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AUGUST 2019

Welcome to the eighth 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. If you’d like your local represented in the next issue, please send a 100-word blurb describing what you’ve been up to for the past month as a local to media@latenantsunion.org.
— Los Angeles Tenants Union media committee

LEGISLATION AND POLICY

SB329 seeks to amend the Fair Employment and Housing Act to prevent discrimination against tenants who pay rent using third-party vouchers (such as Section 8). The bill is due to go to full Assembly after the end of the month. LA City Council voted unanimously to reinstate LAMC 85.02, which penalizes individuals and families who have no choice but to live / sleep in their vehicles from 9pm to 6am in residential areas, near parks and schools. The majority of public comments given during the council hearing pointed to the growing number of residents experiencing homelessness in LA. Fines start at $25 for the first citation. If the fines aren’t paid, the vehicle may be towed and the unhoused individual / family will lose their home AGAIN. Culver City’s City Council voted to approve a temporary rent control measure, capping rent hikes at 3% annually for the next year.

SOUTH CENTRAL

The South Central Local continues our efforts to organize Dorset Village, a garden complex set to be demolished for luxury housing by billionaire Jeff Greene. We held our first on-site meeting, on the commons which management has tried to restrict tenants from using. Over 60 tenants attended, despite the heat, and voted overwhelmingly to form a TA. We observed city SCEP (Systematic Code Enforcement Program) inspections for the complex, a weeklong process which revealed major habitability issues, and during which management repeatedly attempted to confuse tenants about their rights. However, tenants mostly saw through these attempts, and seem ready to fight. We’re excited to join them!

EAST HOLLYWOOD LOCAL — New Local!

As part of our effort to build local membership, we recently did outreach at the Hollywood/Western red line station. We’re also working with the tenants of the Kingswood Apartments, who are facing 25% rent increases at their so-called “affordable housing” building. The tenants have held various actions in protest of their corporate landlord, the Michaels Organization, and have seen some progress. They held a press conference and received media coverage. They organized a phone zap, which flooded their landlord’s phone lines. The tenants have had discussions with city officials, and have been working with the Hillside Villa Tenants Association. They’re now in negotiations with the Michaels Organization.

NORTHEAST LOCAL (NELO)

NELo’s Outreach Committee has been tabling at neighbourhood events. They recently hosted a craft table in a park, and have been invited to do school visits and a workshop at the public library. Violet continues her fight against her landlords at Ave 64; after several attempts to evict her, they’ve now said they won’t renew her lease, which is set to expire soon. The local will continue to support Violet as she fights for her and her daughter to stay in their home. Nancy’s landlord dropped her eviction, but she is still experiencing building safety violations and continues to build a case against her landlord with another law firm.

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