Report details how brown and black communities are decimated, step by step

Screen grab of the report released by Causa Justa.

Gentrification is a word so oft-used in conversations about San Francisco that it's easy to forget what it means.

A report released yesterday by the advocacy group Causa Justa/Just Cause titled "Development Without Displacement" breaks down gentrification into a set of digestible, understandable policy decisions, while identifying which communities even now are still at risk of displacement.

"This report shows that there are many reasonable policies at the local and regional levels that can help hold back the tide of gentrification and modify the worst effects of urban transformation," said one of its authors, UC Berkeley Geography Professor Richard Walker, in a statement on its site.

The report provides many solutions, but is largely a 100-plus page tale of 20 years of the destruction of brown and black communities in San Francisco, beginning in 1990, and the ripple effects of that displacement on the people of Oakland.

The "Stage of Gentrification" map in particular details San Francisco and Oakland Neighborhoods as being in early, middle, late and ongoing stages of gentrification. Each of these classifications is determined by the population — are they susceptible to displacement? — as well as the housing market prices in the neighborhood. Not surprisingly, the Mission and the panhandle are labeled as ongoing gentrification zones, with the southern neighborhoods of San Francisco are labeled as in early stages of gentrification marked by a rise in property value.

Robbie Clark, 33, the housing rights campaign lead organizer at Causa Justa, said the map details the challenges facing the Latino and African American communities today, a challenge she's also facing herself.

"For me, I’m born and raised in Oakland, and it's been a challenge as an adult to find stable affordable housing," she told the Guardian. She has a huge family that used to live in Oakland right near one another. The displacement broke them up. "Everyone is spread out throughout the greater Bay Area and beyond. It used to be very normal for every weekend to have family dinners, and now that happens much less."

In recent years she's moved seven times as rents in both cities skyrocketed, and she was even in the process of moving again while we interviewed her. The need for the report, she said, was stark.

The findings put specific numbers to a story of loss we all know well. Between 1990 and 2011, over 1,400 Latinos left the Mission district. In the same time, white households increased by 2,900 in the Mission. In the same period, Oakland's black population declined from 43 percent of the city to 26 percent. Many in San Francisco argue that increased affluence helps beautify neighborhoods and makes them safer, but that misses the point: the neighborhoods may be safer for newcomers, but the old residents get kicked out in the process.

The report states that outright: "While gentrification may bring much-needed investment to urban neighborhoods," it states, "displacement prevents these changes from benefitting residents who may need them the most."

Causa Justa Just Cause displacement report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY by FitztheReporter

A summary version of the 110 page report.

And the responsibility of these injustices should be laid squarely at the feet of neoliberal policies, the report states, including reduced public funding, privatization of public programs, relying too much on the private sector to drive economic growth, and a political system susceptible to hugely influential private corporations. 

But ultimately, Causa Justa concludes, there is still hope.

"Gentrification can be stopped!" the report states. To right the wrongs done to communities, "We also recommend policies that regulate government, landlord and developer activity to promote equitable investment, affordability and stability, and maximum benefits for existing residents." 

Causa Justa, Just Cause, is selling the report for $25, but also includes a form for those who cannot afford it to apply for a free copy.

A high resolution version of the "Stage of Gentrification" map: 





Can we just be honest and define "gentrification"? They don't want white and Asian people buying property and moving into "their" neighborhoods. Let's flip it around for a sec. If a bunch of activists (half of whom probably don't even live in the neighborhood) were to protest a bunch of Black or Latino people moving into Pacific Heights or the Richmond because they were "ghettoing" it, the outcry would be enormous (and justifiably so).

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

You are making a false equivalence here. And your racism is showing.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:28 pm

"white or Asian is bad"?

If so, doesn't that make you the racist?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

Explain how it's a false equivalency. Have you read some of the stuff these activists put out? They specifically point out that the people moving in are white. In my scenario, substitute "gentrify" for "ghetto", "mostly white" for "mostly black", and "techies" for "low income". What do you get?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

And your failure to acknowledge that there is a racial aspect of this is either ignorance or idiocy.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

He who mentions race first has already lost the debate.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

"Race doesn't exist. Only card playing exists. He who mentions race first has already lost the debate."

