48hillsdropboxdudes

By Erin McElroy

OCTOBER 13 — By now the video of the young white “Dropbox Dudes” kicking the youth of color out of the Mission Playground has traveled the world with virality.

In part, it has captivated such a broad audience because it touches upon the settler-colonial nature with which dispossession occurs, not only San Francisco but in a myriad gentrifying spaces. In the video, we see entitled young white men, one donning a Dropbox t-shirt, telling youth of color they have to leave a soccer field. The white men claim they have the right to because they have obtained a permit.

One of the men shows them the permit, ushering them off the field. As one youth contends, for 20 years people have playing soccer in that field without a permit. Now, suddenly, these “techbros” (one of whom has been in the city for one entire year), have the right to the space for an hour, per a piece of city-granted paper.

As Columbus Day descends upon us, there is a harsh likening to deeds granted by European royalty of old to the New World to the colonizers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Instead of getting to know the existing culture of the seven-on-seven pickup games in the park and slowly integrating, these newly arrived settlers seek to bypass existing culture altogether, claiming sovereignty through access to government — and an app.

Dropbox, one of the many new tech companies stationed in San Francisco, has a 200,000 square foot headquarters in China Basin, and is expanding into 182,000 square feet at 333 Brannan (which probably could fit an indoor soccer field). However, this is not the only corporation to focus on when analyzing the political economy behind the cultural take-over of the Mission Playground.

As it turns out, according to Valleywag, the game was a corporate match between Dropbox and Airbnb.  The man with the permit is an Airbnb employee named Conor Welch, Valleywag notes. Our research found Welch on the Airbnb site, described as a Community Support worker.

Airbnb, the leading corporation behind the so-called housing “sharing economy,” is being abused throughout the city not by those who want to share, but by those who desire to profit, often by displacing tenants. As the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project’s “Sleazy 16: Short Term Rental Hosts Displacing Tenants for Tourists” reveals, there are hoteliers such as Lois Wong with as many as  33 listings on Airbnb, and Ellis Act evictors such as Fergus O’Sullivan, all profiting through the short-term rental market.

Airbnb as a company has dragged its feet in paying hotel back taxes and in addressing the amount of evictions that participation in the sharing economy precipitates, and instead engages in “Fair to Share” propaganda. Yet, the sharing economy here seems reticent to share.

While the one employee does not represent the company that he works for here, it is ironic that he holds a permit proving his right to “share” the park, when Airbnb hosts have notoriously evaded obtaining the necessary permits to “share” their homes, second homes, and so on. While abuse of the sharing economy contributes to the eviction epidemic plaguing San Francisco, forcing longtime residents out of their private homes, the privatization of public space in the city is now kicking longtime community members out of the playgrounds and commons.

It is curious that the techbro dudes had obtained a permit to utilize the playground.  While the video went viral in October, it was actually shot two months earlier. And, as of July 2014, Mission Playground had not yet been listed by the Park and Rec Department as a playground in which one could obtain permits. A communications from the Park and Rec Department on July 2nd revealed that they were “working on getting [their] website corrected to add Mission Playground.”

There had been three community meetings in July 2009 led by Bob Palacio and Patrick Hannan to discuss the pay-to-play reservation system. This was after the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, in partnership with the City Fields Foundation, largely run by the Fishers (Gap) and Charles Schwab, announced the renovation of the Mission Playground to be funded by taxpayers and the Foundation, with private contracts, for $7.5 million.

In the first of the three scheduled meetings for public input, residents did indeed express concern around the proposal of pay-to-play reservations during peak hours. A second meeting was held for which no records could be obtained. Records from the third meeting indicate simply that the matter of fees and reservations had been resolved. In 2012, Mission soccer players petitioned the city over the pay-to-play policy, rebuking that groups such as SF Pickup Soccer (which uses the app Meetup) would have more access to the Mission Playground than those who had been playing there for 25 years.

So here we have a collusion of old and new money forcing longtime soccer players, largely youth of color, off of the field and out of the public. While Fisher and Schwab call the shots from above as to how the commons reshape, those with the right apps and permits enact their sovereign right to occupy the space. As colonial history has revealed time and time again, those who privilege in such scenarios are always already privileged. But, as the video beautifully shows, there is resistance. And it is growing.

There will be a rally at 9am on Thursday in front of City Hall, organized by the Latino Democratic Club, before the Parks and Recreation Commission’s opening public comment.

Steps of City Hall – Thursday, October 16
9:00 AM – Rally and Press Conference
9:30 AM – March to Room 416
10:00 AM – Public Comment – Parks and Recreation Commission

*MEDIA CONTACT*
Edwin Lindo
cell: 415-342-9009
email: [email protected]

If you can’t make it on Thursday, you can submit public comment beforehand, and it will still go into the public record. Email comments to [email protected] and cc [email protected] from the Latino Democratic Club, organizer of the action.

Demands:
1) An immediate end to the privatization of Mission Playground and for all public access be restored
2) That all privatized use for adults of Mission Playground and other youth-used recreation spaces throughout the city undergo community review planned by the neighborhood
3) That community customs and park traditions be followed and supported by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.
4) Full-time San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department staff for Mission Playground.

 

  • Sam

    You lost your credibility in the first paragraph with your provocative categorization: ” we see entitled young white men, one donning a Dropbox t-shirt, telling youth of color they have to leave”. Why even introduce race into this? And especially on Columbus Day – a day when Americans of all races give thanks for the opportunity we have all had to live together in such a great nation?

    As you note, this was two months ago, and nobody thought anything of it until the scurrilous media decided to play a race card and try and elevate ill feelings, instead of seeing this for what it was – a minor misunderstanding and kids’ squabble.

    Moreover, you pointedly omitted to mention that both sides have apologized, as reported by SFist earlier today. So again, a non-issue which you are now shamelessly politicizing.

    The hours when you need a permit are very limited, and the pitch is available on a first-come, first-served basis the rest of the time. It’s the fairest way of ensuring that everyone has a shot at playing, rather than the pitch being monopolized by the same few players all the time.

