By Tim Redmond
I had a really scary moment tonight.
it started well -- I was moderating a discussion on immigration politics at New College, featuring Justin Akers Chacon, who has written a new book called "Nobody is Illegal." Renee Saucedo, a longtime advocate for immigrants and day laborers, was on the panel, too, and we had a great discussion -- until the very end, when Saucedo starting talking about how she was trying to build coalitions between immigrants and African Americans in Bayview Hunters Point, organizing around opposition in that neighborhood the the redevelopment plan.
And out of nowhere, she urged everyone to vote yes on Proposition 90.
For the record, Prop. 90 is almost indescribably horrible. It's a radical right wing property-rights measure that would instantly halt any new environmental laws, any new rent-control laws, any new workplace safety laws, any new zoning laws, any limits on evictions or condo coversions ... it would effectively stop government regulation of private property in California.
So why was Saucedo, a smart lawyer and strong progressive, supporting it? Because Willie Ratcliff, the publisher of the San Francisco Bay View, and Marie Harrison, a candidate for supervisor from District 10, are so dead-set against redevevelopment that they've signed on with the worst of the right-wing nuts in the state to endorse a measure that claims to be limiting eminent domain but is so much, much more.
I've discussd this with Harrison; she totally doesn't get it. Neither, for now, does Renee Saucedo. I understand their fear of redevelopment seizing people's homes -- and I understand Saucedo's desire to build ties with and follow the lead of African American community leaders. But get a clue, my friends. This is embarassing.
If people like Renee Saucedo are getting duped into supporting the worst law to come along in California since Prop. 13, we're in serious trouble.