Mission District civic engagement space met with protests, calls for boycott

By Laura Waxman : sfexaminer – excerpt

A Middle Eastern eatery that opened in November with a promise to offer space for political activism and civic discourse has become the focus of intense debate and weekly protests over Palestinian oppression and gentrification in the Mission District.

Manny’s, a cafe and restaurant that operates out of an affordable housing development at 3092 Valencia St., has hosted talks led by the likes of Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, state Sen. Scott Wiener and Mayor London Breed. A roster of monthly events includes urban sustainability, the LGBT Rights movement, and the Queer Latinx history of the Mission’s 16th Street corridor.

Owner Manny Yekutiel told the San Francisco Examiner that his vision “is to create a central, accessible, and affordable place to go to become a better informed and more involved citizen.” He has received high praise in some quarters for this concept… (more)

It appears the address is incorrect. Manny’s is or was here: 3092 16th St., near Valencia.

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Mission Joins Citywide Allies for Two Days of Transit Justice Actions

missionwordsf – excerpt

Supervisor hearing calls on SFMTA to keep red bus lanes for public buses, paratransit, and taxis; Community demands SFMTA board adopt transit justice first policy.

Residents from the Mission, SoMa, Richmond, and other San Francisco neighborhoods converged on City Hall for two days of actions December 3rd-4th, demanding the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) end the corporate use of the red bus lanes, improve access and service to buses, and commit to community planning and other equity processes to keep the Mission and other vulnerable communities safe.

On Monday, December 3rd, approximately 50 residents joined a special hearing item called by Supervisors Fewer and Ronen at the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee. The meeting called SFMTA officials out to the meeting to answer concerns regarding the private use of these lanes…

Fewer closed the hearing by calling on the SFMTA to commit to working with her office towards removing the private buses and shuttles from the red lanes. The SFMTA officials agreed to Fewer’s request…

The following Tuesday afternoon of December 4th, citywide advocates rose from their seats at the SFMTA’s semi-monthly board meeting as Carlos Bocanegra of United to Save the Mission delivered the transit justice first demands from a coalition of advocates from the Mission, SoMa, Excelsior, and Richmond districts…

The community is suffering and the merchants are suffering,” Edwan said. “We are losing customers and we are losing our businesses due to the red lanes.”

In a 2018 survey by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) of more than 100 Mission Street businesses, 39.5% of the merchants surveyed said they have concerns about the impacts the red lanes are having on their businesses…. (more)

We have some ideas on how to solve a few of the problems that we will be sharing soon. Some of them involve a few changes in Sacramento. Stay tuned.

Let’s not forget the switchbacks on Third Street that are cutting off rides to people in the Bay View and Hunter’s Point and other points south along the T-Line. This is also a classic case of transit injustice.

Number one complaint about the SFMA is “They never listen to the anyone or do anything people ask them to do.” This needs to change.

Supervisors back appeal, delay housing project on Mission District laundromat site

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday sided with Mission District activists challenging a housing development on the site of a former laundromat, ordering the developer to conduct a shadow study looking at the project’s impacts on an adjacent school.

The board voted unanimously to require additional study on the plan to build 75 units of market rate housing at 2918-2924 Mission St. in response to an appeal filed by the Calle 24 Cultural District…

But according to Ronen, the school will soon be part of The City’s Shared Schoolyard Program, which seeks to open school yards to the public after school hours.

“There has been, in my opinion, not enough analysis as to how the shadow impacts of this project will impact that public open space,” said Ronen… (more)

Thanks to everyone who made this happen! This is truly an amazing victory that is shared by all the districts as all our Supervisors supported this outcome by voting unanimously to uphold this CEQA appeal.

One of the most memorable comments came from a citizen who asked how this board can send representatives to protect children at the border and ignore the needs of the children in the Mission.

SF officials and residents face off at heated meeting on homeless shelter

Laura Wenus : misisonlocal – excerpt

Crowd of people who didn’t get into the meeting were promised a second meeting. Photo by Zrants

At an emotional community debate Monday night some 200 Mission residents squared off with top city officials and one another over the burdens and benefits that a temporary homeless shelter will bring to a neighborhood severely impacted by tent encampments.

At issue is the city’s plan to place a Navigation Center – a low-barrier homeless shelter that offers its clients on-site access to supportive services – in a vacant lot and electrical building at 1515 South Van Ness Ave. The property will then be developed into mixed-use housing.

“People are stepping over homeless people, they are finding needles, this Navigation Center is only going to create a bigger problem because it is not a solution, it is only a patch on the problem,” said one nearby resident.

But those who spoke in support for the temporary homeless shelter at a Monday night’s public hearing, said any solution is better than the status quo…

“The decision has been made,“ said Ronen, adding that the Navigation Center will likely be up and running by June 1 and it will be open from six to nine months.  Last month, Ronen struck a deal with the site’s developer, Lennar Multifamily Communities, to allow city use of the space as a homeless shelter until construction permits for the 157-unit housing project are finalized…(more)

 

Campos: Mission Homeless Tents Gone in 4 Months

By : missionlocal – excerpt

Supervisor David Campos announced on Monday that within four months, all of the homeless encampments in the Mission District would be dismantled.

