The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on February 12, 1993 · 33
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 33

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Friday, February 12, 1993
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color m- Friday, February 12, 1993 C-l Feinstein hears Oakland's plea for resources By Charlei C. Hardy OF THE EXAMINER STAFF OAKLAND - Inside Lock-wood Elementary School, Sen. Dianne Feinstein was listening to a host of ideas of what might be done " about crime. Across the street in the Lock-wood Gardens public housing project, young men stood in the shadows, doing what they do most nights selling drugs. Inside the school, the mayor, city councilmembers, the school superintendent and the police chief listed a wide range of needs to the new Democratic senator. More than new prisons or stiffer sentences, they said, the city needs money for drug rehabilitation, job training, schools and community programs. Few in the audience actually came from the neighborhood," which includes Lockwood Gardens and Coliseum Gardens, two of the city's three largest public housing complexes. The police refer to that area as -the "kill zone." There were four murders, 80 other violent crimes and 45 arrests for drug possession and sales in the two complexes in 1991, according to Oakland Housing Authority records. The same records show 70 percent of the families there live below . the poverty level, 89 percent of the families do not have a family member gainfully employed and 64 percent of the families are single parentfemale-headed households. Feinstein's town meeting was the second of two she held in the Bay Area this week in preparation for her new role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The meetings were scheduled in anticipation of passage of the Omnibus Crime Bill, which failed to win congressional approval last year, but is expected to be approved this term with the support of the Clinton administration. The bill, among other things, would provide $1 billion a year for three years for community policing, set a five-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns, add 350 federal prosecutors and toughen sentencing laws across the - board. "I want to hear a local consensus, so I can take it back to Wash- " ington," said Feinstein. What she heard from most city officials and community organizers is that there are plenty of programs ' to deal with the myriad problems -associated with crime. The problem is paying for the programs. "We need resources to put into -action some of the plans we are making," said Oakland City Coun- - (""PWB""?1?' Jjf 'iiiiiiiiisiuim " I.I1.I..II..U,. ... , , - , 1 " I 1 - . ... ; EXAMINSRKUHT ROOfcHS Sen. Dianne Feinstein told listeners she wanted a local consensus so she could take it back to Washington. cilman Ignacio De La Fuente. Interim Police Chief Marvin Young said the city's projected budget deficit will force his 713-member police department to make some cuts, and in light of the 1 million calls for service it receives annually, that is a troublesome prospect. "It is important that the police department not be reduced in its number," said Young. He said the cuts will cancel the city's effort to move toward community policing, which he described as assigning "dedicated beat officers" to different areas of the city. Many among the 300 who attended the meeting at Lakewood Elementary, less than a mile from the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, were invited by Feinstein's staff. Others were on political staffs or members of community organizations and took the opportunity to lobby Feinstein for money for their own programs. Few actually came from the poor, East Oakland neighborhood around the school. Sue Hurt did. She has lived in Lockwood Gardens for 28 years, and came to the meeting with her 12-year-old daughter, LaQuandra, and a neighbor. Hurt, 51, said it is dangerous for old and young alike to walk the streets at night. "We need police out walking the beat," she said. Even more, she said, "We need parents to teach young people morals." And Carolyn Rising, a teacher who is all too accustomed to "lock-down" drills in which she closes windows and doors, pulls down shades and gathers her kindergarten students in the middle of the room because of shootings in the neighborhood, said all of the suggestions in the meeting sounded to her like "Band-Aids." The problem, said Rising, who has taught at Lockwood for 28 years, begins with school failure. And that failure, she said, is rooted in ill-served schools. "Last year, I started with 40 children speaking six languages," she said. "The problems could be resolved if we could reduce class size and provide attention to children. By junior high school, many of our children have dropped out or got pregnant." From it all, Feinstein said she learned the crime bill should not focus solely on "sentencing and getting tough, but should also include prevention, rehabilitation and education." Pelosi cited for China rights effort Friends of democracy honored RELTTER A Chinese American organization that lobbies for greater democracy in China said it had chosen Hong Kong Gov. Chris Patten and Rep. Nancy Pelosi for awards for promoting democracy. The San Francisco-based Chinese Democracy Education Foundation selected Patten, who was named governor of the British colony last year, as one of its "Distinguished Persons for the Advancement of Democracy in China." The foundation cited proposals by Patten to bring greater democracy to Hong Kong's electoral system. "(Patten's proposal) echoed the yearnings of people of Hong Kong for democracy," the organization, said in a release Thursday. The foundation also recognized Pelosi, D-San Francisco, who sponsored legislation in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre to waive the requirement that Chinese exchange students return to China after completing their studies. Pelosi, a leading congressional advocate for pushing China toward greater democracy, also fought for linking human rights advances and the granting of most-favored-nation status to China. The awards, which include a prize of $2,000, will be presented at a ceremony in San Francisco on May 1. The foundation has given the annual awards since 1986. EH n j .j . ") -ij -i h f w'. f t .j j -Ifi It jUw.lL! R J.I 11 I f t I .. . .-I! jl I Tl f t I I 1 :- - -; . i. --VJP t:; . S -3 l BO ELI E RY ill 1" II I 1 1 ! 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