    The Parks policy was carefully considered with public input, and those appointed by the politicians that we elect enacted this balanced policy three years ago. Are you really just finding it out about it now?

    • e30s2k

      LOL…ESPECIALLY on Columbus Day? I suggest you do a bit more digging on what the man the day commemorates stood for. Your use of the word “especially” certainly is very appropriate, just not in the context you intended.

      Happy Bartolome Day to all!

      http://theoatmeal.com/comics/columbus_day

    • Race is relevant in this discussion even though it’s mostly a class issue. By and large the people coming to the city just to make money and not to be part of the community are white and asian/southasian. The people getting kicked out their homes in the Mission to make way for richer whiter folks are quite often Latino. The Latino population of the Mission has been reduced by nearly 20% since the first dot.com in the mid 90’s. Anecdotally I remember having my guard up walking around the Mission 20 years ago. There were parts of it that felt unsafe. Now when I go to the Mission it feels about as unsafe as the Marina. The city is getting whiter and richer, and if this continues it will be about as diverse and interesting as Walnut Creek.

      • Sam

        Hispanics are still about 50% of the population of the Mission. That is four times the neutral percentage for Hispanics in the US.

        Meanwhile the white population of SF is below the national average.

        So a natural diversity would see more whites and less Hispanics.

        Not that any of that matters because truly post-racial folks do not think in terms of racial quotas.

        • Eleen Tigur

          “So a natural diversity would see more whites and less Hispanics.”

          Can you please explain what “natural diversity” means in the context of the population of San Francisco?

          • Sam

            A natural or neutral diversity would simply be one which reflects the norm for our nation.

            You would need a compelling reason to argue that more of one race and less of another is somehow a good thing.

          • Eleen Tigur

            “A natural or neutral diversity would simply be one which reflects the norm for our nation.”

            So national norms reflect our plurality? Sorry “Sam” your math is bad here.

            “You would need a compelling reason to argue that more of one race and less of another is somehow a good thing.”

            Oh dear… so much deflection and red herring and backpedaling from your original statement I do not know where to begin.

            Who do you think is making this argument?

            Certainly no one on 48hillsonline.org comments except you… as deflection.

        • rickbynight

          “truly post-racial folks do not think in terms of racial quotas.” says the person who just started talking about racial makeup in terms of national averages… lol

      • SFrentier

        “Now when I go to the Mission it feels about as unsafe as the Marina.”

        What are you smoking? Have you been reading on the amount of assaults and robberies in the mission lately? Sure, it’s generally safer than the 90’s, but that’s because the mission was largely neglected by people with money. The poor and the large Latino community was left to fend for itself. And it kept asking for improvements and positive influences to help the community. Now that it’s getting gentrified and desirable, people are complaining about that. Can’t have it both ways folks 🙂

      • Meh. The Latinos kicked the Irish out of the Mission. That’s what happens in cities. Over time, neighborhoods change. Get over it.

        • shaun

          I’m about to call PETA on you for beating this dead horse.
          Look, in the 1950s and 1960, there weren’t a bunch of highly paid Latinos coming into the Mission, buying up property and kicking Irish people out. That did not happen and to suggest so is a bizarre attempt to re-write history. White folks were leaving urban environments in droves, heading to the suburbs in what was called “White Flight.”
          I have provided you with a link to the Wikipedia record on the subject that contains general background and a plethora of references at the bottom of the page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_flight

          • Again, meh. Noe Valley was home to poor white people who worked for rich white people in Pacific Heights. Now it’s home to rich people. Again, neighborhoods change.

    • gonzo
      • Eleen Tigur

        haha, classic

    • Are you STILL trolling on this site? You lost your credibility a LONG time ago Sam by your stupid, ignorant, entitled, corporate-loving, San Francisco hating, right-wing, b-s propaganda. You are nothing but a troll for all these vile newbies who are destroying this city. Why you haven’t been banned on this site is beyond me. You’re nothing but a total joke.

      • “Destroying the city”–Um, the City is better now than it has been in 20+ years! Crime is down, there are more restaurants, more educated people, etc. All that’s missing is a NYC style crackdown on crime and homelessness to clean things up once and for all.

    • bella

      “And especially on Columbus Day – a day when Americans of all races give thanks for the opportunity we have all had to live together in such a great nation?”

      SMH.

    • Eleen Tigur

      Sorry Sam, your ignorance shines today with this comment.

      Race is valid issue here precisely because of the extreme problem tech has with race, not to mention gender as demonstrated by this video and the recent self-reporting of tech companies.

      I’ll put it simply for you; this encounter demonstrates “symbolically” the problems we are faced with as a community in San Francisco.

      Do you get that?

      Your argument below about “natural diversity” (whatever that is) only underlines your ignorance when it comes to race and the related income issues.

      You should read the apology – clearly Dropbox feels this is an issue.

      Sam, three years is long time in city politics. Do you really obey everything you’re told to do by Parks and Rec or the city? You don’t seem to. Why should anyone else?

      Is it because you feel a certain privilege?

      • Sam

        Tech doesn’t have a problem with race, let alone an extreme problem. They hire the most qualified people and, insofar as the resultant racial breakdown differs from the norm, that is a coincidence.

        You cannot reasonably ask employers to hire people other than the very best just so their diversity numbers look prettier to those who care about such things.

        • Eleen Tigur

          I’m thankful “Sam” that you have retreated from your ridiculous entreaty to 48hillsonline.org – “Why even introduce race into this?”

          Why are you are still denying why this is an issue when by your own admission is it?

          “Tech doesn’t have a problem with race, let alone an extreme problem”

          Well here is what the tech industry itself says about the problem which extends to encompass both race and gender.

