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Monday, September 20, 2021

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UncategorizedNoisy protest over the latest Mission eviction

Noisy protest over the latest Mission eviction

Attempt to clear out collective housing near 16th St. BART Plaza shows the impact of new market-rate projects driving up property values in the area

A sign in the window shows that the tenants are serious about fighting  an attempt to displace them
A sign in the window shows that the tenants are serious about fighting an attempt to displace them

By Tim Redmond

MARCH 3, 2015 – A noisy protest and press conference at 16th and Mission yesterday brought into focus the impacts that new market-rate development is having on the neighborhood.

The tenants of 3030 16th Street, right down the street from where Maximus wants to put in 345 units of new housing, are facing eviction from the space where they have lived as a collective for more than 10 years.

Station 40 is part of San Francisco’s great housing history: Back in 2003, when the property wasn’t worth much, a group of pioneers moved into a dilapidated second-floor space, fixed it up, turned it into living quarters, and established a community that has been home to “anarchists, queer and transgender refugees, broke people, veterans against the war, those healing from the prison system, lifelong San Franciscans, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the formerly homeless,” the group’s press statement notes.

Lots of support for the tenants of Station 40
Lots of support for the tenants of Station 40

There were once dozens of places like this in the Mission and Soma; many have been evicted as property values have risen and landlords have figured out that they can make more money renting to someone else.

In this case, the landlords, the Jolish family, own three adjoining buildings that could be combined into one nice condo complex. The area is zoned for 80 feet, and Maximus has set the standard for what other property owners might want to do.

The tenants have asked the owners to sell the property to the San Francisco Community Land Trust, which, with the Mission Economic Development Agency, could turn it into affordable housing. The Land Trust and MEDA say they can raise the money.

So far, the landlords have declined.

But this is San Francisco, where collectives understand organizing – and tenant groups know how to make a huge fuss over this sort of mass eviction. The press attention the event today got is one sign that Station 40 won’t leave easily.

 

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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116 COMMENTS

  1. Just to be sure everyone knows “City and County of San Francisco, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development” ie your tax dollars supports SF Community Land Trust, as well as several of the non-profits that are giving to SFCLT. Same with Mission Economic Development Agency. Why can’t these non-profits live and die on their own? Taxes in SF are high enough.

  2. I just pointed out that no amount of gentrification will stop the inevitable: that Latinos/Chicanos will increase in numbers, and I am ok with that,so should you. Seems like you’re not. You guys are the ones always saying “change happens so get over it” and “move elsewhere”, especially within the context of displacement and evictions. In the words of someone I know, “aqui estamos y no nos vamos!” Your cause is done and you’re movement is not sustainable in Califas. I know it must pain you to accept, but get over it and embrace diversity, you’ll live longer and so will maybe your movement. I think the latest numbers are what, 39 percent? Not including people that go unreported, IE the folks who pick your vegetables, prepare your meals, and clean up after folks. The Latino/Chicano population as a whole has a ways to go to catch up with whites academically and economically, but hopefully the certain faction you claim to represent will come to terms with the changes and we could work and build together . 4th gen said I dream big.

  3. carlos, you are the one that keeps on bring up race. That shows you have not achieved post-racial status yet.

    It’s like enlightenment – being color-blind isn’t something you make an effort to do. It’s more about what you stop thinking and doing.

    I think you can get there, but you need to lose all that racial “pride” – it comes before a fall.

  4. carlo, you were the one who initially raised the issue of race. And you are the one who thinks there should be “more ” Hispanics here.

    That sounds like racism to me.

  5. So, you get define racism as you see it interesting. Guess we just have different views on that.

  6. I believe it is hateful, in part individuals who actually openly express that hate use the same language and rhetoric. So what if they’re saying Aztlan? This is historical Aztlan, which is located within the modern-day US. You guys can frame it any way you want, and we go back and fourth calling each other racist, but its pointless because its like arguing with children who say, “you do it too!”. I’m proud of being Chicano, no apologies here. I’m an equally proud American promoting democratic values and and visible while you spend all day behind your PC. You probably don’t even do as much as register people to vote Lol.

