3. Research I

Gentrification: (n.)

  1. The rehabilitation and settlement of decaying urban areas by middle-and high-income people.
  2. What happened to my home in the mission

Gentrification is a phenomenon that strikes very close to home because it was the reason why I lost my home as a child. Growing up, my family and I lived in an apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco, but were forced to move out of the area once tech industries and big businesses prospered.

Buzzfeed featured a teenager named Kai who also faced the same struggle with gentrification in the Mission. He took the audience on a tour of his neighborhood, and showed just how much it changed since his family was evicted. From the immense loss of culture to the sharp division between the natives and newbies, Kai shared his personal experience with gentrification. His tour was interwoven with various facts and statistics.

For instance, the Ellis Act, a California law which enables landlords to evict tenants in order to retire or go out of business, was introduced. This was the law that allowed for the eviction of Kai and his family. Newsweek reported that “In 2013, Ellis evictions grew 175 percent from the year before.” Also, “Between 1990 and 2011, the Mission District lost 1,400 Latino households…and during the same period, the black population of the city was cut in half” (Julia Carrie Wong).

Furthermore, I chose this Buzzfeed short on Kai as my first form of research because as I was rummaging through the abyss of information online, I seldom found a perspective of someone that had recently faced it (let alone around my age). For example, The Dictionary of American History doesn’t depict any negative connotations until the last paragraph (and nothing like the aforementioned statistics). So, it was refreshing to hear from a story that I could connect to, and see Kai stand up for the neighborhood he loves.


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