Support SF BayView
Donate or Subscribe to SF Bay View
Follow Us Twitter Facebook

Eviction attorney Charles Ramsey wants to be Richmond’s next mayor

June 28, 2014

by Lynda Carson

Eviction attorney Charles Tillman Ramsey is in the race to be Richmond’s next mayor. Competing candidates include Mike Parker of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), City Councilman Nat Bates, and Uche Uwahemu, CEO of Cal Bay Consulting Group LLC. Voters will choose when they go to the polls in November for the next general election.

Berkeley public housing residents protested for years but were finally evicted or threatened with eviction by Charles Ramsey until they left “voluntarily.” – Photo: Alexander Ritchie

Berkeley public housing residents protested for years but were finally evicted or threatened with eviction by Charles Ramsey until they left “voluntarily.” – Photo: Alexander Ritchie

At age 52, after being a board member for the past 21 years with the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), Charles Ramsey decided that he wants to be the next mayor of Richmond. He presently is the board president of the WCCUSD.

A Contra Costa Times article dated July 9, 2013, reports: “First elected to the school board in 1993, Ramsey was re-elected in 1997 despite pleading no contest to a 1995 charge that he solicited an undercover officer posing as a prostitute in Oakland. The incident was expunged from his record in 2001. He unsuccessfully sought a state Assembly seat in 2002.”

In addition to his activities with the WCCUSD for the past 21 years, Ramsey has his own law firm located in Oakland at 3640 Grand Ave., where he makes a living by providing eviction legal services to a number of local housing authorities and numerous so-called nonprofit housing developers.

Eviction attorney Charles Tillman Ramsey is in the race to be Richmond’s next mayor.

Ramsey also runs his political campaign from his office on Grand Avenue. According to documents, his campaign treasurer is Paula Blackwell.

For many years Ramsey has made a comfortable living by threatening low-income tenants with eviction or sanctions. Evicting the poor, elderly and disabled from their housing has become a way of life for Ramsey.

According to public records with the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA), in recent years Ramsey has provided eviction legal services for the BHA and has evicted a number of Berkeley’s low-income public housing residents as a result. His contract with the BHA began during March of 2009 and costs averaged $2,400 per month for the first two years of the contract.

Records reveal that his contract with the BHA has been amended at least two times since March 2009, extending the term through June 30, 2012, for a total not to exceed $113,000. Additionally, a July 12, 2012, status report from the BHA reveals that Ramsey was awarded another contract for eviction legal services at the BHA.

Ramsey has his own law firm where he makes a living by providing eviction legal services to a number of local housing authorities and numerous so-called nonprofit housing developers.

The BHA has recently privatized and sold its 75 public housing townhomes to out-of-state billionaires Jorge M. Perez and Stephen M. Ross of the Related Companies, and Ramsey’s eviction legal services may currently no longer be needed by the BHA. Transfer of ownership of Berkeley’s public housing units to billionaires Perez and Ross occurred as recently as Feb. 14, 2014.

Additional public records reveal that from June 2002 to July 2005, the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) paid $506,664 to the Law Office of Charles Ramsey for eviction legal services, and during this same period the OHA was paying Ramsey $200 per hour. As a result of an audit by a regional inspector general, the OHA decided to use a competitive procurement process for the eviction legal services it sought, which led to Ramsey’s hourly rate being lowered to $175 per hour when a new contract took effect in August of 2005.

For many years Ramsey has made a comfortable living by threatening low-income tenants with eviction or sanctions. Evicting the poor, elderly and disabled from their housing has become a way of life for Ramsey.

Public records with the Berkeley Housing Authority also reveal that Ramsey has served as an eviction attorney for the housing authorities in Marin County, San Francisco and Richmond.

Charles Ramsey

Charles Ramsey

Additionally, Ramsey has provided eviction legal services to so-called nonprofit housing developers that include the John Stewart Co., Affordable Housing Associates, East Bay Asian Local Development Corp., Bethel AME and numerous other so-called nonprofit housing developers in the Bay Area.

A campaign statement showing a date of receipt on July 13, 2012, reveals that when Charles Ramsey contributed $1,000 to the Obama campaign, he claimed to be a retired judge. However, I have not been able to find any documentation to back up that claim.

Ramsey has been seeking funds from local labor unions to finance his campaign to run for mayor of Richmond. Public records reveal that from July 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2013, he received $95,934 in campaign contributions to run for mayor.

In a July 30, 2013, letter from Charles Ramsey to Mike Geller of the National Electrical Contractors Association, Contra Costa Chapter, Ramsey requests an official endorsement and financial support for his mayoral race. He writes: “A contribution will make a tremendous difference when I am in the Mayor’s office fighting for apprenticeships and PLAs for construction. I am seeking a $2,500 contribution for the race. I can tell you that I will never forget the generosity if you can meet that goal.”

