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On October 18, Eviction Free San Francisco and community advocates marched to the home of Mayor Ed Lee in Glenn Park, and demanded that he intervene in the eviction crisis in San Francisco. As long-term tenants, communities of color, seniors and disabled people are displaced at a rapid rate, new luxury condominiums pop up on every corner, making the city even less affordable and motivating speculators to continue to evict for a profit.
The demonstration follows more than a year’s worth of protests by Eviction Free San Francisco, primarily targeting speculators and landlords responsible for evicting tenants for a profit. Says Tom Rapp, an Eviction Free San Francisco organizer, "The Mayor has publicly committed to protecting those who are being displaced and making San Francisco more affordable, but continues to sell the city to real estate developers and speculators."
Numerous tenants currently facing eviction spoke out, sharing their stories of eviction and disgrace at the Mayor for not intervening in an effective way. Tenants demanded that instead of continuing to privilege tech and real estate at the expense of tenants, that Mayor Ed Lee steps up and honors the renters that make up the majority of the city. Tenants demanded Tenants' Tuesday instead of Tech Tuesday. Claudia Tirado, a 3rd grade teacher currently being evicted by Google's head of e-Discovery, also demanded Teachers' Tuesday.
Read More with Photos | Eviction Free San Francisco
A petition started by a student at UC Santa Cruz is calling for Chancellor Blumenthal to take the necessary steps to provide adequate housing and transportation on the campus. The petition also calls out the university's plans for expansion, stating, "we also believe that building into Upper Campus is NOT an adequate solution to this problem and will only add to the over-enrollment issue."
A petition has been circulated and community members are planning to attend the October 14 Watsonville City Council meeting to show their disdain for the approval of a new McDonald's restaurant in the historic downtown area of the city. "We can stop this from happening. Our children deserve better. Watsonville has moved forward, a McDonald's would be a huge step back," the petition states.
The Watsonville City Council voted on September 23 to approve the construction of the McDonald's, as well as the rezoning of the parcel to allow the new restaurant to operate a drive-through window 24-hours a day. Watsonville already has two McDonald's restaurants, and the area has struggled with higher than average obesity rates among its youth.
Organizers are encouraging people to bring posters, handouts, fact sheets, and whatever else will help convince council members that another McDonald's restaurant will in no way benefit the residents of Watsonville.
Tuesday, October 14: Watsonville City Council Meeting: No to McDonald's in Downtown Watsonville
Sign the Petition: No to McDonald's in Downtown Watsonville
Claudia Tirado, a third grade teacher and tenant being evicted by Google's head of eDiscovery, Jack Halprin, queered her fight to remain in her home at the Folsom Street Fair on September 21. With other activists from Eviction Free San Francisco, Tirado handed out condoms for "eviction protection" at the annual kink and sex-positive SoMa fair in front of the Powerhouse bar. Halprin is active in the Powerhouse and leather community, and was part of the Powerhouse contingent during the 2014 Pride Parade. Eviction Free SF reported that many fair attendees agreed that housing is a queer issue and that it is unconscionable for Halprin to evict residents so that he can have a private mansion just three blocks from the Google bus stop at 18th and Dolores.
Halprin bought the 7-unit 812 Guerrero in 2012, and then illegally Owner-Move-In evicted one tenant, Susan, only days after her sister passed away. She filed a lawsuit against him, and won. In retaliation, he then proceeded to issue Ellis Act eviction notices to the other tenants in four other units in the building, including the unit where Claudia and her three-year-old son Valentino reside. Eviction Free SF has been demanding that Google pressure Halprin to rescind the eviction, utilizing tactics from bus blockades to demonstrations in Mountain View.
Read More |
Eviction Free San Francisco
After a lively debate, Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) voted to endorse a "mellow" but visible presence on the corner of Laurel and Center Streets in front of the Santa Cruz Police Department parking lot. Since 2013, HUFF has received complaints about officer Barnett of the SCPD targeting homeless residents for minor offenses, and the organization pressed the department to release the citations he has issued.
A Save Paula's Cottage supporter writes:
"Here we rally to save one person (and her daughter) in one granny unit. Perhaps if we can help this one person, that will start the ball rolling to save others. Paula, the popular teacher, mom, and PTA president has lived in the cottage on her parents' property for 22 years without difficulty. Now, thanks to the City's UCSC backed eviction program, she has received notice to be out on September 1st or face massive fines. Paula has spoken before City Council and has actually generated a lot of sympathy from public officials, so we may have a chance to save her home."
"Rents in Santa Cruz have been high since the late '90s. But now, thanks to a City program to red-tag and evict residents of "accessory dwelling units" (granny units) that do not meet every detail of the City's overly complicated building code, rents have reached a new level of ridiculousness. The City is doing this as part of a deal with UCSC. UCSC currently charges $1671 per month for HALF a shared dorm room plus food. No, that is not a typo. But it is one of the reasons students are graduating $40,000 in debt (or more!) with no job prospects."
Supporters will be gathering at City Hall on Tuesday, September 9 at 5pm to appeal to the Santa Cruz City Council to spare Paula's home and halt Santa Cruz's destructive rental inspection policies before anyone else is lost to the housing market.
