Ever have conversations with people in your head that you’ll know you’ll never have in real life? I’ve been having an intense one-sided dialogue with my landlady for the last few days and I wish I could stop. Sometimes I really let loose and call her out for everything I think she is and other times I try to be diplomatic to see if it makes me feel any better. It doesn’t. Her decision to raise our rent by 30% to $5500/month has us with our backs against the wall and nothing I could say to her, whether in my imagination or face to face, can change that.
Sometimes it seems like every other conversation I have centers around how expensive it is to rent in San Francisco, how impossible it is to buy anything and finally, that it’s time to leave. There have been tenants that have fought their evictions and won (rare but it happens) and beloved neighborhood restaurants that have been served a rent increase that will force them to close up shop. Two stories in the midst of hundreds.
I’ve only been living in The Mission for a year and a half now so how would I feel if this was happening to me after I had I been here for ten, twenty or thirty years? What do you do when your home gets ripped away from you? When you’re forced by other people’s opportunist greed to have to move away from your family, your neighbors, your community, not to mention the memories you’ve built over the years, how do you deal with that? That landlords are legally allowed to toy with people's lives and livelihoods this way is sickening.
The anger is evident in graffiti and posters found around the neighborhood. If you can't fight back with the law then why not visually accost people and force them to notice what's going on around them?
As for me, well, I'm still fuming and calling my landlady terrible names in my head but I'll be happy to get out. I'll miss living in the city, I get a bit misty just thinking about it, but I'll leave the Mission, my landlords and an apartment where I can't play to my heart's content happily behind.