Anti-Eviction Protestors Take Over City Hall, Demand to Speak with Mayor Ed Lee

Anti-eviction protesters are holding a rally and sit-in at San Francisco City Hall today demanding to speak with Mayor Ed Lee about ending displacement in the Mission District, police and protesters said.

Dozens of protesters gathered at City Hall today holdings signs with slogans such as, “Affordable Housing Now,” “No Artists, No Culture,” and “Stop Evictions.”

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the South of Market neighborhood and who has an office in City Hall, met with protesters and expressed her support.

Members of her staff held up a sign today that read, “Sup. Jane Kim Stands w/ the Mission.”

The protest comes just three days after San Francisco Supervisor David Campos introduced an emergency ordinance to temporarily halt market-rate housing development in the city’s Mission District in an effort to stop displacement of residents in that neighborhood.

Critics of that ordinance, such as the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, argue that bringing all new market-rate housing production to a halt would only exacerbate the crisis and create further displacement.

The San Francisco Housing Action Coalition maintains that since the 2012 elimination of the Redevelopment Agency, market-rate housing production has become the top creator of new permanently affordable housing in the city.

Campos, who represents the Mission District, said that the interim emergency ordinance would “establish a moratorium on all market-rate housing in the Mission for the next 45 days.”

He said the moratorium would allow the city a chance to update zoning controls in the Mission and create new polices to stem displacement. It would also allow an opportunity to identify revenue sources for affordable housing and develop a plan to build thousands of units of affordable housing.

San Francisco police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan said at about 2:45 p.m. today that the sheriff’s department is monitoring the protest from inside City Hall and police are standing by outside.

She said law enforcement officials are reporting that there are roughly 150 protesters inside City Hall and that, so far, it is a peaceful protest.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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