          Anyone who is following the topic could fill pages with articles about this issue but here’s some recent reading for you

          “…Asian tech workers earn less than women and most other racial groups a fairly surprising read.”

          http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-10-09/the-color-of-money-in-silicon-valley

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/chanellebessette/2014/10/08/marc-andreessen-aims-to-solve-techs-diversity-problem-with-500000-donation/

          http://blog.latism.org/2014/10/the-conference-thats-trying-to-crack-techs-race-problem/

          http://www.wired.com/2014/07/gender-gap/

          “They hire the most qualified people and, insofar as the resultant racial breakdown differs from the norm, that is a coincidence”

          Please read the above as to why that is patently false and no one in the tech industry agrees with that response.

          “You cannot reasonably ask employers to hire people other than the very best just so their diversity numbers look prettier to those who care about such things.”

          “Sam” Clearly no one is asking any such thing of employers.

          Please take the time to elevate & educate yourself above the outmoded, knee jerk “affirmative action is bad” response and understand why this is an economic issue and potentially detrimental to the tech industry and our economy as a whole.

          • ““They hire the most qualified people and, insofar as the resultant racial breakdown differs from the norm, that is a coincidence”
            I get a laugh when I read such drivel 🙂 My sister-in-law benefited from having a H1B visa for years. Having seen her successfully have TA(s) gladly do her assignments in college , i once asked her what kind of work she did. Her response…’ I do everything…i make copies..’ :-).
            That I could believe. I recall taking an Oracle class and when she learned I was taking the class, she decided she would take the class. When i get the results of my first assignment i see a score of 2/25.
            I looked over at her score and it’s quite the opposite, 23/25. I look back at the big red writing on my assignment, ‘…THIS IS NOT YOUR WORK!!! YOU STOLE THIS WORK. I AM NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU CREDIT FOR WORK YOU STOLE. I thought for a second or two then realized the truth. Of course! This black thug had stalked this intelligent little Asian lady and mugged her for her assignment 🙂 🙂 :-).
            I resorted to threatening to go to the department head if i did not get credit of my work in the future. I did get full credit for subsequent assignments , but at no time did the instructor do anything like call us both up and perhaps interrogate each of us as to how we derived solutions.
            Most qualified? She copies well and that along with being the prettiest and laughing the most is what one tech company spent thousands of dollars to get a H1B for.

      • I’m a manager in tech. When I hire someone, I have my assistant send me their coding samples WITH NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION ATTACHED. I don’t know if I’m looking at code from a male, female, transgender, young, old, black, white, latino, etc. That said, though, I’m not going to take someone who does lesser quality work than someone else just because they fit some minority profile. Learn the work and you’ll get the jobs.

    • Eleen Tigur

      It’s funny “Sam” as in “funny ironic” or “funny hypocritical”, that you “Sam” are all “gung-ho” to enforce this very particular set of city rules.

      It’s also enlightening that you believe that kids refusing to budge because someone has a paid for “by the rules” reservation is somehow “unfair”.

      Yet… a refusal to pay hotel taxes on illegal rentals in clear violation of the city’s laws is fair?

      How do you defend a policy that was made to increase income and at the same time deny a source of budgetary income?

      I look forward to your deflecting response.

    • Cris

      So, which tech company do YOU work for?

      • Cris

        And, of course, I mean that for Sam up there…

      • Sam

        Would that somehow invalidate my viewpoint?

        Would that be like me asking you if you are Hispanic?

    • Kat

      Ahahahahahahahaha…. Your definition of what Columbus Day is what’s called reimagined history. It took me two minutes to stop laughing at your ignorance. Have you asked a Native about the wonderful opportunity to live together in this great nation. Sometimes ignorance is good. Life is easier as a hegemon that way. I will continue to laugh, however.

    • In my experience watching my now 21 year old son grow up playing pick up games around the city, no one group ever “monopolized” the fields. He was always invited to join in the games….

    • Lia Paradiso

      Your ignorance is embarrassing

  • Elizabeth de Young

    Thanks Erin for contextualizing this mess. Kudos to eviction mapping project and eviction free san francisco for all of your efforts to keep the people in their homes.

  • Elizabeth de Young

    sam the man got his troll on quick

    • Probably a refugee from SFBG comments. Always first to comment.

      • Sam

        It’s really too bad that you and Liz post only to attack someone who clearly put a lot of thought into a post about the topic, while you offer nothing but a snide ad hominem.

        Is it really too much effort to think about the issue and provide some relevant commentary?

        • Michael Andrade

          Sam, is your life dedicated to posting comments to this site? Rather sad, I’d say

          • Sam

            No, it takes relatively little time to be engaged, because I multi-task.

            Why comment just to attack another?

      • con

        YES ON H, NO ON I,parks for people,not for rent

    • Absolutely right Elizabeth. I think we all need to contact 48 Hills and demand this troll be banned from this site. I’m sick of seeing his same old tired propaganda.

      • Sam

        Yes, it’s terrible that you sometimes read opinions that you disagree with. And even more so when you cannot refute them and so lash out.

        Tim has my email address and if and when he agrees with you, he can write to me and tell me that. So far he has not, so the inference is that he is more concerned with your lack of civility and tolerance than he is about my well-articulated arguments.

  • Jeff Johnston

    The sign indicating that the field is reservable by permit has been there for years. I’d add a photo to this post but that isn’t supported. Some people simply can’t read.

  • Jerry

    Erin shoots and scores.

    • Sam

      Erin shoots herself in the foot and gets a yellow card.

      Never have so many words been wasted on a matter so trivial and ephemeral.

      • Erin does indeed shoot and scores! Good to know pretty much everyone on here has the same opinion of Sam. Go back to the rock you crawled out from under Sam.

      • Eleen Tigur

        Erin does indeed shoot and scores!

        One might say in this case that your words “Sam” are so trivial and ephemeral.

  • Jerry

    Why even introduce race into this? And especially on Columbus Day – a day when Americans of all races give thanks for the opportunity we have all had to live together in such a great nation?
    It doesn’t get more ridiculous than this. Best laugh of the day.

    • Sam

      Where would all our white liberals be able to shoot their collective mouths, but for Columbus giving us the land of the free (to whine)?

