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Telemundo 48 - El Concejo de la Ciudad de Antioch ordena redactar una nueva ordenanza que protejería a inquilinos

ANTIOCH, CA - El Concejo de la Ciudad de Antioch ordenó el martes al personal a redactar una ordenanza de desalojo por causa justa que tenga como objetivo fortalecer las protecciones para los inquilinos más allá de las leyes estatales actuales.

Los defensores de la ordenanza dicen que podría proteger a los inquilinos de desalojos sin causa y prevenir que algunas familias se queden sin hogar.

Organizaciones de defensa de los inquilinos y políticas y de igualdad racial como ACCE Action, Rising Juntos, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Monument Impact y Movement Legal, junto con residentes y líderes religiosos de Antioch, han estado presionando por una ordenanza que proteja a los inquilinos de desalojos sin causa, como renovaciones para evadir las prohibiciones de aumento de alquiler a los inquilinos de larga data.

KALW 91.7 - Antioch will begin drafting just cause eviction ordinance

ANTIOCH, CA - Over the last several years, organizers and housing rights advocates in Antioch have made significant progress in fighting for tenant rights: they’ve established rent control and helped pass a tenant anti-harassment ordinance. Now, they’re working to prevent unjust evictions.

“Now we're pushing for just cause ordinance in order to essentially protect as many families who have been left out by state policy when it comes to evictions and why somebody can be evicted.”

This is Luis Fernando Anguiano, he’s with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE. He says that Antioch has some of the highest eviction rates in the Bay Area, mostly due to loopholes in various tenant protection laws.

For example, renters living in single family owner-occupied homes aren’t protected by “just cause” eviction protections, nor are tenants who’ve been renting for fewer than 12 months. Again, Aguiano.

“We don't think that that is quite reasonable.”

Telemundo 48 - Impulsan aprobación de ordenanza que brindaría protecciones a inquilinos en Antioch

ANTIOCH, California - El martes, el Ayuntamiento de Antioch considerará crear una ordenanza de desalojo por causa justa que agregaría protecciones para los inquilinos dentro de la ciudad, y los defensores de los inquilinos se manifestarán antes de la reunión.

Los defensores de la ordenanza aseguraron que podría proteger a los inquilinos de desalojos sin culpa y evitar que algunas familias se queden sin hogar.

Grupos de defensa de inquilinos planean asistir a la reunión para compartir sus experiencias y describir cómo la aprobación de tal ordenanza afectaría sus vidas.

"Durante los últimos meses, hemos estado hablando con la gente, escuchando historias sobre la falta de protección en la ciudad y las preocupaciones que tiene la gente sobre quedarse sin hogar", dijo Luis Fernando Anguiano, asociado de comunicaciones a nivel estatal de la Alianza de Californianos por Acción de Empoderamiento Comunitario.


Telemundo 52 - Proponen ampliar ordenanza contra acoso de inquilinos

LOS ANGELES, California - Inquilinos de diferentes áreas de Los Ángeles se reunieron con lideres y activistas de organizaciones comunitarias quienes les ofrecieron información sobre sus derechos para evitar que sean víctimas de acoso por parte de los propietarios de sus viviendas.

La Opinion - Revolución bancaria en favor de los más vulnerables en California

LOS ANGELES, California - En Estados Unidos, las comisiones por sobregiros bancarios cuestan a los consumidores más de 8,000 millones de dólares cada año, y más del 80% de este beneficio adicional para las grandes instituciones bancarias provino del 9% de los clientes más pobres, afroamericanos y latinos

Gracias a la ley AB 1177 del asambleísta Miguel Santiago, aprobada en octubre de 2021 por el gobernador Gavin Newsom, personas como Javier Enrique Sarmiento, un hondureño de El Progreso Yoro, ya no tendrá que pagar los $15.00 de recargos mensuales que le hace su banco, cada vez que no puede tener al menos $300.00.

“Me arrepiento de haber abierto una cuenta con el banco”, afirma Sarmiento, quien trabaja como pintor independiente. “En 10 años me han cobrado mucho dinero”.

KPBS San Diego - Just months after launch, South Bay rapid bus line survives campaign to get rid of it

SAN DIEGO, California - A new express bus line in the South Bay has survived a campaign to get rid of it, just months after the route went into service.

The Rapid 227 electric bus line, which connects the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and Imperial Beach, has faced a blooming debate in the small waterfront city. Dozens of residents there said they were frustrated by the arrival of new noise and street traffic and accused county transit authorities of not doing enough to consult with the neighborhood.

