits may do an excellent job of preventing particles on employee clothes from damaging silicon wafers, but they are deplorably inadequate to protect workers against skin contact with the acids, solvents and other chemicals they use as a daily part of their job. Even worse, most clean-room ventilation systems are designed to recirculate the majority of the air used in the workplace, so as to prevent new infusions of airborne dust — in effect, workers are breathing the same chemically suffused air over and over again throughout the workday.
“Had I known that I was working with anything that could cause cancer, I would have had second thoughts about going to work there,” says Alida Hernandez, a former IBM employee and plaintiff in the Santa Clara lawsuit, who began her 14-year career at IBM washing residue from the surface of disk drives. She never knew what chemicals were in the wash, but a likely suspect is trichloroethane (TCA), a so-called safe substitute for the known carcinogen trichloroethylene (TCE), which itself was once touted as a safe substitute for the carcinogen perchloroethylene (PERC). In relatively low doses TCA can damage the liver, nervous system and circulatory system, and has been associated with brain cancer in gerbils exposed through inhalation. It is one of the contaminants in the solvent plume spreading beneath the Cottle Road plant, and shows up in Cottle Road’s Toxic Release Inventory data as late as 1991 — the year Hernandez left IBM.
Most of Hernandez’s 14-year career, however, was spent in the disk-coating operations, where she was exposed on a daily basis to another mix of solvents and resins that also included known or suspected carcinogens, in addition to liver and nervous-system toxicants. “We were given classes as to what to do in case of an explosion, what kind of a fire extinguisher to use if it was electrical or if it was chemical — those were the instructions they gave us. They didn’t say anything about the chemicals being bad for your [biological] system, or possibly cancer causing, or anything like that.”
Before starting each shift, it was Hernandez’s responsibility to inspect the back of her “operation” — as the coating workstations were called — to ensure the machine was running properly. If the mixers were running too fast, for example, air bubbles could end up in the coating formulation and ruin a batch of disk drives, not to mention an employee’s performance record. Workers were also responsible for cleaning the coating equipment with solvents several times throughout the workday.
“In coating you could only run 50 disks at a time without having to stop your operation and clean [the machine],” Hernandez says. Machines were cleaned chiefly with acetone, a moderately toxic solvent that is rapidly absorbed by the skin and is narcotic in high concentrations. Symptoms of acute exposure include convulsions, kidney and liver damage, and coma. Lower exposure symptoms include “slight intoxication, central nervous system depression, lassitude, drowsiness, loss of appetite, insomnia, somnolence, loss of strength, shallow respiration, weakness of the limbs, lightheadedness and general malaise.”
The National Toxicology Program safety data sheet on acetone recommends that workers wear “a full face chemical cartridge respirator equipped with the appropriate organic vapor cartridges” when handling this chemical. Hernandez was never provided with a respirator, or any other means of scrubbing organic contaminants from the air.
Hernandez, who was frequently in charge of running several machines at once, estimates that she passed from 350 to 375 disks through each machine per shift.
“Sometimes the [machine] lines would plug up and it was up to the operator to unplug those lines. You’d get coating all over yourself — I mean, it went right through your clothing. It went down to your skin. After you finished cleaning you just went and changed the outside smocks — the bunny suits — but your own clothing was all stained. It went right through the bunny suits.”
After the film had been applied, the disks were placed in drying machines that spewed mists filled with acetone and coating. That coating, states the complaint, contained the organic solvent xylene. An aromatic hydrocarbon — like benzene — xylene has long been implicated in toxicological literature for its adverse effects on the peripheral nervous system. Additionally, commercial formulations of xylene — at least in the early 1980s — contained concentrations of up to a few percent of its carcinogenic cousin benzene, according to a 1986 journal article, “Carcinogens and Cancer Risks in the Microelectronics Industry.” It too is one of the chemicals found in the Cottle Road groundwater plume.
Epoxy resins were another ingredient in disk coating, made from the compounds epichlorohydrin and bisphenol-A. The former chemical is mutagenic and genotoxic, and the latter is a known endocrine disruptor. Mutagenic and genotoxic “events” — in which genetic material is changed or damaged — are part of the first stage of cancer development, and may be indicative of cancer-causing chemicals. Epichlorohydrin is, in fact, a carcinogen. Endocrine disruptors are associated with reproductive and developmental harm.
Even today, clean-room workers continue to breathe recirculated air throughout their shifts. Machines are still cleaned, and metal surfaces degreased, with solvents, the most common being acetone and isopropyl alcohol, though more than a few companies — particularly the smaller, less recognizable firms — still use the carcinogen trichlorethylene or its cousin trichloroethane, according to annual Toxic Release Inventory data. To this day, the single most important chemical formulation in the manufacture of computer chips — the photoresist — is almost always a mixture of xylenes, carrier solvents, formaldehyde-based resins and genotoxic photoactive compounds. Other potential exposures in modern clean rooms include hydrofluoric acid, antimony, boron, phosphorous, gallium and arsenic.
Hernandez was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, two years after leaving IBM. Hernandez has no family history of the disease. At the time of her departure, two of her immediate colleagues had fallen ill, says Hernandez. One female engineer was on a leave of absence as a result of breast cancer, and the employee who had trained Hernandez on disk-coating operations came down with skin cancer. Another colleague suffered a miscarriage.
Hernandez never connected the illnesses with the job until she was diagnosed with the disease herself. “It’s something you tell yourself always happens to somebody else, and never to you. When it happened to me, I started to think something was wrong.”
“My mother’s death should not have happened,” says Carmen Navarro, daughter of former IBM worker Alicia Apodaca, who rinsed and inspected silicon wafers in the clean rooms of Cottle Road from 1980 through 1989, and died of breast cancer at age 51. As with Hernandez, and the great majority of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, there was no history of the disease in Apodaca’s family. “She was vibrant, healthy. She didn’t smoke, she didn’t drink, she took good care of her health. She was loved by her six children, and by her grandchildren, whom she adored.”
“She had friendships with fellow employees at IBM — a few of them have also passed away with cancer,” Navarro says. One acquaintance died of lung cancer, another of brain cancer, says Navarro. “And it’s continuing,” she says. In mid-April, Navarro says she learned of another IBM worker of more than 20 years who was diagnosed with breast cancer. (IBM declined to comment on Navarro’s and Hernandez’s statements, citing pending litigation.)
“I believe that [IBM] knew that the chemicals were dangerous to the employees,” says Navarro. I do believe that. This should not have happened.”
“Workers are a kind of controlled experiment,” says Dr. Sandra Steingraber, author of “Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment,” an authoritative study of the growing body of evidence linking cancer to the environment. “We know they work in certain workplaces for a certain number of hours with certain kinds of exposures. It’s considered unethical to go out and do human experiments on a group of folks who aren’t workers — but this happens de facto in a lot of workplaces. Workers are the canaries in the mines.”
In the East Fishkill lawsuit, former IBM workers Michael Ruffing and Faye Calton are the parents of Zachary Ruffing, 15, who was born blind and with facial deformities so severe he cannot breathe through his mouth or nose. They originally sued for $40 million in damages. Other Fishkill cases name cancers of the gastrointestinal and lymphatic systems; of the skin, bone and brain; and, most commonly, of the breast and testes. The cases filed by Cottle Road employees reflect a similar suite of cancers, the majority of which — like the cancers listed above — have all shown increased rates over the past 20 years and show longer-term increases that can be traced back at least 40 years, megatrends that correspond with the proliferation of synthetic chemicals following World War II.
In fact, workers’ compensation statistics show that exposure to toxic chemicals — coded as “systemic poisoning” in California — is twice as likely to be a cause of occupational illness in electronics workers as it is for workers in other manufacturing industries. National figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the percentage of work-loss injuries and illnesses involving “exposures to caustic, noxious and allergenic substances” in recent years (1992-1998) was consistently between three and four times higher for workers in the semiconductor industry than in manufacturing industries as a whole, a group that includes manufacturers of petrochemicals, paper, petroleum, coal, steel, aluminum, plastics and rubber.
The BLS statistics do much to erode the perception that the high-tech industry is somehow “cleaner” than its predecessors. But what of the companies themselves? How much did they know about what they might be subjecting their workers to, and how hard were they trying to find out?
The simple fact is that it isn’t in the high-tech industry’s interest to know too much about the long-term health consequences of exposing its workers to toxic chemicals: The more it knows, the greater its legal liability. Of the few industry-funded studies of clean-room-related worker health problems, the two most significant examined workers’ reproductive problems. One study was funded by the Semiconductor Industry Association, or SIA, the other by IBM. Both studies were conducted after activists raised concerns about the toxicity of a group of chemicals called ethylene glycol ethers, or EGE, used in photoresist.
The IBM-funded study, whose preliminary findings were released in 1992, found that pregnant employees at IBM’s Fishkill lab who were exposed to EGE were roughly 1.5 times more likely to suffer a spontaneous abortion than unexposed workers. The authors emphasized that no conclusive causative chemical could be identified, but IBM acknowledged that it could be “inferred” that the cause of the increased miscarriages was exposure to EGE. Eventually, IBM and most of the industry stopped using EGE. (The SIA study came up with the same conclusions.)
What’s noteworthy is that the gloomy results of this study didn’t lead the industry to carry out more research into the long-term health consequences of exposure to other chemicals.
See no evil is a wise corporate strategy. But the Santa Clara lawsuit declares that IBM should have known that something was very wrong in its clean rooms, based on trends visible in its Corporate Mortality File, a database with work history on over 10,000 deceased IBM employees. Public access to the mortality file is currently restricted by a gag order, but the facts cited in the Santa Clara complaint are corroborated by statistics in a 1996 article in the scientific journal Epidemiology, “Brain Tumors Among Electronics Industry Workers.” The file is a substantially complete (99 percent) database of all U.S. IBM workers of five or more years who died between 1975 and 1989; the records were constructed from death certificates obtained by IBM “for administrative purposes”; and the cause of death in 149 of the total 10,331 cases was primary brain cancer. (The article never specifically identifies the subject company, but a footnote identifies IBM as the funder of the research, and the mortality statistics are identical to those included in the complaint.)
That’s quite a lot of brain cancer, about 2.5 times that of the general population, without factoring in biases for gender and age. More significantly, what this study found was an upward slope in brain cancer deaths among male electronics workers as duration of employment lengthened.
Because of the gag order, the other charges in the complaint — that these records prove IBM knew that workers involved in manufacturing electronic devices were at a significant risk not only of brain cancer but of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, gastric cancers and leukemia — cannot be independently confirmed. (IBM will not comment on pending litigation.) But if one traces the citations in the Epidemiology article back through the scientific literature a pattern emerges that raises troubling, unanswered questions about elevated risks of cancer among workers in the manufacture and repair of electronics, and particularly among workers with long-term work histories — specifically, 10 or more years — and with probable exposure to solders and organic solvents.
