100 years of working-class Mission community in a historic landmark building that we will not allow to succumb to the forces of speculation and displacement!
About the campaign:
The San Francisco Labor Council built the Labor Temple in 1914. The building was a hub of union organizing and work activities and a primary center for the city’s historic labor community for over half a century. It was the epicenter of organizing for the San Francisco General Strike of 1934, which many historians believe established San Francisco as a “union town.” For the past fifty years the Redstone has been home to community-serving non-profit organizations and artists at affordable rents they would not be able to find elsewhere in the city.
Currently, there is a bidding war going on between predatory developers who seek to profit by clearing the building of its low-budget advocacy organizations and artists, and the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) which is seeking to purchase the building to protect current tenants from eviction and keep it as a community center for community and labor organizing and cultural activism.
The San Francisco Labor Council, Democratic Socialists of America San Francisco, United to Save the Mission, the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and several other organizations have all passed resolutions calling on the City and County of San Francisco to do everything in its power to preserve the building as a community center. We have been meeting with our elected representatives and potential funders and we will keep fighting until we win.
The dozens of nonprofits, small businesses, artists and community advocates housed in the Redstone contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city’s social services infrastructure. Collectively, we serve over 50,000 San Franciscans annually, the majority of whom are from marginalized communities. The displacement of the Redstone tenants would place the burden of providing those services back on the city, and in the case of El/La – a nonprofit that provides healthcare to San Francisco’s transgender community – could prove life threatening.
The Redstone Labor Temple delivers measurable benefits to the City, and in the face of an unprecedented displacement crisis, has held strong as a community destination and a source of civic pride. The small but mighty organizations of the Redstone Labor Temple have an extraordinary impact on the lives of workers, artists, Latinx, LGBTQ, and the displaced. For over a century it has been a gathering place for diverse communities to workshop strategies that benefit the City, as well as a key site for celebrating our culture through exhibits and events.
We will need city officials, city departments, foundations, private funders and community leaders to step up to save this building. It will take a community effort. We cannot do it alone.
We are working on getting the building at a reasonable price to maintain the current tenants at affordable rents while having the ability to make the necessary upgrades needed in the building.
“In our eyes, The City says it saves nonprofits and artists but they haven’t done anything,” said Gary Gregerson, president of the Redstone Labor Temple Association and a current tenant in the building, to the SF Examiner in February 2019. He added that the sale of buildings housing nonprofits and artists often end in the displacement of community-serving organizations. “There is nowhere to go. Some have found their way into our building and we are one of the last spaces left,” he said.
About us, the Redstone Labor Tenants Association:
The Redstone Labor Tenants Association was formed to explore the feasibility of tenant ownership of the Redstone Building. As gentrification continues in the Mission District of San Francisco, the number of places that support its historic working class and immigrant culture are dwindling. If the RLTA can buy this building in a collective manner as a community resource, diversity can be in at least one place preserved.
Chile Lindo Café; The Lab; Collision Course; Pacific Petition; Circuit Network; La Pocha Nostra; Outsider Enterprises; Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP); Comprehensive Communication; The World Can’t Wait; Smartmeme Project; Mission Agenda; Worker’s World; The Organizer Newspaper; Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc.; El Teatro De La Esperanza; Whispered Media; Poor Magazine; SF Living Wage Coalition; International Indian Treaty Council; Abalone Alliance Clearinghouse; Artist Studios; Musician Rehearsal Space; Redstone Tenants Association; Green Cab Company; United Taxicab Workers (UTW); Taxicab Institute; Fil-Am Family Support Project; EL/LA Para Translatinas.
We need all hands on deck, all members of the community spreading the word. We must stand together in solidarity to say “No!” to speculation, “No!” to displacement, and “Yes!” to preserving this historic resource and keeping working-class Mission culture alive and thriving!
You may contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for our mailing list, or to find appropriate ways to engage in the struggle. We have a fundraiser for organizing costs, which you can find at: gofundme.com/save-redstone-labor-temple. Like our Facebook page “SAVE THE REDSTONE LABOR TEMPLE”.