Tell that to the authors of this study and article.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 11:04 am

and to anyone who mindlessly repeats such nonsense or deems it significant.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 11:16 am

How is this racism? You whipped that word out very quickly. Some of us do not run and hide at that word. You are the racist as well a tool. Get a life and get real.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

It's not OK to hate on blacks and hispanics even if they do generate 90% of the crime

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

...what about "the gays" displacing the working-class families from the Castro? No one on this site seems to find that relevant.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

Gay people didn't displace the Castro families. They didn't drive rents up, forcing families out of the neighborhood. A wave of mass eviction isn't the reason families in the Castro left--they left because they didn't like Gay people. And a bunch of black or latino people moving to Pac Heights wouldn't displace the people there, because those people are crazy rich and own their own homes. You guys, UH DUH, it's not about DISLIKING tech people, and leaving because they don't like them, displacement (a necessary component in the definition of gentrification) means being forced to leave against your will. STOP BEING WILLFULLY IGNORANT.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

Whites replacing whites is no big deal.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

Your reasoning is off. It's not that people don't want white people in their communities, it's that people are being forced out of their own communities by rapidly escalating rents and mass eviction. Black and latino people moving to Pac Heights isn't similar at all, because people in Spacific Wheights can't be displaced (too much money, own their own homes). Displacement means being FORCED OUT, not leaving because you don't like something. So no, it's not that these communities just don't like white people, it's that these communities are being violently pushed out in order to accommodate white people.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

Displacement is about power more so than race but since power follows race in the US, displacement is also about race.

When the Mission transformed from white to Latino after WWII, it was not like the Latinos outbid whites for housing, rather than white fled the city for the suburbs and Latinos moved in in the wake of the whites.

Likewise, there is no way that most Latinos will ever have enough economic power to make inroads into Pacific Heights.

The main disconnect here is that from what I see, most members of identity groups do not see them as activists who promote identity see members of those groups which is why there is no political traction outside of activism for identitarianism.

Yes, race determines by and large how power flows in a racist society. But no, it is not like most blacks and latinos see themselves as racial victims, rather like most people, they see themselves as persevering over adversity and take pride from that. That is one reason why the identity activists get little political support from identity communities for their political projects.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

If hispanics moving into the Mission drove up the crime rate and/or made the neighborhood unfriendly to more affluent whites, then that is using power to displace every bit as much as money might

You may not have displaced a Hispanic when you bought your condo, but you prevented it from being lived in ny a Hispanic who might have moved in if you had not. So you are part of the displacement just like the hispanics were before you

We are just returning to how we were.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

If Latinos as a group are responsible for the crime that some Latinos commit, then whites as a group are responsible for the war crimes and financial crimes committed by elite whites and, by extension, slavery.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

for centuries - and enslaved millions of whites too.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

In fact, when the whites arrived, they did what they did everywhere and simply bought was on on offer.

In the case of Africa, it was people, because that was the African way. If you want to blame a people for slavery, blame the Africans. They carried on doing it long after the whites stopped as well.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

economic benefits from slavery. Sure the pay was low but the costs and risks were high, and the social costs of a black underclass since then have cost as much as any profits from slavery.

Canada and Australia are similar nations, didn't have slavery, and are no poorer today. There are no blacks alive today whose grandparents were slaves. Time to write off the alleged debt.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

Profit from slavery MINUS costs of slavery MINUS costs of welfare and black crime EQUALS zero, or maybe a negative number.

Given that today's blacks are very wealthy by African standards, don't they owe us?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

Capital accumulated from slavery has increased over two centuries while the black underclass has remained relatively constant. Canada and Australia are poorer than the US and were colonized during the height of slavery in the British Empire so they encompass the crystalization of the theft of slavery just like the US. The Brits had slavery the longest and per capita they remain the richest.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

Australia and Canada have a similar wealth per capita to the US and they never had slavery.

The Brits abolished slavery 50 years before the US.

