SF Weekly Exposes Just How Scary Those Monster in the Mission BART Ads Really Are!


Go out and grab this week’s SF Weekly and check-out Joe Kukura’s exposé about those scary Monster in the Mission BART ads.

Joe’s sharp reporting connects the dots between the Monster in the Mission’s massively expensive “grassroots effort” and powerful Big Soda and Big Tobacco lobbyists  “The ads say supporters of the project ‘not a Monster,’ but you might as well call them Monsters, Inc., because they’re many of the same corporate lobbying interests who recently fought for the tobacco industry and the soda industry… Further, Mission For All’s listed mailing address is that of a San Rafael corporate law firm called Nielsen Merksamer, which is also leading the lobbying effort against the flavored tobacco ban the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed in June.”

Big Soda and Big Tobacco have long histories of exploiting working class communities of color, these developers pretend to have the Mission community in mind but we know this crew of monsters has no place in our neighborhood. Chirag Bhakta, Plaza 16 coalition member, says of the ads “Exploitation of people of color in an ad campaign to convince a mainly Latino, immigrant, low-income neighborhood that this gentrifying project is actually going to help the neighborhood comes out of Rapacious Marketing 101,” Bhakta says. “Most of the people who are showcased in these ads most likely are not going to be able to afford these units being built.”

This Halloween, stand with Plaza 16 and make sure the monsters don’t win!

Help Stop the Monster: Write a Letter to the Planning Commission TODAY

Please take a moment today to help stop the Monster in the Mission. Thank you! 

Send an email to these addresses:

richhillissf@yahoo.com, dennis.richards@sfgov.org, planning@rodneyfong.com, christine.d.johnson@sfgov.org, joel.koppel@sfgov.org, myrna.melgar@sfgov.org, kathrin.moore@sfgov.org, Commissions.Secretary@sfgov.org

mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org, Hillary.Ronen@sfgov.org, Nate.Allbee@sfgov.org, john.rahaim@sfgov.org, richard.sucre@sfgov.org, debra.dwyer@sfgov.org, andy@plaza16.org

It’s always great if you can explain in your own words why you oppose the project but if you need it, here’s is a sample letter you can use or adapt.

San Francisco Planning Commission
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

RE: Case No. 2013.1543, 1979 Mission Street Mixed-Use Project

Dear President Hillis and Planning Commissioners,

I am writing to express our strong opposition to the project proposed for 1979 Mission Street by Maximus Real Estate Partners, known widely as the “Monster in the Mission.” As you know, the Mission District is facing a dire crisis of community and cultural displacement. To address this crisis, we must prioritize deeply affordable housing at this site, not a project of mostly luxury-priced housing that will further accelerate gentrification and the displacement of the existing residents, SRO hotels, mom and pop businesses, nonprofit organizations, arts and cultural spaces, PDR spaces etc. We urge you to recognize the urgent crisis facing the neighborhood, acknowledge the impact of the current massive and unsustainable imbalance of market-rate vs. affordable development in the neighborhood, and reject this project outright.

Furthermore, the Maximus project would have a significant negative impact on the Marshall Elementary School community.  Not only would none of the housing in the project be affordable to the majority of families and employees at this Spanish immersion school, the project would also cast a shadow over the school’s playground for most of the school day. For many students this playground is their primary outdoor recreational space. The developer’s proposal to raise the playground would not sufficiently mitigate the shadow impact. We stand with the many Marshall community members who oppose this project due to its unaffordability and student-harming shadow impacts.

With the overwhelming influx of market-rate development across the Mission, we must prioritize affordable housing at all remaining building sites. Yet as 16th and Mission is one of the City’s busiest public transportation hubs, affordable housing there is even more essential. Recent research confirms that low income households use public transit at much higher rates than higher income households that drive and/or use car shares at much higher rates. Therefore, building deeply affordable versus market-rate housing  at 16th and Mission would benefit the environment and our city with reduced greenhouse emissions and less street congestion.

The Maximus project would exacerbate the Mission’s displacement crisis, would cast both a metaphorical and literal shadow of the Marshall School community, and would likely result in both increased pollution and traffic. Instead of the Monster, our organization supports a plan for the site such as the “Marvel,” the community serving project envisioned and created with input from over 300 community members via a grassroots year-long process anchored by the Plaza 16 Coalition. We strongly urge you to fulfil your sacred duty as city planners and use your significant power to reject an unaffordable, community-harming Monster in the Mission and instead advocate for an affordable, community-serving Marvel.




