"We were conned by professionals."

Ross_Rhodes_caption.jpg

Ross Rhodes

Bernal Homeowner

I was born in 1956 at Kaiser Hospital. I’ve been in Bernal since 1964. After I got married, we had some financial difficulties, so we borrowed money off of the house. We took money out so our son could go to college. We took money out to fix up the house. 

We finally hit the wall. The bank was getting all of the money; nothing was going toward the principal. Our lender said, “You can modify your loan or refinance it in a year.” The bank said I could get out of it if I wanted, but I couldn’t. That’s the lie. 

But when the Bernal Foreclosure Fighters came together around my life, things changed. I changed. I am out here as a fighter for others now. I know what it’s like to not sleep at night wondering if they’re going to come take your home. I know that feeling. We were conned by professionals. We were conned into believing that we could do these loans. But if you step up and fight back with a group of people, you’ll win the battle. That’s how I got my home back.

Supervisor Campos was one of the first officials to support us in our movement to stop these foreclosures. He was an open door for us. David was able to make things happen. We need to keep officials like David rising. The sky’s the limit. We want to make this a better city; a better country; a better world.

Read more
1 reaction Share

"It didn't take long for protestors to figure out where we were."

Phyllis_Schoenwald_caption.jpg

Phyllis Schoenwald

Planned Parenthood

I have lived in San Francisco for 37 years and started working for Planned Parenthood in 1986. I am proud to be part of an organization
that provides essential women’s health services through our two new health centers in San Francisco’s
Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods.

After opening our doors, it didn’t take long for protesters to figure out where we were. Our entrance is right on a public sidewalk, which makes it complicated to have any kind of barrier or protection from protesters who aggressively harass our staff and clients. 

For staff, it’s hard to “maintain the cool” every day with protesters set up shop outside. For our patients, the harassment is particularly hard. We’ll never know how many people don’t come in the door because of what these people will make them endure.

We reached out to Supervisor Campos right away. He helped us through the whole process of setting up a barrier zone between the protestors and the front door, so our patients can access our services. His office has been amazing, and still check in with us to see how we’re doing. Through David’s work, I can do mine too.

Read more
1 reaction Share

"I almost died from my injuries."

Vasquez_caption.jpg

Graciano Vasquez

Restaurant Employee

I came to this country from El Salvador to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. After four years working to rebuild homes, I moved to San Francisco to work at the Cheesecake Factory. This was the first time I’d ever had health insurance—a health reimbursement account through Healthy SF.

After I left and tried to access the money I had paid in, I was told that the account was empty because the year to use the money was over.

Not long after, when I was working for the California Pizza Kitchen and another restaurant, I was mugged and beat up by three guys on the street. I had to be taken to the ER and almost died from my injuries. 

I thought that because I had not one but two jobs, my employer would help with my medical bills through Healthy SF. Yet, instead of helping me access my heath account, I was fired because they said I was not working fast enough. I might be eligible for a state program to help me pay my $26,400 in medical bills, but if not, I am not covered. I am very worried.

Supervisor Campos has led the fight to close the healthcare loophole some city restaurants are using that make it difficult for their employees to access healthcare. To me, David is doing great things. We all deserve dignity and to be respected by our employers.

Read more
1 reaction Share

"Our services would no longer be needed."

Molson_caption.jpg

Ginny Molson

Public School Teacher

Six years ago, I quit a job that I wasn’t happy with to get my teaching credential. Working with kids is so much more fun and rewarding than working with adults, but the past few years have been tough.

They say that 50% of teachers quit in their 5th year of teaching. This is my 5th year, and I’ve never known an education system where I have enough money for classroom supplies or job security. We’re always stretching, always lacking. I can’t say if I had A, B, or C I’d be fine. What I do know is that it’s not sustainable.

I get to school around 7am and I stay until 6–7pm every day. I am exhausted. There’s also the threat of losing your job each year. Last year, we received letters in the mail letting us know that our “services would no longer be needed.” This sends a message to me that I’m not valued, that I’m expendable.

Supervisor Campos has been hard at work on behalf of teachers like me. David has been a staunch supporter of teachers by preserving the rainy day fund for schools and fighting for the funds to prevent teacher layoffs.

It helps to know that I can count on David to look out for me and these wonderful kids, so I can focus on what is most important— educating my students.

Read more
1 reaction Share

"We're sorry, we can't reopen."

Wilson_caption.jpg

Jane Wilson

Garfield Pool Swimmer

I’ve been swimming all my life, and at Garfield Pool for over 20 years. In the beginning, I swam because I wanted to exercise—I never expected the community. You meet like-minded people at community pools of all ages and backgrounds who are crazy enough to get up early in the morning. It’s a great community.

We’ve had a lot of practice over the years fighting to keep pools open. But in 2009 when Garfield Pool was closed because of budget shortfalls, we knew it was serious. They’d say month after month, “We’re sorry, we can’t reopen. We don’t have the money.” We felt that we had to do something for our community, even in the face of a budget deficit.

Since we had dealt with this sort of thing before, we decided to work smart. A friend told me that Supervisor Campos had coffee meetings with the community. When I explained the situation, he said, “Oh, of course we’ll help.” David wrote a letter of inquiry to the Recreation and Parks Department. He created a dialogue between the city, the district, and the community of swimmers. With David’s help, we were able to re-open the pool. Before we met with David, the system seemed too big and impossible. Now, the city is not the enemy, they actually work WITH us.

Read more
1 reaction Share

"The fare is very unfair."

Lona_caption.jpg

Donaji Lona

MUNI Mom 

I moved to San Francisco from Mexico 12 years ago. I am a single mother and I have two kids; 11 and 15. They go to Everett Middle and Mission High. Public transit is crucial for our family.

My small one really loves music and got an opportunity for free music lessons, which at the moment isn’t in our schools. In order to get to his lessons, he must use public transit.

My other son has Down’s syndrome and I need MUNI to take him to his many doctor’s appointments. My family got involved with Free Muni for Youth when the cost of kids’ monthly passes doubled in a very short period of time. For many San Francisco families it’s hard to pay for even a bus. And many need it to go to school.

Can you imagine our kids having to take the bus to go to school or after-school activities, but you don’t have the money, and you’re scared that you might get a ticket that’s going to cost your family $100?

Since the beginning, Supervisor Campos has worked to give this campaign momentum and has helped find vital information. David has stood up to his colleagues on our behalf.

I think many politicians say they represent the community, but at the end of the day they don’t work WITH the communities. When a supervisor like David can see their role as an agent of change for the community, a lot is possible.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Share your story!