Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
Los Angeles, California
 
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Coalition for 
Economic Survival

514 Shatto Place
Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 
90020
Phone: (213)252-4411
Fax: (213)252-4422

contactces@earthlink.net


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September 04, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

September, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

INCLUDED IN THIS ISSUE:
- Assissting Chinatown Tenants - CES Supports New LA Housing Chief
- Tenants Face Eviction & Harassment - Tenants/Landlords Unite
- HUD Tenants Demand Better Conditions at Historic Downtown LA Apt. Building

CES Assists Tenants
& Council Member
Cedillo's Office at
Chinatown Apts.

Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) was asked by LA City Council Member Gil Cedillo's office to assist them at a meeting at the 302-unit Grand Plaza Senior Apartments in Chinatown on Aug 20. Tenants at this low-income government assisted building had received a 5% rent increase in June, which may be illegal. The Chinese-speaking tenants had also received a new lease agreement that was 43 pages and in English. CES' Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar & Lead Affordable Housing Organizer Joel Montano participated in leading the meeting. Little Tokyo Service Center helped with translation.

Sharon Lowe, with Council Member Cedillo's office, thanked CES organizers for their help in saying, "You were all great and most definitely helped to put the tenants at ease and helped to de-stress them and put their fears to rest, which was the most important objective of last evening's meeting. They came away knowing they were not on their own, that they had the support of CD 1 and that the City and State were in communications and working on their behalf, and they had CES tenant advocates alongside them to ensure their rights as tenants were protected. They also came away unified and with a constructive action plan."

 

CES Organizing
Tenants Against
Illegal Evictions &
Landlord
Harassment

Coalition For Economic Survival (CES) staff members Carlos Aguilar and Lourdes Soto met with tenants at a Koreatown building, with assistance from Bet Tzedek Legal Services Attorney Julius Thompson, to organize them to address threats, intimidation and unlawful evictions they face from an out-of-state investor that recently acquired the building.

Tenants have also been exposed to toxic lead and asbestos as a result of the unsafe work practices that was being performed in doing rehabilitation work. Many believe the intent of the new owner is to displace the current low income tenants and replace them with higher paying USC students. Strategies were developed at the meeting to demand safe and habitable housing free from illegal eviction attempts and landlord harassment.

 

HUD Tenants
Demand Better
Conditions at
Historic Down-
town LA Apts.

Approximately 50 low-income seniors living at the downtown LA HUD-assisted 299-unit Van Nuys Apartments gathered together with the assistance of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) on September 3. The tenants were meeting with representatives of the owner, AIMCO, the nation's largest landlord, to ask questions about living conditions at the building.

The meeting was conducted in 3 languages, English, Chinese and Korean, to accommodate the needs of the tenants. CES Tenant Leader Lee Chong Suk and Vivian Lee from Little Tokyo Service Center provided translation.

Tenants passionately expressed many concerns ranging from ceiling water leaks to broken down kitchen appliances, as well as general poor habitability conditions at the building. During the meeting it came to light that tenant requests for repairs went unanswered for numerous months and there's a need for considerable improvement of the on-site management to better serve the residents. AIMCO representatives pledged to meet with their on-site staff and report back to tenants.

Isaac Newton Van Nuys developed the 11-story Van Nuys Apartments in 1913 as a financial center in the heart of Los Angeles. In 1982 the building, at 7th and Spring, was converted into a HUD-subsidized residential complex for low-income senior with funds from HUD and LA's Community Redevelopment Agency.

 

CES Backs Mayor
Garcetti's Choice of
Rushmore Cervantes as
New LA Housing Chief

On August 13, the Los Angeles City Council Housing Committee considered Mayor Eric Garcetti's nomination of Rushmore Cervantes for General Manager of the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA).

Cervantes had been serving as the Interim General Manager for HCIDLA and previously was the executive officer at the Department. The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) has had an extremely good working relationship with Cervantes since he's been at HCIDLA.

In his testimony CES' Executive Director Larry Gross praised Mayor Garcetti for providing an extremely qualified choice for General Manager stating: "With this City facing a severe housing crisis, particularly when it comes to the lack of affordable housing, you need a special person to lead us. Thus, this position requires someone with a very unique skill-set who is committed to and has the ability to effectively take on these challenges. I believe Rushmore Cervantes is that person and I know he is up to these incredible challenges. Rushmore is well-respected and has the trust of the key stakeholders that are working to address our housing needs."

On August 19, the full LA City Council unanimously, on a 14 to 0 vote, confirmed Rushmore Cervantes as the new permanent HCIDLA General Manager.

Click to Read More and Listen to CES' Testimony

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Landlords,
Tenants Unite
on Amnesty
Plan for Illegal
Apartments

An unusual alliance of landlords and tenants wants Los Angeles to ease the way for bootlegged apartments to become legal.

Each year, the city housing department discovers 600 to 700 such apartments, units created without city approval.

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, said that if their idea becomes a reality, "people's lives are not going to be disrupted by having to be displaced. They can have a little bit of security for their families that they're living in safe homes. And for the landlords, it also means an increase in their property values."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

CES Job Opening

Short-Term
HUD Tenant
Organizer
Position

Short-Term Tenant Organizer position available for approximately 6 to 10 months. Must be bilingual English/Spanish or English/Korean. Must Have a Car. Should Have Organizing Experience. Please Only Apply if You Qualify. Send Cover Letter & Resume to contactces@earthlink.net

For More Details

 

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

August 11, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
August, 2014

 

CES Launches West Hollywood Cityhood Campaign at 1984 Plummer Park Rally

CES Condemns West
Hollywood Housing
Segregation Plan!

A developer proposed a plan to convert and expand an existing West Hollywood office building into luxury housing that included needed affordable units. The problem was that the plan called for excluding the low-income tenants from having access to all the amenities provided the other residents, as well as having a separate entrance for the tenants. In a sense, the plan called for turning the low-income renters into second-class citizens.

The other surprise was this segregated housing plan was proposed for West Hollywood, one of the most progressive cities in the nation. The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) led the efforts in 1984 to incorporate the city in order to secure a strong rent control law and preserve existing affordable housing.

Since its incorporation, West Hollywood has become a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS, rent control and affordable housing, LGBT rights, human rights and civil rights, women's rights, seniors' rights, protection of our environment, and animal rights.

West Hollywood, soon after its incorporation, was one of the first cities to adopt a disinvestment policy with companies and financial institutions doing business with the then racist regime of South Africa to protest its Apartheid practices. Those policies served as a model for other cities including Los Angeles. Ironically, West Hollywood finds itself facing a form of Apartheid.

CES swiftly denounced the plan, together with many others in the community. As CES were developing plans to broaden protest of the plan, the developer retreated from the original proposal. Hopefully the recent outrage will send a message to other developers who might entertain a similar proposal that they too will face strong opposition. CES will continue to monitor and be ready to respond if the need arises in the future.

Monday, August 11, 2014

'Poor Doors'
Development
Proposal Draws
Scorn in West
Hollywood

By Hailey Branson-Potts

There were two key issues that pushed West Hollywood residents to create their own city three decades ago: gay rights and rent control.

Since then, the city has passed a slew of tenants' rights laws, and required developers of new residential projects to reserve a percentage of their developments for moderate and low-income housing or pay a fee.

Developers are now seeking the city's permission to build a mixed-income housing project on Beverly Boulevard, with 64 market-rate housing units and 17 affordable units. But when city staff noticed lower-income residents would be denied access to a pool that can be viewed from their apartments, it caused a stir.

The developers also planned to build a separate entrance for the affordable housing area, which was clustered mostly on one floor of the building.

The plans called for "the affordable units looking down on a pool they are prohibited from using," said a recent staff report from West Hollywood's Community Development Department. "This very obvious delineation of amenities runs contrary to West Hollywood's policies of inclusiveness and equal access for all."

Social critics refer to such development practices as "poor doors" because of the separation of income groups, which has caused an uproar in other major cities.

Amid growing outcry in West Hollywood, the developers, Beverly Blvd. Associates, L.P., agreed last week to allow shared access to the pool and the building, according to Brian Lewis, a spokesman for the developers.

But the initial proposal for such separations in this city known for protecting tenants' rights has many shaking their heads.

"To think that this would happen in West Hollywood is just beyond comprehension," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants' rights group that played a key role in the city's founding.

"While the units that are being proposed are a good thing ... one has to think, what in the hell did this developer have in mind to propose something like this?" he asked. "It just really is degrading and humiliating for low-income people and that cannot be tolerated."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Developer Backs
Down on West
Hollywood 'Poor
Door'

By Ben Bergman

The developer of a proposed large mixed-use building in West Hollywood that planned to restrict tenants living in affordable housing units from accessing the property's pool said Wednesday it will reconsider.

Developers say amenities are a marketing tool to lure high-paying tenants. And they say rent-regulation rules make offering them to such tenants problematical.

But advocates for tenants view the policies as ways to demoralize people who pay less than the going rate and to not too subtly encourage them to move elsewhere. Although there is no data on how widespread the practice is, both sides agree that it is on the rise.

The proposed project is located at 8899 Beverly Boulevard, at what used to house the ICM talent agency. This was the first time a developer planned to offer amenities off-limits to tenants living in affordable housing in Southern California, according to Larry Gross, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival.

"I could have never thought that this would come to Southern California, let alone West Hollywood," said Gross. "It's appalling."

Click Here to Listen to News Report

 

Friday, August 08, 2014

Controversy over West
Hollywood Development

By Alice Walton

A West Hollywood developer says he will reconsider a plan to bar affordable housing tenants from using the amenities in a proposed mixed-use building, reports KPCC. Under the original proposal, renters in affordable units would have been prevented from using the pool in their own building. "I could have never thought that this would come to Southern California, let alone West Hollywood. It's appalling," said Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival.

 

Short-Term
HUD Tenant
Organizer
Position

Short-Term Tenant Organizer position available for approximately 6 to 10 months. Must be bilingual English/Spanish or English/Korean. Must Have a Car. Should Have Organizing Experience. Please Only Apply if You Qualify. Send Cover Letter & Resume to contactces@earthlink.net

For More Details

 

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

August 06, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

August, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

INCLUDED IN THIS ISSUE:
- HUD Tenant Conference - CES Community Workshop
- Earthquake Safety Kick Off - Southland Rent Levels
- Rent Control Info Workshop - More on Sterling Slumlord Actions

CES Participates
in HUD Tenant Conference Held
in Washington DC

Coalition for Economic Survival staff and tenant leaders attended the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT) Conference in Washington DC on June 14-16, 2014.

Left to right: CES HUD Tenant Organizer Edward Gutierrez, CES HUD Tenant Leader Maritza Rogue, CES HUD Tenant Leader Velvet King, CES Lead Affordable Housing Organizer

HUD tenants from across the nation are participating in the conference. The conference was also attended by US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials who responded to issues raised by the tenants.

NAHT is multi-cultural, tenant-controlled national alliance of tenant organizations in privately-owned, multifamily HUD-assisted housing. CES is a long-time member of NAHT.

 

CES Attends Kick Off
Event to Announce
LA's Selection as One
of 100 Resilient Cities

On June 30, 2014, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti invited community stakeholders, City officials, service providers, businesses, and the non-profit sector to a kick off event workshops to discuss Los Angeles' resilience priorities and begin to develop a shared resilience agenda. CES was one of the invited guests.

Dr. Lucy Jones, of the US Geological Services and recently appointed by the Mayor as LA's Senior Adviser on Seismic Safety, was a speaker.

In December 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation announced the selection of the City of Los Angeles to participate in the Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge. The 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge seeks to support 100 cities that are ready to build resilience to the social, economic, and physical challenges that cities are increasingly facing in the 21st century.

In the break-out sessions, Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross, noted that while supporting the need to make buildings safe, the burden of paying for the cost of building earthquake retrofitting must not be placed on renters who can least afford to pay increased rents. Potentially 29,000 soft-story apartment buildings that are mostly rent-controlled housing for low and moderate income and working class families could lose their affordability if they are required to be retrofitted.

Gross also pointed out that given LA's diverse population, it was imperative that information and access to it be provided in the numerous languages spoken in LA.

 

CES Members
Turn Out for
LA Rent Control Workshop

On July 30, Coalition for Economic Survival members from East Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, Koreatown and Silver Lake areas attend a recent workshop offered by the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department providing information on LA's Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

CES consistently encourages tenants to attend events such as this to empower them, first by learning about what rights they have and then assisting them in exercising those rights to stop displacement, ensure needed repairs are obtained & protect their affordable housing. CES Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar has been working with these tenants to address issues at their buildings and neighborhoods.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Rent Prices in the
Southland May Be
Topping Out

Already, 33% of Southland renters spend at least half their income on monthly rent, according to a report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. And if wages are flat, every little bit that rent goes up means something else has to go, said Larry Gross, executive director of the tenants advocacy group Coalition for Economic Survival.

"Where do you cut back?" Gross said. "They're running out of ways."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

While the Court Ruling on Donald Sterling's Sale of the LA Clippers was Good, CES is Concerned if Shelly Sterling has a Continued Involvement With the Team, It Will Mean the Clippers and NBA Have Failed to Acknowledge Her Racist, Slumlord and Housing Discrimination Actions.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Magic Johnson,
Clipper Darrell
Excited About
Sterling Ruling

By Jack Wang

But not everyone was pleased this week that Shelly Sterling could continue to have involvement with the Clippers.

Los Angeles-based housing rights advocate Larry Gross is critical of Donald and Shelly's record on housing rights issues, and allegations of racism by Shelly, which her lawyers have denied. After Monday's court verdict, Gross took to Twitter to complain the judge's decision isn't a "total Sterling exorcism."

"If Shelly Sterling is involved, players, (Coach Doc) Rivers, & fans should still shun team," wrote Gross, the executive director for the Coalition for Economic Survival.

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Group Wants to Revamp
How L.A. Collects Parking
Ticket Revenue

Critics argue that many of the fines fall especially hard on the poor, particularly in dense neighborhoods with scarce parking. The Coalition for Economic Survival, a community organizing group that isn't affiliated with the parking ticket campaign, has repeatedly raised concerns about street-sweeping fines, which now stand at $73 for parking in a prohibited area.

"Someone who lives in Woodland Hills or Canoga Park and is a homeowner is not going to be impacted," said Larry Gross, the coalition's executive director. In Westlake or Pico-Union, "a minimum-wage worker can end up getting a ticket that's larger than a day's pay.... We shouldn't be raising most of the revenue on the backs of those who can least afford to pay it."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

CES Job Opening

Short-Term
HUD Tenant
Organizer
Position

Short-Term Tenant Organizer position available for approximately 6 to 10 months. Must be bilingual English/Spanish or English/Korean. Must Have a Car. Should Have Organizing Experience. Please Only Apply if You Qualify. Send Cover Letter & Resume to contactces@earthlink.net

For More Details

 

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

May 28, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

June, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

INCLUDED IN THIS ISSUE:
- Housing & Jobs - CES Community Workshop
- Tenant Troubles - Cell Phone LifeLine Rates
- The Sterlings & Housing Discrimination - New So LA Animal Clinic

Garcetti Calls for
Housing Plan that
Alleviates Pollution,
Traffic

Los Angeles KNBC Channel 4 News
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Reported by Gordon Tokumatsu

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross, together with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3634 Administrative Assistant June Singleton-Reece, appeared on KNBC Channel 4 News on May 1, 2014, regarding a story on how the affordable housing crisis has pushed middle class, working families and the poor out of the City of Los Angeles.

