Mission Tech workers confront high rents longer commutes

first_imgSome 70 tech companies are currently registered in the Mission District and increasingly, all are facing the same challenges that residents and other businesses have long blamed on tech – high rents and increasing wealth inequality.“Rent and staff cost a lot more in San Francisco than they do anywhere else,” said Zach Berke of Exygy, a digital services agency focused on progressive social change that has been working on creating a digital strategy to enhance government social services, among other things.Double Union, a feminist maker space, was actually forced out of the Mission because of rising rents.Even at 70 companies, they remain a small fraction of the 10,363 registered businesses in the Mission – a list dominated by real estate with 1,202 registered businesses, retail, professional offices, restaurants and cafes with each around 600 registered businesses. Tags: gentrification • rent Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img Eric Eldon of Hoodline, a location-based news and information discovery platform, sees tech’s confrontation with the reality of rising prices, as a positive development.  As tech companies experience the financial realities of covering their costs, they will be pulled closer to the community, he said. Berke agreed. “I hope tech companies in the Mission will be more inclusive in the future. That way it is not one world on the inside and another on the outside,” said Berke. Tech employees, Eldon said, are already experiencing first-hand the difficulty of finding affordable housing and in the end, that means they move farther out and in the process identify with the community more than with their bosses who can still afford to live here.“A quarter of our team lives in the Mission proper,” said Eldon. He says cost is the biggest reason for this and that Hoodline is fortunate to have most people live so close to the office, whether that be in the Mission or in other San Francisco neighborhoods.   Ro Prakash of Townsquared, a digital platform for small businesses, is in a similar situation.“More than half of our employees live outside the Mission,” he said. The high cost of living in the area, he said, was definitely a reason for this.In Exygy it is even more extreme. Only 3 of the 21 team members live in the Mission. For the companies that operate from the Mission, the easy commute for employees who have had to move further out, remains an attraction. In addition, the Mission still has available office space and offers a neighborhood experience and connections that cannot be found elsewhere. “Most of the reasons tech companies come to the area are logistical,” said Prakash, listing commutability and available office space. Just as it happened in the first dotcom boom, many of the companies have found space in the old industrial area of the northeast Mission where zoning laws allow offices.Sometimes the logistical reason for being in the Mission has to do with the company’s focus. Berke, Prakash and Eldon say that operating from the Mission allows them to be around the communities they are trying to help. They can also partner with the local organizations that work on the specific issues that they are addressing.Megan Mullins from Raise.me, an online platform for high-school students to raise money for college, wanted to be closer to the community they serve as well. “Giving back to the community is very important for the organizations here,” said Mullins. Employees at Raise.me volunteer  with local organizations including Mission Graduates, a nonprofit that prepares Mission youth to go to college and Breakthrough SF, another nonprofit supporting students to go to college. Nevertheless, many working class residents have faced evictions and the rising cost of operating small businesses from the Mission.   “If only gentrifiers supported our culture the way they do others then gentrification wouldn’t suck so bad and people wouldn’t feel so resentful,” wrote Michael Fernandez in response to a new Indian restaurant opening on Mission St. Prakash from Townsquared said they located here because the startup was aimed at small businesses and few places have as many as the Mission. “We want to be among the people we serve,” he said.He would also like to see more Latino businesses represented in his company. Currently, he said, they are underrepresented. In the meantime, Townsquared employees continue to volunteer in local nonprofits, to contribute to efforts of beautification and to purchase from local food places. Exygy, Hoodline and Raise.me are also contributing in a similar fashion.  last_img read more

