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San Francisco Tenants Union
558 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Fighting For Tenants Rights Since 1970

July News

Sen. Leno's Bill Reforming Ellis Act Killed In Assembly Housing Committee

The bill for Ellis Act reform, authored by Sen. Mark Leno, was approved by the full Senate but then died on a 3-4 vote in the Assembly Housing Committee. Democrats killed the bill.

Leno's bill, which attacks the speculator use of the Ellis Act by requiring 5 continuous years of ownership before being able to evict tenants.Research by the SF Tenants Union and Tenants Together show that nearly all of the Ellis evictions are done within the first few years of ownership; the first 6 months of ownership, in fact, is the most likely time for an Ellis to be filed.

The failure of the attempt to reform Ellis was a disappointment tot housands of eviction victims in San Francisco, as well as the thousands more fearing eviction. Tenants Together Director Dean Preston wrote

"Our bill failed in committee yesterday by a vote of 3-4.  As expected, Dems Sharon Quirk-Silva and Cheryl Brown sold tenants out.  I would call them political cowards, but that would be too generous as it assumes that they wanted to do the right thing but lacked the courage to do so.  Instead, I believe they lack a moral compass, and instead possess a compass that points only to money and power preservation.

Despite promising to support the bill, Speaker Atkins did not as far as we can tell lift a finger to secure its passage.   In contrast to the Senate, where both Steinberg & de Leon fought for passage of the bill on the floor, Atkins did nothing.  Randy Shaw has a good piece on this in today’s www.BeyondChron.org

Our side did an amazing job advocating for this bill, and thank you all for your months of work on this.  We had great turnout (yet again) and our speakers blew away the other side.  If this was about the merits, we would have won in a landslide.  Our presence was felt in a big way in the Capitol, like it hasn’t been for decades.  But this is an election year, and real estate industry money prevailed in this committee."

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