As a result people now find themselves spending hours on the freeways commuting from their homes to their jobs. June lives in Ontario, 68 miles from her job in LA's Koreatown. She's spends 3 hours driving to work, thus reducing her quality of life and adding to the areas air pollution problem.

CES says the the solution lies in the creation on more jobs and aggressive action by government to produce new affordable housing while preserving existing affordable housing by restricting condo conversions and demolitions of rent controlled affordable units.

Click Here to Watch the News Report

 

CES Executive Dir.
Used in FOX News
Clip to Promote
Tenants' Rights
Investigative Report

KTTV Channel 11 FOX News commercial clip with Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross promoting an investigative report, "Tenant Troubles." The clip ran over and over on Channel 11 leading up to the airing of the report.

The story investigates the intimidation tactics some landlords use to force tenants to move so landlords can raise rents and avoid paying required tenants relocation assistance money.

This case focuses on a new owner who went so far as to set the building on fire to clear out tenants.

The report aired on Monday, May 19, 2014 on Los Angeles' FOX News Channel 11 at 10 pm.

Click Here to Watch the Commercial Clip

Thursday, May 08, 2014

CES Weighs in on Sterling Controversy
Shelly Sterling's
Continued Ownership
Would Concern Clippers,
Community Leaders

Long before the scandal broke two weeks ago. Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, boycotted Clippers games.

The Sterlings have an abysmal record, Gross said, pointing to discrimination lawsuits filed by tenants.

Gross said he is angry Shelly Sterling was still going to games during the playoffs.

"She is a partner in crime with him on all these housing discrimination issues," Gross said.

Click Here to Read Entire Article

CES Community
Workshop on
Tenant Rights

The Coalition for Economic Survival was by invited Para Los Niños to participate in the Partnerships for Families and Parent Advisory Council Community Resource Fair on Saturday, April 12.

CES Lead Affordable Housing Tenant Organizer Joel Montano conducted a workshop on Tenants' Rights, Housing Code Enforcement and Tenant Association Organizing for the parents.

 

CES tenant leader Eva Gutierrez, with CES Affordable Housing Lead Organizer Joel Montano assisting with translation, testifies to the benefits of being able to afford to have a cell phone due to LifeLine rates

CES Members Testify
at Public Utilities
Commission's Low
Income Oversight
Board Meeting

Coalition for Economic Survival Members attended and testified at a California Public Utilities Commission's Low Income Oversight Board (LIOB) meeting, held on May 22nd in the Los Angeles City Council Chambers at LA City Hall.

CES tenant leaders testified to the benefits of the recent victory in which the PUC recently established LifeLine discounted cell phone rates for low-income consumers, making it now possible for them to own mobile phones. A number of the CES members had participated in previous PUC hearings where they advocated for establishing the cell phone LifeLine rate program.

Left to Right: CES Tenant Organizer Edward Gutiérrez, CES Tenant Leader Roxana Monroy, CES Tenant Leader Agustin Cebada, CES Tenant Leader Eva Gutierrez, CES Affordable Housing Lead Organizer Joel Montano, CES Tenant Leader Burnett Grier.

CES Executive Director Larry Gross is a PUC appointee to the LIOB, serving on the Board since January 2012. Board Member Gross thanked the CES members for testifying and for their involvement in the effort to bring about this important victory for low-income Californians. PUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, who is the assigned Commissioner to the LIOB and was a driving force to establish mobile LifeLine phone rates, stressed the importance of CES members' involvement.

The LIOB was established by the California State Legislature to advise the PUC Commission on low-income utility issues as it relates to investor-owned utility companies and to serve as a liaison for the Commission to low-income ratepayers & representatives.

 

(Pictured from left to right: LA Deputy Mayor Doane Liu, ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker, LA Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette, Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas' Field Rep. Seth Fowler)

CES was Present
at South LA Spay
& Neuter Clinic
Grand Opening

On May 6, Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross, who is also a Los Angeles Board of Animal Services Commissioner, and CES Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the American Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (ASPCA) new free spay-and-neuter clinic at the South Los Angeles Chesterfield Square Animal Shelter.

The ASPCA plans to spay and neuter about 4,000 animals at this new facility this year and 6,000 animals next year.

LA City Council Member Bernard Parks, who's district the facility is in, LA Deputy Mayor Doane Liu, LA Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette and Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas' Field Rep. Seth Fowler joined with other LA Board of Animal Services Commissioners, ASPCA officials and animal rights supporters for the clinic opening festivities.

Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Make a Public Fashion
Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

April 14, 2014

CES IN THE NEWS

Read the two following articles (LA Times & LA Business) about threats to tenants & affordable housing due to the State Ellis Act. Also, listen to a radio program (David Cruz Show) on the challenge renters face because of our housing crisis.

 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Echo Park Tenants CES Has Been Organizing to Fight Their Ellis Evictions (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times / 3/27/14)

Evictions from
Rent-Controlled
Units on the Rise
in L.A.

An increasing number of rent-controlled units are being converted to condos or simply flattened, leaving a dwindling supply and fewer affordable options for residents.

By Andrew Khouri

Arie Shashou remembers simple pleasures from the decades spent in his Westside home: helping neighbors with small tasks; the daily chats with the former manager of the complex; the paintings that line the walls of his one-bedroom.

"It was a happy time," Shashou, 77, recalled on a recent Sunday afternoon. "I was hoping to die here."

That was before Shashou received an eviction notice in March. Shashou's $825-a-month rent-controlled apartment, and 17 other units, will be demolished to make way for a pricey new apartment complex.

Such evictions have surged in Los Angeles as property owners cash in on the recovery. Rent-controlled units are being converted or simply flattened. In their place, developers are putting up new condominium or apartment buildings, modern mansions or clusters of compact, single-family homes.

The evictions — allowed by the state's Ellis Act — have exploded in San Francisco as well, accelerating a backlash against the city's tech-driven gentrification. Two legislators there have moved to limit the practice; under current law, property owners are allowed to evict if they get out of the rental business or demolish their buildings.

In Los Angeles, owners filed to remove 378 rent-controlled units from the market last year, 40% more than in 2012, according to data from the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department. That pace has accelerated this year.

"The people who make Los Angeles run — such as the hotel workers, the service workers, the teachers and the bus drivers and the regular working people — are being run out of Los Angeles," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival .

Los Angeles passed rent control in 1979, after concerns that rapid rent increases were pricing many out of the city. There are roughly 638,000 such units left in Los Angeles — a dwindling supply because controls generally apply only to older buildings. And there's little political momentum to expand rent control; the trend in California has been to scale back.

In 1995, the state Legislature barred units built after February 1 of that year from rent controls and ended strict regulations in some cities that prohibited rent increases if a unit was vacated.

The Los Angeles control rules limit annual rent increases for tenants in multi-family buildings built before October 1978. This fiscal year, the city allowed a 3% increase. Once a tenant moves, however, landlords can charge whatever someone will pay — but the cap on percentage increases still applies.

Tenants in rent-controlled buildings have heavy protections against eviction to ensure landlords can't just kick them out to charge market rent.

One way out is under the Ellis Act.

During last decade's housing boom, Ellis evictions soared. Despite the recent surge, the displacements remain far below those heights. In 2007, Los Angeles landlords evicted 1,352 households from rent-controlled units, compared with 250 last year.

To invoke the Ellis Act, property owners must either exit the business or demolish their buildings and put up new apartments. In Los Angeles, landlords can set the initial rent for those new units, although the apartments would then be subject to rent control, according to the city housing department. Owners can dedicate a certain number of units as affordable housing to avoid rent control.

The debate over Ellis has raged recently. A state tenant organization marched on the state Capitol in February, proclaiming a Renters' Day of Action. Protests erupt in San Francisco to shame landlords.

In response, the California Apartment Assn. launched an Ellis-focused website to dispel what the site calls "myths and misconceptions." Ellis is a safety valve for landlords, the association said. The group says landlords invoke Ellis for myriad reasons: frustration with rent control; to move themselves into a property; to avoid bankruptcy; or simply to retire.

"You cannot make somebody be a landlord," said Beverly Kenworthy, executive director of the association's Los Angeles branch. "If they want to get out of that business, this is the mechanism to do so."

Enacted in the mid-1980s, the Ellis Act cemented the right of landlords to do just that. Many landlords who use the law today, however, are recent buyers of the property. Tenant groups and lawmakers have seized upon that fact to lobby for changes. Of the Los Angeles properties where owners filed to remove rent controlled units under Ellis in 2013, at least 51% had been purchased within the previous year, according to an analysis of city data and property records tracked by real estate firm DataQuick.

"We are not talking about the Ma and Pa landlords," Gross said.

If longtime landlords want out, tenant groups argue, they can sell to another landlord. Longtime owners, however, probably would fetch less in a sale if properties couldn't be converted to new single-family homes or condominiums for sale. And shutting the door on Ellis would put the brakes on redevelopment, said Michael Cohanzad of Wiseman Development, which used the Ellis Act to start evictions against Shashou and others.

Like many developers, Wiseman plans more new units than it will demolish. If the developer and others couldn't use Ellis, redevelopment of parcels with older rent-controlled buildings would plummet, Cohanzad said.

"Development will screech to [a] halt," he said in an email. "This would increase housing costs and would make housing even more unaffordable."

In Los Angeles, Westlake and Hollywood — neighborhoods with many older rent-controlled units — have lost the most units to redevelopment. Landlords sought to remove 54 rent-controlled units last year in working-class Westlake and 39 of them in Hollywood.

In December, Sunset MZM purchased a 10-unit bungalow complex on the eastern edge of rapidly gentrifying Echo Park. Two months later, the holding company filed to evict tenants. A real estate consultant for the company said it had not decided what to do with the apartments. Developers aren't required to disclose their ultimate plans, only that they will take the units off the market.

Investment dollars have flooded this sleepy stretch of Sunset Boulevard as gentrification moves east. A luxury apartment complex — with penthouses priced as high as $6,500 a month — is scheduled to open soon near the bungalow complex. A Canadian developer has proposed a large apartment and retail complex just south of Sunset MZM's investment. And a popular taco restaurant opened last year next door to Melina Vasquez's bungalow at Sunset MZM's complex, where she faces eviction.

Vasquez, 36, says the location of her $825-a-month bungalow is safer than other areas where her family can afford to live. A long staircase, shaded by leafy trees, extends from her hillside home and ends at Sunset Boulevard. It's the only entrance to the complex.

At a bungalow farther down the hill, music hummed and neighbors grilled carne asada. Vasquez's three daughters stood at her feet. Toys spread across their porch.

"Here," Vasquez said in Spanish, "I feel secure with them.

"Where am I going to go?"

A torrid housing rebound early last year has forced hundreds into similar situations. Many landlords can finally make a profit by selling their buildings or converting their use. The median home price in Los Angeles County rose 21.7% in February compared with a year earlier, DataQuick said.

"The market is coming back again," said Hershel Mangoli, who recently filed evictions to build condos in the Sawtelle neighborhood on Los Angeles' Westside.

In San Francisco, prices and evictions have climbed faster. Ellis evictions nearly doubled in the last year to 216 from 116, according to the city's rent board.

Two state legislators from the city recently introduced bills to tighten the Ellis Act, an attempt that has often failed amid fierce opposition from the real estate industry. One bill, introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), would allow San Francisco to bar property owners from using Ellis for five years after acquiring a building. Local jurisdictions throughout California could impose moratoriums on such evictions under another bill.

"Experience shows you can't build your way out of an affordable housing crisis," Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) said upon introducing the latter bill. "We have to do what we can to preserve what affordable housing we have."

Evicted tenants have some cushion. In Los Angeles, landlords must pay $7,600 to $19,000 per unit for relocation expenses. But tenant groups say that money can evaporate quickly once longtime tenants start paying market rents.

Shashou plans to toss many of his belongings. He can't afford another one-bedroom in the area on his fixed income. Even a studio, he said, will cost $600 more than he pays now.

"I have only savings," he said.

Times staff writer Ryan Menezes contributed to this report.

 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Landlords
Want to Toss
Eviction Bill

POLITICS: Proposal would limit owners' ability to sell properties.

By Howard Fine

Larry Gross, executive director of L.A. tenant rights organization Coalition for Economic Survival , said that in the past three years, more than 1,000 rent-controlled units have been taken off the market in Los Angeles, with many of those going through the Ellis Act eviction process. He expects the pace of such evictions to increase as housing pressures mount, particularly on L.A.'s Westside.

"We have a tidal wave of Ellis Act evictions on the horizon," Gross said. "What's happening now in San Francisco will soon happen here, unless action is taken. We need this legislation now, not after the fact, because once we lose those rent-controlled units, we will never get them back."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

 

 

CES Executive Director Discusses the Plight and Rights of Renters in the Los Angeles Area

KEIB AM 1150: The David Cruz Show
Host: David Cruz

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross was interviewed by David Cruz, host of KEIB radio's the David Cruz Show, on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

They discussed the need for renters to be wary of today's rental market, the challenges renters face in finding a affordable apartment and the need for tenants' to know their rights.

Click Here to Listen to Radio Program

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

April 09, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

April, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

CES has recently gained significant media attention in numerous media outlets and newspapers regarding a number of issues affecting tenants and affordable housing. We wanted to share these news reports with you.

 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Shortage of low-income housing pushes tenants into dangerous situations

Affordable housing advocates say the improper conversion of a South L.A. building which tenants now must vacate is 'not an isolated case.

The Hoover Street building may be an extreme case, but it's not unusual for landlords to offer cash to tenants to get them to move out voluntarily and skirt the city's pricey relocation program, said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants' rights group.

He's been hearing more reports of such deals as the housing market heats up and building owners try to empty rent-controlled buildings and redevelop them to market-rate apartments.

Many renters don't know their rights, Gross said, and at a vulnerable time often settle for far less than they are due.

"I'm sure it's a lot more widespread than we'll ever know," he said. "The tenants are gone."

Click to Read Entire Article

 

Monday, March 7, 2014

L.A. & Orange Counties are an epicenter of overcrowded housing

The two counties contain more than half of the nation's most heavily crowded neighborhoods, with rising rents far outpacing incomes.

"I don't think anyone really wants to live in overcrowded conditions," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival. "But people will endure it because they have no choice."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

Monday, February 24, 2014

While serving in the Assembly, Charles Calderon pushed anti-rent control bill

"This totally doesn't surprise me that his son worked for a mobile home park owner," said Larry Gross, director of Los Angeles-based Coalition for Economic Survival, an agency that pushes for tenants rights and an increase in affordable housing. "Calderon (was) always the go-to guy for mobile home park owners. they saw him as their ticket to weakening laws that protect tenants."

The Coalition was one of several groups that opposed Assembly Bill 761, a failed bill introduced in 2009 that would have made it easier for a park owner to charge more rent when a rent-controlled unit changed hands.

