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Defending tenants’ rights

October 22, 2015
Father John Jimenez
St. Charles Borromeo Church, San Francisco

I write about our situation in the area surrounding our parish in the Mission District, but certainly in defense of all local communities under threat of displacement. Speaking to Gabriel Medina from the Mission Economic Development Association (another great Riordan graduate), and Francisco Herrera, long active in Mission District parishes, taught me that 1,400 families with children, and a total of 8,000 people, many on fixed income or disability after working for many years, have been evicted over the past 10 years in the Mission District, even though they are good tenants who pay their rent. I personally have been involved with many families or fixed income individuals who unjustly are given eviction notices.

Just as we are now at the 50th anniversary of the United Farm Workers grape boycott to bring humane working conditions for farm workers, we now must organize the rights of working families, the elderly and the disabled, who pay their rent, to not be evicted from their own homes that they have lived and raised their families in for many years.

Opponents say you must let free enterprise work, but what we have now are hedge funds who invest in real estate and hire lawyers who specialize in using deceptive tactics to evict people who have been good tenants for many years. I would not call this free enterprise. I would call it David vs. Goliath, or even versus an algorithmic Leviathan.

Please support the “I Love the Mission” movement to come to a negotiated agreement about development linked with affordable housing, community stabilization and allowing people to remain living in their homes.

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