    This is a progressive news site, and its typical for folks that disagree to pick-apart everything they think is wrong with everything. How lame would it be for me to do that on a conservative site? Those places are boring and you guys are wack as hell to keep it real with you.

  7. No, Sam, I am trying to make sense of your assertion there is some contradiction. I can’t make a lick of sense out of the idea, because there is no contradiction. Just as with UD, where the state regulates illegal possession, here the city regulates an illegal tenancy.

    If you can explain the contradiction in either case, please do. Otherwise, this is yet another Sam: another loud assertion that is entirely wrong.

  8. The IMF: ‘debt bias creates significant inequities, complexities, and economic distortions.’

    If you want to encourage home buying and business running, the debt tax shield is an awful policy. It does nothing of the sort: it encourages debt over equity and increases house prices.

  9. Debt is fine as long as it creates an income or saves you rent.

    That is why loan interest is deductible in those cases and not others.

    The government wants to encourage home buying and business running. Makes sense to give tax breaks to do that.

    As you say, it’s not likely to change much. Canada and the UK got rid of it, interestingly, and they still had housing bubbles.

  10. How was Guest complaining? He was explaining my dear fellow native SF’er, who knows as well as I do what is going to happen in this case.

  11. They try to shut down conversations with that tactic. Them and the “thankies” that are here are hilarious. They have nothing, literally nothing to say but echoing “TY for that comment”, mindless thankies, saying nothing. Oooh thank you! Unfortunately I think the thankies are very low in IQ and that just shows their happiness to completely rely on the government for all their needs. Ooooh thank you kind master for providing me with welfare! Thank you! I can see the thankies bowing to the alter of the Obama/Democrat gods that take care of them and leave them in poverty, forever.

    That is the difference between people with a DIY ethic and those who want to have poverty-laden Uncle Sugar taking care of them forever.

  12. How does regulating the termination of tenancy legitimate the tenancy? The unit and the tenancy remain illegal.

    Do you feel like the unlawful detainer statute is contradictory? It regulates the dispossession of illegal occupants, too.

  13. Sam, both current and prior administration proposed changes to the deduction, suggesting the mortgage interest deduction is not untouchable.

    The deductibility of interest generally is not likely to change. However, if it could, it should. Why would we want to subsidize debt? Your business and all others should lose the tax shield.

  14. True, 4th, but the progressive/PC mob think they are onto a winner here. Say anything that they think they can twist into a racist position and they believe that they automatically win the debate.

    And anyone who defends someone accused of being a racist automatically gets accused of being a racist, no matter how unfounded the allegation.

    They think they have found the magic bullet.

  15. Shani’s getting gov’t $ for her “social justice warrior” documentaries. She doesn’t put that money up herself! #freebies #gov’twelfare

  16. Gee, saw that last night as I was looking him up. Where’d the “Yuppie Eradicatioin Project” guy get money to go on Air France to France? lol, just like ALL of the left he has money & is nothing but a hypocrite.

  17. FWIW it’s not racist to point out that there’s tons of people crossing our borders on welfare. It’s reported by the news all the time. Not racist. It’s true and there’s a problem. And there’s people who are saying “Aztatlan reconquista” and it’s just lame.

  18. If it’s easy then you should do it. But I am not aware of any politicians who is actively pushing for that, so it may be much harder than you think.

    Obviously landlords would still be able to deduct interest as a cost regardless.

  19. One city department says the unit is legal and the other says it is illegal.

    But you are right that the good news is that the landlord can evict.

  20. The city regulates tenancy. In order for a landlord to evict from an illegal unit, he must have permits in hand to demolish it.

    Could you explain how that is a contradiction?

  21. Sam, I was asking you to stop your casual bigotry, not to stop talking. Bigotry is hate, not talk. Please don’t hate. Go ahead and talk.

  22. Sam, all-cash transactions don’t change the price effect of the tax shield where most owners have a mortgage and take the deduction.

    Only truly universal programs (i.e., Social Security and Medicare) are untouchable. 75% of mortgage balances are under $200k, which isn’t worth itemizing. It would be easy to sell replacing the deduction with a small, nonrefundable credit.

