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Twenty years ago, the city of San Francisco moved thousands of its homeless and low-income residents into former military housing on Treasure Island, a small artificial land mass whose 55 years as a Navy base left it covered in toxic radiation. Today, construction on the island has it on track to becoming a bustling, upscale extension of the city. The problem is, some of those residents from 20 years ago are still there. So are thousands of others who have moved in since. So is the radiation.
It was Saturday, June 30. We were gathered in the courtyard of Midtown Garden Apartments. Bobby Webb carefully removed his sax from the black bag and took the stage. It didn’t take long for us to realize we were in the presence of a master virtuoso, immediately demonstrating his versatility. In retrospect, Bobbie (Spider) Webb may have been playing his own epitaph on that Saturday at the end of June. Less than three months later, Bobbie Webb left the world stage he had graced so brilliantly.
Rent control and just cause eviction protections are the only fair and humane ways to slow down greedy landlords and profiteering realtors and developers from gouging renters with never ending rent increases and unjust evictions, displacing renters from their communities and adding to the already dire affordable housing crisis in California. During late April of 2018, the campaign to repeal Costa-Hawkins submitted over 565,000 signatures to place the Affordable Housing Act on the November 2018 ballot, which, if passed, would repeal the draconian Costa-Hawkins Act.
Renter protections will be on the November ballot in six cities in the Bay Area. No matter how hard the landlords and the California Apartment Association try to stop the renters movement, tenant advocates across the Bay Area are urging renters to vote on strong renter protections in Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Burlingame, San Mateo and Mountain View. They urge people to vote “no” against any weak proposals placed on the ballot by the city councils in Alameda and Mountain View.
On Sept. 13, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and Councilmembers Nat Bates and Vinay Pimplé blocked a proposed 45-day “urgency” moratorium on rent increases and no-cause evictions. Before Mayor Tom Butt voted “no” to block the moratorium, he failed to disclose to the residents at the Sept. 13 City Council meeting that he has been accepting political contributions from the California Apartment Association, an organization representing the interests of landlords, not tenants.
I’m writing to express what I believe to be fraud by The John Stewart Co., which manages the Martin Luther King Marcus Garvey Square cooperative apartments where I lived for 26 years. I was evicted for having a care provider in my home. To demand a thorough investigation of the fraud at King-Garvey, I’m asking all who read this to call HUD Operations Director Angela M. Corcoran: (415) 489-6400.