Earlier this week I covered the plight of a family at Community School for Creative Education Charter School. Harassed and menaced by their landlord in an effort to get them out of the unit. He allegedly tore up rent checks, forced his way into the unit, and slammed the door on the head of the family’s three year old child. I could go on about the traumatized kids, threats of deportation, and the eventual (wrongful in my humble opinion) eviction. But I would rather not.
Instead let’s talk about a family empowered and supported by the community to find another local apartment, getting free legal consultation (thank you Bob Salinas of Sundeen, Salinas and Pyle), and starting to practically make the move. And that’s what we have, supported by the school, Oakland Community Organizations, and a volunteer team we (really they) created a GoFundMe campaign to help the get the moving costs and initial move in money, and we have already started to collect donations for them. Please pass on and contribute.
So the good news is that the family stays in the neighborhood and school, they get out from under the thumb of an abusive landlord, and hopefully the landlord will get his in court. And while I realize this action isn’t the systematic solution to landlords from hell, who see dollar signs in the lucrative Oakland real estate market, and the system that rewards such greed, while low income renters and their families pay the cost.
I do see it as people, many of whom have never met, seeing something wrong and doing something about it. Ultimately, this about people caring about their neighbors in a tangible way, which maybe is a systematic solution, and one that doesn’t rely on “the system”, only us, to confront injustice, and each do our little part to address it.