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

 

LA Real Estate: Too Expensive to Buy, Too Expensive to Rent

KCRW: Which Way, L.A.?
Host: Warren Olney

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross appeared on KCRW's "Which Way LA?" hosted by Warren Olney on March 27, 2014.

As Southern California recovers from the Great Recession, the Middle Class is being priced out of the housing market. Increases in income aren't beginning to keep pace with the skyrocketing home prices -and that, in turn, makes it more expensive to rent. Are urban centers becoming enclaves for the wealthy while others flee to the suburbs?

If you're actively looking to buy a home in Southern California, you won't be surprised by the real estate website Trulia report. Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire are three of the country's five most overpriced housing markets. And here's the kicker: housing prices are soaring - but incomes are not keeping up.

Guests:

Jed Kolko, Trulia, @JedKolko
Larry Gross, Coalition for Economic Survival, @la_ces
Richard Green, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, @keynesianr

Click Here to Listen to the Radio Program

 

Tenants May Pay
For Earthquake
Retrofitting Under
New Proposal

89.3 KPCC AirTalk Weekdays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. with Larry Mantle

Monday, February 24, 2014

The city of Los Angeles is considering a proposal from Councilman Bernard Parks that would pass the cost of retrofitting apartment buildings on to tenants. Currently, only 50% of major renovation costs may be passed along to tenants, with landlords and building owners paying the cost of retrofitting.

Parks' proposal is intended to incentivize retrofitting by allowing landlords and would make it legal for tenants to pay the whole cost of rehabilitation over a "reasonable period of time."

Tenants rights advocates say that placing the burden of retrofitting costs on renters would exacerbate income inequality and force people out of their homes. The council is already exploring a state bond measure that would help owners pay to rehabilitate their properties, but Parks is encouraging the city to evaluate simpler solutions.

Should tenants pay to retrofit buildings? Who should carry the burden of rehabilitation?

Guests:

Larry Gross, executive director of The Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants rights group
Councilmember Bernard Parks, Councilmember, 8th District, which includes Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, West Adams, and other parts of South Los Angeles

Click Here to Listen to the Radio Program

Groups Meet to Discuss Wireless Lifeline Phone Rate Victory

The Coalition for Economic Survival, Co-Hosted at its Office, a community briefing on the recent LifeLine discounted wireless phone rate victory, together with the San Francisco-based The Utility Rate Network (TURN) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Attending the meeting to explain the victory, as well as to outline additional issues that need to be addressed was California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval. Representatives from community and consumer groups from throughout Southern California participated in the meeting.

Calif Public Utilities Commissioner
Catherine Sandoval explains LifeLine Victory.

The LifeLine victory will keep low-income customers connected to affordable, reliable phone service whether they chose a mobile or landline plan for discounted service. In a landmark decision, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) also agreed with the groups involved in this broad-based statewide campaign that included CES and that was led by TURN that Californians without social security numbers should not be disqualified from the state program. California is the first state in the U.S. to eliminate the requirement.

Customers will have the option to use their LifeLine discount on basic voice and text services or choose bundles and wireless family plans.

 

CES HUD Tenant
Leaders in Pasadena
Meet to Secure
Better Housing
Conditions

Coalition for Economic Survival HUD Tenant leaders met at their Pasadena building on March 20, 2014. The tenants live at the 10-unit Northwest Manor I scattered-site IV Apartments.

At the meeting tenants strategized on ways to convince the landlord to take action to address the severe roach infestation, make necessary plumbing repairs, and ultimately implement more proactive pest control. In addition, CES staff provided tenants with information about green cleaning approaches that would better protect the health of their children from toxic chemical dangers.

CES Affordable Housing Tenant Organizer Edward Gutiérrez said, "The pest infestation is a huge problem at this site because no matter how meticulously tenants clean there are structural issues that allow the roaches to come back. It's not the tenants fault and they are frustrated beyond belief. What motivates me to continue my effort is knowing that these wonderful families deserve better healthier housing and they are committed to organizing and fighting for it."

 

CES Supports El Super Workers Fight for Justice

The Coalition for Economic Survival participated in a demonstration organized by the United Food and Commercial Worker Union Local 770 at the El Super market on Gage Ave in South Los Angeles on March 7, 2014.

Workers are demanding a fair union contract. El Super employees have been asking for respect on the job, guaranteed hours per week and support for seniority, decent wages, health benefits and union representation for all El Super stores.

CES Lead Affordable Housing Tenant Organizer Joel Montano, who spoke at the event, stated, "It was inspiring to see the tremendous turnout from community allies, such as CES, who provided support for the determined El Super workers. It sent a loud and clear message to management that the workers were not alone and that they had the community behind them."

Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Make a Public Fashion
Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

February 24, 2014

CES IN THE NEWS

LA City Council Member Parks

Wants to Significantly Raise

the Rents of L.A. Tenants!

Monday, February 24, 2014

L.A. Apartment Tenants Would Pay Full
Quake Retrofit Costs Under Plan

L.A. building owners can pass on only 50% of the costs of seismic upgrades, but Councilman Bernard C. Parks wants to increase that to 100%.

By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times

A Los Angeles City Council member wants to allow owners who seismically retrofit apartment buildings to pass on the costs to tenants.

Councilman Bernard C. Parks said he wants the city to explore exempting these apartment owners from the city's rent-control law as part of a larger effort by city officials to strengthen thousands of buildings vulnerable to collapse during a major earthquake.

Proposal is LA City Council Member Parks' Latest Attack on Low Income & Working Renters

Under existing laws, only 50% of the cost of major apartment rehabilitation projects can be passed through to tenants, Parks said. Parks wants city staff to evaluate passing through all the costs to tenants but do it "over a reasonable period of time."

The idea marks a new front in the decades-long debate in Los Angeles and elsewhere about who should pay for retrofitting dangerous buildings. Twenty years ago, the upper floors of the Northridge Meadows apartment complex collapsed during the Northridge earthquake, killing 16 residents on the lower floor.

Los Angeles officials have known about the dangers of older concrete and wooden apartment buildings for years, but concerns about costs killed earlier efforts to require retrofits of privately owned buildings. Many owners say they shouldn't have to pay for expensive fixes on their own.

The council is already looking into a state bond measure that would help owners pay to seismically retrofit their buildings. But Parks said the city should first consider other options.

"Before you start … looking to the state for funding, you should first look at your own city ordinances and see if there might be a simpler solution," Parks said. "You don't ask for bond money to keep your property in tiptop shape."

A Los Angeles tenants-rights group said tenants cannot afford to foot the entire bill for seismic upgrades.

"This motion is like a direct attack on low-income and working renters in this city. It's ludicrous," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival .

Gross said tenants "should not bear the full burden of any earthquake retrofit costs while giving landlords a complete pass."

Apartment owners groups welcomed Parks' idea but added officials should still pursue other ways of helping pay for the costs. Jim Clarke, chief executive of the Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles, said a government bond measure should be pursued, as well as grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We wouldn't want to see one particular group bear the burden," Clarke said.

In San Francisco, officials waive rent control limits on rent increases when owners seismically retrofit their apartment buildings. Owners are allowed to pass along the full retrofit costs to tenants, including those on rent control, over a 20-year period. Extremely low-income tenants, such as those on food stamps, are exempt from the rent increases.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors last year required about 3,000 wooden apartment buildings with weak ground floors to be strengthened.

They house more than 55,000 residents, and officials warned the loss of so much housing at once could force displaced residents to move as far away as the Central Valley, where housing is plentiful. Their destruction would also take thousands of rent-controlled apartments off the market permanently.

Council Member Parks Wants to Bring an Economic Earthquake to LA Renters!

The San Francisco law makes owners responsible for completing the retrofits. Owners can finance them with private loans or city loans that could be repaid through additional property taxes.

After the retrofit, tenants would see monthly rent increases of probably $8 to $50 a month if they were not classified as very low income. Retrofitting an apartment building in San Francisco is estimated to cost $60,000 to $130,000.

Getting agreement on the deal from tenant and owner groups was challenging, and the city could not afford to help pay for the retrofits, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in an interview last year.

Not everyone was happy about the law, but Lee said there was consensus that the safety of residents was more important than arguing "we can't stand for any rent increase."

"We lose 55,000 lives if we don't do anything," Lee said.

Landlord groups such as the California Apartment Assn. ultimately backed the mayor's plan. Beverly Kenworthy, executive director of the association's Los Angeles branch, said owners earn below-market rent on rent-controlled apartments. Passing through seismic retrofit costs to tenants is "one way that owners would be able to comply" with a mandatory seismic retrofit ordinance.

"You can have a mandate, but if there's no mechanism for landlords to comply, this issue is not going to be addressed," Kenworthy said. But she added the city should pursue other funding ideas as well.

Other cities are also dealing with who should pay for mandatory seismic retrofits. In Berkeley, owners must apply for permission to the city's rent board to raise rents beyond the rent control limit.

And Council Member Parks Wants to Make it Even Higher!

Santa Monica recently decided to resume enforcement of its seismic retrofit program. Some property owners are also asking the city to pass through retrofit costs to tenants.

Wooden apartment structures that are built over carports and held up with slender columns leave the upper floors at risk of crashing into ground-floor apartments during shaking.

Besides the collapse of the Northridge Meadows apartment building, about 200 such structures were damaged during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Older concrete buildings are also at risk of collapse. In October, The Times reported that by the most conservative estimate, as many as 50 of the more than 1,000 concrete buildings in the city built before 1976 would collapse in a major earthquake, exposing thousands to injury or death.

Concrete buildings may look strong, but many are vulnerable to the sideways movement of a major earthquake because they don't have enough steel reinforcement to hold columns in place.

There are other efforts underway to help owners pay for retrofits. Councilman Mitch Englander is working with Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) to give owners a tax break on seismic retrofits.

But Nazarian was unsure whether Sacramento would find a quick solution.

"How can we address the needs without putting a dent in the state revenue?" Nazarian said in an interview last month.

Other pressing statewide needs, such as water, education and transportation, would compete against a quake bond measure.

"I don't know if a bond would be an appropriate way to go about it," Nazarian said.

Parks' motion will be forwarded to a City Council committee for consideration.

Take Action Now to Stop Your Rent From Skyrocketing

Contact Your City Council Member to Urge Them to Oppose Council Member Parks' Earthquake Proposal Which Will Raise Your Rent and Might Displace You!

LA City Council Member Bernard Parks' motion is a direct attack on low income and working renters in this city.

Parks wants tenants to bear the full burden of any earthquake retrofitting costs, while giving landlords a complete free pass and providing them significant rent increases by allowing them to by-pass rent control laws.

Under the guise of saying he wants to provide earthquake safety, Parks action will shake up the lives of tenants with a massive economic earthquake.

Other Council Members, and even the Apartment Association, are seeking state bonds funds to pay for the retrofitting in an effort to avoid economic calamity to both tenants and landlords.

Yet, Parks states he wants a simpler solution. And that simpler solution is sucking more money out of the pockets of those who can least afford to pay.

Parks also appears to be confused about the rent control law. He states that he wants to allow landlords to recover the full costs of the retrofitting, not just 50%. But, the rent control currently allows that for this type of work, but there are protections to tenants built in to cap the rent increases and to provide for temporary or permanent relocation benefits.

What it appears that Parks really wants to do is to eliminate those tenants protections by getting rid of the rent increase cap and relocation benefits.

With over 60% residents tenants, Los Angeles is a city of renters. Unfortunately, over 50% of renters are paying unaffordable rents. They can't afford to pay more. But, Bernard Parks wants them to.

Tell the LA City Council to Oppose Bernard Parks Rent Increase Proposal.
Help Make This Outrageous Proposal Dead on Delivery to the City Council.

 

Los Angeles City Council Contact Information

 

Write & Mail to:

 

LA City Councilmember __________
LA City Hall - Room __________
200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

Email & Call:
Los Angeles City Council Members:

 

GILBERT CEDILLO
213-485-7001   Rm 470
councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org

 

PAUL KREKORIAN
213-473-7002   Rm 435
councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org

 

BOB BLUMENFIELD
213-473-7003   Rm 415
councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org

 

TOM LABONGE
213-485-3337   Rm 480
councilmember.labonge@lacity.org

 

PAUL KORETZ
213-473-7005   Rm 440
paul.koretz@lacity.org

 

NURY MARTINEZ
213-473-7006   Rm 425
councilmember.martinez@lacity.org

 

FELIPE FUENTES
213-473-7007   Rm 455
councilmember.fuentes@lacity.org

 

BERNARD PARKS
213-473-7008   Rm 460
councilmember.parks@lacity.org

 

CURREN PRICE, JR.
213-473-7009   Rm 420
councilmember.price@lacity.org

 

HERB WESSON, JR.
213-473-7010   Rm 430
councilmember.wesson@lacity.org

 

MIKE BONIN
213-473-7011   Rm 475
councilmember.bonin@lacity.org

 

MITCHELL ENGLANDER
213-473-7012   Rm 405
councilmember.englander@lacity.org

 

MITCH O'FARRELL
213-473-7013   Rm 450
councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org

 

JOSE HUIZAR
213-473-7014   Rm 465
councilmember.huizar@lacity.org

 

JOE BUSCAINO
213-473-7015   Rm 410
councildistict15@lacity.org

 

* In case the email bounces back from a specific Council Member, please call the office of that Council Member to get the correct email address.

Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

February 19, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

February, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Included in this issue of CES Organizing Times:
*CES Government Appointments *CES HUD Tenant Leaders Meet
*Protecting Displaced Chinatown Tenants *Healthy Homes Efforts in Sacto
*CES Joins the Fight to Raise LA's Minimum Wage
CES Executive Director Larry Gross Gets Sworn In as a City of LA Board of Animals Services Commissioner After the LA City Council Provided a Unanimous Vote to the Appointment by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

L.A. City Council Votes to Confirm
Mayor Garcetti Appoints CES Exec Dir to Board of Animal Services

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently appointed CES Executive Director Larry Gross to the LA Board of Animal Services Commission and on February 18, 2014, the LA City Council unanimously approved the appointment.

Gross, together with two other recently approved Commissioners, Jennifer Brent executive director at the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, an animal-welfare group started by actress Katherine Heigl and Roger Wolfson, a television writer and former aide/speechwriter to several US Senators, will join Attorney David Zaft and LA Manager of the Humane Society's Pets for Life Alana Yañez on the Commission.

Among its duties, the Board of Animal Services Commissioners oversees and sets policy for the LA Department of Animal Services, which administers the city's animal shelter system, permits, animal licenses, spay/neuter, micro-chipping and vaccination programs, and animal control with a $21.7 million annual budget.

Prior to the City Council hearing, in addressing the Council's Personnel and Animal Services Committee on January 21, as part of the confirmation process, Gross stated the need to fulfill the pledge for Los Angeles to become a "No-Kill" city by ensuring that dogs and cats, both adopted and homeless, are spayed and neutered, as well as the need to make it easier for people to adopt and care for their dogs and cats.

"This being a City of renters, with 62% of our residents' tenants, we must facilitate the adoptions in rental units. That means seeking cooperation and understanding between tenants and landlords," Gross said.

The first Board of Animal Services Commission meeting Gross will participate in is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, at 7:00 pm at the East Valley Animal Shelter.

