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The Board of Supervisors Unanimously Agreed to Close Ranks and Protect our Sanctuary City

November 16, 2016

San Francisco, CA: The Board of Supervisors closed ranks at yesterday’s hearing on the appeal on the 1515 South Van Ness Lennar Project when a well-known developer enthusiast used the word NATAVISTS in a condescending manner to describe her opponents.

You can call people a NIMBY and that just washes over them, but call them a NATAVIST and you are in big trouble, especially in this politically charged climate. Using the term did not work well for the lobbyist who used it at City Hall yesterday at the appeal hearing on the Lennar project at 1515 South Van Ness. She turned the usually complacent Board of Supervisors into fiery protectionists. The entire Board closed ranks to protect the integrity of the city’s long-time residents when the insults started flying at them.

The Chambers of the Board of Supervisors were emotionally charged by comments about the national elections and our need to draw lines of support around our most vulnerable citizens who are being displaced in record numbers by foreign developers building bank deposit boxes in the sky in today’s high-return real estate market.  They have possibly been dwelling on the unfairness of a system that is pushing long-time residents who helped create this sanctuary city out of the sanctuary they built.

When Ms. BARF accused the self-titled “Mission Warriors” and their supporters of being NATIVISTS, she really set off a firestorm of rebellion among the Board of Supervisors, concerned about the divisiveness and growing lack of civility they are dealing with. It is one thing to request more housing for people moving here for jobs, but, you can’t get away with insulting the residents who are trying to stay and defend their turf in the midst of rising rents and evictions that are forcing many to move into crowded group living situations or tents. Living on the street is the last straw for people hanging onto their piece of the city they helped build.

Other offensive comments that helped push the entire Board in a new direction came from someone who asked “Where were you… when there were gangs in the Mission?” Avalos answered that one by saying he was here trying to help the youth stay out of the gangs by finding them jobs, and trying to calm them down.

A lot of us were here during the gang years and worked to make the Mission the comfortable, safe and desirable place it is now that people want to kick us out of so they can tear down our homes and build new towers for future citizens who are bringing these negative attitudes to us. A lot of us know what it means to work for the dream and do not feel it is right to deny it to those who created it.

San Francisco is one of around 33 sanctuary cities in California. How can we call ourselves a sanctuary city when we are prepared to kick out those who created it to make room for people who do not understand or support it?

Who is coming to here to reform one of the most radical and protective sanctuary cities in America? San Francisco is the birthplace of the United Nations. People all over the world look to San Francisco for leadership. Yesterday the Board of Supervisors proved we are still capable of leading. Protecting our residents must be front and center in retaining that goal.

Thank you David Campos for explaining your moment of truth so eloquently, and setting the example of leadership San Francisco needs to show the world. As Supervisor Mar said, we will miss your voice on the Board.

Thank you John Avalos for your testimony and thank you Malia Cohen for requesting a revised plan that takes into account the reality of where we are now instead of where we were in 2008 during the last economic crisis. Consideration for the accelerating pace of change needs to be included in the development of the new plan when it exceeds expectations. We are living in the Future Shock reality that Alvin Toffler predicted in his 1970.

Thank you Board of Supervisors for standing behind the residents of this sanctuary city and starting to take your role as world leaders seriously. You are standing on the world stage and people are watching.

Link to the video proceedings The 3 PM 1515 South Van Ness Appeal on the Community Plan Exemption from Environmental Review starts around (1:06:01).


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