Sup. Jane Kim was there. Sup. David Campos showed his support. Mayor Ed Lee was nowhere, and his press office still hasn't been willing to answer my questions or make any sort of statement.
But Tommi Mecca, a longtime tenant advocate, said it well: "Yesterday demonstrates how fed up folks are with what is happening. We have to send the message that it's no more business as usual until the evictions stop."
That's how we ought to be thinking about this. No more business as usual until the evictions stop. Every landlord who wants to make a quick buck be destroying people's lives should be shamed and protested, and every attempt to remove longterm tenants should be met with community resistance. We need to work on TIC buyers, too, and make clear to them the social cost of evictions; the Lee's unit ought to be considered a crime scene, and anyone who moves in should be forced to remember, every day, how awful it was.
Perhaps the Lee eviction will become a version of the I-Hotel, the fight that comes to symbolize a much larger battle over the preservation of low-income communities and the struggle for affordable housing. But this one isn't over yet: The owner of the building, Matthew Miller, still plans to evict the Lee family and turn the place into TICs. The delay is just that -- a delay. And tenant advocates will need to be back on the streets next week.
And I still wonder: Where is the mayor?