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The Midtown Tenants’ Association would like an opportunity to respond to the op-ed published in the BayView that discredits the struggle for equity and self-management that Midtown tenants have been engaged in over the past four years. We have experienced broad support from the wider community concerned with gentrification and the displacement of Black and working class people from San Francisco. Contrary to what the op-ed claimed, living at Midtown under Mercy Housing is not “much better now.”
San Francisco United Against Trump acknowledges that the issues faced by minority groups, particularly immigrants and people of color, under our current administration, are not only an integral part of our city’s history, but of nearly EVERY major American city’s history. Our organization aims to combat President Trump’s regressive and destructive policies, as well as fight injustice at local levels of government.
A “space mountain,” “a behemoth,” “a colossus,” “a palace for Jabba The Hut” and “a half-baked baked Alaska” – that’s how columnists have described George Lucas’ $400 million 300,000-square-foot Museum of Narrative Art, a collection of Americana and Hollywood memorabilia. On May 16, 2016, San Francisco Supervisor, Aaron Peskin, appeared on CBS Bay Area talk show “Matier in the Morning,” where he reintroduced Treasure Island as a site for the project.
On Dec. 14, 30 residents of the Midtown Park Apartments in the Fillmore-Western Addition, along with dozens of community supporters, picketed the San Francisco offices of Mercy Housing to demand Mercy’s removal as its property manager. Midtown tenants also formally announced the filing of a legal writ challenging a recent ruling by the San Francisco Rent Board that Midtown does not qualify for rent control.
On a cold Tuesday evening, Sept. 15, Midtown residents along with their allies from labor unions, UC Berkeley, Boalt School of Law, The Plaza 16 Coalition, Calle 24 and tenants’ rights advocates gathered outside of the San Francisco Rent Board eagerly awaiting the appeal hearing. The decision was to be made on the rent control status of 65 long-term Fillmore District families who face immediate rent increases ranging from 30 percent to 300 percent.
Third Baptist Church in San Francisco asked a San Francisco Superior Court judge today to stop the landlord of the Frederick Douglass Haynes Gardens – a 104-unit Fillmore development that is home to mostly Section 8 tenants – from selling the building to speculators. The temporary restraining order request asks a judge to provide injunctive relief against what appears to be another case of affordable housing at risk in San Francisco.
On Monday, June 29, over a hundred working class families of Midtown Park Apartments were joined by community activists, concerned citizens and legal advisors for a rally in support of over 55 households whose rent increased 300 percent. The only such property that is owned by the City, Midtown’s original intent by then Supervisors Diane Feinstein and Ella Hill Hutch was to transform this complex into an equity cooperative – a promise that never materialized.
Nearly 100 residents of Midtown, representing virtually every household at a vibrant and diverse low and moderate income community in the Fillmore District, submitted a petition to Mayor’s Office of Housing Director Olson Lee asking him to withdraw his termination of Midtown’s 45-year-old lease with the City and County of San Francisco. Later that same day, Director Lee, a former Redevelopment Agency official, gave Midtown residents his answer: No.
The Mayor’s Office of Housing is acting at warp speed to push through a proposal to HUD called Rental Assistance Demon-stration (RAD), which will ultimately mean the privatization of all the last shreds of public housing in San Francisco. With the possibility of public housing becoming private, where does that leave the people who have been in this neighborhood for generations, such as my family and myself?
The San Francisco Housing Commission meeting of Sept. 4 on a new acronym called Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), code for selling public housing to private investors, was still. Still like a grave. A grave for all us poor people destroyed by the massive privatization of our public housing. Us unprioritized and barely housed, the forgotten elders and disabled folks, the very poor, the displaced, now houseless and rarely remembered.
Marcus Book Store, at 1712 Fillmore St., San Francisco, is packed with knowledge it has purveyed since 1960, for 53 years. Now the oldest Black book store in the country has been ordered out. But the community is REFUSING to let Marcus Books close. The Sweises, who bought the property, want the judge to evict Marcus Books. Everyone is urged to BOYCOTT their businesses, Big Dog City Cab and Royal Cab companies. On Tuesday, July 2, 3 p.m., the community will caravan to the Sweis home in South City for a PROTEST RALLY at 4 p.m.