Techie Seeks to Evict Peruvian Grandma From Home of 35 Years

by Stephen P. Booth (Third in Series) on March 22, 2016

In Pachamama Tradition, Grandmother Resists Techie Speculation, Believing That Those Taking Too Much From Mother Earth Will Fail

Mariella Morales has lived at 1561 9th Avenue, San Francisco for 35 years. Born in Lima, Peru, Mariella came to the San Francisco at the age of nineteen and realized her dream of walking over the Golden Gate Bridge and the streets which she had seen in the TV series “the Streets of San Francisco.” It is from her home at 9th Avenue where Mariella worked for decades as a caterer and house cleaner and raised three children as a single mom.

In late February 2016, Mariella was served with Ellis Act eviction papers signed under penalty of perjury from far away in Auckland, New Zealand, by new owner (since September 2015) Arvand Sebetian. The property valuation evidences the motive; according to the online data the property sold in September 2015 for $825.000 and is now valued at $1,300.000. Rental property with tenants removed has an even greater value.

Grounded for years in the Sunset district and armed with Pachamama beliefs from her formative years in Peru, that humans are bound to live in a manner that supports a sustainable future that works for all, Mariella says she will not let a newly-rich techie displace her from the wooden floors and the backyard earth she and her children have walked on for 35 years.

Sebetian’s internet profile depicts him as Eldorado Hills or Santa Rosa based Founder / CEO of tech company Arvixe, LLC. In a May 2013 article “30 under 30” in, Sebetian’s company is described as having no offices, though with 85 employees, including “one employee who lives out of his RV, drives all over the country and homeschools his kid.” According to the article Arvixe was expecting $12 million in revenue.

Mariella is stunned that even while a techie is travelling in New Zealand, she is the target of his Ellis Act eviction. However, Mariella believes that just as the destruction of rain forests is incompatible with a sustainable ecosystem, the churning of property and displacement of persons for mere financial gain is shallow and unsustainable conduct, doomed to failure.

Stephen Booth is an attorney at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic who represents Mariella Morales

Filed under: San Francisco News

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