By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt
Many weeks see Latinos from the Mission lambaste the San Francisco Planning Commission.
From the Monster in the Mission to the Beast on Bryant, the neighborhood is home to some of the most contested housing developments in The City, which, neighbors fear, spur evictions.
Now their voice may grow.
On Guard has learned the Planning Commission’s newest potential commissioner is a Latina woman with decades of experience in Mission District activism: Myrna Melgar.
She’s a recent Democratic Party board candidate and current commissioner at the Department of Building Inspection. Melgar told me, “Planners like to think we’re neutral, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
She added, “We have to be mindful of power imbalances and equity issues.”
Her approval comes by way of Board of Supervisors President London Breed, and is pending approval by the full board.
In a statement, Breed noted that the Mission “is facing such enormous land use pressures right now,” and that “Myrna has two crucial qualities: independence and integrity. She will bring balance. She will serve the whole city.”
There is some worry Supervisor Mark Farrell may not back Melgar, sources tell On Guard, because Melgar ran on the progressive “reform” DCCC slate opposite Farrell.
However, the Board of Supervisors majority may make Farrell’s vote moot, as Melgar has strong progressive ties — perhaps a consideration of Breed in her supervisor race against progressive Dean Preston.
Christina Olague was the last Latina planning commissioner, who left her seat in 2012.
Melgar was born and raised in El Salvador, and her family fled its civil war to San Francisco when she was 14. She worked at activist groups like PODER, Senior Action Network and St. Peter’s Housing Committee (now Causa Justa Just Cause).
Those are serious bona fides…(more)
Ran into one of the Planning Commissioners last night who told me we will like this choice. He appears to be right about that. Thanks Supervisor Breed.