On Wednesday, August 20th, at 12 pm, tenants currently being evicted from four units at 3150-3154 26th Street gathered outside of their apartment building, demanding that their eviction be rescinded immediately. Tenants, community organizers, and elected officials spoke, and then marched around the block before returning to 26th and Lucky to hand their demand letter …View full post
At 11am on Tuesday August 12th, Benito Santiago and other members of Eviction Free San Francisco paid a visit to Vanguard Properties, the largest real estate company in the Mission. Vanguard co-founder Michael Harrison is Ellis-Act evicting four units at 151 Duboce, home of Benito Santiago and others. Members of Eviction Free SF entered Vanguard …View full post
Originally Published on BeyondChron.org July 10, 2014 (Link) Written By: Andrew Szeto Yesterday, July 9, over 40 people came out for an action targeting the Marina offices of real estate speculators Urban Green to protest the Ellis Act evictions of 98-year-old Mary Elizabeth Phillips and teacher, and Phillips’s primary caretaker, Sarah Brandt. Urban Green Investments …View full post
Eviction Free San Francisco Protests at the Home & Office of David McCloskey / Urban Green by Eviction Free SF
On June 7th, at 1pm, activists from Eviction Free San Francisco arrived at the home of David McCloskey, CEO of Urban Green Investments. They then proceeded to his office in the Marina, and continued the protest there in the midst of the Union Street Festival. They left a sign on his door: “Would you evict …View full post
August 14, 2014
At 11am on Tuesday August 12th, Benito Santiago and other members of Eviction Free San Francisco paid a visit to Vanguard Properties, the largest real estate company in the Mission. Vanguard co-founder Michael Harrison is Ellis-Act evicting four units at 151 Duboce, home of Benito Santiago and others.
Members of Eviction Free SF entered Vanguard offices at 21st and Mission, demanding that Harrison immediately rescind the eviction of Benito Santiago and all others in the four units at 151 Duboce. Benito was going to read aloud from a letter he had written, but shortly after we entered, one of the staff people approached us and snatched the letter from our hands. They then proceeded to push us out, as we chanted and drummed to have the eviction rescinded. They harassed some of the reporters with us, grabbing their cameras while trying to block them from filming, and tried to take our megaphone. They dragged some of us out, and then called the police. We proceeded to rally outside of their office at 21st and Mission. Benito spoke, as did Paula, also facing eviction in the Mission. A film of the action by Peter Menchini is here: http://vimeo.com/103279167
Benito, 64, is disabled, Filipino, a teacher with the Unified School District, born and raised in SF, and an artist. He has lived at his home for 37 years. He has nowhere else to go should the eviction go through.
Speculator Harrison has Ellis-Act evicted 9 units (2 buildings) in the past, all through his alias Pineapple Boy LLC. Harrison obfuscates responsibility by hiding behind his corporation Pineapple Boy. Harrison flips buildings after Ellis Act-evicting residents, often in business partnership with his wife Debra Despues.
He is a classic speculator, thriving on the dispossession of seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, and poor and working-class San Francisco residents. Like other speculators in SF–Bonnie Spindler, Elba Borgen, and David McCloskey–Harrison is tied to a real estate company. More about Harrison, one of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project’s Dirty Thirty, can be found here: https://antievictionmap.squarespace.com/michaelharrison/
A beautiful film about Benito by Austin Meyer can be found here: http://blog.sfgate.com/inthepeninsula/2014/07/10/san-francisco-gentrification/
The letter that Benito was going to read is below:
Dear Vanguard Properties and Michael Harrison,
We are here today to demand that you DO NOT evict Benito Santiago and the other residents of his building from his home in the Duboce Triangle. Michael Harrison, one of the co-founders of your realty group, hiding behind the LLC Pineapple Boy, is using the Ellis Act to attempt to evict him in order to flip the building and profit from his displacement.
Mr. Santiago is a senior and disabled Filipino resident member of our community. He was born and raised in San Francisco. He is a teacher for the San Francisco unified school district where he is a music instructor for special-needs children.
The Ellis Act is used to issue no-fault evictions and displace long term tenants in order to “flip” properties. We do not believe that you, Michael Harrison, are “going out of business” which is the purpose of using the Ellis Act. We know that instead you are exploiting a loophole in a state law for your greed.
This greed is tearing communities in our city apart and we demand that it stop. The use of the Ellis Act is especially pernicious when used against seniors and disabled people, as it very often is. What this amounts to is the exploitation of the city’s most vulnerable residents, all in the pursuit of profit. We demand that this stops. Our homes and communities are not for your speculation and profit. We will fight until this stops.
Eviction Free San Francisco
We ask that supporters also call Harrison and Despues, and make it known that the community will not stand for this violent act of displacement.
mikeharrison [at] vanguardsf.com
415-875-7418 and 415-602-4575
Originally Published on BeyondChron.org July 10, 2014 (Link)
Written By: Andrew Szeto
Yesterday, July 9, over 40 people came out for an action targeting the Marina offices of real estate speculators Urban Green to protest the Ellis Act evictions of 98-year-old Mary Elizabeth Phillips and teacher, and Phillips’s primary caretaker, Sarah Brandt. Urban Green Investments has been the target of numerous protest and demonstration over the past few months, and the action, organized by the eviction defense group Eviction Free San Francisco, promised to escalate the situation given the short time remaining for the tenants on Dolores Street.
The action comes after the defeat of State Ellis Act reform in the State Assembly in June, leaving many seniors like Mary Elizabeth Phillips, who testified in Sacramento, increasingly vulnerable to eviction and displacement. State reform, which had widespread support of tenant’s rights groups, Mayor Ed Lee, and the tech industry, faltered in the Assembly, as fellow Democrats turned their backs on San Francisco.
