Election Roundup - Stunning victories and defeats

 

 

 

 

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...

Read more: Election Roundup - Stunning victories and defeats

Tenant Protection Ordinance Victory: Final Reading Nov. 5

¡Español sigue!TPO win childThere 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.
TPO insideOur Tenant Protection Ordinance...

Read more: Tenant Protection Ordinance Victory: Final Reading Nov. 5

2014 Election Guide/Como votar el martes 4 de nov.

Causa Justa :: Just Cause Slate Card

How to Vote on Tuesday, November 4! ¡Español sique!

 

State Ballot Initiatives

 

Prop 47

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...

Read more: 2014 Election Guide/Como votar el martes 4 de nov.

Tenants Rights Tuesdays

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...

Read more: Tenants Rights Tuesdays

Win Tenant Protections in Oakland

HealthyHousingPolicyHearing_Oakland

 

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...

Read more: Win Tenant Protections in Oakland

CJJC Helps Tenants Defend N. Oakland Home

MustafaAmyActionSept2014CJJC 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.

MustafaAmyActionSept2014The tenants -- who live in two separate units on the same property -- have had to deal with such issues...

Read more: CJJC Helps Tenants Defend N. Oakland Home

NYTimes: Evictions Soar in Hot Market; Renters Suffer

"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. "

http://nyti.ms/1tQ6zDB
By SHAILA DEWAN

MILWAUKEE — Just after 7 a.m., sheriff’s deputies knocked...

Read more: NYTimes: Evictions Soar in Hot Market; Renters Suffer

Changes to Rent Adjustment Program Ordinance & Regulations

NEW:
As of August 1, there are new regulations around rent increases for capital improvements.

RentAdjustmentProgram_oakland080114The 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...

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$10K in 5 Days. 40,000 Thank You’s

10Kin5 campaignImage by Josh Warren White, Design Action Collective

Over the course of just five days, 500 supporters came forward to support a Bay Area that puts people first.
Thanks to your collective generosity, we've raised $40,595, exceeding our goal by $30,000+. A BIG thank you to each and every one of you.

Your support will help to:

¥    Get thousands to the polls...

Read more: $10K in 5 Days. 40,000 Thank You’s

San Francisco's Housing Crisis in Numbers

Data on the Housing Crisis in SF:
—From the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

No-Fault Evictions:

•    The number of evictions in 2013 has surpassed evictions in 2006, the height of the real estate bubble. Total no-fault evictions are up 17% compared to 2006.
•    Between 2012 and 2013 evictions have increased by 115%
•    Ellis Act use went up 175% between 2012...

Read more: San Francisco's Housing Crisis in Numbers

Stop the Flip: Proposed Anti-Speculation Measure

StoptheFlipScores of community members, tenants and several lawmakers including SF Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim and Eric Mar introduced a proposed measure that would curb real estate flipping.

The SF Anti-Displacement Coalition of which Causa Justa :: Just Cause is a member in a "Stop the Flip" action on the steps of SF City Hall, announced that the measure would impose a tax on investors who sell an apartment building within five years of buying it.

The anti-speculation tax ballot measure, which includes exemptions for single-family homes, condos, or owner-occupied tenants-in-common, would reduce incentives for speculators to target and flip the shrinking supply of rent-controlled apartments and address the growing affordability crisis being fueled by this type of speculation.

The “Anti-Speculation Tax” grew out of the neighborhood tenant convention process in 2013, and where more than 800 tenants voted to place it on the ballot at the City-Wide Tenant Convention this past February.  

The idea of imposing an anti-speculation tax was first backed by former Supervisor Harvey Milk in the 1970s. It was one of the final pieces of legislation he was working on prior to his assassination, according to The San Francisco Anti Displacement Coalition.

Says Ana Gutierrez, long-term Mssion district resident, and Causa Justa :: Just Cause lead member. "We need to keep fighting because this housing crisis has reached a fever pitch. Especially for elders, and for people whose income now doesn't even cover rent. We need to keep fighting for our city for the city that we have built by living here for years, by paying taxes here. We won't stand for people coming into our neighborhoods snatching our homes from under us to enrich themselves."

