tv [untitled] October 2, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
continuing to grow. and like those students, we want to make sure that college becomes the rule and not the exception. so i want to thank everyone here who is gathered here today. and because of all you in the room, you have contributed time, resources, advocacy, energy, to make this dream a reality. so thank you all for coming. i want to introduce some -- everyone here is a v.i.p. and i thank people for coming. they are behind me. first of all, mayor lee, mayor of san francisco. please give him a round of applause. [applause] >> and supervisor malia cohen from district 10. thank you very much. who is doing an awesome job representing district 10. we want to make sure she is on board. she's been a great supporter since she was elected to the
board of supervisors so we thank you, again, supervisor cohen. with that, and one last person i want to introduce is randy lenit. randy is a graduate of college track oakland, a graduate of san francisco state university with a degree in civil engineering and randy was instrumentally involved in planning this entire building. you'll hear randy's story in a little while. round of applause for randy. and so with that, i would like to invite mayor lee up. thank you. mayor lee: thank you, omar. and thank you, everybody, for coming to college track. what a wonderful, wonderful name and a beautiful goal. you know, i don't know if you know this, during my college years i worked for this program called the upward bound program and i did that for about 3 1/2 years. during those years in the 1970's, it was about just
persuading parents to let their kids try to get a college education. what we didn't know at the time, for, particularly, low-income kids, and kids from challenged neighborhoods, was there was a lot more than just persuasion at work. there was a lot of dissuasion going on with our kids, a lot of distractions. and over the years old, working with programs like college track and bridge to success, we learned a few things in partnership with our school district. rich caransaz is here today, in partnership with wonderful non-profits and our business and philanthropic communities, many are here to support this today, we learned there was more than just persuasion to be done. if you look at kids going through high school these days, if they're there, and if we're
preventing truancy, they're there sometimes alone. they're there with tremendous financial pressures, community pressures to do things other than seek success for themselves. and so we figured some of those things out and it led to needing to have a place for additional support to happen and there's where this wonderful program called college track has appeared with us. and i'm here today to signify the first success, because i know in june, the first class, although we started in 2007, the first class graduated this june and 100% of that class is going to college. isn't that wonderful? and did you know that 85% of that graduating class are kids that are first time going to college for their families, the first in their families to do
so. that's another great goal. [applause] as omar said earlier, there's a bunch of us that sometimes we're v.i.p.'s but i really think the v.i.p.'s today are the college track kids that are right here with the blue shirts. thank you very much for -- thank you very much for joining this wonderful, wonderful program. we're here today in this beautiful -- looks like a shell right now but if you see the designs, you'll see how wonderful this will be filled in. it's the additional 13,000 square feet that's going to more than double the number of kids that we'll reach out. and i want to especially thank someone who's been working alongside with me for many years and his leadership along with the redevelopment commission. i want to give a personal thanks to fred backwell. fred, take a bow, fred.
fred blackwell and malia cohen and so many other wonderful people who have really been leading this effort to revitalize the whole of bayview hunters point and third street but i know fred's heart has been in this from day one. i've watched him. i've worked with him. and i know that he's gone through every emotion in life to bring revitalization and hope in this neighborhood and now on the eve of his so many successes going on and we shared some tears with him a few weeks ago when we announced the alice griffin from neighborhood choice program. we knew that that, along with college track, and his droction
droction -- direction in getting this building and his leadership not only in redevelopment -- work with our school district, working with city college, working with san francisco state university, working with the private sector. he's crowning so many things before he leaves to be the deputy city administrator in oakland. i want to thank you, fred, for all your wonderful leadership and your commitment here. [applause] i know that college is going to be a reflection of everyone's success here and from the years that i worked in upward bound to now, i want to congratulate the kids who are here right now. because, guess what, not only have you joined a very successful program that will work very hard on your behalf to deal with things like academic affairs, college affairs, student aid, to get you where you need to have a sustainable
