By Tim Redmond
FEB.10, 2014 — Among the old-timers at the San Francisco tenants convention Saturday, the same question kept coming up: When was the last time we saw this many people – and such a diverse cross-section of the city – at a political event? It’s been a long time.
“This reminds me of the Community Congress in 1975,” which led to district elections of supervisors, longtime organizer Buck Bagot said.
The doors had to be closed about 20 minutes after the session started, since the Tenderloin Community School couldn’t hold any more people. It’s hard to count a crowd that size, but I’m pretty sure 500 people were on hand, including six supervisors (John Avalos, David Campos, David Chiu, Malia Cohen, Jane Kim, and Eric Mar).
And it’s not a one-time thing, either: The convention was the culmination of a series of neighborhood meetings across the city, and is a sign that a re-energized tenant movement is going to change local politics this year. There were so many young people, so much energy, such a feeling that the epidemic of evictions that is transforming communities is not inevitable. That it’s possible to fight back, and win.
“This is going to have follow-up,” one veteran of decades of local progressive struggles told me. “This isn’t going away.” (more after the jump)