The passage of this measure is a resounding voter mandate for desired change around homelessness, giving the city the resources it needs to finally address the crisis. For thousands of destitute San Franciscans, this has infused hope that they will soon have the opportunity to thrive that only a home can bring. Prop C only taxes large corporations that gross over $50 million and has a detailed plan for both its spending and results and mandates community oversight of the funding.
On Dec. 14, 30 residents of the Midtown Park Apartments in the Fillmore-Western Addition, along with dozens of community supporters, picketed the San Francisco offices of Mercy Housing to demand Mercy’s removal as its property manager. Midtown tenants also formally announced the filing of a legal writ challenging a recent ruling by the San Francisco Rent Board that Midtown does not qualify for rent control.
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.
On Tuesday, June 23, the Richmond City Council vote was 4 to 2. The vote in support of just cause eviction protections and rent control was the culmination of a yearlong effort to fight back against gentrification, greedy landlords and real estate profiteers targeting renters with huge rent increases and 30-day no cause evictions. Just cause eviction protections and rent control already exist in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and other cities in California.
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.
In the city of my birth, where people from all over the world come and make millions from the people of San Francisco, where there is the weak talk of helping artists, Blacks and families stay in this City that is becoming only habitable for “the haves,” I reach out to you for your assistance. Pack the courtroom Thursday, March 13, 1:15 p.m., Federal Building, Seventh & Mission, 17th Floor, Department 3.
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.”
Standing in front of a JPMorgan Chase bank branch on Tuesday afternoon, San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos announced he was launching an investigation into San Francisco’s potential losses from the LIBOR interest rate fraud scandal and to explore options to recoup that money as other cities and counties have recently done.
The Bayview, which was once 70 percent Black, has been increasingly fighting a high rate of foreclosures that is resulting in yet another form of gentrification. Wells Fargo Bank has been responsible for many of the foreclosures in the community. Help your neighbors by joining the Stop the Wells Fargo 27 Holiday Foreclosure and Evictions campaign.
Thanks to all who called Wells Fargo or went to City Hall on behalf of Archbishop and Marina King. Wells Fargo removed the home from the auction list on the morning of June 21, several hours before the public auction. Wells Fargo is currently reviewing the Kings' case for modification a second time. Until a real agreement can be reached, the Kings and their supporters are planning to block the auction July 20 at City Hall. Call Grace Martinez at ACCE for more information at (415) 377-6872.
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.”