Adds Maria Zamudio, SF Housing Rights Campaign Organizer for Causa Justa :: Just Cause, and Anti Displacement Coalition member. “Renters from every neighborhood are living in fear. It is clear that tenants from throughout the City are ready to join forces with their neighbors and fight together and demand change from City Hall."

National Report Release


In addition, a national policy report by Right to the City:  Rise of the Renter Nation: Solutions to the Housing Affordability Crisis was unveiled. Gentrification and affordability of housing remain at crisis levels in the U.S.. Rents are soaring and it is a struggle to pay for basic expenses like food, healthcare, and childcare. Through our actions across the country, the Homes for All  (a campaign of Right to the City Alliance) is demanding – immediate funding to the National Housing Trust Fund by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency at the federal level and the passage of Renter’s Bill of Rights legislation in cities, that are in compliance with solutions outlined in the report.  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY HERE  

In the report, scores of grassroots organizations detail a 5-pillar approach to policy solutions to the ongoing housing crisis in the U.S. which include: Ensure affordability, Improve Quality and Health Standards, Full Accessibility, Stability and Permanence and Community Control.
Key Highlights of Report:

•    RACE

The...

Read more: Stop the Flip: Proposed Anti-Speculation Measure

SF Due Process For All Ordinance is strengthened — SF Ends All Unconstitutional ICE Holds

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi announced yesterday (May 29) that the county jail would  stop responding to unconstitutional ICE hold requests altogether. His announcement comes in the wake of a major federal court decision that has spurred more than 70 counties in several states to completely end the unconstitutional practice of holding immigrants in jail for extra time solely for deportation purposes.

The new policy corrects a deficiency in the city's landmark "Due Process for All ordinance," upholding basic constitutional protections for all San Franciscans and protecting the city from significant liability.

In California, the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Sacramento, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Cruz, and Monterey, among others, have already adopted parallel practices.

The San Francisco Immigrant Rights Defense Committee, is a coalition of leading immigrant and civil rights groups which led efforts to pass the city's Due Process for All ordinance, issued the following comments in response to this development:

"We warmly welcome today's announcement, which strengthens a vital principle at the core of our justice system: that no human being should be detained without a valid reason. We believe that all people are created equal and should be treated fairly no matter where they were born.

Last year, San Francisco took a major step toward pushing back on the President's cruel deportation policies by enacting the Due Process for All ordinance, which significantly limited cruel and costly immigration holds. But a compromise amendment still allowed these unconstitutional detentions in the local jail in some circumstances, putting at risk the cherished rights that keep us all safe and free. Now, that narrow breach of due process rights has been closed. We celebrate a policy that upholds our values of rehabilitation, community, and equality under the law."

Supervisor John Avalos, author of the Due Process for All ordinance, added:

"I'm glad to see San Francisco join the emerging national consensus on ICE holds that the Due Process Ordinance help push forward. Each and every time local jails hold an immigrant community member without probable cause, it's a constitutional concern and a lawsuit waiting to happen. This new policy will further strengthen confidence between immigrant community members and local law enforcement while protecting the basic civil rights of all San Franciscans."

Background:

Driving the changes in San Francisco and a recent federal court decision, Maria Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County,which found ICE “hold” requests unconstitutional and ordered county officials to pay money damages to a woman held in jail for extra time on a hold.

San Francisco has been a national leader in fighting back against the "Secure Communities" deportation program for four years. In July 2013, eight members of the Board of Supervisors introduced the "Due Process for All" ordinance, legislation that would have prohibited prolonged detentions in response to all ICE “holds” in the City if it had been passed without amendments.

The legislation in its original form enjoyed broad support from diverse community based organizations and community leaders, including District Attorney George Gascon and policymakers, who...

Read more: SF Due Process For All Ordinance is strengthened — SF Ends All Unconstitutional ICE Holds

West Oakland Specific Plan is NO Plan For Us

WOSP Plan

 

 

 

 

The West Oakland Specific Plan (W.O.S.P.) is a zoning plan that is an example of development WITH displacement. It makes no effort to mitigate the impacts of gentrification and instead opens up the neighborhood even more for investment opportunities. There are even parts of the plan that specifically state that displacement will occur and that West Oakland is hampered by its concentration of low-income people. 

