Anti-gentrification protest marches up Valencia and its brand-new condos

Displaying a bright “Class War 2.0″ banner, the group marched peacefully up Valencia and then turned on 22nd before stopping in front of Lolo Cevicheria for an impromptu rally.  The speaker made an interesting point regarding rent control that I had failed to previously consider.  Namely, that while families without the fortune of living in rent-controlled apartments are forced to move after their rent gets dramatically increased, people who do actually dwell in rent-controlled spots suffer from landlords who refuse to fix anything except for the most necessary (read: legally-required) repairs.

Many families are terrified of even asking their landlords to perform important maintenance within their apartments out of fear that they will notice some sort of technicality within their living space that would provide means for eviction.  Imagine dealing with that constant level of fear every day of your life, where any sort of misstep could be used against you.

Sadly, I just see this situation getting worse and worse.

Chilling mural outside Galeria de la Raza depicts a bleak outlook for the youth of the Mission

[Photo by Kyle]

Dolores Park party pollution

[via Diana Kathleen Bradbury]

Think about it

This is my favorite new Twitter personality. Based in the Mission, so I’m told:

Anti-Gentrification Arts Market

This afternoon/evening from 4-7pm Prensa POBRE/POOR Magazine is hosting an event at 2940 16th Street to support locals who have been evicted, displaced or otherwise affected by the ongoing overvaluation of San Francisco property. The event will feature performances by a puppet theater, engaging activist Fly Benzo (a local rapper from Hunters Point, whom I have worked with before) and a reading from Born N’ Raised in Frisco, a book compiled and workshopped in part by Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia and Tony Robles. Art will be available to purchase, and there will be food offered at a sliding scale.

Check it out. Discuss, debate, plan and proceed.

[via The Bay Guardian]

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano supports local “Jack Off” movement

Yeah, the “Jack Off” movement. You know, to stop Fifth & Pacific’s upscale menswear chain, not the other kind of jack, how dare you think I was making a lewd inference in order to get you to read yet another article about this company. Both Ammiano and former President of the Board of Supervisors Matt Gonzalez support a new appeal. The two are authors of the formula retail ordinance, and believe that the company has acted in bad faith, not holding a hearing and muscling their way in through technicalities.

But they love our gentrification!

Andy Blue sends in the press release, describing the next steps to keep the shop out of the Mission. Full text after the jump:


Author of formula retail ballot measure, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano:
“Jack Spade has operated in bad faith”

Matt Gonzalez, Aaron Peskin; Supes Campos, Avalos,
and Mar support the appeal.

SAN FRANCISCO –– Backed by the original drafters of San Francisco’s formula retail ordinance, the coalition fighting to stop designer menswear line, Jack Spade, from opening a new store in the Mission District, heads to City Hall this Wednesday, October 9 (City Hall, Room 416, 5:00pm) to request a rehearing before the Board of Appeals.


The effort to combat Jack Spade continues

Andy writes in to let us know that tomorrow (Wednesday, 8/14) is a big hearing to “call a Spade a Spade: Jack Spade/Kate Spade is one big company”.  He reiterates that he’s in for a public debate that we (Mission Mission) will run if there are any commenters who oppose the actions to block Jack Spade and are willing to publicly stand up for what they believe.

You can follow the story of the opposition here.

The press release after the jump.


Get your Jack off

You’ve probably heard that Adobe Books had to leave their 16th Street location recently, and relocated to a new location on 24th Street. You’ve probably also heard that Jack Spade, an upscale retail store that is a spin off of Kate Spade which is a subsidiary of Liz Claiborne, was planning to move into Adobe’s old location well before Adobe had even publicly conceded to leaving. (For reference, check out Kevin’s reporting here)

Well, a bunch of “Valencia Corridor” businesses are opposing Jack Spade as a formula retailer brand from a multinational company, and therefore not a part of the Mission community. The opening of a store like this will pave the way for more companies to take root in the neighborhood, and push out the local businesses. Makes sense to me.

I’d also add that they really only appeal to a certain kind of well moneyed, overly groomed young urban professional scenester, but that’s pretty much the Valencia Corridor in a nutshell.

Anyway, you can sign their petition here, and the event should be fun, with proceeds going to “support the Stop Jack Spade campaign”.

This hippy totally wasted their money on the personalized license plate

I guess “A HIPPY” was already taken.

[Photo and title by Emalie]

Scenes and thoughts from last night’s march for solidarity

Last night, there was a march for solidarity in response to the rape attempt reported on January 8. Participants marched to 24th St. BART at 5:30pm and stopped to let volunteers speak and share their thoughts.

While some of the speakers talked about ways for potential victims to stay safe, such taking self defense classes, carrying mace, and not walking home alone, I was moved by some of the more idealogical issues about the surrounding community that were discussed. Some of my takeaways of that kind were:

  • If someone says she was sexually assaulted, believe her.
  • Don’t ignore cries for help.
  • Get to know everyone in your neighborhood.
  • Don’t blame the victim.
  • Don’t joke about rape.

The reason these things hit home for me is because I, like many of you, read comments on this blog. I know that a few commenters fall under these categories when we post about these incidents.

If your first reaction to sensational reports that don’t show up on the news first is to think that they are a hoax, then please consider that some rapes go unreported because victims are afraid they won’t be taken seriously and that they will be shamed in their communities. In fact, I just heard about someone who still thought that the recently-convicted Mission rapist of last year was an “internet hoax”!

No, we aren’t seasoned reporters, but we are members of this community and if we don’t take it seriously, how do we expect anyone else to? It starts here, folks.

We live in a crazy neighborhood where wild stuff happens all the time. We can get numb to it. But we should never turn a blind eye to people in danger. There are so many different people living in the Mission who are invisible to one another. Stopping and getting to know your neighbors can go a long way in knowing when something isn’t right.

Stay safe everybody, but also keep others safe.

[Top photo via Adrian Arias]