In 1985, the same year the elevated brain cancer mortality rates began showing up in the scientific literature, Gary Adams, a chemist working in the material analysis department in Cottle Road’s Building 13, where IBM disk drive coatings were developed, wrote a memo to IBM corporate headquarters. The memo alerted IBM officials to a cluster of cancers in his building. Eight out of his 14 immediate colleagues had fallen ill with some form of cancer.
Brain cancer had killed Adams’ colleagues John Wong and Al Smith; lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers killed his colleagues Gordon Mol and Dwayne Johnson; and gastric cancers killed his colleagues Robert Cappell and Ken Hart, states the complaint. When Adams and another colleague, Fred Tarman, developed bone tumors, they decided it had to be more than a statistical fluke.
“All of a sudden we began to worry,” Adams told “Dateline NBC” in 1998. “And then when another one [was diagnosed] and another one, it really began to hit home.” Adams said the response of a staff doctor to his request that the company monitor its workers’ health, particularly in Building 13, was to say such a program would be a waste of time, because “workers did not get cancer from their jobs.”
The official stance of the semiconductor industry has long been similar. At the end of each year, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the results of its survey on occupational health and safety, the Semiconductor Industry Association, which calls itself “the leading voice for the semiconductor industry,” and whose member companies constitute more than 90 percent of U.S.-based semiconductor production, issues a press release announcing that the industry ranks among the safest manufacturing industries in the nation. (The current SIA chairman, incidentally, is John Kelly III, a senior vice president at IBM.)
Molly Maar, a spokeswoman for the SIA, says too little is known about the chemicals involved to point fingers at any particular industry. “What we’re finding,” she says, referring to cancer risks among clean-room workers, “is that there’s not much scientific data out there … Studies aren’t inexpensive, and when you have many companies coming together, these things don’t happen overnight.”
IBM’s short, official statement following the Fishkill settlement admits of no doubt:
“No scientific data supports the allegations of [the plaintiffs]. No evidence conclusively links the cause of [the plaintiffs’ son’s] birth defects to the chemicals in question or, for that matter, any specific chemical at all.”
One of the toxicological literature’s most detailed surveys of health risks in clean rooms, it turns out, was written by a former IBM industrial physician, Dr. Myron Harrison, in a 1992 article titled “Semiconductor Manufacturing Hazards.” If there is a smoking gun for IBM, showing just how much it knew or should have known about potential health risks in clean rooms during the late 1980s, it is to be found is this exhaustive analysis of the potential hazards and exposure pathways of chemicals at every stage of chip making.
“If you look at the very early studies of chemical carcinogenesis,” says Dr. Steingraber, author of “Living Downstream,” “a lot of them were done by researchers who were industrial toxicologists, who might have originally worked for an oil company or something like that. They’re right on the front lines … When they have the courage and integrity to publish their findings, that’s some of the best science that we have showing the relationship between chemical carcinogens and cancer.”
Harrison’s catalog of health risks is staggering. He lists potential exposures of workers to arsenic in the manufacture of gallium-arsenide wafers; to acid aerosols in the “wet etch” stage of chip lithography; and to toxic gases of arsine and boron in the operation of dopant implantation tools. He attests to cases of hydrofluoric acid burns during the cleaning of furnace tubes; of exposure to corrosive solvents in wet-stripping processes; and of untested photoactive compounds being sprayed by photoresist spinners. He warns of “catastrophic accidents” in the replacing of gas cylinders and the draining and refilling of wet chemical baths; of malfunctioning ventilation systems; and of widespread respiratory complaints among workers, including sinusitis, laryngitis and asthma. He documents mercury exposure from arc lamps; “relatively frequent” chemical fires at storage sinks; and solvent overflows in tool exhaust systems.
Harrison begins his article with an extensively diagrammed treatment of what remains the most worrisome — and least acknowledged — pathway of exposure in clean rooms: the vaporized mix of organic chemicals recirculated by the ventilation systems. A rule of thumb proposed by Harrison is that 90 percent of the air in a clean room is recirculated per hour, to minimize the introduction of contaminants that might degrade semiconductors or other advanced technological fabrications. He also shows how fumes can enter into circulation through “service cores,” where vapors escape during equipment maintenance and where chemical spills are most likely to occur.
On top of that, recent evidence suggests that 15 percent of new fume hoods — the local exhaust system for clean-room workstations — fail to operate properly, potentially blowing toxic vapors back at the worker and into the clean-room environment.
“The ventilation conditions in clean rooms are very turbulent, and they cause a lot of problems,” says Tom Smith of Exposure Control Technologies, a business that tests and evaluates laboratory ventilation systems. “Fume hoods [designed for the microelectronics industry], when we’ve tested them in clean rooms, generally only have a capture effectiveness about six inches above the work surface. If you get above that, or if you have a very volatile process, they just spill. And the clean-room airflow is so turbulent that it competes with these hoods, and the vapors escape from these hoods and infiltrate the return air system and are recirculated with the air handler.”
And there are, without question, plenty of chemical vapors that can escape into the air system during the manufacture of a single computer chip, beginning with the pulling of a silicon crystal to the apotheosized “metallization” of the wafer — the industry’s term of art for deposition of electrical connections of aluminum on silicon. Figures based on a speech by a Texas Instruments fellow at the International Symposium on Semiconductor Manufacturing in September 1993 estimate that Intel’s state-of-the-art chip fabrication plant in Rio Rancho, N.M., consumes, in a single year of manufacturing, 832 million cubic feet of bulk gases, 5.72 million cubic feet of hazardous gases and 5.2 million pounds of chemicals.
These figures, though prodigal, are deceptively simple, for they do not indicate the unprecedented spectrum of chemicals used in semiconductor manufacturing. In his 1992 article, Harrison prefaces a section titled “Selected Toxic Hazards” with the disclaimer: “An attempt to review the toxicology of all the thousands of chemicals in use at a typical fabrication plant is doomed to be superficial and of little value.”
And the acceleration of the use of new techniques and new chemicals in new combinations in high-tech manufacturing makes safety evaluation harder all the time. “Professionals associated with this industry,” wrote Harrison, “have invariably commented on the rapid pace of change in tools and materials, and on the fact that adequate toxicologic assessment of chemicals almost never precedes their introduction into manufacturing settings.”
Harrison’s frustration is echoed by Joseph LaDou, director of occupational and environmental health at the University of San Francisco. LaDou calls chip making “one of the most chemical-intensive industries ever conceived.”
“The air-filtering systems do not alter chemicals except to dilute and recirculate them; and smocks and head gear do not protect workers from toxic exposures,” LaDou wrote in 1984. He reiterates the point in an interview 17 years later. “Not only are you recycling the vaporized chemicals, but you’re presumably allowing them to react with one another and introducing reactants into the air and recycling those as well.”
“Most of our [health] regulations are predicated on workers being exposed to one chemical, maybe two or three — but what do you do when they’re exposed to a hundred?” LaDou asks. “What we have here is a brand-new work setting with an almost scientifically impossible question to answer — how do you determine if a recirculated mix of chemicals is safe? — and there is no magic formula.”
“The problem with the spectrum of chemicals used in semiconductor manufacturing is that it could conceivably cause any cancer anywhere in the body,” says LaDou. “When you find a cancer in a semiconductor worker, it’s almost impossible to find a smoking gun.”
While Clinton in 1990s started the CORPORATIZATION OF OUR US UNIVERSITIES----it was a Berkeley and Stanford IVY LEAGUES with white 5% to the 1% executives ----MY 5% who I shouted loudly against back then who teamed with Urban League and NAACP. Back then we thought these black organizations were working for equality for all citizens when in fact this was the start of the ME GENERATION----MAKING MYSELF AS RICH AS POSSIBLE ANYWAY I COULD. Our national women's organizations should have been leading against these environmental disasters but they too had global Wall Street players installed.
When we shout against the race and class issues around environmental injustice----these are those 5% we need to hold accountable. Who were those Silicon pols pushing all these toxic and global Wall Street policies ------WOMEN THE NATIONAL MEDIA CALLED FEMINIST LEADERS........PELOSI, BOXER, FEINGOLD, GLORIA STEINEM------all knowing where these global technology policies would lead---killing 99% of women and families.
NAACP HAS FINANCIAL CRISES AND IN COMES GLOBAL WALL STREET TO CONTROL ITS POLICIES.
'The 1990sIn the 1990s, the NAACP ran into debt. The dismissal of two leading officials further added to the picture of an organization in deep crisis.
In 1993 the NAACP's Board of Directors narrowly selected Reverend Benjamin Chavis over Reverend Jesse Jackson to fill the position of Executive Director. A controversial figure, Chavis was ousted eighteen months later by the same board. They accused him of using NAACP funds for an out-of-court settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Following the dismissal of Chavis, Myrlie Evers-Williams narrowly defeated NAACP chairperson William Gibson for president in 1995, after Gibson was accused of overspending and mismanagement of the organization's funds.
In 1996 Congressman Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic Congressman from Maryland and former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, was named the organization's president. Three years later strained finances forced the organization to drastically cut its staff, from 250 in 1992 to 50'.
Silicon Valley has always been awful to women because those GEEKS AND PHYSICISTS have long been a bit OLD BOYS SCHOOL. So, in 1990s under Clinton we see a bunch of WOMEN AS DEMOCRATS ----PELOSI, BOXER, FEINSTEIN, PATTY MURRAY ----global Wall Street 5% to the 1% women CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS being cheerleaders for global corporations who have no intention of keeping women in executive positions beyond MOVING FORWARD.
Since this was all happening in San Fran home of our GBLT voters -----they were captured by these global technology and Wall Street policies even though----GBLT will be thrown under the bus. Today San Fran is no longer that GBLT mecca-----so population groups really do need to stay with the LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE PLATFORM OF EQUAL PROTECTION FOR ALL 99% OF CITIZENS.
THIS WAS WHEN OUR LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE WOMEN BECAME HILLARY'S 5% NASTY GLOBAL WALL STREET WORKING FOR THOSE GLOBAL 1% AND THEIR 2%.
Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?
Tech companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve conditions for female employees. Here’s why not much has changed—and what might actually work.
Jason Madara / Erik Tanner / Paul Spella / The Atlantic
点击这里阅读中文版本 | Read this article in Chinese.
