Though the Mission moratorium was voted down on Tuesday, San Francisco progressives are renewing their dedication to stalling market-rate housing in the Mission and in other neighborhoods.
“The outcome of last night is not what we had hoped for,” admitted Luis Granados, executive director of the Mission Economic Development Agency. “But the Mission is united. In the Mission, Prop. I won by a large margin.”
Indeed, at a post-election talk at non-profit and urban development think tank SPUR the same afternoon, political analyst David Latterman showed heat maps of yes and no votes on individual measures by precinct, and large swathes of the Mission supported the moratorium – though not, he said, by as large a margin as he had expected.
“It wasn’t quite as powerful as you would’ve thought,” Latterman said. “I would’ve thought this was going to be like 70 [percent] plus, pow, like that.”
The analyst worked on Supervisor Julie Christensen’s campaign and did some work for the “No on I” campaign. Watching the numbers, he said support for the moratorium fell in the last few weeks before the election.
But co-presenter Alex Clemens, founder of Barbary Coast Consulting, said San Francisco’s housing crisis would continue to heavily influence politics.
“There’s a parlor game in San Francisco politics,” he said. “Track any issue back to land use in one or two steps. And right now, you can do it.”
As a result, he said he expected to see more land-use ballot measures in the future.
“There will be more moratoria, plural, because of the narrative in this town. There are going to be a lot of people figuring out how to be closer to 50 [percent] than they got this round. These battles are probably not over,” Clemens said.
Though they did not formally announce plans for a moratorium comeback, Proposition I supporters said at a press conference Wednesday morning that they would continue their efforts to stall market-rate development, both by opposing individual developments and working on legislative change.
“We will fight every single luxury development with you and we will fight every eviction,” promised Chirag Bhakta, a Tenderloin resident and activist with various Mission groups opposing market-rate development.
“The only reason Prop I doesn’t have 53 percent of the vote is money,” said Gabriel Medina, the “Yes on I” frontman. “Despite being outspent 10-1, we can effect change in San Francisco.”
“We will go back to make sure that we crush the ‘Monster in the Mission,’ go back to beat down the ‘Beast on Bryant,’” neighborhood organizer Roberto Hernandez promised, using the nicknames market-rate housing opponents have assigned to major developments on 16th and Mission streets by Maximus Real Estate Partners and on Bryant Street by Nick Podell.
He started right then and there by revealing the opposition’s nickname for a development planned for South Van Ness by Lennar Urban, dubbing it “The Titanic Mess on South Van Ness.” It joins the “Fright on Folsom” by Axis Development on Folsom and 23rd to round out the upcoming targets of Mission housing advocates.
“Come next June and November, they will be doing the same thing in the Bayview and in the Richmond,” MEDA’s Granados said. Activists from those neighborhoods echoed him, saying they planned to stand with the Mission and maybe even start luxury housing moratoria of their own. “You should count on us being here again in June and November,” he added.
“Next year is going to be absolutely freakin’ crazy,” Latterman predicted, referring to the wide range of positions open in city government. “Next year the progressives have to hold an awful lot of territory.”
“The dormant giant became alive and we have taken the first steps, and we’re not stopping here,” said Sam Ruiz, executive director of the non-profit Mission Neighborhood Centers.