Joseph Smooke

Joseph Smooke People Power Media Contributor

Joseph has international experience as a photojournalist and videographer, editor of a community newspaper in San Francisco, Program Director for Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, and as a Program and Executive Director for the non-profit organization Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (BHNC). Joseph is based out of San Francisco, CA and has worked in nonprofits in the city and Bay Area since 1993. Joseph has been a Legislative Aide to two of the members of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and is a professional member of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA).

Stories & Opinion

The Mission Takes San Francisco City Hall

Protest Lead by the Mission Neighborhood Demands Affordability
Hundreds gather inside San Francisco City Hall to demand affordable housing and a stop on evictions and luxury housing in the Mission District.

Exclusive Exposé: The Wild West of Landlord Technology

Property Tech is Ruining Your Community and You Don't Even Know It

Special thanks to Anti-Eviction Mapping Project co-founder and postdoctoral researcher at NYU's AI Now Institute, Erin McElroy; UC Berkeley professor, Desiree Fields; and MIT PhD candidate, Won

Achieving Equity In City Planning

DAPSS: A Revolutionary New Framework for Planning Cities
DAPSS: A Revolutionary New Framework for Planning Cities that hinges on Desegregation, Affordability, Production, Stability and Sustainability

COVID-19 Resource & Action Guide, Part 3

Coronavirus resource and action guide

Priced Out sa Tagalog

All six episodes of Priced Out with subttiles in Tagalog


Panoorin ang mga subtitle ng Tagalog

"Priced Out" Trailer

Priced Out is an engaging animated web series that follows a young couple as they discover why housing is so expensive and what we can all do about it.

Episode 1: "Isn't There an App for That?"

Click on the title for more info about this Episode!
Meet Curtis, a High School teacher, and Riley, a tech gig worker, in their micro-unit in San Francisco. They've just received a rent increase and need to figure out how to keep their growing family in the City.

SROs Being Converted into Luxury Dorms

Video on Raising Awareness with Senior & Disability Action & SRO Leaders
SRO buildings are being targeted for conversion from low-income housing to luxury dorms. SRO Resident Leaders and Senior & Disability Action are organizing residents to identify when these illegal conversions are happening in their buildings.

92-Year-Old Among Filipinos Facing Eviction in SoMa

Four Families on Natoma Street Served with Ellis Act Evictions
Four Filipino-American families, including a 4-year-old girl and a 92-year-old grandmother, are being evicted from their homes in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco.

Free Eviction Defense on SF June Ballot

Grassroots mobilizations for Prop F
Proposition F, a measure on the June 5 ballot, would provide free legal representation to San Francisco tenants. Prop F is supported by grassroots mobilizations throughout the City.

Government Programs

Resources on government investments and interventions to make housing more affordable.

Op-Ed: SB 827 is a Gentrification Bomb

California Bill will Incentivize Gentrification of Already Vulnerable Neighborhoods
There’s a new bill in California ready to set off the biggest gentrification bomb the state has ever seen-- Senate Bill SB 827. It will cause displacement in already vulnerable communities-- working class neighborhoods and communities of color.

Op-Ed: Transit Decoy for Gentrification

Proposed California Bill SB 827 Will Displace Tenants & Line Developers' Pockets
Newly proposed State bill SB 827 encourages gentrification in low-income communities throughout California and gives value to landowners and developers with no public benefit in return.

Dualing Interviews on SB 827

CA Senator Wiener & People Power Media Co-founder
Host of KPFA Radio's "UpFront", Brian Edwards-Tiekert, interviews People Power Media co-founder Joseph Smooke in Joseph's capacity as Westside Program Director of Housing Rights Committee San Francisco. The interview is about the proposed California State Senate bill SB 827 that would displace existing residents around transportation hubs.

Episode 5: “WTF SF?”

Curtis and Riley put all the pieces together and they're not sure what to do about finding a place to live. As they walk the streets, they run into a rally outside City Hall.

Rent Control Showdown in Sacramento

California Assemblymembers consider reversing a major barrier to expanding rent control in cities, such as San Francisco, where rents are rising much faster than most people can pay.