  23. One third of SF homes sell for all cash.

    The tax deduction makes it cheaper to pay a mortgage you already have. Abolishing it would increase payments for mortgage holders.

    It’s politically untouchable.

  24. Whiner, what is your percentage success rate in demanding that others here stop talking?

    The best way to stop someone talking is to ignore them. The worst way is to keep trying to have the last word.

  25. But we’re not talking about an unenforceable contract. How is it a contradiction to extend normal legal protections to all tenancies?

  26. Sam, cheap mortgages do not make for cheap houses. House prices are set by marginal buyers. When you make a mortgage cheaper, all potential buyers bid more. House prices go up, and the subsidy accrues to the seller.

    This is Econ-101 stuff.

  27. I wasn’t promoting hate, carlos. I was pointing out that you advocating by race is prejudicial.

    If I can be post-racial, why can’t you?

  28. It means that it you don’t pay your hooker after you’ve finished with her, she can’t sue you in court for the money.

    That’s why they always ask for the money upfront.

  29. “Presumably illegal”? “flooding the state”? haha You always talk about sticking to the topic and not making personal attacks. As a Mexican-American (Native and Spanish blood) who has family in California and the Southwest predating your family’s arrival I should probably be bothered, but understand that’s the place you’re in and have sympathy for you. It really doesn’t matter because the indigenous ancestors always talk about full-circle for a reason. The success of groups that currently are and historically have been marginalized bothers you so much and you can’t do anything about it. If you’re only strategy is to dehumanize, it goes to show you must be desperate. Your hate speech is nothing compared to 500 years of colonization.

  30. Please explain, Sam. I don’t see it. If I rob a pharmacist who has sold me pills for which my prescription is fraudulent, can he never complain that I stole from him?

    Remember, I have a math degree.

    Use small words.

  31. How does the mortgage interest deuction encourage home ownership? By my math it increases sales prices, but maybe your math differs.

    On the rest, you need to read.

  32. carlos, so victory for you is flooding the state with (presumably illegal) Hispanics?

    It’s good to dream big.

  33. WC, at least ask me a difficult question. It encourages home ownership, which correlates to stability.

    We privileged white males love our home ownership and private schools, right?

  34. How does one call something which they dont own, theirs? Can I move into your home and declare it my own?

  35. carlos says, “Check the population of Latinos in the state lately?”

    Yes, the Reconquista is moving forward according to plan!

    http://www.ocweekly.com/2009-09-17/columns/ask-a-mexican/full/

    http://www.ocweekly.com/2015-02-26/columns/ask-a-mexican-conservative-immigration-language/

    The Reconquista reaches Sacramento. Can SF be far behind?

    http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2008/05/the_reconquista_reaches_sacram.php

    PS – Apologies to 48 Hills staff since the links may be to a publication linked to hated former adversaries. But Gustavo is the best and deserves a wider audience.

  36. I don’t know why it matters, but I am a 100 percent SF native. Despite all of our progressive policies throughout the years I don’t personally ever remember SF ever being a truly leftist city. From Frank Jordan to Willie to Gavin and Lee. You could say that SF is one of the only places that Liberals, progressives and leftists can actually afford to have this type of in-fighting. You are mistaken if you think everyone is leaving. Check the population of Latinos in the state lately? Think any amount of gentrification is stopping that train?

  37. Sam, I’ll let you explain. How does $5B a year in the Bay Area on the mortgage interest deduction and on Prop 13 do good?

  38. What is this, Hollywood Upstairs Law School? Say I run a store, but have not filed papers. How do you rob me with no repercussions?

  39. bravo! I wish the tenants much luck in saving THEIR HOME. newbies always forget, these are our homes you’re talking about. that’s it at the end of the day. when your evicted you’ll want to fight too. public domain can take away your land rights in a minute and it ain’t socialism it’s usually for ball parks and stadiums.

  40. Nothing worked against Willie Brown. He got what he wanted.

    And if Lee is easily re-elected, your “direct action” will achieve nothing except get your ass in jail.

    Which, of course, you might enjoy, marcos.

  41. In a sense, you can’t steal from a thief. Or rather, if you do, the thief cannot sue you for the return of the ill-gotten goods.

