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Oakland City Funding for Eviction Defense Support Expiring on June 30, 2017
by Posted By Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Thursday Jun 15th, 2017 5:15 PM
The situation is indeed dire. All funding from the City of Oakland for eviction defense work will end as of June 30, 2017, given the continuing ambiguity about CDBG funding that we’ve been told constrains the city’s ability to execute new contracts. In other words, the City of Oakland currently is not committed to fund eviction defense work once the 2016/2017 contracts expire.

Subject: City Funding for Eviction Defense Support Expiring on June 30, 2017

Dear Friend,

I write today to ask your support in reaching out to your Oakland Council Member and urge the City of Oakland commit to funding eviction defense work for its Oakland tenants. Council Members contact information is below:

District 1: Dan Kalb dkalb [at] oaklandnet.com (510) 238-7001
District 2: Abel Guillen aguillen [at] oaklandnet.com 510-238-7002
District 3: Lynette Gibson McElhaney lmcelhaney [at] oaklandnet.com (510)238-7003
District 4: Annie Campbell Washington acampbelwashington [at] oaklandnet.com (510) 238-7004
District 5: Noel Gallo ngallo [at] oakladnet.com (510) 238-7005
District 6: Desley Brooks dbrooks [at] oaklandnet.com (510) 238-7006
District 7: Larry Reid lreid [at] oaklandnet.com (510) 238-7007
At Large: Rebecca Kaplan atlarge [at] oaklandnet.com (510) 238-7008


Over the years, the City of Oakland has dedicated a very small portion of CDBG funds for eviction defense work. In fact, with each year, the amount of funding has dropped. The funding, in and of itself, did not in any way come close to the amount required to address the community needs. As such, Centro Legal de la Raza (Centro Legal) and East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) have been subsidizing their eviction defense work.

Centro Legal and EBCLC joined the Our Beloved Communities coalition (OBC) and its efforts in having the City commit to funding true anti-displacements. While, OBC have definitely been fierce advocates for holistic anti-displacement funding, I'm concerned that message regarding eviction defense support is getting watered down. I'm in no way denigrating their important work, nor the importance of maintaining the cultural integrity of Oakland, but I feel like there's some serious triage work needed to be done and that the focus needs to be on that first.

The situation is indeed dire. All funding from the City of Oakland for eviction defense work will end as of June 30, 2017, given the continuing ambiguity about CDBG funding that we’ve been told constrains the city’s ability to execute new contracts. In other words, the City of Oakland currently is not committed to fund eviction defense work once the 2016/2017 contracts expire.

The City of Oakland by way of Mayor Schaaf and its Council Members have expressed a commitment to addressing displacement and the ever-increasing homeless population but there are no commitments aimed at actually stopping people from becoming homeless and/or displaced.

Add to all this my fear that the immigrant community (undocumented or otherwise) is being targeted more than ever since the election. I'm attaching, as a point of reference, a completely fraudulent Three Day Notice to Quit that was used as the basis for filing an eviction. The basis for the evictions were:

False allegations of damage to the walls.
False allegations of disorderly conduct.
False allegations that the tenants were "harboring illegal aliens" (in the words of the property owner and manager when I spoke with them).

In short, the property owners sought to evict a victim of domestic violence, and latinos because they perceived them as:

using the premise [sic] for illegal purposes such as a home for illegal aliens.


By the time the tenants made it to us with this Notice the UD had already been filed. I succeeded in getting the property manager to withdraw the UD but that harassment and threats did not cease until he was ultimately let go when the property was foreclosed upon.

I'm also attaching an email string relating to a client of EBCLC's whose landlord repeatedly threatened to call Homeland Security if the tenants didn't vacate. The email (attached) in conjunction with the verbal threats clearly demonstrate the unique threat many minorities and immigrants are currently facing in their struggle to keep their homes.

This is indeed an amazing city. In fact, as I sit here writing this email, I can hear cheers from the parade and the excited sounds of people coming in from all over to attend the rally. We must do everything we can to help keep our residents in Oakland. They are what make Oakland so great.

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Martina I. Cucullu Lim | Tenants' Rights Program Director
Centro Legal de la Raza | 3022 International Blvd. Suite 410, Oakland, CA 94601
Office: (510) 437-1554 | Direct: (510) 274-2410 | Fax: (510) 437-9164

*****
"There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it...The time has come for an all- out world war against poverty.” - Martin Luther King Jr.