Welcome to the third issue of The Tenant! Each issue of The Tenant will feature updates from LATU locals about recent goings-on in their neighborhood. We hope this will foster solidarity and communication across LATU citywide. We would appreciate any feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
— LA Tenants Union media committee
The Livonia Tenants Association (TA) are building power on the Culver City front against encroaching tech displacement, and plan to host a tenants rights workshop there in March. Members of the local have produced a zine on the Anti-Harassment Ordinance and what you can do to fight harassment in your local. Email email@example.com to grab a PDF of the zine to distribute in your local.
The NELo TA subcommittee has produced a document outlining the TA Mutual Support Agreements, which can be used as a reciprocal guide for tenants working with NELo organizers. Organizers from the local have also begun to form a conflict-resolution subcommittee. NELo organizers have met with tenants on Mesa Ave who are facing relentless harassment from their landlord Soon Hee Park. The tenants are standing united and are eager to form a TA and fight this harrassment. The Inquilinos Unidos de Cinco Puntos TA held an action at their landlord’s house after negotiations broke down. They have since received notice that the landlord wants to reopen negotiations, which may bring the tenants close to reaching a fair agreement.
Last year, the Burlington Unidos tenants won a huge victory against their landlord, Lisa Ehrlich, when she dropped all remaining 71 unlawful detainers six months into the tenants’ rent strike. Now, Ehrlich is at it again, filing nearly 30 civil suits to reclaim money from the rent strike. Tenants are meeting to plan next steps. Please reach out to VyBe if you are interested in helping organize this building: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hillside Villa TA had their first meeting with the landlord in late February where they presented their demands. The TA is awaiting an answer from the landlord Thomas Botz. If he says no to 3% for five years, they will be escalating the fight. They are gearing up for a long struggle.
The Eastside local has been fighting what seems to be the latest fad in landlord harassment in Boyle Heights: so-called “owner move-in” evictions. The local continues to fight to protect Teresa and Martina’s homes against an owner move-in eviction by new landlord Luis Martinez. Martinez has plans to upscale his family’s garage into a two-story monstrosity. If he’s converting the garage where he claims he lives, why would he also want to move into Teresa and Martina’s building? Another landlord pursuing owner move-in evictions against two families allegedly resides in a Rancho Palos Verdes condo with an ocean view. And he wants to move into a small one-bedroom apartment facing an alley in Boyle Heights? Yeah right. Eastside is also organizing with a family who has lived on Cesar Chavez Ave for 50 years, but faces eviction under the Ellis Act by White Memorial Hospital. We are developing strategies to fight back and we say no compromise in defense of our housing!
“We won’t stop until we receive justice,” says one member of the Mariposa TA. After months of attempting to meet with landlord Billy Ruvelson, the TA took their demands directly to his home. On February 23, over fifteen tenants and their children, joined by LATU supporters, picketed outside Ruvelson’s West Hollywood condo. Unless Ruvelson meets with the TA to address the tenants’ issues, LATU will be back at his doorstep. The local has also assisted in the formation of the Villa Elaine TA. Forty tenants in the historic 1925 building came together to stand against a campaign of intimidation intended to force them to vacate, in spite of their rights under rent control.
The South Central Local has formed an outreach subcommittee, which meets twice a month to spread the word about their meetings and workshops. As a result, more tenants in crisis have been showing up to the local meetings. Organizers from the local have been working with tenants living along Vermont to form two new TAs. Several of the local’s long-term members have been separately facing harassment and evictions, and will soon form TAs with their neighbours. The local plans to throw a celebratory pizza party for Linda and Nikendra to celebrate their victories in court against eviction.
The Westside local has launched a boycott of Wurstküche restaurants. Tyler Wilson, the owner of Wurstküche, recently acquired a house in Venice that the Sánchez family has called home for over 20 years. On top of harassing the family, he is now pursuing a predatory no-fault eviction against them using the Ellis Act. Until Weiner King Wilson retracts the eviction, informational pickets are being held at the Venice and Arts District locations of Wurstküche, with support from Eastside and NELo.