      There is an inherent paradox for criticizing the founding of a nation that your ancestors were very very grateful for being able to flee to.

      So yes, I celebrate it, on behalf of all Americans here. Do please let me know where you’d rather live.

      • Eleen Tigur

        Not all of our ancestors “fled here”.

        Where did your people flee from Sam?

        • Sam

          Unless your ancestors were native Americans then you derive from elsewhere.

          My derivation is Northern Europe.

          • Eric Larson

            Obviously

          • Eleen Tigur

            Exactly.

            Now about that “paradox”?

            Tell me again about that.

          • Sam

            Thanks for agreeing with me, Eric.

            Looks like we both share some Scandinavian heritage!

      • gonzo

        columbus didn’t discover america, some of my ancestors came over (not voluntarily) in prison ships, some of them were already here, nobody fled anything to my knowledge, and i’d rather live on the forest moon of endor.

      • I guess that I was absent that day in history class when Columbus “founded a nation.” Seems to me that I remember him plundering an existing civilization and writing of his astonishment that they were so willing to share all that they had. Think that I remember he wrote that the natives would “make good servants.”

  • Jerry

    It’s the new Manifestech Destiny, there’s an app for that.

  • Excellent piece, Erin.

  • S

    I don’t understand why now you have to pay to play in a public park. If the system of sharing the field before was working, why change it? To me it speaks volumes that people would rather engage with through an app than directly with each other.

    • Well said.

    • Sam

      Except that it was changed years ago.

      I suspect that without a system, the same regulars would hog the pitches all day and night, depriving others of the opportunity.

      When demand exceeds supply, you have to ration and allocate so that everyone gets a shot.

      • Eleen Tigur

        Do you remember exactly why it was changed Sam?

        Come on… you remember… it had nothing to do with supply and demand…

        Was it perhaps because not everyone was paying their fair share in taxes?

  • Jerry

    Sam, I know that you live under a bridge and aren’t allowed to mix with the few humans who are left in SF, but the situation is that you challenge the team that is on the field, the winner stays on the field, rinse repeat.

    • Sam

      Jerry, I know. Unlike almost everyone here, I actually play soccer, and I know how pick-up games work.

      However, this wasn’t a pick-up time, as per city park rules, clearly singed.

      • Eleen Tigur

        Are the rules always correct Sam?

        It seems you like to pick and choose rules as they suit you or the cause you support.

        Kick kids off a playing field? Yes
        Break zoning ordinances? No
        Violating tax codes? No

        Which is it Sam?

        Your “truth” seems very convenient. Like a liberal.

  • Michael Andrade

    Excellent analysis, Erin.

  • hep

    If this was truly a league game the Dropbox bros actually had an invalid permit. From the SF Parks & Rec Permit Rules: “What Can You Reserve? Any individual may reserve up to 4 hours in any calendar month. Weekday reservations (Mon-Thurs evenings) may not exceed 1 hour, and Fri, Sat, Sun reservations may not to exceed two hours. The goal of this provision is to ensure that walkup reservations are used only by occasional users and not leagues or programs (which should be applied for months in advance). In addition, weekday reservations may only be booked starting at 6:30 pm and are booked by the half pitch.”

    The league game permit is an entirely different process. The occasional permit process is never supposed to be used for league games of any kind, even informal leagues. This is to ensure fairness to all leagues, and to all occasional players from having to compete with leagues for field time.

    • Sam

      Unless the permit was granted to the league, which I believe was the case here,

      • hep

        It can’t be granted to a league. Occasional use permits are only granted to individuals with the rule that it cannot be used for league play. There is a separate process for league permits that leagues are supposed to use.

      • hep

        Furthermore, if this was a league permit (because several news reports state that it was a $27 permit, so either an occasional use permit (not to be used for league games) or a league APBP permit) there is still a question of fraud, because APBP permits are only for use by leagues which are open to all members of the public, to benefit the public at large. Inter-company leagues are not allowed to get those permits as it is not an All-Public Benefit Program usage.

        • bella

          Interesting point. Thx.

          • Sam

            But it is moot because the Hispanic kids did not know about this league rule and they believed the permit to be genuine, even if it turned out later it was not due to a technicality.

            So the Hispanic kids should still have withdrawn upon request.

    • Hep’s comment is important. The facts and the rules are important.

  • Don’t forget that the DPW long ago privatized the rainbow flagpole at Harvey Milk Plaza and gave control of the flag to the private Castro Merchants group. I ask everyone who’s upset about the Mission Playground mess created by Rec and Parks and the DropBox bros, please look at ALL of the public space in SF that is being privatized by City Hall and various agencies.

    And be sure to check out my District 8 Supervisor campaign page:
    http://tinyurl.com/Petrelis-4-Supe

  • Jen

    Hi there. This video was posted at the end of September. How do you know it was shot in July? Thx

  • bella

    I was born & raised in SF. Have lived here all of my 49 years. I was disgusted by what I saw in this video, but not surprised.

    For ME this video & my anger about what I witnessed had nothing to do with race (I am a person of color). Issues of entitlement aren’t only reserved to white people.

    My reaction would have been the same if the guys with the permits were of color & the others were white (in fact some of the “we have a permit” guys WERE men of color). It has to do with a lack of respect & understanding of COMMUNITY.

    For me this is about the entitlement that some people have in our city (regardless of race. I’ve seen it from people of color) when they move here & have little respect for the history & emotional tenure & rich culture (which, again, doesn’t always have to do with race) of the city.

    What’s “weird & awkward” is how these guys have no ability to interact with the young kids in a sensitive & empathetic manner. What’s “weird & awkward” is their inability to problem solve with some basic critical thinking skills & just plain decent common sense. What’s “weird & awkward” is that you have to get a permit & pay to play in a public park.

    • An observation from the video (I’ll admit I skimmed it). The Dropbox bros had a jock swagger, especially the big dude with the soccer ball. There is a particular body language to privilege, an arrogance, a presence, a physical attitude that is intentionally intimidating. And when the smaller, inarticulate Latino dude whose English was poor got flustered tying to argue with the Dropbox bro, I couldn’t watch any more. But given the hearings and protests scheduled, this may be just round one.

