San Francisco landlords targeted for elder abuse

Activists gathered outside the Hall of Justice.

Lisa Gray-Garcia, aka “Tiny,” led a press conference outside the San Francisco Hall of Justice Feb. 5 to announce that she and fellow activists were filing elder abuse charges against San Francisco landlords.

Clad in a gray pantsuit and flanked by activists and senior citizens who were facing eviction or had lost housing in San Francisco, the Poor News Network founder condemned landlords who’ve invoked the Ellis Act as “dangerous criminals.”

Gray-Garcia said criminal charges were being filed against the landlords in accordance with California Penal Code 368, which creates a special category for crimes – such as infliction of pain, injury or endangerment – committed against elders and dependent adults.

The theory is that carrying out an Ellis Act eviction against a senior citizen qualifies as a criminal act under that law, since an elder can suffer physical harm as a result of being turned out of his or her home.

The targeted landlords were taken from a list compiled by the San Francisco Anti Eviction Mapping Project, a volunteer-led group that published names, property ownership, and identifying information of 12 landlords who had repeatedly invoked the Ellis Act in San Francisco. Garcia read out their names as part of the press event.

Beyond that, however, the announcement was short on specifics. Gray-Garcia told the Bay Guardian she did not want to share the names of the affected seniors because she did not feel comfortable exposing the elderly tenants to potential backlash.

Joining the group of activists was an 82-year-old woman who used a walker and declined to share her name. She told the Bay Guardian she had lived in her Richmond District flat for more than 30 years, and had recently received a verbal warning from her landlord that if she did not move out, he would invoke the Ellis Act.

When Gray-Garcia and others filed into the San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon’s office inside the Hall of Justice, however, Chief Assistant District Attorney Sharon Woo first told them that they should complain to the police department, then scheduled a meeting with them at a later date.

Here’s how it went:

Guardian video by Rebecca Bowe

In order of appearance, speakers include Erin McElroy, a tenants’ rights advocate; Gray-Garcia; a District Attorney staff person whose name we didn't catch; Woo, and Anthony Prince (there because he is campaign manager to Green Party gubernatorial candidate Luis Rodriguez, who spoke at the press conference).


Speak sister!!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 5:34 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

C'mon, Rebecca, what were Sharon Woo and Erin McElroy wearing?

Posted by marcos on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

On what planet would a court agree with her ridiculous argument?

Being old is not a defense against Ellis. But being stupid is no defense at all for Erin.

What was she wearing? Typically SF progressive woman frumpwear.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

More importantly, what was Rebecca wearing when she wrote this piece and when she did the field reporting? I bet she was not wearing a smart gray pant suit.

What clothing was Caitlin wearing when Rebecca wrote this piece and when she read this piece?

What clothing was Caitlin wearing when h. Brown went all misogynist on her?

Posted by marcos on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 9:42 am

function that she was probably "slutted up" some and h. called her out on it.

Maybe he should have been grateful that she wasn't wearing the standard issue frumpwear that most SF progressive women cram their bulk into, but then his disarming honesty and candor is why we all love h.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 10:31 am

He's so endearing to people like us, which is to say people who hate women and progressives.

Posted by Misogynistic pig on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

He hates hypocrisy and if that comes from a woman, then he doesn't spare them just out of political correctness.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

You can't seriously be suggesting that the fact that all of Brown's relationships with women have been failures, is evidence that he has no problems with women? If it's sarcasm, it's pretty funny. But if you're serious, it's the dumbest comment I've seen today, and the trolls have made some really stupid ones.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

the other sex. That's a massive generalization and self-serving stereotype.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added-
checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get 4 emails
with the exact same comment. Is there a means you can remove me from that service?
Appreciate it!

Posted by Game of War Fire Age Hack illimite gold on Jun. 20, 2014 @ 2:53 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

Only political witch hunts.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

The DA doesn't take instructions from private citizens, and especially ones with a political agenda.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 7:25 am

The jobs of the DA and mayor are to protect local residents from thugs, even if the thugs are multi-millionaire landlords and property speculators. But this current group of SF politicians is smart and cynical enough to know there's much more campaign money and lucrative careers awaiting them and their extended family members post-politics if they take sides with the small group of financial predators and thugs who toss seniors, the disabled, and long-term residents out of the city in favor of wealthier new residents.

If the new replacement tenants are young technology types who work 14 hours a day and then splurge at the city's high-priced restaurants and bars, so much the better. These aspie technology types are the perfect residents: they work all day and don't have time to complain or cause trouble for politicians.

