Good Morning Mission!

Photo by Lauren Smiley.

It’s 7 a.m, 47° and headed to 60°. Details for the next 10 days are here.

It’s not just us who are obsessed with the income divide. The tech boom and changing demographics of the Mission (and the rest of the city) have the attention of NPR, which just did a piece on private shuttles as symbols of the wealth gap. Additionally, the national news site has focused on San Francisco’s income disparity for a few days, with this piece discussing how the current boom is different than that of the 1990s.

So, what do San Franciscans earn? Making an average of around $62,680 per year, it’s higher than most of the country, but not everyone is raking in the dough. Retail jobs are the most common in the San Francisco metropolitan area, and only nab around $28,000 per year. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common jobs in the city.

Check out this craziness — a house is actually falling down in Twin Peaks! The unoccupied, 72-year-old structure has served as a symbol of a dispute between the city, neighbors and resident since 2007. After originally asking to demolish the building, the owner was denied, and a restructuring project began sometime later. But neighbors say that it turned into a misguided renovation, and we can see where things went from there.

Today’s Possibilities:


The SF Bicycle Coalition Member Committee Meeting for the Mission District will discuss campaigns to make the Mission safer for biking. Modern Times bookstore, 2919 24th Street. 5:30-7 p.m.


Is your inner performer struggling to get out? Yes? Ours too! So head over to Magnet tonight for Smack Dab, a monthly open mic where anyone and everyone can hop onstage and do whatever their heart tells them to do in the name of entertainment. Held at 7:30 on the third Wednesday of every month, this event offers a supportive and inviting space for all to get their 15 minutes of fame on. Don’t be too shy — a featured artist is there to hold down the fort for the evening as well.

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

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  1. Well, Regarding tech buses NPR says “One pulls up every few minutes.”, which sounds like a big, unignoreable impact.

    Where is John? Hiding because all of a sudden the issues he has been downplaying/ridiculing are now all over national news? SF is now officially in the center of the inequality storm. Good job Mission Local for providing a neighborhood forum, communities need more venue like this where all opinions can be aired.

    • John

      A private shuttle showing up “every few minutes” isn’t likely to have much impact at a muni stop where there is maybe just one bus every 15 to 20 minutes.

      As for the news stories, papers like to play these envy stories. With much of the nation still mired in recession, there’s something a little different about a successful town struggling with success rather than failure.

      Two years ago the national papers were full of Occupy, and people hating on bankers. And yet that all fizzled out fairly quickly, as will this. As soon as SFMTA works out a deal with the shuttles, any subsequent whining about will be revealed to what I have said all along – a petty, petulant outburst of envy.

      • backtothesuburbs

        Ah, there you are …

        ‘Isn’t likely to have much impact ‘ is a highly subjective statement. Presumably if you are not taking MUNI there is potential for ‘no impact’. But if you are … or if you are a bicyclist weaving through mega-buses on narrow city streets — it is all impact. At this stage you must also agree that the tech buses have become a prominent symbol of techie culture, changes in the bay area, and inequality. In a lot of ways you are feeding this frenzy with statements about envy, people having to move if they can’t afford it here, abuse of public resources etc.

        Well, you keep returning to envy but alas that is a weak argument. Perhaps that will be the next wave of national news. The fallacy is to equate basic human needs like shelter, food, education, health care, and freedom to pursue interests, as objects of envy. In many countries these are rights awarded to all citizens and not ‘objects of envy’. The logic is broken — people who commute an hour or more are displacing people who have lived in the city for decades — often seniors and families with children. And by ‘displace’ I mean literally kick them out of their homes either through evictions, rent increases, or catastrophic events like fires or flooding.

        To follow the logic through you are equating inequality with envy. For one, that implies that in your world some portion of the population has to be by default envious. Sounds like a bad world model. But you ignore the fact that different people want different things. There are many careers that are rewarding in other ways than extreme financial gain (and maximizing that gain in fact). And here comes the big one — the tech industry is focusing on financial rewards. Would techies choose these jobs if they paid less? Maybe working for nonprofits or for a stealth startup. But for larger, established outfits with corporate culture? I think not. Just the fact that many of these people have a desire to live in the city is great evidence. See, the real envy is from people working 70 hours in corporate offices who yearn for any kind of identity and soul. That is what propels them from the undiverse suburban highway, strip mall, office park culture, to high density and (at least in the past) diverse areas like SF. Ah, you see — envy does not have to be about material things at all. Ironically, the none material ones are rather impossible to ‘buy’ — yes, you can buy or rent an expensive place in the city, but you will not cease to be a privileged tech worker whose 70 hour efforts are applied to highly questionable goals. Especially if you displace that which imparted the diversity and soul to the area to being with …

        • backtothesuburbs

          BTW if you ask around plenty of people are still unhappy about bankers AND the financial industry has been in decline since the last economic crash. Many people lost their jobs and compensation — there is not much more the Occupiers would have wanted.

