Thursday, May 21, 2015

3 Events, Same Day/Time, Inept Organizers Killed the Mission

When I read legacy or social media comments about "saving" the Mission district of San Francisco, I pay no heed to the writer or person quoted. The bohemian Mission that many believe can be saved was lost more than a decade ago and the efforts to retain vestiges of what once an affordable and very artsy and Latino neighborhood, are not to be taken seriously. Let's go over four event today that back up my point.

First up, the coordinators of Plaza 16, San Francisco resident Andy Blue and Maria Zamudio, who lives in the East Bay and is a paid community organizer with Causa Justa, held their regular monthly meeting tonight, May 21 at 6 pm at St. John's Episcopal Church in the Mission. After two-years of existence, here is what Blue and Zamudio promised for tonight, the usual vagueness and no specific agenda:

"We are all City planners! The monthly Plaza 16 meetings at St. John’s Church are now focused on our community process to create a vision and plan for development at 16th and Mission that truly serves the needs of the existing community. This is exciting work and we need your contributions."

If after dozens of large and small meetings, some not open to all members of the Mission and controlled by the nonprofit mafia, this group does not have a vision and plan then there is nil reason to waste time at their meetings. Forget about influencing City policy or stopping developers from this gang that can't organize for shit. Occasional big rallies don't stop developers or Mayor Ed Lee and his cronies.

Second, also tonight and at the same time and promoted by Plaza 16, was this event at L's Cafe in the Mission:

"Plaza 16 joined forces with Our Mission No Eviction, Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, ACCE, Eviction Free San Francisco, Poor Magazine, and other groups to organize the Mission Takes City Hall action on May 8. This group has its second follow up meeting this Thursday."

There is a finite number of folks who can make it to meetings and it's shameful that both meetings were at held simultaneously at different locations. Dividing and diluting the interest of regular folks and forcing them to choose one or the other meeting is a sign of terrible weak organizing and planning.

Third, would you believe there was a third event tonight? Guess the time. From the Plaza 16 Facebook page:

"May 21st: Steps of St. Peter’s Catholic Church (on Alabama St and 24th St) 
"6PM - 8PM
"Thousands of Working Families Displaced from the Mission and San Francisco; 
Latino Catholics Launch a Tenant Education Campaign. Prayer March in the heart of the Mission District to lift up the crisis faced by hundreds of families being pushed out of their homes, and to ask for a stop to Evictions and a Moratorium on Building of Luxury Apartments: We Need to Protect and Create Affordable Homes for Families."

If all the communication technology we have at our fingertips and in our palms are not currently used by the dozens of Mission Inc groups and community "organizers" to coordinate events and plan for maximum impact of actions, that don't all occur on the same day and time, I don't hold out hope that the leaders will gain the brains to overcome their ineptness.

Oh, but there is a fourth event you need to know about, again promoted by the Plaza 16 Facebook page for this event at 3 pm today in the Bayview district pulled together by the Alliance Californians for Community Empowerment:

"In the wake of the May 8th City Hall Shut down by Mission groups, Bayview residents facing immediate displacement, ACCE members, will be demanding to ensure that their neighborhood is included in a moratorium on market rate housing construction until local housing conditions, affordability, and preservation of existing African American community are addressed."

Just like the three 6 pm meetings tonight, this Bayview afternoon action is about the sure-to-fail moratorium on housing development in the Mission from Supervisor David Campos in same fashion.

So, we have Mission Inc leaders unable and unwilling to better coordinate events and actions, all eggs are placed in the Campos moratorium basket and the Mission will witness more market rate and luxury housing construction, and additional evictions. The old Mission is dead. Get used to it and part of the blame can be laid at the doorstep of Mission Inc.

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