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Group Proposes ‘Calle 24′ Cultural District in the Mission

| April 22, 2014
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A mural in the Mission District mourns the evictions affecting longtime residents and businesses. (Sara Bloomberg/KQED)

A mural in the Mission District mourns the evictions affecting longtime residents and businesses. (Sara Bloomberg/KQED)

By Zach Mack

A group of store owners, nonprofits and residents of San Francisco’s Mission District is rallying to preserve its rich cultural heritage by establishing a Latino cultural corridor, called Calle 24 (pronounced “veinticuatro”). The idea was proposed at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting by a group of the same name.

The new district, intended to operate much like San Francisco’s Chinatown and Japantown, would stretch along 24th street from Potrero Avenue up to Mission Street and would primarily exist to maintain the area’s Latino community and educate people about its history.

With the cultural landscape of San Francisco rapidly changing, passionate discussions about gentrification are common. The Mission District, a Latino neighborhood that is becoming increasingly favored by the tech community, sits at the center of those discussions.

“People want to live in the Mission because of its culture, its diversity, its history. So I think we have a responsibility to protect it,” says Supervisor David Campos, who introduced the Calle 24 proposal this afternoon.

Working alongside Campos is Erik Arguello, president and co-founder of Calle 24. “We don’t want it to be a museum, we just want it to be a place that the locals can still go and afford a good meal.”

The Mission features many cultural destinations that are a part of the neighborhood’s unique appeal. The many Mission murals have been named one of Lonely Planet’s “1000 Ultimate Experiences,” and Esquire said El Farolito has the “Most Life-Changing Burrito” in a recent survey.

The resolution proposed today would most likely go to committee in mid-May, where presentations from the public and members of Calle 24 would be heard. From there, the resolution would require a recommendation from the Board of Supervisors before it would reach Mayor Ed Lee’s desk for his final approval.

If everything goes according to its plan, Calle 24 is confident that could happen before the end of May.

 

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