Roberto Hernandez, at the wheel, juggles his duties driving Mayor London Breed with reading the list of current and possible future affordable housing sites. In the back seat are, left, Josh Arce, the mayor's director of Workforce Development, and Joaquin Torres, the head of the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development. Photo courtesy of London Breed's Facebook page

For any Mission dwellers who did a double-take yesterday afternoon: Yes, that was Mayor London Breed and her retinue being squired around the neighborhood in lowriders.

The San Francisco Lowrider Council and several Mission housing and community activists extended the invitation to the mayor for a tour of the Mission District’s affordable housing successes — and potential future opportunities.

“We are trying to get the Mayor’s Office of Housing to invest in housing in the Mission,” explains Planning Commission president Myrna Melgar, who was along for the cruise. “We keep hearing there’s no money, but we’re trying to convince the mayor there is money for housing.”

Roberto Hernandez takes Mayor London Breed for a spin. Photo courtesy London Breed’s Facebok page.

The caravan of lowriders hit a number of potential development sites for affordable housing. Among them: an abandoned former office building at 25th and Capp; a vacant lot left after the climactic 2015 fire at 22nd and Mission; and the Animal Control headquarters at 15th and Harrison.

Roberto Hernandez, who served as Breed’s chauffeur, led a similar tour of potential housing sites several years ago, on foot, with Mayor Ed Lee. Today, four such sites are construction zones for future 100-percent affordable developments, with three more in the pipeline.

“The thing about being in a lowrider is that you have a different relationship with the street. It’s almost like walking; you get to interact with the street,” Melgar says. “The point of this tour was to connect with Mayor Breed.” She’s confident that happened: “I am 100 percent sure about this mayor.”

Planning Commission president Myrna Melgar and senior mayoral housing adviser Jeff Buckley (on phone) cruise the Mission. Nelson Alvarado is at the wheel. Photo courtesy of Melgar’s Facebook page.

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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