The defeat means that Ellis Act evictions will continue to happen, and as is unfolding right now, seniors and disabled will continue to be targeted by real estate speculators looking to evict tenants living in the increasingly scarce supply of rent controlled and affordable housing in the city.
Seniors and disabled have been some of the most vocal supporters of Ellis Act reform, but with speculators like Urban Green unrelenting to community demands to stop the evictions and politicians unable to pass needed legislation, activists are taking it in their own hands.
“Mary is 98-years-old and has nowhere to go if she is evicted, and would be separated from Sarah who is her primary caregiver,” Rebecca Gourevitch, tenant organizer with the Tenants Union and Eviction Free San Francisco, said. “We are here today to demand Urban Green rescind the eviction immediately.”
Eviction Free San Francisco has been one of the largest groups organizing direct actions to help stop evictions of tenants across the city. Yesterday’s action, targeted at Urban Green CEO David McCloskey, has been part of an ongoing effort to prevent many seniors and teachers from being evicted.
“What we can do is try to shame speculators and put these tenants in the public eye as much as possible, and that is what Eviction Free San Francisco has been doing,” Gourevitch said.
40 protestors gathered on the corner of Union and Gough and marched towards the office of Urban Green, carrying signs that said “Urban Green = Urban Greed” and “Protect Our Elders.” Demonstrators attempted to storm the offices, but found the doors locked. Instead, they gathered on the patio and held up their signature blue banner off the railing.
“What do we want?” Gourevitch called out through the bullhorn, as protesters responded, “Stop the eviction!”
The eviction of Mary Elizabeth Phillips has been a key organizing point, as protestors have continually highlighted that the eviction of seniors, many whom have nowhere else to go, is essentially a death sentence.
“In the real world, there are very real worries and very real stresses that have life or death ramifications on seniors and people with disabilities,” Tony Robles, organizer with Senior and Disability Action, said of the disconnect that real estate speculators have with the community.
Protestors demonstrated for close to 45 minutes, chanting and handing out flyers for a future action to prevent Phillips and Brandt from being evicted. A handful of people that made their way to the Marina were themselves being Ellis Act evicted, showing the strong sense of solidarity that has been established through actions organized by groups like Eviction Free San Francisco.
Benito Santiago, a senior and teacher, is currently being evicted from his home on Duboce Street. He’s been a constant presence at rallies and actions around evictions, with his drumbeats becoming the heartbeat of the movement.
“I feel that what’s happening with Mary is elder abuse,” he said. “I hope with all of this, we put the spotlight on McCloskey, and are able to have him see the human side and back down and rescind Mary and Sarah’s [eviction].”
Claudia Tejada, Patricia Kerman, and Theresa Flandrich, who are also all being evicted, attended the demonstration in solidarity. With the tremendous impacts that displacement brings, it also has united those struggling together.
“Every eviction is different, every situation is different,” Diego Deleo, an 80-year-old poet being evicted from his home in North Beach said. “It is money, but more than that, it is the emotional impact it has on everybody.”
Eviction Free San Francisco is planning a large rally to keep Phillips and Brandt in their homes as their Ellis Act eviction case unfolds and their date of eviction becomes imminent. The rally will be held in front of their home at 55 Dolores Street on Thursday, July 24, 5:30 PM.
Eviction Free San Francisco Protests at the Home & Office of David McCloskey / Urban Green by Eviction Free SF
On June 7th, at 1pm, activists from Eviction Free San Francisco arrived at the home of David McCloskey, CEO of Urban Green Investments. They then proceeded to his office in the Marina, and continued the protest there in the midst of the Union Street Festival. They left a sign on his door: “Would you evict your grandparents?” It seems, by his actions, that he would.
David McCloskey of Urban Green Investments is currently Ellis Act evicting a 98-year-old woman from her home at 55 Dolores Street. Mary Elizabeth Phillips has nowhere else to go. Activists descended upon his home at 109 Alpine Terrace and his office at 1746 Union Street on Saturday the 7th, demanding that he rescind the eviction immediately.
McCloskey, CEO of Urban Green Investments, owns hundreds of units in San Francisco. Urban Green is a subsidiary of Cornerstone Holdings in Colorado, run by his millionaire father Tom McCloskey. David and Tom do not need more money. He does not need to evict Mary. He does not need to evict Mervyn Wong and his disabled mother who he cares for from 49 Guerrero Street.
Don’t let your neighbor evict elders and people with disabilities for profit. What kind of city pushes their elders on to the streets? We can stop this! As Mary says, “This has been my home for over 40 years and I don’t want to leave. . . I am just too old.” Hear her own words here: http://youtu.be/UqdwaaUK8LI
Urban Green Investments is a San Francisco Multi-family portfolio: 385 units over fifteen buildings. They recently purchased since October 2012: 130 unit multi-family portfolio in San Francisco and 40 TIC units in San Francisco. In July 2012 UGI picked up a 12-building multifamily portfolio for $38 Million cash from Prana Investments.
Urban Green Investments is involved in roughly 40 LLCs.
Let David know that he needs to stop the evictions immediately!
1746 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
info [at] urbangreeninv.com
More about David and Urban Green here: https://antievictionmap.squarespace.com/david-mccloskey-urban-green/
On the afternoon of April 30, 2014, Eviction Free San Francisco joined the tenants from 741 Ellis Street in the Tenderloin district in an emergency rally in the courtyard of their apartment building.
