Treasure Island Organizer Fights to Make Residents Heard

View of downtown San Francisco from Treasure Island.

Peter Snarr/San Francisco Public Press

View of downtown San Francisco from Treasure Island.

When the shelter-in-place order went into effect in San Francisco to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Treasure Island was going into a different kind of isolation than the rest of San Francisco. The island has extremely limited public transit service, just one grocery store, no public school and experiences frequent blackouts.

Residents, including Hope Williams, jumped into action. Williams has been organizing to bring attention to problems on the island for years. When the pandemic hit, she helped arrange meal pickups for food-insecure families and since then has worked tirelessly with other residents, legislators and others with influence to advocate for Treasure Island residents to get a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions about the island’s future. So far, Williams said, residents have too often been excluded.

“We’re not welcome in the spaces that determine our fate. Our fate is determined by people who don’t even live on the island, they don’t wake up to the construction, they don’t wake up to the mold, they don’t wake up to the blackouts. They’re not even here.”

— Hope Williams