Press Release: Mayor Lee Refuses To Address Urgent Crisis with San Francisco's Latino Community

BlogChristopher Gil
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Mission Economic Development Agency
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152

June 21, 2016

Mayor Lee Refuses To Address Urgent Crisis with San Francisco’s Latino Community
Press Conference to be Held Tomorrow

San Francisco, Calif. — The San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition has warned Mayor Lee that his indifference to the Latino community is developing into a pattern. The coalition advised: “First, our housing needs were ignored. Then, our calls for police accountability were ignored. Now, the urgent safety net and service needs of community are ignored.”

Press Event:
Wednesday, June 22, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
22nd & Mission, in front of burned-down Mission Market building

After repeated requests to meet with Mayor Lee, leaders from San Francisco’s Latino community criticized Lee for ignoring the gaping hole of safety net, public health and human services needed as a result of the housing crisis and widespread displacement of Latino families. Organizations are experiencing increased requests from families for support for food and clothing, legal assistance, interpretation assistance, tenant support, behavioral and mental health issues, youth support, school readiness and tutoring for children, among others.

“Displacement has impacted more than the housing needs of our community; that’s just the beginning of the suffering gentrification has caused our community,” stated Santiago Ruiz, Executive Director of Mission Neighborhood Centers. “It has led to higher unemployment, increased mental health issues, worsened education outcomes for our children and increased evidence of community trauma. So it is puzzling to us why the Mayor is willing to put these issues on the back burner.”

According to 2015 PolicyLink report, “San Francisco is the only one of the five central Bay Area counties where ethnic and racial diversity will actually decrease.” (Yollin, Patricia, “S.F. Could Be Much Whiter in 25 Years, While the Rest of Region Gets More Diverse” KQED News, October 26, 2015.)

It is Mayor Lee’s job to be responsive to community residents. The coalition is developing a multi-year agenda together with residents most impacted aimed at building community resiliency and empowerment.

Short-term demand is to address the immediate needs facing the Latino community through a $7 million budget that incorporates urgent and emergency needs, physical and mental health needs, legal services, workforce development, educational and family support. These areas have been made worse because of the Mayor’s own policies on housing, business tax waivers and policing decisions.

22nd & Mission — City Lands In People’s Hands
Dozens of members of the the San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition will gather in front of the historic Mission Market site that burned down last year and was recently demolished. The site is significant because it claimed the life of a young Latino Immigrant, displaced hundreds of residents and dozens of businesses, and dislocated many jobs. This is one of many sites throughout Latino communities the City should acquire and develop into housing, community services and small-business opportunities for working families. The coalition comprises over 30 nonprofit organizations serving the San Francisco Latino community, and representing tens of thousands of constituents in the areas of housing, social service, education and advocacy.


Mission Economic Development Agency

About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.

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