Don’t Let Eviction Kill More Elders

Tiny - Posted on 19 January 2011

Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia/PNN

The North Beach Eviction of low-income elders must be stopped

“No justice, No peace….” Their voices trembled slightly as they chanted. “Eviction is Death,” They stood together, chiseled hands, over-worked arms, weary legs, shoulders tired from holding up thousands of skies. They stood together,  tailors, house-cleaners, plumbers, waiters, dishwashers, grandmothers, uncles, handymen, poets, artists, aunties, cooks, laundry workers, sanitation workers, child-care workers, craft-workers, refusing to accept the eviction of four elders by Peter Iskander, a landlord who had plans to replace their homes for a condominium, a profit margin, a floor-plan.

On Wednesday, December 29, four low-income elders ranging in age from 65 to 90 who have been tenants in the same building in North Beach for decades stood outside their homes with scores of other elders in resistance from Chinese Progressive Association and the Tenants Union to protest the latest of many Ellis Act evictions across The City. Their homes are located in North Beach at 525-531 Greenwich, a 4 unit building bought by a real estate speculation company called Master Builders Real Estate. The company has been buying up apartment buildings in North Beach, the Marina and the Mission and then evicting the tenants and selling the units as Tenants In Common(TIC) s—for huge profits.

Sandi Bishop, one of the elder tenants said: “I can't find a place to live because I don't have money and I am low income which means up to 4 years to have your name on a list for senior housing. I can't leave my apt. where do I go?” From Carlo, who is over 70, disabled and has lived in his apartment for 40 years, to Sandi who is 70 and has fought cancer for the last year, the elder long-time tenants have nowhere else to go and no health, money or physical recourses to go with.

POOR Magazine came to re-port and sup-port on this gentrification genocide, as we have been doing since our inception, creating survival media, do or die media, so elders won’t die media. What we didn’t expect to find is a direct connection to the plight of these elders in North Beach. POOR’s revolutionary classrooms located in the historic Redstone building are currently under threat of displacement because of the proposed development of two 7 story condominiums on our street by a related developer.

 “We remember you Lola McKay,” as the elders stood on the street outside their at-risk homes, Long-time economic justice organizer and advocate with Housing Rights Committee, Tommi Avicoli Mecca,  sang a song in honor of Lola Mckay, elder tenant of an Ellis Act eviction who was murdered by the genocide of gentrification in this same City over ten years ago. The Ellis actis a state law which says that landlords have the unconditional right to evict tenants to "go out of business." For an Ellis eviction, the landlord must remove all of the units in the building from the rental market,

Don’t let eviction kill more elders. Resist gentrification and displacement by joining the resistance at 525 Greenwich on January 19, 2011 @ 6pm. Peter Iskander will be at the property, Tell the developer what you think of this plan. For more information or to get involved in the struggle go on-line to




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