2014 Election Guide

Causa Justa :: Just Cause Slate Card

How to Vote on Tuesday, November 4!

 

State Ballot Initiatives

 

Prop 47

Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014

Position: Yes, Yes, Yes!

 

Proposition 47 is a step towards addressing the unjust mass incarceration of poor communities and people of color. This proposition reduces penalties from felonies to misdemeanors for...

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Tenants Rights Tuesdays

This past Tuesday the Community and Economic Development Committee heard testimony from courageous tenants, Just Cause leaders, and allies who all spoke out in support of the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) in Oakland.  Along with all the supporters were a lot of landlords and 2 major landlord groups – the East Bay Rental Housing Association and the Jobs and Housing Coalition, who came out...

Read more: Tenants Rights Tuesdays

Win Tenant Protections in Oakland

HealthyHousingPolicyHearing_Oakland

 

Allies and Supporters -

Thousands of Oakland's tenants are being intimidated by their landlords, harassed, or neglected in the landlords attempts to push them out.  We have worked with Council member Dan Kalb to draft an ordinance that will stop this behavior and fine landlords that intimidate or threaten tenants, and we need your support to get the council to...

Read more: Win Tenant Protections in Oakland

CJJC Helps Tenants Defend N. Oakland Home

MustafaAmyActionSept2014CJJC rolled 20 strong with members and community supporters early this morning  to demand that landlord's John Van Eyck, Caryl Esteves, and Alfred Wong stop the evictions & harassment of our members Mustafa Solomon and Amy Ornoski in North Oakland.

MustafaAmyActionSept2014The tenants -- who live in two separate units on the same property -- have had to deal with such issues...

Read more: CJJC Helps Tenants Defend N. Oakland Home

NYTimes: Evictions Soar in Hot Market; Renters Suffer

"The rental shortage has made the most vulnerable tenants susceptible to eviction. “So many of our clients are people of color, people with disabilities, people who have suffered extreme health crises or a long-term chronic illness,” said Christine Donahoe, a staff attorney with Legal Action of Wisconsin. "

http://nyti.ms/1tQ6zDB
By SHAILA DEWAN

MILWAUKEE — Just after 7 a.m., sheriff’s deputies knocked...

Read more: NYTimes: Evictions Soar in Hot Market; Renters Suffer

Changes to Rent Adjustment Program Ordinance & Regulations

NEW:
As of August 1, there are new regulations around rent increases for capital improvements.

RentAdjustmentProgram_oakland080114The following is a brief summary of the recent amendments to the Rent Adjustment Ordinance and the Rent Adjustment Program Regulations, and is not intended to be a complete description or a substitute for the laws themselves.

For authoritative materials, please consult the text of...

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$10K in 5 Days. 40,000 Thank You’s

10Kin5 campaignImage by Josh Warren White, Design Action Collective

Over the course of just five days, 500 supporters came forward to support a Bay Area that puts people first.
Thanks to your collective generosity, we've raised $40,595, exceeding our goal by $30,000+. A BIG thank you to each and every one of you.

Your support will help to:

¥    Get thousands to the polls...

Read more: $10K in 5 Days. 40,000 Thank You’s

San Francisco's Housing Crisis in Numbers

Data on the Housing Crisis in SF:
—From the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

No-Fault Evictions:

•    The number of evictions in 2013 has surpassed evictions in 2006, the height of the real estate bubble. Total no-fault evictions are up 17% compared to 2006.
•    Between 2012 and 2013 evictions have increased by 115%
•    Ellis Act use went up 175% between 2012...

Read more: San Francisco's Housing Crisis in Numbers

Stop the Flip: Proposed Anti-Speculation Measure

StoptheFlipScores of community members, tenants and several lawmakers including SF Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim and Eric Mar introduced a proposed measure that would curb real estate flipping.

The SF Anti-Displacement Coalition of which Causa Justa :: Just Cause is a member in a "Stop the Flip" action on the steps of SF City Hall, announced that the...

Read more: Stop the Flip: Proposed Anti-Speculation Measure

West Oakland Specific Plan is NO Plan For Us

WOSP Plan

 

 

 

 

The West Oakland Specific Plan (W.O.S.P.) is a zoning plan that is an example of development WITH displacement. It makes no effort to mitigate the impacts of gentrification and instead opens up the neighborhood even more for investment opportunities. There are even parts of the plan that specifically state that displacement will occur and that West...

