Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Plaza 16 Orgs Wanted $1.25M from Maximus Partners in 2013?

The Mission rumor mill's been humming since Plaza 16 bullies barred freelance journalist George McIntire, SFBARF leader Sonja Trauss and myself from attending their alleged community meeting, with speculation that several nonprofits sought large donations from Maximus Partners in the fall of 2013. Here's what I know.

It is said that at September 2013 meetings arranged via Sup. David Campos' office between the developer that wants to build a condo complex at BART's 16th and Mission Plaza, representatives of nonprofits who now steer Plaza 16, each requested $250,000 community outreach grants from Maximus Partners in order for the groups to support the project.

The groups were Causa Justa, Central American Resource Center, Council of Community Housing Organizations, MEDA and PODER.

(L-to-R: Ex-Milk Club prez Tom Temprano, Campos, Allbee.)

Longtime Campos right-hand and former president of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, Nate Allbee, now heading up Aaron Peskin's campaign for his old supervisorial seat, collaborated with Maximus Partner's lobbyist Bert Polacci and meetings were held at Campos' City Hall office. The nonprofits didn't receive the money they requested for their "community" cooperation, is what I've heard from reliable sources.

I'm trying to get confirmation about the alleged requests for donations and amounts, and will update when and if I get more info. Some background you should read.

My public records request in February to Campos for emails related to the housing crises in the Mission produced the following documents.

"From: Bert Polacci [mailto:bpolacci@maximusrepartners.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:34 AM
To: Allbee, Nate
Subject: Re: Meetings with CBO's

"Thanks Nate. Lets talk before we set up any more..

"On Sep 24, 2013, at 2:57 PM, "Allbee, Nate" wrote: > Hi Bert, > > So schedule is as follows: > > Fri, September 27: > > PODER:10:00am - 10:30am > Dolores St:10:30am - 11:00am > Carecen:11:00am - 11:30am > > 

"Setting up more service oriented CBO's for the next week and working on that neighborhood group as well. Have you had a chance to meet with the Principal of Marshall Elementary yet? > > Nate"

Very curious that instead of getting all the community based organizations in the same Campos City Hall room at the same time, the meetings were stacked for each group separately. I've filed a new request today for more emails from Campos about his collaboration with the groups.

Everyone concerned about the Mission should be mightily demanding reps from those groups explain in writing and public meetings, what they said when they met with Maximus Partners. It surely wasn't cookie recipes they discussed.

Those groups and their reps have positioned themselves and Plaza 16 as _the_ only folks to lead Mission community organizing about both the Maximus Partners project, which Plaza 16 has said nothing about for weeks and weeks, and all housing issues in the Mission and any question of their stewardship is dismissed as racism or sexism or betrayal of progressive ideals.

Um, we just want to hold Plaza 16 leaders accountable and learn who they've spoken to behind closed doors. Look at whom Janan New, both a Maximus Partners and SF Apartment Association lobbying, wanted to meet with in December 2013:

[CORRECTION: In December 2014 is when Ms. New and Campos' office were trying to arrange another meeting with the nonprofits to take place in January 2015. Why would Plaza 16 reps, who spent all of 2014 mobilizing against Maximus Partners, be invited to a meeting with the developer in 2015? Answers are needed.]
"From Janan New
To Allbee, Nate
Subject 16th and Mission
Date Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:04:26 +0000

"Here are some dates that work for us on the 16th and Mission meeting:
Thursday, January 15th in the morning
Friday, January 16th, in the morning
Wednesday, January 21st in the afternoon
"The people we would like to invite are:
Supervisor Campos, you, Maria Zamudio, Gabriel Medina, Fernando Marti and Oscar Grande. -Janan."
Let's back up to November 2013 and look at an excerpt of an email about a closed-door meeting of the nonprofits, to strategize about Maximus Partners where decisions were made about community engagement which average activists and tenants had no idea was going on. Same old Mission Inc/Housing Inc names, many of whom are now running the Plaza 16 show:

"From: Oscar Grande [mailto:ogrande@podersf.org]
Sent: Friday, November 01, 2013 4:19 PM
To: Kendra Froshman; Wendy Phillips; Andy Blue; Jose Carrasco; Laura Guzman; Fernando Marti; Mara Rosales; Erick Arguello; Sara Shortt; Gabriel Medina; Veronica Majano
Cc: Nate.Allbee@sfgov.org
Subject: 16th/Mission Monday Meeting 12pm Community Group 6th &

"Mission Proposed Market Rate Development
Notes from 10/28/13

"CompaƱer@s, Quick little reminder for our next meeting and follow up notes from this past week. We are meeting this Monday 12pm @ PODER

"And here are the rough notes that I could gather from the white board and from my notebook:
Present: Kendra Froshman/DSCS, Wenday Phillips/DSCS, Andy Blue, Jose Carraso/Good Samaritan, Karoleen Fong/MEDA, Laura Guzman/MNRC, Fernando Marti/CCHO, Mara Rosales/SFLDC, Sara Shortt/HRCSF, Erick Arguello/Calle 24, Gabriel Medina/MEDA, Vero Majano/MNRC."

These folks owe everyone in the Mission answers to my questions about why they met with Maximus Partners in 2013 and what was on the agenda. Let's not allow the nonprofits and Democratic Party activists continue to hijack the grassroots agenda and community suffering without fuller accountability.

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