THE RESISTANCE

A gallery of 43 Bay Area lawmakers, activists, immigrants, lawyers, engineers, environmentalists, and self-styled revolutionaries preparing to take on the Donald Trump presidency, come what may.

A portfolio by Jason Madara and George McCalman, originally published in the February 2017 issue of San Francisco magazine

Transgender activist Mia “Tu Mutch” Satya is dubious of claims that Trump tolerates LGBTQs. “Donald did hold up a rainbow flag that said ‘LGBT’ on it. But it was upside down, and I think that says a lot about his policies.”

The trajectory of the next four years isn’t known to any of us. We can’t predict whether Donald Trump will be the worst, most malignant version of himself — the bizarre, sneering, volatile, indignant man he often was on the campaign trail (and still is on Twitter) — or the better, kinder, more humane Trump his voters imagine him to be. We don’t know. We don’t know. We don’t know.

However, we can ascertain from his cabinet selections that he is not looking to forge a middle road. His election was a blunt rejection of an overwhelming majority of the voters in metropolitan America, and it stands to reason that his policies will follow the same punitive course.

And so most of us in the urban Bay Area are left with little choice: Either we roll over, or we resist. The 43 individuals pictured here have all resolved, in their own ways, to do the latter.

In anticipation of the coming battles, San Francisco magazine partnered with photographer Jason Madara and creative director George McCalman on “The Resistance,” an extension of the duo’s ongoing “Individuals Project” featuring dozens of Bay Area residents who are changing the physical and cultural landscape. Over the course of three days in December, dozens of local lawmakers, activists, non-profit directors, and self-dubbed revolutionaries streamed, one by one, into Madara’s studio in the Dogpatch district of San Francisco to be photographed and interviewed. Many of their voices can be heard in the audio clips embedded below, as well as in veteran broadcaster Randy Shandobil’s California politics podcast This Golden State. More perspectives on the burgeoning Bay Area resistance, as well as a directory of social-service organizations in need of your time and money, will appear on sanfranmag.com later this week, and in the February 2017 issue of San Francisco, available beginning Thursday, January 26. (You can subscribe to the magazine here, or sign up for email newsletters here.)

Nobody knows what the Trump Age holds in store. But the people pictured below know that the time for blind hope is gone. The time for action is now.


For Rona Popal, executive director of Fremont’s Afghan Coalition, the election has produced a tragic irony: “Even in Afghanistan, people are concerned about what will happen to the immigrant community that lives in the United States.”
Click to listen: The Afghan Coalition’s Rona Popal on the irony of the immigrant situation.

Alexa Koenig, executive director of the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley, launched a wildly popular pilot program in the fall to train students to verify and authenticate instances of hate crime and abuse both domestically and abroad.

“We will not compromise.” — Tom Steyer
After spending over $87 million on the 2016 election — more than any other individual donor — billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer plans to “double down” against the Trump agenda. “We will not compromise on the safety, or prosperity, or dignity of Americans,” he warns. “We will fight for those values till the very end.”
Click to listen: Tom Steyer on a better America.

The grandson of a man imprisoned in 1940s India for his political beliefs, freshman Silicon Valley congressman Ro Khanna says he’d be willing to be arrested for his.
Click to listen: Ro Khanna on surviving the Trump years.

“We’re resilient. We’re tough. And we’ll do whatever it takes to get through this together.” — London Breed, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
San Francisco Board of Supervisors president London Breed is gearing up for retaliation. “San Francisco is a target,” she says. “We do things that other places would never do. At the end of the day, that can make you a target.”

“How can a city or state fight a country? We’ve been doing that in this office for quite some time.” — Dennis Herrera, San Francisco city attorney
City Attorney Dennis Herrera is preparing to give D.C. Republicans a taste of their own medicine: a legal cocktail demanding local control and states’ rights.
Click to listen: Dennis Herrera on San Francisco’s readiness for legal battle.

Abdi Soltani, executive director of the Northern California branch of the ACLU, says they’ll treat Trump the same as any commander in chief: “We hold every president accountable to the nation’s Constitution. We’ll do the same with his successor.”

Fakhra Shah’s election night email to her fellow Mission High teachers — “a racist and sexist man has become the president of our country by pandering to a huge racist and sexist base” — went viral. Although heavily criticized, she says she’ll continue to speak out.

Monadel Herzallah, a board member of the Islamic Society of San Francisco, says Trump’s election “should make us closer and stronger together. We cannot allow scare tactics to terrorize us.”

In Fremont, home to Little Kabul, Afghan Coalition board member Aisha Wahab is bracing for Trump’s suggested Muslim registry. “We definitely will not [cooperate],” she says.

As house minority leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi will be responsible for leading the fight in D.C. — starting, she says, with threatened GOP cuts to Medicare. “What we have to do is appeal to the public to make sure they know what this presidency means to them in their lives,” she says.
Click to listen: Nancy Pelosi on winning over Trump voters.

The only way to prevent mass deportations, says Niloufar Khonsari, executive director of Pangea Legal Services, is to clog the courts. This would require a lot of additional help: “We’d need about 700 attorneys to represent everyone in San Francisco.”
Click to listen: Niloufar Khonsari on the right to move freely.

The day after the election, Mother Jones saw a tenfold surge in donations, says editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery. With Congress safely in Republican hands, she says, “journalists are going to be some of — or for the time being, the only people investigating the kind of crony corruption that’s going on with the Trump administration already.”
Click to listen: Clara Jeffery on discovering common ground between the right and the left.

