MEDA vows to stand up for fairness and equity for all communities being unjustly and immorally targeted. We welcome everyone to Plaza Adelante. MEDA pledges to be a safe place for immigrants: we will not welcome any immigration official presence at Plaza Adelante; we will not turn over any client records; and we will fight any such efforts through the appropriate legal means. Plaza Adelante is a sanctuary community center! We understand that displacement does not just happen because of a housing crisis — it can take many forms.
San Francisco’s Mission District has been facing — and continues to face — one of the most severe housing crises of any neighborhood in the nation, with about 8,000 people displaced from this community in the last decade. That’s over 25 percent.
Displacement has become an even greater threat to our community, pushing vulnerable families out of our Sanctuary City, with its safeguards and legal representation from immigration officials, universal healthcare with Healthy SF, tenants’ rights and rent control, and culturally relevant access to services to help working families succeed.
Strengthening our low-income Latino immigrant community, and the Mission District in particular, is what drives MEDA’s work. Our organization has evolved over the years to meet our families’ needs around housing, education and access to capital. Also, because we know that supporting this community is truly a collective effort, our relationships with partners have strengthened.
Working to stabilize and strengthen this community over the past two decades has been extremely challenging. Since November, this effort has become that much more difficult, given the stated policies regarding “the Wall,” efforts to curtail health care benefits and increasing deportations. The recent immigration ban is a direct, disdainful attack on immigrants: An attack on one immigrant community is an attack on all immigrant communities.
This challenging political climate — a time of uncertainty like we have never seen before — requires all of us to stand up for what we believe in. And we must stand up.
What we are doing
Our mission and vision remains focused on Latinos, as MEDA strengthens our community via five results. Specifically, we know that while services remain important in stabilizing our families, we must go beyond services as a way to address the current situation.
- Families are Financially Thriving. Among other services, our tax season is in full swing, providing free services and with $1 million in refunds already returned to the community.
- Families Have Affordable and Stable Housing. MEDA is building and preserving close to 1,000 apartments in direct response to the displacement of families, seniors and other vulnerable populations.
- Children and Youth Succeed in School. Neighborhood partners are diligently working to ensure that every Mission student has the opportunity to succeed academically.
- San Francisco Latinos are Decision-makers in the Institutions and Political Systems that Affect their Lives. We are committed to ensuring that immigrant parents have a voice in the education of their children in the San Francisco school district via the implementation of Prop N, the Immigrant Parent Right to Vote measure that passed last November. We remain steadfast in our organizing, leadership development and policy efforts to ensure that immigrant voices remain present and heard in local, state and federal policies.
- The Mission is a Strong and Supportive Community for Latino Residents, Businesses and Institutions. Our Adelante Fund is providing loans to small businesses — over $1 million to date — of which 89 percent are owned by immigrants. At the same time, our real estate development efforts are designed to house community organizations, art organizations and family-serving, small businesses.
MEDA stands by, and with, our immigrant community. Always.
Chief Executive Officer