NBC Bay Area - Unable to keep up with rising rents, tenants of an Oakland apartment building are protesting in a bold way – they’re on a rent strike.
For the past four months, half the tenants of the Oakland property have refused to pay. They hope that by banding together they can afford to keep their homes.
“This is my place,” said rent striker Francisco Perez. “I spent 20 years, a good part of my life.”
Perez takes pride in the apartment he's shared with his wife for the past two decades but said he can no longer keep up with the rising rent. The retired roofer said it's more than doubled in the past five years.
The Mercury News - OAKLAND — A group of tenants living in a Fruitvale apartment building haven’t paid their rent since October, and they don’t plan to until their landlord gives them what they want — a chance to buy the building.
The tenants say they went on strike after a series of rent increases and the landlord’s failure to maintain their apartments. Now they refuse to make another payment until the landlord sits down and negotiates a deal that would allow them, with the help of the nonprofit Oakland Community Land Trust, to take over the property on 29th Avenue. Half of the building’s 14 households are participating, and with the strike in its fourth month, their tactics may be working — a tenant rights group says the landlord last week agreed to set up a meeting.
The Sacramento Bee -
A city of Sacramento rent control ballot initiative that was considered dead may be making a comeback.
The initiative, which aims to protect tenants from rent hikes and unjust evictions, last year received more than 44,000 signatures from voters, qualifying it for the city ballot in 2020.
But in August, the Sacramento City Council passed a rent control ordinance, and the three proponents who had submitted the ballot measure agreed not to pursue it, Margarita Maldonado, one of the proponents, said at the time.
Capradio - There are 47,000 signatures supporting a rent control measure in the city of Sacramento, but the City Council hasn’t put it on the March 2020 ballot. Supporters say they'll sue if it isn't.
John Shaban with SEIU Local 1021 helped hang a large gray banner on the windows at Tuesday's City Hall meeting.
"The city has a qualified initiative that has been lawfully submitted,” Shaban said. “The county elections and the city clerk have accepted this initiative. They have 88 days ahead of the next election to place it on the ballot and tell us that they're doing it so that we can run our part of the campaign."
But the Sacramento City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood says the Council may place charter initiatives before the voters at the next regularly scheduled general municipal election, which is in November 2020.
Alcala Wood says the council actually has until June 2020 to put it on the ballot.
Gulf Times - When Dominique Walker moved back from Mississippi to her native California last year, she planned to pursue a nursing degree while caring for her two small children.But she and other moms and their children ended up living as squatters in a bold, high-profile protest against homelessness. And today the 34-year-old has come to symbolise a crisis that has reached historic proportions in one of America’s wealthiest states.
The Guardian - For almost two months, an unassuming white house on Magnolia Street in Oakland was home for Dominique Walker and her family.
Her one-year-old son, Amir, took his first steps in the living room. He said his first words there, too – “thank you”. Walker’s daughter, Aja, celebrated her fifth birthday in the house.
“We made it a home,” Walker, 34, told the Guardian.
Gimme Shelter Podcast - A group of homeless and housing insecure mothers made national headlines after occupying a vacant home in West Oakland. On this episode of Gimme Shelter, Matt and Liam discuss why the protest was so successful and interview one of the "moms" in Moms 4 Housing.
First, an Avocado of the Fortnight asks whether unvaccinated Californians should count as a terrorist threat (3:00). Then a brand new segment from intern producer Jakob sparks a breakdown on what Moms 4 Housing wanted and how realistic their goals are (6:30). Finally, interviews with Aaron Glantz, author of the book "Homewreckers" who has reported extensively on investment firms buying California homes (22:00); and Moms 4 Housing's Dominique Walker (37:00) and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment's Carroll Fife (37:00).
Los Angeles Times - Diana Castellanos and her husband have three daughters, a two-bedroom apartment in South Los Angeles, and two full-time jobs.
But the recent notice of a looming rent increase, from $1,495 to $2,350 a month, left them in a panic.
“It’s already tight,” said Castellanos, a city employee who works as a parking attendant while her husband is assistant manager of a Hollywood theater. “Gas costs more. Food costs more. Clothes cost more.”
The rent hike was as good as an eviction, since they couldn’t afford it. So the family began searching for another place to live, but that was a discouraging adventure here in the land of high rents and flat wages.