Community Meeting Reveals Sharp Differences

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En Español.

An event Monday evening billed as an open conversation about changes in the Mission attracted a standing room only crowd of nearly 100 people who voiced concerns about a range of issues related to what Supervisor David Campos called “a tale of two cities.”

“There’s a great deal of wealth and economic development happening but there’s a great deal of people being left out…We’re at a crossroads and it’s going to take this community organizing to make change,” Campos said before leaving for another event.

Nominally organized by the “No to Jack Spade” campaign, which opposes the arrival of the luxury retailer on 16th Street, the event at the 518 Valencia St Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics touched on homelessness, lack of economic opportunities for longtime residents, the prevalence of Ellis Act evictions, real estate speculation, tax breaks for tech companies and displacement of longtime business owners.

Rose Aguilar, host of KALW’s call-in show “Your Call,” said that she hoped the night would lead to collective action. “I don’t want to end the night without talking about what can be done,” Aguilar said. “I don’t want you to leave being angrier than you already are.”

Most immediately, organizers asked for support at a public hearing on Jack Spade’s building permits on October 9 at 5 p.m. at City Hall and a march against evictions on October 12 at 2 p.m. on 24th Street.

Though speakers focused on different topics, the event revealed a deep well of shared disappointment and anger over the current state of affairs in the Mission.

“This was my home and now it’s gone, and I’m pissed,” said one woman during a portion of the evening for open comment.

The event included a group of six panelists including Mia Gonzalez, owner of the recently evicted Encantada Gallery on Valencia Street, who spoke of how rising rent has displaced small business owners. Gabriel Medina, policy manager of the Mission Economic Development Agency, discussed the lack of job opportunities for longtime neighborhood residents and people of color. Oscar Grande of the organization People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) talked of the need to ensure that public land is used for public good.

Erick Arguello, president of the Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighbors Association, shared concerns about developers speculating and trying to push out longtime Latino business owners. “They have these roots and they don’t want to go, but they’re getting pressured,”Arguello said.

Laura Guzman, of the Mission Neighborhood Health Resource Center, spoke on the Mission’s large homeless population, saying, “There’s no real long-term solution on housing…it’s criminal to have the level of poverty we’re seeing.”

Nickolas Pagoulatos, a legislative aid to Supervisor Eric Mar, started off his comments with this directive: “Get pissed off, folks. Anger is a good thing especially in the face of injustice.”

Pagoulatos said that Mar has recently drafted legislation changing how the city defines formula retail, which will make it harder for stores like Jack Spade to open in the Mission.

During the open comment period, more than a dozen people came to the microphone to share stories of displacement and the disconnectedness they felt from new residents, many of whom work in the tech industry and board the large buses that move through the neighborhood every morning and evening.

Martina Ayala, an arts educator in the Mission, said that for an upcoming Dia de los Muertos art show she’s organizing at the Mission Cultural Center “we’re building altars for the businesses that are no longer with us because of rising rents, the nonprofits that have shut down because of a lack of grant money.”

Organizers hoped the event would bring people from disparate communities and organizations together to coordinate around issues that unify the whole neighborhood.

“We need to look beyond individual issues,”Pagoulatos said. “I’m excited to see this particular bisection of people in one room.”

One moment to indicate that the evening may have created just those new alliances occurred when the moderator asked if anyone in the room had contact with the new tech employees.

Chris Murphy, a three-year Mission resident and employee of the startup Zoomforth, raised his hand. Murphy said he’s part of a new organization of tech workers whose companies are based in the Mission. His  group, in conjunction with former Supervisor Christina Olague, have begun discussions about the obligations tech companies have to the community where they’re located.

“It’s been very nascent so far, but our goal is to start talking about tech’s role in the communities where they operate,” Murphy said. “Because we don’t operate retail stores, it’s an inherently foreign idea to many tech companies to have any community obligation at all.”

At the end of the evening, Jefferson McCarley from Mission Bicycle and a chief organizer in the campaign to oppose Jack Spade, said, “We discussed a variety of complex issues, that overlapped in sophisticated ways and are important to all of us…People are really frustrated, but they’re not hopeless.”

