Campfire: Jason Wallach and Sandy Juarez

Jason and Sandy were evicted from 6511 Raymond St. Oakland by Dan Daigle. They had been living there 3 years and 5 months, since they arrived to the Bay Area. Jason is a rambling rover of Ukrainian, Italian and Jewish descent living in the settler colonialist state of the USA. He thinks story-telling is sexy; believes everyone has a right to housing, and spends his time dreaming about the eviction of the combustion engine from our collective psyche while building rebellious bicycles for his friends. Sandy is a medical interpreter in many bay area hospitals and clinics. She would like to dedicate this story to two wonderful co-workers who have left the city due to housing issues. One left her living space after over 20 years of tenancy and one year of eviction notices and harassment. After one too many gas leaks and uninhabitable conditions brought on by “repairs” to the other empty unit in the building, she complied with the eviction notice and relocated herself and her mother to Sacramento on December 31st. The other, a young man, could no longer afford the rent increase on a 450 sq ft. studio he shared with his partner and decided to move out of California, where he now quote “has enough space for a full couch!”

An Oakland story was included because few people understand that the epidemic of evictions is wrecking havoc in Bay Area wide communities. Residents of San Francisco have approved regulations to protect tenants, and despite this democratic exercise, real estate speculators find loopholes to damage communities. Residents pushed out of San Francisco find themselves in places like Oakland, which also face gentrification but without decades long tenant protection laws in place. In Oakland, there is no rent control.

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