ACTION ALERT! Call Assemblymember Chiu :: Demand amendments to SB 35 to protect our low-income working class communities


David Chiu is the Assemblymember for the east side of SF and he is chair of the the critical last committee — Housing — for SB 35 and he can make the changes to this legislation to protecT the Mission District and other vulnerable neighborhoods in California.

TWO EASY STEPS — Takes less than one minute.

1). CALL: (916) 319 – 2017

2.  SAY: “I am a constituent of Assemblymember Chiu and I urge him to oppose SB 35 unless it includes community coalition ammendments such as a ‘safe habor’ provision for our low income communities.”


Here is a June 10 OpEd with further information on the bill and the impacts it would have on the Mission District and other vulnerable California neighborhoods:  http://www.sfexaminer.com/senate-bill-35-will-cause-displacement-communities-color/


Perspective Renderings

Speak Out at the School Board :: No Monster Shadow on Marshall Elementary School


:: Español abajo ::

Robert Rosania/Maximus’s ten-story luxury Monster in the Mission would cast a shadow on the Marshall School playground during most of the day for the entire school year. It would also consist mostly of housing utterly unaffordable to our community and would rapidly accelerate displacement in the neighborhood.

On April 25, let the SFUSD School Board and administration know that we need a community-planned, and community serving development at 16th and Mission, not a monster luxury project.

Un desarrollo habitacional de lujo de diez pisos (el Monstruo de la Misión) propuesto para la16 y Misión. La Misión necesita viviendas profundamente asequibles, no más torres de lujo!

El Monstruo de la Misión arrojará una gran sombra en el patio de la escuela Marshall durante la mayor parte del día de todo el año escolar. El Monstruo consistirá principalmente en viviendas totalmente inapropiadas para nuestra comunidad y acelerará rápidamente el desplazamiento en el evecindario. El 25 de abril, déjale saber la Junta de Educación y a la administración que lo que necesitamos es desarrollos planeados por y para la comunidad de la 16 y Misión, no un monstruoso proyecto de lujo.

RALLY :: Tuesday, April 11 at 5:30pm :: Robert Rosania! We reject your Monster in our Mission!



5:30 PM
16th and Mission Plaza

RSVP and invite your friends on facebook.

Rosania is trying to revive the Monster and is funding a deceitful astroturf campaign
Our fight against Maximus/Robert Rosania’s luxury Monster in the Mission is not over! We have learned the project may be coming for a vote before the Planning Commission in the near future. Meanwhile Robert Rosania has hired astroturf consultants and canvassers who are intimidating and lying to folks in our community about whom they represent and how the Monster would impact our community.

It’s once again time to raise our voice and let Rosania and our City leaders know that we reject the Monster in the Mission. We need affordable housing and community serving businesses, not luxury towers that will further escalate the displacement of our community.

We demand that Rosania attend a community meeting in the Mission District to listen to the people whose lives he will be severely impacting.

Who is Robert Rosania?
Robert Rosania is the CEO of Maximus Real Estate Partners, a controversial real estate developer with a shady history on both coasts. Rosania was a lead partner in the purchase of Parkmerced in San Francisco and the subsequent plan to demolish 1,500 rent-controlled units there.  At Parkmerced he fired the entire staff of SEIU USWW union janitors replacing them with non-union workers. In New York City, he personally netted millions in a notorious predatory equity scheme at Riverton Houses that ultimately defaulted and put at risk the housing of thousands of middle and working class residents.

In an attempt to overcome the massive community opposition to his Monster in the Mission, Rosania has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to local political campaigns to purchase influence in our City government. He is also notorious for his support of extreme right-wing causes and has made large contributions to politicians that oppose same sex marriage, immigration reform, and who support denial of climate change.

Rosania clearly cares nothing about our community and about San Francisco values. He cares only about his personal profits. He and his proposed project are bad for our neighborhood and bad for our city.

Build the 100% affordable MARVEL in the Mission, not the Monster
For more than three years, thousands of Mission residents have rallied, signed petitions, spoken at community meetings and delivered countless hours of testimony at City hearings demanding, “NO MONSTER IN THE MISSION.”

Rosania’s luxury towers would be utterly unaffordable for the existing community and further rising rents would mean the pricing out of existing families and businesses in the area. The people, merchants, and organizations that we cherish—our very community—will be displaced forever from the neighborhood.

The Plaza 16 Coalition spent months facilitating a collaborative community planning process to come up with a positive alternative development we call the MARVEL in the Mission.  The Marvel’s housing would be 100% truly affordable and the project would serve other needs of the existing community.