Read More | Paula Gregoire: Save Paula's Cottage
On August 12, Eviction Free San Francisco occupied the offices of Vanguard Properties — the largest real estate company in the Mission. Not only is Vanguard directly driving up the costs of rents in the Mission and throughout San Francisco, but their co-founder, Michael Harrison, is Ellis Act evicting four units at 151 Duboce, home of Benito Santiago and other residents. Benito, 64, is disabled, Filipino, a teacher with the Unified School District, born and raised in SF, an artist, and has lived at his home for 37 years. He has nowhere else to go should the eviction go through. Speculator Harrison has Ellis Act evicted 9 units in the past, all through his alias Pineapple Boy LLC. Members of Eviction Free SF entered Vanguard at 21st and Mission, and before being harassed and physically dragged out, demanded that the eviction at 151 Duboce stop immediately.
Read More |
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project's page on Michael Harrison
At its board meeting on June 30, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Santa Cruz County adopted a statement of principle in support of a proposed moratorium on camping ban laws and ordinances within the City and County of Santa Cruz. Discussion of the statement was preceded by testimony from several local homeless persons and homeless advocates. Proponents argued that criminalizing homelessness, and particularly the essential right to sleep, is a failed policy and one that must be revisited if the community is ever to move forward and create truly positive outcomes for our resident homeless community.
It was further the position of proponents that a one year moratorium on the enforcement of camping ban laws and ordinances between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. would allow the Santa Cruz City Council and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors to conduct a fiscal review of the cost savings of the proposed moratorium as well as provide an opportunity to assess the impact of such a moratorium on both the homeless community and the community at large. It is the intention of the Board that the statement be read publicly before both the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz City Council at their next meetings.
In addition to supporting a moratorium on the camping ban, the Santa Cruz ACLU has made a number of recent public statements in what they call a new era of activism for the chapter. In July, the ACLU issued a resolution in support of the Santa Cruz Eleven
, as well as raising objections to the Cowell Beach curfew
and the acquisition of license plate readers
by the Santa Cruz Police Department.
Read More | ACLU Santa Cruz Brings Statement of Principle to Board of Supervisors | Speak-Out Leads to Historic Shift in Local ACLU Avoidance of Homeless Civil Rights Issues | Homeless Take ACLU Sleeping Ban Suspension Resolution to City Council | Santa Cruz ACLU
Seniors, union workers and community supporters stopped tech company buses on August 1 at 24th and Valencia Streets to protest the epidemic of evictions caused by the City of San Francisco, which has allowed tech buses to bring thousands of Silicon Valley workers to the City, pushing up prices and evictions.
After blocking the buses, the protesters spoke about the growing eviction tide and what it means to them and the city. A tech worker from Apple was interviewed.
Photos with Links to Video
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Tech Bus Suit Filed Against San Francisco, City Leaders, Muni, Google, Apple, & Genentech |
Impact of Tech Industry Protested with Apple, Google, & Yahoo Bus Blockades and Home Demo |
Anti-Gentrification Bus Blockades Spread to Both Sides of the Bay
On July 19, the Raging Grannies passed out flyers in front of the Palo Alto Whole Foods store, telling customers why they should boycott Eden Foods, a company that is suing the Obama administration for exemptions to the Affordable Care Act. Eden Foods owner Michael Potter wants to stop covering birth control of all kinds, including pregnancy counseling, for his employees. The Grannies sang their message as well, calling out Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who has also publicly campaigned against the Affordable Care Act.
In solidarity with Brazilians protesting the FIFA Would Cup, on June 29 a group of 12 queer radicals blockaded the Google FIFA Float at the San Francisco Pride Parade. "We couldn't pass up the opportunity to connect issues of gentrification and evictions in the Bay Area with the violent displacement of Brazilians who live in the Favelas. The Google/FIFA float was a perfect target for direct action to raise awareness about these issues!"
The World Cup has evicted over 150,000 working class and poor people from their communities, with some being killed in the process. El Sindicato dos Metroviários de São Paulo (or Subway Workers Union of Sao Paulo) was violently attacked by police when they went on strike against the World Cup and for better wages and benefits.
A solidarity demonstration is planned for the Subway Workers on Thursday, July 3
at 4pm at the Brazilian Counsulate in San Francisco.
Protest At San Francisco Brazilian Consulate: Stop Repression And Union Busting
Following the release in May of the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury report on jail medical care and conditions, one juror reported he was “shocked” at the lax oversight and poor communication between jail staff and medical personnel that led to five deaths in the facility during the past 11 months. While the "normal" mortality rate is around 125 per 100,000 inmates, Santa Cruz County's rate was 10 times that number during that period.
, "The movement to create healthy communities begins with appreciation. We want to create a day where we not only express gratitude to the hardworking people who put food on our plates, but also educate the community about the connections between food, climate change, and health. Farmworker Appreciation Day will be held on Sunday, June 15
, (Father’s Day) at Closter Park in Salinas, from 11 - 3pm."
On Saturday, May 24, people all around the world united, including in Santa Cruz, California, to March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals. Marches occurred on six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities. In the USA, demonstrations were held in 47 states.