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89 Comments

  1. Pamela

    Get over it!
    The people involved in Jack Spade have gone through all the paperwork, permit process, building forms, & has had final approval to open the shop. Bring it on. More good stuff will follow.
    The ship has sailed about slowing down/stopping gentrification.The Mission is improving by leaps & bounds. Going, going gone are the junk that line the streets. Businesses like Mission Minis, Wise Sons, Philz Coffee, Humphrey Slocumbe, etc. have changed that stretch for the better. New businesses that normally would go to Valencia St are now going into Mission St. Big win.
    It is a very nice change to have educated, white collar professionals starting businesses, buying into District 9.
    Most likely the businesses that are gone from the Mission are the usual schlock shops whose time has come.
    As for the non-profits, they probably weren’t doing what they were supposed to. End of funding.
    Instead of complaining about a business or residents that are upgrading the neighborhood, how about doing something about stopping the constant violence in certain blocks of the Mission. 16th to 24th/Mission is the worst stretch in SF. Or do something that will upgrade yourself to be able to stay in the area. This is where Supervisor Campos needs to put all his efforts into.
    As for Mr McCarley complaining, it’s being somewhat hypocritical. Mission Bicycle has the most expensive bikes that most people cannot afford. He used to be a top guy at Gap.

      • Hazbeen

        “It is a very nice change to have educated, white collar professionals starting businesses, buying into District 9.”

        Key word being “white.” This is not-so-subtle racism at it;s most ugly and offensive. Your words have framed your argument far better than I ever could have.

    • Please explain how it’s an “improvement” to replace long running, community supported businesses with mall stores. Because that sounds more like destruction than improvement.

      • Please Explain

        What was in place of most “long running” stores before the new “long running” stores took them over?

        Oh and folks, how was your $6 artisanal, fair-trade, organic coffee today as you rode on a new Muni bus while pecking away on your $500 mobile phone with its $100/month contract? Also, enjoy your $12 sandwich with your $5 bottle of water!

        • Please take your trolling about how expensive everything is and get lost. That’s not the subject we’re discussing, thanks.

          • Tom

            This is where you lose me. “How expensive everything is” is directly related to this and the person makes a good point. Why is it that your level and/or quality of life (which is actually considered expensive) not relevant to a conversation around folks being pushed out for economical reasons?

    • Myrna

      Perhaps if you dropped the dismissive and disrespectful tone and attitude, and tried to understand where people are coming from in their pain, we could come up with a more equitable neighborhood planning process.

    • Annabelle

      It’s not over, Pamela. Guess you didn’t make it to the 5th paragraph. Another hearing, and until then work is halted. As for the other stuff … are you doing anything to make the neighborhood better? Safer? Just curious.

    • landline

      At least you are consistent with your classist garbage that white collar professionals upgrade the neighborhood.

      We aren’t leaving without a fight even as you butter your bread with our displacement.

      • randolph mortimer

        I hear there’s plenty of places for you in communes in Oakland. You can come back next May Day and smash up local Mission businesses with your new friends. Sounds like that’s right up your alley.

        • landline

          Just the type of comment I would expect from someone whose main contribution is to complain about the odor of the streets and whose solution is to spread that stench to the comments here.

          • randolph mortimer

            Ouch, sounds like I hit a nerve. Tell me, what does this comment smell like. Yours smell like frustrated impotence and high school political theory.

    • pam

      “Residents that are upgrading the neighborhood?” Really? So the people who have lived here for decades — families, students, artists, immigrants, the working and lower middle classes — are some kind of lower life form? I hate that you and I share the same first name, Pamela. You are soulless and completely blind to what is actually happening. This might have been a poor neighborhood, but it was a neighborhood and that is disappearing as it becomes a bedroom community for techies and a place for the monied classes to come shop and eat in a shopping district increasing devoid of anything resembling a personality.

    • Suki

      Jefferson McCarley used to be at the Gap? What? I’m sure he’ll be surprised to read that, esp. since it isn’t true.

    • PAMELA 2 ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

      You are narrow.
      There are community processes Jack Spade will need to go through and businesses and neighbors have every right to pursue those legal formalities, as they are doing now.
      16th to 24th is not the worst stretch in SF. Look at a crime map.
      Having lived in the area for 20+ years, the increase in crime is noticeable and has a little something to do with the affluence and change that is happening to the Mission. Mo Money Mo Problems. Gentrifiers are easy pickens. I understand what you are saying though: move all the brown and black people east of valencia street along with their junk shops.
      When people tell other people to ‘get over it’ I just imagine they must practice what they preach and how easy they roll over for any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a passcode. Troll.

    • jack kobey

      why arent these companys & renters/ buyers going after vacant structures ( we have them) THAT would be inprovement. instead they target existing businesses & renters.renting out from beneath them! you will rue the day when you too are displaced.

  2. Please Explain

    “This was my home and now it’s gone, and I’m pissed”

    Since when do renters have ownership of their rentals? Don’t people realize that its just that? A rental. Landlords aren’t charities and its not illegal for them to make a profit on properties. While I understand the notion of a home, this happens and its not up to the city to intervene in these situations. You’re only going to make the situation worst by artificially limiting the availability and therefore creating more demand. Careful what you wish for…

    • SF Resident

      It’s too late. Demand has completely outstripped supply. The result: only the most affluent can move here.