With the help of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, the tenants called this action to demand that their new landlord, Ty Durekas, Senior Advisor of OnCare, immediately withdraw his eviction notices. Because 741 Ellis Street was constructed after 1979, its apartments are not rent controlled. Durekas is evicting five low-income families from their homes of the last 12 years, choosing to stop accepting their Section 8 housing vouchers and giving them 90 days to vacate. Ironically, Durekas’ company OnCare is a company providing internet support services to child care providers while he is trying to put children out onto the street.
Tenant Jessica, a student at Galileo High School, spoke eloquently to the group of about 30, which included other tenants from 741 Ellis Street, tenant rights and community activists, and members of the media. Jessica emphasized that her landlord’s attack on her and neighbors’ homes is hindering her ability to focus on her school work and is creating emotional stress and hardship for all the affected households.
Supporters from the Vietnamese Youth Development Center and the Chinatown Community Development Center, community agencies that work with some of the 741 Ellis Street residents, spoke out in support of the tenants’ campaign to save their homes.
The group ended the rally by demanding that landlord Durekas meet to negotiate with the tenants and withdraw the evictions.
As people were leaving the interior courtyard of the building at the conclusion of the action, two SFPD officers arrived at the request of the reported building manager to try to intimidate the tenants and their friends. After tenant advocates reminded the police that people are allowed to invite guests to their homes and after the police made a nonsensical offer to control street traffic for a rally in a building courtyard (think barbeque), the police and the building manager left without further incident. Earlier, the building manager tore down one of the signs that someone hung in the stairwell in the courtyard in support of the tenants.
The 741 Ellis Street tenants will continue their campaign soon. To get more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for our email list and to receive notices of future actions.
Eviction Free San Francisco meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 6 PM at the Housing Rights Committee office at 417 South Van Ness Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets. Come join us. Our next meeting is May 7th.
On the evening of April 15, 2014, Patricia Kerman and Tom Rapp led a group picket of about 40 people including members of Eviction Free San Francisco outside the office of their landlord Kaushik Dattani at 3232 22nd Street.
This picket culminated Patricia’s and Tom’s “Tax Day of Action,” the latest step in their campaign to save their home at 3305 20th Street, from which Dattani is evicting them after imposing the Ellis Act on August 16, 2013. Patricia has lived in her apartment for 27 years; roommate Tom for 15 years. Earlier in the day, Patricia, Tom, their friends and supporters called and faxed Dattani’s office demanding that he rescind the eviction and leafleted outside Dattani’s office in order to educate passer-bys about Ellis Act and other evictions and to encourage people to take action. Some of the contacted community members returned for the late afternoon picket, which grew in size as curious people joined in and became supporters.
Patricia’s and Tom’s landlord Kaushik Dattani is a serial evictor, who has used the Ellis Act on 24 households in the Mission District. He also purchased a building at 204-14 Capp Street in July 2013, where he has evicted at least two families, has harassed the others, and has failed to properly maintain and repair the property. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project has named Dattani one of the “Dirty Dozen” of serial evictors: https://antievictionmap.squarespace.com/kaushik-m-dattani/.
Patricia’s and Tom’s “Tax Day of Action” follows other actions with Eviction Free San Francisco to campaign to reverse their Ellis Act eviction, including a rally outside Dattani’s office in late December and a spirited rally and march in late February. The linked article (https://evictionfreesf.org/?p=555) and video (https://evictionfreesf.org/?p=573) contain more details about the February event.
Patricia, Tom and Eviction Free San Francisco continue the struggle to fight this eviction this Saturday, April 19th at 11:30 AM when we will visit Dattani at his home in Mill Valley. Please join us. More information here: https://evictionfreesf.org/?ai1ec_event=from-doorstep-to-doorstep-housing-justice-brings-it-home-landlord-protest&instance_id=707.
April 12, 2014
A Tax Day For Justice: Call-In/Fax-in to Dirty Dozen’s Kaushik Dattani, Followed by Evening Picket, Tuesday, April 15th
Join Eviction Free San Francisco and the tenants’ justice movement in protest of one of San Francisco’s biggest serial evictors!
Kaushik “Kenny” Dattani’s greedy ways have earned him the notoriety of becoming of part of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Projects Dirty Dozen: http://antievictionmap.squarespace.com/dirty-dozen/. In his career as a landlord, he has ruthlessly evicted 25 of his units, and know he is after the home of long-term Mission residents Tom and Patricia!
Let’s help keep our friends in their home by turning up the heat on Dattani. How are we going to do this? Hint: part of Dattani’s services is accounting. We thought that Tax Day, April 15, would be a great opportunity to encourage this landlord to do the right thing by backing off the eviction of Tom and Patricia. Tom and Patricia are being evicted by a serial speculator, responsible for evicting 25 buildings in San Francisco. Speculators, not individual landlords, are responsible fore most of the evictions in the City, and Kaushik Dattani and the Dirty Dozen are responsible fore more than their fair share!
So here is the plan:
FAX, call, or e-mail Dattani the following:
“”Hi, my name is______ and I am asking you today, Tax Day, to cease the eviction of your tenants at 3305 20th Street. I am aware that Tom and Patricia have been loyal, responsible, rent paying tenants, and that Patricia is living off of disability income and may not be easily rehoused. This is not right. Please, have a heart, and consider the people who will be hurt by this eviction if it continues to happen.”
Phone: 415-546-1238 * Fax: 415-546-1421 * Email email@example.com
*ALSO GOING ON – Join us for leafletting at 2pm, and then a closing evening picket after work, starting at 5:30pm. Both event are going to happen outside of Dattani’s office: 3232 22nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
LET’S DO THIS!!
An Injury to one is an injury to all.
NO MORE EVICTIONS!!
