As it neared midnight on Tuesday, after many hours of impassioned debate and testimony from the community, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors failed to pass a 45-day pause on Mission luxury housing. The vote was seven ayes and four nays, two short of what is required for passage.
While District 9 Supervisor Campos’ measure went down to narrow defeat, it was interesting to note the momentum that has been built for the city to take immediate action on affordable housing in the Mission, the neighborhood impacted the most by the increasing income inequality in San Francisco. The Mission is rapidly transforming into an expensive enclave that will no longer be that starting point for Latinos who leave their homeland in the hope of a better life. This is coupled with a working-class population compelled to leave their longtime Mission neighborhood if they lose their rent-controlled apartments. That means teachers. Nurses. Social workers.
The Mission Action Plan 2020 (MAP2020), of which MEDA is a part, will harness the energy of the throng at City Hall last night and transform this movement into positive change.
Thanks to all who signed the MAP2020 online petition in support of the pause on Mission luxury housing.
Below are a few of the insightful comments submitted in the almost 1,800 signatures collected to date.
“I see the effect on the community first hand, as my five-year-old often talks about being evicted as she plays in her imaginary doll house.”
“Stop allowing developers to sell their new condos to international buyers whose sole purpose is to have a vacation a couple of weeks a year.”
“I lived in the Mission from 1971 to 1986, when we moved to Bernal Heights. Our daughter was born in the Mission. We couldn’t afford to move there now.”
“Don’t let the continuing onslaught of market-rate development stifle our dreams.”
“I was driving in The Mission one morning, and I did a double take. What on earth is that Vida property?!!” It was a multicolored, oddly shaped edifice of a new building, on a major Mission thoroughfare. I kept looking, with my mouth open and my eyes disbelieving. The building has no relevance or relationship to the neighborhood. I have since labeled it ‘The Clown Building.’”
“I urge you to listen to those who serve your coffee and attend your schools, those who’ve made the art you have stood in front of for photo ops. Those who have been paying their taxes for generations, for people such as yourselves to represent the interests of a diverse San Francisco–the people who live here, not the national developers who wash in and out with the tide.”
“I lived (rented) on Alabama Street and Cesar Chavez for 10 years. I moved to Oakland in November 2014 because there was no way I could afford a home on my salary. I still work in San Francisco, as a manger in a nonprofit organization.”
“I am a native San Franciscan who lives each day in fear of being evicted.”
“We need to plan. We need to find new sources of revenue for truly affordable housing.”
“My old neighborhood does little more than make me feel sad and angry these days. This is an emergency.”
“Please stop the steamrolling of our diverse San Francisco. We’re nothing without a varied, colorful, multi-ethnic populace.”
“I’ve lived in the Mission for over 20 years. What’s happening to the neighborhood–and the city in general–is heartbreaking. The soul is being ripped out, one gentrifying block and one luxury condo at a time. A city needs to welcome all: rich, middle class, working class and low income.”
“Together we have helped to build a San Francisco that values the contributions of the immigrant community. But if they can’t live here, we have much to lose.”
“Something needs to be done to keep middle-class renters in San Francisco. The only reason my husband and I can stay is that we’re protected tenants with rent control.”
“I’m old enough to remember the urban removal of the African-American community from the Fillmore. The image of an elder sitting in the window of her home, standing her ground refusing to move, is forever etched in my memory, as are the bulldozers that systematically destroyed the homes of so many community members. Let’s not repeat history.”