      • Please Explain

        How has this NOT been the case for the past 50 years?

        • Hazbeen

          For those of us who have been here, that simply is not the reality of San Francisco. Only when these episodes of grotesque opulence and wealth emerge. Sure, we may be indirectly pushed out of neighborhoods like the Marina, Hayes Valley, etc, but we always found new places once thought of as undesirable to cultivate and build community. It’s only when the colonizers see what has been made out of nothing but fog and sand that they decide they want our slice of heaven as well.

          • Tom

            “Grotesque opulence”… Have you been to a Jack Spade? Oh right, you only shop at Self Edge.

            And since when has SF *not* been a highly desirable area? Who did you displace?

        • Ariel Vargas

          Have you been here the last 50 years? My family has, and it used to be an affordable place for families. Creating a city where only the very affluent can survive is not sustainable, and it is not just. To say that “cash is king”; that the market determines housing costs and what stores should be here is to say that voters and government have no role. That’s faissez faire and tea party rhetoric at its core. We do need government policy to ensure that we have affordable housing, services, businesses, etc. for a diverse CIty. Having tech buses that use Muni stops and school bus stops without investing in those public infrastructures is unjust. Living in a neighborhood without investing in building community is divisive and selfish. We can do better.

    • PAMELA 2 ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

      PLEASE EXPLAIN: no one is talking about owning rentals. People are talking about homes, where they live. A home is where you live, whatever you call home is home. I understand why you have no empathy because you make poor arguments and have never rented before.

    • 18 years

      When a new property owner buys a building, the laws pertaining to the current tenants are very well known. There are no surprises. If you don’t want renters, buy property somewhere else. The rich getting richer by tossing people out of their homes–homes that the renters have every legal right to live in–is deplorable.

  3. Please Explain

    Imagine these people putting this much passion into IMPROVING the Mission instead of trying to lock it down.

    Complacency.

    • siobhan

      “THESE PEOPLE ” who the fuck are you ?

      • Please Explain

        Who the fuck are you?

        • Ariel Vargas

          I am Ariel Vargas, and I can tell you that many of the people unhappy with gentrification have contributed countless hours to community building, to creating community peace, to painting murals on the walls, providing health and social services. Serving the greater good. Unfortunately, many of us have not focused on accumulating wealth or property, and now we are being priced out. I have nothing to hide. Do you?

          • ThatGuy

            Some of us have lots to hide. I, like many others, have gotten financially lucky. I work my fucking ass off and have been in the Mission for 20 years. I may drive a nicer car and even own a home. Am I on a perch? Nope. Do I volunteer? Yes. Do I donate money to many organizations? Yes.

            Why am I anonymous? Because of comments like “I am just happy people are getting angry”. Because of posters (and yourself) on Mission Mission promoting “Killing Yuppies”, or throwing rocks or defacing the BetaBrand or Jack Spade storefronts. I feel like I’m a victim of my (and my neighborhood’s) success. I’ve seen a 19 year old get shot in front of my house. I’ve seen a dude get knocked the fuck out in front of my place. I’ve seen blighted buildings turned into “acceptable” shops.

            It’s a stretch to say that you’re personally promoting and/or glorifying the hate or anger, but it certainly doesn’t put those of us who do well or better, for whatever reason into a shitty light. I live here to co-habitate, not dominate or control. If Jack Spade thinks it can roll the dice to cater to a *pre-existing* clientele, so be it. Who am I to judge? Why treat them any differently than a Google Ventures-funded coffee shop with arguably more financial and political power?

            I’ve worked my ass off and consider myself blue collar. I have a daughter who’s been born and raised in the Mission. You can hate me all you want.

            Peace.

  4. Zouaf

    Faced with a severe housing shortage, an inadequate safety net, and underfunded public transit, community organizers come together to hang their complaints on… a clothing store.

    Some concise advice to those outraged by gentrification: get serious about housing policy or shut up.

  5. MaLychi

    Actually, I very much disagree with all these ridiculous comments, minus the housing policy seriousness one, except I think people get serious about things like that through participating in meetings like this so I wouldn’t suggest they shut up.

    These businesses were from and for the community, the new ones clearly aren’t. I’m not gonna waste my time arguing with fools who clearly don’t know what they’re talking about. Just to say that they’re classist, racist, and gross.

    I think this meeting was an amazing idea, and I’m sorry i missed it, ill be keeping a look out for follow up actions like it, because there needs to be more of this, and less of the get over it bullsh*t all of yall are swillin. This is our community. If you want to be welcome in it you need to take actions that support it. If you can’t do that, then go the f*ck home.

