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EDITORIAL San Francisco is headed for a showdown. Those who see the city as primarily a place to make money and who want to leave its fate to the mercy of market forces are being confronted by a growing and increasingly well-organized movement demanding aggressive action on the related issues of evictions and gentrification.

The former group, led by Mayor Ed Lee and a handful of his wealthy benefactors and supportive media voices, has so far been content to just plow forward with what they euphemistically call their "jobs agenda" while throwing some token bones to average income San Franciscans.

But there are signs that the pendulum is swinging against the economic elites, who could pay a heavy political price for being so heedless of populist concerns, just as they did at the height of the last dot-com boom in 2000, when progressives won a majority on the Board of Supervisors and held it for almost a decade.

Even pro-growth cheerleaders like SPUR are now decrying the "hyper gentrification" of San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle ran a front page article Oct. 27 questioning whether the city was receiving enough benefits for the $56 million tax break it gave to Twitter a couple years ago — tax breaks the newspaper wholeheartedly supported at the time. The San Francisco Business Times has finally joined the Bay Guardian in calling for Airbnb to stop stiffing the city and pay its transient occupancy taxes, in an Oct. 11 editorial calling the company's intransigence "difficult to defend."

Those chinks in the armor of establishment San Francisco are a recognition of how bad things have gotten and how tone-deaf the tech industry and its political supporters have been in responding to it. And that recognition was forced by the rising tide of populist outrage at what's happening to the city of St. Francis.

As we report in this issue (see "Tenant proposals and Guardian forum address eviction crisis"), tenant advocates have proposed an ambitious but reasonable legislative package to address evictions, and we enthusiastically support it.

San Francisco is facing a moment of crisis, as this eviction epidemic compounds the last one to alter the future of this city in unacceptable ways, and our politicians will need to decide which side of history they want to be on. That moment of truth is coming faster than they may appreciate.

Mayor Lee needs to decide whether he's still the same person who started his career defending tenants in the International Hotel. Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi may soon be faced with the difficult choice of whether to refuse to carry out a legal but unjust eviction, as his predecessor Richard Hongisto did with the I Hotel.

San Francisco is at its best when it acts boldly in defense of progressive values, as it has done on immigration, medical marijuana, and marriage equality. So now is the time to aggressively defend this city's tenants and low-income residents from real estate speculators, greedy landlords, and predatory corporate interests.

Comments

displacing communities of color in the Mission in their zeal to buy into the San Francisco dream. In his case it has paid off as he basks in a million dollar valuation for his condo, and annual appreciation approaching 100K.

But at the same time, is it wrong for him to strive to better himself. My criticism of him for that is restricted to his co-temporaneous attempts to rationalize that while criticizing other gentrification in that neighborhood, rather than seeking to suppress aspirations to the American dream.

But let's also enjoy our success and not allow envy to consume us.

And also remember that less than 1% of SF's rental stock has been Ellis'ed since the Act came into being. That is not an epidemic. It's a footnote.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by mkjdfhgiju on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 10:10 am

They would not attack me if I was no threat. They do not attack any of the professional progressives at the nonprofits who are supposed to be leading this "movement" because they present no threat to the gentrification agenda.

When I talk with San Francisco neighbors outside of the usual suspect leftist comfort zones, they get the fact that developers have corrupted the governmental process such that those of us who live in the condo free-fire zone are bearing the infrastructual and operational costs of their profit-making.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

"delusions of grandeur" umbrage that if anyone ever attacks you anywhere, it can only be because you represent a serious political threat to the establishment.

Did it ever occur to you that you get attacked because you are a pompous ass who spends all day every day criticizing anyone in this city who tries to get something done while you sit on your ass with your IT job and your precious condo? And achieve NOTHING.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

Yet still, your pathetic attention is commandeered by someone who you view as pathetic...

Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

I treat anyone else as dumb and useless as you in exactly the same amusingly dismissive manner.

You really need to lose that sense of exceptionalism.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

I really think that you, as a paid internet troll, are jealous of my homeownership and high paying tech job.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

on a crappy block of the Mission.

My time here is purely to help educate you and others.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 1:31 pm

was to fill your empty life.

A good educator doesn't have to endlessly repeat himself.

And what's with your obsession with marcos? You bring him up in your comments even in threads in which he hasn't commented.

Do you want to fuck him or get fucked by him? Sure seems like it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

He cannot afford me.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by dfjkglljplo on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

with very meager incomes

manage to travel all over the world sparking a global spring!

