Chapter 12: Barrio Logan and the Struggle to Preserve a Neighborhood

5. What kind of actions did DURO take to oppose gentrification?

In response to the urban transformations, different activities started, such as

  • door–to–door contacts,
  • bilingual flyers distribution on tenants’ rights and responsibilities,
  • petitions for rent stabilization,
  • community meetings and
  • marches.

As a resident noticed:

In San Diego, everything is more expensive, homes, rents. Before, we paid $500 for a two-bedroom apartment, now it is almost double price. They renovate houses, they send the Migra (Border Patrol) to people, and then rents skyrocket. I am lucky because I bought my house ten years ago. But people cannot afford to live here anymore.

For instance, on June 30, 2001, over a hundred residents participated in a march to address displacement. Another march entitled a "Trail of Tears March" ("Caminata de Lágrimas") took place and slogans stated:

  • "We are organizing to claim our human right to housing. Our inherent dignity is being violated;"
  • "Make your Voices heard;"
  • "Aqui estamos y No nos vamos!"
  • "en unión hay fuerza;"
  • "únase a nuestro esfuerzo comunitario!"

The association attempted to raise consciousness about the housing problem during city council meetings but it got only some limited media coverage, mostly from Spanish-speaking local channels and newspapers (La Prensa San Diego). In 2002 the organization tried to build up coalitions and networks with other groups, but the mobilization began to decrease. From 2003 onwards, DURO started to meet on a more regular basis, addressing the specific issue of the use of vacant lots in the barrio, as well as low-income/affordable housing projects. But its most important aspect is the fact that it is constituted mainly by women.