By Jeffrey Betcher
When I met Vivian Richardson about five years ago, I liked her right away. She was warm and friendly, quick to get involved in the life of her community, always smiling. She impressed me as the type of person most anyone would want to have as a neighbor.
That's why it's so hard to imagine her living anywhere but in her Quesada Avenue home.
In 2006, Vivian had joined Maggie Apostol and other neighbors on her block to talk about an organizing project which eventually resulted in the installation of a backyard garden. In fact, she was one of the first to express support of the effort.
Since then, like so many others in our neighborhood, Vivian has been injured by the home foreclosure crisis. But what would be a crushing blow to most of us, is a call to action for Vivian who moved back into her home, organized a march, and landed on the front page of Wednesday's Bay Area section of the SF Chronicle.
Vivian is pictured leading a group down Quesada Avenue toward 3rd Street. See the full article here.
For me, seeing Vivian in the newspaper was an important reminder that, for all our attention to positive change where we live, many folks are more vulnerable than ever. Too often, those losing a foothold here are those who contribute most to making Bayview Hunters Point a unique San Francisco neighborhood.
The cornerstone of our collective history that is about "struggle" ... losses and victories (against all the odds) ... is precious. For Vivian and many others caught between a bank and a hard place, history is a current event.