Protest Against Corporate Landlords

Tenants and tenants rights organizations rallied in San Francisco as part of a Statewide day of protests against corporate landlords. With the backdrop of Financial District highrises, the protesters attempted to reach the executive offices of Starwood Waypoint, landlord to tens of thousands of residents across the United States.

No to Trump's Affordable Housing Cuts

Housing advocates demand no budget cuts to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development outside the San Francisco office of CA Senator Kamala Harris. The cuts to HUD proposed by President Trump would result in nearly $1 Billion a year being lost just for the State of California.

San Francisco May Day 2017

People Power Media's images of the march of workers on May Day 2017, the first during President Donald Trump.

Women's March, Ketchum Idaho

Joining protests around the world, a rural town in the Idaho Rockie Mountains march for women's rights two days after the inagauration of President Donald Trump.

Voter Guide 2016

[people. power. media] San Francisco Voter Guide 2016
[people. power. media] San Francisco Voter Guide 2016

"Google Bus" Blockade in San Francisco

Protest Blocks Buses as SF Decides Fate of Tech Shuttles
Activists set up tech shuttle blockade as community appeals use of "google buses" at public bus stops in San Francisco.

Op-Ed: The Displacement Bomb Set to Explode SF

And You’ve Never Even Heard of It: The Density Housing Program
Your rent-controlled home and neighborhood small businesses are standing selfishly in the way of progress according to the proposed Affordable Housing Density Bonus Program.

Community Rejects Developer's Benefits Proposal

Plaza 16 Coalition Denies "Monster in the Mission" Proposal
Community members distrust and anger drowns out a developers’ presentation, as they reject the "benefits agreement" for condos in San Francisco's Mission District.

Public Lands for Public Benefit

Benefit the Public, Not Luxury Devlopers, Plus Ways to Get There

A record number of students are homeless. Essential nonprofit organizations are being displaced from the communities they serve. 

Oakland Residents Resist Public Land For Condos

The City of Oakland has recommended that a large parcel of public land near Lake Merritt be developed as market rate condos. Residents of Eastlake neighborhood speak out against the development, advocating for affordable housing instead.

Community Demands 100 Percent Affordable

Affordable Housing a Priority of Plaza 16 Coalition
Organizer with the Mission SRO Collaborative, Chirag Bhakta, and community members demand 100 percent affordable housing.

Teacher Mic Checks Condo Developer

Community Speaks at "Monster in the Mission" Meeting
Longtime teacher San Francisco Nancy Obregon tells developer through a powerful mic check that she can't afford the condos proposed for her neighborhood, the Mission District.

UnThanksgiving Ceremony on Alcatraz

Indigenous Peoples' Annual UnThanksgiving Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island
30th Indigenous Peoples' Annual UnThanksgiving Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island. This year's ceremony commemmorated the 40th year of the IITC and the 1969 to 1971 Indigenous re-settling of Alcatraz Island following the closing of the prison in 1963.

Op-Ed: SF Planning Department's Infomercial

Interview with Fernando Martí
Fernando Martí (CCHO) says San Francisco Planning Department's recently released video glosses over the City's lack of real numbers and strategies for affordable housing.

What's Next for the San Francisco Bay Guardian

With the iconic Powell Street cable car turnaround as the backdrop, former staff of the Guardian, the alternative weekly that served as a leading voice for progressives in San Francisco, announced their plan to give the paper a proper send off after it was unceremoniously shut down last week.

Developers Won't Solve the SF Housing Crisis

The Definitive Response to Supply-side Solutionists

Activists marauding Google buses, the hippie enclave turning into a playground for the rich, the threat of beautiful Victorians being plowed over for boxy condos.

How Net Neutrality Impacts People of Color

FCC Proposed Limits to Internet Access Will Limit the Voices of Marginalized Communities
 Whether the fight is against immigration and deportation or whether it’s police brutality the internet provides a place for marginalized communities to mobilize our voices, but proposed changes to "Net Neutrality" by the FCC will change that.

