“If the community doesn’t want us there, we have no intention of forcing our way in.” That’s what an American Apparel spokesperson told Mission Loc@l just two weeks ago. True to its words, American Apparel is retreating after “the community” raised a chorus in opposition to the Los Angeles-based sweatshop-free retail store, according to a story in the San Francisco Business Times.

We knew it was coming. San Francisco’s favorite curmudgeon, C.W. Nevius, throws in his two cents on American Apparel. There is one thing—just one—he states that perhaps everyone can agree with: “Valencia is one politically active street.”

Now that a movement has successfully (thus far) organized to keep a business out of the Mission District, how many people will fight to keep Mission families in? The Mission Anti-displacement Coalition is hoping enough turn up at city hall next Tuesday to do something—what, exactly, isn’t quite clear—to help the residents of 24th and Harrison be able to pay their rent.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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