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Million Fishes and Gentrification

Wednesday October 31, 2012

When Million Fishes started at the corner of 23rd and Bryant in 2003, the gallery windows were boarded shut and drugs were sold on the street outside. When the gallery became a live space, it made the street less attractive for drug dealing, but it also helped usher in the wave of gentrification that has now overtaken us.

Ten years later, skyrocketing rents, evictions and foreclosures have pushed many longtime residents out of the Mission. Urban professionals are slurping oysters across the street, there are $13 sandwiches around the corner, and even gentrifying artists are no longer attractive tenants to a landlord hoping to cash in on tech money. (Now, artists like ourselves are being recruited to help “revitalize” the mid-Market corridor.)

We feel the loss of our own home, but we also mourn the fast-track erasure of a neighborhood we love.

Trying to stand your ground? Here are some resources for renters and homeowners fighting evictions:

San Francisco Tenants Union (sftu.org)
San Francisco Rent Board (sfrb.org)
Occupy Bernal (occupybernal.org)

And here are some resources for folks interested in building longterm affordable housing in the Bay:
Bay Area Community Land Trust (bayareaclt.org)
San Francisco Community Land Trust (www.sfclt.org)
Oakland Community Land Trust (www.oakclt.org)