Reverend Harry Williams talks about the Nation, our City, and Low-Income Housing
On April 27, Reverend Harry Williams, representing GLIDE Memorial Church and the Tenderloin, addressed a rally on the steps of City Hall. The rally, which started at the Federal Building and numbered several hundred people, was there to urge the planning commission to recommend against halving the 12% of new housing that is currently dedicated to low-income families and individuals. This is a mandate from the people of San Francisco, as a super-majority of voters turned out in elections last year to support more affordable housing across the income spectrum.
Thanks to the energetic advocacy efforts of many San Franciscans, the planning commission recommended in favor of keeping the 12% dedication by a narrow 4-3 vote. But it is up to the Board of Supervisors to decide what will ultimately happen.
Here is an excerpt of Rev. Harry’s speech, which links the local situation to a similar and simultaneous national threat:
“When president Trump got elected, he had some very strange choices for folk who would fill his cabinet. There was a gentleman by the name of Dr. Ben Carson, a famous surgeon who had done some incredible work. But instead of being put in a situation where his normal skills could be put to work, Mr. Trump put him in charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. . . Somebody with a heart in that position would have fought for more housing, for more opportunities, would have fought against homelessness. But this man is in collusion with Mr. Trump. And they want to take billions of HUD dollars away from housing! They want to decimate housing and urban development.
“Are we going to let them do it?
“I came up to San Francisco because people told me that it was the City of Love. They told me this was a place where people love each other, where people look out for each other. And I love San Francisco. I love the Bay Area. But we see a sweeping wind which is circling this city. We see the developers who have set up camp here in San Francisco. These people have more money than they can spend in 10 lifetimes. They can’t spend all the money they have! But they want to decimate all the controls that allow people of limited income to have a place to live. . . .
“What are we going to do?
“Fight the power.”
There are many ways to fight for affordable housing.
Sign up for alerts for the next rally by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact your local supervisor and tell them to preserve affordable housing, visit here.
To contact your congressperson and tell them to preserve HUD’s budget, visit here.
Rev. Harry Louis Williams II leads The People’s Bible Study, which meets on Tuesday evenings from 6:00pm to 7:00pm in the Maya Angelou Room at GLIDE.