One weekday morning in 2007, Bethanye Blount came into work early to interview a job applicant. A veteran software engineer then in her 30s, Blount held a senior position at the company that runs Second Life, the online virtual world. Good-natured and self-confident, she typically wore the kind of outfit—jeans, hoodie, sneakers—that signals coding gravitas. That day, she might even have been wearing what’s known as the “full-in start-up twin set”: a Second Life T-shirt paired with a Second Life hoodie.
In short, everything about her indicated that she was a serious technical person. So she was taken aback when the job applicant barely gave her the time of day. He knew her job title. He knew she would play a key role in deciding whether he got hired. Yet every time Blount asked him a question about his skills or tried to steer the conversation to the scope of the job, he blew her off with a flippant comment. Afterward, Blount spoke to another top woman—a vice president—who said he’d treated her the same way.
Obviously Second Life wasn’t going to hire this bozo. But what the heck: He was here, and they had a new employee, a man, who needed practice giving interviews, so they sent him in. When the employee emerged, he had an odd look on his face. “I don’t know what just happened,” he said. “I went in there and told him I was new, and all he said was he was so glad I was there: ‘Finally, somebody who knows what’s going on!’ ”
All Blount could do was laugh—even now, as she looks back on the incident. In the hierarchy of sexist encounters, it didn’t rank very high. Still, it was a reminder that as a woman in tech, she should be prepared to have her authority questioned at any moment, even by some guy trying to get a job at her company.
One reason her career had gone so well, she thinks, is that she’d made a point of ignoring slights and oafish comments. Awkward silences, too. Over the years, she’s experienced—many times—the sensation of walking up to a group of male colleagues and noticing that they fell quiet, as though they’d been talking about something they didn’t want her to hear. She’s been asked to take notes in meetings. She’s found herself standing in elevators at tech conferences late at night when a guy would decide to get, as she puts it, handsy. When she and a male partner started a company, potential investors almost always directed their questions to him—even when the subject clearly fell in Blount’s area of expertise. It drove him crazy, and Blount had to urge him to curb his irritation. “I didn’t have time to be pissed,” she says.
Bethanye Blount, co-founder and CEO, Cathy Labs (Jason Madara)But at some point, something inside her broke. Maybe it was being at tech conferences and hearing herself, the “elder stateswoman,” warning younger women to cover their drinks, because such conferences—known for alcohol, after-parties, and hot women at product booths—have been breeding grounds for unwanted sexual advances and assaults, and you never knew whether some jerk might put something in your cocktail. She couldn’t believe that women still had to worry about such things; that they still got asked to fetch coffee; that she still heard talk about how hiring women or people of color entailed “lowering the bar”; that women still, often, felt silenced or attacked when expressing opinions online.
“I am angry that things are no better for a 22-year-old at the beginning of her career than they were for me 25 years ago when I was just starting out,” Blount says. “I made decisions along the way that were easier for me and helped me succeed—don’t bring attention to being a woman, never talk about gender, never talk about ‘these things’ with men,” unless the behavior was particularly egregious. “It helped me get through. But in retrospect I feel I should have done more.”
Blount decided it was never too late to start speaking out, and teamed up with other women who had undergone a similar awakening. This past May, they formed a group called Project Include, which aims to provide companies and investors with a template for how to be better. One of her collaborators on the effort, Susan Wu, an entrepreneur and investor, says that when she was teaching herself to code as a teenager, she was too naive to perceive the sexism of internet culture. But as she advanced in her career and moved into investing and big-money venture capitalism, she came to see the elaborate jiu-jitsu it takes for a woman to hold her own. At one party, the founder of a start-up told Wu she’d need to spend “intimate time” with him to get in on his deal. An angel investor leading a different deal told her something similar. She became a master of warm, but firm, self-extrication.
Looking back, Wu is struck by “the countless times I’ve had to move a man’s hand from my thigh (or back or shoulder or hair or arm) during a meeting (or networking event or professional lunch or brainstorming session or pitch meeting) without seeming confrontational (or bitchy or rejecting or demanding or aggressive).” In a land of grand ideas and grander funding proposals, she found that the ability to neatly reject a man’s advances without injuring his ego is “a pretty important skill that I would bet most successful women in our industry have.”
Wu learned how to calibrate the temperature of her demeanor: friendly and approachable, neither too intimate nor too distant. She learned the fine art of the three-quarters smile, as well as how to deflect conversation away from her personal life and return it to topics like sports and market strategy. She learned to distinguish between actual predators and well-meaning guys who were just a bit clueless. And yet to not be overly wary, because that, too, can affect career prospects.
The dozens of women I interviewed for this article love working in tech. They love the problem-solving, the camaraderie, the opportunity for swift advancement and high salaries, the fun of working with the technology itself. They appreciate their many male colleagues who are considerate and supportive. Yet all of them had stories about incidents that, no matter how quick or glancing, chipped away at their sense of belonging and expertise. Indeed, a recent survey called “Elephant in the Valley” found that nearly all of the 200-plus senior women in tech who responded had experienced sexist interactions. (And just as the print version of this article went to press, a former Uber engineer added to the evidence of Silicon Valley’s gender problem when she wrote a blog post detailing what she said was a pattern of sexist behavior at the company.)
As Bethanye Blount’s and Susan Wu’s examples show, succeeding in tech as a woman requires something more treacherous than the old adage about Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels. It’s more like doing everything backwards and in heels while some guy is trying to yank at your dress, and another is telling you that a woman can’t dance as well as a man, oh, and could you stop dancing for a moment and bring him something to drink?
Such undermining is one reason women today hold only about a quarter of U.S. computing and mathematical jobs—a fraction that has actually fallen slightly over the past 15 years, even as women have made big strides in other fields. Women not only are hired in lower numbers than men are; they also leave tech at more than twice the rate men do. It’s not hard to see why. Studies show that women who work in tech are interrupted in meetings more often than men. They are evaluated on their personality in a way that men are not. They are less likely to get funding from venture capitalists, who, studies also show, find pitches delivered by men—especially handsome men—more persuasive. And in a particularly cruel irony, women’s contributions to open-source software are accepted more often than men’s are, but only if their gender is unknown.
Stephanie Lampkin, founder and CEO, Blendoor (Jason Madara)For women of color, the cumulative effect of these slights is compounded by a striking lack of racial diversity—and all that attends it. Stephanie Lampkin, who was a full-stack developer (meaning she had mastered both front-end and back-end systems) by age 15 and majored in engineering at Stanford, has been told when applying for a job that she’s “not technical enough” and should consider sales or marketing—an experience many white women in the field can relate to. But she has also, for instance, been told by a white woman at a conference that her name ought to be Ebony because of the color of her skin.
In the past several years, Silicon Valley has begun to grapple with these problems, or at least to quantify them. In 2014, Google released data on the number of women and minorities it employed. Other companies followed, including LinkedIn, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, eBay, and Apple. The numbers were not good, and neither was the resulting news coverage, but the companies pledged to spend hundreds of millions of dollars changing their work climates, altering the composition of their leadership, and refining their hiring practices.
At long last, the industry that has transformed how we learn, think, buy, travel, cook, socialize, live, love, and work seemed ready to turn its disruptive instincts to its own gender inequities—and in the process develop tools and best practices that other, less forward-looking industries could copy, thus improving the lives of working women everywhere.
Three years in, Silicon Valley diversity conferences and training sessions abound; a cottage industry of consultants and software makers has sprung up to offer solutions. Some of those fixes have already started filtering out to workplaces beyond the tech world, because Silicon Valley is nothing if not evangelical. But the transformation hasn’t yet materialized: The industry’s diversity numbers have barely budged, and many women say that while sexism has become somewhat less overt, it’s just as pernicious as ever. Even so, there may be reason for hope as companies begin to figure out what works—and what doesn’t.
When Silicon Valley was emerging, after World War II, software programming was considered rote and unglamorous, somewhat secretarial—and therefore suitable for women. The glittering future, it was thought, lay in hardware. But once software revealed its potential—and profitability—the guys flooded in and coding became a male realm.
The advent of the home computer may have hastened this shift. Early models like the Commodore 64 and the Apple IIc were often marketed as toys. According to Jane Margolis, a researcher at UCLA, families bought them and put them in their sons’ rooms, even when they had technologically inclined daughters. By the time the children of the ’80s and ’90s reached college, many of the boys already knew how to code. Fewer girls did.
But that was a long time ago. Consider where we are today. More than half of college and university students are women, and the percentage of women entering many stem fields has risen. Computer science is a glaring exception: The percentage of female computer- and information-science majors peaked in 1984, at about 37 percent. It has declined, more or less steadily, ever since. Today it stands at 18 percent.
“Workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled” are the main reasons women leave tech.Claudia Goldin, a Harvard economist, told me that tech would seem to be an attractive field for women, since many companies promise the same advantages—flexibility and reasonable hours—that have drawn women in droves to other professions that were once nearly all male. The big tech companies also offer family-friendly perks like generous paid parental leave; new moms at Google, for instance, get 22 paid weeks. “These should be the best jobs for people who want predictability and flexibility,” Goldin said. “So what’s happening?”
A report by the Center for Talent Innovation found that when women drop out of tech, it’s usually not for family reasons. Nor do they drop out because they dislike the work—to the contrary, they enjoy it and in many cases take new jobs in sectors where they can use their technical skills. Rather, the report concludes that “workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled in one’s career” are the main reasons women leave. “Undermining behavior from managers” is a major factor.
The hostility of the culture is such an open secret that tweets and essays complaining of sexism tend to begin with a disclaimer acknowledging how shopworn the subject feels. “My least favorite topic in the world is ‘Women in Tech,’ so I am going to make this short,” wrote one blogger, noting that after she started speaking at conferences and contributing to open-source projects, she began to get threatening and abusive emails, including from men who said they “jerked off to my conference talk video.” Another woman tweeted that, while waiting to make a presentation at Pubcon, a prestigious conference, she was told by a male attendee, “Don’t be nervous. You’re hot! No one expects you to do well.”
In the office, sexism typically takes a subtler form. The women I spoke with described a kind of gaslighting: They find themselves in enviably modern workspaces, surrounded by right-thinking colleagues and much talk of meritocracy, yet feel disparaged in ways that are hard to articulate, let alone prove.
Telle Whitney, the president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, a nonprofit that supports women in technology, says gender bias is a big problem in start-ups, which are frequently run by brotherhoods of young men—in many cases friends or roommates—straight out of elite colleges. In 2014, for instance, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was two years out of Stanford and already leading a $10 billion company when his frat-boy-at-his-misogynistic-worst undergraduate emails were published and went viral. In them, his only slightly younger self joked about shooting lasers at “fat girls,” described a Stanford dean as “dean-julie-show-us-your-tits,” and for good measure, saluted another fraternity because it had decided to “stop being gay.”
