Friday, July 30, 2010

Nina Parks and Frisco's Budget

In late June I sat on the step of San Francisco's City Hall staring at the bold black letters of the word Truth that hovers over Market St. in the near distance. Breathing deeply I ruminated on the word and then..... threw up half my thoughts all over my twitter time line. Not one of my thoughts complete or with out search for impact or validation of some sort. They were the words of a lost youth trying to find what we've been searching for... some sort of Truth of existence, and to why I find myself at city hall so often in my early adult hood.
Never alone in the struggle for people's rights, I ironically ran into the wonderful young people and budding young leaders from SOMCAN also sitting outside City Hall with the well thought out post cards for each one of the supervisors that read "Don't Shut Us Out" that they were denied to take in to present to the Board due to their size.
Inside City Hall the hallways were packed, with representatives of Community based organizations (CBO's), and your random citizens that "care." The day was the final public hearing for the City's budget.
We were in group K 3 hours from the podium and our 2 min, of input on the matters that would effect the non profit organization that I find myself working at, at this point in my life. My youth were nervous and anxious at the daunting 3 hour wait to be heard by our city's Budgeting Committee.
Also in attendance you have the usual suspects Filipino Community Center who have been riding hard for the movement despite the constant threat of funding cuts by the Department of Children Youth and Families. Which to me is insane! As far as service need goes, the Filipino Community Center, located in the Excelsior District, which has an estimated amount of 15,000 Filipinos living in the area, provides a vital service to bridging the gap between American born and Native Filipino youth, as well as provide opportunities for the American Filipinos to create positive impacts on the country of their origin. America being a country of mixed origin needs services like the ones provided by FCC to aid in the education and support and intergeration of its many communities.
(Get your Justica Shirts from Coleman Advocates)
Where is the Justice in the lack of prioritization of support or resources for it's people. Think about it, in a family environment, what is the impact of parents that do not provide support of guidance for their child.......
Meet Victoria the intelligent and committed young women that I've been working with for almost over 2 years now... While prepping her to speak I found myself overwhelmed, 1. with a sense of pride and admiration for this young women who saw that there was a need and stepped up and got in where she fit in and 2. because everything that I was prepping Victoria to say were the same things that I was educated about when I was her age (what the fuck!!! Nothing's really changed!!!) To prevent myself from feeling like I was running on a treadmill created by a system that I find to be equally as selfish and misguided as those who created it I wrote a sexy note to myself. And every moment and memory is just another stroke on the canvas.
Due to time constraints we thought it best if Victoria was the only one to speak... besides at the point of exhaustion I was at who knows what would have ended up coming out of my mouth. At the tip of my tongue it would have gone along the lines of,
"God damn it!!! Yes I'm frustrated! Frustrated that we are still trying to figure out what is important to allocate money for in our city, frustrated cause we have the same damn conversation every year! Invest in the people, be mindful of the state of the communities at large, know our position in the rankings of this nation and let's work together to be better, bigger and something more than we have ever been before. How long will we allow political and personal agendas dictate the policies? Is there no pride in the liberties and freedoms that America stands for? Where is the integrity? I am far from perfect and I know the ills of temptation and the malcontent for the way things are. BUT COME ON PEOPLE! Can we stop allowing politics to ruin human progress!!! What help do you need to create this budget?"
(Watch and Listen to her speak here June 21st 2010 10:17)
I can't help but think that if i chose to speak on my own with out the organization I may have been entertaining enough to get their attention.
Long story short, after the day played out.... my truth was this... I'm tired of fighting but I won't give up. Although, there is a need to step back and reevaluate the approach. And the change can't happen with out all of you.

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