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Update from 16th and Mission

2500-block-of-mission-street-circa-1958rotated Marnette Federis and I have been immersing ourselves in two heavily Latino neighborhoods for the past five weeks: Fruitvale in Oakland and the Mission District in San Francisco. On Monday, we met with Phil Lesser, spokesman for the Mission Merchants Association, who also works for the Mission Housing Development Corporation. He has deep roots in the Mission – his parents started a glass business in the Mission in the first half of the 20th century, when the area was predominantly Irish. As the 1958 photo to the right shows, Lesser says the Mission District has changed tremendously in the last half century. The disruption of BART construction and the rise of malls and multiplexes led to the district’s eventual decline. –Andrea V. Brambila

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