ILWU Coast Committeeman, Ray Ortiz, Jr. joined former San Francisco Mayor and political heavy-hitter, Willie Brown, Jr., to support the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center on January 30th in San Francisco.
Mayor Brown was honored at a fundraising event for the Center to support its expansion efforts. The city has already approved a plan to demolish and expand the Center into a 20,000 square-foot comprehensive community institution with two distinct components – affordable homes for San Francisco families and an expanded community center to better provide assistance and resources to San Francisco’s underserved communities. The Coast Longshore Division of the ILWU has been a strong supporter of the Booker T. Washington Center. In July of last year, they presented a check for 0,000 to the Center to support the expansion.
The Booker T. Washington Center was launched shortly after World War I as a resource for San Francisco’s African American population. When it first opened its doors, it was responding to the lack of services available to African Americans. At the time, this included union membership. However, ILWU locals in San Francisco have always been inclusive and this is how the initial bond between the two organizations was formed.