Tenants Con-vention

Tiny - Posted on 04 March 2014

Rommie Whittaker

The San Francisco Tenants Convention held on February 8th, 2014 was cited as the largest one since the late 70’s by the organizers ,The Anti-Displacement Coalition. I attended and recognized several familiar faces including former supervisor Chris Daley and current supervisors John Avalos and Davis Campos.

The event was held in an elementary school and it was not so much a convention as it was a one-room meeting. It was hosted by one of the many “non-profits” in this city who manage to make money off your name or warm body (requiring your signature upon entrance so they can get funding), and yet somehow do nothing to actually help you. It also felt like an infomercial for the supervisors who were there to champion their cause. (The ones in attendance are admittedly likable people, but isn’t that the point?)

Sorry if I sound jaded, but once you’ve gone to as many non-profits in this city as I have, you can’t avoid feeling that somehow it is a preconceived conspiracy. Each time I’ve tried to receive help from these non-profits, I’ve been told instead to go along with the “man’s” demands. I actually thought I’d get somewhere when they asked me to describe the “wrong doing” of the other party, but it never amounts to anything. I believe that what happens instead is they take that info and pass it along to the other party (which is highly illegal). This is racketeering and nobody seems to do anything about it, not even the FBI or city attorney - who is suppose to protect consumer rights! I believe this happened when I was evicted by Tenderloin Housing Clinic (one of the biggest housing poverty pimps in San Francisco whom I am certain is affiliated with The Anti-Displacement Coalition).

During the Tenants Convention, one of the Co-editors/Poverty Scholars from POOR Magazine was admonished for speaking on the direct action we at POOR Magazine did in front of 850 Bryant St. because we are not affiliated with the Anti-Displacement Coalition. POOR magazine organized a powerful action at the Hall of Injustice in which we formally filed murder charges - for evicting elders who subsequently died as a result of being forced into homelessness - against the following landlords: Elba Borgen, Benny Chetcuti , WB Coyle , Kausik Mulji Dattani, Ashok K. Gujral and Todd W. Rhodes, Ted Hulbrush and Ron Jankov, Sergio Iantori,  Thomas Iveli and Bog Sigmund, David McCloskey,  Matthew Miller, Bonnie K. Spindler, Kwong Chung Wong and Har Wan Luk. These landlords had been warned that this would happen and did so regardless.

Ellis Act Evictions help real estate speculators evict tenants simply for profit through a loophole in tenants’ rights. Now in Sacramento, there are efforts being made to remedy this situation by creating statewide legislature that would reverse the Ellis Act.


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