Home, by Warsan Shire (British-Somali poet) no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.
you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well.
your neighbours running faster
than you, the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind
the old tin factory is
holding a gun bigger than his body, you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.
no one would leave home unless home chased you, fire under feet,
hot blood in your belly.
it's not something you ever thought about doing, and so when you did -
you carried the anthem under your breath, waiting until the airport toilet
to tear up the passport and swallow,
each mouthful of paper making it clear that you would not be going back.
you have to understand,
no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.
who would choose to spend days and nights in the stomach of a truck unless the miles travelled
meant something more than journey.
no one would choose to crawl under fences,
be beaten until your shadow leaves you,
raped, then drowned, forced to the bottom of
the boat because you are darker, be sold,
starved, shot at the border like a sick animal,
be pitied, lose your name, lose your family,
make a refugee camp a home for a year or two or ten, stripped and searched, find prison everywhere
and if you survive and you are greeted on the other side with go home blacks, refugees
dirty immigrants, asylum seekers
sucking our country dry of milk,
dark, with their hands out
smell strange, savage -
look what they've done to their own countries, what will they do to ours?
the dirty looks in the street
softer than a limb torn off,
the indignity of everyday life
more tender than fourteen men who look like your father, between
your legs, insults easier to swallow than rubble, than your child's body
in pieces - for now, forget about pride your survival is more important.
i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore unless home tells you to
leave what you could not behind, even if it was human.
no one leaves home until home
is a damp voice in your ear saying leave, run now, i don't know what i've become.
Plan Bay Area Workshop
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) invite the public to an open house and presentation in Mill Valley (Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto) on Saturday, May 20, to learn about an update to the region’s long-range transportation and housing roadmap known as Plan Bay Area 2040. Registration and the open house will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. The presentations and panel discussions will begin at 9 a.m. This meeting in Marin County is one in a series to be held in all nine Bay Area counties between May 4 and May 22. For more information about upcoming meeting times, dates and locations in all nine counties, please visit the Plan Bay Area website: www.PlanBayArea.org.
In additional to the series of presentations and panels discussions, Bay Area residents who attend this event will have the opportunity to view displays; ask questions; and offer comments on the Draft Plan’s goals, proposed growth patterns, transportation investment strategy, and key actions identified to address ongoing and long-term regional challenges.
Dear Victory Village Supporter,
The May 3 Town Council meeting was another big step forward for Victory Village. The council voted unanimously on a series of actions that would allow this project to move forward. Thank you to everyone who has written letters, to those who sat through this long, hot meeting, spoke eloquently, or otherwise provided support to help move us to this point. Your wonderful good spirits and dedication have been vital to these successes so far.
The final vote (second reading) on this project will be at the Wednesday, June 7 Town Council Meeting. It is still possible that something will happen to derail this project at the last moment—we hope not—but it is important to stay engaged.
The following is the article the Marin IJ put out on this last Town Council Meeting: http://www.marinij.com/business/20170504/fairfax-approves-54-unit-affordable-senior-housing-project
Please consider writing a letter to the IJ in support if you feel inspired—it makes a difference. Here is a link on how to do that: http://www.marinij.com/general-news/20130718/how-to-submit-a-letter-to-the-editor
LEAGUE SETS DATE FOR ANNUAL GALA DINNER
The League of Women Voters of Marin County will hold its annual Gala Dinner on Thursday, April 20, at the Spinnaker Restaurant, 100 Spinnaker Drive, Sausalito. The featured speaker will be Audrey Cooper, Editor in Chief, San Francisco Chronicle, whose topic will be “Disruption, Distrust and Disgust: the Media’s Role in 2017”.
The dinner will start at 7:00, preceded by a no-host bar beginning at 6:00. Tickets are $100 per person for League members and $125 for nonmembers. For reservations, go to www.marinlwv.org or call the League office at 415/507-0824.
Sponsors include: Gold Level: Marin Community Foundation; Silver Level: Shira Ridge Wealth Management; Bronze Level: Bank of Marin, Katie Crecelius, Robert Marcucci, Marin Sanitary Service, Montecito Plaza, Northbay Homes and Thompson-Dorfman Partners LLC.
Support Victory Village This Thursday
The next Fairfax Planning Commission hearing on Victory Village will be this Thursday, March 16 at 7 pm in the Women’s Building 46 Park Rd. Fairfax. Please come and voice your support. Parking is limited so try to come early to get a space. This is a workshop meeting. No decisions will be made but your presence will help set the tone.
The latest attack by those opposed to the senior housing project came last Sunday in a Marin Voice that suggested that people in Fairfax will not be able to live there because of fair housing rules. Before you just assume an opinion piece is true, check out the data. From a 2008 county report on affordable housing in Marin, this chart shows that almost 90 percent of people living in Marin affordable housing moved there from another Marin County address. And the suggestion that anti-discrimination requirements are a reason to deny a low income senior housing project in progressive Fairfax is chilling in this era of xenophobia.
Example: San Clemente Family Housing built in 2008 in Corte Madera. EAH was required to do affirmative marketing to Contra Costa County (emphasis on Richmond), Solano County (emphasis on Vallejo), and Sonoma County. Over 800 applicants for 78 units. 82% of the apps were from people who lived or worked within 5 miles of Corte Madera.
Fair Housing rules do not deny local people the chance to live in affordable housing. They simply make sure that there is equal opportunity.
Know the facts. Let you voice be heard on March 16
YES WE CAN!
The Marin Solution for Housing
Our friends at the Environmental Forum of Marin are hosting a lecture/workshop on how we can add sustainable housing in our communities on Saturday March 18, 9 am - noon at the Bay Model, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito. Please attend if you can!
Join an experienced team of professional planners, designers and housing developers to discuss the right designs and the right places to locate new sustainable and affordable housing options.
- Bob Brown: Community Development Director, City of Novato
- Doug Elliot: Pacific Rim Real Estate Advisors, Oma Village Builder
- Rick Williams: Architect, Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP
Throughout the lecture, the audience will engage together in small groups in an interactive housing exercise.
More information and online registration:
Yes We Can! The Marin Solution for Housing
Marin County is a model to the nation of how to manage growth and save the natural environment from sprawl. We work to ensure Marin learns from the best places our forebears have left us to find out how we help them thrive.
No other suburb in the state does it as well as we do. More of us walk, bike, or take transit to our jobs than almost anywhere else. We are a transit-oriented county, and the old railroad still runs in our blood. Investing our resources wisely, to move us beyond the car, is the task we inherit.
While we haven't grown much in the past 20 years, Marin has certainly changed. While we were once a haven for the counter-culture and the displaced, now only the wealthiest can live here. We are as friendly and as welcoming a community as ever, and we can do more to help those who work here every day join us in Marin.