economic forecasting so that you can be successful there, but you're also joining a a very exclusive club that i think will be more and more kids coming from this neighborhood. you have just committed to joining the million dollar club. did you know that? the million dollar club, do you know what that is? the million dollar club is the difference between a high school diploma and a college degree. it's the difference in economic income that you will earn relative to those who don't graduate and go to college. that's the million dollar club. you're joining that club and you're going to make yourself successful and by the way, as you do your part in graduating from college, we, in the city, working together with all of the different entities here, we're going to do our part to make sure we create and sustain the jobs that you want, the best kind of jobs, the high-tech jobs coming in. the life science jobs, the jobs that are going to make a
difference in your lives. we will do. that we will keep those jobs here in san francisco so that when you graduate if college, those jobs will be there for you. how do you like that as an agreement? [applause] and i know there are so many partners. i see great partners in carmen policy and wilkes bashford and mrs. fisher is here and the board on behalf of college track, there are so many people that are participating in this because they have the same belief, they have the same knowledge that if we can help take care of those distractions that afford you the opportunity to keep focused on your education, we're going to do right, we're going to succeed, just like randy. randy's going to tell you about his engineering light that's about to be successful. he's going to work on many projects here in san francisco, right? we've got a lot of development going on in the city, successful
developments that will have those wonderful jobs, because that, at the end of it, is your prize. going to college is a sacrifice. you will be faced with distractions, no doubt about it. and we've identified those distractions with the college track program we have here so they don't become distractions for you, so you can focus on your education and focus on the goal. that's what i want to do and that will be the commitment of this mayor and this administration as long as we are here, we'll get the jobs to you and keep supporting these wonderful programs. thank you very much for being here at college track. [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. mayor. i would like to invite supervisor cohen up to speak, please. thank you. >> thank you. ladies and gentlemen, once upon a time ago, about six, seven years ago, i met a man named ed
lee and he was a quiet little bureaucrat. he was an administrator -- actually, no, before that, he was the director of d.p.w. and then an administrator. he just did what he was told to do and worked very hard at doing it and was very diligent and now over the last nine months, i've had the opportunity to watch him blossom into a mayor and to listen to his speak, he's so mayoral. i mean, there was a time he would start his opening remarks would be two or three minutes and that would be it. and now i have to follow him on the program, of course, i yield to him. but i have to follow him and he takes every last one of my talking points. every last one of them. so when he wasn't mayoral, when he was a bureaucrat, it was much easier to speak after him. nowadays, it's really a tough act to follow so i just want to say publicly, thank the mayor for his leadership and his
continued strong leadership he has been demonstrating from day one that he took office in representing this part of san francisco. thank you very much. i am very grateful. [applause] and one thing he didn't do this time was he didn't go down the long list of folks to thank so i'm going to run through them quickly and share brief remarks. he did acknowledge the vision that lieutenant governor gavin newsom had for this organization. he also acknowledged carlos garcia and our partners at the san francisco unified school district. we could not do this without our educators by our side. also, he acknowledged the college track bayview council. thank you very much, i'm going to name them out. we have the wonderful, not the late, sorry, wilkes, not the late, but the great wilkes bashford. we have cofi bonner headlining.
i have a long list and i'm going to take a minute of your time to show my gratitude because if it were not for the community partners, none of us would be here and i wouldn't be able to capitalize on the success these young people will have. cofi bonner, chris boskin, ron conway, hydra mendoza, mr. carmen policy and of course the lovely lauren dove, and david singer. i just want to acknowledge you for your profound work. thank you very much. and a special note to mr. fred blackwell. sir, thank you. without the head of the redevelopment agency, without the leadership of our redevelopment commissioners, this city would be in probably a perilous state. would you agree? we need every single leader we have and i look forward to cultivating new talent to come back and continue to serve
san francisco because that is exactly why we're here. i started my public service journey when i was 8 years old. 8 years old, i met the then dine feinstein who was mayor and she took the moment to talk about the importance of public service and it was in a brief two-minute exchange that she planted a seed in me that has come to bear fruit which is why i'm here today. ever since i was in the third grade, i've been walking down this path of public service. so to my future senators and business men and women and doctors and entrepreneurs and engineers and architects, i welcome you to the table, to the -- what is it, the hundred million club? the one million dollar? i've increased the vision. 100 million sounds better to me. that's the ron conway club.