The bus also drew passionate support from dozens of other Imperial Beach residents, along with a number of community advocates and city officials. They said the new bus line was an essential resource for binational commuters and students and argued it was far too soon to consider winding it down.

After a lengthy public hearing last month, the Imperial Beach City Council said they would support keeping the bus line in place. They recommended transit authorities consider shifting the route slightly so it would be less disruptive to some neighborhoods.

Advocates and many residents celebrated the decision.

“We believe that it's going to provide a lot of benefits for our South Bay communities,” said transit advocate Randy Torres-Van Vleck. “It's a lifeline for our communities to get around, participate in the economy, get across the border, get to school, get to resources, and get to the beach.”

EAST BAY TIMES - Antioch flies Pan-African flag for first time in honor of Black Americans

ANTIOCH, California - Antioch will for the first time in history fly the Pan-African flag at City Hall through Juneteenth in honor of Black Americans who contributed to the enrichment of the community.

Originally proposed as a Black History Month display, the flag flying was extended because it came on the agenda so late in the month on Feb. 27. Mayor Lamar Hernandez-Thorpe, who sets the agenda, requested an extension because of the delay, noting the requester – Antioch’s Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment – had done so in a timely fashion.
“I reviewed the request and thought it was a great idea,” the mayor said of the flag flying in what is now one of the Bay Area’s most diverse cities.

Mayor Pro-Tem Monica Wilson moved for approval, with an extension until Juneteenth, the June 19 holiday that commemorates the end of slavery.

The Daily Nexus - UC-wide union rallies for the UC to “break up” with Blackstone on Valentine’s Day, invest in affordable housing

Union workers and students at seven UC campuses called for the UC to “break up” with Blackstone — the largest commercial landlord in the U.S. — and promote more affordable housing options in tandem with Valentine’s Day at a Feb. 14 rally.

The joint action was organized by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, which previously helped pass the Homeless Prevention Act in 2019 to protect tenant rights. The collective effort was also supported by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 3299, a UC-wide union representing over 30,000 service workers and patient care technical workers, among others. The union is currently undergoing contract negotiations with the University for better wages and benefits and wants to include a clause for divestment within their contract, according to AFSCME 3299 UC Santa Barbara organizer and union representative Wendy Santamaria.

“Right now they’re bargaining for better wages, better benefits, but one of the specific things that we’re negotiating is a housing package that is able to provide financial assistance for members,” Santamaria said. 

KQED - California Bill Would Require Landlords to Accept Pets

A San Francisco lawmaker introduced what’s believed to be first-in-the-nation legislation this month that would require California landlords to accept pets.

The bill, AB 2216 by Democratic Assemblymember Matt Haney, is currently a spot bill with details to be fleshed out in the coming weeks and months. Haney said the intention is to bar property owners from asking about pets on applications, prohibit additional monthly fees for pet owners — or “pet rent” — and limit pet deposits.

The legislation, which is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, is aimed at solving a big problem Haney said he sees in the rental world: an overabundance of tenants with pets and a shortage of landlords willing to accept them.

“A two-tiered system that punishes people for having pets, or treats them differently, or has a greater burden on them just for that fact should not be allowed in the law,” Haney said.

Fight Back! News - Victory for public education: Motion to limit charter co-locations passes

LOS ANGELES, CA – In a hotly debated Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board meeting February 13, a motion to lessen the negative impact on public schools from charter school co-location passed 4 to 3.

The original September 2023 motion, by Jackie Goldberg and Dr. Rociso Rivas, basically called for a study by the superintendent on the negative impact of charter schools that reside inside public schools. At the Tuesday meeting, a new policy was approved that will help hold back the growth of charter school co-locations.

Antonieta Garcia of East Los Angeles, an advocate and mother of children in LAUSD, stated: “This is a big victory for our ELA community. We have been fighting co-location and the saturation of charter schools for many years!”

The Daily Californian - ‘We’ll be back’: Protesters call for UC to divest from Blackstone

BERKELEY, California - UC Berkeley students and Berkeley residents joined a rally led by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME-3299. The procession marched from Blackwell Hall to the chancellor’s office on Valentine’s Day to push the UC system to divest from Blackstone.

Starting at 11:45 a.m., protesters took a stance against the university, alleging several billion dollars worth of investment in Blackstone, to which protesters attributed the skyrocketing rent prices in Berkeley. Campus is a large shareholder in Blackstone, a private equity firm and one of the largest residential and corporate landlords in the United States. Several student housing residencies in Berkeley are also owned by Blackstone.

