Midtown should have been a triumph. In its heyday, the unique community homeownership cooperative was a model for how cities and their less advantaged citizens could work together to find creative solutions to housing challenges.
It was supposed to offer those things our capitalist, for-profit housing system so seldom provides: stability, affordable rents, community self-determination and a path to ownership for its predominantly black tenants. Instead what followed was a half century of broken promises and bureaucratic neglect, culminating in the most stinging betrayal of all: the city wants to tear the Midtown Park Apartments down.
Yet the residents aren’t going down without a fight. In response to plans to demolish their home, as well as new rental rates that threaten the sustainability of Midtown’s community even if it remains, the residents have kicked off the longest rent strike in San Francisco history. Save Midtown, the group organizing the protest, has been withholding rent since 2015. Their demands of the city are simple: keep your promise, don’t tear down Midtown, and let it continue as a unique tenant-controlled space where the community, not faceless bureaucracy, can set rents and meet its own needs.
DSA SF stands with Save Midtown, and has been showing up to support them at rallies and community forums, including a recent hearing on demolition that local Supervisor London Breed couldn’t even be bothered to attend. For a full rundown of that meeting, and more context on Midtown and why this fight matters, check out this article in the San Francisco Phoenix from a DSA member that was there.
If you’re interested in joining the fight to save Midtown, contact our Housing Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get involved.