sign me up. i welcome you to the club because we have a lot of work that needs to be done. we won't be able to get it all done in our lifetime and we must continue to pass on this torch to continue to move things forward and mr. omar, where you are? come join me up here, please, sir. i want to present -- this is one of the best parts of the job. you get to present certificates of honor to recognize outstanding leaders and sove lia certificate of honor but i want you to know that i'm stingy with my certificates. everyone may request, but few get them. ladies and gentlemen, if you will bear with me, i'm going to share with you the words i have more college track. in honor of college track bayview ground breaking celebration and in honor of college track's commitment to educating our youth and in recognition of welcoming college track to the bayview, the city and county of san francisco
board of supervisors hereby extends their highest commendation for your dedication to san francisco communities and sends their best wishes to you on this day. thank you so much. [applause] i am just going to have, in my closing remarks, many of you have been probably watching the news and we have challenges when it comes to public safety and i want to let you know that this building is the step in the right direction because block by block we'll take back the bayview. this neighborhood will be safe for everyone. thank you. [applause] every member in this community is going to be able to walk up and down the third street corridor and be able to shop and spend all their money on the merchant corridor and feel safe and confident. not only will you be safe but we'll do a better job of
educating our kids right here. we are on the track to close the achievement gap and i'm here to reafirm my ghoiment you as a public -- commitment to you as a public service that i am on the job and on the track and paying attention. thank you. [applause] >> last, but certainly not least -- i met randy when he was a senior in high school before i came to college track, san francisco, i was with college track, oakland, and randy exemplifies why college track is in existence so i would love for randy to share his story with us. [applause] >> thanks, omar. trust in the lord with all its hine heart and lean not on to thine own understanding. my great grandparents raised me with these words in east oakland. my great grandparents raised me.
i went to sleep with nightly gunshots and found drugs in my backyard discarded by dealers on the run. my great grandfather was my father figure. he gave me my motivation and college track helped me harness it. as a child, i wanted to be an architect. i was amazed by cranes, erecting skyscrapers. in the sixth grade, i was diagnosed with dyslexia. i thought i could only be a construction worker. my grandfather taught me carpentry skills in middle school but one day while we built a fence together, he talked to me about college and inspired me to be more than a carpenter. when i joined college track, i slowly overcame my learning disability. i had one-on-one daily tutoring and high expectations from people like omar. i took school more seriously and pulled my g.p.a. from a 2.5 to a 3.5 by my senior year, around the time that omar came and
joined us. my outlook changed and optioned opened up. i realized they loved the sciences and my wood shop instructor encouraged me to be an engineer. during my senior year, my great grandfather gave me the college talk. i remember him looking away from me when he started off by saying, i don't want you to be like the rest of the -- out there. i told him i wanted to be an engineer and a smile grew across his face. he said, that's all right, too. his encouragement meant so much to me but sadly during my freshman year at san francisco state university, he passed away at 89 years old. the morning before the funeral, our old next door neighbor told me he was glad i was in college and he said that in their time you didn't need a college education to be successful, you just had to be smart and follow instructions.
he went on to say that young people today do not realize how important it is to get a college education. through the rest of college, i faced challenges such as being homeless. the house i was raised in in oakland was foreclosed on and my father was -- i stayed with my father for a while and that didn't work out but college track was there for me in my time of need, not only helping me get into college, but helping me graduate from college. they offered me a hardship scholarship which allowsed me to live on campus. college track has helped fill the void of my great grandparents and they have become my family. i originally got the email to come here from david and i was busy putting together a bid for the presidio, helping out one of my co-workers. and then i was thinking about it while i was at my desk and
julian text messaged me, are you coming? and i thought about it, and i thought, i will have to make time to go. i'll have to talk to my boss and negotiate something to be there tonight because college track has been there so much for me, i can't let them down when they're asking me to spend a little bit of time. i want to emphasize to people here tonight, we talk about students, but i also want to emphasize that looking beyond statistics, looking at the individual students, the impact you'll make with their lives, they're building relationships with college track staff like omar. i ran into marshall's daughters last week in san francisco. they remember the days in college track oakland when i used to babysit them while marshall handled stuff at college track. it's those moments that just by providing a center in san francisco, you're providing memories and not only that, you're not only providing memorying for them, you're
providing a foundation for these students to grow build on as they grow to have families of their own, not just careers. another thing i thought about is that i want to leave this world better than what i started when i first got here so to do that, i have to come to events like this. i have to encourage people to give to programs like college track and think about the impact you're having on individual students' lives. i still talk to my trends that were in the program -- friends that were in the program and college track has made such a big impact. even for the ones that didn't complete college, they realize they have positive. they don't want their kids to grow up the same way they did. they want to tell the person that might be breaking into somebody's car, you don't have break into somebody's car, i'll help you. that's the type of community we need and that's the type of community college track builds everywhere they go. thank you.