“This is the first of many protests we’ll be holding in solidarity with AFSCME, to bring attention to the irresponsible policies of the university,” said Eric Lerner, director of climate change and corporate accountability with ACCE. “We want to send a message that the UC needs to divest its (billions) invested in Blackstone, a company that is causing a national housing crisis.”

CONTRA COSTA HERALD - Valentine’s Day marchers call on UC Regents, Chancellors to “Break Up with Blackstone”

On Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, students, the University of California’s (UC) union of low-wage frontline service and patient care workers – members of AFSCME Local 3299 – alongside Blackstone tenants and community members with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) called on UC Chancellors to “Break up with Blackstone” and invest in affordable housing. The global Wall Street private equity firm Blackstone has become the largest landlord in America and has been accused of worsening high housing costs and evictions.

Actions were held across the state in seven locations on the campuses of UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego. The renewed call to divest from Blackstone follows the announcement of its $3.5 billion acquisition of Tricon Residential Inc. UC invested $4.5 billion in Blackstone’s BREIT in 2023 to boost investor confidence amid a wave of shareholder redemptions.

Daily Bruin - AFSCME Local 3299, community members call on UC to divest from Blackstone

LOS ANGELES, California - In celebration of Valentine’s Day, 75 UC employees and community members demanded the University to “break up” with and divest from Blackstone outside the chancellor’s office in Murphy Hall.

The workers – who are represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 – alleged that the University’s ties to Blackstone prevent the UC from being an “ethical landlord,” and they urged the UC Regents to invest in affordable housing, divest from Blackstone and bargain a fair new contract for the union.

AFSCME Local 3299, which represents service, patient care technical and skilled craft workers employed by the University, held simultaneous actions Wednesday on eight UC campuses. Workers at UCLA, alongside members of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, began their march to the chancellor’s office at 11:45 a.m. as the UC Board of Regents met at the Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center a short walk away.

Union members marched in unison, chanting slogans such as “Break up with Blackstone,” “No housing, no peace,” and “UCLA, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side.”

Once they arrived inside Murphy Hall, union and community members delivered handwritten “breakup letters” to Chancellor Gene Block and the regents with the union’s demands. They also posted a sign on the wall that read, “University of CA, invest in the housing we need, not Blackstone’s greed.”

“We’re struggling beyond any point that we can understand,” said senior custodian Enrique Rosas in a speech. “Yet we show up every day. We show up every single day, Monday through Friday, doing our job – and do they care? No.”

UNITE HERE Local 11 Opposes Proposed $3.5 Billion Blackstone Deal

LOS ANGELES—Blackstone’s planned acquisition of the single-family rental company Tricon Residential will further exacerbate the housing affordability crisis and harm tenants and workers, according to UNITE HERE Local 11, AFSCME Local 3299, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project (PESP).

As Blackstone seeks to grow as a landlord, workers at its hotel properties struggle to afford rent. Workers at the Blackstone-owned Fairfield LAX/El Segundo, Aloft LAX/El Segundo and Sheraton Phoenix went on strike last year and continue to fight for a contract that will provide living wages, affordable benefits, and adequate staffing. While 29 hotels have settled agreements that will enable workers to survive in Southern California, Blackstone’s hotels have failed to do so.

KQED - Qué hacer si su hogar sufrió daños por las tormentas de California

Apenas comenzó febrero y California ha sido azotada por lluvias torrenciales y fuertes vientos gracias a un río atmosférico que trae miles de millones de galones de agua evaporada desde el Océano Pacífico hasta la Costa Oeste. Este sistema meteorológico ha dejado cientos de miles de californianos sin luz y muchos ahora tienen que hacer frente, una vez más, a las inundaciones en sus casas o a las pertenencias destruidas por las filtraciones de agua de lluvia.

La buena noticia: Si usted es inquilino y su vivienda ha sufrido daños, el arrendador tiene obligaciones estatales con usted, independientemente de si tiene un contrato de alquiler o no.

La mala noticia: Puede resultar que algunos arrendatarios tarden en reparar los daños en su casa y otros pueden hasta negar esta responsabilidad.

Por eso, KQED habló con Leah Simon-Weisberg, directora legal del grupo de inquilinos Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), para entender mejor qué derechos un inquilino tiene durante y después una tormenta y también cómo puede comunicarse con su arrendador.

