SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A caught-on-camera dispute between some tech industry employees and a group of teens at a the San Francisco Mission Playground soccer field has sparked calls for change in San Francisco Park’s and Recreation policies.
In occasionally heated moments, the September 25, 2014 video shows a group of Dropbox employees trying to get a group of kids to move after they reserved the field. The techies had a permit from Parks and Rec to use the facility at the time of the dispute, but locals said there is a tradition of pickup games during those hours, and that the facility could not be “bought.”
The video depicts a spectrum of emotions from territorial issues, to a proposal that the techies share the field, and even play soccer with the locals. It’s just the latest chapter in the city’s ongoing struggle with gentrification, and the influx of tech workers that some say is eroding the traditions of San Francisco neighborhoods.
SFist reports that DropBox employees and the company itself have since apologized for the behavior of the adults.
Now the Uptown Almanac reports that San Francisco’s Latino Democratic Club wants an end to the reservation policy. The group has called a City Hall rally named “Mission Playground is NOT for sale” for Thursday at 9:00 a.m. with the following list of demands:
1) We demand an immediate end to the privatization of Mission Playground and for all public access (to) be restored
2) We demand that all privatized use for adults of Mission Playground and other youth-used recreation spaces throughout the city undergo community review planned by the neighborhood
3) We demand that community customs and park traditions be followed and supported by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.
4) We demand full-time San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department staff for Mission Playground.
“The youth of our city should not have to pay to use our public parks. Their health cannot afford it. Their safety cannot bare it. The relationships and community built from free play is what will help bring our City together,” reads the Facebook post about the event.
So far, more than 700 people say they will attend the rally.