On the evening of April 11, 2014, several hundred tenants and community supporters, including many children, gathered in Dolores Park and marched to six locations as part of the ongoing campaign to stop the evictions of San Francisco residents during this current speculator-fueled real estate boom. Eviction Free San Francisco organized this event to highlight the rash of ongoing evictions of San Francisco educators and caregivers in the Mission District. Endorsing organizations included Chinese Progressive Association, Chinatown SRO Collaborative, Central City SRO Collaborative, North Beach Tenants Committee, BiSHoP (Bill Sorro Housing Program), Our Mission No Eviction, Senior Disability Action Network, and Causa Justa/Just Cause with other groups like Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, Tenants Together and United Educators of San Francisco marching behind their banners.
Although the action covered about one and a half miles and lasted two and a half hours, approximately two to three hundred participants remained steadfast. A large and aggressive police presence including motorcycle squads and foot patrols carrying riot gear shadowed the non-violent, mutual aid, direct action.
The assembling crowd inaugurated the festive event at the southeast corner of Dolores Park with chants including “Keep Teachers in Their Homes” followed by a call to action from Claudia Tirado, a teacher at the Fairmont Elementary School facing an Ellis Act eviction from her home at 812 Guerrero Street. A tearful Tirado thanked the large group, explaining that she needed to take the day off from work in order to campaign to save her home. She captured the desire of many when she declared, “San Francisco is not for sale.” Then off we went marching in the streets to six locations.
812 Guerrero Street: Chris Sideris, better known as Johnny, one of many residents facing an Ellis Act eviction at this seven unit apartment building, shared the history of their ongoing struggle. Jack Halprin, an attorney who works for Google, purchased the building within the last couple years and immediately evicted one household for an owner move in (OMI), followed by a second illegal OMI eviction for his ex-domestic partner who never moved into the unit. In late February, Halprin initiated Ellis Act evictions for the remaining five apartments, which include the homes of teachers Claudia Tirado and Evan Wolkenstein.
Johnny made a direct appeal to Google CEO Larry Page, “Why are Google employees evicting people?” perverting the commonly known Google slogan to “Do Some Evil.” Jeff Wu from the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, who is helping the 812 Guerrero Street community, cautioned that unfortunately no San Francisco tenants are safe from eviction as speculators thirst for real estate profits. From there we moved to the next stop,
Mission High School: The always excellent Brass Liberation Orchestra awaited the growing group at Mission High School. There Ken Tray, a San Francisco USD teacher since 1985 and Mission resident since 1979, made the connection between scorched earth public education and land use policies which are destroying public education through funding cuts while conveniently and falsely blaming teachers and at the same time dislocating the economic and cultural diversity of our neighborhoods. Tray’s union, United Educators of San Francisco, is in contract negotiations seeking the first raise for educators in seven years, which have seen massive layoffs and furloughs.
Natalia Arguello-Inglis, a senior at Lowell High School, explained how several of her teachers have involuntarily moved from San Francisco as she sent us off to our first stop on Dolores Street.
255 Dolores Street: One of the long time residents of this ten-unit building greeted the group for a brief “eviction party,” complete with creative decorations highlighting the unethical activities of landlord Bruce Helmberger of Glen Canyon Properties. The children among the marchers especially loved the piñata in the shape of the head of an evictor lawyer. Onward to our next location on Dolores Street,
55 Dolores Street: Fred Sherburn-Zimmer from Eviction Free SF educated us about the shady business model of this building’s owner, serial evictor Urban Green whose CEO David McCloskey buys buildings, then scares, bribes or evicts tenants before flipping the properties for huge profits. Fred then led a happy birthday serenade for Mary Elizabeth Phillips, a resident here who recently turned 98 and whose deadline for her Ellis Act eviction has just passed. She remains in her home along with her friend and neighbor, Sarah Brant, a teacher facing eviction from this building, who explained that because of a combination of her age and the stress of her pending eviction, Mary Elizabeth could not join the marchers but appreciated their support and concern.
Imagine that a wealthy real estate developer speculator is putting a 98-year-old woman onto the street in order to make a buck.
A moving speech by lifelong Mission resident and activist Roberto Hernandez described the recent police killing of Alejandro Nieto at Bernal Hill Park and decried the replacement by gentrification of the authentic San Francisco attitudes of cooperation and mutual respect with suspicion and avarice. A Native American activist led us in chanting, drumming and blessing for Nieto’s spirit before we marched to our next destination.
49 Guerrero Street: Mervyn, a tenant at this Urban Green owned building, shared that he and his 77-year-old paraplegic mother for whom he takes care received an Ellis Act eviction notice in May, 2013. He reiterated Urban Green’s process of flipping buildings for big profits without “caring who lives there.”
Marla Knight, a tenant in yet another Urban Green targeted building in North Beach, encouraged community members to stick together to fend off evictions. With the help of the Chinatown Community Development Center and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, she and the fellow residents of the 11 occupied apartments in her 14 unit building refused buyout offers from Urban Green after it bought their building in November, 2012 and filed Ellis Act evictions in February, 2013. On February 3, 2014, Urban Green withdrew those Ellis Act evictions, showing that solidarity, resoluteness and community support can succeed.
Next, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos announced the passage by a 9-2 vote earlier this week of increased relocation benefits for Ellis Act eviction recipients. Once confirmed and signed by the Mayor, this legislation will raise relocation payments from about $5,200 per tenant, maximum of $15,500 per apartment, to the difference between a household’s current and market rents for two years, which can easily be upwards to $50,000. The upsurge in tenant and community activism in response to the current eviction epidemic created the political climate which forced the Board of Supervisors to respond. The announcements of these two successes sent us to our final stop,
151 Duboce Avenue: Benito Santiago, an Eviction Free SF activist and SFUSD para-professional who works with special needs children at Phillip and Sala Burton High School and who is resisting an Ellis Act eviction from this building, concluded the successful, comprehensive, fun and well-attended action with a speech that encouraged the participation of the crowd and led to an impromptu concert by the Brass Liberation Orchestra. You can read more about Benito’s campaign to save his home here: https://evictionfreesf.org/?p=1006.