      • Sam

        Would you have the same problem with a bunch of Hispanic kids physically intimidating some white kids? Or is that somehow completely different and justified.

        For instance, black-on-white violent crime happens at 40 times the rate of white-on-black violent crime, according to FBI statistics. And yet in places like this we only hear about the latter.

        Why the skew?

        • First what does black-on-white crime have to do with this case?
          Second, what does crime PERIOD have to do with this case? From what i see this is a CIVIL, not a CRIMINAL matter. Please correct me if i’m wrong.

  • marcos

    So what’s the difference between a liberalized approach to immigration and settler colonialism?

    San Franciscan of several generations native Gavin Newsom is the one who kicked off this binge of privatization. Donald Fisher was a native, his sons are natives, and they’re the ones who run the Cityfields foundation.

    The issue is not so much where you come from, it is the level of disrespect that you show to others who live in your neighborhood.

    The other issue is that the rampaging success of the neoliberals is due to the failure of San Franciscans to assert ownership of this government.

    Trying to shoehorn what’s happening in San Francisco, concentrated tech profits and globally liberalized capital seeking real estate investments, into a tired leftist trope convinces nobody but establishes cred within the leftist circles.

    This is not going to be solved as a radical and revolutionary problem, it is a well defined problem that can be dealt with using reformist methods. If we can’t hold a park for longer than two weeks, if we can’t figure out ways to insulate folks from the housing market, then we can’t even begin to have a conversation about a topic as deep as unrooting settler colonialism.

    • “Trying to shoehorn what’s happening in San Francisco, concentrated tech profits and globally liberalized capital seeking real estate investments, into a tired leftist trope convinces nobody but establishes cred within the leftist circles.”

      A-effing-men bro! Yours is the only comment on this thread that breaks out of the Sam-whoever-he-am nonsense and the equally idiotic and predictable reactions. I’m sooo tired of Sam, but just as tired of the reactions to Sam.

      But what are the “reformist methods” you speak about? You don’t say, so I have no idea if they’re going to make any sense.

      • marcos

        We have to organize to shut down their ability to do business at their commission hearings and organize, to put disagreement aside, to build a coalition that can win elections from these neoliberal kleptocrats.

        I want to see Occupy the Planning and Park and Rec Commissions, organize to shut down their hearings by overwhelming them with public comment on everything always.

        • Sam

          You tried that tactic and the result was that public comments got moved to AFTER the decisions were made, as we saw with the Airbnb meeting last week.

          I’m sorry, but mob rule isn’t the way forward.

    • marcos

      That should be two months, not two weeks.

      The issue of the colonization of the Mission’s politics by commuter activists needs to be raised as well, as the opposite of colonization is self-determination.

      I’m still waiting until we get to the community empowerment towards self-determination portion of our show.

      • Sam

        The Mission is not a jurisdiction.

        Our problem may be the exact opposite of what you claim. SF and other cities around the Bay Area often have extreme policies and engage in beggar-thy-neighbor policies because the jurisdictions are too local.

        A number of other cities of a few million have a unitary government and don’t try to run things like we are living in medieval villages.

        In any event, people outside the Mission have the right to make decisions about the Mission because all areas of the city affect each other.

  • Mark

    Does the author play soccer? Does he understand how field permits work? This is standard practice in umpteen countries going back decades. It is nothing new that just started when Facebook, Google and Dropbox appeared. I am a soccer coach and player both in England and here in the bay area for 40 plus years. There are too many teams and not enough fields hence the use of permits. What if my youth team had a permit for the field, should they, which incidentally contains ‘people of color’ have to wait??? It has nothing to do with privilege or class or gentrification or entitlement. This is disinformation made into the shape of a stick to beat ‘Tech’ with.

    • James

      Yes. It’s all so transparent. Expect the far-left to over-play their hand (as usual).

    • bella

      This video & the debate that has ensued has NOTHING to do with soccer. Nothing. It has nothing to do with the race of the kids (or in fact the race of the other guys) who are already there. It is not about soccer & it is not about race.

      It’s about the fact that once folks with money move in, neighborhoods are taken away from folks who were there before it was “hip.” It’s about a small group of people taking over and totally disregarding the established culture of a community. Rather than a communal way of thinking, (play together, share space) the community is now subjected to an exclusive mindset (just pay to keep others away). Rules are just words on paper and community is stronger than both.

      Yes, those who rented the field are to blame also. They should have made sure that everyone in the community knew about the policies being set into place. But historically, that does not happen in communities like the Mission, which is part of the problem.

      • SFrentier

        You’re being hysterical. Please, take a chill pill!

        1- this is about soccer, permits and community protocol. There is a balance.
        2- the video just warps people, as it looks bad the way it played out. I’m sure the guys with the permit didn’t want to come off as bossy. They could have handled it in a softer manner. But the video just winds people up, and soon the hyperbol flies….colonizing the mission’s soccer fields? Come on now.
        3- tech people, white people, rich people, etc. have the right to move into them mission. Community and culture are relative, and ever changing. Latinos don’t own the mission, and exhibiting that attitude increases the tension.

        • In my experience, video, especially amateur, unrehearsed video doesn’t warp, it clarifies. Cell phones capture the full, confused complexity of an interaction, so there are multiple reactions and interpretations. But it looks bad not because anything is “warped” but because everything is clarified. It looks bad because it is bad.

          It’s bad when corporate leagues of arrogant jock white boys invade a soccer field with a piece of paper that entitles them– because they play by the “new official rules” that are not the established community rules– to kick out the brown neighborhood kids.

          The corporate PR people at Dropbox must have realized just how bad it was, they are not insensitive to perceptions. And corporate PR people would not use the word “hysterical”– to bait and marginalize– because they know that would create more blow back,

          “Tech people, white people, rich people have the right to move into the Mission. Latinos don’t own the Mission…” Really? So all ownership is a matter of title deed?

