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She Couldn’t Afford Her Rent And Had Nowhere To Turn. That’s When She Joined A Tenant Union.

BuzzFeed - The documents arrived paper-clipped and folded in Tiana McGuire’s mailbox in early September. She owed three months’ worth in rent, $3,050, it said on the packet of pages that her landlord, Sullivan Management Company (SMC), had shoved into her and her neighbors’ mailboxes in their apartment building in Oakland.

“Pay rent in 15 days or quit,” the first page read.

This was the notice McGuire had dreaded ever since she stopped paying rent in June. Even though she knew evictions had been suspended in Oakland since late March, the letter made it clear: She had two weeks to pay the rent she owed or she had to vacate her home of the last seven years.

How Moms 4 Housing Changed Laws and Inspired a Movement

KQED - Nearly a year after a group of homeless moms occupied a house in West Oakland and captured the nation's attention with their protest against the Bay Area's high housing costs, they came back to the home to celebrate.

On Oct. 9, Moms 4 Housing announced the home would soon become transitional housing for other homeless mothers, with services on-site to help with jobs, credit readiness and permanent housing.

"This is officially moms' house," said Dominique Walker, one of the moms who occupied the home.


Activists Urge Sen. Feinstein To Take Actions To Stop Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

KPIX 5 - Activists in San Francisco rallied outside the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Monday afternoon to demand that she and other Senate Democrats stop confirmation hearings for U.S. President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

The hearings, which kicked off Monday morning, could result in Barrett filling in the seat of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last month.

Because Barrett’s appointment, which lasts for the rest of her life, would result in a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court, the activists want to hold off on the hearings until after the start of a new presidential term following the upcoming Nov. 3 election, which they say was Ginsburg’s dying wish.

As Eviction Filings Resume, Tenants Demand More Protections

KPBS - Landlords can begin filing evictions in San Diego housing court Monday for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Landlords weren’t the only ones at the courthouse — a group of tenants also made the trip to housing court in downtown San Diego, saying a new state law meant to protect them doesn’t go far enough.

“If they kick me out of my house, where I’ve been living for four years, where am I going to go? Am I going to live in this van with my kids, and be more vulnerable to COVID?,” said Patricia Mendoza, a tenant who’s part of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). Mendoza has been fighting for the rights of tenants, including herself, for months now.


In her run for City Council, Fife pushes back on the institutional barriers to Black people that come from a history of oppression.

The Appeal - Carroll Fife, a longtime activist in Oakland, California, is running for City Council on a broad platform promising to address injustice and racial inequities across the city. It’s part of what she describes as a long overdue program of dismantling systems of racial oppression that have lingered in America for decades since the civil rights movement.

“My perspective of the U.S. is this country has never atoned for the original sin of having people enslaved and used as property,” said Fife, executive director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Oakland. “Everything we’re experiencing today is a result of not addressing that.” 

Fife’s platform pushes back on the institutional barriers to Black people that come from a history of oppression. Cat Brooks, a 2018 mayoral candidate and co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, praised Fife as one of the city’s fiercest campaigners and said the City Council campaign is a chance to capitalize on the work done by local activists for years. Fife has the “right platform and the right message” for the current moment, said Brooks, and her policy priorities reflect a realistic response to the challenges faced by Oaklanders and the country as a whole. 


Moms 4 Housing-inspired bill becomes California law

San Jose Mercury News - A bill signed into law this week prevents corporations from scooping up too much of California’s valuable housing stock — a shift that could help shape how the state’s housing market weathers the COVID-fueled economic crisis.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 1079 into law this week — one of several housing protection or production-focused bills to make it off his desk. SB 1079, which was inspired by the Oakland activist group Moms 4 Housing, prevents corporations from snapping up bundles of homes during foreclosure auctions. Instead, it gives tenants and families an opportunity to buy them individually.

With the coronavirus pandemic pushing national mortgage default rates higher than they’ve been in years, the new state law could prove especially impactful.

California’s rent strike: Who pays and how it works

CalMatters - As the pandemic stretches into its seventh month, tenants and landlords have found themselves facing the same question: Who’s going to pay the rent if unemployment continues to hover north of 11%?

After the California Supreme Court’s eviction moratorium expired Sept. 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers extended protections for residential renters and forestalled evictions until Feb. 1 for people who declared that they lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic. Without a larger national bailout, the state deal is essentially a short-term fix that will convert back rent to civil debt, meaning landlords will still be able to pursue repayment in small claims court.

What this means for renters is that while they get to stay in their homes, the debt keeps piling up. 

'War on Us': Black Women Rally in Oakland for Breonna Taylor

KQED - They raised their voices in anger, pain and poetry, speaking words of protest and calling for action in the wake of a Kentucky grand jury’s decision not to charge any Louisville police officers for the death of Breonna Taylor.

One after another, Black women representing Bay Area community organizing groups weighed in Thursday morning during a rally in front of an Oakland mural honoring Taylor at 15th and Broadway.

“Breonna Taylor did not die in a vacuum. She died inside of a paradigm in this country where the lives of Black women and girls do not matter,” said Cat Brooks, one of the event’s organizers and co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project.