At 99, Verlie Mae Pickens Is Still a Leader in the Community

By Anh Le

Ms. Verlie Mae Pickens, who celebrated her 99th birthday in June, has been a resident of San Francisco for 66 years and a community leader in the Bayview and throughout San Francisco.

Verlie Mae Pickens

Verlie Mae Pickens

Ms. Pickens has volunteered at Bayview Adult Health Center, Dr. George Davis Senior Center, Network for Elders, Senior University, Senior Action Network (S.A.N.), and other community organizations.

Senior University was a program held throughout San Francisco, where seniors and adults with disabilities learned such skills as advocacy and lobbying,.

At Senior University, Ms. Pickens attended every class session for several years.  She arranged for refreshments for each class.

One of the proudest moments at Senior University was when Ms. Pickens and the seniors waged a protest and community organizing campaign to force the FoodsCo Supermarket store in the Bayview to stop selling rotten and spoiled foods.

Ms. Pickens remains very active in the programs at the Dr. George Davis Senior Center, Network for Elders, and Seniors and Disability Network.

Every year for the Black Cuisine Feast held at the Dr. George Davis Senior Center, she prepares her famous and delicious peach cobbler pie dessert dish.

She is also active at the Jones Memorial United Methodist Church.

For her 99th Birthday Celebration, Ms. Pickens was honored by Rev. Staci Current, pastor at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church and churchgoers during the Sunday morning service.

A grand birthday party was held for her at the Dr. George Davis Senior Center.

Anh Le served as director of Senior University at Senior Action Network and also worked at the Network for Elders in the Bayview and Hunter’s Point. He is a community organizer and educator, writer and independent journalist.

Courtesy of the San Francisco Post, September 4, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)