“Powerful beyond words” is how Rosario Cervantes described the experience of witnessing San Francisco teacher, Nancy Obregon speaking truth boldly to Maximus representatives, with each phrase enthusiastically echoed by some 350+ community voices in the room.
"I am a teacher. Born and raised in San Francisco. I’ve been teaching for 21 years. I’ve affected over a...
From top left to right: Myriam at 2013 CJJC holiday celebration; Counseling a tenant; inspiring another tenant; talking with staff member Jaron Browne. Photos CJJC archives.
Myriam Begins New Adventure
Myriam Zamora is fond of pulling on her revolutionary Nicaraguan roots to offer inspiration and support, often reciting sayings and poems in Spanish to worried tenants who come in to...
Thousands of people joined in the Reclaim MLK march in Oakland on January 19, beginning at the Fruitvale BART station. The action, which marked the birthday of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., had special meaning as a wave of actions calling for racial justice and the end of police initiated targeting and murders grew. Our first...
Our longtime sister organization, People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) has merged into Causa Justa. As of January 1, 2015 Causa Justa :: Just Cause now includes the staff, members, campaigns, and amazing history and legacy of POWER as we have become one, more POWERful organization. With the merger, POWER staff have joined us - as you can see from...
After a national lawsuit, dozens of direct actions, online petitions, op-eds and ceaseless pressure we are pleased to report that Right to the City alliance (RTTC) Homes For All campaign, of which we are a part, finally won funding to the National Housing Trust Fund!
Mel Watt, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), announced his directive last...
Oakland protest after Ferguson grand jury announcement, Nov. 24. Photo: Jaron Browne
Last week the St. Louis County grand jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson, the cop who shot and killed 18-year-old, unarmed Michael Brown on a hot summer day and left him in the street for four hours in Ferguson, Missouri
As an organization based in the...
Big Money, distortions damage Prop G.
Despite a powerful, coordinated, grassroots campaign, Proposition G, the Anti-Speculation Tax, went down at the polls in initial results. The Real Estate lobby outspent the tenant side by 12-to-1, flooding voters' mailboxes with a dozen mailings, twisting and contorting the issue. From the beginning, it was an uphill battle, working to...
¡Español sigue!There could be no better tribute to the late great housing rights fighter Ted Gullicksen then this past Tuesday’s tenant right’s victory dedicated to the fight against local and global displacement.
Tuesday, October 21, CJJC members led the way, winning a victory not just for Black and Latin@ families, but for the renter majority in Oakland.
Our Tenant Protection Ordinance...
Causa Justa :: Just Cause Slate Card
How to Vote on Tuesday, November 4! ¡Español sique!
State Ballot Initiatives
Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014
Position: Yes, Yes, Yes!
Proposition 47 is a step towards addressing the unjust mass incarceration of poor communities and people of color. This proposition reduces penalties from felonies to...
This past Tuesday the Community and Economic Development Committee heard testimony from courageous tenants, Just Cause leaders, and allies who all spoke out in support of the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) in Oakland. Along with all the supporters were a lot of landlords and 2 major landlord groups – the East Bay Rental Housing Association and the Jobs and Housing Coalition, who came out...
Allies and Supporters -
Thousands of Oakland's tenants are being intimidated by their landlords, harassed, or neglected in the landlords attempts to push them out. We have worked with Council member Dan Kalb to draft an ordinance that will stop this behavior and fine landlords that intimidate or threaten tenants, and we need your support to get the council to pass it.
The Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) will define harassment to include 16 different methods that we have seen landlords use to push tenants out of their homes in Oakland. In its definition of harassment it names: neglect to make basic repairs, physical and verbal threats, the threat of calling ICE, and a number of other actions that will be punishable with administrative and civil penalties. It gives tenants the ability to both make complaints directly to the city and take legal action against landlords who violate the rights that all tenants have to healthy housing.
Tell Your Story
Let's show the media and City government just how serious the situation is in Oakland. Post your story about harassment or eviction on our blog today. Each entry will be sent directly to the City Councilmembers and the press to build the case for this new law. We wont use your name unless you include it. Don't have a personal experience with harassment? Check out the BLOG to see stories others are posting.
Make this Quick Phone Call Tuesday, October 7th
Dear Members, Friends and Allies,
This past Tuesday the Community and Economic Development Committee heard testimony from courageous tenants, Causa Justa / Just Cause leaders, and allies who all spoke out in support of the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) in Oakland. Along with all the supporters were a lot of landlords and two major landlord groups – the East Bay Rental Housing Association and the Jobs and Housing Coalition, who came out in opposition to the TPO. The council delayed the debate on the TPO and continued it to Tuesday, October 14th for the debate and vote.
Today is a major CALL-IN day to tell the City Council loud and clear that we need them to pass the TPO and not to water it down.
Please pick up the phone and call the following councilmembers (in this order if you dont have much time) :
Desley Brooks (District...
"The rental shortage has made the most vulnerable tenants susceptible to eviction. “So many of our clients are people of color, people with disabilities, people who have suffered extreme health crises or a long-term chronic illness,” said Christine Donahoe, a staff attorney with Legal Action of Wisconsin. "
By SHAILA DEWAN
MILWAUKEE — Just after 7 a.m., sheriff’s deputies knocked on the door of the duplex apartment, holding a fluorescent orange eviction notice. The process was quick and efficient. A moving crew began to carry out the family’s possessions and stack them neatly at the curb. Celeste Wilson, the tenant, appeared on the front step in pajama pants.
