Protecting Oakland Tenants-RYME Youth Skolaz Gentrification Report #1

Tiny - Posted on 01 October 2014

Co-madres/Co-editors Note: The following is the first in a series of Gentrification investigations for PoorNewsNetwork (PNN) led by the Youth Skolaz at Revolutionary Youth Media Education (RYME) Class at Deecolonize Academy. Deecolonize academy is a collaborative effort of Healthy Hoodz and POOR Magazine and Mama & Uncle Teachers/Poverty Skolaz Anita de Asis, Estrella Divina, Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia, Muteado Silencio, all of the children's mama, daddy, uncle and auntie skolaz, Ancestors and Mama Earth

This Bill Has to Be Passed-

By Bentfoot/ PNN RYME Youth SKola at Deecolonize Academy

I am Bentfoot,  a youth scholar in the PNN RYME(Revolutionary Youth Media Education) class at Decolonize academy. Our class went to a rally on September 30th, 2014 at Oakland city hall in support of the legislation for Tenant Protection Ordiance

The Tenant Protection Ordinance is a bill that will protect tenants from being evicted and displaced because of landlord harassment or neglect of repairs.

When we got there we got to talk to two people, Nell and Lynn. 

Nell said,"there's a chance that the bill won't be passed," she explained the reason for that was because there was some landlords there who didn't want the bill to be passed because they wouldn't be able to harrass the tenants out of their house.

When we talked to Lynn and she went on to tell us about why she was there and that was because she was an intern of Merrit College for Just Cause and that they had helped her when she was in distress with her housing. For instance her landlord refused to repair her house for 21 years, to the point where she had a bunch of holes in her roof that let in water and he didn't fix the roof until she told him that her computer could be damaged.

Once we finished talking to Nell and Lynn we went into the City Hall Chambers. The stairs toward it was all imported marble stairs which cost thousands of dollars to make. When we went into the chambers it looked like they spared no expense on the room, which gave me a feeling of isolation and that i would be taken off to jail if i said anything.

In the end i left feeling that this bill has to be passed to prevent gentrification because my family and me has been homeless for about 5 months because we couldn't find a house because of how much houses has been raised to cost.

Protecting Our Future

By Ana Lapota/PNN RYME Skola

I Ana Lapota , an intern/mentee at Deecolonize Academy reported on the Tenant Protection Ordinance at City Hall in Downtown Oakland on September 30, 2014. The Tenant Protection Ordinance is basically helping homeowners not be kicked out of their homes by the government, since finding new housing is expensive.


Early today while at city hall I discovered that tenants are having their homes forclosed due to the government wanting their property. One person in particular named Nell says that she was kicked out of her home because Chase wanted it and that going to the bank wouldn't help either, so she became a renter. However, she used the knowledge she had to help others who were going through the same situation.


“They will say that they want to help you but they really don't” says another woman named Leanne. In Leanne's case she had troubles with where she was living because there were a lot of problems with her home. For example, she had a leak in her roof, yet her landlord didn't want to do anything until she told them that she has to continuously move her computer to prevent it from getting wet, and they only fixed her roof because they did not want to pay for her computer if it got damaged. Later on in the day while walking into the chamber you see marble floors and stairs.


You also see a huge spacious area leading up to the chmber with intricate artwork on the ceiling.

At the end of the day we leave city hall with the realization that if we do not want this to happen to us when we get older we have to do something about it, us as young revolutionaries have the power to affect the future and by demanding changes now our future will seem brighter than ever.

Chase (Bank) Needed my House More than i did??!

By Butterfly/PNN-RYME Skola

I, Butterfly, from PNN-RYME at Deecolonize academy. I went to support a protest about the tenant protection ordinance being proposed in Oakland. I found out that our voices are important and we need to fight for this because there is a chance that the legislation wont pass.


We interviewed Nell, one of the organizers of the action.  Some of her history with evictions is she lived in a house which the bank company Chase stole from her.  “Chase felt like they needed the house more then she did.”said Nell


She said,” I was really angry , but I also felt happy because I was very well supported so it was kind of a mixed feeling.”



In the end I want the law to be passed because me and my family have dealt with a housing crisis for over 4 months, and have been evicted before, that's why I think this law should be passed to protect families of color like mine in Oakland

I Don't Want to Live in Cardboard Houses

By Heidy Serrano/PNN-RYME Youth Skola

I Heidy Serrano an intern at Deecolonize Academy went to Oakland City Hall on September, 30th. We went to a rally for the support of the Tenant Protection Ordinance Legislation.

We interviewed Nell who informed us that Chase bank seized her home and that banks like Chase use the money of the poor people to take their homes.


" I was 25 years living in my house, the landlord never fixed anything,"  said Lynn an organizer with Just Cause Oakland we also interviewed  She and Lynn and many more people like the members of POOR Magazine are fighting for tenants rights in Oakland.

"Gentrification is displacing poor people out of Oakland. Poor people can’t afford to stay in Oakland because the prices keep rising and people living on fixed incomes from the government barely get anough to cover their rent. We only get 900 a month while the rents are going at $1,000 and above, " concluded Lynn.


. “I don’t want to live under a freeway or in cardboard houses.” -added Lynn.


We went inside of City Hall where it was quite grand with beautiful sculptures and marble floors that could house many houseless people; but instead they use the money on their fancy city hall.


In conclusion we are change the young people will create change for everyone. When elders can’t fight anymore we will be there to make change.


I have Been Evicted So Many Times

By Tiburcio Garcia/RYME-PNN Youth Skola

I am Tiburcio Garcia reporter for RYME (Revolutionary Youth Media Education) am reporting about how we (Deecolonize Academy) went to the city hall in Oakland CA on September 30th.

We interviewed a woman who went by the name of Nell. She spoke to us about how the legislation might come to pass but she was also was worried

 “There is a chance that it wont be passed” said Nell. After a few minutes of talking we went into the chambers of the city’s hall. The Tenants Protection Ordenance as it is called is a legislation that might be passed resides in side the city hall. The marble shone my eyes like dimmed stars in a very starry night.

The figures that were etched out of the marble were magnificent but the money put into them could’ve bought houses for a lot of people living in the streets.

 We went into the courtroom and I might’ev said the same thing about that sanctuary. The decision makers were the people in the high chairs looking down at you like miniature human Washington monuments I caught a few names like Larry Reid and Cibby Sehaf but the sounds1 were mostly jumbled.  

I believe that because I have been evicted so many times I think it should be passed to help the people who are in risk being evicted now

Landlords are Wrong

By Kimo Umu/PNN-RYME youth skola

I am Kimo,Umu I went to Oakland City Hall on September 30 to a rally and protest for the legislation in support for getting tenant protections. When we were there we interviewed a woman named Nell.

''There is a chance that it wont pass,''said Nell speaking about the legislation .

After the rally we went into the chambers. It was beautiful and it also looked very expensive I wonder where they got all that money. to make it so nice


My opinion on this is I hope this becomes a law because people are getting evicted all over the bay.I think it's wrong what the landlords are doing to all our people when we need housing.


As a Young Black Girl...

By Joyous/RYME-PNN Youth Skola

I. Joyous, part of RYME at Deecolonize Academy me and my classmates went to a rally in Oakland in support of the tenant protection ordinance,  we spoke to a lady named Nell,

“I feel bad about what happened to Oakland because of gentrification,” said Nell..She went on to say that she was so happy that the tenant protection is being proposed to the city council.

As a black girl living in Oakland I hope that this legislation passes


Sign-up for POOR email!