          You also should remember that many occupiers camped out in cold streets and were beaten and abused by the police state. They lasted for a few months and sparked a worldwide movement, not too shabby …

          As for the media, well they lose interest the moment they have to start discussing real issues. Especially ones that endanger the establishment …

          • John

            Occupy fizzled out as soon as it became cold and wet. The cops did intervene in a few cities where the petty crime situation became unmanageable. But Occupy vanished in many cities simply because the movement was chaotic, diffused and because of the weather.

            Americans really don’t do protest. And the whining about tech workers will evaporate in much the same way as the whining has stopped about bankers, now that we’re all making serious scratch on the totally recovered stock and RE markets.

          • backtothesuburbs

            Uh, John — Americans don’t do protest? Really?

            What about the Boston Tea Party? Revolutionary War?

            What about worker’s right? women’s suffrage?

            What about the Vietnam War? Iraq War?

            There is also the Tea Party, anti-gay churches, anti-abortionists, gun rallies etc. etc.

            See, this is what I mean when I say its good to know history. For more info, I refer you to the web, for example the top 10 american protest movements of all time according to Time magazine:

            And yes, there was also Occupy — they lasted a few months through November in NY.

            Protesting is as American as apple pie (or corporate handouts).

          • backtothesuburbs

            oh wait, I inadvertently omitted the abolitionist and civil rights movements. see, black people would still have to ride at the back of tech buses today if not for people protesting …

            Actually, not only that but Americans like to riot apparently, here’s another historical top 10:


          • backtothesuburbs

            and all this for a country that’s been around for less than 300 years! I seriously challenge you to find a country and geographical area (vs US and SF Bay Area) with more protests. bonus points for riots …

          • John

            A protest in San Francisco is typically a few dozen rangey looking “usual suspects” shouting on Market Street.

            In Paris, it’s half a million people taking to the streets.

            Occupy was a hopeless joke. As soon as it got cold, they all went home.

            I stand my position. Americans are too fat and happy to protest anything meaningfully. They’d rather eat pizza, crack a bud, and watch a talent show on TV.

            Cannon fodder.

        • John

          Too much there to coherently respond to but one of your claims appears to require substantiation. You state:

          “by ‘displace’ I mean literally kick them out of their homes either through evictions, rent increases, or catastrophic events like fires or flooding.”

          Are you seriously suggesting that tech workers are setting fire to buildings, or flooding them, so that they can “displace” the current inhabitants?

          I am not aware of a single Mission resident who has been evicted by a tech worker.

          • backtothesuburbs

            I know you love to pick at analogies in argument, but I am consistently dismayed at your lack of imagination (and local events knowledge).

            You see ‘economic displacement’ is quite an indirect force. Which is why it is so difficult to assign blame and find solutions …

            I will spoon feed the argument to you (for educational purposes): rather than tech workers setting buildings on fire (which would make the news I believe), the point is (if you actually follow local stories) that if anything catastrophic happens to your home and you cannot afford to move … then that’s it, adios. It doesn’t matter if you are bedridden, handicapped, moving kids to different schools, or saying goodbye to all your friends (and potentially your job).

            In your world, the affluent high-value people can endure catastrophic events and they deserve to for obvious reasons (they are rich and money buys everything, including one’s value to society and widely understood protection).

            John, you realize that with your views the human race would never have progressed past temporary shelters and cave dwellings? Actually, those early human days involved cooperation at levels unimaginable these days in this country. No cultural or ethical values would be available to us because those are of no material value and require long-term perseverance, patience, and general lack of care for material things to become possible. No scientific inventions would have been made, including the drugs likely curing you and your family members, if not for poorly paid scientists following passions. And the foundations of tech as we see it today would not exist, if not for the many advances in physics, chemistry, math and so on. Will you argue that progress only comes from high-value materially affluent people? Probably, but that I tell you now that is wrong.

            You speak from a very entitled and privileged position of someone in 21st century in SF, clearly with plenty of disposable income and time. In my view, that position comes with responsibilities to history, the foundations that made your privileged life possible, as well as sensitivity to those less privileged for whatever reason (as they cannot all possibly be lazy, right?). Alas, maybe these are difficult traits to attain later in life.

            Plus its so easy to defend the privileged, too too easy (and boring). Unless of course there is vested personal interest …

          • John

            I have no privilege. I grew up poor.

            OK, not dirt poor, but in the bottom 50%.

            I’ve made it through my own efforts, and have never taken a penny in welfare or handouts.

            Oh, and I was evicted three times back when I rented. And never whined about it.

            This is America, right?

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