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Thursday, February 5, 2009

'It Was ME!': Tenderloin Activist Pleads for More Credit In Anti-Soup Kitchen Campaign

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Community Leadership Alliance director David Villa-Lobos
  • Community Leadership Alliance director David Villa-Lobos

In this week's cover story, we reported on how an overload of social-service outlets in the Tenderloin has galvanized community organizers who say the needs of homeless adults are being met at the expense of the neighborhood's families and businesses. As that fight continues, it appears that cohesiveness is not necessarily these activists' strong suit.

David Villa-Lobos, director of the Community Leadership Alliance and a declared candidate in the 2010 race for District 6 supervisor, fired off a mass e-mail a few days ago complaining that he wasn't being given proper credit for efforts to oust a newly arrived soup kitchen on Turk Street. At issue was a recent story by San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius about the kitchen, which is run by Fraternite Notre Dame, a Chicago-based religious order.

Villa-Lobos claimed that another activist, Elaine Zamora of the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District, was hogging the spotlight in her comments to Nevius. In fact, Villa-Lobos writes in his e-mail, "It was ME!, and the Community Leadership Alliance that without payment, or salary took the lead on this project, and ABSOLUTELY no one else... PLEASE!!!!, I beseech you, and as hopefully my friends, to contact Mr. Nevius and let him know, how I, and I alone took the lead on the soup kitchen issue."

He continues, "By-the-way, and for full disclosure, I, and the Community Leadership Alliance unlike Ms.Elaine Zamora of the North of Market Community Benefits District, and Mr.Randy Shaw of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, receive absolutely no outside funding. Nor do I earn an exorbitant salary as both of those individuals." Ouch.

We called Zamora for her response to this broadside. No word back yet. Shaw, who was also mentioned in Nevius' column, declined to comment.

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Peter Jamison


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