    • Zouaf

      You are equating your “community,” by which I think you mean ethnic identity, with ownership of a neighborhood. That’s not going to convince many people. Any one community’s ownership of the Mission is rhetorical and, as I think everyone can see, quickly becoming a thing of the past. I’m a strong supporter of more affordable housing and better social services, but these things need to be for everyone. You can’t build a coalition while employing that divisive “you’re not welcome in our neighborhood” rhetoric.

      • MaLychi

        Wrong. I’m equating our community with the people who live and work and support and build the services and things and people who are here. Which is exactly what I said. Those are the people who own a community and have rights over it, those who build it. That’s neither devisive, specific or racial. The people I want to talk to and build with aren’t put off by the idea thst we should have control over our work. The people who are put off by that idea, usually not my target audience. Its not saying you’re not welcome in a place because you’re not “from” there. Its saying if you don’t care about the community youre moving in to then stay out. If you can’t help people build on what they’re alreasy doing instead of flopping your giant dangle of an “improvement” argument in front of their hard work, then you aren’t welcome.

        And because its important to say, I’m not even a california native let alone a mission native. I’m white, working class, and don’t have a spiffy degree. And I make sure I understand how my actions affect my neighbors. I’m fighting to stop evictions in the mission, bayview, bernal, and all over the city. By actual actions. So I want to build coalitions and I undunderstand that takes time and effort, but while we’re arguing about language and housing focus, people are reoccupying their illegally foreclosed on houses. Maybe we should be helping them.

  6. Meeting attendee

    One concrete proposal voiced at the meeting was to insure that publically owned land be utilized for public needs like subsidized/public housing or open space.

    Another commenter noted the obvious relationship between the broader economy and gentrification, and that the previous periods of rapid gentrification of the late 90’s and the mid ’00’s ended because the economy tanked.

    One of the panelists questioned who was behind the execrable Clean Up the Plaza campaign. I believe that it is big real estate money that wants to profit from the economic cleansing of the Mission Street corridor. The SRO’s and their residents are in their crosshairs.

    My question is what is happening to the below market housing promised on Cesar Chavez and Shotwell that the developers of the New Mission Theater condominiums are supposedly providing in order to skirt the inclusionary housing requirement on their site on Mission near 22nd Street? Will they be able to build their luxury development prior to the construction of the much more needed affordable housing? And what of the auto shops that will be collateral damage of the Cesar Chavez/Shotwell development?

    Sadly, this is at least the third decade of gentrification in the formerly working class Mission. Last night’s meeting showed that despite the forces arrayed against community members of modest means, our community hasn’t given up.

    One more thing. We decry the influx of big tech money into our neighborhood, but we pay for our own demise by using Facebook and Twitter. We thrived prior to those platforms and we don’t need them now.

  7. MissionPerson

    Lifelong resident, born in St Luke’s, work in Tech & aside from school, have lived in the Mission my entire life.

    (comment edited here). The definition of an educated person is to be objective. Humble and nonprejudicial to other people’s perspective in another way of looking at it. You have none of this.

    You sound like a spoiled, shallow person and it is you who, in my opinion, is making my beloved neighborhood so shitty.

    I’m lucky enough to own but dread the times I run into people like you.

    Hopefully, with the next Tech crash, the vast majority of you people will leave, leaving those who truly care for the hood.

  8. j

    This mission deserves to die as long as the liberals arent anti-capitalists.

  9. Meeting non-attendee

    “One moment to indicate that the evening may have created just those new alliances occurred when the moderator asked if anyone in the room had contact with the new tech employees.”

    Ah, of course! So y’all had a meeting to fret about the effect of tech workers living in the neighborhood and not being actively involved with the community, and it didn’t occur to any of you there to actually discuss it with some of them?

    Yeah. Funny, that.

  10. Richard

    Why did the Mission Antidisplacement Coalition fold or disband? What were the lessons learned back in that protest and mass mobilization period of the 90s and 2000 + years? Will organizers, providers and residents build a continuous movement citywide that includes all communities of colour and poor white folks? What role will the service employees union play and the SF Tenants Union and CPA and CCDC? Will real multilingual grassroots forums happen with childcare support, food provisions, small group discussions in larger school auditoriums, churches, daycare centers, tacquerias, street corners and in public housing and SROs? Will the movement be coopted, demobilized by key politicians and a certain set of nonprofit groups? When will black folks be at the table? Will the Native American Health Centre and Friendship House be invited to participate? When will direct non-violent actions be included in the strategic political planning process to fight gentrification, displacement and dispossession? Will a new Mission Art Collective be supported and funded as part of the new emerging social movement against displacement and gentrification? When will the Planning Commission and City Hall be shutdown?

