Activist Buzzword Gymnastics

Now There's an Anti-Tech Gentrification Walking Tour of the Mission

The Mission District is famous for its walking tours—the murals walks, the emerging breed of foodie strolls, and even the occasional architecture tour. However, when we saw this tweet yesterday, declaring there was an “anti-tech gentrification tour” on 24th, we couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone possibly come to San Francisco to see where the city’s culture used to reside?

However, as far as Uptown Almanac can tell, these tours are actually real.

According to a press release published on LatinBayArea, the next “Real Estate Reality Tour” is scheduled for this Saturday. The tour, sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)—the same group that has protested the Local’s empire over alleged racial discrimination—aims to shed light on a landlord that uses the Ellis Act to evict tenants. Emphasis added:

Sergio Silva-Lainez and his wife, Magaly, are refugees from the Nicaraguan civil war, displaced by violence in their home country. Now they are facing displacement again at the hands of landlords bent on evicting them from their home of 23 years. Saturday, they will be touring the eight Mission District based properties owned by their landlord, Leona Fong, and delivering “bad landlord certificates” to illustrate the wealth gap between the tenants and the landlord, and the fact that the Fong family can afford to keep Sergio’s family in their home. 

The Silva-Lainez family moved into their rent-controlled Mission District apartment on 24th and Bryant Street in 1991, a year after coming to San Francisco, and the apartment is the only place their three children, now 22, 16, and 13, have called home. Now, the family is facing an Ellis Act eviction, in which a landlord can simply “go out of business” by getting rid of their tenants, then sell off the units in the building at a profit. Sergio works for himself as an electrician, and Magaly works as a childcare provider out of their apartment. In the new San Francisco, if they are evicted, they would be unable to find a place to live in the city they call home, their children would be forced to transfer to another school district, Magaly would lose her business, and Sergio would be forced to commute torturous distances just to continue to work in San Francisco. […]

“The Fongs have a lot of places. We only have this one, and we have nowhere to go if they kick us out,” says Sergio. “They should leave us alone. They can afford to do the right thing and let us stay here in the Mission.”

The Mission has seen its share of bizarre walking tours before, but perhaps none as depressing (and unnecessary) as this. However, should you want to catch the next tour and be the choir to some housing activist preacher, the tour meets at 2pm this Saturday, August 16, at the 24th and Mission BART Plaza.

Comments (24)

FWIW, I’m sympathetic towards their cause, and understand that educating people on the issue of displacement is important. However, I fail to see how hosting a walking tour will educate anyone except those who already agree with you.

Looks like there’s a market for everything…

It’s not an actual recreational walking tour, it’s a protest action. Yes, it’s very funny to write about it as being a tour akin to mural walks, but it’s willfully ignorant to say that that is literally the case, and then compose an argument/interpretation on that basis. This is clearly about raising awareness about this landlord, anyone joing the tour is obviously a participant in the protest.

Yo, where does it say “anti-tech”? I feel like you said that, but not the people organizing the protest.

I *HATE* the Mission so much. This makes me hate it even more.

Ha! Thank you for investigating!

To call this a walking tour is disingenuous.  Call it what it is, a protest.

And a brilliant one at that. No lack of creativity in Mission protests!

I’m glad such a thing exists. Might as well shed light to the people who are interested. Nowadays you can’t talk about The Mission, without being aware of the displacement of people and culture taking place. Well, you could ignore the current issues, but that would be irresponsible. 

Do they seriously expect a private property owner to rent to them for way below market rent for the rest of their lives? How fucking foolish. 

Not like the property owner wasn’t on notice about rent control

Tenants are also on notice about the various ways in which an owner can legally take possession of their property: OMI, RMI, Ellis Act, and so forth.

Depending on rent control is fucking foolish.

I don’t disagree with you that it’s foolish, but this is a city of renters. I’m in my late 20s and already know my time here is about over as I want to buy somewhere to live. Luckily the company I work for would allow me to move to Portland, Austin, Pittsburgh actually where houses in the hip part of town are 80k.  Pittsburgh is the sleeper city, it’s going to be the next hot shit for yuppies to ruin just like they did here and Portland.

I note that she’s running a business out of her apartment.  Having not read the lease, I’d be curious if that itself is grounds for eviction.  I’d also be curious if she’s has a business license and paying taxes.

Homecare operations are fastidiously licensed and regulated. And no, not grounds for eviction. Source: my sister is the owner operator of a homecare.

I know, right?  People just need to get the fuck out of the way of our money making machine.  It’s like those Native Americans.  Did they really think they could just do whatever they wanted to when we wanted the land and had the guns to take it?

Thanks for stopping by Kevmo.

Why are some SF landlords, treated like segregated minorities ? (Yes segregated, because only the unfortunate souls who have buildings pre 1979 are dscriminated against with rent control yokes over their necks. All other landlords with new buildings since 1979, are treated like white people with no rent control.) If you think they and their properties are so horribile don’t rent from them. No one forces you to rent, you have lot of other choices.

Didn’t you guys know that KevBro works for Valleywag now?? He used to be on the side of the anti-gentrifiers and even wrote many pieces making fun of the techies. I guess he swings to whatever side pays him the most.

do you even read valleywag? the whole point is to lampoon the redic shit that happens in the valley and bay area tech industry

Yes I do. It’s the tabloids of the tech industry. They make their money from the tech industry.

well then stop being a hater and be happy for kevin. gotdamn yo, its hard to keep on trying to survive in this shitty city. 

thought you were doing real research now, and gonna be an actual ‘journalist’. But can never take the snark out of the arrogant hipster I guess. 

with all that is going on, including a sure depression coming after this same old bubble bursts, you think you are being ‘breaking’ and ‘humorous’ about a couple people pointing out a shitty landlord? 

You haven’t changed, really, since you wrote for Missionmission.   Arrogant, provincial, in a bubble. 

see you in two years. in the depression.

I agree with your statements.