SF Mayor Lee and Human Rights Commission conduct with Martin Luther King, Jr. type observations
August 4, 2015, the San Francisco Chronicle began its coverage: “In an explosive court filing, lawyers for a former Chinatown gang leader said Tuesday that federal authorities shielded San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee from prosecution despite evidence from the FBI that he had taken bribes, funneled through two members of the city’s Human Rights Commission.”
A few days later, Chronicle reporters; in another article in essence said, we can all move on, there is nothing to see here. A bunch of he said, she said, stuff that no jury should be subjected to hear. These reporters saw no incriminating statements by Lee himself, in all the documents filed by defense attorneys accusing the feds of “Selective prosecution” against their client, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, while ignoring Ed Lee and a questionable $20,000.00 in campaign funds scheme.
Never mind the City Attorney’s office and District Attorney’s wink, wink promised investigation into the matter. The real scandal and subsequent cover-up involving Ed Lee and the SF Human Rights Commission has many co-conspirators who have managed to slap the fight for civil rights with impunity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
A list of co-conspirators; by knowledge of Mayor Lee’s conduct with the SF Human Rights Commission include its current Executive Director Theresa Sparks, the SF Ethics Commission, City Attorney, District Attorney, London Breed, John Avalos, David Campos, Julie Christiansen, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell, my district supervisor Jane Kim, Eric Mar, Katy Tang, Scott Wiener, Norman Yee, Zula Jones, Nazly Mohajer, the SF Chronicle and the SF Examiner.
First formed in 1964, the SF HRC was created to resolve racial inequities and conflict in the city. 1984 its primary function was to administer affirmative action in construction labor and contracting. One could argue the SF Human Rights Commission never lived up to its calling.
June 1990, SF voters increased the powers of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) by establishing it as a charter commission when they determined the HRC lacked power. 1991 Ed Lee became its ED, serving in that capacity for five years.
By 1998 Blacks had been and continue to be locked out of construction contracts. This failure by the HRC was a major contributor to the continued Black out-migration. And Ed Lee’s name continues to pop-up as a cause of failure for the Black community, which includes hiring a bright young, but naïve Black lawyer named Theodore Miller to reverse Black out-migration.
However, the entire time, Ed Lee has thrived by turning the HRC into his own little political favors commission.
On January 1, 2014, I was a member on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s “Equity Advisory Committee.” One of the first things I remember from our retreat was that Commissioner Susan Christian (Ed Lee appointee) warned us all not to “embarrass the mayor…”
My first thought after that admonishment was, that I was not going to last long on the committee.
I was voted onto this committee after demonstrating I was a committed longtime activist of the city that the commission was seeking. Four months into my service, I was kicked off the advisory for what the commission said was, my unwillingness to work with my colleagues on the advisory.
Actually, I refused to use a document called, “2009 Black out-migration Report”, as part of a yearlong committee project. I was shown sufficient proof by my committee colleagues that the report commissioned by former SF mayor Gavin Newsom to address SF Blacks leaving the city was a fraud. My committee members still wanted to use the document.
After being kicked off the committee, I kept a close eye on the Human Rights Commission and was shocked to hear and read some of what I now believe to be the main reasons Blacks are leaving the city. The Black community has been kicked out of the city by power and politics.
My first eye opening revelation was concerning the current Human Rights Commission executive director, Theresa Sparks.
If a Black man headed the HRC and had discriminated against a White transgender staffer, how long would Ed Lee have kept the Black person as HRC executive director? The reverse happened. Former staffer Thomas Willis, a heterosexual Black man successfully sued the city of San Francisco and his boss Theresa Sparks for, $210,000.00 in a discrimination claim. Sparks is still employed by Ed Lee her boss.
Ed Lee is disrespecting the entire SF Black community by merely turning a blind eye to a White city department official who according to a published report has a big problem with Blacks.
This is the same Ed Lee who tweeted his feeling on discrimination. City Insider reported Lee telling Chic-Fil-A that it is not welcome in San Francisco. Chic-Fil-A was not shy about opposing same-sex marriage. Therefore, Lee knows how to take a stand against discrimination when it is politically beneficial to him.
According to other published reports, former Human Rights Commission member Nazly Mojaher hosted a debt retirement party for Lee, less than a month after the mayor reappointed her to the HRC on March 1, 2012. And civil servant of 30 years, Zula Jones, (a Black woman) a contract compliance officer for the Human Rights Commission and longtime confidant to Lee was caught shredding documents in a prior HRC scandal. That brush with prosecution did not hinder her from future questionable acts before her retirement in January of 2015.
Is it a coincidence that Ed Lee was executive director of the HRC as it dismissed a noose on the job incident and current ED Theresa Sparks, also showed no interest during a more recent incident of noose on the job in late 2013? It is illegal for any company contracting with the city to discriminate.
One does not have to ask why Daryle Washington did not seek help from the HRC in a December 2013 incident involving a noose hanging on the job where he worked at Recology. Even with a decreased role for the HRC, no Black person can see this city agency as an ally in the fight against discrimination.
With Ed Lee and Theresa Sparks flaunting their racist conduct through the halls of City Hall and the HRC, it makes Blacks here wonder if we really need a Human Rights Commission at all today.
Comparing the rosters of when Ed Lee was first elected mayor in 2011 where there was eleven members on the commission and current five members of the commission suggest this mayor knows what he is doing. In other words, less oversight is best for Mayor Lee to use the commission as he pleases.
December 2011 SF Human Rights Commission roster:
Michael Sweet, Douglas Chan, Susan Christian, Cecilia Chung, Sheryl Evans Davis, Mark Kelleher, Nazly Mohajer, Faye Woo Lee, Todd Mavis, Michael Pappas, Richard Pio Roda.
August 2015 SF Human Rights Commission roster:
Susan Christian, Sheryl Evans Davis, Mark Kelleher, Michael Pappas, Richard Pio Roda.
With only 5 members, the HRC is not even getting three members to show up for the regular scheduled monthly meetings according to the HRC website:
3/05/2015 SPECIAL MEETING CANCELLED
Though the master mind behind this real scandal and cover-up with the Human Rights Commission is Ed Lee, he could only pull it off with the help of his co-conspirators.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”