          The Native Americans, lacking titles and deeds didn’t in any sense “own” their land, and could legitimately be displaced by settlers whose legal systems carved it up with transits and deeds? The natives had zero moral or natural rights vis a vis the invading paper people?

          Spoken like a true Rentier.

          Please note, I am not saying that the Mission Latinos have exclusive rights and what you catagorize as “techs, whites and the rich” have none. I’m just pointing out the fallacy of self serving arguments.

          • SFrentier

            Funny that you jump on the land ownership. I was just talking about everybody’s right to rent, inc. techies and whites. There goes that argument.

        • Native

          When you move into a neighborhood you learn about the neighborhood. Its culture, its norms and its history. Its common respect and decency. We also have the right to fight for our neighborhood. Just like you have the right to fight for your home town. Big part of the problems is new folks don’t have any emotional connection to this community, childhood memories or generations of family here. Many of our Mission families are born, raised and die here. Would you like it if we went to your home town and told you we have the right to be there and you just need to deal with the changes we are making and its for your own good. This is not just the Latinos. Go to the Castro, the BayView, the Sunset, The Polk they will all tell you the same.
          In my book community comes first and is what creates neighborhoods and if this community does not like this policy then it has a right to change it.

          The realtors will sell you anything to get your money and when you wake up in the morning you will run into the real community and we are fighters, political and active. This is a good demonstration of that.

          • Sam

            Native, but what about the fact that Hispanics have moved to what has been historically a white society – the United States?

            Don’t Hispanics have the same obligation to learn how to assimilate into a different culture? And part of that is understanding that we have a more rules-based society than perhaps they are used to.

            If we are going to talk about respect for another community, then both sides here have work to do.

  • PPod

    The “weird” and “awkward” thing, while troubling, is irrelevant in this case. San Francisco has been taken over by pod people who don’t respond to human emotion (but will probably smile is you give them a burrito and an artisan beer from a pop-up annex). I feel for the Mission District residents and their continuing pod invasion. However. Every time I see one of these articles, I have to ask myself “why does this kind of thing always happen in the Mission?” I’m not trying to be obtuse or insensitive. But it seems as though the Mission has been “abused” since I moved here 20 years ago. It’s either a lack of awareness, lack of representation, or both. If SF Park & Recs legitimately established this permitting policy, why weren’t Mission residents informed? Or were they, and weren’t paying attention? I’m not saying this is the case. I just question whether or not the right questions are being asked. If you want to fight the invasion, you need to be smarter about how to fight them.

    • Eleen Tigur

      What you are witnessing is a depressing side of the millennial generation from whom there is a desire for “authenticity” with convenience.

      Witness the birth and growth of an entire business “model” delivering everything you could imagine with all of it’s originality and acquired “coolness” by a delivery person that’s “cool” with your lack of tip and a nice “fist bump”.

      Witness the success of everything organic, small batched, local, vegan, gluten free, hand-made, farm to table, app driven, no context, no interaction, quick fix dabbawallas aided society that is a certain microcosm of San Francisco.

      From the delusional “eco-friendly” privilege of a “personal driver” from uber to the convenience of a burrito to my office in 20 minutes.

      Everything is driven by the enormous capital wealth of venture capital that has lucked out on and cashed in on again and again with other people’s money.

      There is no sense of ever having to “earn” anything.

      Why would you need to when you are constantly affirmed & constantly rewarded?

      No education is needed to become an “aficionado” or a “connoisseur” anymore.

      Sadly even to become just passionate about something is considered an effort or pretentious.

      “Fake it until you make it” at least until the market crashes and you have to go home to live with mommy and daddy.

      • SFrentier

        WHAT?

      • marcos

        Life is one big play date.

      • PPod

        Well said.

    • bella

      PPod, that is actually what I was trying to say in my comment about “weird & awkward”. You expressed it better than I did when you wrote: “San Francisco has been taken over by pod people who don’t respond to human emotion”. That is the point I was trying to make.

      And you are right. I’ve lived here my whole life & the Mission has always been abused. I think you raise some really compelling questions. Thanks.

    • While I wouldn’t go so far as to call them Pod People, and they do have emotions, it’s perfectly appropriate to satirize this new class of San Franciscans. Eleen Tigur’s stream-of-consciousness, more-in-sorrow exegesis of the depressing side of the millennial techies hits many nails on the head, yet SFRentier genuinely doesn’t get it. Not surprising. The rentier class has always been obtuse. It’s all the grubbing with money that makes them so. The counting and recounting of the bills, the rubber banding of the wads of cash. The deep inhalations of the smell of the sweat damp money. Numbs the mind, don’t you know…

  • Judy Berkowitz

    IMO this is neither about race nor soccer; it’s about SF’s push for public-private ‘partnerships.’
    This is a direct result when a private company (City Fields) takes over the operation of a (former) public property.

    The new private for-profit manager makes new rules such a fee for a permit to use the formerly public property.

    In order to be effective the protesters should get to the root of this matter and address the city allowing private companies’ takeover of public properties.

    • Amen, and thank you CSFN for spearheading the resistance to the privatization of SF public parks. So many issues, so little time.

    • marcos

      The question remains as to where the Mission politicos were when this privatization was going down?

      • Sam

        It’s a city-wide policy and so the Mission would only have had one vote out of eleven. I’m sure Campos, of all the Supervisors, would have taken the side of the Hispanic kids because he is the consummate identity politician. But he would have been outvoted.

        Sometimes you don’t get what you want because most voters disagree with you. I have to book a squash court, a basketball court and even a lap swimming lane. Why should soccer be any different?

        • marcos

          Let’s see how Props H and I turn out next month…as usual, Prop H does not address the Mission, we are never included in these measures, but it does take the temperature of the voters on privatization and toxic turf.

          • Sam

            The Mission is not a jurisdiction, and so doesn’t decide anything in isolation, and should not. Such decisions are city-wide, and rightly so.