Watch LA City Council President Herb Wesson Pull One Over on
CES Exec Dir Larry Gross at his City Council Confirmation Hearing
on his Appointment to the Board of Animal Services Commission

LA Council Pres Wesson Jokes With CES' Larry Gross on Appointment

 

Calif Public Utilities
Commission Re-
Appoints CES Exec
Dir to Low Income
Oversight Board

On February 5, 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted to re-appoint Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross its Low Income Oversight Board (LIOB).

The State Legislature established the LIOB to advise the Commission on low-income electric, gas and water customer issues, and to serve as a liaison for the Commission to low-income ratepayers and representatives. The LIOB oversees the state's privately-owned utilities low- income rate discount and energy efficiency programs.

In proposing Gross for the re-appointment and demonstrating how the LIOB provides assistance to the CPUC, Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval reported that Gross was responsible for a LIOB training on lead paint hazards by LA Healthy Homes Collaborative head Linda Kite which led to the CPUC adopting training standards for its contractors performing energy efficient remediation and weatherization work.

Mr. Gross was first appointed to the LIOB in January 2012.

Below is a video of the California Public Utilities Commission meeting in which Mr. Gross and two of his board colleagues are re-appointed, on a recommendation by PUC Commissioner Sandoval, the assigned PUC Commissioner, to the LIOB:

Calif Public Utilities Commisson Meeting Reappointing
CES Ex Dir Larry Gross to its Low Income Oversight Bd

Chinatown tenants meet with CES, LTSC, LA Housing & Community Investment Depart & Council Member Gil Cedillo's office to discuss the tenants being illegally relocated by the landlord.

CES Assists Tenants Illegally Relocated from Their Chinatown Apartments

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) has been working together with LA City Council Member Gilbert Cedillo's Office, the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) and the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) to assist tenants illegally displaced from their Chinatown apartments by a landlord renovating their building.

The landlord violated numerous provisions of the Primary Renovation Ordinance which requires a landlord to file a Tenant Habitability Plan (THP) outlining the work to be performed, the time it will take and whether the work require the tenant to be temporarily relocated at the landlord's expense.

Some of the violations committed by the landlord included relocating tenants prior to the work commencement date, commencing the work prior to the approved date and not amending the THP to provide information on where the tenants were eventually relocated to.

Most of the tenants are seniors and monolingual Chinese speakers. Many were taken advantage of because they did not understand their rights and were not provide information in Chinese.

CES Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) Coordinator Lourdes Soto, together with LTSC's Vivian Lee who provided translation assistance, has been assisting tenants to ensure they know they rights and helping them participate in the various City hearing pertaining to their case.

HCID held a recent hearing on a THP appeal by a tenant. The City made a determination citing the landlord violations and instructed the landlord to take specific actions that will protect the tenants and uphold their rights.

HCID is also in the determining whether to provided tenants with a REAP rent reduction based on the housing code violations that existed at the building.

 
CES HUD Tenant Leaders Meet

Safe Pest Control Methods Advocated
CES HUD
Tenants Meet
to Discuss
Problems &
Develop
Solutions

CES HUD tenants leaders from across the city met on February 8th to discuss issues that were impacting them at their apartment complexes and explore ways they can work together to make their housing better, as well as preserving it as affordable housing.

Tenant leaders came from the Vermont Square, Exposition Park, Central Alameda and Arlington Heights of Los Angeles. They talked about how they could enhance their collective voices and secure better housing conditions. They discussed a range of habitability issues such as deferred maintenance that can lead to illnesses and hardship for low-income families. The tenants understood that in order to be successful in making positive changes they needed to establish communication and work together to defend tenants' rights.

They also decided they wanted to participate in broader issues such as involving themselves in current campaign to increase minimum wage and amend the state Ellis Act, which contributes to the destruction of affordable housing and the displacement of tenants.

 
California Healthy Housing Coalition
Members Meet in Sacramento

CES Participates in Efforts to Win More Healthy Homes Laws from State Law Makers

Coalition for Economic Survival Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar travel to Sacramento to participate in the 5th Annual California Healthy Housing Coalition Conference joined fellow members of the California Healthy Housing Coalition (CHHC) held on February 3 and 4, 2014. CHHC is a state-wide alliance of community advocates and housing code enforcement government officials that are working on improving health and housing conditions throughout the state. CES is a member of CHHC.

Boyed by the success of last year's passage of SB 488, a state bill that grants local code enforcement officers the authority to cite for pest infestations if there's no existing agreements for the heath services with another government agency, CHHC members also took to the halls of the State Capitol to speak with State Legislators about the need for additional legislation to improve pest management, reduce pesticide use in rental housing and more effective ways to address mold-related problems in the home.

 
CES Lead Affordable Housing Organizer Joel Montano & CES Oberlin College Intern Elias Newman at LA City Council Soliciting Support

CES Supports Efforts to Raise LA's Minimum Wage

The Coalition for Economic Survival joined with other allies in providing support to the effort to raise the minimum wage in the City of Los Angeles being spearheaded by the LA County Federation of Labor and the hotel workers' union, UNITE HERE Local 11. The groups recently visited the LA City Council to seek supporters.

The campaign, named RAISE LA, is focused on raising wages for the city's hotel workers. Union organizers say the hotel industry's record number of visitors is why more than any other sector, is able to offer workers a living wage.

This position is jusitified by a recent Economic Roundtable report, which found:

  • 3/4th of the full-time labor force residing in the City of LA earn less than comparable workers 30 years ago.
  • Wage erosion was greatest for workers in the bottom half of the wage scale.
  • The average hourly wage for all workers residing in the LA in 2013 is estimated to be $27.85 or $58,244 annually.
  • 46% of LA's wage and salary workers are paid less than $15 an hour.

On February 18, LA Council Members Mike Bonin, Nury Martinez and Curren Price introduced a measure to the City Council seeking an economic study to justify enacting one of the highest minimum wages in the country - $15.37 for workers at big hotels. Hotels with workers who are unionized would be exempt from the law.

The campaign to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles is part of a growing movement mostly led by unions to raise the minimum wage to a living wage.

LA Council Member Mike Bonin announces a motion for study to increase LA minimum wage with Council Members Nury Martinez (left) and Curran Price (right) on the steps of LA City Hall. Labor and community groups, including CES, are on hand to provide support.
Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Make a Public Fashion
Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

December 03, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

December, 2013 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Included in this issue of CES' Organizing Times:
*CES Holiday Party & Open House *Important Tenants' Rights Victory
 

An Event You Don't Want to Miss
You Are
Invited to
CES' Holiday
Party and
Open House

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) Invites You to Its
HOLIDAY PARTY & OPEN HOUSE
JOIN US
Thursday, December 19th
From 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Coalition for Economic Survival Office
514 Shatto Place (in the 3rd Floor Union Hall)
(One block east of Vermont, 1/2 block north of 6th St.)

Celebrate the accomplishments and hard work achieved in 2013

* BRING YOUR FAVORITE DISH TO SHARE (if you can)

* SHARE A TALENT. If you dare, if you're brave come perform a song, read a poem, tell a joke, play a musical instrument, to an appreciative audience.

Please RSVP: Let us know if you can bring a dish, or want to perform.
Call: 213-252-4411, or Email:
contactces@earthlink.net

If you are on Facebook, RSVP by clicking here .

CES Exec Dir Larry Gross Testifies in Support of Eviction Law

Foreclosure Eviction Law Extended
Significant
CES Tenants'
Rights Victory

On November 26, 2013, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to extend the Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance protecting tenants living in foreclosed rental properties and not subject to the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) from eviction for another two year.

The Ordinance prohibits lenders from evicting any tenant because of foreclosure. Tenants living in rent controlled units have had these protections. Multi-family rental units built after 1978 and all single-family home rentals are not subject to the City's rent control law, but is covered under this ordinance.

The Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance was originally passed in December 17, 2008 and extended every year since in response to a national crisis that has not subsided.

This law has protected significant numbers of families from being unjustly evicted.

Testifying before the LA City Council in support of the extension, Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross stated, "The foreclosure crisis and its impact on hardworking families is American tragedy. It's especially unjust for the forgotten victims -- tenants. These are good tenants. They've done nothing wrong. Paid their rent on time. But, without this protection, these banks, will likely evict them, without reason. Just because they unfortunately live in foreclosed rental property."

CES worked together with the offices of Mayor Eric Garcetti, author of the Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance when he was on the City Council and Council Member Gil Cedillo, chair of the Council Housing Committee, as well as with the LA Housing and Community Investment Department to ensure that the ordinance extension was brought before the City Council prior to its December 31st expiration date.

Make CES Merchandise Your Holiday Gift


New CES Hats

This Holiday Season
Support CES & Make a Public
Fashion Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

Support CES' Work When You Shop on Amazon.Com

Do your Amazon shopping using the link provided below, and Support the Work of the Coalition for Economic Survival. Amazon.com will make a .5% charitable contribution when you use this link to do your Amazon shopping!

Click Here to Do Your Amazon Shopping and Support CES' Work


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

October 29, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

November, 2013 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Included in this issue of CES' Organizing Times:
*Gov Brown Delivers Blow to Affordable Housing *CES HUD Tenant Organizing
*CES on KNBC News on Government Shutdown *CES Supports El Super Workers
*CES on Radio With Park LaBrea Tenants *Eviction Defense Network Celebration
 

Gov Jerry Brown
Delivers a Blow
to Affordable
Housing & Low
Income Renters

On October 13, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed AB 1229 (Atkins) stunning tenants' rights and affordable housing advocates across the state.

With the power of his pen the Governor essentially undermined the hard work of activists to get this key affordable housing bill passed by the state legislature and, thus, jeopardized the ability of local governments to provided affordable housing through inclusionary housing laws.

The Governor has dashed the hopes of many low-income California to obtain safe and affordable housing for their families. People should be outraged.

People can express their outrage by letting Governor Brown know how disappointed you are by his veto of this extremely important housing bill.

Just click here to send him a message.

Read More

KNBC Channel 4 News
CES Responded
to Government
Shutdown's
Impact on
Sec 8 Tenants

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross and CES Section 8 Tenant Leader Ann Williams appear on KNBC Channel 4 News report on October 9, 2013 regarding the impact that the Government Shutdown may have on the funding of Section 8 rent subsidies for low income tenants.

Click to View TV News Report

 

CES Exec Dir & Tenant Leaders on Park LaBrea's Ongoing Elevator Problems

David Cruz, host of KTLK radio's the David Cruz Show, interviews Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross and Park LaBrea Apartments Tenant Leaders Jason Green and Jon Neustadler regarding the elevators frequently malfunction or are often out of service, requiring them to climb numerous flights of stairs. The complex has 18 towers that are each 13 stories tall and have 153 units. Park LaBrea is the largest rent controlled complex in Los Angeles and biggest housing complex west of the Mississippi.

On October 1, tenants organized a forum on the issue, which resulted in an overflow turnout of some 200 angry tenants who told story after story of being stuck for hours in the elevators or having to walk up many flights of stairs in filthy stairwells. Many were seniors and disabled renters.

(Left to Right-Top Row: LA City Council Member Tom LaBonge, Carolyn Ramsey (CM LaBonge's Chief of Staff), Arno Hahn, Jim Rea, Bottom Row: Jason Green, Marjorie Green, Jon Neustadter.

As a result, tenants, who organized themselves into Park LaBrea Renters United for Safe Housing (RUSH), have met with Park LaBrea Apartments ownership and management, as well as their LA City Council Member, Tom LaBonge, in an effort to reach agreement on how to ensure a response to the elevator issues. The tenants were greatly encouraged with the meeting with Council Member LaBonge, who expressed deep concern about the situation and committed to working with tenants, as well as Park LaBrea, to resolve the problems as soon as possible. CES Executive Director Larry Gross also attended the meeting with tenants, the Council Member, his staff and a representative from the LA Department of Building and Safety.

Click to Listen to the Radio Program

Safe Pest Control Methods Advocated
CES HUD
Subsidized
Tenant
Organizing

CES HUD tenant leaders met at Premier Apartment Site V. located in South Los Angeles' Vermont Square area to discuss the pest infestation. CES Staff educated tenants on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods and shared the positive results it has already brought to tenants at another Premier Apartment site. IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. Tenants agreed to provide their support to request management use the same IPM approach at their building as well. CES and tenants have been diligently working together with the Property Management to implement the safe IPM approach at their properties.

 

CES Supports
the El Super
Workers in their
Fight for Justice!

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) participated in a demonstration by the United Food & Commercial Worker Union at El Super market in Inglewood on Oct 22. The protest was in support of El Super workers are being threatened, intimidated put under surveillance and are having their work schedules arbitrarily changed by management. Workers are demanding a Fair Union Contract.

 

Support and
Celebrate the
Eviction Defense
Network's 10th
Year Anniversary

CES urges you to support the Eviction Defense Center (EDN) by attending EDN's 10th Year Anniversary Celebration. EDN provides low cost legal services for tenants facing eviction, illegal rent increases, housing code violations and other landlord issues.

In addition, EDN attorneys provide critical services to CES by volunteering their time counseling renters at CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic. Thus, it's time for CES members to return the favors by supporting EDN.

The celebration will be held Thursday, November 14, 6:00 pm until 11:00 pm, at Park Plaza Hotel, 607 S Park View St, LA, CA 90057.

For more information, click here or call 213/385-8112.

Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Support CES and Make a Public
Fashion Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

October 07, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES in the News

October, 2013

Low-Income Tenants Face Possible Eviction
Due to Government Shutdown

Ana Townsend, a Section 8 voucher recipient, stands in the patio area of her building in Hollywood on October 4, 2013. She worries about the impact the federal government's shutdown. (Photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

Long-time Coalition for Economic Survival member and Section 8 tenant leader Ana Townsend is featured in this LA Daily News article about the impact of the government shutdown and the threat it may pose on the ability of over one million low income households to pay the rent, thus placing them in peril of becoming homeless. Ana and other Section 8 tenants in her building, with CES' assistance, have been successfully fighting their landlord's ongoing attempt to clear the building of Section 8 tenants. The lobby of the building she lives in, smack in the heart of Hollywood, was featured in the Eagles album, "Hotel California." Unfortunately, the government shutdown may help this landlord achieve what he otherwise couldn't - evict all the Section 8 tenants.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Uncertain Federal Funding Puts
L.A.'s Section 8 Recipients on Edge

By Christina Villacorte, Los Angeles Daily News

To Ana Townsend, the halting of the federal government could mean the difference between having a place to stay and being turned out onto the streets.

"Jesus, I'm scared," said the former apartment manager, 59. "I don't have a place to go."

Regional housing authorities rely on the feds to subsidize the rent of about 88,000 local households through the Section 8 voucher program.

CES Tenant Leader Ana Townsend in her building lobby
used by The Eagles (right) for their 'Hotel California' album

Because of the shutdown, which began Tuesday, funding is available only through the end of October.

"I have already exhausted my reserves because of sequestration (automatic spending cuts that began earlier this year)," said a frustrated Sean Rogan, executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA).

"Now I have no money to make Section 8 payments on Nov. 1," he added. "It certainly could lead to landlords evicting Section 8 tenants, which are very low income families, seniors and the disabled."

Doug Guthrie, president and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), warned of a possible spike in homelessness unless the shutdown ends by the final week of October - at the latest.