    Solidarity,
    Richard Marquez

  11. ThatGuy

    Some of us have lots to hide. I, like many others, have gotten financially lucky. I work my fucking ass off and have been in the Mission for 20 years. I may drive a nicer car and even own a home. Am I on a perch? Nope. Do I volunteer? Yes. Do I donate money to many organizations? Yes.

    Why am I anonymous? Because of comments like “I am just happy people are getting angry”. Because of posters (and yourself) on Mission Mission promoting “Killing Yuppies”, or throwing rocks or defacing the BetaBrand or Jack Spade storefronts. I feel like I’m a victim of my (and my neighborhood’s) success. I’ve seen a 19 year old get shot in front of my house. I’ve seen a dude get knocked the fuck out in front of my place. I’ve seen blighted buildings turned into “acceptable” shops.

    It’s a stretch to say that you’re personally promoting and/or glorifying the hate or anger, but it certainly doesn’t put those of us who do well or better, for whatever reason into a shitty light. I live here to co-habitate, not dominate or control. If Jack Spade thinks it can roll the dice to cater to a *pre-existing* clientele, so be it. Who am I to judge? Why treat them any differently than a Google Ventures-funded coffee shop with arguably more financial and political power?

    I’ve worked my ass off and consider myself blue collar. I have a daughter who’s been born and raised in the Mission. You can hate me all you want.

    Peace.

  12. Don’t white people get it?

    They come to the Mission and walk around like they own it. They have no respect of what they are doing to this Latino Community. No freaking compassion!

    Latino businesses (and families) have been pushed and replaced by hipster products like skateboards, bicycles, and high priced organic boutique bullshit.

    That’s what pisses me off, and many other Latino residents, who have grown up here.

    They don’t give a shit that ‘this’ a Latino community, and their moving with more money has caused many Latino families (who don’t have their money) to move out.

    Wtf?

    Can we have some compassion from White people? (Kudos to a small group of whites who realize this that Latinos are getting kicked out by the white).

    P.s.

    Imagine if this were to happen in other ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown. You can bet there will be massive protests, not just from that community, but from the city and major media. It’s fucken sad!

    • InSF

      You are so …. ridiculous, I don’t even know where to begin. Latino neighborhood? (Maybe we should make the mission a gated community; show your bonafide Latino credentials at the gate please.) Hint: the mission has many ethnicities and people of various socio-economic backgrounds. Please, pull the cucumber out …..

    • Neil Simonsen

      Wow. So I was born and raised in SF five decades ago, but I’m suddenly not welcome in the Mission after living here off and on for over two decades because I’m white? I wouldn’t find the reverse of that acceptable in Nob Hill nor do I find prejudice of any kind acceptable in the Mission.

  13. community

    Why do people keep saying that the newcomers in the neighborhood don’t understand or are not involved in the community? This is absurd! There are multiple communities in the neighborhood. Just because someone doesn’t hang out with your circle of friends doesn’t mean that they don’t know anything about community — it just means that they are probably hanging out with their circle of friends and family. It is so easy to demonize others simply because you don’t know them. I’ve lived in and around the mission since the early 2000’s (am I a new comer?), and I love the sense of community I have here — lots of friends and family all throughout the neighborhood. We run into each other on the street, get together in the evening, plan events and activities, organize to improve the neighborhood, etc. Yet I recognize that there are other communities here that I don’t overlap with much.

    lets try for a little more love, even if folks don’t hang out in your own community…

    • Your response is a typical White response who just moved into “La Mision”.

      Yes, you are a new comer, and blurb the “typical” attitude of Whites who moved into the Mission starting 10 years ago.

      There are only 2 types of Community here.

      Please don’t fool yourself and think for a sec, that there are “multiple” communities here: it’s definitely not a Kumbaya “feeling” felt by our Latino community here.

      I bet you haven’t made an effort to sit down and “hang out” with Latino families who’ve struggled and been here for many years, not just 10…

      You would get a realty check, amigo!

      • community

        Actually I have made friends with my latino neighbors. We talk almost daily. Why do you presume that I didn’t?

        And you seem to have this image of the latino community as being hard working, while the new whites are lazy rich bourgeois. You couldn’t be more wrong. Why do you think many of the new folks have money? They weren’t necessarily born to it. They have earned it through hard work. I know that my wife and I each regularly work 10-12 hour days. This is common with many of my friends in the neighborhood. I know that many of my friends in the neighborhoods grew up as the nerds and geeks in school — studying hard and earning good grades, while others mocked them. Now we continue to work hard and earn good $$, and folks are hating on us for being smart. go figure. The wealth of the tech industry is accessible to anyone who is willing to work hard and learn. I have many friends who never went to college, but are smart and creative and are making 6 figure salaries. So, instead of whining about it, why not take advantage of all the high paying jobs that are available? Why not try learning a new skill — there are many free educational opportunities. With so many smart folks around, you could go to a coffee house and take free-online courses and ask folks around you for help when you have questions. you might be surprised how will folks are to help those who are helping themselves.

        there are better options than just hating.

