It’s almost become a cliche to talk about how much San Francisco’s changed, and I’m sure “some people” are sick of hearing about it. And it’s just as true as it’s ever been that everything changes (see what I did there?), but still, it’s always the right time to take a look at the way things are changing and ask ourselves if this is the way we really want things to go, and what can possibly be done to make our vision of the city a reality. Walkable streets, more bike lanes, more and better public transit, public wifi… these are all changes that we (the below named cartoonists, here after to be referred to as “the cartoonists”, “MMC”, “those kick ass guys and gals”, “whats-their-faces” or probably just “we”) agree with. But ridiculously inflated rents (both for tenants and longtime neighborhood businesses and institutions that have all been pushed out of our fair city), draconian “quality of life” ordinances aimed at criminalizing being homeless or poor and driving out the undesirables that our richer neighbors (both old and new) would rather not have to deal with, and the restrictions and privatizations pushed on public space and the common good… these are all things that we (the cartoonists) are “four-square” against.
And we know a lot of you are against these things too… and hopefully we can convince a couple more. Because this has to be about more than just creating a real estate investment opportunity for hedge fund managers and foreign interests, more than just a bohemian retreat for the rich and well to do, more than just a scenic stop for vodka commercials and reality tv shows. We’ve seen the neighborhoods change plenty before, but always been revitalized with fresh ideas, art and community that was about more than making money and finding the best new artisan cocktail or fusion taco. We’ve always had yuppies (or techies or whatever you want to call them next) in this city, but there was always a balance before. That’s diversity. Nobodies saying that techies shouldn’t have a chance to live here too. But we need to talk about what happens to the diversity of this city when the rich (and well to do) go from 1% to 99% of the population. What happens when kids are kicked out of playgrounds by entitled assholes yelling “Who cares about the neighborhood?” When all the venues and clubs have been shut down by people who came to our fair city looking to be in an epicenter of arts and culture, only to realize that art was too loud and culture was too dirty. Is that the city you want to live in? Because we sure as hell don’t and we’re going to continue to make a stink about it… even if it’s “been done to death”, or “you’re sick of hearing about it”.
So let’s keep on having this conversation and keep on having it until we live in the kind of city we’ve always wanted to live in. Let’s not give up on San Francisco yet. We’re battered and bruised, and broke and belligerent, but we never give in, we never give up. We’ve been here since Diane Feinstein was mayor and we’ll be here after she gets replaced with a real liberal in the US senate. We’ve been here since the AIDS epidemic swept the city and we’ll be here shooting bottle rockets in the street when they find the cure. We grew up as children of the drought and the earthquakes, and we’ll be here after your venture capitalist dreams crumble down around and dry up and blow aways. We’ve been here through the rise and fall of sports dynasties and the rise of fall of tech bubbles, and we’ll still be here, playing with your trash and asking for pocket change for mini comix, long after your time in the fog has come to an end.
oh yeah, this comic was written by Mikey, who drew the first and second pages, Antonio, who drew the 3rd and last page, Justin, who drew the 4th page, Audrey who drew the 5th and 6th pages, and Rio, who drew the 7th page.