"It would be a complete disaster if those payments are not made in a timely fashion," he said. "It would be a catastrophe for a whole variety of reasons."

Lido Apts, Hollywood

Mike Alvidrez, executive director of the Skid Row Housing Trust, agreed. The potential loss of Section 8 funding, he said, would be an "absolute disaster" for the destitute and the disabled, who need it to keep a roof over their heads. "If the federal government can't issue their rent subsidies, that's a nightmare scenario."

Townsend has not been able to work since sustaining a leg injury in 2000. "The pain is unbearable," she said.

Without Section 8, she would not able to remain in her one-bedroom Hollywood apartment. The federal subsidy covers $899 of her rent, so she has to pay only $53.61 a month out of pocket. "I don't want to be homeless," Townsend said, clearly agitated. "I don't want to be just another statistic. (Congress) is supposed to work for the people, but they think only about themselves."

Larry Gross, executive director of the nonprofit Coalition for Economic Survival , was particularly irate at Republicans in the House of Representatives, saying, "Their irresponsible actions are nothing less than un-American," he said.

CES Section 8 Tenant Ana Townsends May Face Eviction Due to Gov't Shutdown
(Photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

HACoLA's Rogan is urging everyone to call or send letters to their congressional representatives: "Demand that Congress approve a budget either at or above existing levels, so that we don't have to worry about our most vulnerable populations becoming homeless."

Both Rogan and Guthrie said the shutdown, coupled with previous budget cuts and the sequester - which together slash five percent off their budgets every year for a decade - paints a dire picture.

"This is the lowest level of support in the history of the public-housing program," Guthrie said. "I haven't seen anything quite this bad.

"I understand battling over budgets, but to have a shutdown over something extraneous (health care reform) is the height of absurdity. Quite honestly, it's shameful."

Support the Work of CES

Make a Donation NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

October 03, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES in Action and in the News

 

October 2013

Angry Park LaBrea Tenants Demand Action

The Coalition for Economic Survival is assisting tenants at Park LaBrea Apartments upset about the elevators continually breaking down. On October 1, tenants organized a forum on the issue, which resulted in an overflow turnout of some 200 angry tenants who told story after story of being stuck for hours in the elevators or having to walk up many flights of stairs in filthy stairwells. Many were seniors and disabled renters. The tenants who packed the auditorium had a loud demand for a panel of government officials attending, "Get the Elevators Fixed!" Park LaBrea management bailed out of attending at the last moment, clearly afraid of facing the crowd. Park LaBrea is the largest rent controlled property in L.A. and the biggest apartment complex west of the Mississippi. CES has been assisting tenants at Park LaBrea for over 3 decades.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Elevator Problems Raise
Concerns at PLB Towers

By Edwin Folven

More than 100 Park La Brea residents packed into the auditorium in the activities center on Tuesday to voice concerns about problems with the elevators in the towers at the apartment complex.

Residents packed the auditorium at Park La Brea to voice their concerns regarding ongoing elevator problems in the apartment complex's towers. (photo by Edwin Folven)

Many people complained that the elevators frequently malfunction or are often out of service, requiring them to climb numerous flights of stairs. The complex has 18 towers that are each 13 stories tall and have 153 units. Each tower has two elevators, but when one is out of service or is being used for tenants moving in or out, major inconveniences occur, according to many people in the audience.

The meeting was organized by a group of residents who have formed an ad hoc committee to address the problems with elevators. Tenants Zhita Rae, Marjorie Green and Arno Hahn are spearheading the committee, which hopes to work with the Park La Brea management to rectify the problem. Representatives from City Councilman Tom LaBonge's office attended the meeting along with members of the city's building and safety department, housing department and fire department. Representatives of the Park La Brea management were initially scheduled to attend but cancelled.

John Burney, director of resident services for Park La Brea, said the management went door to door to every tower apartment prior to the meeting and provided residents with a written update about efforts to solve problems with the elevators. He said the management decided not to attend the meeting when it "seemed to take on a political tone," but that management "wanted to make sure we got our message out clearly to each resident."

Burney said the management takes every complaint about the elevators seriously, and that the elevator repair and maintenance company, Schindler, is on site daily to address problems.

Harry Helman, director of facilities for Park La Brea, said sometimes when small issues are repaired, the crews find larger problems that take longer to address. Sometime parts have to be manufactured to repair the elevators. Burney said the management is in consultation every morning and evening with Schindler on the progress of repairs. The elevator cars date back to when the towers wee built in the 1940s.

"Our direction to Schindler is let's make the repairs as quickly as possible," Burney said. "We are doing everything we can to address the problems and make upgrades."

According to a copy of the written notice provided to each resident in the towers, "Seven towers, 38, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 50, have been upgraded with new equipment. Tower 36 is scheduled for complete upgrades starting in November, which will take approximately four months to complete. Park La Brea management is planning to upgrade one tower per year into the future. Meanwhile, management is committed to maintaining the existing elevators throughout the process."

Burney said residents who have problems with the elevators should first contact the security patrol at (323)549-5508, because they are staffed 24 hours a day and are the first line of response. He said the security can assist residents if they have immediate needs, and will also contact Schindler, which has crews on call 24 hours a day. If one elevator is out of service and somebody is using the other to move, residents are encouraged to call security, and they will ensure there is access for all residents, Burney said.

"In the event that one elevator is down while a resident is moving, our patrol staff is available to help manage elevator usage in the most efficient way possible," the letter to residents stated.

It also stated that resident should push the alarm button if the elevator stops between floors. The patrol service or fire department will respond, and residents should never attempt to force open the doors or crawl out. Burney acknowledged that the summer is a period of high elevator usage, which leads to an "uptick" in maintenance problems.

Carolyn Ramsay, chief of staff for LaBonge, attended the meeting Tuesday and said she would make note of the complaints. The councilman will meet with the management to discuss options in getting the elevators repairs, she added.

Rae said the committee formed in June because the elevator problems appear to be getting worse. She said the committee has received written complaints from hundreds of residents about the issue.

Individual elevators in some towers have been out of service for over a month, elderly residents have missed doctor's appointments because they cannot traverse flights of stairs and people have been trapped periodically inside elevators that stop functioning, according to the committee.

"Problems have occurred on several occasions, and it seems to have escalated," Rae said. "The purpose of the forum is to get as much information as possible from different sources so we can fix the problems."

Moderator Larry Gross, of the Coalition for Economic Survival, led the discussion and called on people in the audience who raised their hands to provide a synopsis of their experiences. Few of the residents who spoke provided their names, but reactions were strong. A resident of Tower 49 who gave her name as Nadine said she believed the elevators need replacement.

"I don't think the issue is repairing the elevators. I think the issue is replacing the elevators," she said. "Our elevators are fifty, sixty years old. There is a lot of capital improvement going on, but we are told we can't get new elevators because of the costs."

Lawrence Kim, a resident of Tower 44, said the elevators seem to never work.

"Every week in Tower 44, the elevator is on the fritz," Kim said. "I don't think we should go through this."

An unidentified resident of Tower 42 who said she is in her eighties, added that she has had many problems with the elevators.

"Our elevators have been out, both of them, at least twice this month," she said. "I have slowly climbed up the stairs. At this point, I think it is an ADA issue. Disabled people have the right to elevators."

Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Guy Tomlinson said the fire department has received 41 calls for service this year associated with people being stuck in elevators at Park La Brea. He said it takes time and resources away, but acknowledged that elevators are problematic in areas throughout the city.

"There is a large volume of elevators calls at Park La Brea. If the elevators were working properly, we would be over there less and [firefighters] would be answering other calls or providing fire protection services," Tomlinson said. "We will come out to assist you when you call for help. There are many elevators around the city and only so many elevator repair companies. Your fire department will be there."

Inspector Barry Friesen, with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, said all elevators operating in the city are inspected at least once a year. Building codes require only one elevator to be operating. He added that there are hundreds of working parts in an elevator, and they sometimes take a considerable amount of time to repair. Freisen said the inspectors try to respond to reports of problems in a timely manner, but is can be difficult given the number of elevators throughout the city.

"We come out when we get a complaint, and we issue citations," Freisen said. "We can't force any owner to modernize an elevator."

Richard Brinson, of the Los Angeles Department of Housing, said residents should make formal complaints to the department about elevator issues, and representatives of the department will address the issues with the property's management. He said the best way to file complaints is through the city's hotline at 311.

LaBonge's field deputy for the area, Benjamin Seinfeld, said residents can also contact him directly with complaints, and they will be directed to the councilman. Seinfeld can be reached at (213)804-2388 or via email at ben.seinfeld@lacity.org.

Rae added that the meeting Tuesday was an informational gathering session, and they plan to take the issues to the management. She said an additional meeting will likely be held in the future to determine how to move forward if the situation does not improve.

"{The management] is definitely trying to work on the problem," Rae said. "We just want the problems fixed."

Support the Work of CES

Make a Donation NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

September 11, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES in the News

September 2013

What is the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP)?

The Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) is a Los Angeles City Housing & Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) program established in 1988 to combat slum housing and ensure rental properties are in a safe and habitable condition. A property is placed into REAP after a landlord fails to comply with severe housing code violation citations. Rents are usually reduced and tenants are urged to pay the reduced rent to a City rent escrow account until the landlord makes required repairs. Tenants are protected against eviction if they pay into the escrow account.

The City has five outreach contractors that are assigned to educate tenants about REAP, encourage participation, and one contractor assigned to assist the landlords with outreach services to expedite the compliance process. CES is one of the tenant outreach contractors.

Landlord groups strongly oppose REAP, for obvious reasons, and have aggressively attempted to sway City Council Members to eliminate it. An especially vocal small group of landlords, who have become the equivalent of an extremist landlord Tea Party, have been at the forefront of these attacks on REAP and are responsible for this lawsuit. It's no surprise that these landlords have slum properties that are in REAP.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ninth Circuit Upholds City's
Rent Escrow Account Program

By KENNETH OFGANG, STAFF WRITER

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday rejected landlords' constitutional challenges to a City of Los Angeles program that compels rent reductions for tenants of buildings in disrepair.

Judge Harry Pregerson, writing for the court, said the four plaintiffs who challenged the city's Rent Escrow Account Program—or REAP—failed to show that their substantive due process rights were violated in the way the city applied the program to their properties. U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton Tucker of the Central District of California correctly dismissed the second amended complaint for failure to state a cause of action, he said, and did not abuse her discretion in denying leave to amend a third time.

The Housing Department may designate a property for REAP when it has identified substantial habitability violations and the landlord has failed to repair them. The tenants then pay a reduced rent, the amount of which depends on the severity of the violations, and have a choice of paying that rent to the landlord or to the city's escrow account.

Funds in escrow may be paid to the tenant, the landlord, or the Housing Department to pay for repairs.

Four Plaintiffs

The landlords who challenged the program—the Sylvia Landfield Trust, Maria A. Lane, Jeff Kern, and Ram and Khushwant Gill—claimed that the program does not benefit the public, but instead takes money from property owners to benefit the city and four nonprofit organizations with which the Housing Department has contracted to help implement the program.

(Judge Harry) Pregerson, however, said the program serves an important public interest—protecting tenants from unsafe and unhealthy conditions—and that the various components of REAP, including its contracts with outside groups, are rationally related to that purpose.

The nonprofits—the Coalition for Economic Survival , Inner City Law Center, Inquilinos Unidos and Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice—disseminate information about the program to tenants and interview tenants to ensure that property has been repaired before it is released from REAP, Pregerson explained.

He noted that the problem of substandard housing, although national in scope, is particularly acute in the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area, where a 2011 Census Bureau study showed that more than a quarter of the renter-occupied units were infested with cockroaches and more than two percent with rats, and about four percent lacked consistently working toilets. The plaintiffs who challenged the law, he noted, owned buildings with electrical, plumbing, fire safety, and cockroach problems.

Tenant Participation Encouraged

The judge agreed with the city that encouraging tenants to report violations and to pay rent into escrow once a property has been taken into REAP is important because "withheld rents create additional disincentives for non-compliant landlords."

Pregerson wrote:

"Given the size of REAP and the existence of outside agencies with the necessary expertise in working with tenants, the City's decision to partner with third-party nonprofit organizations is rational."

The plaintiffs, he added, failed to plead any facts to back up their bare assertion that the program was designed to benefit the city and the nonprofits financially.

Did Not Shock Conscience

The jurist went on to say that procedural arguments by the plaintiffs, concerning such issues as the timing of inspections, did not amount to a plausible claim of a substantive due process violation because the city's conduct, even if it occurred as alleged, did not "shock the conscience and offend the community's sense of fair play and decency."

Pregerson was joined by Judges William A. Fletcher and Jacqueline H. Nguyen.

Sylvia Landfield Trust v. City of Los Angeles, 11-55904, was argued in the Ninth Circuit by Encino attorney Lee Grant for the plaintiffs and Senior Assistant City Attorney Claudia McGee Henry for the defendants.

Support the Work of CES

Make a Donation NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

September 10, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

September, 2013 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

 

Crucial Housing
Bill Passes State
Legislature

California affordable housing and tenants' rights groups, including CES, scored a huge victory earlier this month, when the state Senate passed AB 1229, authored by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins. The bill will ensure that local governments can require affordable housing set-asides in new developments, if they choose.

Inclusionary zoning is a land use practice used by local governments to promote affordable housing. These policies have been used for over 40 years, but were challenged in a law suit, Palmer/Sixth Street Properties L.P. v. City of Los Angeles. In Palmer, the court held that the provision of the rent control restricting Costa-Hawkins Act, which gives developers, and not government, the right to establish initial rental rates applies to privately financed rental housing projects and voids many inclusionary housing policies.

At least 140 California cities and counties have some form of inclusionary housing policy. Many of these include a provision allowing the developer to pay a fee to the local government in lieu of actually offering low cost housing.

AB 1229 will give back this critical affordable housing tool to local government. The bill's passage, which included much intrigue, barely passed. Click the lick below to read about it. But, the bill still needs Governor Jerry Brown to sign it to become law (See information in the next block and act NOW!).

Read More

 

Tell Gov Jerry
Brown to Sign
AB 1229 for
Affordable
Housing

Please contact Gov. Brown immediately and urge that he sign AB 1229/Land use: zoning regulations. This bill, as described above, would enable local governments to require developers to provide affordable housing units in new developments.

Go to or click on: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

 

1)Fill in your contact information.
2)Make sure you set the Subject pull down to AB 1229 & press 'Submit'.
3)Then select "Pro," write a statement supporting AB 1229 & press Send Email.

Or, you can call Governor Brown
and urge him to sign AB 1229 at:
Phone: (916) 445-2841

 

Low Income
Utility Customers
Provided Huge
Victory

Low-income consumer were provided a significant victory when the California State Senate Appropriations Committee voted on August 30, against further action on AB 1407, the AT&T backed bill that would dramatically raise phone costs for 1.2 million low-income Californians.

AB 1407 introduced by Assemblyman Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), would have turned LifeLine into a voucher system, providing discounts on wireless phones and services and getting rid of most oversight of the program by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). It would have denied low-income consumer with a meaningful reduced rate program.

