Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Mission Nonprofit Leader Lives in Oakland: Luis Granados

The Mission Economic Development Agency is a nonprofit with a huge political and social footprint in San Francisco's Mission district.

MEDA's most recent IRS 990 tax file for 2014 shows it had revenue of $8.5 million, of which $7 million was from government grants. That money makes the nonprofit a big boss when Mission housing crisis issues are debated and potential solutions considered.

Several Mission residents, people who actually live in the district, have complained in the past year that MEDA speaks and looks out for itself primarily and is not a transparent organization. There are no regularly scheduled weekly or monthly meetings with MEDA leaders, but they are always at the table and sitting in on closed-door meetings where Mission community business is decided.

An example of this is MEDA's huge influence on the Plaza 16 steering committee, which I allege is a nonprofit front-group in desperate need of openness.

I recently pointed out that Plaza 16 steering committee member and co-coordinator of the group, Maria Zamudio who works at Causa Justa, lives across the bay in Oakland yet sets the Mission housing activist agenda. She is not the only East Bay resident with such privilege.

Luis Granados, the executive director, also lives in Oakland and commutes into San Francisco to wield great influence at City Hall over policies that actual Mission folks have to live with, yet have little control over.

The California Secretary of State's campaign finance search engine turns up two donations from Granados, $750 to David Campos' run for assembly and $100 for Mark Leno's state senate effort, and reveals that he lives in Oakland.

In my view, there is a deep need for a Mission activist and advocacy organization free of control by nonprofits, Democratic Party hacks and East Bay residents. An organization with open meetings and honest transparency, allowing for new leaders to emerge and fresh ideas to be implemented. Enough with the Plaza 16 and nonprofit charade of these folks dominating the Mission Agenda.

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