The Struggle for the Flatlands: How Oakland Can Fight Gentrification

By Maria Poblet -- April 22


OAKLAND--Behind a chain link fence on 35th Ave, the man who gardens every day for other people grows his own roses, gathered around a statue of the Virgen de Guadalupe. Off 98th Ave, backyard barbeques are legendary, as is the young cousin who always wins the battles of wits and words that break out...

Read more: The Struggle for the Flatlands: How Oakland Can Fight Gentrification

Mission Tenant Victory in Attempted Ellis Act Eviction

ana_gutierrez_victory_03_27_2014We’re excited about a big win and want to share the news with you ~ tenant Ana Gutierrez who came to CJJC for help after a new landlord filed an Ellis Act will now be able to remain in her Mission district apartment for two more years! Ana has advice for others fighting to remain in their homes: “Keep fighting.

Read more: Mission Tenant Victory in Attempted Ellis Act Eviction

Gentrification Report Launch

Gentrification Typology
What: Release and Celebration of Development without Displacement Report
When: Monday, April 7th, 5:30pm
Where: Fruitvale Senior Center, 3301 E.12th street, suite 201, at Fruitvale BART

"Development Without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification"-buy your report online at

Use the report as a tool to stop gentrification in your neighborhood!
•    Learn which neighborhoods in the Bay Area are vulnerable or at...

Read more: Gentrification Report Launch

Letter to Supporters of Tenant Justice


Congratulations to us ALL:  As of August 1, DEBT SERVICE is no more. 


The second reading to END DEBT SERVICE pass-through was voted unanimously!

Now begins the final actions to complete our pending victory on CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS . . . 
Tues evening, Apr 22the Tenant Justice Campaign (TJC) will return to Oakland City Hall to assure that the Council keeps its...

Read more: Letter to Supporters of Tenant Justice

Locked Out and Displaced: Tenant Fights Back

Case underscores the ongoing surge of harassment and evictions

flooding Mission District

When: Friday, March 12, 11AM
What: Press conference denouncing the illegal eviction lock out of immigrant tenant
Where:  3374 24th St., outside a four-unit building where he rented a room
Who: Locked out tenant, Supervisor David Campos, and Causa Justa :: Just Cause, local tenant’s rights and immigrants rights organization...

Read more: Locked Out and Displaced: Tenant Fights Back

Tenant Justice Campaign: Next Moves



Tuesday March 11, the the Oakland City Council Community and Economic Development Committee decided to forward rent control recommendations to the City Council, but failed to make a specific recommendation to the council, so we are still pushing to make sure that the Tenant Justice Campaign recommendations are the ones approved. (click here for a list...

Read more: Tenant Justice Campaign: Next Moves

Urgent Petition :: Strengthen Tenant Protections

Do something about Gentrification // Strengthen Tenant Protections

Please sign this petition to the Oakland City Council today. Tell them to take immediate action to strengthen protections for tenants.

There are policies facing them right now — and more that we plan on introducing in the coming months — that can put the brakes on gentrification. Click here to...

Read more: Urgent Petition :: Strengthen Tenant Protections

Tenant Justice Campaign Proposals & Petition

The Oakland Rent Board put forth ‘Debt Service’ and ‘Capital Improvement’ Rent Adjustment Program regulation amendments for approval by the City of Oakland. The Tenant Justice Campaign (TJC) evaluated the proposals and has come up with developed positions to better protect tenants.  Click here to read them.

oaklandcitycouncilmeetingLast week, Feb. 25, we showed up in force at the  Oakland City...

Read more: Tenant Justice Campaign Proposals & Petition

Is Your Rent Too High?

Oakland Tenants and Friends who Support Fairness and Justice:

The Tenant Justice Campaign (TJC) is a broad alliance of individuals and pro-tenant organizations.  In response to the ‘Debt Service’ and ‘Capital Improvement’ Rent Adjustment Program regulation amendments that the Oakland Rent Board has put forth for Oakland City Council approval, Causa Justa Just Cause, Oakland Tenants Union, East Bay Community Law...

Read more: Is Your Rent Too High?

Renter's Day of Action / Dia de protesta de Inquilinos


Renters Day of Action - 

 / ¡Dia de protesta de Inquilinos!
Renters' Day of Action: March & Rally
Día de protesta de Inquilinos: Movilización  y Manifestación
Sacramento, CA
February 18, 2014 at 9:30 am - 18 de Febrero del 2014 a las 9:30 a.m.

WHEN: February 18th, at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Meet at 11th and L Streets in Sacramento
WHAT: March and rally to reform the Ellis...

Read more: Renter's Day of Action / Dia de protesta de Inquilinos

Gentrification and The Battle for the Heart of San Francisco | Maria Poblet

San Francisco’s gentrification has reached a ridiculous new extreme, making it the most expensive city in the country,[i] outstripping even Manhattan, the home of Wall Street and its corporate tycoons.

