Rally Today Against Urban Green, Ellis Act Eviction Speculators

by Sarah Sherburn-Zimmer and Tina Cheung on December 10, 2013

At 12pm on Tuesday, Dec 10th, the direct action housing rights group, Eviction Free San Francisco, allies and individual community supporters and activists will gather to hold a rally in front of 1746 Union Street, the offices of out-of-state speculators and mass evictors, Urban Green LLC. The rally is being staged to demand that Urban Green drop all of the Ellis Act Evictions and also to bring attention to the abuse of the Ellis Act and the need for state reform. The event is being endorsed by Tenderloin Housing Clinic, Chinatown Community Development Center as well as Housing Rights Committee of SF. The rally will include speeches from current Urban Green tenants being evicted, other San Franciscan Ellis Act evictees, as well as organizers from both housing and environmental groups who will expose Urban Green as green washers who use environmentalism as a marketing scheme, while mass-evicting San Franciscans from their homes.

Says Marla Knight, Urban Green tenant, “I like to use the term ‘demographic cleansing’ since that is what these evictions of moderate to low income people amount to. Though I guess the senior issue does get sympathy, and, of course, I am a senior, I think that there should be equal emphasis on families and artists. I tutor at Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center and was talking with a ten year old who lives with her mom and dad and brother in a rental unit a few blocks from me in North Beach. Having brought my own daughters up in this lively neighborhood, one which my grandchildren love to come and do overnights with me, I was thinking how sad that this little girl’s family is at risk. The loss of the middle class as you know does not bode well for the future of a city or, of course, a country”.

Previously, Eviction Free San Francisco held a rally in front of another Urban Green property at 55 Dolores St. where we heard from Mary Phillips, one of the tenants who has lived in her apartment for nearly 50 years and is scheduled to be Ellis Act evicted by Urban Green on her 98th birthday. Eviction Free San Francisco will continue protesting the LLC unless all of the Ellis Act Evictions are dropped for the remaining tenants.
Says Mary Phillips, “This has been my home for over 40 years and I don’t want to leave…I am just too old”.
Eviction Free San Francisco began as Eviction Free Summer in June, 2013 after being formed by housing rights activists interested in confronting real estate speculators who were displacing long-time San Francisco residents with the abuse of the Ellis Act and other state laws.

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