Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eastern Neighborhoods Hearing

Yesterday, the Land Use Committee met to discuss some minor amendments to the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. Needless to say, few of the amendments reflected any of the concerns raised by community-based groups. But more on that later.

A list of the amendments can be seen here, under the session #8.

One of the issues brought up by MAC is the lack of a strategy in the Plan to support the current businesses along Mission Street from being displaced. There are plenty of housing development opportunities along Mission Street. These housing development opportunities are on hundreds of parcels along Mission in the area plan that are 0-1 stories and do not have housing units.

It is the businesses on these parcels that most likely to be displaced because buildings without housing are generally the easiest to demolish. Because of the two density bonuses given to developers (greater heights and no density limits), there are very favorable incentives to develop housing.

The density bonuses create incentives to build housing because if a developer can build higher, then they can generally increase the return on their investment. Also, if there are no density limits, then developers can build smaller units, and thus more units per development site, than they could have before the passage of the Plan. Again, generally the more units they can build, the greater their return on their investment will be.

What are we proposing? Among other things, we are proposing stronger conditional use controls and incentives for new developments to lease their space to locally owned community serving business.

To state the obvious, the displacement of the current businesses serving the neighborhood will inevitable lead to the loss of the neighborhood's character. What ever our opinion of Mission Street is, we cannot deny that the businesses along the corridor serve a low-moderate income population. Hey, everyone needs a place to shop.

Surprisingly, the Supervisor from District 3, who fights tooth and nail for neighborhood serving businesses in North Beach, seemed uninterested about protecting community serving businesses in the Mission.

The Supervisor from District 11 was the only member of the Land Use Committee to even show the slightest bit of concern about the character of the Mission, and the businesses that serve the neighborhood. He asked the Planning Department to do something about it, lets see what they come up with.

I recognize that building a mix of affordable and market rate housing along Mission Street is a good things, but what are the benefits to the current businesses, if they will be displaced?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Manifestacion contra el Hostigamientoy por un Hogar Santuario
rally against harassment & for sanctuary

Saturday, October 25th, 12pm24 & Mission, BART plaza
tamales, music

Join us to speak out against landlord harassment and abuse. speak out against landlord harassment and discrimination and in support of Proposition M, the anti-harassment ballot measure. Proposition M on the November ballot will stop tenant harassment and save peoples' homes and affordable housing. Proposition M adds to our rent control law a section defining harassment and prohibiting the harassment of tenants by landlords.
With Proposition M, tenants won't have to live with years of abuse before they can do anything about it. Actions like threatening tenants with physical harm, starting repairs but never finishing them, demanding private information like citizenship status or Social Security numbers, threatening to call the Immigration Customs & Enforcement and police, illegally entering the tenants' apartment, or failing to accept rent from tenants will all be defined as harassment and prohibited by our rent control law.
We need to stop this landlord as well as others from using harassment and intimidation tactics to displace working-class immigrants, people of color and seniors from our communities.
We say No more displacement! No more harassment! Vote YES on M!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The next hearing is on Wednesday October 29th at 1pm. There is still plenty of time to advocate on behalf of the People’s Plan ( the neighborhood’s amendments to the Eastern Neighborhood Plan). We have at least until the end of November to write in to our Supervisors. No one is sure when the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan will be voted on by the Board of Supervisors. Please check back regularly to read about current event and background issues.

Thank you for your support.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Everyone Deserves a Healthy Neighborhood

The map above comes from a fascinating and useful website called HDMT stands for Healthy Development Measurement Tool, a comprehensive attempt to provide a set of health based metrics and guidelines for evaluating development projects and plans. The site is put together by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and is devoted to the idea that, "...all communities should have equal access to health resources...As such, HDMT objectives and indicators explicitly call out the need for development that serves existing and new residents and workers." The idea of using health as as a driver in the city's decision making process is not a new one, unfortunately, health is currently not a serious consideration in the our city's decision making process, particularly in regards to land-use. The result has been that our city's poorest neighborhoods have the highest rates of preventable disease and the highest rates of premature mortality.

Only a small minority of San Francisco families are able to afford to own housing in San Francisco. With increasing scarcity of affordable rental properties, many families with children are forced to live in substandard or overcrowded housing conditions or are forced to leave the City. Living in substandard housing conditions can cause mold, lead and pest exposures, which in turn can trigger asthma attacks. Importantly, asthma attacks are 100% preventable and cost over $20,000 per hospitalization. In the Mission alone, there were over 130 asthma hospitalizations in 2005-2006. Overcrowding can result in increased risk of infectious disease, noise, and fires. Being forced to move away can result in the loss of jobs, difficult school transitions, and the loss of health protective social networks. In addition, high housing costs create significant stress burdens for families, which can affect individual immune function and ability to stay healthy. For a graphic representation of how this plays out in San Francsico you can look here.

MAC is currently working with neighborhood health organizations to build a movement to address this perisitent and deadly problem. We will regularly keep you updated on this work.

Friday, October 17, 2008

If you're down with the Mission, then you're down with MAC.

I admit that my coverage of the Land Use Hearings has been a bit sporadic, so I’ll do my best to catch up.

Throughout September and October the Supervisor’s Land Use Committee has held a series of public hearing around the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan will rezone four of San Francisco's most diverse and economically important neighborhoods, East SOMA, the Central Waterfront, Showplace Square, and the Mission District.

