Cinco de Mayo celebrations raise gentrification awareness

One of the biggest issues facing the Mission District is gentrification, so one supervisor hopes to preserve part the Latino legacy there.
May 5, 2014 11:04:57 PM PDT
On Cinco de Mayo the celebrations in San Francisco's Mission District brought attention to the gentrification that's going on in that neighborhood and one supervisor wants to make sure the Latino legacy remains there.

The Mission is undoubtedly a unique place. The low riders move at their own pace with no hurry and no worry. The bright colorful murals are a reflection of the world around us, of the social issues the people there often face. One mural reads in "We are here and we not leaving" in Spanish. It is a sentiment felt by families who have lived there for decades, who are seeing their neighborhood change as a more affluent, non-Latino workforce moves in.

"It would be terrible if the Mission started looking like a strip mall, or look like Union Square or look like Unions Street. The beautiful thing about San Francisco is that it is made up of neighborhoods that have their own character," said Brooke Oliver, a Mission resident.

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos has proposed a resolution to protect a 12-block stretch of 24th Street just like Japantown and Chinatown have been preserved. It would be called Calle 24.

"The impotence behind that is to one, recognize the contribution, but second, to take steps to protect the character of the neighborhood before we lose it," said Campos.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors must still approve the resolution and then it would be up to people in the neighborhood to say what they would want to preserve or change.

Anne Cervantes is with the Latino Historical Society. She told ABC7 News, "It's a richness of diversity. People come here, it's a destination point, not just on a regional basis, but international basis. People from France and Germany frequent the stores and buy the art."

The Calle 24 resolution may not stop the displacement of people in the Mission or the changes going on, but many hope it will help preserve what is left.


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