A group of around 100 protesters, many of them senior citizens, stormed Mayor London Breed's office on Wednesday to demand a larger city budget for housing subsidies for elderly residents.
Chanting things like "We won't move" (in Spanish, "No nos moveran"), the activists camped out in the mayor's office for around 90 minutes demanding to have an in-person meeting with her. As KPIX reports, the group, led by the nonprofit Faith In Action, said that it wants the city to allocate $500 million to housing subsidies specifically for seniors.
As one demonstrator, Irma Soberanis, tells the station, "At my age, I’m 65, I’m still working in order to be living where I’ve been living for many years."
Activist Dona Brenda Córdoba, who uses a wheelchair, said in a Twitter video posted by the group, "We are here so that seniors can live with dignity in their homes." She urged Mayor Breed to meet with them.
Activists claim that a letter they sent to the mayor three weeks ago, along with an accompanying email, making the same request for a sit-down meeting, had not been replied to, which prompted the protest.
Below, an aide to the mayor can be heard saying he was not aware of any communication.
Watch as staff for Mayor @LondonBreed insists there is no one to schedule an appointment, and Community refuses to leave after a letter send 3 weeks ago and email sent Monday have had no response about the same appointment request. pic.twitter.com/fqx9nPEYVC— PODERSF (@PODERSF) December 5, 2019
In a statement to KPIX, Breed said, "Just to be clear, I really understand where they’re coming from." She urged the activists to come back to City Hall to show support for legislation like her proposed charter amendment to rezone public land for affordable housing — though this was accomplished partly through the passage of Proposition E in November, which allocates public land for 100-percent affordable and educator housing.
The city budget currently has about $13 million allocated for housing subsidies for seniors, including $6 million from the recently renamed Department of Disability and Aging Services.