For more pictures of the event, see March to End the Displacement of San Francisco’s Educators! – 4/11/14 in the EFSF Actions Photo Gallery.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Liaison(s): Diana Macasa // Sarah Sherburn-Zimmer
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org // email@example.com
Keep Our Teachers: March to End the Displacement of San Francisco’s Educators!
When: Friday, April 11th, starting at 5:00pm
Where: Starts at the corner of 20th and Dolores St. and ending at 151 Duboce St. (march route and time line below)
Who: Eviction Free SF, Chinese Progressive Association, Chinatown SRO Collaborative, Central City SRO Collaborative, North Beach Tenants Committee, BiSHoP (Bill Sorro Housing Program), Our Mission No Eviction, Senior Disability Action Network, and Causa Justa/Just Cause
Eviction Free San Francisco and allied housing rights activists will be marching to demand an end to displacement for San Francisco educators and students. Starting at the corner of 20th St. and Dolores St at 5:00pm, the march will stop at the homes of 4 different teachers who face eviction as well as Mission High School, where students who are also being evicted, will speak.
As more and more of our city gets bought up by greedy speculators and sold for a profit, we lose the important educators who are so fundamental in keeping our community functional and whole.
Benito Santiago, SF paraprofessional to special education students and tenant fighting his Ellis Act Eviction, voiced the reason he’s marching,“what happens to one teacher, one paraprofessional, or one student happens to us all.” He continued to say, “If we’re going to be called ‘United Educators of San Francisco’ then we have to be united because united we stand and divided we fall.”
Around 70% of SF teachers live in the city, however, that’s quickly changing as a recent report stated that teachers in San Francisco can no longer afford to buy a home in San Francisco let alone rent a home for current market prices. Additionally, only 25% of SF paraprofessionals live in the City as it has been increasingly difficult to live in SF on part time hours as rents continue to rise.
As Claudia Tinado, SF teacher and tenant who’s fighting her Ellis Act Eviction stated, “It’s really expensive to live in the city and if the school district is not willing to pay us a living wage, we really can’t afford to stay here, especially if big corporations continue to attack my space and others that live in my building.”
This march will be a family friendly where teachers, paraprofessionals, students and supporters will be demanding that greedy speculators and corporations stop the evictions of not only educators of San Francisco, but for everyone facing evictions.
Johnny, long-time SF resident and tenant fighting his Ellis Act eviction stated, “I don’t think speculators should be able to come into a neighborhood and buy a piece of property that is a rental property and then quickly evict everyone there to make a bigger profit. I think it’s unethical.”
Where we are marching and who we are marching for:
5:00 pm – Meet at 20th & Dolores Street
5:20 pm – 812 Guerrero St. – Claudia and Evan, two local teachers who are being Ellis Act Evicted.
5:45 pm – Mission High School – to show solidarity for teachers and students who are facing eviction.
6:30 pm – 55 Dolores St. – Sarah, a teacher, and her friend Mary, who will turn 98 are being Ellis Act Evicted by Urban Green
6:45 pm – 49 Guerrero St. – Mervyn, is also being evicted by Urban Green
7:00 pm – 151 Duboce St. – Benito, a special education teacher, is being Ellis Act Evicted.
Eviction Free San Francisco: El magisterio de San Francisco y sus alumnos te invitan a nuestra gran marcha:
¡Aquí los queremos!
Marcha en contra del desplazamiento de los maestros.
Viernes 11 de abril
Marcharemos a los hogares de 4 maestros que viven en la misión y que están siendo desalojados para exigir que los propietarios retiren dichas demandas de desalojo
Conforme especuladores voraces van comprando y revendiendo un número cada vez mayor de propiedades en San Francisco, las rentas suben cada vez más. Como resultado, vamos perdiendo a los maestros que tan importantes son para la Buena marcha de nuestra comunidad. Los maestros que viven aquí ya no puedan pagar las rentas tan altas que se cobran en San Francisco, y por lo tanto, están en peligro de ser desalojados. ¿Que será de nuestra comunidad cuando perdamos a nuestros maestros, nuestros plomeros, nuestros poetas, nuestros trabajadores y trabajadoras de la salud, nuestros lavaplatos, nuestros trabajadoras y trabajadores comunitarios, nuestros músicos, nuestras educadoras, nuestros jornaleros, nuestros pintores….? ¡Luchemos por nuestra ciudad!
estámos empezando 20th y Dolores 5pm
5:20pm 812 Guerrero-. Claudia y Evan son dos maestros que están siendo desalojados bajo el acta Ellis. Están en lucha, junto con los demás inquilinos en su edificio.
5:45pm Mission High School- Haremos un alto aquí para mostrar nuestra solidaridad con todos aquellos maestros y alumnos que enfrentan la amenanza del desalojo.
6:30pm 55 Dolores St-. Sarah trabaja de maestra en San Francisco. Junto con su amiga Mary, una anciana que acaba de cumplir 98 años, está siendo desalojada por la Urban Green, (empresa que forma parte de la “decena sucia” de especuladores en San Francisco que más uso han hecho del Ellis Act).