The bill was strongly opposed by CES, but much praise must go to San Francisco-based The Utility Rate Network (TURN) who organized and led an effective and successful broad-based statewide campaign against AB 1407.

The CPUC can now proceed with its efforts to establish a fair and beneficial LifeLine program for low-income wireless customers.

Read More

 
CES Leaders at Northwest Manor I Apts in Pasadena

CES Organizes
Tenants in Four
Pasadena HUD
Subsidized
Buildings

As part of CES' Los Angeles county-wide work to help ensure at-risk HUD subsidized housing is preserved as affordable, CES organizers have been assisting and organizing tenants in four threatened HUD complexes in Pasadena.

In addition to maintaining housing affordability, of concern to tenants are issues related to security and safety, repairs illegally being charged to tenants, illegal entry into tenants' apartment without the required 24 hour written notice, changes to house-rules, cockroach infestation and plumbing problems.

At one complex, CES assisted tenants in convening a meeting with the owner's representatives, maintenance crew and HUD staff to discuss some of their concerns.

 
CES Delegation Supporting Walmart Workers
 
 
View More Pictures

CES Supporting
Walmart Workers
in their Fight for
Justice!

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) provided support to Walmart Workers' fight to win fair wages, benefits and respect participating with hundreds others in a March and Rally through downtown Los Angeles.

The September 5, 2013 demonstration in Los Angeles was part of similar actions in 15 cities.

In addition to seeking better jobs, protesters called for alleged retaliation against outspoken Wal-Mart employees to end.

In an act of planned and peaceful civil disobedience to dramatize the seriousness and commitment of the campaign to ensure justice to these workers, 21 demonstrators were arrested, which included nine current or former workers.

Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Support CES and Make a Public
Fashion Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

August 09, 2013

CES IN THE NEWS

Are Condo Conversions Back

Landlord Evicting a 73 Year Old

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Condo Conversions Inch Up In Los Angeles

Universal Lofts in Studio City is one of the apartment complexes to turn to the once popular practice of converting to condos. The trend is far below peak in 2007.

By Cale Ottens, Los Angeles Times

Tanya Norris lives in a 1,900-square-foot, two bedroom apartment with an option to buy now that the complex is converting to condos. She and her husband have lived and worked in the building for several years. "I like living here, and I would love to stay," she says. "I just don't know about the purchase. It's not worth a million dollars, that's for sure." (Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times / August 5, 2013)

Apartment building owners in Los Angeles and throughout California are once again converting to condos, but not at the torrid pace of 2007, when condo conversion peaked before the Great Recession.

The work-live units at Universal Lofts in Studio City, across the 101 Freeway from Universal Studios, were built in 2008 as condominiums. But with the 2007-09 recession underway, developers turned them into apartments. Now the owners are back with plans for condos.

This complex is one of the first to return to the once popular trend, said Shalom Ronin, managing principal at Decal Capital, which arranged the refinancing deal. But this property surely won't be the last, he said.

"If someone can start selling condos in the city successfully, I think others will start to follow suit," Ronin said.

The gated complex lined with brick roadways features 67 units with one-, two- or three-bedroom lofts. The rent starts at $4,000 a month and can go up to $5,500, said Amir Haber, who co-owns and manages the property.

Universal Lofts is a certified live-work property, which means that residents need a business license to live there, Ronin said. The lofts can be used entirely as office space or can double as a residence and a home office.

About 95% of the complex is occupied, and Haber said the vacant lofts are for sale. The asking prices range from $900,000 to $1.3 million.

Residents won't be kicked out of their homes immediately, however. They either can buy the loft they live in or keep renting for a year or two while they decide what to do.

"If they want more time, they can stay," Haber said. "We're in no rush to sell."

Before the last recession, it was common for apartments to convert to condos when the market was hot. But the trend came to a screeching halt when the housing bubble burst.

At the peak in 2007, the city issued 208 permits allowing apartment complexes to be converted. But that number has declined every year since. The city issued a mere 38 permits last year.

Tanya Norris has lived in the Universal Lofts complex for about four years and originally signed a lease-buy contract with the property owners. She and her husband, retired professional boxer Terry Norris, run a gym at the ground level of their home called Fitness Management and the Wellness Loft. Their three-story, two-bedroom loft is above the gym.

When the couple signed their lease in 2009, they were told they would have the option to eventually buy the loft if they wanted, but that option wasn't available until now. But Norris said she's hesitant to buy her loft and work space.

"I like living here, and I would love to stay," she said. "I just don't know about the purchase. It's not worth a million dollars, that's for sure."

Norris said her three-year lease has expired and she and her husband are paying rent on a month-to-month basis until they decide what to do.

Frank Spagnoletti, who owns a music management and production company called Poolside Entertainment, said he loves his company's space and wants to eventually buy the loft.

Spagnoletti mostly works just out of the loft, but there is a fully furnished one-bedroom suite upstairs that he or his other employees use occasionally.

"Sometimes we work on a project for 30 to 40 hours," he said. "It's a place to take a nap or take a shower."

The music company has invested a lot to add amenities to the work environment, Spagnoletti said, which is why he wants to own the space.

The refinance deal is another sign that the housing market in Southern California is improving.

Not everyone sees the rebirth of condo conversions as a good sign.

Any sort of condo conversion is bad for the local economy, said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival , a Los Angeles organization that works to protect affordable housing.

"We're extremely concerned about condo conversions making a comeback, which will threaten tenants throughout the city living in affordable rent-controlled units," Gross said.

The surge of condo conversions before the recession forced a lot of people out of their apartments throughout L.A. because they couldn't afford to buy their homes, he said.

The number of condo conversions, however, probably won't get anywhere near the levels they were before the economic downturn, said Chris Foley, a principal at real estate marketing firm Polaris Pacific in San Francisco.

The only conversions Foley said he expects to see throughout the state are the properties originally intended to be condos but turned into apartments when the housing market tanked and condos weren't selling.

"You're going to see a very constricted condo supply," he said. "That's why you're going to see people who built apartments during the last boom trying to convert if they can."

CES Executive Director Interview About a Landlord Attempting to Evict a 73 Year Old Woman Who Has Lived in Her Unit for 40 Years

KTLK AM 1150 - The David Cruz Show - WEekdays, 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Wednesday, August 6, 2013

The David Cruz Show recently received an email from a young lady about how her 73-year-old mother was being evicted from her apartment, because of a $23 bill.

When the lady finally spoke to management, they gave her 3 days to send in the payment, and she promptly mailed a money order for the amount that was due.

Management later informed her that they received the money order a day late, and would begin eviction proceedings.

The owner has reportedly admitted that he is driven by a desire to get more money for the apartment, since the woman has lived there for 40 years, and only has to pay $259 a month.

David Cruz spoke with Larry Gross, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, about the woman's rights as a tenant in a rent-controlled area.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS PROGRAM

Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

August 07, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

August, 2013 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Over the last couple of months CES has been successfully organizing tenants in various neighborhoods around Los Angeles to successfully address tenants' rights issues such as obtaining needed repairs, ensuring that housing is environmentally safe, threats to housing affordability and combating management harassment of tenants. Here are some examples of these efforts:

 

CES Tenants Organize in Koreatown

CES organized tenants at LA Koreatown's San Marino Apartments celebrate their victory in getting their Landlord to make needed building repairs and improvements. There were over 200 health, safety and habitability housing code violations cited by the City, as well as management harassment issues, that were all corrected due to tenants organizing for their rights. Tenants presented CES Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar with an Award of Appreciation to thank him and CES for the support.

 

CES Tenants Organize in East Adams

A CES tenant delegation from a South LA's East Adams area building paid a surprise visit to their management company's office to confront a representative about harassment, intimidation and the aggressive behavior exhibited by the on-site manager. Unfortunately, the cowardly representative hide and sneaked out of the building afraid to face the tenants.

 

CES Tenants Organize in Pico Union

Tenants meet to discuss the roach and mice infestation at Casa Development, a HUD subsidized scattered site property located in LA's Pico Union area. Management has not properly addressed the roach infestation because of the lack of routine inspections and pest treatment inside the units. Tenants agreed to submit a letter to management to express their concerns regarding the lack of proper maintenance.

 

CES Tenants Organize in University Park

CES Tenant Leader Blanca Perez hosts a tenant meeting with her neighbors of Holiday 102 Apartments a HUD subsidized complex in LA's University Park area near USC to discuss plans to demand building-wide treatment to eliminate the roach infestation. Tenants are feeling more empowered after achieving recent victories in getting the building management company to provide tenant notices in the 3 languages of tenants (Spanish, Korean & English) and to abide by the law to provide 24 hour notice requesting entry to their units.

 

CES Tenants Organize in West Adams

CES HUD Tenants Leaders from Casa Longwood Apartments, where tenants organized to deal with building conditions, as members of the Friends of West Adams Association, helped organize and participate in a community cleanup event on June 8th. They got important support from Kimani Black, Field Representative for LA City Council President Herb Wesson, LAPD officers and the local Church of Christ pastor.

 
CES Tenant Council of Rent Controlled Buildings Meet

CES Tenant Councils Meet to Plan Citywide Tenants' Rights Strategies

CES Tenant Council of HUD Assisted Buildings Meet

From across Los Angeles, came together from various neighborhoods, as CES tenants living in rent controlled buildings met on July 25 and CES tenants living in HUD subsidized housing met on April 13 to plan citywide strategies to keep housing affordable, prevent displacement and the loss of affordable housing, and to ensure landlords make needed repairs and protect children from lead paint poison dangers.

Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Support CES and Make a Public
Fashion Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

July 11, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

CES Action Alert!

Bill Attacking Poor Passes Key State Committee

=================================================================

Your Action Immediately Needed to Kill State Bill

Calif Senate Democrats
Sell Out Poor to Support
AT&T Bill That Protects
Corporation's Profits

In a classic example of corporate control over legislative bodies, the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee voted 6 to 1 last Monday for an AT&T bill that will deny low-income Californians meaningful discounted LifeLine rates for cell phone service. Some 1.2 million low-income consumers could be impacted. Three key Democrats, Senators Alex Padilla (who is running for California Secretary of State), Roderick Wright and Jerry Hill, joined with three Republicans to deliver the 6 votes needed to pass AB 1407 out of committee.

Assembly Member Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) was the front person for AT&T in authoring AB 1407, which turns LifeLine into a voucher system that provides no protection from rate increases and gets rid of most oversight by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) joined with a broad-based alliance of community, senior, consumer and labor organizations, such of AARP, California Labor Federation and The Utility Reform Network (TURN) in opposing AB 1407 as an economic attack on low-income consumers in the state. In addition, the CPUC voted, 4-1, to oppose AB 1407 at its June 27th meeting.

The bill would establish a California LifeLine that is similar to a federal program that hands out inexpensive cellphones with minimal service features. It would repeal the PUC's authority to set rates and lock into law an $11.85 discount that a LifeLine customer could apply toward any voice service offered by a participating cellphone company.

AB 1407 would set up a system similar to the Section 8 rent subsidy tenant voucher, where renters who receive the subsidy have to find a landlord who will accept the voucher and then negotiate the rent, as opposed to a Project-Based Section 8 subsidy, which provides long-term affordable housing by having the voucher attached to the unit, not the tenant.

And, while most of the major consumer and ratepayer advocates are opposing AB 1407, leave it to AT&T to buy some support from a number of groups, such as civil rights, senior citizens and business associations, most who are regular recipients of AT&T charitable contributions.

Over the last couple of months, a large number of consumer and community-based organizations have provided input on wireless LifeLine policy at public hearings in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and San Francisco, with upcoming hearings in Eureka, Redding, Fresno, and Salinas. AB 1407 would disregard this democratic process and ignore the hundreds that have testified in support of a real LifeLine program.

Unfortunately, it's not a surprise that these Democrats have caved in to AT&T demands given that the corporate giant made $841,000 in campaign contributions in the 2011-12 legislative session and have spent $4.4 million on lobbying government officials during the same period, according to the California Secretary of State.

 

Vote by the Senate Energy, Utilities and
Communications Committee on AB 1407,
AT&T's Bill Denying Low Income Californians
Real LifeLine Discounted Cell Phone Rates

Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Members
(click on the Senator's name to email them on their vote

VOTING YES to Protect AT&T's Profits Over
Economic Relief for Low Income Californians

The Democrats Voting YES

Senator Alex Padilla [Chair] (D-San Fernando Valley)

Between 5/20/08 - 5/19/12, Senator Alex Padilla Received $20,900 in Campaign Contributions from AT&T.

Senator Roderick D. Wright (D-South Los Angeles)

Between 5/20/08 - 5/19/12, Senator Roderick Wright Received $24,389 in Campaign Contributions from AT&T.

Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo County)

The Republicans Voting YES

Senator Jean Fuller [Vice Chair] (R-Bakersfield)
Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres)
Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley)

VOTING NO - Showing Strong Support for Low Income Californians

Senator Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay) - Senate Majority Leader

Not Voting (The Equivalent of a NO Vote)

Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills)
Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis)
Senator Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles)
Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord)

 

What's Next? Your Action Needed NOW!

AB 1407 is now headed for a vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee. It is likely the bill will be heard and voted on in Committee sometime in August.

We urge that you immediately contact Senate Appropriations Committee members and demand they vote NO on AB 1407.

Senate Appropriations Committee Members
(click on the Senator's name to email)

Senator Kevin De León [Chair] (D-Los Angeles)
Senator Mimi Walters [Vice Chair] (R-Irvine)
Senator Alex Padilla (D-San Fernando Valley)
Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo County)
Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens)
Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), Senate President Pro Temp
Senator Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin)

 

State Bill Would Destroy Meaningful
Wireless Discounted LifeLine Rates

Assemblymember
Steven Bradford

On June 12, 2013, Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) used the infamous "gut and amend" procedure to strip and replace the language in Assembly Bill 1407 after the bill passed the Assembly. He inserted language that undermines the powers of the CPUC on its Wireless LifeLine proceedings and imposes a voucher discount system that will result in increases and unpredictability of monthly bills, strips from the CPUC its authority to require that carriers collect Universal Service Funds and provide quality service, and replaces strong state consumer protections with watered down federal guidelines.

Assemblymember Bradford appears to be doing the bidding of the Telecommunication Industry and its lobbyists at the detriment of low-income Californians. The bill disregards and disrespects the concerns voiced by the hundreds who've testified at the PUC public hearings in support of a real LifeLine rate plan.

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph:  (213)252-4411 
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

 
 

 
June 20, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

CES Action Alert!

State Bill is Economic Attack on Low Income Californians

=================================================================

Your Action Immediately Needed to Kill State Bill

State Bill is an
Economic Attack on
Low-Income Californians

On June 18, Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) members joined with other organizations, advocates and low-income consumers in packing a downtown LA California Public Utilities Commission hearing to call for establishing a meaningful plan to provide low-income customers with discounted LifeLine rates for wireless service.

Compelling testimony ranged from stories from students needing affordable wireless service for school work, to parents needing to keep in touch with their kids, to day laborers needing to be connected to find work, to HUD subsidized tenants needing to be able to reach their doctors and other social service agencies. (Click for hearing pictures)

During the past few weeks, a large number of consumer groups and community-based organizations have provided input on wireless LifeLine policy at public hearings in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and San Francisco, with upcoming hearings during the next month in Eureka, Redding, Fresno, and Salinas. PUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval has been attending these hearings in person. It's unusual to have a PUC Commissioner attend these types of hearings.