“Our plan, and my commitment to you, is to remove all Mission encampments within the next four months, in an effective and humane manner,” said Campos in a press release addressed to Mission District residents and businesses.

“I am glad to report that the process for encampment removal is already underway,” he added, saying a new “Encampment Resolution Team” would be targeting tent cities in the northeastern section of the Mission District, from 16th to 19th streets between South Van Ness Avenue and Bryant Street.

Later on Monday at a community meeting, Campos, Jeff Kositsky — the head of the newly-created Department of Homelessness — Captain Daniel Perea of the Mission District police station, and other city officials spoke to a dozen Mission District residents about the encampments and confronted complaints that the city was doing nothing to help property owners.

“This neighborhood is an absolute travesty,” said Mark, who did not give a last name. “You should be ashamed of yourselves. It’s disgusting.”

“We pay the highest rents. We pay the highest property taxes in the country,” said David Garcia, another resident. “We deserve better.”

Other residents suggested erecting barricades on the sidewalks to prevent camping, as the city did after the crackdown on encampments on Division Street. Another resident said police officers should be empowered to dismantle tents and move people along.

Captain Perea, for his part, said it was against the law to forcibly displace people.

“We issue citations, we make arrests for warrants,” he said. “We can’t tell people to move. We have to follow the law.”… (more)

 

 

Personal Property is under siege

OpEd by concerned citizen

A major crime wave is sweeping our streets, killing businesses and putting public at risk, and nothing is being done about it. Crime statics are down because there is no record of the crimes.

This story came from a reader concerned about the decline of the local Safeway. Desperate people are taking desperate measures. Ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away. Dehumanizing people, treating them like animals and feeding and cleaning up after them is not a good solution. City Hall needs a better plan. Mayor Agnos suggests putting them on an air craft carrier. It’s worth a try.

Crimes of personal property are just not prosecuted. I spoke to the manager of the Potrero Hill Safeway because I’m worried it will go out of business due to loss of clientele. He told me when Gus’s opened they lost 70k customers. To stop the losses they cut service and because of a million dollars of theft last year they put ?toothpaste and mouthwash? in glass cabinets. Organized gangs swept toothpaste off the shelves and resold them in the Mission. “When thieves are caught by security, the police are called. Sometimes they don’t show up for 1.5 hours and when they show up they drop the thief off at the corner”.

It’s a real battle in which the “city” is not on our side but the side of the thieves. The police know that jails have a revolving door.  It’s not cost effective to arrest thieves. A portion of the homelessness is a distinct outcast society that survives on crime and begging.

One safe thing you can do is support our local businesses. Please support PH Safeway during this difficult time. The manager said they are doing their best but I don’t think it is good enough to keep their regular customers. They need your feedback.  The displacement of small and large businesses with small margins is another crime that is spiraling downward making it even more expensive and difficult to live here.

– Concerned Citizen

Supes vote to protect arts space after some disingenuous whining

Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Wiener, Farrell complain that progressives are using the ballot to push their agenda — which is exactly what Wiener and Farrell are doing

The Board of Supes put a measure to protect artist workspace and blue-collar jobs on the ballot yesterday after a long discussion about why this has to get voter approval.

That debate was punctuated by some stunningly disingenuous remarks by Sups. Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell, who said this issue should have been dealt with by the board – but who have put two measures of their own on the ballot that could have been addressed the same way.

There’s no secret what’s going on here. Farrell and Wiener want to have anti-homeless measures on the ballot to create a wedge issue to attack progressive candidates. There’s no way the 6-5 majority on the board would have approved these harsh and pointless laws, so they used their power under the City Charter to put them on the ballot with just four signatures.

Kim’s measure had at least six votes – but not eight, and if she had gone the legislative route, everyone knows the mayor would have vetoed it. Mayor Ed Lee supports the tech industry and the developers who are rapidly taking low-cost production, distribution, and repair space and arts space and turning it into luxury condos and tech offices.

So both sides have gone directly to the voters.

John Elberling, director of TODCO, pointed out the problem: “There has been catastrophic displacement of arts space and PDR, and for five years, the city has done nothing about it,” he testified.

Eric Arguello, who works with Calle 24, noted that Cell Space is gone, Galleria de la Raza is having trouble getting a new lease, Dance Mission is having trouble getting a new lease – and all over the Mission, cultural heritage is under attack.

“We are bleeding blue-collar jobs,” he said, noting that some studies show more than 20 percent unemployment in the Latino community (while the mayor brags about the city’s overall unemployment rate, which shows that white people with engineering degrees who moved here recently are doing fine).

Flora Davis, an artist who recently lost her studio on Soma after 23 years, noted that of the 43 artists she used to share space with, only 16 remain in the city. The building she moved into in the Mission used to have 60 artists; there are 20 left.

Kim noted that a recent study found that 70 percent of the artists in San Francisco are either being evicted or facing eviction – and the other 30 percent fear it… (more)