>> and so i would now like to introduce david silver, the c.u.a. of college track national. >> good evening. today is a historic day, a day in which the community puts a stake in the ground, literally, for equity, so that all students in the bayview will truly have the opportunity to go to college and pursue their dreams. look around the room. this doesn't happen every day. this is an incredible coalition from across the city and across the bayview and think about what we are creating together. college track can't reach our vision alone. but together, we can, and today, thanks to many of you, we are one step closer. i'd like to thank many of the people here, starting with
supervisor cohen, mayor lee and mr. caranza from mr. garcia's office. if we can give them a round of applause. [applause] second, fred blackwell, and the staff at the san francisco redevelopment agency for your support and partnership to make this day possible. to president swig, rick swig and the other members of the sfra board of commissioners, thank you. to the college track bayview council, and hydra mendoza, ron conway, cofi bonner, and to the college track board who believed in us and believed in our students and this dream. and another group that i would like to thank is the bayview larger community. the p.a.c. and k.a.c. members
for all the work you did, the u.s. bank, the other members of the community and community based organizations. you and your ongoing partnership are critical for us as we aim to empower students and families. [applause] thank you to the community and thank you also to the college track staff who has and will continue to work tirelessly to make sure that we reach our vision. i want to also thank a couple of people individually. in addition to omar and the san francisco staff who will be here in this building, raise your hands, if you would, as well as marshall lott, brian gadson and julie lawyer who helped make this day possible. if we being give the college track staff a round of applause. and the most important people in this room are college track students. if we could bring up the students and if you could come on over here, that would be great. [applause] these students -- come on up --
as they're coming out, they work day in and day out to pursue their dreams. go all the way across. they defy stereotypes, they inspire with us our dedication. they are living proof that college is not an exception but one day it will be an expectation for all students in this community. students, you are the heroes. as we applaud your work, i also would like to have an opportunity here to have mayor lee, supervisor cohen, everyone that is up here, if you could please come up here, we're going to pause for a picture in a moment. if you can get together. we're going to need more students gathered up in the front.
[applause] >> i have 2 job titles. i'm manager of the tour program as well as i am the historyian of city hall. this building is multifaceted to say the very least it's a municipal building that operates the city and county of san francisco. this building was a dream that became a reality of a man by the
name of james junior elected mayor of san francisco in 1912. he didn't have a city hall because it was destroyed in the earth wake of 1906. construction began in april of 1913. in december 1915, the building was complete. it opened it's doors in january 1916. >> it's a wonderful experience to come to a building built like this. the building is built as a palace. not for a king or queen. it's built for all people. this building is beautiful art. those are architecture at the time when city hall was built,
san francisco had an enormous french population. therefore building a palace in the art tradition is not unusual. >> jimmie was an incredible individual he knew that san francisco had to regain it's place in the world. he decided to have the tallest dome built in the united states. it's now stands 307 feet 6 inches from the ground 40 feet taller than the united states capital. >> you could spend days going around the building and finding something new. the embellishment, the carvings, it represents commerce, navigation, all of the things
that san francisco is famous for. >> the wood you see in the board of supervisor's chambers is oak and all hand carved on site. interesting thing about the oak is there isn't anymore in the entire world. the floors in china was cleard and never replanted. if you look up at the seceiling you would believe that's hand kof carved out of wood and it is a cast plaster sealing and the only spanish design in an arts building. there are no records about how many people