        • landline

          You may have earned your success and congratulations to you for that. But the idea that there are enough high paying jobs for everyone if only they worked harder or improved their skills is appealing but complete fantasy.

          The reality is that some jobs pay little and also require hard work, and people who work those jobs are having increasing difficulties keeping their homes in the Mission. Forget about trying to move here now unless you make a lot of money, are willing to live in an overcrowded apartment or room perhaps illegally, and face the wrath and scorn of many (certainly not all) people of a higher socioeconomic class, some of whom post hateful, classist and racist comments on this website.

          • community

            yes, I totally get it that it is difficult to make ends meet here in the city if you work hard at a low paying job. But, what I’m trying to suggest is that noone is stuck — we do not have a rigid class system in this country — you have the freedom and ability to move out of that low paying job into a high paying job. It will take work, and strategic planning, and most of all a belief that you are able to do it — that you can make that jump out of low-paid work like many others have. There are many resources available to those who start down that path.

            And the reason that the high-tech industry pays so much is because there is a massive demand for the work, and a serious under-supply of skilled workers. If you can learn the skills, there are MANY jobs available — and more keep being created. The future of our economy is increasingly computerized — and those who don’t jump on the technology changes in place will be increasingly left behind — much like the old lumberjacks were left behind when powersaws were introduced. This is a very very old story that repeats every generation. Adapt to the new technology of the day and you will do well, or, if you don’t you will be left behind in poverty and misery. It is a brutal ruthless reality of economics, but the good point is that we all have choice and opportunity to learn and grow — if we grasp it.

      • Neil Simonsen

        A ‘typical white response’?

  14. BeccaSF

    I think what some of the people on this post are failing to recognize is that the Mission is HOME to these folks that are being priced out. The affluent can come move here and live freely. But some families have been here for generations. People were born here, raised here, work here, their whole lives are in SF. If the new residents are displaced they will probably go back to whatever state or suburb they came from. If San Francisco long-term residents or long-term business owners are evicted where do we go? … I am an SF native (from the sunset, now live in the mission), I am proud to say I was born and raised here, educated here, live here and work here, but without my rent control I don’t think I’d be able to stay. Like one of the panelists at the meeting said, its not really a question of if the landlord will sell, but when; And I can’t blame them for wanting to make a huge profit off of their investment, it is their property and their decision to make…
    The issue is very complex, I do not think its fair to place blame on yuppies, hipsters or techies that are the new residents. They are here for their own reasons; I do not believe they are intentionally being malicious. We have to be very clear on what their responsibility is to the community. Does anyone know what “their” responsibility to the community is? I think that’s a start…In addition, the city needs to step up and take some responsibility for its long-term residents. About 5 years ago, my mother was evicted from my childhood home in SF after living there for over 30 years. She was a widowed, disabled, low-income tenant. When I tried to access city housing options for her there were none except the recommendation for her to live in an SRO. Thankfully, we were able to find an accessible apartment for her where she lives with other family members, and shares housing expenses. I know what the loss of a home is like and how scary it is. So when you guys say “just man up” or “get over it” it’s not that easy and very important that everyone (including city hall) know that.

  15. Bob

    As a longtime resident I’m thrilled with “gentrification.” Why keep the area so slummy? More businesses, better quality housing, less gang violence in the Mission. The neighborhood is not frozen in amber and I love the changes including Jack Spade.

    • Your shitty answer represents the typical Classist and Elitist bougoie that look down on our hard working Latino community

      Forget you – for thinking the our beautiful Mission neighborhood – is Slummy! If it was, why did you move here?

      The Mission is richly filled with Culture, Food, Music and History, way before you Whities (I’m assuming by your Elitist answer that you are) moved here.

      Go home back to your Suburbia or East Coast!

