I met Rachel Brahinsky a long time ago. She was a young reporter for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and I was a source. When I was with Young Workers United, I brought her this story about Governor Schwarzenegger's attempt to gut lunch break regulations in 2005.
Eventually she went to grad school and we stayed friends. Most people think of geographers as being solely interested in maps, but apparently what they do can be far more interesting.
Rachel wrote about Bayview and Hunter’s Point and the decades of struggle that led up to Lennar’s current undertaking to redevelop the old Navy shipyard. I knew her analysis of urban politics in San Francisco was more complicated than a lot of the popular narrative.
Talking to her gave me hope, actually. We may not be aware of the stories, but everywhere we walk in San Francisco, there are buildings and streets that exist and don’t exist because of decades of struggle. The underdogs certainly didn’t win, but they the march of capitalist progress didn’t always get what they wanted either.