On Thursday, February 19, the Plaza 16 Coalition held its first community meeting for 2015 and it was rousing success. Community folks once again packed St. John’s Church at 15th and Julian Street to get the latest updates on Maximus Real Estate Partner’s proposed development for 1979 Mission St. (at 16th), learn about the City’s approval process for such developments, and to initiate a community-led process for developing a community-serving vision for development for Plaza 16.
After a bit of socializing and food, Laura Guzman of Mission Neighborhood Resource Center opened the meeting with a warm welcome. María Zamudio of Causa Justa :: Just Cause then brought everyone up to speed on what’s happened with the project thus far and what the Coalition has been up to over the last several months.
Next, Joseph Smooke of [people.power.media] walked us through the City’s planning process to explain how market-rate housing developments get approved in San Francisco. He made crystal clear that the Maximus monster is by no means “a done deal,” that the project is currently in the earliest stages of the approval process, and that it must clear many hurdles over the coming months if it is to gain approval. Along the way, the community will have many opportunities to offer input on the project and we must take advantage of each of those opportunities. He also made clear that a community-serving alternative project is definitely possible.
Next, Oscar Grande of PODER placed this development fight in the context of past fights in the Mission and showed a clip from the classic documentary Boom the Sound of Eviction (you can watch this excellent film online). He suggested how the community can begin to develop a process for creating an alternative community-serving vision for 16th and Mission and what it will take to win this fight.
Andrea Martinez of the San Francisco Women’s Building then facilitated a breakout group session where we discussed our most treasured assists in our neighborhood as well as the particular challenges we face in our community. These small groups discussions were powerful and engaging and served as the preliminary step in the big collective discussion for what we as the community want at 16th and Mission and how we will get there.
Finally, we closed the meeting with next steps, namely:
Planning Meeting for March 4th Action
WED. FEB 25, 6PM
PODER: 474 Valencia Street near 16th
March 4th on Maximus:
We demand affordable housing not meager community benefits!
WED. MARCH 4
Meet at 5:45 PM
Laborers Local 261 Union Hall
3721 18th Street at Shotwell
RSVP and invite your friends, family and neighbors on Facebook
Next Monthly Community Meeting
THUR. MARCH 26TH at 6PM
Marshall Elementary School,
Capp Street at 15th
More details to be announced
Special thanks to Causa Justa::Just Cause for the food. Thanks to all the folks who helped set up, provided child care, served food, and generally helped host the meeting. Thanks to St. John’s Father Smith for hosting us at the church and thanks to Kyle Smeallie for the photographs below.