But while start-ups may be the worst offenders, it’s notable how often the staid older companies also make missteps. Just last year, Microsoft hosted a party that featured “schoolgirl” dancers wearing short uniform-type skirts and bra tops, dancing on podiums. The event followed the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco—where, earlier that day, the company had sponsored a Women in Gaming Luncheon to promote a culture of inclusivity.
And then there are the public utterances that reveal what some leading men in tech think of women and their abilities. When Sir Michael Moritz, the chair of Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s most venerable venture-capital firms, was asked by a Bloomberg reporter why the firm had no female investing partners in the U.S., he responded, “We look very hard,” adding that the firm had “hired a young woman from Stanford who’s every bit as good as her peers.” But, he added, “what we’re not prepared to do is to lower our standards.”
When Ellen Pao sued another prominent venture-capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, for gender discrimination, the 2015 trial sent a frisson through the tech world. Former Yahoo President Sue Decker wrote an essay for Recode, the tech-industry website, saying that she had been obsessively following the trial because it resonated so deeply with her. She took her daughters out of school to hear the closing arguments. “I, and most women I know, have been a party to at least some sexist or discriminatory behavior in the workplace,” she wrote, explaining that she and many other women had witnessed things like “locker-room discussion during travel with colleagues,” which they tried to brush aside, since “any individual act seems silly to complain about.” The Pao trial, however, shifted her attitude.
Pao lost the case, but the trial was a watershed. Afterward, a group of seven senior women in tech conducted the “Elephant in the Valley” survey. Eighty-four percent of the respondents had been told they were too aggressive; 66 percent had felt excluded from key networking opportunities because of their gender; 90 percent had witnessed sexist behavior at conferences and company off-site meetings; 88 percent had had clients and colleagues direct questions to male peers that should have been addressed to them; and 60 percent had fended off unwanted sexual advances (in most cases from a superior). Of those women, one-third said they had feared for their personal safety.
Pao went on to co-found Project Include with Blount, Wu, and others, including Tracy Chou. A software engineer who graduated from Stanford, Chou told me about working at a start-up where a co-founder would often muse that a man they’d just hired would turn out to be better and faster than she was. When Chou discovered a significant flaw in the company’s code and pointed it out, her engineering team dismissed her concerns, saying that they had been using the code for long enough that any problems would have been discovered. Chou persisted, saying she could demonstrate the conditions under which the bug was triggered. Finally, a male co-worker saw that she was right and raised the alarm, whereupon people in the office began to listen. Chou told her team that she knew how to fix the flaw; skeptical, they told her to have two other engineers review the changes and sign off on them, an unusual precaution. Her co-workers rationalized their scrutiny by explaining that the bug was important, and so was the fix.
Tracy Chou, co-founder, Project Include (Erik Tanner)“I knew it was important,” she told me recently. “That’s why I was trying to flag it.”
For Chou, even the open-office floor plan was stressful: It meant there was no way to escape a male co-worker who liked to pop up behind her and find fault with her work. She was called “emotional” when she raised technical concerns and was expected to be nice and never complain, even as people around her made excuses for male engineers who were difficult to work with. The company’s one other female engineer felt the same way Chou did—as if they were held to a different standard. It wasn’t overt sexism; it was more like being dismissed and disrespected, “not feeling like we were good enough to be there—even though, objectively speaking, we were.”
What started out for our GBLT citizens as the majority in San Fran came high employment ---what came these few decades was the creation of that 5% to the 1% GBLT. These are the people and organizations creating that mess in SILICON VALLEY complete with public health crises----environmental injustice-----housing injustice-----worker's displaced and impoverished. It was not the 99% of white citizens----it was not the 99% of black citizens----it was not the 99% of brown citizens----
IT WAS THOSE DASTARDLY 5% TO THE 1% ACROSS ALL POPULATION GROUPS---LIVING FOR MONEY IN POCKET TODAY.
If we watched the development of San Fran and Silicon Valley WE KNOW to where development policies will go in all other US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES----like Baltimore, Newark, Camden, Phila, Providence, Cinncinati, Akron, Pittsburgh, and across the southern states.
The same global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations led by these same 5% players are pushing the same population groups into what will be the most toxic areas while making city centers global 1% and their 2%----and while it may be mostly those white affluent ---they are the next to go under the bus.
NOW WE HAVE THOSE IMMIGRANT CITIZENS BEING MADE TO FEEL THEY ARE THE WINNERS WHEN THEY WILL VERY SOON BE GREAT BIG LOSERS.
The Bleaching of San Francisco: Extreme Gentrification and Suburbanized Poverty in the Bay Area
Sunday, April 27, 2014 By Adam Hudson, Truthout | News Analysis
Protesters block a Facebook bus at intersection of San Francisco's Market and 8th Streets and show unfair system of private tech buses. (Photo: Adam Hudson)
On January 21, dozens of protesters, decrying displacement and inequality, gathered near City Hall in San Francisco on a chilly Tuesday morning. At around 9:15 a.m., they marched down Market Street and blockaded two tech shuttles, one that was parked at a MUNI (San Francisco Municipal Railway) bus stop, the other in the middle of the street. Tech shuttles - also infamously known as "Google buses" - are private corporate buses that take tech industry workers from their homes in San Francisco down the peninsula to work in Silicon Valley.
Protesters surrounded the buses and placed signs near them that read: "Stop Displacement Now" and "Warning: Rents and evictions up near private shuttle stops." A UC-Berkeley study and maps show that evictions and rent increases often follow the locations of tech bus stops. One sign bluntly read: "Fuck off Google."
Present at the protest was Martina Ayala, a teacher, artist and consultant for San Francisco nonprofits working with low-income families. She is currently facing a no-fault eviction from her residence in San Francisco's Outer Richmond neighborhood that sits next to the Pacific Ocean beach. Ayala told Truthout, "The landlord would like us to self-evict" - but not by way of a buy-out, in which landlords evict tenants by paying them to leave. Instead, Ayala said, "They're trying to get us out without having to pay the eviction costs. And so they're doing that by harassing us and calling us every day, sending us three-day notice to pay rent or quit without following through with service." Why would the landlord go to such lengths to push the family out? Ayala says, "Even though we are paying $1,750, that is still not enough for the landlord, because the average rent is now $3,000."
The Google bus blockade lasted for a half-hour. Afterward, the crowd marched down Grove Street to the San Francisco Association of Realtors, then ended at City Hall. Much of the media coverage of the protest focused on the Google bus blockade. However, the protesters emphasized that the tech industry was not the only culprit. Developers, real estate brokers, and City Hall all play a role in economically displacing many San Francisco residents.
Not all protesters were mad at the tech workers riding the buses. Some encouraged tech workers to support the protesters' cause. One sign read, "Get off the bus, join us!"
"Those buses, for us, is just a symbol of what rich folks can get away with."A few hours after the protest, swarms of residents, tech industry workers and reporters packed themselves inside City Hall to attend a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) hearing about starting a pilot program to have tech shuttles pay $1 each time they use a MUNI bus stop. It is against city law for others to block MUNI bus stops. Violators have to pay a $271 fine. MUNI bus riders pay $2 per ride. People who ride the bus and don't pay bus fare face a $100 fine. Poor people and people of color are often targeted by transit agents and police for not paying fare. Tech bus riders, on the other hand, do not face such penalties.
The hearing was divided by tech industry workers, who largely supported the plan, and residents who felt it wasn't enough to curb the deeper problem of displacement. At the hearing, Roberto Hernandez of Our Mission No Eviction, a San Francisco resident born and raised in the Mission District, said, "Children are getting to school late because of these tech buses that roll through the Mission. They're late, and they don't eat breakfast. So they're there with an empty stomach. They start in school late because they're getting to school late." Rodriguez told Truthout he had no problem with tech workers, but felt the $1 fee plan was an "insult" and "had no involvement of the community at all. We're concerned about the impact that these buses are having." He added, "If you ride a MUNI bus, it's slow; it's late; it stinks. Now you ride one of those [tech] buses, you get Wi-Fi; you get luxury on that bus; you get everything. But those buses, for us, is just a symbol of what rich folks can get away with." After about three to four hours of discussion, the city approved the pilot program. The next month, after pressure from community activists and organizations like People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Google agreed to donate $6.8 million over the next two years to fund free MUNI passes for low- and middle-income youth.
Two weeks after the tech shuttle hearing was the San Francisco Tenants' Convention, where hundreds of city residents and leaders gathered in an elementary school cafeteria to propose solutions to fix the city's housing problem. San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission District, attended the convention to show support for the growing movement. "Right now, the middle class in San Francisco is being pushed out. It's becoming a city that only millionaires can afford, and you see here that there is a groundswell across the city that people are saying, 'We're not gonna let that happen anymore. We want a city that is affordable for all of us.'"
Also at the convention was Tyler Macmillan, the executive director of the Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC), a nonprofit legal services clinic that assists residents facing eviction lawsuits from landlords. He told Truthout how the city's judicial system works against eviction victims. "The vast majority of laws are written by and for folks who own property," said Macmillan. "So when you fight to defend evictions, you face a code of civil procedure, the civil code, even elements of our local law that really favor folks who are wealthy and who have access to good attorneys. And so for most tenants in San Francisco, both of those things are missing. They don't have money to get to an attorney, and then they're dealing with a set of laws that are really, especially at the state level, against them in terms of the rights of property."
To evict a tenant, landlords give them a three-day notice to pay rent or leave. If neither happens, then the landlord can file a lawsuit to evict. Tenants are given a five-day summons to appear in court, which is barely enough time to get a lawyer and prepare oneself to fight an arduous legal battle. Moreover, most judges are property owners and landlords. As a result, "they come in with the assumption that the tenant is wrong," says Macmillan.
A New Wave of Gentrification
Google bus stopped in the middle of 8th Street by more protesters condemning tech industry's role in gentrification and displacement. (Photo: Adam Hudson)
San Francisco is experiencing a wave of unprecedented hyper-gentrification and urban removal. The city was gentrified before, and has long been a pricey place, but this current episode is more extreme than previous ones.
San Francisco rent has skyrocketed to obscene levels. Median rent in San Francisco is over $3,000 a month, with some neighborhoods in the $4,000-$5,000 range. Average rent is in the same range. Even rooms for $1,000 a month are virtually nonexistent. Rents in 2013 increased over 10 percent from the previous year, which is more than three times higher than the national average of 3 percent. This makes San Francisco perhaps the least affordable city for middle-class families in the country, with New York City following closely behind. It's so expensive that even San Francisco's minimum wage, which is the highest in the country at over $10 an hour, is barely enough to live. One would have to work five, six, or more minimum-wage jobs to make the city's rent. Moreover, San Francisco is one of the most unequal urban areas, and its income inequality is growing the fastest in the nation.