AP News: UNITE HERE Local 11: Proposed $3.5 Billion Deal by Landlord and Hotel Owner Blackstone Group Could Worsen Housing Crisis

LOS ANGELES, CA - Blackstone’s planned acquisition of the single-family rental company Tricon Residential will further exacerbate the housing affordability crisis and harm tenants and workers, according to UNITE HERE Local 11, AFSCME Local 3299, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project (PESP).

As Blackstone seeks to grow as a landlord, workers at its hotel properties struggle to afford rent. Workers at the Blackstone-owned Fairfield LAX/El Segundo, Aloft LAX/El Segundo and Sheraton Phoenix went on strike last year and continue to fight for a contract that will provide living wages, affordable benefits, and adequate staffing. While 29 hotels have settled agreements that will enable workers to survive in Southern California, Blackstone’s hotels have failed to do so.

The $1 trillion private equity giant Blackstone—which is already the largest landlord in the U.S. —announced on January 19 that it planned to get even bigger by acquiring Tricon, which owns and operates 38,000 single family rental properties in the U.S, including properties in California and Arizona.

OLT News: California billboard campaign slams state Democratic lawmakers for putting big oil priorities ahead of people – Working Families Party

SACRAMENTO, CA - As California’s 2024 legislative session begins, the California Working Families Party (CA WFP) is launching a three-pronged poster campaign today to denounce the strong influence that Big Oil still retains over California politics. The panels denounce three Democratic lawmakers who took money out of fossil fuels and voted for the industry’s agenda. These lawmakers illustrate how big oil companies retain power in Sacramento, as nearly two-thirds of fossil fuel donations went to Democratic state lawmakers last year.

Despite California’s bold steps to hold polluters accountable, from suing big oil companies for the climate damage they’ve caused to passing laws requiring big companies to disclose their carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, only a handful of Democratic state lawmakers can block action on climate and consumer protections. Analysis by the California Working Families Party reveals that these Democrats consistently support the interests of big oil, often in conflict with their voters’ progressive voting history.

ABC10 News: San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria to deliver fourth State of the City Address

SAN DIEGO, CA - Mayor Todd Gloria will deliver his fourth State of the City Address Wednesday, addressing the city's ongoing issues, such as homelessness, housing affordability, infrastructure and public safety . . .

Gloria has continued to change to a punitive tack on the homelessness issue, joining with City Councilman Stephen Whitburn in pushing for the Unsafe Camping Ordinance, which the council passed 5-4 in June.

The proposal is intended to ban tent encampments at all times in certain sensitive areas -- parks, canyons and near schools, transit stations and homeless shelters -- regardless of shelter capacity. Signs have gone up across the city, effectively criminalizing homelessness in large swaths of the city.

Barbara Pinto, a member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, compared the proposal during public comment "to pouring water on a drowning man."

Pinto urged the council to focus on providing more affordable housing. Others suggested the council either table the proposal or scrap the plan altogether and craft a new one. More than a few opponents urged the council to go with 2019 community action plan to tackle homelessness.

The Mercury News: Bay Area’s biggest corporate landlord to pay $3.7 million over rent-gouging case

BAY AREA - Invitation Homes, the nation’s largest owner of single-family rentals, will pay $3.7 million to settle allegations it illegally hiked rent for hundreds of California tenants, state Attorney General Rob Bonta announced.

The attorney general’s office says the company — which is also the single largest owner of residential property in the Bay Area — raised rents between October 2019 and December 2022 on 1,900 homes in California beyond the amounts allowed by the Tenant Protection Act. That state law, passed in 2019, caps annual rent increases to 5%, plus a percentage change in the cost of living, up to 10%.

“Californians are facing a housing crisis of epic proportion. California has laws in place to protect tenants from sudden, large rent increases, and landlords need to be diligent in ensuring that they abide by those laws,” Bonta said in a statement on Monday. “The settlement announced today should serve as a reminder to landlords in California to familiarize themselves with the law and protections put in place to keep homes accessible to Californians.”

Rent control campaign begins in Redwood City

REDWOOD CITY, CA - A new ordinance filed in Redwood City would create one of the most expansive rent control policies in the county, as well as include anti-harassment provisions meant to close what advocates say are loopholes in the state’s tenant protection laws.

If passed, a new rent stabilization program would be created to set the allowable rent increases for applicable properties, not to exceed 5% each year. Landlords would pay a monthly $7 to $10 fee to fund the program, which would also oversee other tenant protection-related issues. 

