Honoring Eric Quezada’s Love for San Francisco’s Mission District

We take a moment to remember the work of a remarkable educator and organizer who fought gentrification alongside immigrant and low wage workers.

By Hatty Lee Oct 04, 2011

It’s been a little more than a month since housing activist Eric Quezada lost his battle with cancer. To family, friends and many members of the city’s Mission District, a historic Latino community, the decades Quezada spent as a community organizer fighting unjust evictions and skyrocketing rents were a reminder that any fight for justice must be grounded in the spirit of love.

Quezada dedicated his life to fighting gentrification and low wages. A recent memorial was held in San Francisco to honor Quezada’s life and work. For decades, Quezada worked with the immigrants and working people of the Mission district His accomplishments are stellar in their own right: he was executive director of Dolores Street Community Services , the second vice chair of the Democratic County Central Committee, and program director for the Mission Housing Development Corporation. Quezada also worked with the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition and the Mission Economic Development Agency.  

"I come from revolutionary politics," Quezada remarked in a 2010 interview with Poor Magazine during his run for city supervisor, noting that he came into radical politics at an early age and was deeply aligned with the struggles of working class people. "We’re trying to slow down gentrification and get more affordable housing."

Quezada was well-loved and much respected by many in the community. As friend and ally Victor Valdiviezo remarked to San Francisco Public Press, Eric was "someone who constantly learned and evolved from his experiences and who struggle din honesty for the entire community. Those type of folks are very rare indeed."

In the video that’s above from 2010, Quezada makes his case for city supervisor by detailing his long struggle for equity in the Mission District. Quezada passed away on August 24, 2011 after a seven-year struggle with cancer. 

Below are some photos of Eric Quezada in the community. 

Eric Quezada speaks to "Save Mission Housing" press conference, March 21, 2005 (Photo: Creative Commons/janinsanfran)

(Photo: Creative Commons/sashax)

(Photo: Creative Commons/sashax)

(Photo: Creative Commons/sashax)