7pm 151- Duboce Benito es maestro de educación especial en San Francisco. Está siendo desalojado por Michael Harrison de la Vanguard Properties (Este año, la Vanguard alquiló un departamento de dos recámaras ubicado en la Valencia en una suma nunca antes vista- $10,500 al mes)
Esta marchaes un evento para toda la familia. Invitamos cordialmente a maestros, alumnos, y todos aquellos afectados por la pérdida de nuestros maetros a que vengan y muestren su solidaridad.
Tenants and EFSF March on Vanguard Properties to Support Benito Santiago’s Efforts to Stay in His Home
(April 2, 2014) – In an action organized by Eviction Free San Francisco, it was estimated that nearly 200 tenants and community supporters congregated at the 24th Street/Mission BART station at 11:30 a.m. to march to the offices of Vanguard Properties at 2501 Mission Street in support of San Francisco native Benito Santiago’s campaign to fend off an Ellis Act eviction from his home at 151 Duboce Avenue.
63-year-old Benito has lived in his one bedroom apartment since 1977, but is now facing an Ellis Act eviction at the hands of his new landlord, Pineapple Boy LLC, owned by Michael Harrison, one of the co-founders of Vanguard Properties.
Festive drumming and chants including, “What do we want? No evictions.” inaugurated the rally at the BART Plaza.
Tony Robles from Senior And Disability Action joined his fellow board member from the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, Theresa Imperio, in relating Benito Santiago’s struggle to keep his home to that of the mostly Filipino residents of the I-Hotel in Manilatown (near Chinatown) to resist their evictions in 1977. They read a letter to Michael Harrison demanding that he rescind Benito’s eviction.
Before the assembled group left the BART Plaza for the march, Erick Arguello from Calle 24 informed the crowd that Vanguard Properties is one of the leading real estate speculators prospecting for profits in the Mission District during this latest real estate boom. He also pointrd out that Vanguard had refused to meet with his group to discuss retaining the promised community benefit of a commercial space that is part of a condo development on 24th Street that Vanguard took over from the initial developer. Despite the reneged upon promise, Vanguard is now selling that space for $1.1 million. Additional groups present at the rally and march included Central City SRO Collaborative and Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco.
Marchers then walked in the streets to the Vanguard offices via 24th, Valencia and 21st Streets, accompanied by a moving line of SFPD officers on either side. This SFPD presence seemed to serve no legitimate purpose and instead only helped deter interested people from joining the march by forming a barrier between the sidewalk and the peaceful, but spirited, march.
Upon arriving at Vanguard Properties’ offices, participants found both the Mission Street and 21st Street entrances locked, preventing Benito and his friends from delivering letters to his landlord demanding the cancellation of the pending Ellis Act eviction.
Erin McElroy from Eviction Free San Francisco introduced Benito, who gave a moving and impassioned account of his present ordeal fighting his Ellis Act eviction from his home. He explained how he prepared to sell and give away some of his possessions when he and the tenants of other apartments at 151 Duboce Street received legal notices on November 24 and December 13, 2013. Since then, with the help of community organizations, Benito has educated himself about his rights that allow him at least one year of continued residency because of his age and he has initiated this campaign to stay in his home.
Benito also shared his pride in his job as a para-professional teaching music to special needs children at Phillip and Sala Burton High School. Benito has worked for the San Francisco Unified School District since 1999 and explained that he will find it difficult, if not impossible to continue helping his students if an eviction forces him to move from San Francisco or even onto the street.
The group of tenants and committed community activists concluded this latest mutual aid action by calling landlord Michael Harrison on his cell and office phones to urge him to rescind Benito’s eviction. Those phone numbers are 415-875-7428 (cell) and 415-321-7000 (office) for anyone willing to do a follow-up call-in action on Benito’s behalf.
See Media Links for further new articles, audio reports and video about this event.
Benito is but one of many San Francisco educators whom real estate speculators have forced or are threatening to force from their homes through no-fault evictions like Ellis Act evictions. Because of this disturbing fact, Eviction Free San Francisco has organized a further action, Keep Our Teachers March to End the Displacement of San Francisco Educators, on Friday, April 11th at 5 PM beginning at the corner of 20th and Dolores Streets. Join us, along with teachers, students, tenants, and other housing rights activists, in support of this extremely worthy cause. More information here: http://evictionfreesf.org/?p=968.
Join Eviction Free San Francisco and allied housing rights activists to march to KEEP OUR TEACHERS! We will march to the homes of 4 teachers who are currently facing eviction in the Mission/Dolores area and demand that their evictions, and the evictions of all of our educators, be rescinded.
When: Friday, April 11th, starting at 5:00pm
Where: Meet at the corner of 20th and Dolores St. and march to the homes of teachers in the area (see below), ending at 515 Duboce St.
Where we are marching and who we are marching for:
5:00 pm- Meet at 20th & Dolores Street
5:45 pm- Mission High School – to show solidarity for teachers and students who are facing eviction.
6:30 pm- 55 Dolores St. – Sarah, a teacher, and her friend Mary, who will turn 98 are being Ellis Act Evicted by Urban Green
6:45 pm- 49 Guerrero St. – Mervyn, is also being evicted by Urban Green
7:00 pm- 515 Duboce St. – Benito, a special ed teacher, is being Ellis Act Evicted.
As more and more of our city gets bought up by greedy speculators and sold for a profit, we lose the important educators who are so fundamental in keeping our community functional and whole. San Francisco is no longer affordable for a teacher’s income and those who live here, face eviction. What will happen when we lose our teachers? Lets fight to for our city! This is a family friendly march, we encourage students, teachers and all those effected by the lose of teachers to come show your solidarity and support!
Below is a pdf flyer (front & back). Feel free to download it and distribute it among your friends.
