Activist Buzzword Gymnastics

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.