Ross Mirkarimi - STOP Evictions and Foreclosures in SF NOW!
“I am being evicted.” This is a phrase I have heard too often by some of the closest people to me in my life. When I was 21, I was heavily involved with stopping evictions and displacement that I changed my email address to begin with no evictions as the email address. I remember organizing a working class home on Shotwell street to stop the eviction of their home and I remember the beginnings of the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition. I did all this while living in a youth transitional facility, and I thought to myself at 21 that if I could have any superpower it would be to stop evictions and keep people and families housed.
Then I heard about Cheri Honkala becoming sheriff in Philadelphia, PA and how she ran on a platform to stop all evictions in her city. When she got elected to office she kept that promise of no evictions in her city. She stopped evictions for a period of time until the courts got involved. I literally shed tears of happiness thinking of all the elders, poor folks, and families who were saved from the streets because of one decision Honkala made. Honkala herself came from a position of poverty just like my family. To me, she is my superhero.
I thought how amazing would it be to get all evictions to stop in San Francisco, so I voted like many others for Ross Mirkarimi, who was a progressive backed candidate. My vote was for the possibility of progressive change for poor and working class folks in San Francisco. I remember even working on his campaign when he first ran for SF Supervisor because I wanted a city for everyone of all income levels, not just the upper middle class and wealthy. So I called his office and spoke with Susan Fahey, Sheriff’s Department Spokeswoman, as Ross wasn’t available for comment. When I asked her the question, “As sheriff will u refuse to evict or move on foreclosure evictions?” She said, "Legally he cannot refuse to evict. We have to follow court orders."
There went my white fluffy clouds of hope for a San Francisco that would finally step up to development and unjust evictions. I was saddened to come back to a reality of how another politician just plays by the system instead of radically changing it. I am tired of seeing poor and working class families and elders get pushed out of San Francisco everyday simply because the rent is too high. I want all the families that got pushed out to come back from across the bridge or the South Bay and rebuild their roots here. I want my city to reflect the diversity it had when I was a child riding the 14 Mission MUNI bus with my Kuya Nemesio.
Why is another San Francisco not possible? Why are we as organizers, progressives, r activists backing and voting for a sheriff that does not run on a platform of no evictions? Aren’t we tired of seeing our friends and family move out of the city that they were born and raised in? We the people of this city get to demand no foreclosures or evictions from our sheriff and our future sheriffs as a way to ensure that San Francisco loses not one more person. I still remember what Karen Zapata, an SFUSD teacher I knew said about politics, “We know how change is made, it is made by the people pushing the politicians.”