The Hot Seat Is Chief Bill Scott reforming the SFPD

first_img Tags: police • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail “You’re in the hot seat, Scott,” one community member said. And not only with the community.  Just days before, Scott had “released” a rookie cop for fatally shooting a fleeing suspect in the Bayview. This time, the fury came not from the community, but from his own men: the San Francisco Police Officers Association, a group unhappy with an officer being released or fired. “There has to be accountability into behaviors,” Scott said in an interview with Mission Local last November, “and with accountability comes changes in the culture.” Scott’s entrance a little more than a year ago into the San Francisco Police Department was seen as a turning point for an embattled force of more than 2,000 sworn officers, its culture and seemingly absent sense of accountability. It was fresh off the heels of two independent reviews called in response to a number of controversial police shootings and two scandals involving bigoted and sexist text messages exchanged between officers (text messages that only came to light because of an investigation of corruption by officers in the department).Still, some wonder if Scott has been able to change much in San Francisco. And now there is also a question of whether he will be around long enough to make any real changes.  On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Scott was scheduled to be interviewed for Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, where he served as a deputy chief before coming to San Francisco last January. Scott would not confirm the report Wednesday evening at City Hall — but he did not explicitly deny it. “The focus is here,” he said, mentioning the reforms. “And that’s where it needs to be for now.”Others agree, and offered a look at how Scott has done so far.“His style is very keep-your-head-down, and choose your battles very carefully,” said Father Richard Smith, a Mission District-based police reform advocate. “My fear is that it’s not in line with the crisis we have right now. We are in crisis mode, despite SFPD claims that it is implementing reforms.” Mission Local spoke to nine policy experts, activists and police officers to determine whether Scott, now a year and four months into his tenure, has actually proven the department’s next step to reform. Scott, who was given a detailed list of questions, declined to comment for this article.  Many applauded his horn-locking with the bellicose police union – which many consider a hindrance of reform – while others said Scott’s efforts have been too little, too late.   More than anything, those observing Scott, from both inside and outside the organization, say the chief cannot reform the department alone – he needs the help of City Hall and, most of all, his own rank-and-file officers — the support of which some accuse Scott of not fostering.Moreover, some said the chief erred in keeping or promoting much of the same command staff from the days of Scott’s predecessor, Greg Suhr.  “We’re just not seeing reforms on the streets,” Smith said. “They might be in a file drawer somewhere, maybe in someone’s head, but not on the streets. I mean, 99 shots?” he said referring to a recent police shooting in the Mission.  Command Staff F or Chief Scott to truly set the department on the path to reform, he needs a new command staff, asserted two SFPD officers who asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation — although both said it might be too late for that. Both said that, in many ways, the reforms are being implemented in a vacuum — signed off on on paper, but not filtered down into lower ranks by a command staff leftover from Suhr’s tenure. One of the officers challenged this reporter to ask any lower-ranking officer about the intention of the Department of Justice recommendations. “They’re going to say, ‘I don’t know.’” Conversely, it’s unclear if the community’s recommendations are making their way to their chief. Many stakeholders complained that, after they gave their input, the policymaking undertaken by the department was opaque at best. The working groups are led by Scott’s command staff. “I think it’s a little bit too late,” said one of the officers regarding Scott’s ability to change the department. “He’s been here over a year, and he still has the same command staff.” Indeed, while some expected a shakeup of SFPD’s top brass following Scott’s swearing-in, the chief opted to either keep or promote many of the commanders who served under Suhr. Assistant chiefs Tony Chaplin and Hector Sainez, as well as deputy chiefs Mikail Ali and Denise Schmitt, were deputy chiefs under Suhr. Deputy Chief Michael Redmond remained in charge of the operation’s bureau, and Commander Robert Moser kept his place as head of the Investigations Bureau. Many others remained or were promoted. The officer further asserted that Scott has been largely siloed off from the rank-and-file officers — the very people he needs to follow him on his path to reform. And if he were to visit officers at the station level, he needs