Gio­vanna Gue­vara

San Francisco Chronicle - Late Edition (Sunday) - - FROM THE COVER -

Neigh­bor­hood: Sun­ny­side

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Re­searcher at NASA’s Ames Re­search Cen­ter

Story: Gue­vara, 31, grew up in Oak­dale (Stanis­laus County) and came to San Fran­cisco to at­tend col­lege. She lives with room­mates in an apart­ment near City Col­lege. She says that she is for­tu­nate to have found an af­ford­able apart­ment but that she could never leave “be­cause I’d have to leave the Bay Area. I could never move any­where else in the city. If I ever wanted to live with­out room­mates, I couldn’t do that.” She said she wants “den­sity that com­ple­ments the neigh­bor­hood.”

In her words: “One of the things that I’ve no­ticed in talk­ing to other YIMBYs is how many of our par­ents are NIMBYs. I’ll talk to my mother about some NIMBYs group stop­ping a hous­ing project for some pre­pos­ter­ous rea­son, and she’ll be like, ‘It’s good they stopped that.’ I’m like ‘OK, Mom. I don’t know where to move with this con­ver­sa­tion.’ It’s a gen­er­a­tional thing, which I don’t think it should be.”

Phillip Kober­nick

Neigh­bor­hood: The Haight

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Alameda County trans­porta­tion plan­ner Story: Kober­nick, 32, lives in a three-bed­room apart­ment with two room­mates in their late 20s. The to­tal rent is $3,500. He said that ide­ally his apart­ment would be oc­cu­pied by a fam­ily with kids, not a group of un­re­lated adults who would all be hap­pier liv­ing alone in a stu­dio or one bed­room. Kob­er­ick has been ac­tively push­ing hous­ing at four sites in his neigh­bor­hood: the McDon­ald’s site at Haight and Stanyan streets — where the city plans to build af­ford­able hous­ing — two sites on Divisadero and one on Ful­ton Street. “All four ex­am­ples are ex­am­ples of in­fill de­vel­op­ment with no dis­place­ment. It’s tak­ing un­der­uti­lized places like gas sta­tions and ac­ti­vat­ing it as a place for peo­ple to live.”

In his words: NIMBYs “say traf­fic is bad, that Oak Street is con­gested. Their at­ti­tude is, ‘Why are these new peo­ple com­ing?’ They just want to put a wall up around the neigh­bor­hood. They don’t want new peo­ple. It’s bru­tal but it’s re­al­ity. One guy told us he didn’t want to live in Hong Kong. Is that what the Haight is go­ing to be­come if we al­low a few sev­en­story apart­ment build­ings?”

David Te­jeda

Neigh­bor­hood: Sun­ny­side

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Con­trac­tor

Story: Te­jada stands out in a room full of YIMBYs. At 70, he’s twice as old as most of the peo­ple ac­tive in the move­ment. He’s also the owner of a home he bought two decades ago near the Bal­boa Reser­voir. It’s a neigh­bor­hood where many res­i­dents are op­posed to a re­de­vel­op­ment plan call­ing for about 1,100 new hous­ing units.

In his words: “A lot peo­ple in my age group have the at­ti­tude, ‘I’ve got mine. If you don’t have yours, it’s your own fault.’ At the same time, they com­plain that their grown kids are liv­ing in their base­ment. Well, if there were more places for them to live they wouldn’t have to stay in the base­ment. I’m a firm be­liever that you don’t pull the draw­bridge up.”

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