Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates, established in 1994, is a grassroots organization founded, governed, and operated by long-term members of the vulnerable Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco. Our programs combine community organizing with education, advocacy, and direct services. We take an active role in mobilizing the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood on issues of environmental and economic justice.
Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates’ work has always connected neighborhood residents with environmental justice issues in our neighborhood, seeking to increase community participation in environmental decision-making and to build skills in the community to support a cleaner environmental future.
The Advocates received its first grant from the San Francisco Foundation in 2000, to connect hazardous waste training programs and employers. We also received a small grant from Pacific Gas & Electric Company to support the first Bayview-Hunters Point Wellness Expo.
In the 2000s, the Advocates created the ACE Project; the program worked with Bayview residents considered at the time to be unemployable (no high-school diploma, felony convictions, etc.) and trained them in the building trades, with placements into the Carpenters’ and Electricians’ unions, and permanent placement with solar-panel installation firms. This $1.3 million project successfully installed and maintained dozens of photovoltaic panel arrays, and inspired the creation of the Jobs Now and Environment Now programs for the unemployed.
The Advocates also participated in multiple neighborhood collaborations in that same decade, including:
🔘BVHP Asthma Task Force
🔘Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative
🔘Windows on the Environment Project
🔘A State of California study of Yosemite Slough, a contaminated estuary in the neighborhood.
The Advocates’ work as members of these collaborations included serving on executive and research committees, co-authoring policy papers, and testifying at official hearings.
In 2019, after eight months of volunteer efforts, the Advocates renewed our organization and our commitment to environmental justice advocacy for our vulnerable neighborhood:
A Southeast Community Council – training residents in professional research, interview skills, and community outreach and participation – to document environmental exposures, and organize for environmental justice advocacy and land use planning
Updating a Community Toxic Index, cataloging neighborhood sites under environmental agency monitoring
A text-based hotline to report City transit system failures
An online library of documents regarding the Navy’s toxic waste dump at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, and the former National Radiological Defense Laboratories headquarters
Planning for a community-owned co-op grocery store.
Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates’ programs can lead to longer, healthier lives for residents of our vulnerable neighborhood, through new cohorts of dedicated environmental justice advocates, building and documenting strong social networks with neighbors, and influencing local decision-makers.