"What they do in San Francisco, they send black people to prison and [provide] no jobs."
Evictions have also shot up, displacing hundreds of San Francisco residents. According to the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a grassroots project that has been counting and mapping evictions in San Francisco, "The number of evictions in 2013 has surpassed evictions in 2006, the height of the real estate bubble. Total no-fault evictions are up 17 percent compared to 2006. More significantly, there has been a 115 percent increase in total evictions since last year" in 2012. From 1997 to 2013, there have been over 11,000 no-fault evictions - either through demolition, owner move-in, or the Ellis Act. The Ellis Act is a California state law that allows landlords to evict tenants to "go out of business" by pulling their property off the market. This allows speculators to swoop in and flip the property. In fact, speculators are driving many Ellis Act evictions. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project reports that Ellis Act evictions "increased by 175 percent" in 2013 "compared to the year before." Additionally, "Demolitions have gone from 45 in 2006 to 134 in 2013, a 197 percent increase."
The displacement of San Francisco's African-American population was the canary in the coal mine for today's current incarnation of gentrification. Previous waves of gentrification and urban renewal, particularly in neighborhoods like the Fillmore District, which is famous for its historic jazz scene and was long known as the "Harlem of the West," exiled many African Americans from San Francisco. According to census figures, in 1970, African American's constituted 13.4 percent of the city's population. In 1980, they dropped to 12.7 percent; then to 10.9 percent in 1990. By 2000, African Americans made up 7.8 percent of the city's population. Now, San Francisco's black population hovers around 5 percent or 6 percent only.
In April 2011, with a push from Mayor Ed Lee, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a city ordinance that gives Twitter and other tech companies a 1.5 percent city payroll tax cut for the next six years in return for those businesses staying in San Francisco's mid-Market Street area.Willie Ratcliff, publisher of San Francisco Bay View newspaper, told Truthout "San Francisco has certainly conspired to drive us [African Americans] out of here" through racially discriminatory practices in the economic and criminal justice systems. "Particularly, what they do in San Francisco, they send black people to prison and [provide] no jobs." While they are 6 percent of the city's population, African Americans constitute 56 percent of San Francisco jail inmates. Unemployment for black San Franciscans has remained high for a while. For black youth, unemployment is 19.4 percent, while it is 4.8 percent for the city. African Americans are also disproportionately impacted by evictions in San Francisco, as they are 29 percent of EDC's clients for eviction lawsuits, according to the group's studies.
The wave is so severe that nonprofits and organizations that help marginalized communities are struggling to finance their offices in San Francisco. Homeless Youth Alliance, which helped homeless youth for over a decade, closed last Christmas because it could not afford rent. To fix this, the city plans to "spend $4.5 million to assist nonprofits facing eviction or struggling to make rent," according to the the San Francisco Examiner.
As the poor and middle classes are pushed out of the city, San Francisco welcomes the booming tech industry, whose workers' average salaries are over $100,000. In April 2011, with a push from Mayor Ed Lee, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a city ordinance that gives Twitter and other tech companies a 1.5 percent city payroll tax cut for the next six years in return for those businesses staying in San Francisco's mid-Market Street area. The tax breaks must be re-approved every year. In 2012, the tax cuts cost the city $1.9 million and were re-approved for this year. Twitter is expected to get $22 million from the tax break over six years and possibly more since stock options are untaxed, and the company is now publicly traded. Twitter's IPO is also expected to create more millionaires.
In exchange for tax breaks, San Francisco's tech companies have to make charitable contributions to the city known as community benefit agreements (CBAs). But those contributions largely benefit other members of the tech industry. They include Yelp reviews, cocktail parties and employee-only ballet performances. Contributions are made at the company's whim, and there is no enforcement mechanism to ensure they help the community. Meanwhile, community members have yet to see anything meaningful come from the CBAs.
Who is this development for?Some argue that San Francisco's housing problem stems from a lack of supply. If the city built more housing, the argument goes, rent would come down, but the city makes it difficult to build. However, San Francisco has had a building boom since 2012, and rent has increased instead of decreased. San Francisco's chief economist Ted Egan said that to noticeably reduce rental prices, the city would have to build 100,000 market-rate units - the same amount it's built since the 1920s. Mayor Ed Lee, meanwhile, has proposed to build 30,000 housing units by 2020. Building 100,000 market-rate units would have the same impact on affordability as giving every low-income household - about 56,000 in the city - $75,000 to assist their down payments, according to Egan. Unless San Francisco is willing to build an extremely high amount, building more housing would hardly reduce rental costs. Additionally, while building more housing is not bad, the issue is what kind. As Uptown Almanac's Jackson West points out, "even if you remove the permitting costs from the process, it's not profitable to build anything but luxury housing." This raises the question - who is this development for?
The Process of Gentrification
Whenever the term "gentrification" is thrown around, confusion often follows. Director Spike Lee went on an expletive-laden rant against gentrification in New York City, saying, "You can't do that. You can't just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you're motherfuckin' Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to the indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There's a code. There's people." In response, columnist Joshua Greenman wrote in the New York Daily News, "But Americans of all races, motivated by economic and cultural currents, have moved from city to city, and from neighborhood to neighborhood, since civilization began. . . . Everyone replaces someone. Sometimes, neighborhoods go from predominantly Latino and African-American to increasingly white." Greenman's characterization is fairly common - gentrification is typically portrayed as a natural, benign process of people simply moving from one neighborhood to another. Depicted this way, challenges to gentrification seem dyspeptic and naive. However, gentrification does not occur inevitably. It is a systematic process with many moving parts.
As a process, gentrification is typically preceded by disinvestment in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods. A new report by Causa Justa :: Just Cause (CJJC), a Bay Area tenants' rights organization, notes that investment, including real estate development and infrastructure funding, usually follows white populations while shying away from communities of color, according to an In These Times summary. For decades, banks denied financial services, such as loans and credit, to predominantly black and brown neighborhoods - a practice known as redlining. This generated low property values in those communities and deteriorated the neighborhoods. Then the process of displacement begins.
Kalima Rose, a senior director at PolicyLink in Oakland, California, wrote that gentrification occurs "in a series of recognizable stages." The first "involves some significant public or nonprofit redevelopment investment and/or private newcomers buying and rehabbing vacant units" in usually working-class, black and Latino neighborhoods with low property values. Next, "the neighborhood's low housing costs and other amenities become known, and housing costs rise. Displacement begins as landlords take advantage of rising market values and evict long-time residents to rent or sell to the more affluent. Increasingly, newcomers are more likely to be homeowners, and the rising property values cause down payment requirements to increase. With new residents, come commercial amenities that serve higher income levels." Then as "rehabilitation becomes more apparent, prices escalate and displacement occurs in force. New residents have lower tolerance for existing social service facilities that serve homeless populations or other low-income needs, as well as industrial and other uses they view as undesirable. Original residents are displaced along with their industries, commercial enterprises, faith institutions and cultural traditions."
In short, gentrification is trickle-down economics applied to urban development: the idea being that as long as a neighborhood is made suitable for rich and predominantly white people, the benefits will trickle down to everyone else.
Police Crack Down on Poor, Homeless
To make way for this new wave of gentrification, San Francisco police have enforced the city's criminalization efforts against the poor, homeless and working-class people of color. Last September, SFPD shut down a group of chess games, claiming it was a "public nuisance" and "disguise" for drug use and gambling. This is despite it being a 30-year tradition that has helped poor people; while criminal elements often came not because of players themselves, but from surrounding unsavory characters.
Last November, "DJ" Paris Williams, a 21-year-old African-American City College of San Francisco student and bicyclist, was stopped and brutalized by two undercover police officers outside his Valencia Gardens apartment in the Mission District, a historically working-class Latino neighborhood experiencing intense gentrification. The cops' issue with DJ was him riding his bike on the sidewalk near his home since the complex is private property. As he entered his home, the police grabbed DJ from behind and beat him. When three residents came to help DJ, they were beaten up, too. One person, Orlando Rodriguez, had his face smashed to the ground by police and was badly bloodied.
This one incident is part of a larger trend. Bay Area hip-hop journalist Davey D reported, "As more white folks have been moving in, many Black and Brown folks, who long made up the majority of folks living in the Mission, have noted they are frequently being profiled and stopped by police. They are often viewed suspiciously, even though they have lived there for generations. Many feel that they are being made to feel unwelcome in their own neighborhoods, and police harassment is part of a larger process to make it so uncomfortable that folks move out."
Recently, months after DJ's assault, SFPD shot and killed 28-year-old Latino Alejandro "Alex" Nieto in Bernal Heights Park. Nieto was a City College of San Francisco scholarship student and resident of San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood - south of the Mission - with hopes of becoming a youth probation officer. Police mistook Nieto's Taser for a gun. Nieto wore a Taser for his job as a nightclub security guard. SFPD dispatch audio reveals that Nieto was not acting erratically nor fired at officers before he was killed. Community members were outraged at Nieto's killing. They protested and connected his murder to the city's deepening gentrification. Nieto's family is now suing the city, claiming the killing was unjustified.
San Francisco is literally washing away its homeless population
At the corner of 16th and Mission Streets in the Mission District, groups of poor and homeless people, artists, activists, sometimes drug dealers, and other passers-by regularly congregate. In response, a shady campaign called "Clean Up the Plaza" was born. The campaign was announced in June 2013, and San Francisco police began daily patrols in September, leading to increased harassment of homeless people and residents in the area. In October, Maximus Real Estate Partners submitted a proposal to the San Francisco Planning Commission to build a 10-story, 351-unit housing development at the 16th and Mission intersection that would cost around $175 million and replace several businesses in the area. Many community members oppose the plan. "This proposed plan doesn't take into consideration the affordable housing needs this neighborhood has," CJJC organizer Maria Zamudio told El Tecolote.
The 16th and Mission intersection has not always been a safe environment. However, some community members feel threatened not just by local crime, but also by police - Nieto's shooting being one reason for that. A group of activists called Coffee Not Cops, inspired by Books Not Bombs, congregate at the intersection every other Sunday to serve coffee, pastries, literature and talk to people (except police) in the area about the police presence and gentrification. On their flyer, they pose an interesting question, "Let's say crime stops on 16th and Mission. Do we really think it will be Latino families, working class people, and young people of color who will be around to enjoy this supposed lack of crime?"
For a while, almost no one knew who was behind the "Clean Up the Plaza" campaign, and it was rumored to be linked to the planned development. It turns out that link is San Francisco political consultant Jack Davis, who has a long record of working on behalf of real estate interests and whose roommate, Gil Chavez, runs the "Clean Up the Plaza" website. Independent journalist Julia Carrie Wong confirmed that "Davis is also working as a paid consultant for the condo project at 16th and Mission."