            H and I are not important. There are few things voters care about less than what soccer pitches are made from.

          • marcelo

            So Marcos, a question: If synthetic turf is “toxic” as you say, shouldn’t you be arguing that they shut down the field at Mission Playground? While Prop H does not directly address the Mission, it greatly affects Latino families, many, like mine, who have kids who play soccer. There are simply not enough fields in this city and Prop H stops 16 more Mission Playgrounds from being built. To me, Prop H is silly . . . if you think synthetic turf is toxic, then shouldn’t you oppose it everywhere, not just on the west side of town?

          • Judy Berkowitz

            marcelo –
            The history of the artificial turf and privatizing GGP Beach Chalet soccer fields goes way back. That’s why Prop H deals with only that pitch.

            It is much like last November’s Prop B, No Wall on the Waterfront, that dealt with only one address – 8 Washington.

            Then seven months later, this past June’s Prop B took that individual referendum and widened its scope to the rest of the waterfront.

            Both Props B passed handily

            As in that example, if there is support for Prop H now, in this election, then it is possible that that decision could be applied to playgrounds in the rest of the city at a future election.

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~
            The following was on NBC News Investigates last week:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSj-QJkDQWw#t=62

            There are eight other videos gathered here:
            http://qwrt4.weebly.com/videos.html

  • rolleduppantleg

    Eleen, you are the best!!!

  • Jen

    Erin McElroy, Can you please answer my earlier question about where you sourced the July date for the video? Thanks.

  • Elizabeth

    Huge problem for our side of the mission, which includes mission playground, is that our supervisor Scot Weiner has his eye on the mayor’s job and does everything his daily time allotment will allow to snuggle up to the big corporate and real estate donors.

    Our Scottie is also famous for voting against giving poor kids free passes on muni to get to school. How could he even concieve of permitting them to breathe the air in the park for free!

    • Sam

      Valencia Street falls within Campos’s district. The district boundary is at Guerrero Street which is also where the zip code changes.

      A bigger problem might be that the Mission has three supervisors, so each of them must take into account other neighborhoods as well.

      But then, as I apparently keep having to explain to marcos, the Mission is not a jurisdiction. These decisions are city-wide not district-specific.

  • Elizabeth

    here’s my question trolling emission from sam the troll… do they pay you a penny a letter?

  • zz

    now i will call you out ignorant sam… the mission has 2 supes… can you name them?

    • Sam

      Actually the Mission has three supervisors, because part of it is also in D6.

      The Mission is not a jurisdiction.

  • Please, just ignore anyone you don’t want to read, otherwise we lose focus on the issues at hand.

  • Tad

    Why hasn’t anyone in the discussion here mentioned the fact that Park & Rec is responsible for creating this mess.

    Park & Rec should have placed notices on the field that it is now going to let adults reserve the site for four hours each week in the evening.

    None of the dim bulbs working at P&R thought, hey, maybe the neighbors need to know about this. The Techies did not violate any rules. And, as noted above, everybody played futbol together in the end. A happy ending.

    Tim, you really were a little over the top in playing the race card up above.

  • folderpete

    So many of the comments spewing hate would have had no traction if the permit had not required any payment at all.

    The real issue is whether to have a permit system or not. That the system was relatively new (and signed or not-signed) wasn’t helpful to avoiding confrontation.

    Maybe I just don’t see it, but I missed much of the “disrespect” and discourtesy others bemoan. Necessary elements for building drama around a favored narrative.

  • Things might have gone a lot better if, instead of being their usual asshole selves, the tech “bros” had said “Hey, we’ve got a reservation here for a couple of hours, but then we’re outta here. In the meantime, we’ve got a ton of free food – feel free to dig in!”

  • “Tim, you really were a little over the top in playing the race card up above.” And I always get a kick out of wingnut racists whining about “the race card” being “played,”

  • Tad

    “A rightwing racist” . Please refer to Tim’s notice about not using abusive language up above.

    I was merely commenting on the fact that after all the hearings were said and done nobody at Park & Rec bothered to tell the vatos in the varrio about what decision had been made.

  • Variaca Zaprin

    Sam, don’t you have an oil company pay you money to tell lies on their behalf. If so, GET TO WORK, lazy flack,

  • Leo Tannady

    Hey, deep-thinkers:

    1. SF P&R does indeed have a sign up posting information related to permits. This sign also spells out very clearly that permit holders have priority.

    2. The sign is not new. It has been posted at the Mission playground for years. YEARS.

    3. The permit-holders were, according to the parameters set forth by SF P&R, in the right. If the sign indicates the standard, then they were the ones obeying the law. It doesn’t mean that the teenagers shouldn’t have been there (how could they have known?) but it does mean that, once someone shows up with a permit, they should step aside.

    4. To those saying that the sign is invalid because it was never previously enforced, I say the following: if you run red lights successfully for years and are only only caught by chance one day, would your defense really be “but this was never enforced before!”

    5. The reason we have laws, regulations, and signs is to establish parameters for what is allowed and what is not. It isn’t to validate emotions and stereotypes. If you’re projecting race onto this issue, you might want to ask yourself why that is.

    There are bigger issues in the world to deal with and actual grievances to resolve. Move on, people.

    Oh, and Erin McElroy: get a life. I don’t believe in tenure when it comes to defining who is a “genuine” resident and who isn’t but since you can’t seem to stop calling out people who have lived here for only a short time, allow me, as someone who has lived here for 15 years, to tell your arrived-here-in-2006 raggedy ass to hit the road if you don’t like progress.

    • hep

      This doesn’t address the point about getting the permit on false pretenses, as I specified out in an earlier comment regarding league permits and non-league permits. The question is actually not “Is the permit process well-advertised” it is “How did some people get a league play permit outside of league permit issuing time and if they did not have a league permit did they lie about it being a league game to get an occasional use permit?”.

      • Sam

        That may be true but it doesn’t explain or justify the resistance by the hispanic kids because they did not know about these alleged rules about leagues. They believed the permit to be valid and so should have relented.