State Bill Would Destroy Meaningful
Wireless Discounted LifeLine Rates

Assemblymember
Steven Bradford

Unexpectedly, on June 12, Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) used the infamous "gut and amend" procedure to strip and replace the language in Assembly Bill 1407 after the bill passed the Assembly. He inserted language that undermines the powers of the CPUC on its Wireless LifeLine proceedings and imposes a voucher discount system that will result in increases and unpredictability of monthly bills, strips from the CPUC its authority to require that carriers collect Universal Service Funds and provide quality service, and replaces strong state consumer protections with watered down federal guidelines.

Assemblymember Bradford appears to be doing the bidding of the Telecommunication Industry and its lobbyists at the detriment of low-income Californians. The bill disregards and disrespects the concerns voiced by the hundreds who've testified at the PUC public hearings in support of a real LifeLine rate plan.

What You Can Do

Your Action Needed Now!
Senate Utilities Committee Hearing Scheduled for July 2

We urge that you immediately contact Assemblymember Steven Bradford and demand he withdraw AB 1407.

Also, immediately contact members of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and urge them to Vote NO on AB 1407 at their July 2 scheduled hearing.

Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Members
(click on the Senator's name to email)

Senator Alex Padilla [Chair] (D-San Fernando Valley)
Senator Jean Fuller [Vice Chair] (R-Bakersfield)
Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres)
Senator Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay)
Senator Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles)
Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord)
Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo County)
Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley)
Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills)
Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis)
Senator Roderick D. Wright (D-Los Angeles)

How AB 1407 is an Attack on Low-Income Californians

AB 1407 eliminates key minimum standards for low-income affordability, consumer protection, and carrier accountability.

1)  Eliminates Low-Income Affordability.

  • A fixed discount voucher guarantees that monthly bills will be unpredictable and potentially significantly higher than current bills.
  • LifeLine customers would no longer be exempted from paying state and local surcharges and taxes, resulting in an automatic rate increase from this bill.

2)  Eliminates Consumer Protections.

  • Carriers would no longer by required to offer customer service staffing and contracts in the same languages in which they conduct marketing and sales campaigns targeting non-English speaking communities.
  • Low-income customers would lose their right to stand-alone LifeLine service (instead of being offered only expensive bundles), as well as protections against deposits or extended contracts that carry early termination fees.

3)  Eliminates Carrier Accountability.

  • The CPUC would no longer be able to deny LifeLine participation to carriers such as TracFone who refuse to abide by requirements that they collect and pay into the Universal Service Fund that subsidies LifeLine discounts.
  • VOIP carriers would be able to collect LifeLine subsidies without complying with CPUC regulation due to provisions of SB 1161 that eliminated most CPUC authority over VOIP providers.

AB 1407 transfers authority from the state of California to the federal government and private industry one of the largest low-income telephone programs in the country worth millions of ratepayer dollars annually and impacting 1.5 million low-income California families. The authority to define minimum standards for low-income affordability, service quality, packages, and carrier participation will shift from the CPUC, which has the responsibility to serve the changing needs of California's diverse communities, to the FCC, which relies on a "one size fits all" national model.

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph:  (213)252-4411 
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

 
 

June 12, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

CES Action Alert!

Help Win Just Lifeline Cell Phone Rates for Low Income Rate Payers

=================================================================

Attend the Public Utilities Commission Cell Phone Rate Hearing

Voice Your Support for Discounted
Lifeline Cell Phone Rates for Low
Income California Rate Payers!

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is holding a hearing on June 18th in Los Angeles (details below) to gather public input regarding whether there should be low cost Lifeline rates for wireless service for low income customers, and if so, what that program would include. (click for more background information)

There are currently discounted Lifeline rates for land line phone service, for electricity rates and for gas rates. As technology has advanced and more people have become dependent on wireless phone service as, in many cases, their only way of communication, it is imperative that phone companies respond to the current realities by offering fair and meaningful reduced Lifeline rates for wireless phone service.

It is up to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the state agency which regulates all of the privately-owned utilities doing business in California, to order that phone companies offering wireless service establish a Lifeline rate program.

 

Attend the Hearing and Tell the
California Public Utilities Commission:

The CPUC Should Order Phone Companies to Establish Lifeline Rates to Low Income Customers that Includes the Following

-    Unlimited Minutes
-    Unlimited Texting
-    Truly Affordable Rates
-    That a Choice of Plans that Fits Customers' Needs
-    That Doesn't Exclude People Who Lack a Social Security Number

 
 

Los Angeles CPUC Public Hearing
Next Tuesday, June 18,
4:00-7:00 pm

Caltrans District 7 HQ
Room 01.040 A & B
100 S. Main Street
at 1st Street Across from LA City Hall, Downtown LA
Spanish Translation will be provided

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph:  (213)252-4411 
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

 
 

May 30, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

June, 2013 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Included in this issue of CES' Organizing Times:
*Major Tenants' Victory Against Sexual Harassment *Mayor-Elect Garcetti Acknowledges CES
*CES' Organizing HUD Subsidized Tenants *Stop Koch Bros. Take Over of LA Times
*CES On Radio Regarding Sequester Impact *2013-14 Allowable Annual Rent Hikes
*Court Closure Article *New CES Merchandise
*Cell Phone LifeLine Rate Hearing *Tenants' Rights Clinic Info
 

Lawsuit Challenges Sex for Rent Scheme
CES & Legal Aid Join Forces
to Win Major Tenants' Rights
Legal Victory Against Sexual
Harassment and Discrimination

With Coalition for Economic Survival Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar working with the tenants and Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Attorney Fernando Gaytan, along with co-counsel private attorney Christopher Brancart handling the litigation, low-income tenants successfully fought back against sexual harassment and discrimination perpetrated by building managers. A legal settlement was secured late in March which delivers monetary compensation for the plaintiffs while ensuring protections for future tenants at the Lafayette Hotel, a rent-controlled residential building offering low rents in the Rampart area of Los Angeles.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of three women and CES, included claims based on violations of federal and state fair housing laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender.

Click Here to Read More

 
 
 

CES Organizing HUD Subsidized
Tenants to Preserve Their
Affordable Housing

CES continues to organize low-income tenants to preserve the affordability of their HUD subsidized housing. Building owners threaten to opt-out of their project-based Section 8 rent subsidy contracts or prepay the HUD subsidized mortgage, or they have 40 year HUD subsidized mortgage that are maturing. All these scenarios put the affordability of this housing at-risk.

Pictured here are three recent meetings of CES tenant leaders and staff planning efforts to address the specific issues at their buildings.

In the top picture, tenants discuss how to get building management to address and mitigate the roach infestation problem at this HUD subsidized complex in L.A.'s Koreatown.

The middle picture is a building in LA's Harvard Heights neighborhood where the landlord opted out of the HUD contract. Tenants are being informed or their right to remain with their newly acquired Section 8 enhanced rent subsidy vouchers, as well as their other rights including how to get needed repairs.

In the bottom picture, tenants at this West Adams neighborhood HUD subsidized complex meet to discuss building conditions, anticipated renovations and to strategize on tenant interaction with the management company.

 

CES on the Radio: KPCC - 89.3 FM
The Sequester Budget Cuts:
Southern California's Needy
Begin to Feel the Effects

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross was interviewed for a story on the impact of the federal sequester on the poor, specifically on Section 8 rent subsidy renters. The story aired on May 28 over KPCC 89.3 FM, Southern California's Public Radio.

About half of the 50,000 households on Section 8 in LA are being told they could see a reduction of $200 to $300 in their monthly rent subsidy, due to the sequester.

"It's really a national disgrace," said Gross. He points out that people usually turn to Section 8 as an absolute last resort, meaning the streets could be next. "Most of these people are senior citizens or people with disabilities or families with children," Gross said. "So when rents go up this will increase our homeless population."

Click Here to Listen to the News Story

 

CES in the News: California Court Monitor
Court Closures: Rationing
Justice in Los Angeles County

In a recent California Court Monitor article, responding to Los Angeles Superior Court's closure of 21 of its 26 courtrooms for eviction hearings, Larry Gross, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival said that "the unbalanced scales of justice are being further weighted against low-income and disabled people."

CES, together with People Organized for Westside Renewal, Union de Vecinos, the Independent Living Center of Southern California and represented by Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Disability Rights Legal Center, filed a lawsuit challenging the court closures. The lawsuit is still pending.

Click to Read Full Article

 

June 18th Public Hearting to
Establish LifeLine Reduced
Rates for Calif Low-Income
Mobile Phone Customers

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is holding a hearing on June 18th in Los Angeles to gather public input regarding whether there should be low cost wireless service LifeLine rates for low income customers.

An effective LifeLine program needs to be adopted that holds phone companies accountable for subsidies they receive, and provides eligible consumers with phone service that will last all month, including unlimited texting, direct 911 access and family plans.

> Attend the hearing on Tuesday, June 18 from 4 to 7 pm at the
Caltrans Heardquarters, 100 South Main Street, Downtown L.A.

Click to Read More

 

Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti
Acknowledges CES' Important
Role in Election Campaign

CES attempted to interject the issues of rent control, tenants' rights, and preserving and protecting existing affordable housing in the LA Mayoral candidate debate. CES drew on the candidates records on these issues and exposed where they stood on the issues attempting to make tenants aware that the outcome of the mayoral election could very well determine their ability to continue to keep their existing roof over their families heads. CES was able to draw a significant amount of media attention to the difference between Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel on these issues.

In recognition to CES' effective effort, Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti invited CES Executive Director Larry Gross to join him and others of his key supporters on stage at the world famous Hollywood Palladium when the Mayor-Elect gave his election night speech.

Click Here for More Election Night Pictures

 

CES Joints Effort to Stop
the Notorious Koch Brothers
From Acquiring the LA Times

The Coalition for Economic Survival joined with labor unions, environmental groups and other economic justice community-based organizations outside the LA Times building on May 29, to protest the possible takeover of the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune Co. newspapers by the right-wing billionaire Koch brothers.

Wichita-based Koch Industries is one of the nation's largest privately-owned businesses, with interests in energy, fertilizers and building products. The company is a major contributor to right-wing and conservative political groups that advocate less regulation and smaller government.

The Koch brothers have expressed interest in buying the Times and other Tribune Co. media holdings, threatening the journalistic integrity of some of the nation's most venerable media outlets and providing an unprecedented megaphone to the Kochs to push their radical agenda. They have been involved many anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-public education and anti-immigrant efforts, as well as being prominent backers of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has attempted to destroy public sector unions in that state and deny workers' rights.

Click Here to View More Protest Pictures

 

2013-2014 Rent Control
Allowable Annual Rent
Increase Announced for
the City of Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) announced that the 2013-2014 Annual Allowable Rent Increase for rental units subject to the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance will be 3% effective July 1, 2013. There is an additional 1% for gas and 1% for electricity, if the landlord provides either of those services.

Click for More Information

 


New CES Hats

Support CES and Make a Public
Fashion Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

May 17, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES in the News

Los Angeles Mayoral Election Update
May 2013

 
Housing Group Praises Eric Garcetti, Criticizes Wendy Greuel
by Dakota Smith - Friday, May 17, 2013

A Los Angeles tenants advocacy group praised mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti in a report card this week, but said rival Wendy Greuel failed to stop developers from ousting renters in her east San Fernando Valley district.

The Coalition for Economic Survival, which works on issues such as protecting rent control, preserving low-cost housing and preventing evictions, cited Garcetti's work on ordinances such as one that blocks banks from evicting renters from foreclosed homes. The ordinance gave renters protections if their landlords defaulted on bank loans, a common occurrence during the recent real estate collapse.

"Garcetti clearly has a better record," said CES executive director Larry Gross. While the report card evaluated their performance, the nonprofit doesn't officially endorse political candidates.

Garcetti also helped create an affordable housing trust fund, Gross said, and authored a law strengthening lease agreements for tenants.

Neither Garcetti or Greuel have made renters rights a big issue in the race. At an housing forum earlier this year, the candidates talked about affordable housing, but said little on the topic of rents.

Los Angeles rents have increased, after adjusting for inflation, by nearly 30 percent over the past two decades, according to a 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Underscoring the financial balancing act faced by Angelenos, renter incomes have decreased by 6 percent during the same period.

Wendy Greuel stood by while 74 rent controlled units in her Council District in Valley Village were demolished on this site and seniors, disabled and working families were displaced. Some six years later this massive luxury housing complex is now being built.

Greuel worked at HUD earlier in her career and frequently touts her work on housing issues under Mayor Tom Bradley. But Gross' report said thousands of rent-controlled units in neighborhoods like Studio City and Sherman Oaks were lost during Greuel's time as a city councilwoman.

Developers seized upon the real estate boom and turned the rental units into condominiums across the city, hoping to cash in on rising condo prices. Greuel's district ranked second in the number of rent-controlled units lost as apartments were converted into condominiums, Gross said.

The City Council eventually sought to pass moratoriums to protect renters. But Greuel seemed hesitant to get involved and never led on the issue, Gross said, an assertion the mayoral candidate rejected at a Boyle Heights press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"I stepped up to the plate numerous times," Greuel said. "And said we need to protect the renters." She also said laws allowing condo conversions were in place at the time.

Gross said he was also worried that many business groups, including Realtors' groups, are backing Greuel in the race.

Raphael Bostic, director of USC's Bedrosian Center on Governance, was less critical of Greuel. "Both of them have been fine," said Bostic. "Both candidates understand the challenges ... but they need to make a dent in the problem."

With a decreasing share of federal dollars, the next mayor will have to come up with creative incentives to keep units affordable, Bostic said. Adding new apartment units doesn't help if similar units are lost in the process. More protections for rent-controlled units are also needed, he said.

Alan Dymond, president of the Studio City Residents Association, said the destruction of apartment units forced out elderly residents and changed the demographics of his neighborhood.

Vote Next Tuesday, May 21
Your Home May Depend on It!

Both the condo conversion boom and SB 1818, a law allowing developers to build denser and taller units, impacted Studio City, he said.

"I go around to the shops and market, and a lot of the older people who live here, they're gone," Dymond said. "They can't afford to buy a condo."

"Wendy was aware of the problem," Dymond added, of the condo conversion issue. "I think she could have done more."

Feliciano Serrano, a doctor backing Greuel, launched a television advertisement this week accusing Garcetti of driving out Latinos by encouraging development in Hollywood.

Garcetti's office has disputed that claim.

Support the Work of CES

Make a Donation NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

May 14, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
Los Angeles Mayoral Election News

May 2013

 
The Choice: Garcetti or Greuel?
A Lot at Stake for LA Renters
The Los Angeles Mayoral Election and Rent Control, Tenants' Rights and Affordable Housing

On Tuesday, May 21, Angelenos will go to the polls to vote for the next Mayor, City Attorney, Controller, and City Council Members who will represent them. Unfortunately, if the March primary is any indication, it will be a very small percentage of those eligible who will determine the outcome. For renters, who make up 62% of LA's residents, there is a lot at stake.