Adding insult to injury, San Francisco is literally washing away its homeless population. Last September, the San Francisco Department of Public Works launched a pilot program to keep the streets clean. A DPW spokeswoman told Al Jazeera America, "We wash the streets using disinfectant and steamers as part of our alleys program. We also pick up litter, human waste and other debris." But under this program, street cleaners have sprayed their high-powered hoses at homeless people sleeping on the streets. A hidden camera from the Coalition on Homelessness captured a DPW worker kicking a homeless person and trucks spraying the homeless with their powerful hoses. It is also very common to see homeless people lying on the street in downtown San Francisco, particularly along Market Street near where tech companies like Twitter are located.
Suburbanization of Poverty
Protesters march down Grove Street to San Francisco Association of Realtors to protest developers and realtors for evicting people. (Photo: Adam Hudson)
Often overlooked in stories about tech buses and displacement in San Francisco is how gentrification perpetuates the suburbanization of Bay Area poverty. US Census data shows that, from the years 2007 to 2011, large chunks of San Francisco's middle class moved to Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the East Bay, along with other parts of California and out of state. Macmillan told Truthout that, after being evicted, many Eviction Defense Collaborative clients move to the East Bay area, including "inner and way outside of Contra Costa County." Low- and middle-income residents, many of whom are people of color who can no longer afford to live in San Francisco or Oakland, usually move to outer East Bay area suburbs like Vallejo, Antioch, and Fairfield - or as far as Stockton.
Lines of racial and class inequality lie not just in San Francisco and Oakland but also in working-class suburbs like Antioch, Pittsburg and Vallejo. Some of these cities are low to moderate income and have sizable African-American and Latino populations. Pittsburg, an East Bay industrial town flanking the Sacramento River Delta that connects to the San Francisco Bay, is 17.7 percent black, 42.4 percent Latino, 15.6 percent Asian, has a median household income of $58,063, and its poverty rate is 17.1 percent, according to census data. It is also home to an old coal mine, the steel company USS-POSCO and Dow Chemical. Vallejo is 22.1 percent black, 24.9 percent Asian, and 22.6 percent Latino, has a similar median household income and a 16 percent poverty rate.
In January 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco released a report that analyzed the increasing poverty in Bay Area suburbs. Looking at census data, between 2000 and 2009, poverty increased in both urban and suburban areas. However, poverty rose faster in the suburbs than in urban areas and varied across racial groups. According to the report, "The number of people living in poverty rose 16 percent in the suburbs, compared to 7 percent in urban areas. Blacks and Hispanics saw the greatest percentage growth in suburban poverty, as did the native-born population." African Americans were the "only group to see a decline in the number of poor urban residents. While the number of poor blacks living in urban tracts decreased by 11 percent, the number of poor blacks in the suburbs increased by about 20 percent." San Francisco and Oakland both have declining black populations.
Poverty rose in cities like Pittsburg, Antioch, Concord, Vallejo, the fringe of San Jose and Millbrae. The percentage of poor people living in the suburbs increased among all racial groups, but the highest change was among African Americans. "The share of the poor Black population living in the suburbs increased more than 7 percentage points, whereas the next highest group, Asians, increased 2 percentage points," the report said.
The report notes that several factors contributed to the suburbanization of Bay Area poverty. One is the collapse of the housing bubble in the late 2000s, which particularly hurt Stockton, Antioch and much of East Contra Costa County. In the mid-2000s, the housing boom provided affordable housing in the suburbs. Once it burst, home values dropped, foreclosures skyrocketed, people lost their jobs, and poverty increased.
Some low-income residents moved from the cities to suburbs to escape crime and find better opportunities. But gentrification also factored in suburbanizing poverty. The report notes, "The rising value of properties in the urban core may have led to indirect displacement, as landlords converted rental units to condominiums and Tenancy in Commons (TICs), or raised the rents to the extent allowed by local regulation. Displaced residents may have moved from central cities to more affordable suburban areas."
These Bay Area working-class suburbs provide cheaper housing, some of which is Section 8. However, there are disadvantages to living in these communities. Social services that help low-income people are typically located in urban areas, where much of the poor have long been concentrated, while the suburbs lack them. Thus, poor people in the suburbs have little access to nonprofits and organizations that can help them. Moreover, Bay Area suburbs are no different than other suburbs when it comes to lacking public transportation. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) goes throughout much of Oakland and San Francisco but barely reaches Pittsburg and doesn't even touch Vallejo. Thus, low-income workers are forced to endure long commutes on the freeway, which leads to greater traffic and pollution.
Taken together, what's going on in San Francisco is deeper than just a fight between well-to-do tech workers and longtime San Francisco residents. San Francisco is microcosm of what's going on in metropolitan areas around the world. From San Francisco to New York City to London, urban areas are being redesigned into playgrounds for the very rich. The poor, working and almost-nonexistent middle-class people who can't afford to live in these rich Elysiums are forced to live farther away, with few resources to support themselves.
By pushing poor and working-class people to the suburbs, gentrification doesn't benefit everyone. Instead, it reconfigures the geographic lines of racial and economic inequality, granting improvements to the lives of the moneyed classes, at the expense of the needs - and sometimes, even the survival - of everyone else.
There are many groups tied to being that 5% to the 1%----we are ending a discussion on toxic disasters and public health by identifying those 5% most guilty of LYING, CHEATING, STEALING, NO MORALS, NO ETHICS, NO US RULE OF LAW, NO GOD'S NATURAL LAW, AND IN TALKING PUBLIC HEALTH----NO HIPPOCRATIC OATH DO NO HARM.
We talk often of how our medical associations have been taken by these global Wall Street OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE 1%=====US doctors in high percentages are leaving the medical profession not only because medical doctors are being made CORPORATE COGS-----but because global Wall Street health reforms end HIPPOCRATIC OATH DO NO HARM turning health care into predatory and profit-driven DO GREAT HARM. They are creating that same 1% extreme wealth model in our medical professionals with those 5% to the 1% being simply PLAYERS AND NOT TALENTED MEDICAL LEADERS.
No one knows better than OUR DOCTORS to where any development policy goes as regards public health. Our PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL FRATERNITIES knew San Fran and Silicon Valley would become a toxic waste public health disaster as these same professionals know GLOBAL HEALTH SYSTEMS-----GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY FOR TELEMEDICINE will super-size the public health damage. So, our medical profession is leading the public policy they KNOW will create 99% of citizens harmed by toxic workplace and living environments---by downsized and low-quality health care access policies.
As this article states-----global Wall Street in taking control of our US universities did so especially with our MEDICAL SCHOOLS. These few decades have seen medical schools accepting students they know will be predatory and profit-driven----ergo INNOVATION BIOTECHNOLOGY-----GLOBAL HEALTH SYSTEMS driving CLIMATE CHANGE----US CITIES BECOMING TOXIC DISASTER ZONES.
BAD PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY DOES ENRICH THOSE 5% TO THE 1% MEDICAL CITIZENS!
These medical groups PRETEND to be working for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL---while they are silent on issues needing PROACTIVE ACTIVISM.............
- Your Advocate.
- Collaborating with Maryland medical professionals.
- Representing your interests in Annapolis and Washington, D.C.
- In a career characterized by high-pressure life-altering decisions, demanding patients, outside intervention affecting daily practice, decreasing reimbursement, and a questionable future, it's nice to have a friend on your side. MedChi and the Montgomery County Medical Society helps turn daily practice into a community affair that is working to benefit us. As a subspecialist, not all activity of the society pertains to me, however, I have benefited greatly from new relationships, some of the programs developed, and a growing understanding of what it means to be a community physician in a changing medical landscape.
Jordan Heffez, M.D. Retina Specialist, Montgomery County
MCMS Board Member and Co-Chair of the MCMS Young
Our medical fraternities as with religious and creative societies have the longest ties to OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE and secret societies so they drive this MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE ENERGY GRID ------these 5% see only that global 1% and their 2% as accessing strong developed nation health care----and they know our American sovereignty is being attacked -----far-right authoritarianism and militarism turned on WE THE PEOPLE ----the CLIMATE CHANGE SUSTAINABILITY designed to protect only the global 1%-----LET'S GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL WALL STREET MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS and get back to doctors loving HIPPOCRATIC OATH DO NO HARM caring for all sick and injured.
So, in Baltimore we have global Johns Hopkins Medical School and a state University of Maryland Medical System fast being made global predatory and profit-driven health care as with Johns Hopkins. Those accepted into these medical schools WILL BE those 5% to the 1% willing to take US health care GLOBAL WALL STREET.
Preparing doctors—and in greater numbers—for new technologies and methods
Hofstra North Shore-LIJ Med School’s curriculum starts outside the classroom with EMT training. Here students respond to a simulated auto accident. Photo: Hofstra University
Feb. 16, 2015 11:00 p.m. ET
Critics have long faulted U.S. medical education for being hidebound, imperious and out of touch with modern health-care needs. The core structure of medical school—two years of basic science followed by two years of clinical work—has been in place since 1910.
Now a wave of innovation is sweeping through medical schools, much of it aimed at producing young doctors who are better prepared to meet the demands of the nation’s changing health-care system.
At the new Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in Hempstead, N.Y, students spend their first eight weeks not in lecture classes but becoming certified emergency medical technicians, learning split-second lifesaving skills on 911 calls.
At Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa., first-year students work as “patient navigators,” helping the ill, injured and their families traverse the often-confusing medical system and experiencing it from their perspective.
At New York University School of Medicine, one required course delves into a database that tracks every hospital admission and charge in the state. Discussions center on why, say, the average tab for delivering a baby is $3,000 in a rural area and $22,000 in New York City.
“This isn’t a textbook exercise. This is real life and students love it,” says Marc Triola, NYU’s associate dean for educational informatics.
Medical educators say such innovations are long overdue. The U.S. health-care system is rapidly becoming ever more data-driven, evidence-based, patient-centered and value-oriented. But for reasons having to do with tradition, accreditation concerns and preparing students for national board exams, the designers of medical-school curricula have been slow to shift their focus.
“The reality is that most medical schools are teaching the same way they did one hundred years ago,” says Wyatt Decker, chief executive of the Mayo Clinic’s operations in Arizona, which include a medical school in Scottsdale, Ariz., that is scheduled to enroll its first class in 2017. “It’s time to blow up that model and ask, ‘How do we want to train tomorrow’s doctors?’ ”
Doctors today are well schooled in the science of medicine, says Susan Skochelak, the American Medical Association’s vice president for medical education. “What’s been missing is the science of health-care delivery. How do you manage chronic disease? How do you focus on prevention and wellness? How do you work in a team?”
