Re-Elect Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker To Protect Oakland Tenants

Since taking over for the three-times-elected Oakland City Attorney John Russo, Barbara Parker has consistently worked to protect tenants in Oakland at a time when the City’s very cultural fabric has been damaged by gentrification. One search for “Barbara Parker” and “tenants” in my email feed revealed 50 results. Time after time, news releases of actions taken to avenge tenants who’s rights were violated by landlords. This is not intended to be a tenant vs landlord post, but the fact is some of the homeless Oaklanders on the streets are there because of actions by property owners who did not give them a break, or actively worked to remove them illegally. It’s time to re-elect Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

City Attorney Wins Court Orders to Stop Owners and Operators of Oakside Independent Living from Illegally Evicting Tenants, and to Appoint a Receiver to Protect Resident Safety.

In August, I filed an emergency tenant protection lawsuit and request for a restraining order against the owners and operators of an Independent Living Facility (ILF), Oakside Independent Living, for exploiting and threatening their elderly and disabled tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. ILFs are virtually unregulated lodging for adults who need help with daily responsibilities like meal preparation and housekeeping. This month, the Alameda County Superior Court granted our motion for emergency relief, ensuring that Oakside’s owners and operators can no longer illegally evict or otherwise harm their tenants. In addition, the Court granted our request to appoint a receiver, an extraordinary remedy to ensure the property is managed in a fashion that protects its residents.

In the past, Oakside Independent Living has subjected the elderly and disabled tenants to unsafe and unhealthy conditions at the facility, including severe infestations of bed bugs, cockroaches, and rats. The owner and operators also rented out $900-a-month converted storage spaces too small to stand up straight in as “units,” as if they are fit for human habitation. If tenants complain of poor treatment or conditions, some have been threatened with transfer to Christopher’s Care Home, another ILF managed by one of the defendants. And this summer, tenants have been evicted in violation of the local moratorium. One tenant illegally evicted from his unit described his time at Oakside Independent Living as “the worst experience of my entire life.” We are grateful the Court has taken these issues seriously and acted to protect Oakside’s tenants.

This case was filed by the Neighborhood Law Corps and Community Lawyering and Civil Rights Unit as part of my Housing Justice Initiative. Read more here.

And another one:

City Attorney Secures Court Order Prohibiting Retaliation in Emergency Tenant Protection Suit During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Oakland, CA – On Friday, July 10, an Alameda County judge issued a court order under the Tenant Protection Ordinance and the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act enjoining defendants Afamefuna and Anwulika Odiwe from retaliating against their former tenants. The court found that the City was likely to prevail on its Tenant Protection Ordinance and Tom Bane Civil Rights Act claims that the defendants, who are investors with a history of flipping houses for profit, engaged in an unlawful self-help eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic in violation of state and local laws. Among other things, under the guise of a fraudulent City notice, the landlords removed all of their tenants’ belongings from their home and changed the locks.

Defendant Anwulika Odiwe threatened to proceed with unpermitted construction work in response to the tenants asserting their rights, declaring that if tenants wanted to live “with no windows and no doors and no toilets … that’s on them.” After the City filed a lawsuit against the Odiwes, the moving company, and the master tenant, the City sought an injunction preventing the defendants from engaging in further harassment of the tenants. Defendants Pete’s Moving Company, LLC, and Rigomero Manzanarez, the master tenant, agreed to stipulate to such an injunction. Because the Odiwe defendants did not stipulate to the injunction, the City sought a court order against them. “Tenant harassment is on the rise as some landlords turn to unlawful actions to drive tenants out while the courts are closed to evictions,” City Attorney Barbara J. Parker stated. “There is no place in Oakland for these illegal and harmful self-help measures. We stand with tenants to prevent such appalling misconduct and secure their basic right to safely shelter in place during this pandemic.”

In late April, a counterfeit City of Oakland “red-tag” notice was posted on the front door of the property, telling the tenants that the house was unsafe for occupancy and that they needed to leave within ten days. The City never authorized a red-tag for the property. Yet in May, movers entered the property and removed the tenants’ belongings, including their beds, furniture, and clothing, without notice or the tenants’ permission—and despite their protests.

For over a week, the tenants remained without their possessions, forced to sleep on the floor and without locks on their doors. Defendants only returned the tenants’ beds, clothing, and other personal items after the City issued a demand letter and filed this case. The City’s lawsuit also seeks civil penalties, punitive damages, and fees, to be determined by the court.

This case was filed by the Neighborhood Law Corps and Community Lawyering and Civil Rights Unit as part of City Attorney Parker’s Housing Justice Initiative. The City Attorney launched the Housing Justice Initiative to significantly expand her office’s work protecting vulnerable tenants in Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods and holding abusive landlords accountable.

I think you get the idea. Re-elect Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker. ‘

Also, given that Zennie62Media has not yet interviewed either Barbara Parker or her challenger Eli Ferran, this should not be interpreted as a stoppage of video interviews. The interviews are done so you can gain some feel for what each person is like and decide for yourself.

Stay tuned.

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