    A hooker cannot sue if her client doesn’t pay her.

    If your drug dealer doesn’t deliver after you pay him, what is your legal remedy?

    And so on.

  42. WC, we could debate whether government solves problems or, As Reagan said, creates problems.

    But either way, government only has so much money and realistically cannot buy and own everything. It only has as much money as we the people give it, and given that the voters passed Prop 13, we clearly want to limit its funding.

  43. Wow, is this the (in)famous KK from the 1990’s? It appears the 20-year strong Yuppie Eradication Project slowed the Yuppie, Guppie and Tuppie tsunami by only a few years, but nice to see YEP back in the ring. Too many leftist Astroturf orgs have formed in recent years, as you describe, even as the local Mission, SOMA and Bayview communities move further along towards their gentrified glory.

    Direct action against Willie Brown was the only tactic that worked against the Willie and his mistresses back in the 1990’s, and it seems direct action against Mayor Lee and his new set of mistresses is the primary tactic City Hall and its real estate and tech backers will understand over the next 4-year term of Lee’s reign.

  44. If the tenants have the wherewithal to organize, and their is enough money in the affordable housing trust (when was the last time THEY were audited–) then it seems like a good use of funds. Not every project needs to be built-I’m getting tired neo new brutalism.

  45. Why would laws that govern occupancy cease to apply if the occupancy is not legal? That’s like saying you can’t steal from a thief.

  46. Sites that have a vibrant comments section get a lot more traffic, which helps get ad revenues. So it’s good for the host as well as the guests.

  47. WC, when the city allows a private development, it collects fees at the time, and property tax forever.

    When it builds itself, it gets none of that – only costs.

  48. 4th, yes, and when Missin Local introduced registration and a “2 post limit” their comments section died.

    When SFBG stopped comments, it failed just a few weeks later.

  49. Carlos what is great is that you dream big, but reality is not going your way. I’m not sure you were born in SF like I was but let’s put it like this. For all of it’s LW BS SF is all about capitalism. Big time. And for dreamers – right now I’d suggest Oakland or Vallejo at this point. Because SF has changed course and what the left wants is going to fall on deaf ears from now on. You are certainly welcome to move to anywhere that the left is winning….but they are losing everywhere. Even here in California. Last I heard the supermajority in CA is over.

  50. WC, that’s the contradiction right there. The city says that such tenancies cannot exist but that, if they do, they are controlled.

    But an owner can get the unit condemned and then evict.

  51. Funny, SF Appeal & SFist has that policy Gary & Dave, but no one comments or goes there. Hmmm. Look at their stats. Either one wants a free exchange of ideas and lots of people reading or one wants no one to check in.

  52. Contradiction? If you rent out an illegal unit, you create tenancies with legal protections under state and local law.

  53. Guest8:18, while I share trepidation about the city’s abilities, easing private development in a pure rationing market is a transfer from the public to the private sector without public benefit.

    In a perfect world, the Bay Area would have a competent regional building authority, with annual budget north of $5B — back of the envelope, what we currently spend in public funds on housing locally, in the form of the completely useless mortgage interest deduction and Prop 13.

  54. guest 9:22 am:

    I love thoughtful debate and discourse.

    And I agree that Spamalot does occasionally post something relevant.

    My issue is his domination of every thread. It is impossible to ‘converse’ with others here without him posting something snakry or that isn’t relevant.

  55. Station 40 is located on 16th Street near Mission, at the virtual ground zero of the tech-boom-fueled galloping ruin of San Francisco’s once predominantly working class Mission District. People involved with Station 40 boast that they have held “hundreds” of meetings and social events at their space. Over a two year period from around 2010-2011 into 2012 I tried to get the “crew” at this self-styled “anti-capitalist” subcultural identity space to either let me organize or themselves organize a meeting about the then-accelerating gentrification of SF’s Mission District.

    And by a meeting, I meant a meeting open to working and low-income people in the neighborhood at large, and not just the usual sheepish scenesters and posturing consumers of subjectively insurrectionary dogmas. No such meeting ever took place. Station 40 person Cindy Milstein told me to my face that the Station 40 “crew” were not interested in hosting or organizing a meeting about the gentrification of San Francisco’s Mission District.