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule@yahoo.com.  

4 thoughts on “Eviction attorney Charles Ramsey wants to be Richmond’s next mayor

  1. Don Gosney

    Wow! This is one of the most biased political hit pieces I’ve seen. You make it sound as if he’s personally busting down the doors and throwing single mothers out onto the streets or may some old grandmother taking care of her grandbabies.

    Reading this article it comes across as if there’s a political agenda being pushed here.

    By any chance did you reach out to Mr. Ramsey to allow him the courtesy of responding to your charges or would that have gone counter to the point you’re trying to make here?

    In your op[inion, is there ever a legitimate reason for evicting someone from public housing? How about the old lady who’s being taken advantage of by her gangbanging grandson using his grandmother’s home to sell drugs or run his whores. Does this fall under the protected status that’s being suggested in the tone of this article?

    Are you suggesting that there is never a just cause for evicting someone from public housing? As long as the tenants are low income, they get a free pass to get away with anything? Run a whore house from public housing–okay by you? Sell drugs from public housing–not a problem from where you stand? Stop paying rent–let em slide for a few more months? And how are these people to be evicted when they don’t want to leave? Is the housing authority–meaning the taxpayers–supposed to absorb these problems?

    When you referenced a contribution to Obama, are you sure it was not referring to his father–recently deceased retired Judge Henry Ramsey? It also says that he’s unemployed so between these two things it sounds like an error has been made. Telling a falsehood associated with a political contribution carries a hefty penalty so why would Mr. Ramsey take such a risk? Considering that he was outspoken about his support for Mr. Obama, wouldn’t it be more plausible that a reporting error was made? Or would that go contrary to your efforts to make Mr. Ramsey out to be something that he may not be?

    And your reference to his request for assistance from an Electrician’s local union–reminding them that he shares the same values as they do–that is, the protection of rights for union workers and for state approved apprentice programs–this is supposed to be a bad thing? Maybe in San Ramon or Walnut Creek but not in Richmond.

    And why do you keep referring to these non-profits as “so called”? Are they not what they say they are? If this is true then you need to explain this and provide documented proof in your article. Simply suggesting that they are not what they seem may serve your purposes but they do a disservice to your readers. It reminds me of when Malcolm X used to refer to the “so called negro’s” without ever explaining why they were “so called”.

    I’m disappointed in the quality of this article. This makes the Bay View seem more like a blog than a news source.

    Reply
  2. Mike Cohen

    I second Mr. Gosney. Ms. Carter’s article will stand as a bad mark against any credibility and/or professional qualification she may ever hope to claim; and the worst part of her article is that, if any part of the totally unsupported negative innuendo she spews against Mr. Ramsey had any basis in truth, any such truth has been buried beneath Ms. Carter’s incompetent, basis-less, and uncreditable argument.

    Reply
  3. John Knox

    If this is journalism, it is a joke. This reporter should be fired. I completely agree with mr. Gosney that this is nothing but a very thinly disguised hit piece.

    That said, there are plenty of legitimate issues that Mr. Ramsey needs to address with respect to his candidacy, chief among them the unbelievably bad record of the school district his has led for 20 years and the legacy of bad bond deals, cronyism in bond elections etc. Rather than explore these legitimate issues related to Mr. Ramsey’s candidacy, this reporter chose to use unfair innuendo regarding his activities as a lawyer with zero basis for any accusation of professional wrongdoing. Sloppy work indeed.

    Reply
  4. Malaika H Kambon

    30 June 2014

    Gee guys:

    Mind if I call you “so-called” critics?

    It would fit in with your “so-called” research, re: “so-called” hit pieces about “so-called” mayoral candidates w/ very real, very negative, and very not so hidden agendas.

    **And by the way, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, Malcolm X referred to Afrikan people as “so-called” Negroes because negro was a one-size fits all disrespectful reference given to all people from AFRIKA & the Caribbean by some nasty, oppressive, genocidal, racist, enslaving, Euro-Americans; i.e., “so-called” Christians.

    I could go into this in-depth, but your “so-called” brain pans wouldn’t get it if you were hit over the head w/ a bat several times.

    So I will leave you to your “so-called” critiques of the morals of impoverished people from your “so-called” collective and individual high horses.

    After all statements such as the following: “Are you suggesting that there is never a just cause for evicting someone from public housing? As long as the tenants are low income, they get a free pass to get away with anything? Run a whore house from public housing–okay by you? Sell drugs from public housing–not a problem from where you stand? Stop paying rent–let em slide for a few more months? And how are these people to be evicted when they don’t want to leave? Is the housing authority–meaning the taxpayers–supposed to absorb these problems?” from Don Gosney (seconded by his quislings Knox & Cohen prove eloquently that you’re all a few fries short of a happy meal – oh, or would that be – a few anchovies shy of a fish cake?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements
San Francisco Comcast
Advertisement