People who whine about the profits from slavery cannot compute an amount and typically all ignore the costs, which include the huge costs of crime and welfare dealing with a vast underclass of people who are far wealthier than they ever would have been had they stayed in Africa.

Finally, slavery was an African thing - they were selling each other before and after the Europeans showed up.

slavery wasn't a picnic but, economically, it turned out to be a footnote.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 7:24 am

Canada was colonized in the late 15th century by Britain and Australia was later colonized after Britain had accumulated significant amounts of slavery wealth.

I admire your courage to blame the descendants of slavery for balancing out the crimes of the enslavers. That's pretty fucking twisted shit right there.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 7:40 am

showing that there was any overall net gain from slavery.

People always claim that myth but it is more emotion than deduction.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 8:02 am

Hundreds of years of free labor balanced against 125 years of "underclass?"

If that happened to white people, the torts would grind the legal system to a screeching halt.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 8:26 am

maudlin pandering emotional rot.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 9:01 am

Qualitatively the evidence is overwhelming. You're trying to assert that countries in receipt of stolen wealth are impoverished for the experience.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 10:03 am

And just a qualitative "feeling"?

To the other, while there is one-time boost to productivity from slavery, the long-term social, welfare and crime costs are far higher, as we see to this day in America.

The argument to not adopt slavery is economic as much as anything. On a long-term view, it doesn't add any value. If anything, it is a net negative, especially when you look at the lower crime rates of equally affluent large white nations like Canada and Australia who gained virtually nothing from slavery.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 10:20 am

Three hundred years of compounded profits

Posted by marcos on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 11:46 am

comes to zero. Or less.

I still wait to see your full economic analysis, rather than cheap race-card plays and emotional appeals with nothing to back it up

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 11:58 am

higher than for whites, per capita. They are not up as high as blacks.

We've seen many major US cities where whites have left because of criems caused by minorities.

Power cuts both ways. Whites own nobody nothing. If anything non-whites owe whites for the privilege of living in such an affluent nation

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

So Google glasses are BAD and gangs that shoot you if you wear blue or red are good? BRING ON MORE GENTRIFICATION !

Posted by Guest on Apr. 16, 2014 @ 2:30 am

"But those who can't afford it can get it for free."

LOLz - the irony...

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

should aim for? It would sure save us some time if we knew what the ideologically perfect ethnic mix was.

And how many whites is too much? Please define.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

Per the article, 1400 Latinos left between 1990 and 2011. That's less than 70 people per year, or roughly 1 per week. Big whoop.

...and those aren't even necessarily eviction-related, since the author and friends insist they are being "forced" out in epidemic rates.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

50% of Mission residents are Hispanic and that means tens of thousands, 1400 is trivial.

Moreover who knows how many Hispanic illegals arrived? Nobody can count them.

These people should stop obsessing about race and let neighborhoods evolve organically as they always have done. Do not forget that Hispanics displaced the whites that used to be a huge majority in the Mission.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

So basically SFBG and "anti-gentrification activists" are opposed to longtime black and Latino homeowners in Bayview and Oakland from realizing the appreciation on their once low valued residential assets and taking part in the American dream? Sounds pretty rayyyyycesss to me libs.

Also, why are progressives so discriminatory when it comes to Asians? This is a minority group that has been treated absolutely horribly in numerous ways, but who have largely prospered despite all the opposition. Their reward is open hostility and being despised by progressives at every turn.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

I have been told numerous times that we don't want "them" coming in and changing our neighborhood, them being Asians. Whites, blacks, latinos, they all hate Asians moving into "their" neighborhoods. Almost all of this anti-gentrification talk is anti-Asian talk. Activists don't want to admit it but they are mostly angry as the Asianification of San Francisco.

I am white and a long time San Franciscan so for some reason people feel free to talk freely about this to me.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 12:04 am

Actually not true, I'm asian and I think that most of this is anti white. SF always had a large asian population, and most of the asians who move here from elsewhere to work in tech end up living in the south bay. Most of the people who work in the south bay and live in SF are white I'd say. I would definitely say white people are doing most of the gentrification. I guess if you come from middle of nowhere ohio, it makes you feel more accomplished if you can say I live in SF, at least thats the feeling I get. Asians moving in from india/china probably feel accomplished enough just to get a job in the US that they don't care about living in SF. I work at a big software co in the southbay and the feeling I get is that the arrived white people feel they are cooler if they live in SF, like its some gigantic clique. Works for me, I own rental property in SF.