to do so without his command staff present, the officer said. “He still has officers who say he hasn’t visited locations in their department,” the officer said. “They feel they don’t matter.” “To change the department, you have to first be embraced by the department,” the officer added. “He can’t do it isolated by himself, and not even with his command staff. Because he’s not out there each day with citizens.” Likewise, another officer described Scott as isolated from much of the department — that he and his command staff have not made serious efforts to reach down into the department. “He’s relying on (a staff) who’s not connected to rank-and-file to begin with,” the officer said, noting that neither of his assistant chiefs served as district captains. Moreover, that officer charged that Scott did not interview any of the command staff before keeping or promoting them. The officer said Scott did not vet the talent in the organization who would be willing to adopt his agenda. “How do you really know what’s going on in this place?” the officer said.  The officer asserted, too, that Scott has canceled the last six monthly commissioned-ranked meetings — composed of mostly captains and lieutenants. Commissioned-ranked officers, the officer said, are responsible for setting the tone at each district station, and if Scott is not meeting with them regularly, how can he truly implement his new policies and create change? the officer asked. “You have to bring people together,” the officer continued. “If you’re not able to bring people on your team together, how are you able to fight people who aren’t on your team?” One retired officer who, like the others, asked to remain anonymous, also described Scott as “walled off” and “not in touch.”“He’s a delegating executive and not in tune with what’s going on — he doesn’t have his ear to the ground,” the officer said. “It’s like he’s telecommuting.” That officer said Scott needs to show up to more crime scenes and district stations. “Just for the appearance that says, ‘I’m with you guys.’”  All three of the officers agreed that Scott cannot make lasting and meaningful changes in the department if he remains hidden behind a wall of deputies and commanders. “Simply because we have an outsider with different lens, it doesn’t mean he’s doing a good job,” the officer said. “And just because he’s fighting POA, doesn’t mean he’s doing his job.”Scott and the POA S till, many stakeholders and policy experts in the collaborative reform process are reassured by Scott’s sword-crossing with the Police Officers Association. Last November, Scott decided to take his commanders — who are heavily involved in the reform effort — out of the union, which also has a say, via the contract negotiation process, on how policies are implemented.  In February, the chief wrote a letter to the Department of Elections blasting the union’s decision to put a measure on the June ballot asking voters to approve tasers. This earned him the full and public wrath of Martin Halloran, the union president.“Unfortunately, the Chief allowed himself to be played like a cheap fiddle by some on the Police Commission who have their own agenda,” Halloran wrote in the union newsletter. “He should get rid of whoever is advising — otherwise, he is going to drive an irreparable wedge between himself and the membership.” In March, Scott fired Christopher Samayoa, a rookie cop who fatally shot an unarmed carjacking suspect in the Bayview last December — a move that also prompted barbs from the union. “This Chief has demonstrated his lack of care or concern for his officers on too many occasions and this latest misguided action will not go unanswered by the POA,” Halloran wrote.Barbara Attard, a long-time police accountability consultant who was an early member of the Office of Citizen Complaints, now the Department of Police Accountability, said she’s been impressed with Scott’s work on the reforms and standing up to the union.  “He needs to keep doing what he’s doing — being independent and going forward with the reforms,” she added. “That’s why the backlash is so strong from the POA.” Anand Subramanian is a senior policy director at PolicyLink who led the Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability and Fairness in Law Enforcement, a report commissioned by the District Attorney that examined systemic bias in the SFPD. During its probe, Subramanian said, it found that the union, known as the POA, had influence over the SFPD in its culture and policy-making. Past chiefs, he said, rarely stood up to the union, as it used “divisive tactics” and “outlandish rhetoric.” Scott, he said, has shown clear leadership on the policy side, citing his taking commanders out of the union, his opposition to Proposition H and his firing of Samayoa. But, Subramanian said, “The chief needs to talk to his officers as though their membership in the department is more important than membership in POA.” “The POA does a good job convincing its membership that there’s no difference between members and POA as a political entity,” he said. To change culture, however, Subramanian said Scott needs to feel comfortable firing cops, even if the union fights back. “The idea that the POA can spin something like that into the notion that he doesn’t have your back is the main problem,” he said. “Whenever an officer tries to do the right thing, they blast them for it and call it a lack of loyalty — whether it’s a whistleblower or chief trying to hold officers accountable.”  