March on Vanguard Properties: The Ellis Act is Elder Abuse
Contact: Erin McElroy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Harrison, co-founder of Vanguard Properties, is currently using the Ellis Act to evict Benito Santiago from his long time home at the Duboce Triangle through the shell company, Pineapple Boy LLC.
When: Wednesday April 2nd 11:30am
What: Eviction Free San Francisco March from 24th Street Bart Plaza to Vanguard Properties at 2501 Mission Street
Where: 24th Street Bart Plaza
Who: Under threat of eviction tenant Bonito Santiago, members of Eviction Free San Francisco
Why: To demand that Mr. Santiago does not get evicted from his home and to highlight the role of large real estate companies, like Vanguard Properties in Ellis Act evictions.
•Tenant will be available for interviews
SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday April 2nd members of Eviction Free San Francisco will march from the 24th Street Bart Plaza to Vanguard Properties, on 21st and Mission Street. Co-founder of Vanguard Properties Michael Harrison is currently using the Ellis Act to attempt and evict long-term tenant and native San Franciscan Benito Santiago.
Mr. Santiago is a senior and disabled Filipino resident of the Duboce Triangle. He was born and raised in San Francisco. Benito is a teacher for the San Francisco unified school district where he is a music instructor for special-needs children. He received his first eviction notice the day before Thanksgiving, on November 24th 2013. He was offered a $24,000 buyout, which he refused. On December 27th, he got his second eviction notice. Since then, Benito has been organizing with Eviction Free San Francisco to fight his eviction. “I’ll stay here, meeting the challenge instead of turning around and exiting. It’s not just for me. I’m doing this for seniors and those with disabilities,” he says.
Michael Harrison is the co-founder of Vanguard Properties, where he specializes in “residential investment properties.” He is a property flipper: his shell company Pineapple Boy LLC bought the building in November 2013 and tried to evict Benito and the two other tenants immediately. Vanguard Properties is currently involved in a number of luxury property developments in the Mission District and Duboce Triangle area including the development at 19th and Valencia that in February 2014 set record sale prices for the neighborhood.
Endorsed by: the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, Senior and Disability Action, Our Mission No Eviction, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Housing Rights Committee, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE, San Francisco Tenants Union, Bill Sorro Housing Program (BiSHoP), Mission SRO Collaborative, Tenants Together, Causa Justa Just Cause (CJJC), Gray Panthers, New York City Anti- Eviction Network
#StopDisplacement #Housingisahumanright #stoptenantharassment #stopsfevictions
February 28, 2014
On Wednesday, February 26th at 11:30 a.m., about 150 tenants and community supporters, including Eviction Free San Francisco, rallied at 24th/Mission BART Plaza for a “March On Greed” to the office of serial evictor Kaushik Dattani at 3232 22nd Street to support long-time San Francisco tenants and roommates Patricia Kerman’s and Tom Rapp’s campaign to resist their unjust Ellis Act eviction by Dattani from their home at 3305 20th Street.
Rain may have dampened the still impressive turnout for this action, but it didn’t dampen the spirit and commitment of its participants. The rally at the BART Plaza featured a poignant speech from Patricia Kerman about her love for San Francisco, its history and spirit followed by music from the Brass Liberation Orchestra (BLO).
From there, the BLO led a spirited march, in the streets, to Patricia’s and Tom’s landlord’s office on 22nd Street between Mission and Bartlett Streets. There, the crowd encountered two SFPD officers guarding the shuttered entrance to the office in order to prevent any direct appeals to Dattani personally to rescind the eviction. In December, at an earlier event, people from Dattani’s office brandished baseball bats in order to intimidate the residents’ efforts to make a similar appeal.
Outside the office and across the width of 22nd Street, the group listened to short speeches from Tom Rapp and members of event sponsor Eviction Free San Francisco and of supportive community organizations like Causa Justa. Tom emphasized the urgency of tenants facing eviction to stand together to assert their rights in order to protect their homes. Alicia from Causa Justa related Dattani’s efforts to harass residents of another building that he recently purchased. Near the end of the action, many people called Dattani’s office and cell phones to demand the retraction of Patricia’s and Tom’s eviction.
Today’s rally, march, and protest is the latest in a growing number of grassroots events in response to the rapid pace of evictions and gentrification during this latest real estate boom. Eviction Free San Francisco is an entirely volunteer organization of tenants and their supporters using mutual aid and direct action to resist evictions and preserve our homes.
The current pace of real estate activity and accompanying evictions make many San Franciscans feel uneasy about their future here. Address those feelings by getting involved in advocating for each other. Already, the efforts of Eviction Free San Francisco and other allied groups have forced elected officials and city bureaucrats to publicly state their intentions to address evictions and push for reforms. And this groundswell of support has led to some tangible victories, including the rescinding and defeating of some Ellis Act evictions and the recognition of the legal right to residency for the tenants at 1049 Market Street.
Help Patricia and Tom fight their eviction by calling Kaushik Dattani and demand that he retract the eviction of Patricia and Tom, at 3305 20th Street.
Press Liaison(s): Roni Ben-David and Jennifer Cust
SAN FRANCISCO TENANTS’ GROUPS TO HOLD “MARCH ON GREED” IN PROTEST OF LOCAL LANDLORD AND “SERIAL EVICTOR”
San Francisco – Next Wednesday, February 26, a coalition of tenants’ rights activists and and local economic justice groups, led by the rising direct action group Eviction Free San Francisco, will hold a march in protest of a local landlord Kaushik Dattani, who has been receiving increased notoriety as a “serial evictor” due to him recently being added to the “dirty dozen” by the Anti Eviction Mapping Project, for being one of the worst Ellis- Act evictors in San Francisco. The event, titled “A March on Greed: Housing is a Human Right”, aims to make Mr. Dattani an example of real estate speculation that has been directly affecting the displacement of the City’s lower and middle income renters.
