I wade into this topic wearily, but I do love my new city, even in the moments where it drifts from critically self-aware to navel gazing. Ian S. Port’s July 17 review of the media coverage of the gentrification debate included this nugget discussing Ilan Greenberg’s angle on the topic:
[W]hat’s happening here isn’t gentrification at all, but merely middle-class residents using the word to conceal discomfort over richer people coming in and ruining their good time. Greenberg argued that neighborhoods like the Mission are already long gentrified, and that the Againsts are a simply bourgeois class with access to the media, who are ignoring the plight of the genuinely poor out of worry for themselves. “In San Francisco, anti-gentrification is a progressive cause to save financially viable people … from losing their lease on a rental property in an already gentrified neighborhood,” Greenberg wrote, with the emotional detachment of an outsider. “In the best of times, it’s hard to envision a lot of people shaking the rafters for this one.”
In a city that has long enjoyed significantly higher median household incomes than the rest of California and the nation, this has a ring of truth to it.