Evictions and gentrification fuel widespread concern in the Mission

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Erick Arguello of Calle 24 said lower 24th Street has witnessed an onslaught of real-estate speculators.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

A mix of neighborhood merchants, community activists and a couple City Hall staffers met for a community forum Sept. 23 on Mission gentrification, voicing anger and frustration about rising displacement in the face of soaring rents.

Arranged by organizer Andy Blue, the forum was hosted by Rose Aguilar of Your Call Radio and held at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics on Valencia Street.

The recent controversy stemming from a bid by high-end retailer Jack Spade to move into a 16th Street storefront catalyzed the discussion, but many addressed the overarching transformation of a neighborhood that has been flooded with high-salaried residents who can afford to pay top dollar.

Gabriel Medina, policy manager of the Mission Economic Development Agency, said he’s troubled by the displacement of Latino-owned businesses. About 80 percent of Latino-owned businesses are passed onto proprietors’ children, he said, representing critical assets in a pricey city like San Francisco. “It’s getting cheaper to be able to start a business than to buy a house,” he pointed out.

Erick Arguello of Calle 24 (formerly the Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighbors Association) said he’d seen a similar trend along his strip of the Mission, where some Latino-owned businesses have managed to hold strong since they bought their properties years ago.

Nevertheless, Arguello said, the pressure is on. “There’s been an onslaught of realtors and prospectors on 24th Street,” he said. “They ask about the neighbor next door: Do you know when their lease goes to?”

Nor are businesses the only ones impacted. “We’re seeing a lot of evictions of residents along the corridor,” he noted. “The majority of them are Latino families.”

Laura Guzman, executive director of the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, decried a lack of funding for affordable housing and dedicated units for the homeless and impoverished.

She said many individuals living on the streets in the Mission lack options, leading them to pass the time in the BART plaza. “Support the people in the plaza. They’re human beings,” Guzman said.

Nick Pagoulatos, a legislative aid to Sup. Eric Mar who was previously involved with mid-90s anti-gentrification campaigns in the Mission, said he himself wasn’t sure if he would be able to remain in the city.

“I’m a partner to a woman who was born in the Mission,” he said, acknowledging the deep ties her family has to the neighborhood. “We know that when we lose our housing” – it is likely a question of when, not if, Pagoulatos said – “we’re not going to be able to stay in the Mission. And we’re probably not going to be able to stay in San Francisco.”

Some activist efforts have emerged. A direct action group called Eviction Free San Francisco has staged protests outside the doors of real-estate speculators. At the upcoming Dia de los Muertos 2013 celebration, curator Martina Ayala said at the meeting, “We are building altars to remember the life that we once enjoyed.” La Llorona, a Dia de los Muertos exhibit that will be held at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, is subtitled “weeping for the life and death of the Mission District.”

A similar transformation happened 10 years ago when the first dot-com boom flooded the Mission with deep-pocketed residents, Pagoulatos noted. Back then, “there was an organized reaction,” he said. “To be honest with you, we fought the good fight, we were at it for a long time and we didn’t win.”

This time around, “Our level of disgust for what’s been going on has been numbed,” he said. But he called for reaching out to engage unlikely allies, and for tapping into collective anger about displacement to bring about change.

“Get pissed, folks," Pagoulatos said. "Anger is a good thing, especially in the face of injustice.”

Comments

It will take a long time for the entire length of it to be gentrified, as large amounts of it remain grim, so there's really no crisis here.

In fact there were half decent restaurants there during the dot.com but they died and left only the usual filthy looking taco joints. So some up-market moves are welcome, and crime is falling as a result.

Evictions are proceeding at only a modest rate and, where they do, the quality of the housing improves - a win-win for everyone.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 11:21 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 11:53 am

Duh, You are the Troll….

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 2:28 am

You have no idea of the neighborhood.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 12:04 am
Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 7:33 am

I really don't think you have.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 12:04 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 5:51 am

because it has any destinations that I value.

