This anti-Prop 98 poster went up on the intersection of Valencia and 22nd, right across from the New College campus. This particular bill board is a hot spot for tampering, as its proximity to the ground makes it easily accessible.
Prior to this poster, the spot featured an ad with the Little Mermaid, who lasted only a day or so before somebody slapped a prominent handle bar mustache on her mug.
In other prop 98 news, the Chron is reporting today that it's losing in the polls. -Andy Wright
UPDATE: A group of local activists is taking responsibility for "commandeering" not just this billboard, but five others. Text of the press release after the jump.
Photo Credit: Jessica Fleischman
San Francisco billboards liberated!
Local group commandeers city billboards to convey urgent message about California Proposition 98.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SAN FRANCISCO - May 26, 2008 - On the heels of the Carnaval festival weekend, in which San Franciscans celebrated the importance of local culture and community in the Mission District, a coalition of labor, non-profit workers, students, muralists and tenants from across the city descended upon six billboards in San Francisco's Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. Within minutes the billboards were transformed, displaying a reminder to tenants to vote "No on Proposition 98" and "Yes on Proposition 99." Proposition 98 is the eminent domain reform measure on the June 3rd ballot that would eliminate rent control statewide, and Proposition 99 is an alternative measure that will reform eminent domain while saving rent control. The majority of residents of the Mission and other southeast San Francisco neighborhoods are tenants and workers whose labor makes the city run - but whose presence here is threatened by the ballot measure. If approved by California voters, Prop 98 would make it even harder for low-income people to remain in this already infamously expensive city.
The coalition targeted high-visibility billboards, as part of a statewide activist campaign to mobilize immigrants and renters for the June 3 election. New immigrants are particularly vulnerable under initiatives like Prop 98, yet they have shown strong willingness to take political action, particularly in the May Day immigrants rights marches of the last three years. These actions come as federal attacks and pressures on immigrants have been ratcheted up by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch of the Department of Homeland Security. The recent raids in the Bay Area by the I.C.E. have only clarified the need for wide-scale political action by - and on behalf of - immigrant families. Coalition members hope the billboard action will contribute to this much-needed political galvanization.
As one coalition member, Ruben Salazar, explained: "What we need now are big, bold reminders shortly before the election to turn out the vote on June 3. Prop 98 is a wolf in sheep's clothing hiding from public attention and sneaking into law during an off-season election. We decided to take over corporate billboards to loudly expose the hidden agenda of Prop 98 and to reclaim the corporate media for community use."
The billboards borrow art made available freely on the internet by artist Eric Drooker, although Drooker is not a part of the coalition.