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A changing Mission - SFGate

A changing Mission The Story San Francisco Chronicle


But that neighborhood is changing yet again. Even as the city’s Latino population has grown, the 50 square blocks around the Mosqueda home — once 65 percent Latino — have lost more than 2,400 Latino residents since 2000, according to Census Bureau data. San Francisco’s tech boom is reshaping communities, family by family, business by business, block by block — few as intensely as the block of 24th Street between Folsom and Shotwell, near the Mosqueda home.

A new group of settlers is arriving on 24th Street, known to some as El Corazón de la Misión, the heart of the Mission. Wealthier than previous residents, they are choosing the Mission’s bustling cultural mosaic over the city’s stodgier, old-money neighborhoods and the faceless suburbs of Silicon Valley.

Over eight months interviewing residents and merchants whose lives revolve around the block, The Chronicle observed a situation more nuanced than the pat narrative of rich newcomers forcing out longtime residents.

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When it comes to small-scale real estate, it is not a zero-sum game: every "rich" buyer implies an ENRICHED seller. So if some old Latina widow sells her house to a young white CEO for a max dollar amount... who is anyone to say that is good or bad? San Francisco is weird because people -- including "old" Mission residents, most of whose tenure is actually less than a generation -- generally haven't lived there long enough to see the truth of changing neighborhood demographics. If you go to cities with a historical rather than nostalgic consciousness, like New York or Chicago, they deal with these inevitable changes more gracefully.

I think the big challenge is seeing it happen in such a compressed timeframe.

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