Op-Ed: Improving SF's Small Sites Program

What's wrong with SF's Mayor's Small Sites Acquisition Program & How to Fix It
The Program allows these developers to access $3 million in City funds to purchase between 5 and 25 unit buildings in San Francisco. This opinion piece explains some of the core problems and missed opportunities concerning how this program is being rolled out.

Farm Workers Surviving the Drought in California

Undocumented Workers Struggle to Put Food on the Table
Undocumented farm workers are hit the hardest because of California's extreme drought. We went to the heart of the Central Valley, west Fresno County, to talk to residents about how they're surviving the massive job losses.

Fighting to Stay: Stopping Evictions in SF

As the economy in San Francisco heats up, evictions are on the rise. Tenants and tenants rights advocates have joined together to push for laws that protect tenants. Legislators in San Francisco and Sacramento are responding, but is it enough?

Confronting Philippine Ambassador on Human Trafficking Case

On May 16, 2014, representatives from BAYAN-USA, Migrante and NAFCON met with the Philippines Ambassador to the US, Jose L. Cuisa, Jr. at the Philippines Consulate in San Francisco. They were seeking prosecution of Isidro Rodriguez for the alleged human trafficking of over 200 Filipino teachers to the US.

US Military's "Asia Pivot" & Human Rights

Our report brings to light this little known development in US politics and will explore how the increasing US military presence is impacting communities in the Philippines.

Pushing for a Higher SF Minimum Wage

Community & Labor Push for Higher San Francisco Minimum Wage as Cost of Living Soars
San Francisco’s new minimum wage could be highest in the country if passed on the November 2014 ballot. Community and labor groups that make up the Coalition for a Fair Economy are pushing for a higher minimum wage as rents in the San Francisco also top all other US cities.

Dyan speaks on News Literacy Panel

The Media Consortium Conference
[people. power. media] Co-founder, Dyan Ruiz, speaks on how news literacy is a two-way street between newsrooms and communities they report on. She explains the different ways that community input and participation is critical to the reporting philosophy of [people. power. media].

Toronto Public Housing Residents Bring Demands to Feds

Historic Rally Joins Tenants and City Officials in Demand for Repairs Funding
In a historic protest, public housing residents brought their demand for repairs funding straight to the federal government on Nov. 20. This was the first time Toronto public housing residents joined forces with city representatives and travelled to Ottawa to bring attention to the affordable housing crisis.

A Vote for Affordable Housing

Proposition C: Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Community groups mobilize to pass a dedicated fund for affordable housing in San Francisco.

Tar Sands Protesters Commandeer Public Meeting

Action against Enbridge's Oil Pipeline 9B
First Nations and environmental activists interrupt Enbridge’s pipeline plans at a National Energy Board hearing in Toronto regarding Line 9B, a pipeline that conveys crude oil between Sarnia, Ontario and Montréal, Quebec.

Activists Fight Corporate & Military Forces

People Power Media's Investigative Report from Caraga, Mindanao, Philippines
Corporate agribusiness, like US-based Dole, and large-scale mining are threatening the lives and environment of rural Filipinos, but they're ready to fight for way of life. People Power Media travels to Caraga, Mindanao to investigate how global corporations are tearing down mountains, and poisoning and even killing indigenous and local people.

Philippines SONA Rally 2013

People Power Media Reports from the People's State of the Nation Address in Manila
Thousands of people took to the streets when the President of the Philippines delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address. They decry President Benigno Aquino's failure to address the widespread poverty, corruption and human rights abuses.

Community Victory over Major Healthcare Corporation

A healthcare corporation threatened to shut down a critical hospital for low income San Franciscans. The story of how community and labor groups successfully saved a hospital and forced real benefits over profit.

Filipinos in San Francisco Rally Against Modern Slavery

Protest on Death & Abuse of Oil Rig Workers in New Orleans
A crowd of protesters gathered around the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco to demand action on the deaths, human trafficking and abuse of Filipino migrant workers on an oil rig in New Orleans.

Waiting for Affordable Housing

The wait list for public housing in Toronto is over 10 years long. A look at what Toronto residents endure as they wait for affordable housing.
Watch "Priced Out" our award-winning animated short about why you can't afford to live in the city. Watch