Any vote or support for the current DA and mayor are votes for more tenant evictions. An eviction is an automatic expulsion order from SF since there's there's little housing available and rents are heavily skewed to the top income quintile.

I agree with the activists. No-fault evictions should be highly illegal and their perpetrators sent to jail for a least one year. These financial thugs can use the time-out to think about their anti-social, psychopathic behaviors and perhaps be reformed. Although admittedly, financial sociopaths have a very high recidivism rate and probably need to be permanently separated from civil society.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 11:07 am

You're clearly not thinking straight.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 11:11 am

This has nothing to do with the DA since his office cannot bring charges that have no basis in the law (unless he wants to risk losing his law license and/or being sued for vindictative prosecution for intentionally bring charges that have no basis in the law) and private citizens have zero legal authority to file criminal charges (they can in limited circumstances make a citizen's arrest, but they cannot file criminal charges).

I get the symbolism, but I think dramatic gestures like this make a laughing stock of housing activist and really trivialize a serious issue. I wish there were less political Kabuki theater and more serious engagement on issues such as this.

Take the issue to Sacramento where it belongs, and the only place with the authority to limit the Ellis Act.

Posted by Chris on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 7:14 pm

How dare this woman/tiny -- probably on Welfare or other social services/on tax payer's back -- demand more Freebies!

If you own property and pay taxes, you can do what you want! It's the Law! It's contracts!

If you don't like it -- then move! No More Socialism! No Communism -- move to Russia if you want the govt to control you life, in return for 'free' rent.

Arrest protesters who have nothing to do and obviously don't pay anything in taxes or have anything productive to do.

Posted by NoMoreStupidProtesters on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 7:59 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

That's either some really bad trolling, or really good sarcasm. I honestly can't tell which.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

supporting a tenant for his or her entire life just because they once entered into a "month-to-month" tenancy agreement with them?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 11:14 am

Yes, at gunpoint.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 07, 2014 @ 12:08 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 07, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

your excuse for your opinions is 'law' ... yet you suggest protesters should be arrested, though the act of protesting is not only legal, but supported by the constitution

so ... law only matters to you if you can use it to hurt others, right?

Posted by wiseoldsnail on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

the government trying to suppress free speech.

Slander, libel and hate speech are all examples of how free speech can get you into legal trouble.

Deliberately wasting police time is also a crime.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

No you move to your best new buddies in China.

I hope your grandma has to face eviction as then you might see the moral superiority of these activists.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

I don't rely on unwilling third parties to do that.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

We're supposed to take the rantings of this woman seriously??? She still goes on and on about how Kenneth Harding was shot by police because he didn't pay his $2 MUNI fare. She refuses to acknowledge that Harding was a violent parolee who was A:on parole for pimping a 14 year old girl, B: in violation of said parole by being in SF, C: wanted in connection with the murder of a 19 year old in Seattle where he's from, D: a felon in possession of a firearm, E: using that firearm to shoot at police to help effect his escape, and most importantly F: HE SHOT HIMSELF. I guess I'd ignore those facts too if I wanted to paint a picture of a poor, underprivileged, youth of color being mowed down because he couldn't afford to pay the poor tax of $2 to use mass transit. I bet she thinks that raping POS Lovelle Mixon shot all those cops because he couldn't afford to pay the registration on his car.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

not sure whether you just hate facts or people of color? seeing as how what the police said was a gun was proven to be a cell phone, dickhead, there's really no point in going on. you start off with a lie and continue to put your ignorance on full display.
why do so many assholes resort to making shit up ? get some facts rather than repeating the SFPD lies.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 9:35 pm

Where did the police say it was a cell phone dumb ass? It was a gun. SFPD said something on the ground in a cell phone video after the incident MIGHT have been a gun OR a cell phone. But don't let that get in the way of your stupid rant. Here's a fact for you: Harding was shot with a .38. SFPD doesn't use .38s. Here's another fact: Harding had an extra .38 round in his pockets. Harding also had gunshot residue on his hands. Also, independent witnesses have said that Harding shot first.

A wanted parolee with a gun tries to flee from the police, shoots at them while trying to get away, and ends up either tripping and accidentally killing himself or killing himself because he doesn't want to go back to prison. How hard is that for you to comprehend? Why don't you talk about his violating his parole for pimping a 14 year old by being out here? Why don't you talk about his being wanted in connection with murder of a 19 year-old pregnant woman in Seattle? Get some facts rather than repeating SF Bayview lies.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

Shot trackers say no to your theory.

Maybe it was some sort of creation myth.

