Gentrification in San Francisco’s Mission district has been a conflicting topic these past few years. Those who have lived in the Mission district, “techies” coming into the neighborhood, and even the Mayor of San Francisco have been the ones most involved in the issue of gentrification in the Mission district. While many fingers have been pointed towards various directions, the reason for gentrification in San Francisco in general has to do with property price change. It is very clear to all, that the property prices, homes and businesses have been raised tremendously due to renovations, corporations coming into neighborhoods, and different ethnic cultures being interested in neighborhoods they once feared to be around. So what can we do to stop property prices from rising?
The reading, Geographies of Displacement: Latina/os, Oral History, and The Politics of Gentrification in San Francisco’s Mission District by Nancy Raquel Mirabal talks about how poor neighborhoods in San Francisco experienced dramatic economic and racial change. The Mission district specifically was impacted due to local politics, housing and rental policies, real estate speculation, and development. Throughout the reading, there is an emphasis on how gentrification doesn’t happen over night; there is a lot planning, negotiating, laws, etc., that one has to go through to make these planned changes. This is the case for gentrification all over San Francisco not just the Mission.
Tom Angotti, author of The Gentrification Dilemma, states that those living in a neighborhood facing gentrification or new comers can do various things to stop it. He believes the first step is to talk about, find common ground within everyone, and use that struggle to improve the community in a way that doesn’t force people out. He believes people need to learn to use established tools such as land trusts, rent regulations, and ways to stop speculators. Community needs to come together and include everyone (people of all economic and social strata) in order to improve the environment without out casting any residents or businesses. Gentrifies have the most powerful affect once they open their eyes and realize that they have some sort of affect.
Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco believes he has a different solution to solving the rise of property prices. He thinks allowing corporations such as Twitter into San Francisco and taxing them will have a positive long term affect. Right now yes, they are taking over space and gentrifying in some locations, but he believes that in the long run there would be enough money coming from these corporations that will be able to provide homes and communities for those who were affected by gentrification.
I can see positives and negatives to both of these approaches, but I truly think the answer to fixing property prices from rising needs to be a combination of both. Power is going to help, such as from the Mayor, and inclusion and community support, such as bettering the community without excluding anyone, is going to be the key to having a voice and causing positive change.
Angotti, Tom. (Aug2011). The Gentrification Dilemma. doi:79571985.
Nancy Raquel Mirabal. (Spring 2009). Geographies of Displacement: Latina/os, Oral History, and The Politics of Gentrification in San Francisco’s Mission District. The Public Historian, Volume 31, Number 2 pp. 7-31. http://0-ejournals.ebsco.com.opac.sfsu.edu/direct.asp?ArticleID=46798CAE17A3863C939B
Staley, W. (2013, Nov 17). ‘TECH WORKERS ARE NOT ROBOTS’. New York Times Magazine, , 12. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.opac.sfsu.edu/docview/1459711349?accountid=13802