“Local advocates have been trying to get the council to pass the same policies, so it’s now been years and years of asking for the same policies that exist in so many other Bay Area communities and asking them to adopt them in Redwood City,” ACCE Institute Legal Director Leah Simon-Weisberg said. 

Rent control on the ballot? Advocates push for new Bay Area tenant protections

BAY AREA, CA - Tenant advocates are pushing to put rent control measures on the ballot in at least four Bay Area cities this November, the latest effort to expand such protections across the region as tens of thousands continue struggling with sky-high housing costs.

Advocacy groups this month plan to file proposed rent control ordinances with Redwood City, San Pablo, Pittsburg and Larkspur, the first step toward gathering the thousands of signatures needed to bring the measures before voters . . .

Campaign organizers, including the influential Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, contend there are few other options after cities resisted years-long efforts to adopt adequate tenant safeguards.

“They’ve been trying and trying and trying at the local level to go before their local officials,” said Leah Simon-Weisberg, legal director for the alliance. “These are all cities that have an affordability crisis in their communities.”

These Californians live in affordable housing. Why did their rent skyrocket?

BAY AREA, CA - When California lawmakers passed a rent cap four years ago to protect tenants from large and frequent rent hikes, they exempted hundreds of thousands of units reserved for some of the state’s poorest renters.

Low-income housing, after all, is usually built with public subsidies that already impose rent ceilings on developers and property owners. Some are already managed or overseen by local public housing agencies.

But California also has more than 350,000 privately owned low-income housing units — built with the help of federal tax credits — exempted from the state’s rent cap. Residents of some of those units have seen their rents soar despite being the exact demographic the law sought to protect.

Estos californianos residen en viviendas asequibles. Entonces ¿por qué se disparó el precio del alquiler?

AREA DE LA BAHIA, CA - Cuando los legisladores de California aprobaron un tope de pago alquiler hace cuatro años para proteger a los inquilinos de aumentos grandes y frecuentes, eximieron a cientos de miles de unidades reservadas para algunos de los inquilinos más pobres del estado.

Después de todo, las viviendas para personas de bajos ingresos generalmente se construyen con subsidios públicos que ya imponen límites máximos de alquiler a los promotores y propietarios. Algunas ya están administradas o supervisadas por agencias locales de vivienda pública.

Pero California también tiene más de 350,000 unidades de vivienda de propiedad privada para personas de bajos ingresos (construidas con la ayuda de créditos fiscales federales) exentas del límite de alquiler estatal. Los residentes de algunas de esas unidades han visto dispararse sus alquileres a pesar de ser exactamente el grupo demográfico que la ley buscaba proteger.

Jacobin - New Tools Are Helping More Tenants Than Ever Fight Eviction and Rent Debt

STATEWIDE - On November 14, 2023, Liz Ruvalcaba was served with a summons and complaint notifying her that a lawsuit had been filed by her landlord to evict her from her home. It didn’t come as a shock.

One week earlier, Ruvalcaba had returned home to find her rent checks for September and October rolled up and wedged under her doorknob, still in the envelopes in which she had delivered them to her property manager. “You could see [the manager] had opened the envelopes and then just put the checks back inside,” Ruvalcaba told Jacobin. “Of course, I knew that if they’re refusing to accept the rent, they’re getting ready to do something. And sure enough, a week went by and I received the documents from the court.” The summons and complaint specified that she was being evicted for nonpayment of rent.

Miles de personas siguen esperando ayuda mientras el programa de alivio de alquiler por COVID de California se está quedando sin fondos

En marzo de 2021, la industria cinematográfica de Los Ángeles apenas comenzaba a recuperar la vida después de una prolongada caída inducida por el COVID, pero Michael Addis, un cineasta independiente, todavía estaba en lo más profundo del agujero. Durante más de un año había estado acumulando pagarés para su arrendador y la cuenta ascendía a 43,792 dólares.

Entonces Addis recurrió a un programa estatal de emergencia diseñado para ayudar a personas como él a pagar la deuda de alquiler acumulada durante la pandemia. 

Más tarde, en el verano de 2021, el propio gobernador Gavin Newsom promocionó el programa Housing Is Key como el más grande de su tipo en el país. “Estamos muy concentrados en hacer llegar esta asistencia lo más rápido posible “, dijo en ese momento.

Addis recibió respuesta 20 meses después de presentar su solicitud.  

El 5 de junio de 2023, cuando cumplió 61 años, recibió un correo electrónico, que compartió con CalMatters, notificándole que se había aprobado un pago en su totalidad. 

Pero para entonces ya era demasiado tarde.