Hundreds of San Franciscans affected by rising rents and Ellis Act evictions are expected to rally at the state Capitol today for an event organizers say is the first mass mobilization of tenants in decades.
Tenants from the Bay Area, Fresno and the Central Valley, primarily, plan to march to the Capitol steps today in a rally demanding a stop to Ellis Act evictions.
The groups, organized by the statewide tenant-rights organization Tenants Together, are also showing support for Senate Bill 391. That bill, if passed, would help to build housing for low- and middle-income Californians, and reinstate the renters’ rebate for low-income, senior and disabled renters.[jump]
“The real estate industry has lobbyists that are paid full time and go up and down Sacramento and lobby these senators,” said Tenants Together Executive Director Dean Preston. “Our members are working people. It’s difficult for them to take time off work to go to Sacramento and yet a number of them are going tomorrow.”
About 500 people were scheduled to board buses from San Francisco , said Norman Fong, executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center.
California has more than 15 million tenants, according to census data, and many are from low- and middle-income households.
Rent and eviction rates have gone up statewide, but the increases have been “particularly acute” in San Francisco, said Preston, whose group started an online petition to reform the Ellis Act through a ballot measure in November.
State Sen. Mark Leno and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, both of whom represent San Francisco, have expressed support for Ellis Act reform, and tenant-rights activists hope one of them will sponsor a bill by the introduction deadline