    Now it appears that Station 40 is falling victim to the larger social forces that they were too terminally self-absorbed or a-political to oppose at a much earlier phase of the problem. What more is there to say? — as ye sow, so shall ye reap.

    Let;s not pretend that the loss of Station 40 is some kind of loss for the overall working class character of San Francisco’s Mission District. Working people and renters in the Mission owe the scenesters at Station 40 the same level of interest and engagement in their current plight that Station 40 has shown the Mission District. This “anti-capitalist” social center has had a long-term passively parasitic relationship to the Mission. The loss of Station 40 is no loss for working people and renters in the Mission District.

  56. Actually, yes they did. This has long been established. I’ll get that memo out to you sooner next time, bud 😉

  57. Carlo, did someone put you in charge of deciding who is good and who is evil?

    And I missed the memo?

  58. Um guest, striking fear is not a tactic of anyone I know. That would be for tyrannical landlords, “irresponsible” capitalists and speculators. Good landlords, socially-conscious capitalists and the average speculator are part of the movement. You must speak for the first group.

  59. I doubt that the speculators, landlords and capitalists are quaking in their boots. But if helps you feel worthwhile so who could quibble with that?

  60. Have to partly agree with Spamalot on this one, Gary. Thoughtful criticisms of ideas, even from the opposition, are useful and shouldn’t be threatening. Of course Spamalot isn’t thoughtful and loves to hear his own snark, and some limits on posting would be helpful to prevent the obsessives from dominating the comments section, but dissent can play a useful role. Even Spamalot occasionally makes some valid points once you peel away the bitterness and hatred that oozes from his posts.

  61. Thank you wonderful people. Its an exciting time to be involved right now. We have learned from our elders as well as experienced allies and organizers and will to take this to the next level and know how to adapt. LOL Like the song, “hit me with your best shot”.

  62. He never said there was a law that allows free speech everywhere. He was saying that if you try and censor all criticism, you will end up with a pointless echo chamber that will achieve nothing.

  63. This isn’t a government-run blog, so ‘free speech’ has nothing to do with banning you for your obsessive posting of the same racist and dismissive comments.

  64. The old guard tried to use the democratic process to achieve change. The new guard prefers to take non-democratic action. I doubt the outcome will be better.

  65. The ‘old’ guard progressives are very much about the underlying politics.

    The new faces are more focused upon solving problems and that is refreshing.

  66. Everyone understood that the tenancies were illegal according to the city’s building and planning codes, even though they were subject to the rent ordinance, which is part of the administrative code.

    It’s not unusual for city laws to contradict each other. And the tenants surely knew their situation was not secure regardless of how often their rent checks were cashed.

  67. Yes, if only our positions were never criticized or challenged, it really would be a brave new world.

    All opposition and free speech must be crushed in the coming great proletarian revolution.

  68. Yep. This could be a ‘think tank’ for the creation, modification and exchange of ideas.

    But not until the ‘money is everything’ libertarian trolls are eliminated.

  69. The landlord accepted the money from the tenents all those years. do light fixtures pay rent?

  70. I have zero confidence that the city could build to any scale, or could raise the funds to do so.

    What the city can do is make it easier for the private sector to build.

  71. Guest7:16, right: that is why rent control — alone — in the long term increases rents and costs tenants more. The only really effective rent control is abundance. Public building provides abundance that the market will not.

  72. We do need more construction but it doesn’t have to be public and probably should not be, given SF’s record with public housing.

    Rent control actually reduces the number of units available for rental by disincentivizing the owners.

  73. This building is not zoned for residential and all these “homes” are illegal. That doesn’t put the tenants in a very strong position. But presumably they knew that ad accepted it when they moved in, so what is the basis of their complaints?

  74. It must just be the old prog in you, then. As always, folks like you show up, don’t like the way things are done, and then bitch afterwards. Why even show up if you aren’t even asserting yourself and making these points? Of course there are some egomaniacs out there, and sure some NGOS have their own agendas, but you take the good with the bad. Just step aside and let the people do the work, organizing and strategizing and you can continue to criticize from behind a 17 inch LCD. You lumping all CBOs together and comparing them with the orgs you mention is ridiculous and not analogous. You spend all this time whining and writing letters but where your power base?