    • JupitersMother

      Best comment so far!!

      • JupitersMother

        To clarify……I’m talking about Leo Tannaday’s comment.

  • Leo Tannady

    False pretenses? What evidence do you have to that effect?

    Also: many, many, many people are claiming that the park has “never” had this policy in place, that there is “no sign,” and that the “white invaders” showed up with a fake permit. For these arguments, the very thesis of their complaint has zero basis. And, when you add the hyperbole (my god, the fucking hyperbole) the whole thing balloons to almost comic proportions. The way one hears it, you’d think a gang of scary white power bikers showed up to drop-kick a bunch of helpless fourth-graders. That’s what I was expecting by the time I got around to watching the video, based on the link-baiting headlines.

    It was a two groups of grown teenagers (some older, I’d guess, based on the video) and adults who made a totally honest mistake. How could the kids have known that the field was reserved? They had no idea. How could the adults have known that the kids would have the expectation that the field would be theirs indefinitely? They had no idea, either.

    The whole thing is a misunderstanding now being wielded as a means to bolster the tired anti-tech sentiments of late. It’s lame and, for those who are intelligent enough to get my point, it’s beneath you. Don’t let this McElroy idiot bait you into adopting her anti-tech groupthink. You’re better than that.

    • JupitersMother

      Thank goodness the voice of reason has finally shown up here. I’ve never been on this site before today and as I’ve read the comments have been aghast at the hysteria in some of them.

  • sleevedandpared

    You all need help. Psycho-paths who think they can buy anything they want and uneducated people who need to learn how to organize and vote in local elections in order to keep predatory people out. There’s a true lack of ethics in a society when those with money can dictate ultimatums to those without.

  • Sf Mom

    I will chime in as visitor of rec center, resident and parent. There is a sign that clearly details use of field just as there is for the pool. It enrages me that so much time is being given to these kids
    Who obviously dont bother to read signs posting the rules for use of soccer field. Lets get real: please do not put these kids on pedestal. A few of them are well known bullies! How do I know?? Personal experience. They will receive compassion when they act like decent young men and not bully, harrass and steal from kids unable to ddfend themselves. Call Mission High school and Everrett middle school. Ask about Garcia brothers in video!

  • Beppo

    I see this as a beef with Park and Rec and I see no point in painting it as conflict between new arrivals of whatever skin color, and those who have recently arrived. Very few of us were born here, we forget that we were once recent arrivals ourselves.

    Anyone can rent the field, regardless of skin color or where they do or dont work. I see those as irrelevant details. I dont like that a fee is being charged, or that neighborhood norms are ignored. We need better government is the answer, it isn’t our new neighbors that are our problem. I dont mind that SF is experiencing an influx of wealth either; how it is being used is the issue, not the individual tech workers, who after all, are just *workers* and vulnerable despite their fat salaries – they aren’t the elite, the 1%, they aren’t those who make the decisions.

  • Judy Berkowitz

    Sam –
    Props H and I are very important.
    Prop I contains a Poison Pill that prevents you from protesting should a Rec&Park project that you’d like to modify/relocate/oppose gain BoS approval.

    For instance:
    Let’s say you have a corner of a park that is your peaceful and quiet escape from city life. Rec&Park decides to install a skate park there and, fast-tracked, it is approved at the BoS.
    Should Prop I pass, you have no recourse whatsoever.

    • Sam

      I had already decided to vote NO on H and YES on I before this issue arose. I am even more convinced now. What we need is more facilities to avoid these conflicts.

  • I imagine you would feel “entitled” if you paid for a permit according to an established process, organized a pickup game, and set aside time out of your busy schedule only to be denied what you paid for by someone who did not adhere to the same rules you did.

    But hey, it’s more emotionally satisfying to project frustration you have towards a complex issue like displacement and the housing crisis when you don’t even understand its underlying causes, so instead you will just resort to the low-hanging fruit of scapegoating and populist demagoguery rather than learning the facts and working towards an inclusive solution for all. It’s easy and makes for viral clickbait, which is really the whole point right?

    If on the other hand you care about the issue of displacement and the rising cost of housing, then do some basic research: https://medium.com/@richensf/antagonizing-the-tech-worker-6788daa20942

  • con

    Yes on H,No on I, parks for public use,not for rent

  • Alfie Macias

    It came out today that Conor Welch kicked one of the youth in the back and he’s is still hurt.

    • shaun

      source? i’m not trolling here, but i really would like to see a link with quotes regarding this. thanks!

    • Sam

      Really? Someone got kicked while playing soccer?

      Gee, that just never happens.

  • Basically, for four hours a week, people can buy permits and use the field. The rest of the time it can be used by neighborhood kids. Assuming 12 hours of use a day, that’s less than five percent of the time that the field is reserved to those who paid for permits.

    Instead of even engaging with the kids the Dropbox guys should have just called the SFPD and shown them the permit.

  • con

    streetsweeper tickets started at $10,this opens door…parks for people not for rent.Yes on H No on I

  • I was at the Rec&Park meeting when the Mission soccer players and their supporters came to testify. Phil Ginsburg, Rec&Park manager, seemed surprised the Mission youtj could speak English..commenting about how articulate they were…..really, dude ? You think Latins can’t speak? Talking down will never get you elected to any office. I heard you had to kiss Gavin Newsom’s buttockian region to get your fat cat appointment to Wreck & Park. Kiss the rings of those billionaires, you’ll never be a real San Franciscan so long as you keep selling us out.

    • FutbolEnSF

      Este güero imbecil inventó algo que no pasó en la reunion de Recreación y Parques. Yo participé con los joven, y Ginsburg no dijo nada por el estilo. Este tipo es un blanquito idiota que pretende defender nuestra comunidad, pero está del lado de los anti-Latinos que no quieren que juguemos fútbol en su barrio. Ginsburg no es ningún racista, pero este pendejo es seguramente anti-semita, nimby de mierda.

  • Senor_Wences

    BRO! Where have you been?