Gray Panthers of San Francisco
September 2007 Newsletter

Making Cities for the Rich Only



Protest against construction of luxury condos at Mission and Cesar Chavez. More pictures by terrrie frye. Seven Seas Devolopers plans to build 60 luxury condos in the $55,000 (studio) to $700,000 (3 bedroom) range, with 9 "affordable" units for people with $63,000 incomes. Read more.


Katrina: two years later and thousands of African Americans forced out of New Orleans are still unable to return. Public schools have become charter schools and public hospitals, mental health clinics and day care centers are not rebuilt or reopened. Public transportation is reduced by 80%. Rents have risen by 70%; public housing is kept closed. When FEMA “housing” was finally provided, it was in formaldehyde-filled trailers. The truth is: a city that was predominantly African American no longer allows them to call it home.

From New Orleans to Bayview and the Mission here in San Francisco, gentrification rolls along. Award contracts to large corporate developers. Keep affordable, low-income housing to a minimum. Put forth a siren call to the wealthy few offering them a “World Class” city. Ignore the irony that the largest “class” in the world is made up of those of us who probably live on less in a year than Donald Trump spent on his latest wedding!

Bayview residents and activists have continually fought developers, the Planning Commission and even some Board Supervisors. Concerned residents were not given even a mere delay in development of the former naval shipyard. They requested testing for environmental contamination. As more condos are built, most costing half a million and up, the rental market is approaching the highest pricing since the days. The Board of Supervisors also turned down a request by citizens of the Mission to delay the approval of a four- story, commercial and condo building on Cesar Chavez. The 60 units, even the so-called “below market rate” ones, will be well above the incomes of the majority of Mission neighborhood residents.

Can it be just a coincidence that this building would be on the very spot that for years has been a place day laborers gathered for work assignments?

Federal cutbacks of $52 billion yearly for affordable housing have gone on since the Reagan era. We demand that there be a moratorium on current “unaffordable” development, and that ONLY housing for low and moderate income people be built in our cities. No more luxury housing!

(back to September 2007 Newsletter front page)