The affordability crisis is so extreme that many of those who rode into the Mission District on the first wave of gentrification, during the dotcom boom in the 90s, are now crying foul. Even they can’t afford the 2-bedroom apartment on Valencia Street renting for $11,500/month.[ii] They find themselves priced out of their lofts and community networks, by a whole new wave of highly paid tech workers who ride in on the Google bus every evening, driving rents and home prices to dizzying new heights.

If a well-paid tech worker can’t stay in the Mission, what are the prospects for someone like Jessica, a student whose mother works as a janitor? Born living at 24th and Harrison, she came to Causa Justa :: Just Cause to find our what her family could do to keep their home. They battled valiantly, but were ultimately pushed out of their home of 23 years by an investor who forced them to accept a buy out, by threatening to Ellis Act the entire 9-unit building.

The Ellis Act, passed by the real estate lobby in 1986 allows landlords to remove rent-controlled units from the rental market, and turn them into condominiums for sale. It’s a real estate speculator’s dream, and a long-term tenant’s nightmare. Particularly in gentrifying neighborhoods, where real estate prices spike and there’s a profit motive to kick out long-term tenants.[iii]

Jessica’s working class Latino family is deeply committed to staying in San Francisco. The city is more than just their home. It’s home to their extended family of aunties, godfathers, cousins and in-laws. It’s where they have worked in service-sector jobs since the 80s, when so many Central American immigrants arrived to the Sanctuary City[iv], infusing local politics with internationalist ethics. It’s the web of community networks, public schools, and neighorhood-based social services that supports kids as they grow up, and adults as they become elders. It’s that way-beyond-nuclear type of family we call “community.”

Community is that palpable sense of connectedness you feel at the Palestinian-owned corner store on Mission Street. At the Spanish-only Thai grocer on 16th street, where decades-long neighbors run into each, buying freshly fried plantain chips made by a Honduran neighbor, hard-to-find Vietnamese hot sauce, or prickly delicious Rambutan fruit, while catchy Arab pop and Northern Mexican Rancheras blare onto the street. Community is the lunch counter that has served southern Barbeque to SRO residents ever since the days that same building was a tenement, housing African-American migrants who came here from the South to build the naval shipyard in Hunter’s Point.

Their descendants are now scattered as far as Antioch and Sacramento, over-represented in homeless shelters, absent from the streets of the Fillmore, SF’s former center of Black culture, now decorated with painfully ironic “Jazz Legacy” street signs for tourists.[v] Community is the...

Read more: Gentrification and The Battle for the Heart of San Francisco | Maria Poblet

Don't Push Us Out!

First Public Action of La Plaza 16 Coalición/ The Plaza 16 Coalition to oppose the proposed development project at Plaza.

16th Street Plaza Anti-Displacement Rally

When: Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014

Where: 16th & Mission streets at BART Plaza

Time: 1pm-3pm

Where: 16th St. BART Plaza Station, SF

Join us Saturday, Feb. 1, to show wide and public opposition for the proposed development near the 16th St. Plaza in San Francisco’s Mission District.

This action is to show wide and public opposition for the proposed development of the 16th St. Plaza. The current proposal seeks to build two 10 story towers in the plaza that would house 350 units of market rate housing condo-apartments and add a 180+ parking lot to the neighborhood.

Given the particular demographics of the 16th and Mission Plaza, SRO Tenants, Long-Term Rent Controlled Tenants, Latino Families, Folks who socialize in the Plaza, 350 units of market rate condo housing would drastically change the ability for these communities to continue to live and thrive in this neighborhood.

Additionally, the development of market rate housing should not be the priority for housing development in the Mission (or SF in general) given that the high need for deeply affordable housing in our neighborhood has not been met.

In fact, it has been made greater by the increase in market rate housing in the Mission along with the increase in Ellis Act and other evictions that target rent controlled housing stock. Market rate housing development should stop until the need for deeply affordable housing has been met fully.  

We oppose this project and will continue to oppose it until it reflects both the needs and the voices of the existing residents of the neighborhood.
Please RSVP on Facebook and let us know you will be there and down with us!



Tenant Protection Victories in SF

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Tenant Protection Victories

Thanks to the courageous and powerful actions taken by tenants in SF in 2013, the Board of Supervisors felt the pressure to pass a number of tenants rights policies that will protect working class tenants right to stay in SF and are clear attacks on speculation and displacement. Jan 6th legislation was approved by the SF Board of Supes that will make current anti-harassment tenant protections stronger and easier to enforce. Click here to read about the history of its passage and when it passed the FIRST vote at the SF Board of Supervisors meeting.

Late last year Restrictions on Residential demolition, merger or conversion was approved which will make it harder for a landlord or a speculator to merge or demolish units (which converts multi-unit properties into single families homes which removes their rent control status) by aligning the planning commission requirements for permitting with San Francisco’s stated priority of protecting all types of rent controlled housing. The Ellis Act Displacee Preference in Affordable Housing was also passed which will prioritize Seniors and People w/ Disabilities displaced by the Ellis Act in SF’s affordable housing lists.

