Date of Graduation
Project/Capstone - Global access
Master of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs
College of Arts and Sciences
My research discusses the history of gentrification and displacement in San Francisco, which has been created through a legacy of intentional policymaking, city planning, and land-use decision-making across the city and state. This study centers the collective power and expertise of multiracial, multicultural community-based organizations and coalitions dedicated to the work of tackling these systemic issues in the Mission District of San Francisco. To learn about the impact of multiracial community organizing, I pose the following research question: How do multiracial community-based organizations work to disrupt gentrification and displacement, and create meaningful change to support impacted community members in the Mission?
Through the methodology of semi-structured interviews and snowball sampling, I engaged in conversations with nine community organizers and coalition leaders working to improve living conditions for people in the Mission District through three citywide coalitions – the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition (SFADC), the Race and Equity in Planning Coalition (REP-SF), and the Council of Community Housing Organizations (CCHO). To contextualize my research, I provide a literature review focused on the history of gentrification, displacement, and multiracial coalition building and community organizing as a form of resistance. I also share an overview of the community history of the multiracial CBOs and coalitions I interviewed.
In my data analysis, I present the key findings of my research, which focus on why multiracial community organizing is valuable, how multiracial CBOs and coalitions define success, and how they work toward the deep systemic changes needed to achieve housing justice for communities of color. My research discusses how three citywide coalitions, SFADC, REP-SF, and CCHO are working toward the collective vision of housing justice for BIPOC communities and approaching the problem of displacement through the following strategies: (1) tenant organizing and advocacy, (2) land-use and planning, (3) nonprofit affordable housing and community development, and (4) policymaking.
Through my data analysis, I closely examine a powerful case study of an effective community organizing campaign: the fight to stop a proposed luxury housing development, which became known as “the Monster in the Mission,” that would have further gentrified the neighborhood. Thanks to the leadership of community organizations and advocates, the Monster in the Mission was defeated in favor of a community-based alternative vision for a 100% affordable housing development called the “The Marvel in the Mission.” By studying these efforts, we can learn how to apply and adapt these strategies to address future struggles.
I conclude my capstone thesis with an overview of community organizing best practices and strategies championed by multiracial community organizers, followed by public policy recommendations informed by my research findings. Policy recommendations include advancing anti-displacement efforts and tenant-protection policies, as well as expanding resources and funding to support multiracial CBOs and coalitions dedicated to this critical work.
Arana, AnaChristina, "Fighting for the Heart of the Mission District: Multiracial Community Organizing and Anti-Displacement Movements" (2023). Master's Projects and Capstones. 1628.