Guardian forum examines who San Francisco is building housing for


Our original intention for “Housing for Whom?” — a Bay Guardian community forum tomorrrow night (Wed/23) at the LGBT Center — was to look at the hottest items on an otherwise lackluster fall election: Propositions B and C, which would allow a controversial waterfront luxury condo project to be build at 8 Washington St.

So we booked key proponents on the each side the measure: Jon Golinger, president of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers and a key opponent of the project; and Tim Colen of the Housing Action Coalition, one of three proponents of Prop. B. We’re excited to hear what they have to say and to discuss the measures.

But in the weeks since then, there’s been explosion of public concern over the related issues of gentrification and evictions, accompanied by a renewal of progressive activism that has scored some notable victories, all of its set against a skylight of construction cranes building a glut of high-end housing in Upper Market and other areas.

So we’ve decided to broaden our discussion to look at the implications of the city’s current housing and economic development policies, examining what the San Francisco of the the future will look like if we continue on our current course and what can be done to control our destiny.

To help guide that discussion, our panel will also include Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, an activist with the Housing Rights Committee who recently went through her own personal eviction battle; and Peter Cohen of the Council of Community Housing Organization, who will offer an overview of the housing now being built and the challenges in meeting the needs of current city residents.

We’ll also be turning to you, Guardian readers, for your input and observations. And to help with that, the crowd will include veterans of the successful recent campaign to prevent high-ending clothing chain Jack Spade from opening a store in the Mission and the struggles to prevent the Lee family eviction and a mass eviction on Market Street that would be the biggest single eviction since the I Hotel.

Moderating the discussion will be yours truly, Editor Steven T. Jones, and News Editor Rebecca Bowe. So come join us from 6-8pm at on the fourth floor of the LGBT Center, 1800 Market St.