As the supervisor for the Tenderloin, Jane Kim has many constituents dependent on public assistance who could soon find themselves on the street. “If we really love our country,” she says, “we need to stand up and be a foil to the Trump presidency.”
Click to listen: Jane Kim on the parallel between the Reagan years and the Trump era.

“The lie of American post-racial harmony has been destroyed. And that is a good thing.” — Cat Brooks, Oakland-based organizer
With cuts to social services looming, Oakland organizer Cat Brooks (far right) foresees communities taking lessons from the Black Panthers, and providing for themselves. Pictured with Brooks are, from left, fellow activists Tur-ha Ak, Carroll Fife, and Asantewaa Jordan.
Click to listen: Cat Brooks on the end of complacency.

Says Sally Kinoshita, Immigrant Legal Resource Center deputy director: “If the federal government decides to take this hard-line stance, it will not be the job of cities and counties and schools to target those immigrant community members. That’s not our job, and it’s not our values.”

José Quiñonez’s nonprofit Mission Asset Fund, which pools members’ money together to provide zero-interest loans to the “financially invisible,” will soon expand statewide to lend money specifically earmarked for naturalization fees. “Revolutions don’t start with cynics,” he says.

San Francisco mayor Ed Lee assures that “at the very least, you defend your own character. In San Francisco, we are pro-LGBTQ. We have struggled for many years around the whole story of immigrants. As the first Chinese American mayor, I am very much connected to [the era] when people like us were discriminated against.”

Mission district supervisor Hillary Ronen says eight years of GOP obstructionism has girded municipalities to act on their own: “We’ve seen some of the most progressive policies coming out of states and cities.”

Supervisor Malia Cohen has quashed past attempts to weaken San Francisco’s sanctuary policy: “If people in our community don’t trust law enforcement, no level of police staffing is going to make our community safe.”

Avantika Shastri, the legal director of the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative, believes that the fight to protect the undocumented isn’t only going to be waged in courts. “Legal help by itself is not enough. This is absolutely going to take a community to work together.”

“For all of us, being undocumented — being who we are — is already a form of resistance.” — Andrea Reyes, former DreamSF fellow
From left, Helen Diaz-Calvo, Andrea Reyes, and Ana Morales — all recent fellows of the DreamSF program, whose participants work with immigration-focused nonprofits — are among the over a quarter million DREAMers in California at risk of losing temporary visas.
Click to listen: Immigrant-rights advocate Andrea Reyes on the problem with the emphasis on DREAMers.

Psychotherapist Allison White organized the “Hands Across Lake Merritt” protest several days after the election.
Click to listen: Allison White on the call to come together.

As lead immigration attorney for San Francisco’s Public Defender’s Office, Francisco Ugarte is tasked with informing immigrants how their residency status could be affected by case outcomes. After November 8, his job grew a lot more complicated.

As mayor of San Jose, where 39 percent of residents are foreign-born, Sam Liccardo had a simple message for his city: “We’ve got your back.” That means not cooperating with federal immigration authorities, helping to match undocumented people with outside pro bono defense, and even offering small immigrant businesses city hall resources.

Former state judge LaDoris Cordell foresees the Trump administration undermining police reform: “Police departments aren’t controlled by the federal government. But the federal government can control them by money.”

“Women’s rights, civil rights, workers’ rights, voting rights, and climate”: Those are Democratic strategist (and daughter of the House minority leader) Christine Pelosi’s top five concerns.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom calls Trump’s plan to defund sanctuary cities foolish. “The United States of America needs California more, with all due respect, than California needs it, from an economic perspective.”
Click to listen: Gavin Newsom on standing up for immigrants.

“America bases itself on ‘Justice for all.’ It doesn’t say, ‘Justice for all unless you’re an immigrant.’” — Jeff Adachi
San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi calls himself a “bomb thrower” — precisely what he sees as necessary right now.

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf met with immigrants’ rights groups and hatched a $1.3 million proposal to fund, along with Alameda County, a rapid-response team of lawyers for an informational hotline to help immigrants fight ICE raids.
Click to listen: Libby Schaaf on finding hope in local election results.

“If your information is not encrypted, it will become public.” — Moxie Marlinspike, cybersecurity expert
To close Big Brother’s ears, Moxie Marlinspike and others four years ago began developing Signal, an encrypted text messaging program. He says it is experiencing a 400 percent spike in daily downloads in the wake of Trump’s election.

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s positions won’t satisfy Trump’s most ardent opponents. But she remains pragmatic: “You work with him where you can and you cogently oppose where you can’t. To get funding for California on appropriations, you need to get a presidential signature.”

Ana Herrera, managing attorney at Dolores Street Community Services, pledges a return of rapid-response legal teams of the sort deployed to represent detainees following Bush-era immigration raids

One-third of children in the San Francisco Unified School District have an immigrant parent, says school board president Matt Haney.
Click to listen: Matt Haney on looking out for the school district’s students.

The election of a man who referred to Black Lives Matter as a threat, says Alicia Garza, a cofounder of the organization, isn’t the biggest concern. The apathy is. “What kept people from the polls?” she asks. “What were the things people feel weren’t addressed?”

Paul Chavez, executive director of Centro Legal de la Raza, recalls a middle schooler telling him he was too afraid to attend school. But he wasn’t afraid for himself. “When he got home, his parents might not be there. They might be deported.”

“Americans ought to be nervous if the government is keeping dossiers on them. It means we’re not a free country anymore.” — Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, warns of vast and unchecked governmental snooping.
Click to listen: Cindy Cohn on pushing back against government surveillance.

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