Eviction Free San Francisco started protesting Dattani when two of his tenants, Tom Rapp and Patricia Kerman, got involved in the organization. Since last December, Rapp and Kerman have been working with Eviction Free San Francisco to organize a series of campaign events, aimed at calling attention to the Ellis Act eviction of their Mission apartment. Most notably, the group staged an estimated 150 person demonstration outside of Mr. Dattani’s office on 22nd Street around the holiday season of 2013, calling for him to rescind the eviction of the building that Rapp and Kerman are occupying. Says Rapp, “ No renters in San Francisco are safe right now. We risk losing the very soul of The City”.
The demands of the action are consistent with previous campaign work. The ultimate objective is to get the Dattani to withdraw the eviction notice. Incorporated in this specific case is strong messaging that attacks the Ellis Act, which is currently being challenged at the state level. Dattani, has been enacting Ellis Act evictions since the first “Dot.com” boom, and has evicted an estimate of 25 units. Notable past protests of Dattani include 12 tenants that lived at a Dattani owned building, also in the Mission, that happened in 2009.
The meet-up for this event is to happen at 11:30am on Wednesday, at the 24th Street BART station. From there, the group plans to walk to Mr. Dattani’s office at 3232 22nd Street. The event is anticipated to last no longer than an hour, and is expected to have a similar crowd size as past protests led by the group, which has shown to be 50 to over 100 participants.
This event is currently being backed by other organizations:
Our Mission: No Eviction, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, San Francisco Tenants Union, Anti Eviction Mapping Project, SEIU 1021, and Senior and Disability Action.
Help EFSF members, Tom and Patricia stay in their home. While Tom says that being evicted would be a hardship for him, he admits that he would ultimately survive. However, he is more concerned about what an eviction would do to his friend and roomate, Patricia, who is a disabled senior existing on a limited fixed income and who has lived in their apartment for 27 years. If she loses her home she will have nowhere to go. Because of this, both Tom and Patricia have decided to fight this unjust Ellis Act eviction with the help of Eviction Free San Francisco members and our allies.
Their landlord, Kaushik Dattani, like most serial evictors, has found that using the Ellis Act is an very efficient means of evicting long-term tenants living in rent controlled housing units. You see, he has successfully done this before back in 2009 evicting twelve tenants and, if he is successful this time in evicting Patricia and Tom, he will most likely do it again and again. Because of the recent Tech boom and the increasing scarcity of available housing in San Francisco, real estate speculation is out of control and long-term residents, including seniors and the disabled, are being displaced all over the city for PROFIT and out of GREED. We need to fight these displacements anyway we can.
You can be a part of this anti-displacement fight. Please join us and phone Mr. Dattani to ask him to rescind his unjust Ellis eviction of Patricia and Tom immediately: Office Phone: 415-546-1238 Cell Phone: 415-742-0888
Below is a pdf flyer. Feel free to download it and distribute it among your friends.
This past Saturday, October 19th, 2013, Eviction Free San Francisco brought to light the crisis of epidemic Ellis Act Evictions in San Francisco’s Castro District. Among those in the Castro, and in District 8, that have been hard hit is the generation of gay men, who lived through the 80’s AIDS crisis, and are now living with AIDS themselves. One of those men is Eviction Free San Francisco member Jeremy Mykaels, whose eviction date has come up.
Jeremy, like so many of his generation, thought he would be allowed to spend his retirement years in the neighborhood that has been his home for the past four decades. That was until he was served his Ellis Act paperwork by the 460Noe Group LLC in September 2012. Now Jeremy, who receives all of his medical care in San Francisco, is faced with the prospect of having to relocate on disability income…meaning he will probably have to find housing outside of the City, and possibly the Bay Area.
For Jeremy, and many other LGBT seniors, living in San Francisco is more than just a luxury. San Francisco and the greater Bay Area is known for not only it’s Gay Liberation history, but also for pioneering high quality social services direct towards Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender individuals that may face discrimination when accessing services elsewhere. Specifically, the network of providers that treat AIDS cases is known worldwide. It is unclear that Jeremy, and others in his circumstance, would be able to just “pick-up and leave” to another state and still be able to afford housing and specialized medical care, let alone have to mitigate the possibility of known prejudice that some medical practitioners still harbor towards LGBT people.
Present at the rally were speakers from the housing and tenants rights movement, as well as members of the Boards of Supervisors Scott Wiener, John Avalos, and David Campos. Supervisor Avalos is aiming to pass legislation that will re-shape the approval of merges of multi-unit into single-unit dwellings. And Supervisor Campos has taken on the lack of housing for San Francisco’s large LGBT population, two thirds of which is estimated to be homeless. While this support is encouraging, it may not be fast enough to help Jeremy Mykaels.
We are encouraging our membership to directly confront the 460Noe Group LLC, who are responsible for eviction Jeremy.
They can be reached at:
William H. Young
Cuong (Cu) Mai
And for partner John H. Du, call Cybelle Tran, DDS. Phone: (510) 487-8533
Ms. Tran’s place of business has been the hosting address for the LLC in the past. We have reason to believe that she and John H. Du are business partners, and possibly live together. Her business address is:
1755 Decoto Rd
Union City, CA 94587
Also, please share and sign our petition on Change.org: https://www.change.org/petitions/rescind-the-unjust-eviction-of-jeremy-mykaels-under-the-ellis-act-now
For more information on Jeremy’s eviction fight and the Ellis Act: EllisHurtsSeniors.org