And… in Oakland we’re working on tenant justice issues as well, including plans on getting a tenant right’s policy on the ballot and finishing up a Development Without Displacement report. We’ll have more information about it for you soon.


Las victorias en la protección de los inquilinos

Gracias a las acciones valientes y poderosas tomadas por los inquilinos en SF en el 2013, la Junta de Supervisores se sintió presionada para pasar una serie de normas sobre los derechos de los inquilinos que protegerán el derecho de los inquilinos de clase obrera a permanecer en SF y son ataques obvios sobre la especulación y el desplazamiento. La legislación de enero 6 fue aprobada por la Junta de Supervisores de SF que hará las protecciones actuales contra el acoso de los inquilinos mucho más fuertes y más fáciles de hacer cumplir.  Presione aquí para leer acerca de la historia de su aprobación y cuándo pasó el PRIMER voto en la reunión de la Junta de Supervisores de SF.

A fines del año pasado, las restricciones en cuanto a la demolición, la combinación o la conversión residenciales fueron aprobadas, lo que le hará más difícil a un propietario o especulador fundir o demoler unidades (que convierte propiedades con unidades múltiples en casas de una sola familia, y les quita su estatus de control de alquiler) al alinear los requisitos de la comisión de planificación para dar estos permisos con la prioridad declarada de San Francisco de proteger todo tipo de viviendas de alquiler controlado.

La Ley Ellis para el derecho de preferencia en la vivienda asequible a los desplazados (“Ellis Act Displacee Preference in Affordable Housing”) también fue aprobada, lo que le dará  prioridad a las personas mayores y las personas con discapacidades que han sido desplazadas bajo la Ley Ellis en las listas de vivienda asequible de SF.


Read more: Tenant Protection Victories in SF

Tackling Foreclosure and Improving Health through Local Partnerships, Community Organizing, and Policy Change

By Katherine Schaff, Alameda County Public Health Department; Robbie Clark, Causa Justa::Just Cause; Alexandra Desautels, Alameda County Public Health Department; Tammy Lee, Alameda County Public Health Department; Tram Nguyen, Alameda County Public Health Department; and Muntu Davis, Alameda County Public Health Department

The Alameda County (CA) Public Health Department (ACPHD) strives to ensure the optimal health and well-being of all people. However, staggering inequities in health continue along lines of place, race, and class.1

As an example, by 2006, subprime loans generated one trillion dollars for the banking industry, while people of color experienced a loss in wealth of an estimated $164 to $213 billion from 2000 to 2008—the greatest loss of wealth to communities of color in modern U.S. history.13 This massive redistribution of wealth portends poorer health for current and future generations.

ACPHD built partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) to address local housing and foreclosure policies as one strategy to achieve health equity. This article exemplifies how local health departments (LHDs) and CBOs and residents can influence and draw attention to larger issues that generate health inequities.

Coming Together to Rebuild Neighborhoods, Restore Health 

Given the disproportionate impact subprime loans and the foreclosure crisis had in African-American and Latino communities,2,3,4 Causa Justa::Just Cause (CJJC), a multi-racial grassroots organization working to achieve justice for low-income San Francisco and Oakland residents, began holding Tenant Rights Clinics to fight illegal evictions and utility shutoffs. ACPHD recognized utility shutoffs would directly affect health and partnered with CJJC on the issue.

From this initial collaboration, CJJC and ACPHD released Rebuilding Neighborhoods, Restoring Health: A Report on the Impact of Foreclosures on Public Health. Combining primary data collection and stories from community members, the report exposed both individual and community-level health impacts of foreclosure and amplified the voices of residents negatively impacted by foreclosures.5,6

Ongoing Partnering for Success
CJJC and ACPHD sent the report to key allies and policymakers at the local, county, state, and federal levels and coordinated events to draw media attention to the impact foreclosure has on health. The report included 11 policy recommendations that helped guide continued joint work. At the same time, ACPHD launched its “Place Matters” initiative, building staff capacity and infrastructure to address policy.7 CJJC and ACPHD stayed connected through the Place Matters Housing and Economics Workgroups even when there was not funding for a specific collaborative project.

This partnership led to several significant outcomes:

Local and State Policy on Utility Shutoffs
Rentals account for a substantial number of properties facing foreclosure.8

Because landlords and banks stopped making water payments on foreclosed properties, tenants faced water shutoffs. CJJC organized advocacy efforts and ACPHD provided testimony and letters to policymakers, helping enact a local resolution to prevent water shutoffs. CJJC used the report to support organizing at the state level, helping pass SB 1035 in 2010, which supported an end to utility shutoffs by allowing utility companies to place liens on properties for delinquent bills, holding landlords and banks accountable.9

Vacant Property Registration

The Place Matters Housing Workgroup,

Read more: Tackling Foreclosure and Improving Health through Local Partnerships, Community Organizing, and...