Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Uncategorized The year San Francisco fought back

The year San Francisco fought back


By Tim Redmond

There was not a lot of good news for my city in 2013: Evictions soared, nonprofits were forced out, artists have become an endangered species … and everyone who doesn’t already own a place wakes up in the middle of the night wondering if the Ellis Act notice will arrive tomorrow and they’ll be forced to leave. (And no, Mr. Brown, it’s not okay to just toss the middle class over to Oakland.)

It’s been a bleak winter for anyone who isn’t rich or getting rich, and while the mayor has finally noticed and is talking about building affordable housing, that doesn’t do much good for the existing residents who are getting displaced. The new housing, in the best of circumstances, won’t be available for years. And in an affordability crisis, the most valuable housing is the rent-controlled property that already exists; every tenant who gets an Ellis Act eviction is one more person either leaving this place for good or competing for the small number of new affordable units. Every rental that is protected is one less tenant in the market – and all of those folks who love the free market should understand that.

But something has started to change: The San Francisco that was here before Twitter is fighting back. (more after the jump)


Marke B.
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts and culture editor of 48 Hills. He co-owns the Stud bar in SoMa. Reach him at marke (at), follow @supermarke on Twitter.


  1. Dear Tim:
    You deserve a lot of credit for this “win” and hopefully, the return of a revved-up, activist, progressive San Francisco. Your insight into the political activities in the City and your tireless, erudite appearances to explain these matters and educate our population has been extremely important. Many San Franciscans have and will benefit from your analyses which is so on-point!
    Thank you again. We all look forward to hearing you again in 2014!

  2. I did the only thing you can do when you are on disability and can’t work anymore. I moved to Pacifica. I found a very nice Section 8 apartment -I really lucked out-and moved. Food and gas are just as expensive here, but the rent is 30% of my income. I remember San Francisco and California when it was really special. I was born in 1949. I was a kid in the fifties, a teenager in the sixties, and in the seventies property speculation and gentrification took over and the city was lost to me. It used to feel like the city was a living entity and it kept me company. I can’t tell you how lonely it was after it became inaccessible to me. The loss of artists is the worst part. Without a thriving artistic community, the city has no soul. I dream about San Francisco a lot. Mostly I dream about parts of he city, real or imagined, that I weld together to fit a deep, deep part of me. These places I create are more real than the actual places. I wonder, does anyone else dream about their home town like I do?

  3. San Francisco is at risk of becoming another Manhattan, a sterile mindless camp for the worst kind of worthless narcissistic rich people who contribute nothing to society. I was talking to Michael yesterday about why Manhattan property values are staying high despite the fact that is is rapidly losing its place as the financial center of the world. The New York Stock Exchange is just another exchange , and there is really no reason for it to be in New York City except tradition. The major banks and financial institutions could easily locate elsewhere. Why would anyone pay millions of dollars to live there when the city has lost most of its original charm, character and importance? Part of the reason may be that wealthy people all over the world buy property in New York because it is one of the few cities in the world where rich people are revered and embraced for nothing other than their net worth. You really don’t see that as much in the major Asian or European cities.
    That hasn’t happened yet in SF in part because the city has still retained a lot of its unique liberal bohemian attitudes and character, that’s partly what is different about SF. So there is still a lot of hope that the city can still be a place where people other than billionaires can live and work. Enjoying 48 hills

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