That notion is crucial, says John Talbott, a business-development expert who sits on the bias and accountability working groups. He said using strict discipline on members who do not follow procedure is crucial for changing an organization, and Scott’s decision to fire Samayoa was an important step in underscoring the idea that there are consequences for failing to follow procedures. “If the union is going to fight you with high paid lawyers on anything you do like that, then you can see how they’re going to obstruct change,” he said.Halloran did not respond to requests for comment, but POA leadership has consistently denied that it is obstructing change. The union stated early on that it supported the DOJ reforms.Father Smith said Scott should not be afraid to challenge the POA. “Past chiefs have lived in fear of the POA,” he said. “They’ve had to navigate (the union), but the tides are shifting. I don’t think the chief needs to be afraid of them like chiefs have in the past.” Smith said that, although he is reassured by how Scott has dealt with the union, he could be even bolder. “We’re cutting him slack because he’s still new,” Smith said. “Maybe there is more to come with more time — but so far he has not stepped up, and we’re hoping that’ll change quickly.”  Scott and City Hall  O n a recent Tuesday in room 551 in the Hall of Justice, Scott endured a barrage of questions under oath from POA lawyer Gregg Adam during an arbitration hearing on the department’s contract with the city. It was a rare public encounter between Scott and the union, which has been a fierce critic of Scott since his arrival. “Why do you think the POA should give up the ability of the members to have their voice heard in the (policy-making) process?” Adam asked, referring to a section in the contract that would limit the union’s ability to draw out the approval of policies related to the DOJ reforms.“My intent was to expedite the process wherever we could,” Scott said, hunched over in his chair. “Neither the department nor I crafted the proposal — that’s the city’s role as negotiator.” But Scott said he supported the provision — as, in the end, his own role as chief is implementing the DOJ reforms. Crew and Subramanian are both members of the so-called “No Justice, No Deal Coalition,” which is advocating for the contract to include language that limits the POA’s influence over the reforms. Both believe the city can support Scott and his mandate by supporting the provision — called “City Proposal 22,” which limits the time the union can request a so-called “meet-and-confer” sessions to deliberate over policies related to the federal reforms. The union would also have to waive its right to further deliberation if no agreement is reached following the deliberations. “Right now, there’s the reform side and the anti-reform side, and who is leading the reform side? Bill Scott,” Crew said. “And who is lining up behind that team? Everyone in town — except the POA.”  That wasn’t always the case. Mayor Mark Farrell initially supported the POA-authored Taser measure. Moreover, for a short period, Farrell shared an advisor, Nate Ballard, with the union, raising questions about how Farrell would steer the city during negotiations. Since then, however, the city has begun to show more support. Farrell withdrew his backing of the union’s Taser measure. The Human Resource Department, operating under the mayor’s office, added the proposal that limited the union’s ability to influence DOJ-related policies.  Moreover, the Board of Supervisors, which will eventually have to approve the agreement, recently introduced a resolution supporting the meet-and-confer proposal in the contract, saying that the SFPD should not get the requested nine to 13 percent pay raise if the language is not included. (The resolution, however, was effectively killed by Supervisors Ahsha Safai and Catherine Stefani.)  Crew said the reforms and Scott’s apparent raison d’etre to implement them are at a “pivot point.” If Proposition H, the Taser measure, passes, and the contract includes no language that limits the POA’s influence on the reforms, the POA will be “emboldened” and “the chief will have a much harder job,” he said. “Whoever the chief is.” And with a position open in LA, will he stay long enough to find out?center_img A t a town hall meeting called to address a recent Mission District police shooting, Police Chief Bill Scott sat in the gym of Cesar Chavez Elementary, facing a crowd of more than 200 outraged community members. Another young man of color had been slain at the hands of police, and years of mounting animus needed to be directed at someone. That person was Scott. And it lasted for more than three hours. last_img read more

