CEO Luis Granados' Speech: Casa Adelante - 2828 16th St. Grand Opening

I need to start by sharing my gratitude — MEDA’s gratitude — to everyone who made this project a reality.

TNDC could not have been a better partner. Thank you, Maurilio. I am so glad we are celebrating this project together. I also need to recognize Don Falk’s leadership whose support of this project has been second to none. 

Supervisor Ronen, you have been right there with us as we embarked on this affordable housing journey almost a decade ago, which has now resulted in hundreds of affordable housing units being completed in our neighborhood.  

Mayor Breed, you and your administration have been shepherding this project all the way to the finish line. And, on a different but related note, we are so thankful for your leadership in addressing the pandemic in our community. Right now, San Francisco has the highest vaccination rate for any Latino community in the nation.

Speaker Pelosi, you have been responsible for bringing federal resources to our San Francisco Latino community, and other communities of color throughout our nation. Your leadership is so present, and takes many forms. That may mean:

  • Making Obamacare a reality; 
  • Standing up to the tyranny of the last federal administration; and/or 
  • Showing our nation’s true values by visiting the people of Ukraine.

Your leadership and toughness are undeniable.

And, I have to show my full gratitude to our MEDA team. You are incredible. It is truly an honor to work with each of you. I especially want to thank Karoleen Feng. You made this project happen. 

Six years ago, when MEDA first took a look at this site, we imagined WHAT IF. 

What if we could build homes to keep families in place?

What if we could ensure nonprofits and arts & cultural institutions had permanent homes? 

What if we could create early learning opportunities for kids through our Mission Promise Neighborhood initiative?

Today, we come together to celebrate the re-rooting of our community members – especially our families.

Now we have:143 affordable homes, over 16,600 square feet of commercial space and a gleaming building showcasing community ownership in the Mission.

This project has been a collective effort. It is truly our collective win.

The Mission community advocated and fought to ensure that this site was earmarked for 100% affordable housing. Our collective advocacy resulted in $50 million being dedicated to the Mission from the passage of the Prop A affordable housing bond in 2015. It is with those funds that we made Casa Adelante – 2828 16th St. a reality.

Other investors who put their own financial resources to make this project a reality included: MEDA; TNDC; Spike Khan; Jean Yaste; and Century Housing Corporation.

Creating permanent affordable housing is transformational for a city, a neighborhood and for the families who live there. Home isn’t just the four walls housing our families: It’s also the neighborhood in which they live. We must continue to create place by maintaining and strengthening the ecosystem that supports our culture and our families. 

That’s why Casa Adelante – 2828 16th Street offers longtime homes and spaces for three organizations important for strengthening our community members: Galería de la Raza; HOMEY; and Felton Institute. Together, we lifted up the importance of cultural placekeeping, and the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development came through, expanding their robust Community Cornerstones program, with $1.35 million allocated for the build-out of these Galería, HOMEY and Felton spaces in this property.

The COVID-19 crisis showed us more than ever how critical stable housing is for our most vulnerable community members. Health is housing. Housing is health. 

Today’s event celebrates this community within a community, and is now poised to thrive for decades to come.

With it being “San Francisco Affordable Housing Week,” it is now my honor to invite Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to the podium. For decades, Speaker Pelosi has been a staunch supporter of affordable housing, pushing forth equitable policies that are keeping her home District a welcoming place for all. Additionally, just this year, she ensured $2 million in appropriations for our Mission cultural placekeepers. In part, that funding will support the build-out of the permanent spaces for Galería de La Raza and HOMEY, strengthening the Mission’s cultural ecosystem. 

This is also “National Small Business Week,” and the Speaker championed critical pandemic relief which has helped our Latino businesses best weather the storm. They are now poised to thrive and not just survive. Speaker Pelosi, your long-term commitment to equity is unparalleled. You are a person of values, principles and action. Our collective work toward social justice would not be possible without your visionary leadership.

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