Posted by guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

Kenneth Harding's past, whether or not it was true, was irrelevant in this case because sfpd had no idea of any past accusations made against him when they chased and killed him. They, in fact, did chase and kill him over a $2 bus fare. He did NOT shoot at the police, and he did NOT shoot himself. Vilifying the victim is standard practice in cases of police racial profiling and murder. Study the countless cases in the U.S. before spouting such propagandized garbage.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 2:09 am

Shock trackers count the number of shots, more than the officers fired from their guns.

He died the way he lived, like a loser.

You are calling others propagandized?

Posted by greg on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 9:12 am

Definitely not me.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

Because you will believe most anything if put in the correct framework.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 07, 2014 @ 10:41 am

Harding's past had EVERYTHING to do with this case. If he wasn't violating parole by being here with a gun, he wouldn't have run. If he wasn't wanted in connection with a murder, he wouldn't have run. If he hadn't shot at the cops, he wouldn't be dead.

The cops didn't say "this guy is running because he didn't pay his $2 fare, let's shoot him." Harding was running because he had a gun and didn't want to go back to prison, NOT because he didn't pay his fare. The cops shot at him because he fired first. He wouldn't be dead if he had put his hands up and said: "my name is Kenneth Harding, I'm a wanted parolee, and I have a gun in my pocket."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

The comments by the trollsters regarding this most serious of issues is laughable. Most of these folks who spew this vitriol have no sense of morals, justice and certainly have not a bit of courage. Keep fighting the good fight Tiny, a fight that a few such as yourself have the guts to fight.

Posted by Joseph Williams on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

surprising how many assholes comment here. are there really that many assholes favor evictions of poor and elderly to make a profit reading sfbg, or just a few assholes like to show their lack of respect for human dignity?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

I can't imagine why, but as a result, its comments have turned into an ugly troll fest.

Whoever made this decision should read Glenn Greenwald on Cass Sunstein:

Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal
Cass Sunstein wants the government to "cognitively infiltrate" anti-government groups,

Posted by Ann Garrison on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

Oh yeah. He's the husband of one of the most despicable people in the Obama administration -Samantha Power, one of the most obnoxious voices for imposing "democracy" and "human rights" at the barrel of a gun.

I'm not surprised. Sunstein, Power, and frankly the whole administration -these people have no morals. And sadly, it goes well beyond them. In this respect, it doesn't matter what administration is in power. We're ruled by an oligarchy whose only moral code is "might makes right." If the government isn't doing this crap, corporations probably already are.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 11:21 pm

censored comments based on whether they were politically correct or not.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 7:27 am

Or is it because they've become nothing more than a corporate mouthpiece?

Posted by Greg on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 3:01 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

The number of demonstrably false statements that the SFBG makes (e.g., AirBNB is getting sued for wrongful eviction, a driver was ferrying Uber customers when he hit a child) is excessive. There is never any type of retraction.

You might not like the perspective of the Chronicle but they don't habitually make stuff up to support their narrative.

The SFBG does; it's a matter of record.

Posted by Guest2 on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

not fact check, it makes up facts when the actual facts don't suit their agenda.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

Trolls look to get a specific reaction from people (though some people misuse the word simply to refer to people who hold any opposing view to their own).

Wringing your hands gives trolls the reaction they want and encourages them to keep posting. Unless the SFBG staff wants to play cop all day moderating the site's online forum and stop reporting news, there is nothing to be done.

The best thing is to get thicker skin and ignore posts that offend you and focus on what interests and engages you. It's called life, you will be offended throughout the entire course of it, get used to it, get over it, and focus on what is important.

Posted by Chris on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 7:20 pm

is trolling.

there are a number of positions that are between far right and progressive. For the progressive all of them are troll positions, for progressives there are only two positions, progressive and troll.

Posted by guest on Feb. 09, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

The city should be building more senior housing. Expecting private property owners to supply lifelong, discounted housing is overly idealistic.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 9:55 pm

It's foolish to expect the market to magically take care of people's needs. Only through aggressive government intervention are we going to be able to take care of the less fortunate. I agree that the ideal solution would be for the government to step in and actually build public housing. Unfortunately that's not happening, so in the mean time all we can do is protect the privately run rental stock. But you do make a good point -private property owners care only about making a buck, so privately-run housing is ultimately a poor solution to the housing crisis.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 05, 2014 @ 11:01 pm

I usually enjoy reading your comments, Greg, even when I don't agree with you, but your statement is grossly unfair. Many property owners in San Francisco are very caring and generous people who do a lot for those less fortunate. Some bad apples are abusing the Ellis Act and they need to be stopped. Don't condemn everyone who owns property because of those opportunists.

Posted by Pol Potty-Mouth on Feb. 06, 2014 @ 12:02 am

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