Our Ask: Support the work SURJ Bay Area and our partner organizations do around gentrification and displacement by donating here.
Urban renewal; eminent domain for highway and BART construction; corporate developers; gentrification of low income neighborhoods; predatory lending; rising rents displacing Black and Brown communities and other vulnerable groups; homelessness for many: all fueled by capitalism, growing income inequality, and a long history of racial injustice in housing, jobs, education, healthcare, police, courts, and social services.
Here are some key facts about our housing crisis:
FACT: Gentrification forces longtime working-class Black and Latinx Bay Area residents from their homes and communities en masse. Between 2012 and 2017, median rents in Oakland increased by 36.2% to over $2,300 for a one-bedroom apartment, reflecting a dangerous trend that has impacted all cities in the Bay. The burden of this “affordability crisis” is not shared evenly. Black, Latinx, and low income communities of color generally, which have been historically discriminated against and targeted by racist housing policies and predatory lending, experience displacement at a much higher rate than whites. The result: between 1990 and 2011, Oakland’s Black population decreased from 43 percent to 26 percent of the population. In San Francisco, it was cut in half from about 10 percent to only 5 percent. The city’s historically Latinx Mission District lost over 1000 Latinx families in the same time.
FACT: Gentrification happens when industry profit drives housing and development decisions rather than the needs of longtime community residents. Far from a ‘natural’ process, gentrification is a process through which land formerly inhabited by the poor and working class is repurposed for the use of the rich and for profit. Real estate, landholding, and banking industries drive gentrification -- with support from government in the form of policies that favor private development of market-rate housing without protection for tenants and low income folks.
FACT: Gentrification and displacement are not inevitable! SURJ Bay Area follows the leadership of organizations like the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, a dynamic grass-roots organization working statewide to fight campaigns for fair wages, affordable housing, and corporate accountability. Locally, they coordinate powerful direct actions at developers’ offices and to preserve folks’ homes during anti-eviction occupations. ACCE Action is also a proud steering committee member of Housing NOW!, a statewide coalition that is building power to make housing affordable and combat the displacement crisis that is disproportionately impacting working class communities of color.
SURJ and ACCE Action worked hard to get out the vote for Prop 10 this November, which would have repealed the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act which prevents our communities from expanding rent control. Sadly, the measure failed, in part due to the money developers and landlord associations spent on the campaign. With the status quo of arbitrary and devastating rent hikes preserved, ACCE Action’s work is more important than ever as they fight for tenants’ rights.
Central to ACCE Action’s work is the belief that there’s power in numbers and in collective action – ACCE Action members and their allies frequently “take to the streets” with rallies, town halls, and other actions to make their voices heard.
FACT: We in SURJ Bay Area are proud to stand in solidarity with ACCE Action at the local level, and as part of the statewide Housing NOW! Coalition fighting for rent control and housing justice across California. During the recent YES on Prop 10/Repeal of Costa-Hawkins campaign, we conducted a major mobilization of SURJ and community members to gather signatures, educate others about the importance of voting YES on Prop 10, turn out the vote, and raise funds to support the grassroots work of ACCE Action and the Housing NOW! coalition. Despite the failure of PROP 10 to pass in November, we will continue the fight for affordable housing and repeal of Costa-Hawkins with ACCE Action and other housing justice organizations led by people of color.
Today is the first day of our 2018 #12DaysToShowUp fundraising campaign. SURJ Bay Area has a principle of passing on, without condition, at least half of all funds we raise to local racial justice organizations led by People of Color, such as ACCE Action. The rest will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area. Donate today to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $30,000. In addition to this donation, we encourage you to send matching donations directly to people of color-led organizations doing important work in the Bay Area and beyond.