Ms. Wilson, 36, explained that the family had missed a month of rent when her husband fell ill, so the landlady filed for eviction. Knowing they would be thrown out, the Wilsons had already found a new home, paying a double security deposit and an extra $300 because of the open eviction case.
“It’s the stability I worry about,” Ms. Wilson said, watching her five children trickle out into the yard that had been their playground for five years. “They’ve got to start off fresh, get new friends, new neighbors. It might not show now, but maybe later on in life.”
For tens of thousands of renters, life has become increasingly unstable in recent years, even as the economy has slowly improved. Middle-class wages have stagnated and rents have risen sharply in many places, fueled by growing interest in urban living and a shortage of rental housing. The result is a surge in eviction cases that has abruptly disrupted lives, leaving families to search for not just new housing that fits their budgets but new schools, new bus routes and sometimes new jobs.
In Milwaukee County, for instance, the number of eviction cases filed against tenants leapt by 43 percent from 2010 to 2013, according to figures gathered by the Neighborhood Law Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Other parts of the country have seen similar, if less drastic spikes — and not only in high-cost cities like San Francisco.
Landlord-tenant laws and housing market conditions vary widely, and evictions are not surging everywhere. And a court filing does not necessarily result in eviction; some cases are resolved through payment plans or other agreements.
But from 2010 to 2013, Maine experienced a 21 percent increase in eviction filings, Massachusetts 11 percent and Kentucky 8 percent. In the fiscal year that ended in June, New Jersey, which has some of the strongest tenant protections in the country, had one eviction filing for every six renter households.
In Georgia, where court statistics do not differentiate between tenants evicted by a landlord and homeowners evicted after foreclosure, filings soared to almost 270,000 last year, a 9 percent jump since 2010. Over the same period, according to the research firm CoreLogic, the number of foreclosures dropped by half.
Perhaps the simplest explanation for the rise in evictions is a severe shortage of rental housing...
CJJC rolled 20 strong with members and community supporters early this morning to demand that landlord's John Van Eyck, Caryl Esteves, and Alfred Wong stop the evictions & harassment of our members Mustafa Solomon and Amy Ornoski in North Oakland.
The tenants -- who live in two separate units on the same property -- have had to deal with such issues as having no hot water for two weeks, sending out misleading notices. and misinformation about their status as well as videotaping and late night visits. Currently Mustafa has no hot water nor a working stove.
This pattern of in-your-face harassment has now led to attempted eviction and has caused great distress on Mustafa’s family. After receiving a 60-Day Notice by five different parties claiming authority over the property, the landlord rescinded the notice only to send another one shortly thereafter. And now the landlord has filed an Unlawful Detainer against Mustafa and his family.
The potential of being evicted and leaving his neighborhood, would mean having to sever the strong ties Mustafa and Amy both have with their community and neighbors.
As of August 1, there are new regulations around rent increases for capital improvements.
The following is a brief summary of the recent amendments to the Rent Adjustment Ordinance and the Rent Adjustment Program Regulations, and is not intended to be a complete description or a substitute for the laws themselves.
For authoritative materials, please consult the text of the Ordinance and the Regulations, available at the Rent Adjustment Program website: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/hcd/o/RentAdjustment
Changes Regarding Rent Increases Greater than the Annual CPI Amount:
Effective April 1, 2014:
Debt service as a justification for a new rent increase is eliminated.
Effective August 1, 2014:
Maximum of 10% annual limit on all rent increases, unless CPI is above 10%.
Maximum of 30% on rent increases within a 5-year period. Rent increases above 30% within a 5-year period allowed if only CPI increases were given during the 5-year period.
Enhanced noticing requirements for all capital improvements.
Maximum 70% of capital improvements costs can be passed through to tenants.
The new capital improvement procedures apply to all capital improvements, whether a single unit or an entire building.
Owners face administrative penalties and interest for any overcharge in rent after allowable capital improvement rent increases expire.
Enhanced Noticing Requirements for All Capital Improvements:
After work is completed and paid for, the Owner must prepare and submit to tenant(s):
1. Notice of rent increase
2. Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) Notice to Tenants
3. Summary of capital improvements:
• With costs listed by category
• Date improvements were completed and paid for
• Start and end date of rent increase
This set of 3 documents must be filed with the Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) within 10 days of service on each tenant affected by the capital improvement.
Failure of Owner to provide the required set of documents invalidates the proposed capital improvement rent increase.
Owners may still file a petition with RAP for a capital improvement increase in lieu of the enhanced notice requirements.
The new Ordinance will not apply to capital improvements on which permits have been taken out (unless no permits are required for any of the work) and substantial work performed and substantial monies paid or liabilities incurred (other than permit fees) prior to the implementation date of the Ordinance (August 1, 2014), and the Owner reasonably, diligently pursues completion of the work. For any rent increase based on capital improvements which were commenced prior to the implementation date, but which are noticed on or after the implementation date of this Ordinance, the new (enhanced) noticing requirements under this Ordinance are required.