Cha Cha Cha reopens after cockroach infestation spurs fourday shutdown

first_imgAll told, the violations resulted in a score of 60 out of 100, with 28 points docked for “high-risk” violations, eight for “mod-risk” and four for “low-risk.” Much of the staff had to receive on-site food safety training. The restaurant was allowed to reopen on June 30 following a visit by an exterminator and a third city inspection. Cha Cha Cha’s owner, Irfan Yalcin, did not return multiple calls for comment. People familiar with the owner said that he has been away in Turkey, and was overseas during the closure. Mission Local spoke to Yalcin’s brother, who declined to comment but claims he notified Yalcin of our interview request. Yalcin bought the restaurant in September 2016, and according to a source, has made a considerable effort to revamp it — underwriting a deep cleaning, plugging up holes, and clearing up the restaurant’s dirty basement. Yalcin also bought the Cha Cha Cha location on Haight Street last June. Yalcin is also far more present at the restaurant than the previous owners, the source said. But problems persist. Health inspection records dating back to January 2014 reveal that the building has struggled with the presence of cockroaches — but never to the degree described in last week’s reports. In May 2015, a health inspector did find rat feces in the building’s basement, and an earlier inspection in March 2014 found one live and one dead cockroach. Last week’s inspection was the first routine inspection since Yalcin bought the restaurant two years ago.  Cha Cha Cha, a 19-year-old bar and restaurant on Mission Street, reopened late last month after the San Francisco Department of Public Health shut it down for four days due to a cockroach infestation and other violations. According to health inspection records from June 26 to June 30, health inspectors found live cockroaches on the kitchen’s cutting boards and inside a dishwasher at the bar. An inspector also found cockroach feces along the restaurant’s walls, on pipes, and under bartops and prep tables.  “Observed a large plastic container of beans cooling at room temperature … ” wrote inspector Carlos Barragan on June 26. He also observed a “large piece of pork cooling at room temperature.” These sights spurred a re-inspection on June 29. Health workers then discovered an abundance of grease and food scraps on the restaurant’s walls, ceiling, kitchen equipment, beneath bartops and on clean dishes, the report said. In addition, water had accumulated in the dishwashing room, and garbage and grease had accumulated in the garbage room.   0% Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterEmail Address Tags: restaurants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

THE tills have been ringing in the Saints Supersto

first_imgTHE tills have been ringing in the Saints Superstore as early sales of the 2016 Home shirt have exceeded last year’s launch.Fans have been flocking to the retail hub to grab the new look shirt following its reveal last Thursday.On top of this Saints brand new Trainingwear range has been well received and is also now available to order online.Take a look at here!last_img

Patently false controversial campaign flier called out by county government candidate reacts

first_imgAntos Jenkins Mccoy Door Hangar 2017 “We have some contracts that are under construction.,” said executive director Bob Walker. “We have a well construction that wells are being installed. We’ve installed two of the wells so far. We were hoping to get six hundred gallons out of each one of those wells, they actually tested out seven hundred gallons a minute.”It’s that same plant project that’s led to a heated political cycle for two incumbent candidates who support it. A campaign flier for the three pro reverse osmosis H2GO candidates is being called misleading, not by their challengers, but by the local government.The campaign flier for H2GO candidates Carl Antos, Ron Jenkins and Rodney McCoy is being called patently false.Related Article: Driver wanted in hit-and-run that killed Wilmington woman near Leland“Quite frankly I think whoever is telling you this,” said commissioner Carl Antos, “I think they are lying.”McCoy created the fliers and they show list of man made contaminants and claim they are not in the aquifers the utility plans to use for its newplant. The Brunswick County Government posted to social media saying the flier was false. The county says the list ofcontaminants on the flier are in aquifers around the county.To be clear, the contaminants have been found in county aquifers and rivers. A H2GO spokesman says though not in the new aquifers they are testing.“Our aquifers are a lot further underground, separated by much more layers and sand, and dirt, and clay,” says utility spokesperson Tyler Whittkofsky. “The ones that they are referring to, they’re right the different layers of aquifers do have contaminants but once you get so far down it’s impossible for those man made chemicals that are referred to leech into our deep well aquifers.”The county cites the analysis engineers made testing H2GO’S two deep aquifers. They say some of contaminants are found in the analysis. Findings did show small traces of two contaminants flouride and nitrate in the aquifer. Those contaminants are listed on the flier as being not in the aquifer.“There is nothing that can be found in the deep aquifer other than brine,” said Antos.McCoy says he gathered the list of contaminants from on on the Environmental Working Group webpage. He was not knowledgeable of the full findings from the EPA analysis.Here is the flier below found by county government leaders. 00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not foundhttps://cdn.field59.com/WWAY/1508296815-6a4473eab1f75a2fd48257e560697a5da948606c_fl9-720p.mp4 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings LELAND, NC (WWAY) – H2GO board commissioners met to hear updates on the reverse osmosis plant.The reverse osmosis plant is the commission’s more than twenty five million dollar endeavor to break off of using water from the Brunswick Public Utility and another party.The commission heard tonight from their executive director about the site which will be along highway 17 near Leland.- Advertisement – last_img read more

