Calle 24 began in 1999 as a grassroots organization formed by community members of Calle 24 in the Mission District. We are an all-volunteer organization with diverse community council members representing merchants, residents, landlords, service non-profits, arts organizations, youth, renters, homeowners, families and artists. We have deep roots in the Mission District going back generations. Our council and committees members are all volunteers.
Our legacy businesses have helped build the rich cultural and social fabric on 24th Street. Since the beginning, we have worked with the local community and responded to their needs.
In May 2014, because of our advocacy, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Mayor officially established the Latino Cultural District as a response to gentrification and displacement. Our task since then has been to determine the neighborhood’s vision for the Latino Cultural District. Our vision, mission, goals, governance, and programs were established through this public and inclusive process.
A planning process was initiated to get the community’s input about how the Latino Cultural District should be governed and how it should serve the community. Through a competitive process, consultants were hired to facilitate the planning process, engage community stakeholders, and gather input through a number of data collection activities including community meetings, one-on-one interviews, focus groups, and a review of other cultural district plans.
The objectives of the planning process were:
To gather community input about the Latino Cultural District’s purposes, strengths, opportunities, challenges, targeted strategies, and governance;
To review best practices employed by other ethnic enclaves (e.g., Little Tokyo, Fruitvale, Japantown) and
To draft a final report with findings and recommendations.
The top priority that emerged from our process is housing. Hundreds have seen their neighbors become displaced or homeless. Families who have lived here for decades, workers who built this city, artists, teachers, and community leaders who have contributed to making this a safe, desirable neighborhood live in fear of displacement.
It is a community priority that we exist as a living cultural district, not just a colorful tourist destination.
The Latino Cultural District process was funded and supported by the City and County’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.