Read more: West Oakland Specific Plan is NO Plan For Us

SF Due Process For All Ordinance is strengthened — SF Ends All Unconstitutional ICE Holds

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi announced yesterday (May 29) that the county jail would  stop responding to unconstitutional ICE hold requests altogether. His announcement comes in the wake of a major federal court decision that has spurred more than 70 counties in several states to completely end the unconstitutional practice of holding immigrants in jail for extra time solely for deportation purposes.

The new policy corrects a deficiency in the city's landmark "Due Process for All ordinance," upholding basic constitutional protections for all San Franciscans and protecting the city from significant liability.

In California, the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Sacramento, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Cruz, and Monterey, among others, have already adopted parallel practices.

The San Francisco Immigrant Rights Defense Committee, is a coalition of leading immigrant and civil rights groups which led efforts to pass the city's Due Process for All ordinance, issued the following comments in response to this development:

"We warmly welcome today's announcement, which strengthens a vital principle at the core of our justice system: that no human being should be detained without a valid reason. We believe that all people are created equal and should be treated fairly no matter where they were born.

Last year, San Francisco took a major step toward pushing back on the President's cruel deportation policies by enacting the Due Process for All ordinance, which significantly limited cruel and costly immigration holds. But a compromise amendment still allowed these unconstitutional detentions in the local jail in some circumstances, putting at risk the cherished rights that keep us all safe and free. Now, that narrow breach of due process rights has been closed. We celebrate a policy that upholds our values of rehabilitation, community, and equality under the law."

Supervisor John Avalos, author of the Due Process for All ordinance, added:

"I'm glad to see San Francisco join the emerging national consensus on ICE holds that the Due Process Ordinance help push forward. Each and every time local jails hold an immigrant community member without probable cause, it's a constitutional concern and a lawsuit waiting to happen. This new policy will further strengthen confidence between immigrant community members and local law enforcement while protecting the basic civil rights of all San Franciscans."

Background:

Driving the changes in San Francisco and a recent federal court decision, Maria Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County,which found ICE “hold” requests unconstitutional and ordered county officials to pay money damages to a woman held in jail for extra time on a hold.

San Francisco has been a national leader in fighting back against the "Secure Communities" deportation program for four years. In July 2013, eight members of the Board of Supervisors introduced the "Due Process for All" ordinance, legislation that would have prohibited prolonged detentions in response to all ICE “holds” in the City if it had been passed without amendments.

The legislation in its original form enjoyed broad support from diverse community based organizations and community leaders, including District Attorney George Gascon and policymakers, who...

Read more: SF Due Process For All Ordinance is strengthened — SF Ends All Unconstitutional ICE Holds

Victory at SRO Hotel in the Mission District

The Grand Southern Hotel has some of the worst conditions out of all of the SRO (Single Room Occupancy) hotels in the Mission district. The hotel is home to many immigrant families with children. Tenants say they have been dealing with constant harassment by manager Luis Rivera and landlord Musa Salem and his family.

Working alongside the Mission SRO Collaborative (MSROC) we invited Supervisor David Campos to visit the hotel with former SF Supervisor and current director of Housing, Opportunity, Partnerships & Engagement (HOPE) Bevan Dufty. “They saw firsthand how the manager was drunk on the job and the horrible conditions of the hotel. They went door to door and heard the concerns of the tenants,” says Sanyika Bryant, CJJC Tenant Rights Organizer.

A few weeks ago Supervisor Campos called a meeting with the tenants, landlord and manager. The manager agreed to all but one of the procedural and repair demands of the tenants, thanks to our collective organizing and the pressure of Supervisor Campos — who took a hard stand against the landlord and the manager.  

Here is all that we won:
•    An end to the collection of late fees (as these aren't in any of the tenants' leases)
•    A written complaint process
•    Standardized receipts
•    Repairs to the carpets in several of the rooms
•    The removal of signs that make children feel unwelcomed in the building
•    One family got a significant rent reduction because the landlord had given them a higher rent based off of the size of their family, but their room was the same size as other rooms
•    Repairs to the water heating system
•    Monthly pest control

The fight isn't over and we're going to be monitoring the implementation of the new policies, but we just wanted to let you know the good news.

The battle of 16th and Mission: Inside the campaign to “clean up” the plaza and build luxury housing

By Julia Carrie Wong/48 Hills

MARCH 18, 2014 — Laura Guzman, the director of  homeless services for Mission Neighborhood Health Center, had the question that was on everybody’s mind at a recent protest at the 16th and Mission BART plaza. “Who,” she asked, “is Clean up the Plaza?”

More than 100 San Franciscans, including members of Mission-based organizations like Causa Justa Just Cause, the Mission SRO Collaborative, La Colectiva, PODER, and the Housing Rights Committee, had come together under a new banner: “La Plaza 16 Coalición.” Their chief target was Maximus Real Estate Partners’ proposed development of two 10-story towers with 351 units of housing and 32,000-square feet of retail space on the northeast corner of the intersection.

