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This Sunday, April 15, will mark one year since David Josiah Lawson, who was a sophomore at Humboldt State University (HSU), died after suffering multiple stab wounds at an off-campus party. Currently, no one is in custody for his death. Shelley Mack is an attorney in Arcata and is currently working with Kyndra Miller, a lawyer based in San Francisco, to assist Ms. Lawson with litigation. On April 13, Mack delivered a notice of claim to the City of Arcata in Lawson’s death.
In three days, Iris Canada turns 100. Did you expect to live this long? Did you imagine bearing witness to the Black community’s dwindling to 3 percent of the population of San Francisco? In your dreams, did you think that your building would be sold and that you would have to endure an Ellis Act eviction whose sole aim was to extricate you from your home? Iris, with a voice so soft – tell me.
Carved into the skin of San Francisco’s Black community is a desecration, a lack of recognition of the sacred. This desecration is being levied upon Iris Canada, a 99-year-old elder who has lived most of her life on Page Street – an elder who is in the fight of her life. She lived a life on Page Street long before condos, con-men and the poison cloud legacy they leave behind from places like New Hampshire – “home” of her landlord, Peter Owens.
Calls have flooded the POOR Magazine office from families and elders in desperate search for help and support to battle land thieves that utilize the Ellis Act to break laws that are in place to “protect the people” but that are overlooked or flat out ignored. As the hipster-techies invade the once family-oriented “City by the Bay,” the families and elders who contributed to the life of the Bay Area now watch helplessly as our homes are being stolen from us.
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, citing California Penal Code Section 368, we, the evicted, gentrified, policed, elderly and disabled, walked into the Hall of Justice in San Francisco to bring criminal charges of elder abuse against landlords for the perpetration of the crime of Ellis Act evictions against frail, elder, disabled and traumatized residents of San Francisco.