To encourage med schools to move their curricula in that direction, an AMA initiative called Accelerating Change in Medical Education is giving $1 million to each of 11 schools to help fund novel programs. Of the nation’s 141 medical schools, 118 competed for the 11 grants.
The push for change comes at a time when medical educators are also trying to address a critical shortage of physicians. No new med schools opened in the U.S. from 1985 to 2000, amid fears of a doctor glut. More recently, however, predictions of a shortfall of 90,000 physicians by 2020 have sparked a building boom: Some 17 new schools have been accredited since 2002 and nine more have applied for accreditation.
A few of the new schools have made it their mission to address acute shortages of primary-care physicians in certain areas. Texas Tech University’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, which opened in El Paso in 2009, emphasizes community medicine and Spanish-language skills. The University of Kansas School of Medicine’s new branch in Salina takes just eight students a year—all with a strong desire to practice medicine in rural areas.
Med schools old and new are looking for a broader range of qualities in applicants—particularly students who are empathetic and have experience relating to diverse kinds of people.
New MCATTo that end, in April, a new MCAT—the Medical College Admission Test—will be administered, the test’s first major revision since 1991. The new version is 2 hours longer (6 hours and 30 minutes) and tests knowledge of behavioral and social sciences as well as biology, physics and chemistry. One sample question has applicants read a passage, then asks which of four statements “is most consistent with the sociological paradigm of symbolic interactionism?”
Some schools have replaced the traditional one-on-one interview with a series of simulations in which applicants are asked to show how they would make a tough judgment call or deliver bad news. At the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, community residents join faculty members in rating the applicants, providing a broader range of views.
Styles of teaching and learning are also changing.
“We’ve replaced ‘the sage on the stage’ with ‘the guide on the side,’ ” says Richard Zimmerman, a neurosurgeon and medical director for education for the new Mayo med school in Scottsdale.
At both the new school and Mayo’s existing medical school in Rochester, Minn., much of the material traditionally taught in lecture classes will be converted to electronic formats that students can absorb on their own, leaving class time for discussions and case studies.
Mayo also is creating a new course of study, called the Science of Health Care Delivery, which will run through all four years and include health-care economics, biomedical informatics and systems engineering. With a few additional credits, students can graduate with both an M.D. and a master’s in health-care delivery from Arizona State University.
In a course called Checkbook, Mayo students will track all of the services provided to their assigned patients during clinical rotations and look for redundancies or routine tests that add little value.
Focus on Teams
Learning to work in teams is a main focus at Mayo—and a sharp departure from traditional training for doctors.
“The old model was, you’d go on rounds; the attending would ask a question, and the young resident had to get the right answer,” says Dr. Decker in Scottsdale. “In the new model, you’re part of a team, and somebody else might have the right answer.”
To understand the roles of team members who aren’t doctors, first-year Mayo students spend half-days shadowing clinic schedulers, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. They also assist in managing a panel of patients, as care coordinators do. For example, they review records to see which diabetes patients aren’t managing their health well; they call the patients on the phone to discuss why they are struggling; then the students consult with the patients’ primary-care doctors to determine the next steps.
In another departure from med schools past, Mayo is making an organized effort to help students avoid burnout. Classes in the first two years are pass/fail, not graded, and students can evaluate their level of stress, fatigue and risk of suicide in a confidential Med Student Well Being Index, which also offers resources for help.
“When I went to med school 30 years ago, I don’t remember anybody asking how we were doing,” says Michele Halyard, vice dean of Mayo’s medical-school programs. “But you can’t heal the health-care system if you’re sick yourself.”
What’s being left out of medical education to make room for the new material?
Some schools are placing far less emphasis on memorizing facts, such as which drugs do what and how they interact with other drugs. Such information is now readily available electronically.
“The fund of medical knowledge is now growing and changing too fast for humans to keep up with, and the facts you memorize today might not be relevant five years from now,” says NYU’s Dr. Triola. Instead, what’s important is teaching “information-seeking behavior,” he says, such as what sources to trust and how to avoid information overload.
Technology is also changing how med students learn. Simulators that look like patients and can be programmed to go into cardiac arrest, have strokes, spike fevers, cry, vomit and eliminate are particularly useful for teaching.
“Some schools don’t use cadavers anymore,” says the AMA’s Dr. Skochelak. “But others think it’s an important way to learn respect” for the real human body. “They tell students, ‘This is your first patient.’ ”
Some schools are condensing the typical four-year curriculum into three years, to let students start their residencies sooner and graduate with less debt. The Association of American Medical Colleges is also studying ways to let students master needed skills and competencies at their own pace—an innovation that has come to medical residency programs as well.
“We should have done this 10 years ago,” Dr. Decker says of the many med school changes. Then he quotes a Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is tomorrow.”
These are the FAKE global Wall Street 'labor and justice' organizations now shouting that AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WAS GREAT-----NOW SHOUTING THIS SINGLE PAYER IS GREAT.----knowing this California---and indeed being installed across the nation---is NOT LEFT IMPROVED AND EXPANDED MEDICARE FOR ALL-----it is far-right wing ONE WORLD ONE PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL ----third world health access for 99% of Americans.
These 5% to the 1% PRETENDING this is the original FDR New Deal ------War on Poverty MEDICARE AND MEDICAID ----are openly lying. It will take US health care for 99% of US citizens down to the same WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION UNITED NATIONS health care for global labor pool.
Who is cheering this on in CA-----while national media allowed this SINGLE PAYER be sold as MEDICARE FOR ALL when there is no intent to fund these programs and global health systems in California being the most advanced in MOVING FORWARD TO PREDATORY AND PROFIT-DRIVEN HEALTH CARE.
We have CALIFORNIA leading in public health disasters these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA---yes, our southern states did as well but they never had good public health care ----CA again had the best in the world public health system as with public education system and was #1 in the world in environmental policies.
Our Latino and Asian immigrants are being led to believe they are accessing American quality health care with SINGLE-PAYER when it is taking that US quality health care down to that global labor pool health access they have had these few decades of FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE HUMAN CAPITAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM.
As California global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberals are installing ONE WORLD ONE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION PREVENTATIVE CARE FOR ALL 99% in US------Gabbard's Hawaii ----raging global Wall Street and ONE WORLD ONE WAGE----is installing BASIC INCOME-----both far-right wing global Wall Street policies to kill WE THE PEOPLE----THE 99%.
THAT IS WHY IT MATTERS THAT CALIFORNIA HAS BEEN TAKEN BY GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS TO LEADING IN THE WORST OF SOCIAL POLICY----IN THIS CASE PUBLIC HEALTH.
June 1, 2017, 5:17 p.m.
Reporting from Sacramento
Single-payer healthcare plan advances in California Senate — without a way to pay its $400-billion tab
Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)A proposal to adopt a single-payer healthcare system for California took an initial step forward Thursday when the state Senate approved a bare-bones bill that lacks a method for paying the $400-billion cost of the plan.
The proposal was made by legislators led by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) at the same time President Trump and Republican members of Congress are working to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act.
“Despite the incredible progress California has made, millions still do not have access to health insurance and millions more cannot afford the high deductibles and co-pays, and they often forgo care,” Lara said during a floor debate on the bill.
The bill, which now goes to the state Assembly for consideration, will have to be further developed, Lara conceded, adding he hopes to reach a consensus on a way to pay for it.
Republican senators opposed the bill as a threat to the state’s finances.
“We don’t have the money to pay for it,” Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) said. “If we cut every single program and expense from the state budget and redirected that money to this bill, SB 562, we wouldn’t even cover half of the $400-billion price tag.”
Berryhill also said the private sector is better suited to provide healthcare.
“I absolutely don’t trust the government to run our health system,” he said. “What has the government ever done right?”
Lara’s bill would provide a Medicare-for-all-type system that he believed would guarantee health coverage for all Californians without the out-of-pocket costs. Under a single-payer plan, the government replaces private insurance companies, paying doctors and hospitals for healthcare.
The California Nurses Assn., which sponsored the bill, released a fiscal analysis this week that proposed raising the state sales and business receipts taxes by 2.3% to raise $106 billion of the annual cost, with the rest proposed to come from state and federal funding already going to Medicare and Medicaid services.
Sen. Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) called the plan “reckless” and said the taxes would hurt businesses and families while financially crippling the state government.
“It’s offensive to the people who have to pay for it,” he said.
Some Democrats felt the bill was rushed and undeveloped. Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) withheld his vote on the bill on grounds it does not provide enough detail of what a single-payer system would look like.
“This is the Senate kicking the can down the road to the Assembly and asking the Assembly to fill in all of the blanks,” Hueso said. “That’s not going to happen this year.”
Lara said action is required because of what is happening in Washington.
“With President Trump’s promise to abandon the Affordable Care Act as we know it — for one that leaves millions without access to care — California is once again tasked to lead," he told his colleagues.
He said his father recently had heart bypass surgery but went through the emergency room for help after his insurance company initially turned him down.
Even if the bill is approved, it has to go to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has been skeptical, and then voters would have to exempt it from spending limits and budget formulas in the state Constitution. In addition, the state would have to get federal approval to repurpose existing funds for Medicare and Medicaid.
As a 99% white female citizen----I KNOW this is far-right wing global Wall Street development policies not left social progressive-----I KNOW it is not civil rights----it is not fighting housing injustice----IT IS DOING THE SAME THING CLINTON ERA did in Silicon Valley ----it is expanding this Silicon Valley model to all US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES to prepare for toxic INDUSTRIALIZATION ON GLOBAL SCALE.
My population group will be harmed most----women are always on the bottom of far-right, authoritarian, global Wall Street corporate policies and with them go our family and children. Watching a global 1% and their 2% of women PRETENDING to care about 99% of women DOES NOT FOOL ME.
It is that dastardly 1% of WHITE MEN being global Wall Street that drives these policies so MY 5% WHITE MEN are very, very, very bad and need to go. As a WHITE CITIZEN I know those 5% to the 1% white men are PLAYERS.
The white 99% of citizens cannot keep those dastardly white 1% men at bay----we must have 99% of black and brown citizens working to get rid of their 5% PLAYERS----
LET'S COME TOGETHER AS A 99% VS 1%------WHITE, BLACK, BROWN----MALE/FEMALE------JEWISH, PROTESTANT, MUSLIM, CATHOLIC, HINDI-----THOSE OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE ARE NOT RELIGIOUS.
