No equality without economic equality - Page 2

The unified San Francisco queer movement is history


Tommi Avicolli Mecca is a 40-year veteran of the queer movement and a tenant advocate at Housing Rights Committee. He is editor of Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation (City Lights).


Tommi stays true to what many of us came to believe as we gave birth to a community. We lived in a time when disenfranchised people and communities began to come together because we had new options -- for ourselves and for empowerment. District elections, statewide one-man, one-vote rulings, the fight for civilian oversight of police, environmental justice -- all were strongly rooted together in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

We pushed through on health care with ACT UP and the refusal to be victims but to empower ourselves in seeking health solutions.

In my view, it has been a tragedy that we have, perhaps because of the success of many formerly disenfranchised communities, failed to realize that the need to take power over our lives is not over with a credit card. The environmental impact in the Bayview results in the highest infant mortality rate of any zip code in the state and that ought to be a priority issue for us. The condition of public housing, the last resort for the elderly poor, the disabled and even working families at minimum wage, is truly unacceptable to everyone except HUD, the Housing Authority, and the city’s political interest.

Notice that today’s news on the potential loss of Redevelopment funds looks at the consequence for mid-Market, and then trails along with the impact on Alice Griffith Public Housing which fails all housing safety standards. We have won a new definition of family that allows same sex couples access to family public housing, but what about the condition of the housing?

The LGBT community is not alone in drawing back into a restricted politics. But we have been the community that often had more access to power and the powerful. And so we had and still have more responsibility to move things forward for all of us, not just some of us.

Thank you, Tommi, for an important reminder.

Posted by CitiReport on Jun. 22, 2011 @ 6:23 am