This process has entered its final stage at the Board of Supervisors, where it must be approved if it will be incorporated into the City’s General Plan. At the series of Land Use Committee Hearings, members of the Mission District community have voiced their objections to the Plan. The primary objection from the community has been the Plan’s lack of a solution to the housing and economic crisis faced by moderate and low-income San Francisco families with children. One Supervisor echoed our concerns by stating that the Plan as it stands will further gentrify the Mission District.

MAC has been organizing and advocating for zoning that will result in affordable housing for low and moderate-income renters, who are the majority of the folks that live in the Mission, as well as affordable ownership opportunities. We are not only concerned with new affordable housing units, we are also concerned with skyrocketing residential and commercial rents for current tenants. Our policies are intended to maximize the benefits of this rezoning process for the current residents of the Mission, especially families and seniors.

While the Planning Commission may have given up on the Mission as a place for working families, we haven't! If you support our goals, we urge you to send a letter (at the bottom of this page) to your Supervisor. It’s not too late. Thank you for your support.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fashionably Late Fridays

Here are a few choice links to get you through the weekend:

A TRULY great and much needed new voice in the local journalism scene. A couple of their thoughful stories about our neighborhood that you will probably not see told in the Chronicliar.

Not too much analysis in the news or blogosphere of the District 9 Candiates Debate that was held this past Tuesday. A real shame considering how much is at stake with this election. As a public service, here is the a link to a video of the debate as well as the lengthiest, funniest, and most detailed analysis of the debate I've stumbled across (Disclaimer: MAC is not endorsing any of the canditates running nor, necessarily, agreeing with the analysis or opinions of the individual analyzing the debate. So there.)

Finally, a little bit of history.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Makes you wanna hollar.../Te hace llorar...

Hijole! Its getting harder and harder for everyday people to survive and thrive in San Francisco. Heres a few facts about families in Frisco. These nuggets of information were taken from a policy briefing back in May by the SF Department of Youth & Families and the SF Family Support Network.
  • Original research with families identified housing, education and the high cost of living major push factors
  • Families with children have declined dramatically over the past decades
  • $154,149 annual income needed to purchase a median priced home ($700,000)
  • Poverty line $17,600 for a family of 3
  • One in four families with a full time wage earner cannot make ends meet
  • A Single Parent With Two Children Must earn $57,658 Annually or $27.30 per hour
To see the full presentation click here...

"Damn you FRISCO, I hate you... largate de aqui... no, no I can't leave you" - overheard on Hampshire and 25th St.

¡Hijole! Cada dia se pone mas y mas deficil para sobrevivir y triunfar en San Francisco. Aqui compartamos un poco de información sobre la Ciudad cual que queremos tanto. La informacion viene de una presentacion que hizo el Departamento de Niños y Familias y la Red de Apoyo de Familias de San Francisco.
  • Investigaciónes hecho con familias identificó las temas de vivienda, educación y el alto costo de vida como factores principales en la razon por el desplazamiento de familias afuera de la ciudad
  • La poblacion de families con niños a dramáticamente bajado en los ultimos decadas
  • Para comprar casa de precio medio ($ 700,000) una persona necesitara ganar $154,149 anualmente
  • Una familia de 3 ganando menos de $ 17,600 al año es por debajo de la línea de la pobreza
  • Uno de cada cuatro familias con un asalariado lleno de tiempo no puede hacer alcanzar el dinero
  • Un padre sin pareja con dos niños deber gana $57,658 anualmente o $27.30 por hora
Para ver el reporte en Ingles haz click aqui...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vigilia contra el Hostigamiento y por un Hogar Santuario
Vigil against harassment & for sanctuary
Friday, October 3rd, 6pm867 Capp Street (@ 24th Street)
tamales, chocolate, music

Join us to support Corado family in their struggle to defend their home against their landlord's cruel abuse. The Corado family are one of the last remaining long-term Latino working-class tenants in their building. The landlord has tripled the rent on the other vacant units and will resort to anything to force the Corado family out of their home. She has locked them out of their home three times in one week, smeared blood and feces on their front door, and falsely accused them of physical assault almost causing a wrongful arrest of an innocent tenant. We need to stop this landlord as well as others from using harassment and intimidation tactics to displace working-class immigrants, people of color and seniors from our communities.
We say No more displacement! No more harassment! Vote YES on M!
To read more about the anti-harassment proposition:

Mi Pueblo... Represent, Represent!

The peoples were in the casa & representing at yesterday's Land Use Committee hearing at City Hall. Community members from the Mission District and the South of Market came from the heart and demanded the Peoples Plan - the community's blueprint for affordable housing and economic development for the next 20 years. Neighborhood leader after leader let Supervisors Peskin, Maxwell and Sandoval know that they were not satisfied with the Planning Departments Eastern Neighborhoods Plan.

The Residential Builders Association, the creators of "live work" loft condos, were there as well making sure it's the usual PROFITS OVER PEOPLE. Also in the audience was local developer/entrepreneur Gus Murad, owner of Giant Value & the New Mission Theater, keeping a close eye on the Supes so they don't thwart his 100+ units of market-rate condo w/ monster club (think Medjools but bigger) proposal. Props go out to Local 22 Carpenters Union who came deep with their members and backed up MAC by asking the Supervisors to make the developers hire local & pay their fair share in development fees.