Posted by okjs on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

and the impulse to make change happen

has all of the wealth they need

Posted by dlkdfj on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

step up to play

only nickles needed today because it is going to be short round

Posted by okjsh on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

think anarchists need more than nickles to play in national and global ski ball tourneys ;)

Posted by okjs on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

And by that you mean afford a gym membership? All one needs to do is hang out in the steam room of a certain local gym to "afford" what Marcos offers.
I guess George doesnt mind.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

little orchy minion with microscopic fishing tackle (and therefore a need to ridicule the tackle of others)

doesn't know when it is time to quit skee bahl and throws so wildly that the ball hits the side of another skee bahl table

;))))))

Posted by ujhguj on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 1:10 pm
Posted by ukmjhj on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 1:30 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

That's why you have abandoned actual political action and now merely carp from the sidelines.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by dfjkglljplos on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

and get lots of stomach aches

Posted by okjk on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:09 pm
Posted by okjks on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

Well said.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 6:42 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by mkjdfhgij on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 10:11 am

to make themselves look big and tough, when they are really scraggly imps

Posted by okj on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

Rent control protects a few mostly older tenants. Their children have nowhere to go but out thanks to the cut off their nose to spite their face "progressive" anti-development crowd.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 6:55 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by mkjdfhgij on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 10:11 am

anarchist elves and humans!

Posted by dlkdfjoi on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

about rent control

to help the 1% control the world

what an evil little piece of worthless disease upon the earth

Posted by dlkdfjoi on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

faced the choice of whether to refuse to carry out a legal but unjust eviction. He faces that choice every week when required to execute no-fault evictions, like Ellis Act evictions. So far, he hasn't taken a stand against them like Hongisto did in the I-Hotel case.

He marched in the Our Mission: No Eviction action on October 12th while continuing to direct his deputies to enforce evictions as part of his role as our "progressive" Sheriff.

Lee is a political opportunist so he is the same person that defended tenants oh so long ago. He's moved up the food chain and answers to different, more powerful masters now.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 7:57 am

So there could be a no-bail warrant for his arrest if he is in contempt of court, and he would be arrested in he refused to carry out an eviction.

RossGate left him in power but diminished his power because of the constraints on his behavior and his tainted public image.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 8:36 am

require personal sacrifice. It that means jail time, so be it. It didn't stop Chelsea Manning.

Mirkarimi wanted to be Sheriff and part of the job is enforcing evictions. I never really thought he was all that great, especially when he ditched the Green Party for his political careerism. But I had to suppress laughter when I saw him marching in an anti-eviction march on 24th Street.

What's next? DiFi in an anti-surveillance press conference or save the Post Offices action.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 9:09 am

protest to try and convince the party faithful that he is still a progressive at heart, even while he schedules evictions each week, not to mention foreclosures and, amusingly, restraining orders for the perpetrators of domestic violence.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 9:21 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by mkjdfh on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 10:15 am

and don't see that they make the world a sickening tangled web which catches them as well

Posted by dlkdfj on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

sever the webs

Posted by dlkdf on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

I chose my wording carefully when I mentioned that Sheriff Mirkarimi may face a tough choice at some point, an issue that I've discussed with him personally before. It is certainly true that the Sheriff's Department is legally required to carry out evictions, and that refusal to do so would likely get the Sheriff's jailed for contempt of court, as Hongisto learned. Hongisto's initial refusal ended up being a futile gesture, and he carried out I Hotel eviction after serving four days in jail.
But I can also envision a situation where the anti-eviction people's movement grows stronger along with the real estate speculation, a confluence that would essentially force Mirkarimi and other elected officials to take radical, risky actions, particularly if it was on a mass eviction like that of the I Hotel.

Posted by steven on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

courts. The only way to change that is to change the law so that courts rule differently and, in the case of Ellis, that requires changes to state law.

So the fact that there might be more protests and support for curtailing evictions would not, by itself, mean that Ross can refuse to order evictions. Unless he wants to go to prison.

Get the law changed, if you can, but do not expect that those whom we elect to uphold the law to break it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

In times of crisis, sheriffs have come up with effective ways to avoid evicting tenants, without changing the laws on the books. It is not easy, but it is doable.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

his DV conviction has put him on probation. If he breaks his probation, he is probably looking at 9 months in county jail.

Do not expect any heroics from Ross any time soon.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

But that only applies if the Sheriff actually breaks the law. There are ways to help evictees without breaking the law.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

He just cannot stop the evictions without a level of personal risk that he is clearly not willing or motivated enough to do.

Which is fine with me because his is not a policy-making role. He is there to enact the law as defined by others.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

There are ways to help thwart evictions, without breaking the law.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

Do tell

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

Scrutinizing eviction orders for technical errors, etc.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

There's nothing new there, and nothing that will prevent a technically valid UD.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

...also can't afford top notch defense lawyers.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

But you are correct that far more tenants get evicted for not paying their rent, or being late with their rent. So their evictions can be stopped by simply giving them money.

But it has to be before the 3-day notice expires, and it's hard to find funds that quickly.

Why don't you work on setting up funds to help tenants pay their rent?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 31, 2013 @ 6:02 am

...exorbitant rents, without simultaneously passing a law outlawing evictions outright.

To do the first, without the second, would simply encourage landlords to continuously raise their rents as much as possible to suck money out of the City coffers.

Bad idea.

We need to work with property owners to gradually phase their buildings to public ownership and resident management.

If we took the profit out of housing, most people could afford it, and then it would make sense to help the very few who could not.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 31, 2013 @ 11:46 am

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