Hundreds of Oaklanders gathered for a community forum on displacement, renters' rights, and the housing crisis on Saturday.
Residents from around Oakland and the East Bay came together at the West Oakland Youth Center on October 17 to share their struggles to stay in homes and communities, learn about housing rights, and speak out for a grass roots response to the City's growing displacement crisis.
The Speak Out to Stay Put Anti-Displacement Forum attracted some 400 people for a day of housing rights workshops, a resource fair with other 30 social justice and housing support organizations, and the opportunity to come together around organized actions in response to the soaring rents, no fault evictions, and harassement faced by more and more Oaklanders every day.
Host organizations included a broad and diverse coalition of groups dedicated to defending Oakland residents' rights to stay put and keep their communities whole in the face of mounting pressure. Causa Justa Just Cause, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Oakland Tenants Union, and Oakland Alliance were just a few of the organizations who joined forces.
Discussions centered around policies and actions aimed at keeping Oaklanders in place and empowered in their communities, including the adoption of a "real" rent control law, a $15 minimum wage, stronger protections against condo conversions and Ellis Act evictions, and pushing back against rampant criminalization and police brutality.
The event came as stronger tenant protections are being proposed in cities across the Bay Area and California, including campaigns for new rent control laws and expanded protections in Oakland, Richmond, Alameda, and elsewhere.
The New Rent Control Wars (BeyondChron)
A Promising Movement to Push for Rent Control is Taking Root (Alternet)