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Tag: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, dozens of long time Black San Francisco community residents – many whose families arrived generations ago – took over the Mayor’s Office demanding real solutions. Pastor Yul Dorn, ACCE member and Bayview resident facing eviction, was in attendance and spoke in front of 60-plus protesters crowded into Mayor Ed Lee’s office. ACCE provided a list of demands, also criticizing Ed Lee’s plan to rebuild public housing.
Now that the California Apartment Association (CAA) has blocked the implementation of renters’ protections, including rent control and just cause eviction protections, in Richmond, thousands of renters are at risk of being severely exploited with massive rent increases. Additionally, thousands more are now at risk of displacement and homelessness due to no-cause evictions.
By a 4-1 vote, the City of Richmond passed a rent control and just cause eviction law on Tuesday, July 21. A broad coalition of tenants, labor allies, homeowners and progressive community groups packed the hearing chambers as Vice Mayor Jael Myrick joined Councilmembers Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez and Gayle McLaughlin in casting the votes to pass rent control.
Last week, rather than allow Marcus Books family members to relocate after evicting them, the Sweis family stole all of the books and used sledge hammers to smash the book shelves and furniture. To the Black community, this is a repeat of history, where invaders come in time and time again to smash the symbols and evidence of a people’s greatness. This will NOT be tolerated. Will you stand with us and DEMAND the Sweises respect our history? We need to pressure the Sweises to do the decent thing.
The undisputed flagship of Black history and literature, Marcus Books, is currently fighting to stay alive in San Francisco, which might now be known as the undisputed pinnacle of wealth-hoarding and displacement. The Johnson family is planning a series of actions to fight this unjust removal, but for now readers can call Royal Cab and tell the Sweis family to sell Marcus Books back to the Johnson family.
Last week, the Richmond City Council voted in favor of a city ordinance that will increase the local minimum wage from $8 to $12.30 an hour by 2017. The increase will be phased in over three years and positions Richmond to have the highest minimum wage of any city in California. “I wish it could be more, but it showcases that Richmond has the political will to move forward,” said Mayor McLaughlin.
At its last meeting of 2013, by a vote of 4-2, the Richmond City Council moved further along on its plans to stabilize our neighborhoods by restructuring the mortgages of underwater homeowners. Under the plan, mortgages would be reduced to a reasonable level that reflects their current value, which will give underwater homeowners some equity in the home and mortgage payments they can pay.
On Nov. 7, 2013, the University of California, Berkeley, held the 17th annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture at Wheeler Hall. Each year, the lecture is geared to bring up points based on different grassroots issues that hold common interest across the nation. During the lecture, the Mario Savio Young Activist Award is given to the national winner of the competition.
The City of Richmond is working with a group called Mortgage Resolution Partners. This company looks at underwater mortgages and offers the current lenders – banks, mortgage companies – to take the property off their hands at its current lower value and then lower the mortgage payments for the family living in the house.
Tuesday night, Sept. 10, the Richmond, California, City Council held a meeting packed with hundreds of community members who rallied to defend the Richmond CARES principal reduction plan that has inspired hope nationwide and a Wall Street-led campaign of threats, litigation and a deceptive election-style effort to sway public opinion. The City Council voted 4-3 to form a Joint Powers Authority to enact local principal reduction.
About 40 Bayview Hunters Point residents, including about a dozen small children, rallied in the park at Lillian Court in the Shoreview housing complex on Thursday, Aug. 29, to demand that it be rendered usable and safe for children. The grass there is yellow and parched, broken glass could be seen by the picnic tables, and a large area of the park, where there used to be a play structure, has been fenced off for more than 10 years.
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is at the forefront of the resistance to the foreclosures and illegal taking of homes by the banks. ACCE, the Center for Popular Democracy and the Home Defenders League released a report March 12 entitled “California in Crisis: How Wells Fargo’s Foreclosure Pipeline is Damaging Local Communities.”
It’s become standard procedure for real estate companies and their eviction attorneys to “move quickly to take the homes from these homeowners, harassing and scaring them, using guerrilla tactics like threatening to get the sheriff to remove them in four hours. But if we all stay together,” Delia Aguilar, an organizer with the Bay Area Moratorium (BAM), said, “we can defeat them and keep our homes.”