A group of Barrio Logan residents and supporters gathered Monday evening (November 7) on the corner of Cesar E. Chavez Parkway and Logan Avenue in a last-minute effort to discourage support for Measures C and D, two proposals placed before voters on Tuesday that would pave the way for a new Chargers stadium/convention center on the edge of the community.
"These are measures of displacement," said tenant-rights activist Rafael Bautista. "The slew of development that followed Petco Park changed the landscape of downtown San Diego. A convadium would completely destroy the community here in Barrio Logan."
"We feel these measures will displace families not just in Barrio Logan, but in communities throughout this part of San Diego," agreed Enrique de la Cruz, who led the dozen or so assembled demonstrators in chants as passing motorists offered honks of support. "There are already a lot of buildings that have been bought and are now being developed. We're not saying that small business is bad, but when people are displaced at the hands of big business as property values go up, that's when we have a problem."
Despite their opposition to a downtown stadium site, the group largely expressed support for the Chargers.
"I'm a longtime Charger fan, I had season tickets at one point, I really want to support the team," Bautista continued. "But what's happening is the potential for a $1.5 billion team being given a $1.5 billion stadium, and it's not fair for the families that want to remain here."
Still, the group seemed most confident in the defeat of the Chargers-backed Measure C when voters head to the polls.
"I see a big no on C. We're hoping for a no on D as well, but it's going to be a fight," said de la Cruz. "This is a community that will fight tooth and nail to avoid being erased.
"All we want is to be able to live, to thrive in a place that's rich in culture where we call home."