San Francisco

Free City College!

By Marcy Rein, Vicki Legion and Mickey Ellinger

This article is a preview from the book Free City! Reclaiming College of San Francisco and Free Education for All.

Community colleges serve more than 40 percent of all US college students and provide a crucial entry point to post-secondary education for working class students and students of color. California teaches an outsize share of community college students, and City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is one of the state’s largest. Since its founding in 1935, CCSF has grown deep roots in the community. It teaches firefighters, chefs, medical techs and scores of other essential workers; its English as a Second Language department, the school’s largest, has taught English to generations of new immigrants; it has opened paths to four-year colleges, second chances, and lifelong learning. Sometimes called “the most important working class institution in San Francisco,” it stands firm on the 1960s legacy of open admissions.

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Her Arkipelago

By Christine Joy Ferrer

Interview with Marie Romero, founder and owner of Arkipelago Books, the only Filipino Bookstore in San Francisco, with a foreword by Beatriz Datangel, her daughter.

Marie Romero. Courtesy of Kanlaoan/anthropologist.wordpress.com.Arkipelago Books has thrived in San Francisco’s SoMA district for over 20 years. It has a wide selection of readings, from fiction and nonfiction, to poetry and children’s books, as well as historical text from a wide variety of Filipino and Filipino American authors. There used to be a larger population of Filipinos in San Francisco. In the 1960s, San Francisco was home to a vibrant Manilatown, which stretched almost 10 blocks along Kearny Street near Chinatown. Then, Filipino businesses and residents were forced out after the expansion of the Financial District in the late 1960s. And in 1977, many Filipino tenants faced eviction from the International Hotel. In the aftermath, some businesses and residents left the city altogether, while others migrated to the South of Market, filling the residential hotels and small apartment buildings along the district’s many alleyways. In 2017, the struggle for cultural communities to hold space in San Francisco continues.

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Kristine Mays

Kristine Mays c. 2016 Jarrel Phillips

"I refer to San Francisco as my city, my love or as my baby. My baby is in an awkward position right now. I feel like it’s in some awkward teenage stage where… you know, when you see an adolescent kid and they haven’t quite formed into anything yet. I question myself over and over again as to why I’m here in San Francisco. Why don’t I just throw in the towel and go somewhere else? Yet, I’m still curious to see what’s going to happen. What’s going to come out of it?..."

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