Message to San Jose City Council: Vote in Just Cause Eviction Protections

Editor's Note:

In an impassioned speech delivered at a rally that took a delegation to the California Apartment Association's San Jose office, Jocelin Hernandez calls on the city of San Jose to implement just cause eviction protections. With a city vote coming on April 18th to strengthen San Jose's 30 year old rent control ordinance, tenants and advocates are taking the message to the streets.

As read on the steps of Westminster Presbyterian Church:

We are gathered today to bring light to a crisis that San Jose city council would like to continue sweeping under the rug. We are here because we are in a housing crisis. We are here because our communities are being unjustly uprooted by greed and heartlessness. We are here because San Jose wants housing justice. 

Currently, landlords can evict tenants without having to give any reason. The leniency given to landlords in San Jose gives incentive to unjustly evict tenants for discriminatory reasons, for profit, or to avoid maintaining the property. When tenants attempt to assert their rights or make a complaint, they are faced with retaliation in form of no cause evictions. These unjust evictions give tenants as little as a month to find another home. On the basis of these renter conditions, where one is cast out without say, or expected to live meekly in slum conditions, the community of San Jose demands Just Cause. We are here because San Jose needs Just Cause! It needs just cause now! Causa justa ahora! 

The California Apartment Association represent the primary opposition to just cause eviction protections in San Jose, arguing that it will cost landlords too much money to stop unjust evictions; They are an octopus, their tentacles killing any attempts for justice in San Jose, and bullying the very people we voted to represent us! Enough is enough! We want justice!

Under just cause eviction ordinances – that go hand in hand with rent control – landlords can evict tenants who have failed to pay their rent, who have committed crimes, who have damaged the property, or have violated their leases. For landlords who go through the proper legal process, it is not difficult to evict problem tenants.

This is a call to the community and San Jose City Council to Vote for just cause ­– and choose the side of justice.

If you say you are for families, then you need to support just cause because children are on streets, living in cars in the wealthiest city of the nation.

If you say you are an ally to immigrant communities, then you should vote for just cause because there no sanctuary city can exist without housing justice.

If you say you are an ally to black and brown communities, then you should be in support of just cause because womyn of color are the most impacted by no cause evictions.

If you believe in an alternative to Trump’s hateful ideologies of stripping people of our most basic needs, then you should vote for just cause.

Voting just cause means supporting community wellbeing and stability. Just cause is a necessary, urgent step towards comprehensive, renter and anti-displacement protections amidst our housing crisis. With just cause, communities that helped build San Jose won’t be evicted just ‘cuz!

IF WE DON'T GET NO JUST CAUSE!  THEY DON’T GET NO PEACE!

¡EL BARRIO NO SE VENDE! ¡EL BARRIO SE DEFIENDE!



Images by Gabriel Ortiz & Jean Melesaine






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