Hoping that will change with the uprating of the neighborhood.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 6:08 am

Your comment alone is that of a "gentrifier". Really obnoxious, false, and heartless. Those evictions, which you describe as "proceeding at only a modest rate" are life and death issues for the renters involved. You sound very much like a fake "hipster" or an overpaid vapid "tech twit". For your information, the Mission has long been a soulful haven where real people lived real lives. We resent your monied arrogance and the collusion of the city administration in making this displacement possible. San Francisco is being buried alive, and it's because of characters like you.

Posted by Guest Mickey on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

But it's not a "life and death" matter if a displaced tenant can move just a few miles away to Oakland.

If you really want to live in a neighborhood that you cannot afford, then here is an idea. Get a better job.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

It needs only to hate, envy and conflict. Some acceptance needs to be afforded to these changes, as that has always been an inevitable aspect of San Francisco.

And the good news is that Oakland remains fairly affordable, and is reminiscent of part of the Mission anyway with it's large minority populations, higher crime rates, and dearth of good restaurants. If you like the seedier part of the Mission, you will love east and west Oakland.

Posted by anon on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 11:24 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 11:53 am

I appreciate your concern about "petty, mean spirited, personal attacks." But, the comments you are putting a "troll barrier" up about are not personal attacks, as they don't mention any specific people. Also, while you may disagree with the opinions expresed in the posts, I cannot say they are truly "petty or mean-spirited" either.

This is not to say I agree with the sentiments expressed, but I do understand this is a discussion forum that the SFBG has chosen to open up to the general public, and posters will express a wide-range of views, some of which I will agree with and some of which I will not. I absolutely appreciate the idea that racial epithets, LGBT slurs, and other such comments have no place in a civilized public discussion, but comments that one simply disagrees with are simply part of having an open discussion about issues.

You can certainly post what you like and put up a "barrier" on any comments you disagree with (not that anyone will or will not necessarily follow your suggestions not to read further), but I would say the whole "troll barrier" idea begins to become less and less effective when you over do it.

Posted by Chris on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

expresses any opinion that he disagrees with.

Since he disagrees with almost anything and everything, he is effectively doubling the length of every thread while adding absolutely nothing of value.

Which is itself trolling.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

Wow. Hilarious.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

Pagoulatos - a politician-in-training - advocates anger, but also admits that his "good fight" has failed. Perhaps it's time for him to re-evalate his divisive tactics.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

He shouldn't be angry - he should be entirely used to losing by now.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

I've been out there four times during the last ten years. There is no industry in San Francisco except tourism. Without affordable housing and wages high enough to support some kind of middle class, you have little but 6 figure yuppies and homeless people. I suggest a massive and comprehensive labor strike of all the service sector. If the gentrification does not cease, let the techies be their own bartenders, barristas and dishwashers. Let them flip their own burgers, sack their own groceries and clean their own toilets. San Francisco is dying and being replaced with a San Francisco based theme park.

Posted by NLE on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

There will always be more bartenders, barristas, and dishwashers willing to take the 15 minute BART ride into the city. The best will adapt and expand their skill sets, increase their incomes, and become the new wave of San Francisco residents.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 12:54 pm
Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

Not if BART is on strike.

And if the strike drags on, it may well spread.

We could have a replay of November 1934.

Posted by pete moss on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:09 am
Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 7:34 am

1959 wasn't bad, had a couple of good years in the '80's, 1995 was stellar, 2010 was pretty cool, and 2013 is turning out to be one of the best.

How about you?

Posted by pete moss on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 7:24 am

Probably explains why you think your best times were decades ago.

But if 2013 is good then obviously the changes happening in SF now are suiting you. In which case I'd agree with you that the city is changing for the better.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 7:32 am

I take the good with the bad.

In some areas the City is much improved. In others not so much.

In allot of areas it hasn't changed at all.

Posted by pete moss on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 7:53 am

years ago. Either it's better now or, as you say, it hasn't changed much at all.

Good example: Hayes Valley was a nasty crime-infested craphole until the freeway was taken down, and now it's safe, clean and full of interesting stores and eateries.

Presidio Heights has hardly changed at all.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 9:11 am

Oh wait, probably not, since you're a tourist who has only been here four times in the last decade.

I have an idea for you, wanna hear it? Shut the fuck up and don't worry a city you don't live in or understand. k thx.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

feared the influx of commuters and workers driving down pay levels for the city family and their associated interests.