I'm also a long time SF person. Went to elementary -> highschool in SF. Now I live in the southbay close to work. I still got friends and come up weekends, but I don't care for the snobby need to live in SF.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 1:34 am

victim and actually over-achieve. White liberals need all non-whites to be losers and failures so that they can be saved, but Asians don't play that game.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 6:53 am

I almost never comment, however after browsing some of
the comments here Report details hoow brown and black communities are decimated, step by step.

I do have a couple off questions for you iff you do not
mind. Is iit just me or does it look like like some of
these responses look like theey are comung from brazin dead people?
:-P And, if you are posting on other places, I'd like to follow anything new you have to
post. Would you make a list of all of all your soccial networking sites like your twitter feed, Facebook
page or linkedin profile?

Posted by best long term loans on Jul. 28, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

So from this article I'm supposed to accept that having to move, which I've done countless times for various reasons, is a bigger problem than public safety. Having to move to Antioch a greater injustice than getting robbed, murdered or raped. Think about that one, as you reflect on a Progressive movement that has lost its way.

"..increased affluence helps beautify neighborhoods and makes them safer, but that misses the point: the neighborhoods may be safer for newcomers, but the old residents get kicked out in the process."

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

Don't you fucking get it? There's beauty and nobility in poverty and struggle - it's the working class of oppressed colored peoples of color, from which the revolution will emerge.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

Revolution..i don't know, maybe, but I think that's just bluster.

What's really behind it is more banal, cynical, and self-serving than that.... The progressives have become a group whose supreme concern is not the interest of the city or even the supposed well being of the brown and black people who have to move -- who for all we know may be better off in Antioch than in the Mission -- but in retaining its voter base.

That's really all that matters. And if the "brown and black communities" are moving out, it becomes all the more important that we replace their ranks with vagrants off the greyhound. Please Nevada, send more!!! More Mercy housing on its way!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

"Many in San Francisco argue that increased affluence helps beautify neighborhoods and makes them safer, but that misses the point: the neighborhoods may be safer for newcomers, but the old residents get kicked out in the process."

I'm kind of confused by this statement. When people come in and make a neighborhood nicer, cleaner, and lower the crime rate, the long term residents who caused the crime (or were victims of crime) leave? This is a bad thing???

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

The gentrification does not benefit the old residents, as the article says. The rent skyrockets, and the old residents who defined the community, who laid their roots in these neighborhoods, are forced to move.

The tech economy is not a fair system. Black and brown people are underrepresented in tech because of institutionalized racism, discrimination, lack of opportunities for higher education, the stratification of class, and all of the other inhibiting factors that contribute to low socioeconomic mobility. This means that these groups do not reap the boons of the tech economy. This lack of increase in wages in contrast to the skyrocketing cost of living makes resistance to gentrification impossible for these groups.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 1:58 am

hah!! This means that no industry that requires skills and education is fair. As a political platform, that's a great recipe for irrelevance.

The tech industry is so overrun with "brown people" at some companies you'd be the only white guy in the room. And many of them have lifted themselves up in environments where poverty means, get this, starvation, not what it means here, obesity and diabetes and having to put up with a broken iPhone screen.

You should update your worldview. It reeks of cutting edge thinking circa 1968.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 6:19 am

No deviation from the norm in statistics can be allowed.

If blacks are 12% of the US population, then they must be 12% of all sub-groups.

Otherwise it is racist.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 7:07 am

Tech firms needle H1-B immigration exceptions from the government in order to import brown people from south Asia so that tech wages can be kept lower than they otherwise would be. Combined with a disinvestment in public primary and secondary education, that's a double whammy to all who do not have access to better education which are the poor and blacks and latinos in general.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 09, 2014 @ 7:24 am

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