Including Everyone in the Conversation About Change

There has been a lot of reporting and analysis done lately on the Mission District, the displacement of its residents and erasure of Latino culture as a result of the influx of new residents who work in the profitable tech industry.

Media has been producing original content in Spanish to be more inclusive of the Latino community—a reason why Mission Local also translates most of the content produced.

Marta Franco, a former Mission Local reporter and now an Associate Producer at CNET, has produced this video and print story for CNET en español, where she explains that the conversation of the changes is conducted mainly in English, which often leaves some of those being affected out of the conversation.

Many neighborhood organizations have addressed this issue by providing resource services in Spanish. Organizations such as MEDA offer computer classes in an effort to close the digital gap and empower people to find a job more efficiently. Other organizations such as Mission Bits take on engineers that volunteer to teach coding for free.

From Franco’s story: “In the midst of an economic boom where jobs should abound for everyone, it turns out it is more difficult for our community,” Oscar Grande, from PODER, said in Spanish.

However, not everything is negative in this tech boom. Gabrielle Seckar, one of the owners of Paprika, a restaurant at 24th and Mission, says that the growth of the tech industry has also meant growth for her restaurant. For Seckar her “experience has been amazing because techies are hungry for culture, food and something different. Rent goes up for everyone. There is a lack of housing and our representatives need to fight to provide more affordable housing,” she said in Spanish. Unlike her aunt who ran a Nicaraguan restaurant there for years, she has been able to hire another employee to help her.

Another positive thing the tech industry has brought besides an increase of jobs is the safety of the neighborhood. Back at MEDA, people refuse to be seen just as victims. “People have been living five people in a room and five other in the next room since the 50s; the fact that they keep doing it today is nothing new,” said Mattias Kraemer, program co-director, who stated in Spanish that gentrification is not something that affects only the Mission of San Francisco and therefore the answer will always be the same: “to fight, to grow and to organize.” READ MORE in Spanish here.

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

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