    • Raquel

      well good for you Mr. “Longterm Resident”. Pleased to meet you. NOT!! I’m Ms. Actual Native… With a name like “Bob” I’d expect you to be ok with gentrification. See I was BORN AND RAISED in the Mission, now 40 yrs strong. But since you feel like such a “Mission-ite” I’d like to know what brought you to the Mission. I’m going to venture to say that you landed a pretty sweet deal on rent/mortgage because otherwise why would you move in to such a “slummy” area, right? But news flash Einstein…. This is not years ago anymore. So the problem is really very simple and basic. People and families who worked their asses off to build their homes and businesses, modest as they may have been, are no longer able to maintain what they worked for because the neighborhood is now being overrun by hipster preppies that are willing to pay $5-6 for lattes and $5 for bottled waters, etc. So in case you can’t recall any of your basic theories of economics… It’s very simple. Supply and demand determine prices. Therefore, if a landlord sees an influx of increased demand for housing, especially by hipster preppies that are WILLING to pay 3-4k a month in rent, then YES, he/she will rent to the highest bidder. So the only reason all of these hipsters are in the Mission is because they are willing to pay insanely exorbitant rents. They don’t CARE about maintaining or improving the existing culture and vibe, they CARE about changing the image and changing the culture of a neighborhood. Meanwhile, the families that are trying to stay afloat, and who built their lives in the Mission are no longer able to afford these rents on homes. Of course the same is true for businesses too. The highest bidder. Enough said. So your comment “why keep the area so slummy” is incorrectly used in context with gentrification. Neighborhoods can be improved and made safer INDEPENDENTLY of any gentrification. So why don’t you actually pick up a dictionary and LEARN what the word GENTRIFICATION means. It means turning a neighborhood or area towards a wealthier class, and driving up prices and property values at the expense of the poorer class. This WILL NOT decrease crime or violence in the neighborhood or drug problems. The only difference is that instead of the poorer residents shooting up or smoking their dope, the new richer yuppies will be snorting it. Instead of stealing toyotas, they’ll be stealing BMWs. Instead of paying $5-6 for a burrito, they’ll be paying $10 for a WRAP! Gentrification DOES NOT = improvement. And its that way of thinking that makes people like me who were actually BORN and RAISED here sad and mad at what I see now when I walk down 24th St and on Valencia St. I used to absolutely ADORE walking in the Mission and going into the mom and pop bakeries, restaurants, and shops. I now simply CANNOT STAND walking there and seeing cafés ad nauseum, vegan restaurants, organic everything, “fusion cuisine” restaurants, and yuppie thrift shops EVERYWHERE I FREAKING TURN!!! So I only say to you that if you think OUR neighborhood is so slummy….. Get out.

  16. FormerSFer

    Yep. I got out. I was sickened by what I was seeing the City become. It’s becoming an economically gated community. The culture of San Francisco is being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Those who were born and raised in San Francisco can no longer afford to live there. Communities and families are disintegrating and being replaced by 25-30 year old tech hipsters. These people come from around the country…they’re not moving to San Francisco to become a part of its culture. They’re moving there to usurp it. It’s like invasion of the body snatchers–a dot com 2.0. Assholes from all over America descending on San Francisco to eat tech money like locusts. Only hope? A major earthquake. That always shakes out the jerks and flakes. Barring that? Move to another state and start all over.

  17. InSF

    Boy, lots of haters here. Just drink your lattes, or alote if you prefer. Shees.

    • missionite

      and its going to get worst. Big class divide now. You moved here so you need to learn about
      community, culture and people and that everything is not about, trees, bike lanes and parklets and making things pretty. Welcome to the Mission.

  18. landline

    To community, I agree that there is some ability to improve one’s situation. However, I want to reiterate, even if everyone could get the skills and training needed for those high paying jobs, there will never be enough of them for everybody. In fact, you point to computerization as a positive, when in reality, automation is reducing jobs and increasing productivity, but the gains from that increased productivity are flowing to the owners and employers not to more productive employees. Hence, stagnating or decreasing real wages and persistent high unemployment.

    The myth of the American Dream is just that, a myth. Social mobility is limited and increasingly so in the United States. In fact, there is more social mobility in the rigid class based UK than here. All statistics prove this.

    • Sean

      That’s because monarchies are way better than fake democracies. Kingdoms are rad.

    • Blurpy

      So what’s your solution? To not bother trying at all?

      • landline

        I have many ideas. Most involve a conversion of the economy from private controlled capitalism to actual economic democracy under worker ownership and control. Anarcho-syndicalism or libertarian socialism for want of better terms.

        Until that transformation, there are concrete reforms under the present system, including as you and others indicate, better access to education and skills. As important, if not more important, is that wages must be higher. There has been a complete disconnect between worker productivity and wages since the mid-1970’s. Prior to that as productivity rose, wages rose. Since then, productivity gains do not accrue to the increasingly more productive worker. This disconnect follows closely with the decline in union density in the private sector.

        I could go on and on about changing the incentive systems to offshoring labor, or that wages for booming newly emerging industries are artificially high (for now.) etc., etc. Plus reforms to the completely dysfunctional housing policy in this country.

