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.Read more »
Tenant advocates today proposed a sweeping set of legislative proposals to address what they’re calling the “eviction epidemic” that has hit San Francisco, seeking to slow the rapid displacement of tenants by real estate speculators with changes to land use, building, rent control, and other city codes.Read more »
Members of Lee family quietly moved out of their longtime home in Chinatown last night, a day before their latest scheduled Ellis Act eviction, which had been postponed twice before thanks to headline-grabbing progressive activism that turned away deputies and persuaded the Mayor’s Office to intervene with the landlord.Read more »
When urban real estate is turned into merely a commodity — or just another safe place for the wealthy to park their cash in uncertain economic times, while also providing pied-a-terres in which to crash a few times a year — it tears at the social fabric of big cities such as San Francisco, New York City, and London.Read more »
Gum Gee Lee recognizes that she’s not the only one.
Dressed in her now signature floral patterned blue jacket, she climbed the white flatbed truck that served as a makeshift stage of the Our Mission: No Eviction rally on Saturday, and with the aid of a translator she spoke to the 300 or so protesters.
“Its not okay to use gentrification to takeover,” she said. “It is disproportionately affecting the elderly and disabled.”Read more »
Tomorrow (Sat/12 at 2pm) advocates and defenders of working class San Francisco will march to protest a rash of recent Mission evictions, including the potential ouster of artists and activists Rene Yañez and Yolanda Lopez from their Mission district home.
The organizers want the mayor to declare a state of emergency in the city as the recent Ellis Act evictions have intensified -- 125 Ellis Act eviction notices have been filed this year, with the most recent numbers going to the end of August, according to the SF Rent Board. But 175 requests for Ellis Act evictions were filed, meaning 70 percent of Ellis evictions were upheld. The march follows recent wins against gentrification, including blocking a Jack Spade store from opening in the Mission.
Organizer Roberto Y. Hernandez said that since he announced the march he’s been getting calls of support from all over the city, but most notably in Chinatown, the Bayview, and the Castro.
“I heard horror stories of what's happening to the gay community in the Castro,” he said. “This doesn’t just affect the Mission, this affects the whole city.”
Each of those evictions represents a person or family whose ouster from their apartments may mean ouster from San Francisco altogether. Ellis evictions gained more notoriety this year, first with the plight of the Lee family and now the ouster of Mission artists Yañez and Lopez.
Yañez is widely credited with bringing the celebration of Day of the Dead to the city. He co-founded the Mission’s Galeria de la Raza and practiced art in his home of the Bay Area since the 60s. Now, while suffering from cancer, the 71 year old is being forced from the neighborhood he helped to shape. Lopez, his former wife, is an artist with deep roots in the Chicano/a movements of the ‘60s, and is facing eviction as well.
On July 2, activists from "Eviction Free Summer," formed to defend tenants facing eviction, gathered outside landlord Rick Holman's South Park office building in San Francisco to protest an eviction he'd initiated against a Mission-based activist collective.
Organizer Fred Sherburn-Zimmer said it was one of many peaceful protests the housing activists plan to stage against property owners this summer. "We're taking it to the landlord's homes and offices," Sherburn-Zimmer said. "They can't pretend they're not ruining people's lives by displacing them."Read more »