  75. And what was the big ticket item to come out of the Tenants Conventions of late 2013/early 2014? It was Prop G and it lost. Add it to the ever-growing list of prog setbacks and failures and losses.

  76. I wasn’t wrong. Your non-profit that is race based only is only going to be on the fifth floor due to the largesse of a tech company who is using you for a tax write off. You were incapable of negotiating with the LL. If anyone is gambling it is you because in a year from now that tech company will outgrow their space & will probably move. Is there a link on your site where all the money from Komen, etc goes? What the salaries are for the BoD and the CEO? Because with all that money going in, someone is getting rich. It’s usually not the people on the bottom, ie the caring social workers & that’s the way the NP world works. You are welcome to google it.

  77. Lemme know if progs get a Mission-wide plan organized.

    In 2013, there was No on Jack Spade. We’ve had Plaza 16 for over a year. Now there’s a Friends of Station 40. Progs keep reinventing small wheels with this and that small ad hoc group, and lack a collective Mission-wide course of action.

    A large group of prog individuals, renters, a few nonprofit types kept on very short leashes, small biz folks and grassroots arts venues, should have formed _years_ ago. Can’t blame the lack of a unified political force in the Mission on anyone but the current crop of community organizers at all the NGOs and political clubs such as Milk and Latino Dems.

    Look at the tenants convention of Jan 2014 at the gay community center. There was also a big tenants meeting in the TL a month before, I think. For a short while, NGO reps talked about grand plans, then everyone broke up into small chat groups on one topic.

    That’s one sure way to dilute collective power.

    I attended two Plaza 16 community meetings at the church on Julian Street, and the first one was fantastic until the NGO reps had us break up into small groups. They again kept the mike for themselves before the big group, prior to weakening effective strength in numbers organizing.

    Maybe it’s the old queer prog in me that believes in getting a big bunch of folks together and staying together in a big meeting and creating big power, instead so much splintering.

    The church second meeting had a vague agenda beforehand but once it got going it was NGO reps again running the big show, saying we had to worry about NGOs and contact them and get them to meetings, take a stand against Maximus, etc.

    Last thing on my mind that night or anytime really, after decades of holding Gay Inc and AIDS Inc org accountable and not one to view nonprofits as necessary in the first place.

    You know what happened next. The NGO reps had folks break up into small groups.

    Tim can wax romantic about San Francisco understand collective organizing, but he fails to recognize a lot of prog organizing is for it’s sake and that of NGOs and Dem club, and effective is in short supply.

    Frankly, as things heat up more about 1979 Mission, Maximus and what’s become the new normal of evictions and all, I see less and less reason to feel confident Plaza 16 and Campos will stop the monster condo at the BART plaza.

  78. This is a great site, reporting-wise. The “comments” section is absolutely worthless, because of the constant presence of the paid trolls. Get rid of them and the entire package would be stellar.

  79. LOL You “people” are the only ones making all these baseless predictions, and they always turn out to wrong. You must lose all kinds of bread when you gamble. Why do so many who have no stake in this comment so much?

  80. Okay!

    Where do you put the twenty thousand who like those values and rents?

    Let me guess; Treasure Island.

  81. Here’s what will happen. The progressives will take the LL’s to court. BTW the progressive attorneys are paid via our tax dollars. They will try to break the LL by going to court over and over again. The LL has their own atty and will try to negotiate a settlement. The progressives will scream they will NEVER SELL OUT, and then they’ll agree to the settlement. And then Tech will move in, these people will move to Stockton. End of story. This happens over and over again & will continue to happen.

  82. We need to make the Mission District the center of regional protests for human rights, injustices and wealth disparity.

    That will adjust the property values and rents.

  83. Oh, little d, no.

    The three legs of the housing stool under social democracy:
    – rent control
    – luxury tax
    – public building

    San Francisco, thanks to inflation and the Lembis, managed one of three.

    If you want to close the circle with more of the same leg, you’re part of the problem. To be part of the solution, support the other two legs.

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