WHAT:  March to Oakland Planning Commission meeting to protest West Oakland Specific Plan

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 11: 4:00 pm / Defremary Park at 18th and Adeline, West Oakland and then on to City Hall at 5:30pm, Planning Commission mtg begins at 6pm)

WHO:  Community residents and organizations, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, and others
Residents will march on Wednesday (June 11) from Defremary Park at 18th and Adeline, West Oakland in West Oakland to City Hall to tell the Planning Commission not to adopt the West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP).

Read more about the plan HERE,  by Advance the Struggle. RSVP for the march HERE

Community opposition to the plan has been growing over the last several months as it has become clear that there are few measures included that would help keep current residents in the neighborhood, such as protections for renters, preservation of land for low-income housing and community use, significant affordable housing requirements, or community control over development decisions.

A report recently released by Causa Justa::Just Cause, outlines the causes of gentrification in the Bay Area as well as a number of recommendations for how local governments can slow, prevent and reverse it. The report is available for download here.
 

The battle of 16th and Mission: Inside the campaign to “clean up” the plaza and build luxury housing

By Julia Carrie Wong/48 Hills

MARCH 18, 2014 — Laura Guzman, the director of  homeless services for Mission Neighborhood Health Center, had the question that was on everybody’s mind at a recent protest at the 16th and Mission BART plaza. “Who,” she asked, “is Clean up the Plaza?”

More than 100 San Franciscans, including members of Mission-based organizations like Causa Justa Just Cause, the Mission SRO Collaborative, La Colectiva, PODER, and the Housing Rights Committee, had come together under a new banner: “La Plaza 16 Coalición.” Their chief target was Maximus Real Estate Partners’ proposed development of two 10-story towers with 351 units of housing and 32,000-square feet of retail space on the northeast corner of the intersection.

The leaflet distributed by protesters laid out the concerns of the coalition in English and Spanish: “We are tired of seeing our neighbors displaced from their homes and our city for the profit and benefit of a privileged few. Plaza 16 belongs to those that hang out here and work/live here. We, not a private development company, should make a plan for OUR PLAZA.”

But mingled with outrage at the idea of $3,500/month rentals and high-rises that will cast a shadow over nearby Marshall Elementary School’s playground is suspicion about the Clean up the Plaza campaign that began months before the development plans went public.
It seemed like a remarkable coincidence: Just before a developer starts pushing high-end housing in a low-income area, a new organization with significant resources starts pushing to get homeless people out of the area.
 
Had the developers been laying the groundwork for their project through an Astroturf campaign? Why didn’t anyone in the community know who was behind this supposedly community-based campaign? Where did the money for glossy posters and direct mail come from? Who was Gil Chavez, the organizer named on the campaign’s website? And was Clean up the Plaza responsible for the “three-month police occupation of the plaza” that began in September and, according to Guzman, led to increased harassment of the homeless and residents who frequent the plaza?

Speaking to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, activist Andy Blue said of Clean up the Plaza and the proposed development, “Everyone has assumed those are connected, but nobody has found the smoking gun.” Mission District Supervisor David Campos hinted at a connection as well, during an Assembly race debate with Supervisor David Chiu. When Chiu challenged Campos over the thousands of signatures gathered by Clean up the Plaza as a sign of his ineffective leadership in the Mission, Campos replied, “It’s a way to get a luxury condo project.”

Whether a smoking gun linking Maximus Real Estate Partners to the formation and funding of Clean up the Plaza exists remains to be seen, but there is a clear connection between the two projects, in the form of San Francisco’s notorious political operative, Jack Davis. On Thursday, the Guardian  revealed Jack Davis’s involvement with Clean up the Plaza. Following interviews with Davis, Gil Chavez, and Maximus representative Bert...

Read more: The battle of 16th and Mission: Inside the campaign to “clean up” the plaza and build luxury housing