1/12/17 – San Fran Nimby

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San Francisco is a sanctuary city identified with relaxed immigration politics.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

Last summer, the city Planning Commission unanimously approved development of an apartment building in the Latino Cultural District.  The developer offered to lease 25% of the units to low-income families without government subsidies.

Activists appealed the approval to the Board of Supervisors.  The board unanimously rejected the project as not compliant with state environmental law.  Which is odd.  The board offered the logic that gentrification qualifies as an environmental impact.

The chief complaint [here, here, here] is upscale, higher-rent units are contributing to a shrinking Latino population.  The Latino Cultural District is half Hispanic.  Activists want to keep it that way.  Imagine the howls of protest if you swapped “Latino” with “white.”

There’s more.  According to a pro-growth advocate, opponents are obsessed with blocking “tech workers” from moving-in.  Tech workers, he claims, are primarily Chinese, Indian and East European immigrants.  As well as out-of-staters seeking Silicon Valley jobs.  These people haven’t earned the privilege to live in certain neighborhoods, he explains.

In other words, welcoming immigrants is a good thing as long as they’re not moving into our neighborhood.

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