On Thursday, December 7, 2017, in addition to dozens more community leaders and residents who want to Save PQ Village, our Organizational Director Moe Abugan and former Executive Director Dr. Amanda Solomon Amorao spoke at the San Diego Planning Commission’s hearing to oppose the Pacific Village redevelopment proposal.
We are sad to report back that, in spite of 200+ attendees showing up and advocating for Save PQ Village, San Diego’s Planning Commission voted in favor of demolishing Penasquitos (PQ) Village in order to build “moderate income homes.” This proposed project will destroy the existing, longstanding homes of poor people, majority of whom are Filipino and disabled elders, whose lives are just as valuable as anyone else’s.
When we consider the role of gentrification and resistance in Asian American and Filipino American history, we often remember and discuss “The Fall of the I-Hotel” (1983). Below is a quick synopsis of what the documentary addresses:
After the Manongs labored to build America, their San Francisco Manilatown community is wiped out by urban renewal, and 50 old-timers are forcibly evicted from the International Hotel by 300 cops in the dead of night. The Fall of the I-Hotel documents destruction of the last block of Manilatown in Kearney Street.
While there are plenty of nuances and differences between the Manongs’ forced evictions in the 1970s and what is happening right now for Save PQ Village, there is an overarching theme: forcibly pushing poor people and people of color out of their homes to make way for “urban renewal” is deemed and treated as socially acceptable, appropriate, and right.
We now live in a time where information is shared rapidly and freely, to the point of overconsumption. We urge you, don’t let this issue slip past you.
We still have time to Save PQ Village, a historically low-income/Section 8-friendly community north of the 8, and prevent the displacement of Filipino elders and many others.
Stay posted for mobilization efforts to make sure San Diego City Council votes NO on the Pacific Village redevelopment proposal in January 2018.
Let’s continue to engage in dialogue, especially with our city’s decision makers and especially in the coming weeks, and do what we can to Save PQ Village.