While my white 5% to the 1% Maryland State Attorney General FROSH who should be protecting WE THE PEOPLE against global monopoly----global toxic threats to our public health-----protecting equal opportunity housing and environmental injustice-------HE IS SIMPLY THAT 5% CLINTON/WALL STREET PLAYER----just as this NAACP CIVIL RIGHTS lawyer ----fake civil rights----as far-right legal teams capture our left social law organizations like ACLU---NAACP----NOW-----
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN AND OUR STATE WOMEN BRANCHES PUSHED HILLARY AND TOLD THE 99% THAT NOT TO SUPPORT HILLARY WAS ANTI-FEMINIST---as we said earlier----it was those Hillary Clinton neo-liberal global 1% women giving us SILICON VALLEY injustice all the way around-----so 99% of women need to shake it up with our women's organizations-----get rid of those 5% to the 1% global Wall Street players!
-------Jun 30 1966
National Organization for Women (NOW) is Founded
"Sex discrimination" was added to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Obama administration to unveil major new rules targeting segregation across U.S.Administration calls move "historic," while conservatives decry it as "social engineering"
By Emily Badger July 8, 2015
Cabrini-Green public housing project, which has been mostly demolished and redeveloped, is seen against the Chicago Skyline in May 1996. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)
CHICAGO -- When the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, it barred the outright racial discrimination that was then routine. It also required the government to go one step further — to actively dismantle segregation and foster integration in its place — a mandate that for decades has been largely forgotten, neglected and unenforced. Now, on Wednesday, the Obama administration will announce long-awaited rules designed to repair the law’s unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore. The new rules, a top demand of civil-rights groups, will require cities and towns all over the country to scrutinize their housing patterns for racial bias and to publicly report, every three to five years, the results. Communities will also have to set goals, which will be tracked over time, for how they will further reduce segregation.
“This is the most serious effort that HUD has ever undertaken to do that,” says Julian Castro, the secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development, who will announce the new rules in Chicago on Wednesday. “I believe that it’s historic.”
Officials insist that they want to work with and not punish communities where segregation exists. But the new reports will make it harder to conceal when communities consistently flout the law. And in the most flagrant cases, HUD holds out the possibility of withholding a portion of the billions of dollars of federal funding it hands out each year.
The prospect of the new rules, which will also cover housing patterns that exclude other groups like the disabled, has already spurred intense debate. Civil rights groups pushed for even tougher rules but say HUD’s plans represent an important advancement on what’s been one of the most fraught frontiers of racial progress.
“Housing discrimination is the unfinished business of civil rights,” says Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. “It goes right to the heart of our divide from one another. It goes right to the heart of whether you believe that African American people’s lives matter, that you respect them, that you believe they can be your neighbors, that you want them to play with your children.”
But conservatives have sounded alarm. Republicans in the House of Representatives, worried by what they see as government intrusion into local planning, have already tried to defund implementation of the rule. Conservative commentators say it represents an experiment in “social engineering” in which the federal government will force white suburbs to change their racial makeup.
“Let local communities do what’s best in their communities, and I would predict we’d end up with a freer and fairer society in 20 years than we have today,” says Rick Manning, the president of Americans for Limited Government. “Far freer and fairer than anything that would be dictated from Washington.”
The centerpiece of the new rule is a vast trove of geographic data covering every community in the country — its racial makeup, its poverty rate, its concentration of housing vouchers and public housing, as well as the quality of its schools and its public transit. Nearly all of this data, already gathered by the government, comes from publicly available sources like the Census. But HUD hopes the database will enable communities to more clearly track where poverty and segregation overlap, where housing voucher recipients live relative to good schools, which neighborhoods contain no affordable housing at all.
The premise of the rule is that all of this mapped data will make hidden barriers visible — and that once communities see them, they will be much harder to ignore.
The administration’s announcement comes less than two weeks after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the power of the Fair Housing Act to ban housing policies that harm minorities. After a years-long delay, it is also arriving during a rare civil-rights moment, as the nation returns to familiar questions from the 1960s about the underlying causes of racial unrest in American cities.
“There is no question in my mind that part of the issue with Baltimore or Ferguson is about the relationship between the community and the police, but it’s much deeper than that,” Castro says. “It’s also fundamentally about people having opportunity in their lives. And where you live, in many ways, dictates the level of opportunity that you have.”
“That is social engineering"
American Civil Rights and religious leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr (1929 - 1968) gestures emphatically during a speech at a Chicago Freedom Movement rally in Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, July 10, 1966. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)Martin Luther King Jr. chose Chicago when, in 1966, he launched a campaign for “open housing” in northern cities where blacks had been restricted to slums. On Chicago’s South Side, their neighborhoods had been “redlined” by banks that refused to lend to black homebuyers. Restrictive covenants outside the ghetto barred blacks from moving in.
Real estate agents buttressed these patterns. The city’s housing authority concentrated public housing projects within these same neighborhoods, too. The Federal Housing Administration, which heavily subsidized the migration of whites to the suburbs, had historically blocked blacks from living there, too.
“The most profound form of social engineering was the creation and maintenance of segregated suburbs,” says Craig Gurian, a civil rights lawyer and the executive director of the Anti-Discrimination Center. “That is social engineering.”
Opposing views of HUD’s new rule are fundamentally about different interpretations of this history. Critics argue that the kind of overt discrimination that existed in 1968 seldom exists today. Civil rights groups counter that past discrimination lives on in housing patterns that America has never addressed.
“Fifty years ago that was really a great argument,” Manning says. “Thirty years ago it might have been somewhat substantive. But 1968 was a long time ago.”
Civil-rights groups say that fair housing is about removing the constraints on the housing market — such as zoning laws that bar apartment construction in the suburbs and formulas that ensure affordable housing is built primarily in poor neighborhoods — so that lower-income and minority families will have more options. Conservatives see the rule, instead, as government intrusion into a market that is already open.
In Chicago and many cities, the racial lines drawn by history are largely the same ones that exist today. Black-white segregation in metropolitan Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee and New York has budged only modestly in 40 years. Within the city of Chicago, white flight has meant that many once-white neighborhoods have become predominantly black. But over half a century starting in 1960, Harvard sociologist Robert J. Sampson identified just one neighborhood in the entire city that transitioned in the other direction.
These patterns have persisted in spite of the Fair Housing Act in large part because of the failure of the law’s proactive mandate to "affirmatively further" fair housing.
“You don’t undo that,” Ifill, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, says of all this history, “just by stopping people from engaging in discrimination.”
George Romney, Mitt Romney’s father and the secretary of HUD from 1969 to 1973, tried to withhold HUD funding from local communities that fought desegregation. His efforts, swiftly blocked by the Nixon administration, are remembered today by civil-rights advocates as the fleeting moment when the federal government was most committed to integration.
HUD has never aggressively enforced the language, although it has pursued some complaints against communities for defying that part of the law. Westchester County, New York, has been mired for years in a legal battle with HUD, thanks to a lawsuit claiming that the county misled the government by accepting HUD funding without affirmatively furthering fair housing.
The county agreed in a 2009 settlement to build 750 new affordable housing units, primarily in communities with few minorities. The settlement also required the county to adopt a law banning landlords from discriminating against subsidized tenants. As some of those benchmarks went unmet, HUD began to withhold money from Westchester. The county has since decided not to pursue any more block-grant funds, an option critics of the new rule warn many communities will choose.
“It’s not worth it because of the threat of lawsuits, the strings attached, and the control that Washington can then exert over you,” says Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “You get involved with the federal government, and you can’t get out of bed with them.”
New rules aim to repair the fair housing law’s unfulfilled promise and promote racially integrated neighborhoods.
Here in Chicago on a recent morning, 17 women sat in a classroom learning how to wield their housing vouchers to bring up their babies in better neighborhoods.
The non-profit Housing Choice Partners handed out a pair of maps on thick paper stock that the women might carry across town as they search for a new home. One illustrated, in green, the “opportunity areas” in the city. The other showed Chicago color-coded by crime.
“The darker the orange, the higher the crime. We’re keeping it really simple,” said Shinnette Johnson, an education coordinator leading a recent orientation.
Most of the women live in the dark areas on the south and west sides, where high crime is also accompanied by poor schools, deep poverty and racial segregation.
“If you look at State Street, there’s nothing on the State Street corridor for you to grow and prosper,” Johnson said, describing a stretch of Chicago’s historic “black belt” on the South Side. “It’s not even a store from 22nd to 55th.”
“Nope!” several women replied in chorus.
“There’s one store! On 55th at State. And what is it?”
“A liquor store,” one voice offered.
“A liquor store! That’s not a place I want to send my kids. And all the way down to 22nd, what’s there?”
A mother in the second row shook her head. ”There’s no grocery stores. There’s no clothing stores. There’s nothing.”
Chicago, for decades, has remained one of the most segregated metropolitan areas in the country — black separated from white, poor isolated from wealthy, families who need housing aid living far from the schools they’d choose for their children.
The seven-county metropolitan area recently produced a 133-page assessment as part of another HUD grant program that helped serve as a model for the new rule. Many local municipalities initially weighed in that they had achieved equal housing. The final report, though, bluntly concludes that concentrations of race and poverty in the region have remained “largely unchanged” for decades. And it includes two stark population maps: one showing the racial makeup of the region in 1980, and again in 2010.
“If you show those two maps next to each other, you can’t possibly look at that and say that we’re getting better, that we’ve solved this problem or that this is no longer an issue in the metropolitan area,” says Bob Dean, the deputy executive director for local planning with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning that worked on the report.
On the ground in Chicago, Housing Choice Partners also leads a tour every week to some of those “opportunity areas” in the city. Families pile into a 16-seat rental van. And they leave the South Side — not far from that State Street corridor — for neighborhoods where the child poverty rate is low and the life expectancy high.
The van passes by public libraries and grocery stores, well-tended parks and neighborhood schools. Occasionally, it pulls up to an apartment with an empty unit where everyone can pile out and picture life in a different kitchen, far across town.
Despite all this effort, it’s likely only a third of the women in the orientation class will move to a new home in one of the opportunity areas. In a good year, that’s the organization’s success rate. “There are so many barriers,” says executive director Christine Klepper. “Sometimes I wonder how we get any moves.”
The units are too expensive. Or voucher holders have to compete with market-rate tenants who don’t entail the same paperwork load. Or landlords reject them because of their vouchers, even though that’s illegal in Chicago. Or families can’t find the right-sized home in the 90-day window the housing authority gives them, or the right-sized home turns out to be in a place where you’d need a car.
Or, more often, there just isn’t much affordable housing in good neighborhoods, because the nicest places to live are often the most effective at keeping out new development, whether in the city or the suburbs.
“If you think about it, we’ve only had a fair housing law for 50 years,” Klepper says. “And we’ve had 300 years of slavery, Jim Crow, incarcerating black men, discrimination. To me, it’s not surprising that things have not changed much over time. It’s because we really haven’t tried.”