10yearold girl airlifted to UNC with fractured skull after Winnabow crash

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two drivers are cited in a crash that injured four people, including a 10-year-old girl.Trooper A.S. Godwin with the NC Highway Patrol says the crash happened on US 17 just south of Governors Road in Winnabow around 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.- Advertisement – Godwin says a white Chevy pickup truck rear-ended a white Oldsmobile van. Both vehicles came to a rest in the median.The driver of the van, two older passengers and a 10-year-old girl were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The girl was later airlifted to UNC Medical Center. She has a broken right leg and a depression skull fracture, but is doing ok, Godwin says.The driver of the truck, James Lee Sheppard, of Ocean Isle Beach was cited with failure to reduce speed.Related Article: Construction continues on new orthopedic hospitalRoselia Enriques was driving the van. She was charged with no operator’s license.last_img read more

100 Black Men of Coastal Carolina to hold Awards and Recognition Banquet

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Coastal North Carolina Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America is holding an Awards and Recognition Breakfast to celebrate the achievements of its mentors and mentees during the recently completed academic year. An additional purpose of the breakfast is to raise funds to help sustain the organization.Five mentees have completed high school and will be awarded scholarships.  In addition, 20 students who have completed middle school will be given certificates recognizing their advancement to the Coastal North Carolina Success Academy.  The Success Academy is for high school students and is held bi-monthly during the academic year.- Advertisement – The 100 Black Men of America began in New York in 1963 when a group of concerned African American men began to meet to explore ways of improving conditions in their community. These men envisioned an organization that would implement programs designed to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other minorities. They also wished to ensure bright futures for their communities by concentrated youth development. These pioneering members were successful black men from various walks of life including: David Dinkins, Robert Mangum, Dr. William Hayling, Nathaniel Goldston III, Livingston Wingate, Andrew Hatcher, and Jackie Robinson.At the Breakfast, the Chapter will also recognize and thank many of its sponsors, friends and supporters.  It will be held on Saturday, July 14, at 9 a.m. at the Shell Island Resort on Wrightsville Beach. Admission to the event is free; however, all attendees will be asked for donations during the program. The Honorable Judge James H. Faison, III will be the keynote speaker and Ms. Rhonda Bellamy will serve as Mistress of ceremonies.For more information click here.last_img read more

Sheriffs office search for missing New Hanover County teen

first_imgArli Noemi Bamaca Hernandez (Photo: NHSO) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office needs your help finding a missing teen.Sheriff’s office says Arli Noemi Bamaca Hernandez​, 15, was reported missing Wednesday.She was last seen at 5140 Carolina Beach Road, according to NHSO.She is 5’4″ and weighs around 130 pounds. Arli has brown eyes and long brown hair. Deputies say she was last seen wearing black shirt, light blue pants, and red high-top Vans sneakers.She attends Wilmington Early College.If you know any information, contact NHSO.last_img