        Platitudes about self-improvement and social mobility sound nice, but real world evidence does not support them. I’m not denying that some people overcome obstacles they face from their birth lottery, and that is great. However, most people stay in the socioeconomic class into which they are born. This is no longer the post WW II period of 1945-1965 when the US was the only capitalist economy left standing and with that situation, there was more opportunity for social mobility. This is a period of retrenchment where free (sic) trade agreements pit workers here against those in the developing world.

        • Bud

          LOL. Sounds like you need to smoke less pot.

        • randolph mortimer

          You totally hang out at Noisebridge, right?

        • community

          landline — back in the post-war era, worker pay could increase because most work was manual, and so most workers could benefit from growing wealth in the nation. But, over the recent decades the economic engine of the nation has shifted from industrial production and manual labor to being driven by intellectual creativity — of which Tech is one field, but there are many aspects of our economy that now require advanced education to participate in.

          And that is the whole story. it is not a failure of capitalism, but a failure to educate enough people. It didn’t used to matter much — high school was enough to get a good job – not any more. And that is where the divide falls between those who are doing well, and those who are falling behind.

          That is also why unions are failing. They made sense in manual trades where people are interchangeable and collective bargaining was reasonable. But that makes no sense in creative intellectual industries where individual talent is what matters. Modern industry requires merit based rewards to encourage and reward the smartest and brightest. If the unions can get their heads out of their 1950’s @ss’es and figure out how to support merit based pay, then they will have a role in the future.

          back to education — the real challenge is that there is a highly constrained supply of quality higher-level eduction. For example, Stanford will give an education to anyone qualified, independent of financial resources — but they graduate a few thousand students a year. We have a nation of millions. Now, this is where the future is bright — there are an increasing amount of new approaches to providing top quality education for free in massive online classes where 100K+ students participate at once and gaining access to the educational resources that used to be so limited. This is profound. there is hope.

          But each individual still must realize that they have the choice and opportunity to pursue their dreams. They have to step past negative system-bashing and anger, and realize that they have the power to change their own lives. Very few people take that first step — most just wallow in their anger and frustration. That is why it is important to preach optimism. If you don’t try to change, you are guaranteed to stay stuck for ever….

          • landline

            I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I don’t want to debate point by point. I will only point out that an extremely high number of recent college graduates are unemployed or working at jobs that do not require a college degree because that is all they can get, which shows the weakness of your argument (and the favored conventional thinking) that the problem is “a failure to educate enough people.” Should a college education (and a lifetime of debt) lead only to a small chance of a high paying career in the so-called “intellectual industries”? What about for people whose interests and abilities don’t coincide with those favored professions?

            Conventional neo-liberal labor economics teaches that wages should reflect the value that employees add to the product or service. Even though the economy and types of jobs evolve (though not as much as you insist), real wages should rise as productivity rises. That is no longer the case, wages have stagnated leading to higher gains for owners. This is not a result solely economic changes, but also of the reduced power of workers relative to employers.

            I’m not a defeatist. I am an optimistic person who believes in the inate ability of all people to succeed. Unfortunately, empirical evidence shows the widening gap beween the small numbers at the top of the pyramid and the large numbers at the base despite most people’s profound efforts to change their own lives as you advise.

            Also, as someone who has worked for many years in the skilled trades and for a few years before that in an “intellectual industry”, I believe you are underestimating the level of individual ability and creativity in manual work and overestimating the irreplacibility of almost all individuals in your favored professions.

            I do agree that labor unions have been slow to react to changing conditions, but they also don’t exist in a vacuum free from attack from owners and management.

            Land use and housing struggles in the Mission District are exacerbated by the fact that the Tech goldmine is in the Bay Area, drawing people in search of their fortunes here from the vast majority of the US where the economy is stuck in deep recession.

  19. community

    landline — actually, I don’t necessarily view computerization of everything as a positive. I’m not a fan of it — but it is a reality of what is happening in the world. The production of economic value increasingly requires a high level of education and creativity, and those who are still relying on low-skill jobs will increasingly be marginalized. It is sad, but it is reality.

    I think the big class divide we are seeing really stems from differences in education. A big component of that is access to good education in the first place. If we want more equality in the world, we need to be focused on educational equality — but that is tricky — SF tried that for the last 30 years, and our particular implementation was a complete disaster (i.e. bus kids all over the city to make the schools “equal”). We need some new ideas on that front.

    But even when the public school systems do not support excellent education for all, any one family can dream and strive and achieve great things. There are many examples of folks lifting their families out of poverty by being the first kid in the family to go to college and get a good education that leads to greater opportunity.

  20. community

    @ landline. Thanks. I also appreciate your thoughts. I’m listening and will go ponder for the weekend.

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