But now BART enables people who are evicted from the Mission to happily live in Oakland and commute to SF via BART.

So everyone is happy.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

replace you with people who will harder and for less money

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

leverage. When Wal-Mart opened in Oakland they had thousands of applicants for the couple of hundred jobs.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

Uh yeah, nothing going on here but tourism. Literally not a thing.
Twitter? nah. zynga, nah. no banking institutions, no credit card companies, no health care companies.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

yuppies making six figures. Well, tourist jobs are usually minimum wage so he's contradicting himself right off the bat.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

That's what he meant. "Nothing going on." Twitter, Shmitter, credit card companies, and financial predators are "nothing going on." Get it, tech twit?

Posted by Guest Mickey on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

Amen NLE, I have lived here since 1991 and the cold disrespectful brutality of these arrogant transplants sicken me.

Posted by M on Dec. 01, 2013 @ 5:37 am

Amen NLE, I have lived here since 1991 and the cold disrespectful brutality of these arrogant transplants sickens me.

Posted by M on Dec. 01, 2013 @ 5:37 am

As some of you say 'change is good' but this kind of change is NOT good. I am a 3rd generation Native San Francisco Mission District girl and PROUD! A majority of these overpaid kids don't even work in our City. Why doesn't Google or Ebay have housing for them on their....'campus'. You call it a CAMPUS then house your children. Get your buses out of our neighborhood. I am tired of hearing these NON native children's comments about our City. You aren't from here..you only live here because you think it's cool. Well we live here because it's our home and it has our families and our history. If you feel the need to live here then live with us .. not against us. We are SAN FRANCISCO this is how it is and always will be. Why did you move here if you think it's such a dirty, crime ridden, disgusting place that needs change. WTF? That doesn't make any sense. Go back to the Midwest where you came from.. get out! And to those aren't 'filthy looking taco joints'...that's the Mission. I'd rather eat there then ANY place that charges me $5 for a taco or $15 for a burger. Who's the stupid one? So...if you don't like it here...leave! RESPECT OUR HISTORY, OUR CITY AND IT'S CULTURE!! And leave us to our City..the way we like it. I will fight you and I am not going anywhere. ROME always falls and you will too. We'll still be here when it does....you'll be packing your bags. (And if you must be cool and be here .. then go to the Marina)

Posted by Guest NACIDO Y MORIR EN SAN FRANCISCO on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

bar people who do not look and sound like you do.

SFBG practices a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination, bigotry and racism here.

If you are a real SF'er, as you claim, then you practice toleration of diversity, and diversity includes young white males making 150K a year.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into 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 troll barrier on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 8:06 am

Right on, muchacha. Why do these tech basura try to isolate themselves from the people who live here before they showed up with their snooty selves? Why do they try to isolate themselves from the locals at every opportunity with their luxury tech shuttles with blackened windows (why are the windows blackened...what the fuck are they afraid of?) And their pretentious "luxury designer condos" for the bourgeois elite (nose in air facing the sky). Is their ass to good to live in the South Bay or on the Peninsula where they work? Intelligent people live close to where they work, not hours away. Duh.

Gracias for your comment, mi amor.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

laptops and smartphones in the bus - they are at the office as soon as they board the bus.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 7:36 am

hahahahahahahaha :))))))))))))))))))

you win

your idiot claim that tinted windows improve operation of electronics

is by far

the **stupidest** thing

written on the internet

ever

and in history it ranks right up there with other phrases also marking the elite becoming so stupid and oblivious that they didn't realize that if they kept it up, they would lose their fucking heads

phrases such as

"let them eat cake"

congratulations

you have successfully joined the ranks of the dismally inbred elite at the turning point before its imminent ignominious fall

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 8:30 am

But it does make it easier to read screens if you reduce glare and reflection.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 8:42 am

"facilitates better operation" is clearly not a reference to glare

and glare is solved much more easily by simply raising the brightness of the screen

blackened windows always have the same purpose

to hide from and dim the world outside and pretend it isn't there, and to prevent oneself from being seen and having to make eye contact with the oppressed who don't get to ride in expensive transport for elites

Posted by racer x on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 9:12 am

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