The leaflet distributed by protesters laid out the concerns of the coalition in English and Spanish: “We are tired of seeing our neighbors displaced from their homes and our city for the profit and benefit of a privileged few. Plaza 16 belongs to those that hang out here and work/live here. We, not a private development company, should make a plan for OUR PLAZA.”

But mingled with outrage at the idea of $3,500/month rentals and high-rises that will cast a shadow over nearby Marshall Elementary School’s playground is suspicion about the Clean up the Plaza campaign that began months before the development plans went public.
It seemed like a remarkable coincidence: Just before a developer starts pushing high-end housing in a low-income area, a new organization with significant resources starts pushing to get homeless people out of the area.
 
Had the developers been laying the groundwork for their project through an Astroturf campaign? Why didn’t anyone in the community know who was behind this supposedly community-based campaign? Where did the money for glossy posters and direct mail come from? Who was Gil Chavez, the organizer named on the campaign’s website? And was Clean up the Plaza responsible for the “three-month police occupation of the plaza” that began in September and, according to Guzman, led to increased harassment of the homeless and residents who frequent the plaza?

Speaking to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, activist Andy Blue said of Clean up the Plaza and the proposed development, “Everyone has assumed those are connected, but nobody has found the smoking gun.” Mission District Supervisor David Campos hinted at a connection as well, during an Assembly race debate with Supervisor David Chiu. When Chiu challenged Campos over the thousands of signatures gathered by Clean up the Plaza as a sign of his ineffective leadership in the Mission, Campos replied, “It’s a way to get a luxury condo project.”

Whether a smoking gun linking Maximus Real Estate Partners to the formation and funding of Clean up the Plaza exists remains to be seen, but there is a clear connection between the two projects, in the form of San Francisco’s notorious political operative, Jack Davis. On Thursday, the Guardian  revealed Jack Davis’s involvement with Clean up the Plaza. Following interviews with Davis, Gil Chavez, and Maximus representative Bert...

Read more: The battle of 16th and Mission: Inside the campaign to “clean up” the plaza and build luxury housing

There's room for a $15 minimum wage in S.F.'s new economy

Vanessa Moses and Josué Arguelles 
Published in SF Gate, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It's been 10 years since San Francisco raised its minimum wage to the highest in the country. Today, we find ourselves in a new economy. Yet day laborers, domestic workers and restaurant and retail workers face the same struggles as in 2004. Despite San Francisco's affluence, workers are falling behind when it comes to affording health care, rent, tuition and basic living expenses, and too many can no longer afford to live here.

With our economy increasingly dominated by real estate and tech sectors, we are now the city with the fastest-growing gap between rich and poor. The current proposal to increase the city's minimum wage put forward by labor and community groups is one part of a larger solution to address the crisis in our communities of increasing income inequality and rampant displacement.
Some would argue that a move to $15 an hour is too fast or too high, that it would result in businesses closing and workers being laid off. But history proves otherwise.

In the decade since the last increase, we have seen growth in the San Francisco economy and no negative impact on employment, with increases in worker productivity and reduced turnover. This is why a broad coalition, formed of the same communities who worked to raise the minimum wage 10 years ago, have introduced a measure to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, phased in over two years for large employers and three years for small and medium employers, alongside efforts to stop real estate speculation, raise labor standards for large corporate employers and support small businesses.

As the minimum-wage debate gains momentum in San Francisco, we find the voices of those most affected missing: workers.

Take Gui Fang, who works three part-time jobs, including elder care and janitorial work. She struggles to pay her rent and other bills, even though she lives in a tiny, one-room SRO with a shared kitchen. "My rent is going up in July. With the cost of living rising, how can people afford to live in San Francisco?" she asks.

Or a man named Raymundo Gutierrez, who works seven days a week at two above-minimum wage jobs, lives in a one-bedroom apartment he shares with three others, and still struggles to make ends meet with rising rent and cost of living. "It's not just about securing my future, but those of my co-workers and family," he says.

A move to raise the minimum wage is not only good for the economy, it's the moral thing to do. It's about raising the standards for workers and creating a dignified wage. It's about lifting our parents, students and immigrant workers out of poverty. It's about aligning with historic laws, such as paid sick days and paid health care, and letting the nation know that San Francisco is not behind, but leading the way in upholding dignity and respect for workers.

San Francisco's economic success should be measured by how it addresses the needs of the workers...

Read more: There's room for a $15 minimum wage in S.F.'s new economy