16th and Mission developer gets schooled in community relations

6/15/2014, 48hills

Almost 100 people attended the meeting of the San Francisco Board of Educations’ Buildings, Grounds, and Services Committee Monday night to hear a presentation from Maximus Real Estate Partners on the impact its proposed development at 16th and Mission Streets will have on the adjacent Marshall Elementary School. Conspicuous among the crowd of parents, students, and community activists was the business-casual crew from Maximus. They came armed with a leaflet entitled “The Facts About 16th & Mission” and wearing stickers that read, “1979 Mission Comprometidos con Marshall Elementary” (“1979 Mission is committed to Marshall Elementary”).

But if Maximus’s stickers were intended as a token of good will toward the families of students at Marshall (97% of whom are Latino), the gesture fell flat.

None of the developer’s written materials came with translation. The presentation was entirely in English. Instead, Spanish speaking parents huddled around organizers from the Plaza 16 Coalition for translation — and expressed all the more anger at Maximus during public comment.