VIDEO Suspect wanted for crashing into parking deck

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are searching for a Winnabow man accused of crashing into a car and a wall, before nearly hitting a ticket booth inside a parking deck before taking off.Police have arrest warrants for Aaron Ray Shepard, 40, in reference to the June 5 crash.- Advertisement – Officers responded to the parking deck on North Second Street for a hit and run. The witness, a ticket booth operator, told officers she saw the suspect, who had just entered the deck, hit a parked car and then the wall of the parking deck while searching for a space.When she approached him, he took off.Prior to Shepard leaving the deck, the witness was able to note the registration.Related Article: Thief steals $1,000 from Girl Scouts selling cookies at mallShepard is wanted for hit and run leaving the scene with property damage, driving with revoked license and driving without insurance.Aaron Shepard (Photo: Wilmington Police Dept.)If you know where he is, contact WPD at (910) 343-3609 or use Text A Tip.last_img read more

Pope urges Rome to its vocation of welcome and integration

first_img SharePrint Is-Sindku ta’ Ruma, Virginia Raggi, tilqa’ lill-Papa Franġisku kif wasal fil-CampidolioIs-Sindku ta’ Ruma, Virginia Raggi, tilqa’ lill-Papa Franġisku kif wasal fil-Campidolio Pope Francis on Tuesday urged the city of Rome to use its energies to welcome and integrate people from Italy and the world over by fostering brotherhood and creating opportunities for the civic, cultural, economic and social development of all without fearing goodness and charity.The Pope made the plea in a speech to the authorities and officials of Rome administration during a visit to the Capitoline Hill, the headquarters of Rome Municipality.  Pope Francis is the fourth pontiff to visit the Italian capital’s City Hall, Vatican News reports.Integrating peoples, differencesAddressing the officials led by Rome Mayor, Virginia Raggi, the Pope noted that during its 2,800-year old rich history, the Eternal City has been able to welcome and integrate different populations and people from all over the world from a vast variety of social and economic categories, without annulling their legitimate differences and without humiliating or crushing their respective characteristics and identities.By welcoming students, pilgrims, tourists, refugees and migrants, he said, the city has become a “pole of attraction and a hinge” between the continental north and the Mediterranean region and between civil and spiritual powers.This, he stressed, has been possible because of the power of the Gospel, in mutual respect and collaboration between civil and religious authorities for the good of all and in respect for the dignity of the human person and offering spaces of freedom and participation.As an enormous treasure chest of spiritual, historical, artistic and institutional treasures, Rome, the Pope pointed out,  is home to about three million people who work, study, pray, meet and carry on their personal and family history, and who together are the honor and effort of every administrator, of anyone who works for the common good of the city.The See of PeterHe noted that Rome’s landmark Capitoline Hill, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Coliseum point to its universal vocation, mission and ideal that need to be proclaimed to all regardless of language and colour.With the See of the Successor of Saint Peter in Rome, he said, the city is also a spiritual point of reference for the entire Catholic world.  The Pope who is the Bishop of Rome, said that the Church in Rome wants to help Romans rediscover their sense of belonging to a special community, which through its network of parishes, schools and charitable institutions, and commitment of voluntary work, collaborates with the civil powers and all citizens to maintain the city’s noblest face and its feelings of Christian love and civic sense.The peripheriesThe Pope encouraged all private citizens, social forces, public institutions, the Catholic Church and other religious communities to place themselves at the service of the good of the city and of the people who live there, especially those on the margins, almost discarded and forgotten or who suffer illnesses, abandonment or loneliness.Today, the Pope noted, the city’s peripheries and suburbs are witnessing the arrival of migrants from many countries fleeing wars and extreme poverty, who are trying to rebuild their lives in conditions of security and decent living.Bridges, not wallsRome, he said, is called to use its energies to welcome and integrate, to transform tensions and problems into opportunities for meeting and growth.The Pope wished that the city, fertilized by the blood of the Martyrs, draw from its culture, shaped by faith in Christ, the resources of creativity and charity necessary to overcome the fears that risk blocking the initiatives and possible paths.  “These,” he said, “could make the city flourish, foster brotherhood and create opportunities for civic, cultural, economic and social development.”“Rome, the city of bridges, never of walls,” he stressed.In this regard, the Pope said, the Holy See desires to collaborate ever more and better for the good of the city, in the service of all, especially the poorest and most disadvantaged, for the culture of encounter and for an integral ecology.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more