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United to Save the Mission Statement on Street Vendors Proposal



United to Save the Mission (USM) strongly opposes and condemns any action currently or in the future to permanently ban street vendors in the Mission District.


Street vendors are a global presence in cities around the world making economic, environmental, social and cultural contributions to the cities where they work. This is true of San Francisco, and in particular the Mission District, where the cultural legacy of our vendors has been a part of our cultural heritage and cultural economy, enhancing our district and making it a welcoming and viable neighborhood for all community members and visitors.


Despite their contributions, informal workers are currently being stigmatized with narrative and exclusionary actions by city authorities as being illegal or unproductive. While trying to simultaneously present San Francisco as a vibrant ‘world class’ city that holds equity and inclusiveness as its values, residents, business owners and vendors are being pitted against one another in lieu of creating a process to achieve healthy and legal possibilities for diverse uses to co-exist in the public realm.


As a coalition of community groups and individuals that protects vulnerable communities against gentrifying forces and narratives, fighting for the Mission neighborhood by leveraging our intersectionality and honoring our interdependence to one another, USM calls upon residents, business owners and city authorities to reject the systemic practice of gentrifying and undermining poor communities of color through methods designed to destabilize our already vulnerable communities by promoting strife, misinformation and misunderstanding. 


We also encourage everyone to refrain from a narrative demonizing unpermitted vendors when the city permitting process was not a community led process inclusive of vendors, leading to paths for permitting for some vendors with others remaining excluded, creating confusion and further ostracization of informal workers seeking to participate in a legal means of economic earning for themselves and their families.


USM is committed to working within a community process that includes our vendors in partnership with the City to create a community-led initiative that addresses safety issues that are rooted in equitable outcomes. 


We know that, working together, we can address and solve the issues facing our most vulnerable residents without criminalizing and stigmatizing these endangered populations and feeding the anti-immigrant, anti-Latine, and anti-Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color sentiment that already exists. 


In Community,

United to Save the Mission

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