Concerned that the building was about to be sold, the tenants of the Redstone Building came together in September 1999 to organize to save the Redstone/Labor Temple. This was the period of the short-lived economic boom in San Francisco's Mission district when many buildings were being sold to dotcoms and tenants evicted or rents drastically increased.

The tenants of the Redstone quickly formed the RTA - Redstone Tenants Association - whose immediate goal was to preserve the building for its non-profits, artists, and other low income tenants. With years of collective experience as organizers, social and political activists and non-profit administrators, the tenants were able to both organize internally and gain support from the community which resulted in saving their building from an immediate sale

Artists designed and hung "Save the Redstone" posters throughout the building, an attention-getting fundraiser was planned for Xmas 1999, publicity was generated, small grants obtained to hire an organizer, and support from City supervisors was gained, particularly that of Sup. Chris Daly whose campaign was run out of the Redstone and Sup. Matt Gonzalez. With all this attention, prospective buyers were discouraged from making offers on the Redstone during the peak boom period of 1999 to 2001.

In the meantime, the importance of the Redstone building to the community attracted the interest of the Mission Economic Development Association (MEDA) who secured a grant from the Mayor's Office of Community Development to do a study on the feasibility of the tenants purchasing and preserving the building as a home for community groups, arts organizations and local-serving businesses. In May of 2001 the Financial Feasibility Study was completed by consultant Nancy Conover and MEDA and the RTA was told that such a project was feasible under certain conditions, including a fair asking price by the owner, slight rent increases for tenants, and the ability to obtain loans and grants in partnership with experienced non-profit property developers. Although the RTA was able to attract the interest of two potential non-profit partners, the asking price for the building has been set too high by the owner to make the purchase feasible at this time.

The RTA is currently focused on obtaining its non-profit, tax-exempt status, making the Redstone Building/Labor Temple a local historic landmark, and continuing to generate a presence in the community and interest in preserving the building through our website, T-shirts, tabling at community events and "star-studded" benefits.

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