Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Sick Kids & Yes on SF's Prop F, the Makibaka Hotel and learning about people's struggle
My 6 year old daughter Jade is sick today, so I had to quickly make arrangements to get the day off to care for her and get her to the hospital. Yet most low wage workers in San Francisco don't have that luxury, or even the luxury of getting a paid sick day for themselves. That's why low wage worker organizations like Young Workers United with their allies like Parent Voices, Chinese Progressive Association, St. Peter's Housing Committee [which just celebrated their 25th anniversary this past weekend], POWER, SEIU Local 790 and others in the May 1st Alliance and the labor movement placed Prop F on the ballot. See Sasha's great post from Left in SF.
The Yes on Prop F campaign is stepping up their Get out the Vote work these next 3 weekends. To plug in contact - www.paidsickdayssf.org/ or if you want to target low wage workers and their families in the Asian American and immigrant communities - contact the Chinese Progressive Association at www.cpasf.org/home.html. Parents can plug into the campaign too through Parent Voices at www.parentvoices.org/ or contact www.youngworkersunited.org/
As a parent and teacher with a sick kid at home waiting for our visit to the doctor, I had to come up with some kind of relaxed learning activity for us. Over the past month I had been teaching my SF State college students about the history of SF's International Hotel and our current ongoing anti-displacement struggles in San Francisco's SOMA, Bayview Hunters Point, Mission, Tenderloin and other neighborhoods in Seattle, Boston, NYC, and Philly.
So I needed a teaching resource that would help my 6 year old develop skills of empathy and some understanding of SF's Filipino and low income immigrant communities...
Luckily for me Manilatown poet, activist and father extraordinaire Tony Robles has just released his most recent children's book - Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel. Robles teamed up with painter Carl Angel for an incredibly beautiful and moving story that's also fun and serious at the same time. This children's book breaks down the complexity of displacement and gentrification to the level of elementary school kids like my daughter. Inspired by the recent struggle of the Trinity Plaza Tenants Association in SF's SOMA district, the story makes an important and inspiring political statement in support of Makibaka or the struggle of our communities for self-determination and the need for solidarity with other communities as well.
Filipino History Month Event with Tony Robles/Chris Daly - 10/19/06 -4-6 pm
Jade and I plan to join Tony, Carl, District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, and others for a celebration of October as Filipino American History Month in City Hall, Room 273. Many of us are also rallying to support our ally progressive Supervisor Chris Daly in his re-election campaign as well.
Though my daughter is sick and I had to stay away from work with her, through Tony's book and our time learning together we have become more human, and I have satisfied my role as a parent, teacher and activist.
Makibaka! Huwag Matakot!
Struggle! Don't Be Affraid!
[and best wishes to Trinity Plaza Tenant leader Ken Werner in his recovery]