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Oakland’s Mayor Heard Of Potential ICE Raids So She Alerted Her Residents And Saved Hundreds From Being Deported

@LibbySchaaf / Twitter

Oakland, California —like most cities in the Golden State — considers themselves a Sanctuary City, a place where undocumented immigrants can feel somewhat protected from persecution. However, as we’ve come to learn this year — no undocumented immigrant is safe from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Despite repeated threats from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE director Thomas D. Homan against sanctuary cities and city officials, one mayor did not back down and warned their residents.

On Feb. 24, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf released a direct message to people in her community: ICE is coming. That warning saved hundreds. While several reports indicated that ICE was planning a raid in the Bay Area, the warning from Schaaf was more personal.

“I am sharing this information publicly not to panic our residents but to protect them,” Schaaf said her news release. “My priority is for the well-being and safety of all residents, particularly our most vulnerable.”

She told the San Francisco Chronicle that it’s her duty to protect the people in Oakland.

“When an official has information that could help people, it’s their duty to share it,” Schaaf told The SF Chronicle. “Having information before an ICE action can make a tremendous difference.”

What a difference it truly made. The ICE raid occurred just days later on Feb. 27, but people were prepared. ICE reported that they detained 150 people, but their target was much higher. They wanted more than 864 undocumented people.

“The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens – making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold,” Homan said in a press release statement. “Thanks to the dedicated and professional work of ICE deportation officers, we were able to remove many public safety threats from the streets of the Bay Area during the past few days. However, 864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor’s irresponsible decision.”

In a response to Homan’s comments, Schaaf said she had zero regrets about releasing the initial warning to Bay Area residents.

“I do not regret sharing this information,” Schaaf said in a tweet. “It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws. We believe our community is safer when families stay together.”

READ: Bay Area Prepares For Possible Massive Raids of Undocumented Immigrants

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A Street In San Francisco Will No Longer Be Named After A Racist Past Mayor In Favor Of Frida Kahlo

things that matter

A Street In San Francisco Will No Longer Be Named After A Racist Past Mayor In Favor Of Frida Kahlo

fridakahlo / Instagram

San Francisco’s ties with the Hispanic community run long and deep. Obviously, Native Americans were the first settlers there and Spanish missionaries arrived in 1776, back when it was called Yerba Buena. California was once part of Mexico and then became a part of the U.S. in 1821 as much of the southwestern U.S. did. It’s this diverse history and complicated past with colonialism that has led to years of trying to fix the present in response to the past.

San Francisco city officials have announced they will seek to rename a street tied to a controversial figure and change it to Frida Kahlo.

The street that will be changed is currently Phelan Avenue, named after former San Francisco Mayor James D. Phelan who governed the city between 1897 to 1902. While Phelan has been referred to as a multimillionaire philanthropist that supported artists and writers in San Francisco, he was also instrumental at issuing immigrants out of the city.

Phelan ran a notorious senate campaign (which he won) that had the slogan “Keep California White.”

In 1912, he wrote: “This is a whiteman’s country. We cannot make a homogeneous population out of people who do not blend with the Caucasian race.”

Several institutions do bear his name and students at various colleges in San Francisco have tried to remove it from their buildings.

S.F. Supervisor Norman Yee said he wants to change the name of Phelan Avenue after learning of Phelan’s racist past.

Phelan Avenue will soon be called Frida Kahlo Way.

Frida Kahlo Way will be located right in front of City College of San Francisco. The street name change is expected to happen in the next two weeks, according to KQED.

“At a time when the country is rethinking who deserves to have statues and parks named after them, [having] a street that an institution like City College is on named after someone whose family left a legacy of racism, doesn’t reflect [our] values,” City College English professor Alisa Messer told the San Francisco Examiner last week.

Frida Kahlo and her partner Diego Rivera both have a strong connection to San Francisco.

The Museum of the City of San Francisco has archived images of the couple when they visited in 1941.

Rivera and Kahlo first traveled to San Francisco in 1940 and returned in 1941 for the Golden Gate International Exposition. Rivera also has several murals throughout the city.

San Francisco has honored Kahlo in a variety of the ways including a festival devoted to her, murals of her, and her original artworks can be seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


READ: There’s A New Frida Kahlo Exhibit That Features Rare Family Photos And It Made Me So Emotional

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