SF City Hall
Planning Commission Meeting
Room 400, 4th Floor

Our sister organization Calle 24 will be presenting to the planning commission its special use district legislation for commercial regulations in the Latino Cultural District.

These regulations have been in the works for nearly two years and will help:

  • stabilize the Latino Cultural District
  • preserve our small store fronts
  • stabilize rents
  • protect our food retail mix
  • encourage neighborhood serving business

Groups who wish to “open” 24th Street and the entire Mission District to full gentrification and displacement are organizing to stop these very sensible regulations that were developed out of many months of community input and process. It’s very important that that those of us who value the culture and community of the Mission show up in force at the hearing to support the special use district legislation.

This is an crucial moment for Mission District community solidarity. See you Thursday

Can’t make it to City Hall on Thursday?
Here’s how you can help!

Please send a quick email to the Planning Commissioners. Copy and paste these email addresses:

richhillissf@yahoo.com, dennis.richards@sfgov.org, planning@rodneyfong.com, christine.d.johnson@sfgov.org, joel.koppel@sfgov.org, myrna.melgar@sfgov.org, kathrin.moore@sfgov.org

and please cc: erick@calle24sf.org

Here’s some text you can copy/paste and adapt with your own words:

Dear Commissioners,

Please support the special use district for the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District on February 9th.  We need to protect our small business and the Latino Cultural District.

Here are some reasons [use some or all if you like]:

  • This will protect our businesses that been here for decades are anchors of this community
  • This will help stabilize the commercial rents
  • Will help maintain and preserve small, more affordable retail spaces
  • Will help maintain a healthy retail and food mix
  • Will encourage more neighborhood serving businesses to open
  • Will help ensure that everyone can purchase goods and services locally and at reasonable prices
  • Preserving our businesses is part of the culture that we need to protect
  • Will build community among our local merchants and residents
  • Will encourage local hiring

Memorial Rally to Honor Mr. Jose La Crosby Legacy #blackhomesmatter

:: 1360 Mission St. San Francisco CA ::
:: Facebook Event Page ::

From our allies, Save Midtown ::
“139 Western Addition/Fillmore families are slated to lose their homes in an apartment complex demolition. A large number of these families are victims of civic redevelopment. They were promised ownership upon paying off property mortgage, but the city went back on its promise awarding the master lease to Mercy California instead.

For the last 24 months tenants have suffered egregious grievances, lost their security personnel, had their cars towed, their rent went up 200% and units entered illegally by Mercy California staff.

A pillar of the Fillmore community, and a San Francisco icon – master hair weaver and a stylist to the stars – Jose La Crosby has passed in a distant VA hospital, unable to spend the last days with his friends and family. Mercy California for months refused to allow him a move to a ground floor apartment as mandated by Mr. La Crosby’s doctor.

Tenants officially gave Mercy California a vote of no-confidence and are asking that Mercy California removes itself as a property manager, project manager and a master lessee.

• Mercy Housing: Terminate your contract as property manager of Midtown Park Apartments.
• San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing: Honor the tenants’ demand for self-determination over their homes. Keep the promises you made to the long-term residents of Midtown for equity homeownership.”


Help Finalize the Community Vision for 1979 Mission Street!


Plaza 16 Community Meeting
10:15AM – 2:30PM
Centro del Pueblo :: 474 Valencia Street (near 16th) :: 2nd Floor

Join the Plaza 16 Coalition for a historic day of community-based planning. For two years the Mission community has fought the Monster in the Mission and for months we have conveved to develop a community vision for what we want and need at 16th and Mission. On Jan. 30th we will meet to review our progess so far and decide together our vision for 1979 Mission Street.

The community NEEDS your participation and input. Join us!

Lunch and childcare will be provided.

Please RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook.

:: Prop I Town Hall :: :: WED. OCT. 14 ::


Please join us for the

St. John’s Church
Julian at 15th Street

Join us for a Mission town hall to learn more about why Prop I is so important for the future of the Mission and San Franicsco. Hosted by the Prop I campaign and the Plaza 16 Coalition.

For more information call Maria Z. at 415-487-9203 ext. 207

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook

Miércoles 14 de OCTUBRE
Julian St. y 15th Street

Venga al foro comunitario en la Mission para aprender mas sobre la Prop. I porque es una media tan importante en este siclo de elecciones.

Para mas información contacte a Maria Zamudio 415-487-9230 ext. 207