San Francisco is no longer what it used to be. “San Francisco is becoming a city of the rich and poor” says Randy Shaw from the article The Chronicle Discovers Gentrification in San Francisco. Society tries to blend the barriers between the rich neighborhoods and the poor neighborhoods: some are in plain sight, while others need a closer look. A family member of mine was walking down the street with her boyfriend and after a few blocks stopped and asked, “Did we just walk through a set?” “Set” meaning a gang affiliated neighborhood which can be dangerous.
As time goes by, the homes of the poor are ripped out and condos of the rich are built in their place. The natives of San Francisco are no longer the top priority. San Franciscans are being pushed out due to daily struggles, breaking their backs to make ends meet. Meanwhile the “Stand In” – AKA, the rich – are moving in, forcing landlords to tear down and rebuild to accommodate the new uninterrupted money.
From 1997 to 2013, there have been over 11,000 no-fault evictions either through demolition, owner move-in, or the Ellis ACT. The Ellis ACT is a California State Law that allows landlords to evict tenants to “Go out of business” by pulling their property off the market. This allows speculators to swoop in and flip the property. In fact, speculators are driving many Ellis ACT evictions. The Anti-Eviction mapping project reports that Ellis ACT evictions “increased by 175 percent in 2013 compared to the year before.” Additionally, demolitions have gone from 45 in 2006 to 134 in 2013 – a 197 percent increased.
“Right now, the, middle class in San Francisco is being pushed out. It’s becoming a city that only millionaires can afford.…. We’re not gonna let that happen anymore. We want a city that is affordable for all of us” quotes Adam Hudson in Truthout’s The Bleaching of San Francisco: Extreme Gentrification and Suburbanized poverty in the Bay Area.
My hometown is now something I do not recognize. San Francisco has become a place that no longer cares about its people, a place that no longer brings me joy; somewhere I do not see in my future. As a born and raised true San Franciscan, I’ve lost the love for my city. As a city, our main duty has become to cater to our visitors, the tourist. The more I grow in wisdom, the stronger my animosity gets. Sadly I have no ties left here: as soon as I am able, I will pick up and start fresh somewhere else.