“It’s not fair,” said Edgar Molina Perez, Member Coordinator of PODER, a non-profit organization. Mr. Perez was referring to gentrification in San Francisco. In the past decade, the Silicon Valley has been attracting tech companies. Tech employees are moving in, which causes housing prices to go up and forces the old residents to move out. “Hyper-gentrification” has been occurring. This is gentrification, but faster, and it is something that has never been experienced before.
Gentrification is happening right here in the Mission, which is affecting many longtime residents. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Housing prices in San Francisco increased twenty-six percent between 2011 and 2012, with the median home price rising to almost $600,000.” Longtime residents are getting kicked out because they can’t afford rent.
Mr. Perez grew up in the Mission, and he remembers playing with friends at a young age outside of his house. “Then time passed and neighbors got kicked out and no one was there to play with anymore.” This kind of gentrification is happening in San Francisco. This changes the culture of our neighborhood and how other people see it.
Many of the Everett students and staff are affected by gentrification, whether or not they live in the Mission District, since they all work or go to school here at Everett. The demographics of Everett have changed tremendously in the past few years. According to the California Department of Education, in the spring of 2011 Everett was 81.5% African American and Latino. However by the fall of 2013, it was only 65.4% African American and Latino (SFUSD).
These tech people are changing the feel of the neighborhood. They understand now that they are changing it, but they don’t know how it affects local residents. Mr. Perez believes that the reason they don’t understand is because they have never experienced something like that in their lives. All sides feel very strongly about this subject, which will continue to cause many debates.