Popular Dancer Idalia Ramos Is Latest Victim Of Ellis Syndication Scheme
On May 5, 2015 I wrote about 9 artists facing eviction from their long-term homes in the 2800 block of Folsom Street. The 10th victim, dance performer and instructor, Idalia Ramos, front and center in the photograph, is also facing the Ellis eviction conducted by serial evictor Danny You Sun. Idalia’s plight is a microcosmic example of the affordable housing and cultural rip-offs occurring all over San Francisco.
Ellis exploiters such as Danny Sun and his investors (increasingly family trusts, including the Howard and Irene Levine Family Trust), use the Act as a housing arbitrage facilitation tool, i.e., acquisition of rent-controlled housing quickly followed with Ellis eviction and conversion into tenancy-in-common flats, to be sold for close to $1 mil each. These serial evictor / investors, who never intend to be landlords, never account for the societal costs of depleting the City of its affordable housing stock, the tragic loss of cultural contributors and the trauma to those suffering displacement.
Idalia was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and came to the United States as 3 year-old. Raised by a single mom, Idalia worked hard and obtained a degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Idalia was destined to come to San Francisco and as soon as she arrived her dance career began to blossom. She was lucky to find a modestly-priced rent-controlled apartment in the Mission. Idalia then found swing dance teaching and performing jobs all around the Bay Area, and her life changed in a way that she dreamed of, but hadn’t really expected.
Living in San Francisco allowed Idalia to immerse herself in dance and she began traveling to other states to compete and perform. Idalia recently competed at the International Lindy Hop Championships in Washington, D.C., the equivalent of Swing Dance Olympics, where she won 1st Place in Swing Dancing’s Open, Jack and Jill Division.
Idalia will tell you that while Swing Dancing is a partner dance, it has a long history as a solo dance, part of Vernacular Jazz, popular in 1930s and 40s. Idalia realized that no one taught that form in the Bay Area. Idalia decided it was up to her to bring this form back to life. Idalia studied and mastered Solo Swing Dance, cobbled together a studio, and was soon teaching workshops in Bay Area dance communities. Like a snowball, Vernacular Jazz took off, gaining traction as it went. Now days, there is a lot of Vernacular Jazz seen around the Bay Area, largely due to Idalia’s efforts. Idalia is the only one that runs a Vernacular Jazz Studio in the Bay Area, known as The Solo Jazz Academy.
Idalia has also put together an ensemble known as the Mischievous Ladies, devoted to women’s empowerment through music and movement. This ensemble serves to bring women together to support one another, to explore strength though femininity and lovingness and being comfortable in their own bodies and in movement. This women’s empowerment movement embodied by Mischievous ladies has really taken off drawing teams from all over the Bar Area that Idalia coaches.
While living in San Francisco’s Mission, Idalia grown and flourished and been able to pour into the underground jazz scene much love, learning and inspiration. The hugely positive impact through dance that Idalia has brought to the San Francisco community is threatened by greed.
Serial evictors like Danny Sun, in raiding the City’s affordable housing stock are serving to erect an “economic wall” against those like Idalia, those who have poured their hearts into the arts and non-profit careers, who simply cannot afford to remain in San Francisco once evicted. Idalia Ramos intends to resist and fight her displacement with all legal means.
Stephen P. Booth, Esq. is an attorney at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic who represents Idalia RamosFiled under: San Francisco News