Los Angeles is a city of renters and renters need to look at the record, positions, and who's backing these candidates to make an informed choice when they cast their votes. CES takes a look at the race for Mayor by posing the question:

What do the following landlord and big business groups all have have in common?

* Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles
*
Central City Association
* Beverly Hills/Greater LA Assoc. of Realtors
* Los Angeles County Federation of Business
* Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
* Valley Industry and Commerce Association

1) They have all been at the forefront of the fight to destroy rent control and undermine tenants' rights. These groups have supported new luxury housing development at the expense of existing affordable housing resulting in the displacement of long term, low rent working family, disabled and senior renters.

A N D .............

2) They all support Wendy Greuel for Mayor!

Where Do They Stand?

WENDY GREUEL

From 2001 to 2007 Los Angeles lost nearly 15,000 of rent controlled units due to condominium conversions and housing demolitions to for the purpose of building new condos. Wendy Greuel represented City Council District 2 in the San Fernando Valley at that time. During those years, Council District 2 ranked among the top Council Districts citywide in the number of rent controlled units lost. Unfortunately, Ms. Greuel took no action to stem the tide of destruction as thousands of her constituents were displaced from their homes and communities.

Vacant Sherman Oaks Lot Where Rent Control Housing Was Demolished in Greuel's District

Based on recommendations in a LA Controller Wendy Greuel December 2012 audit, Greuel wants to move the City's effective and award-winning housing code enforcement out of the LA Housing Department (LAHD) and into the troubled Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) -- even though her own audit shows numerous problems with the Department of Building and Safety. This move would be disastrous for tenants and for ensuring safe and decent housing for residents of the city. Landlord groups, who have consistently attacked the Housing Department's code enforcement program, would, no doubt, applaud the move.

Ms. Greuel is receiving significant support from developers who are currently attempting to destroy rent controlled affordable housing throughout the city. The support these developers could get under a Greuel administration should worry tenants across the city. Some examples are:

Save Wyvernwood Apartments!

The Miami-based Fifteen Group developers who are attempting to demolish the second largest rent control complex in Los Angeles is backing Ms. Greuel. The mainly low income Latino families living in the 1200 unit Wyvernwood Apartments in Boyle Height are at risk of displacement. Fifteen Group wants to build 44,000 units of mostly luxury housing, a project larger than Park LaBrea, thus families that have lived there for generations could lose their homes and pushed out of their long time community.

CES recently filed a complaint with the LA Ethics Commission based on the possibility of a developer providing illegal contributions to the Wendy Greuel mayoral campaign. CES wants the Ethics Commission to investigate $11,150 in donations made by the developer, members of his family and an employee to determine whether these contributions might be laundered by the developer in violation of the city's campaign finance laws. CES had organized tenants in a 104-unit Sherman Oaks apartment complex who successfully stopped numerous attempts by this developer to convert the building into high priced condominiums, but he continues to seek the a way to get his conversions approved.

ERIC GARCETTI

Eric Garcetti, on the other hand, has a long record of introducing motions to protect tenants and affordable housing, which have become laws. His actions include:

* Spearheaded the creation of the nation's largest affordable housing trust fund.

* Authored the law to prevent the demolition of housing without the construction of replacement housing.

* Authored the law to prevent landlords from unilaterally changing tenants terms of tenancy or rules or apartment rules, thus giving landlords the ability to unjustly evict tenants.

* Put forth the Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance, which protect tenants living in rental properties not subject to the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) from eviction on the grounds of foreclosure. This was nation's first tenant foreclosure eviction protection law.

* Voted to cut Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) fees in half and have landlords pay their fair share.

* Authored the City resolution against the 2008 statewide measure Proposition 98, which would have wiped out rent control and tenants' rights protection law in the city and throughout the state. He participated in a news conference with CES and Mayor Villaraigosa to warn voters of this dangerous ballot measure.

* Provided CES important support in our efforts to protect Section 8 tenants from being evicted in Echo Park, which is in his district. A landlord challenged the city's right to extend rent control to a HUD subsidized complexes to opt out of the federal program. The U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals eventually upheld the city's right and tenants continue to be protected.

Now it is up to you, the voter,
to decide on Tuesday, May 21.

Your Home May Depend on the Outcome.

Support the Work of CES

Make a Donation NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

April 25, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

April, 2013 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Included in this issue of CES' Organizing Times:
*Victory Achieved With LA City Council Approval of New Waste Hauling Plan
*Appeal Filed to Stop L.A. Court Closures & Consolidation
*Los Angeles Mayoral Race Update
*Tenants' Rights Clinic Info
 

Victory for Workers and Customers
CES Supports New Waste
Hauling Plan Approved by
LA City Council

On April 24, the Los Angeles City Council overwhelmingly approved a proposal to change how private trash haulers collect garbage at businesses and apartment buildings. The proposal was advocated for and supported by unions, environmental and community groups.

CES testified in support of the plan, together with other members of LAANE's Don't Waste LA Campaign which led this successful effort, such as Teamsters Local 396, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of SoCal, Sierra Club, Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice and others.

The Council voted to establish an "exclusive franchise" system, which would carve up the city into 11 zones, each served by one trash company. CES supported this environmentally progressive plan believing it will help stem rate hikes which could lead to igniting new battles over landlord calls for rent increase pass throughs.

 

CES & Allies Continue
Legal Fight Against
Court Closures

CES is a party in a new State Court of Appeals lawsuit filed against the Los Angeles County Superior Court and the state. The legal action challenges the plan to cut court costs by reducing the number of courts handling landlord disputes to five from 26, thus shutting the courthouse doors on many of the county's most vulnerable residents.

The lawsuit and appeal was filed by the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and the Disability Rights Legal Center on behalf of the Coalition for Economic Survival, People Organized for Westside Renewal, Union de Vecinos, the Independent Living Center of Southern California and several impacted individuals.

The appeal was filed in response to a federal judge who threw out our lawsuit without ruling on the merits of the case, based on the judge believing the Federal Courts had no jurisdiction on the matter.

 

CES HUD Tenant Leaders
Meet to Save Affordable
Housing

On Saturday, April 13th, CES' HUD Tenant Council leaders met to discuss strategies to preserve their HUD subsidized affordable housing.

The tenants came from a number of buildings from South Los Angeles to Venice, which are at-risk of losing affordability restrictions due to the possibility of a maturing HUD mortgage, the landlord prepaying the HUD subsidized mortgage, or the owner opting out of the project-based Section 8 rent subsidy contract.

Los Angeles Mayoral Election Update

CES Information Contained In
Possible Illegal Wendy Greuel
Emails

The Los Cerritos Community News just ran an article in which Brian Hews, the publisher of the newspaper, claims that "Greuel is running her mayoral campaign out of the Auditor/Contoller's Office of Los Angeles using taxpayer resources, a clear violation of California state law."

The newspaper obtained emails from Wendy Greuel's mayoral campaign they believe proves this charge. Contained in one of the emails was CES information from one of our email blasts that was distributed to Greuel's campaign operatives sent out from her LA City Controller's office.

Click Here to Read Full Article

 

CES Files Ethics Complaint Against
Landlord Contributor to Wendy
Greuel Mayoral Campaign

CES recently filed a complaint with the Los Angeles Ethics Commission based on the possibility of a developer providing illegal contributions to the Wendy Greuel mayoral campaign. CES wants the Ethic Commission to investigate $11,150 in donations made by the developer, members of his family and an employee to determine whether these contributions are money that was laundered by the developer in violation of the city's campaign finance laws.

CES had organized tenants in a 100 unit Sherman Oaks apartment complex who successfully stopped numerous attempts by this developer to convert the building to high priced condominiums, with the assistance from Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Year End Donation NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

April 17, 2013
Coalition for Economic Survival News Release
   
Contact: Larry Gross, CES Executive Director, (213)252-4411
Wendy Greuel Gets More Support From FOES of
Tenants' Rights & Rent Control for Her Mayoral Bid!

Coalition for Economic Survival Warns Tenants to Beware!
 

(April 17, 2013) - It was nearly two month ago that the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) expressed great concern over LA City Controller and Mayoral Candidate Wendy Greuel's enthusiastic announcement about receiving the endorsement of the landlord group, Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA).

Those concerns has been increased with the announced on Monday that the Central City Association (CCA) has endorsed Wendy Greuel's bid for Mayor.

Demonstration Outside CCA Office
Protesting Its Pro-Gentrification Stance

The CCA is a business advocacy group that lobbies city and state government to grease the wheels for development in downtown. Besides landlords and developers, it also represents large corporations, such as Chevron, Walmart, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

The Central City Association has been a consistent opponent of tenants' rights, rent control and restricting condo conversions that displaces tenants.

Some examples of CCA's efforts include opposing a temporary rent freeze introduced by LA City Council Member Richard Alarcon that would have given the City Council time to debate potential amendments to the rent control ordinance without saddling LA tenants with more unjust rent increases.

CCA opposed LA City Council Member and Mayoral Candidate Eric Garcetti's amendment to a local provision of the Ellis Act (state law prohibiting local jurisdictions from preventing landlords from going out of the rent business), which would require developers the choice of constructing a new, rent stabilized building (where rent control would extend to every new unit, regardless of size of demolished building), or replacing the lost rent stabilized units one for one with units that would be affordable to those making 80% of AMI or less, up to 20% of the total building units. It was a provision that CES strongly supported and was passed.

CCA opposed a moratorium on condo conversions and demolitions in Los Angeles. From 2001 to 2007 nearly 15,000 LA rent control units were lost due to condo conversions and demolitions to build new condos. City Council District 2, represented by Wendy Greuel at the time, had the third largest number of rent controlled units lost in the City.

"A moratorium sends absolutely the wrong message at absolutely the wrong time, because the condo market is slowing down significantly," said Carol Schatz, who heads the Central City Association. "And while there may be some projects still in the pipeline, there aren't that many. It scares investors anytime you talk about a moratorium, and let's not forget that housing drives the L.A. economy."

CES Executive Director Larry Gross responded, "In other words, CCA was essentially saying when the condo market is hot, it is unfair to destroy pending investments by enacting a moratorium. When the market cools, it is unfair because it will deter the formation of new speculator groups seeking to profit by evicting tenants and eliminating rent-controlled housing."

Gross observed that, "It appears that Greuel has been able to coalesce the forces that have been at the forefront of the fight to destroy rent control and undermine tenants' rights behind her mayoral candidacy."

Besides AAGLA and CCA, the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors Local PAC, the Los Angeles County Federation of Business (Biz Fed), the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce's Jobs PAC, and the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) PAC are all supporting Greuel.

All these endorsements are based on the belief that Greuel will support them on issues of concern to them," said Gross. "They clearly believe that Wendy Greuel would be a better Mayor for landlords and developers. This is a very important factor that tenants must keep in mind when they cast their ballots for Mayor on May 21, Election Day."

In addition, homeless advocacy groups, such as LACAN, have been actively opposing the CCA's "Downtown 2020" plan, which they state calls for no affordable housing to be built in Downtown, and increased police and criminalization efforts against homeless and poor residents.

CCA was also a key opponent to labor unions and supporters efforts to extend the City's living wage ordinance to hotels near LAX.

 

March 22, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES in the News

March 2013

 
Federal Sequester Hits Home for Many of L.A.'s Poor
by Christina Villacorte, Friday, March 22, 2013

Tens of thousands of Los Angeles County's low-income renters could see a loss in their housing subsidy because of the federal sequester, leading to higher rent payments and a spike in homelessness, according to local officials.

Faces of Those Destroying American Lives. GOP Congress Brings Economic Calamity to Poor & Disabled

Faces of Those Destroying American Lives. GOP Congress Brings Economic Clamity to Poor & Disabled

City and county officials are in Washington D.C. this week lobbying to try to soften the blow of the cuts, pushing for permission to increase rents so they don't have to throw most recipients off the program altogether.

"This is absolutely going to hurt the most vulnerable people in LA county," said Sean Rogan, who heads the L.A. County housing authority, HACoLA.

Among those most vulnerable are people like Sylvia Juarez, a 39-year-old single mother of six, who has been on Section 8 housing subsidies for a year, receiving $1,825 in assistance for a three-bedroom Panorama City apartment after escaping an abusive relationship.

Juarez can work only part-time as a hairdresser because her two youngest children have health problems, but she found out last week that she would have to pay $100 more in rent each month, doubling the amount she pays out of her own pocket.

"With six kids, that would definitely make a big impact," she said while seeking help at the emergency food bank at MEND-Meet Each Need with Dignity, in Pacoima.

"It's going to be a struggle but I need the housing, so I have to figure out a way to get that money," she added. "I have no choice."

Rogan and Douglas Guthrie, who heads the city authority, HACLA, are meeting with federal housing officials and members of Congress this week.

"(The sequester) brings funding for public housing and Section 8 programs down to the lowest level in their history," Guthrie pointed out.

"Los Angeles has the largest homeless population in the U.S.," he added. "We've put a lot of resources into addressing that, and made progress, but much of it will be lost because of these enormous cuts."

He said the sequester slashed funding for HACoLA's Section 8 program by about $15 million this year.

It has already prevented him from issuing 300 vouchers that would have provided poor families and individuals with an average of $890 in rent money each month.

In October, Rogan said, he may also be forced to terminate vouchers held by 500 to 1,800 households.

Trying to prevent that, he met repeatedly with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials this week, seeking authority to have all of HACoLA's 22,000 voucher holders pay more toward their rent.

"I'm effectively asking HUD to allow me to increase all my voucher holders' rent payments by about 5 percent - which is the sequestration amount - so I don't have to terminate anybody," Rogan said. "Spread the pain."

"If it comes down to us having to terminate vouchers, we've exempted seniors, the homeless and our special needs population," he added. "We would terminate those who've been on the program the longest and have received the greatest benefit."

HACLA, on the other hand, is poised to notify 24,000 of its 45,000 voucher holders next week that they may have to pay $100-$200 more toward their rent each month.

The increase - which is more than 5 percent - will not kick in for everyone at once. Voucher holders will be hit with the new rates when they recertify their eligibility for the program.

Guthrie said the hike is needed because HACLA's Section 8 program will lose $40 million this year. He worries, however, that many won't be able to afford it.

Those who qualify for vouchers are typically disabled, seniors, veterans and extremely low-income families and individuals who subsist on less than $14,000 a year.

Section 8 was intended to help them spend only 30 percent of their household income on rent.

"For a family paying $200 in rent to see that rate go up, all of a sudden, to $300 a month - that's, at the very least, extremely disruptive and we're very concerned," Guthrie said.

"Those who can't afford it may have to find another place that charges less rent, or move in with family and friends," he added. "Ultimately, it's pushing people out of the system and potentially into homelessness."

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition For Economic Survival, a tenants' rights organization, called the sequester a "one-two punch to the gut of low-income people."

"It's sort of like an economic tsunami, and the impact is going to be on the most vulnerable," he added. "The Section 8 cuts are essentially making them walk the plank, and many will fall."

HACLA's Section 8 program director Peter Lynn said the agency is reaching out to landlords to see if they can negotiate rents downward, but he conceded this might be difficult.

On top of the cuts to their Section 8, public housing, and other programs, HACoLA and HACLA will also have to endure cuts to their administrative budgets - which means layoffs and furloughs for their already depleted staffs effective this month.

Guthrie said HACLA could shed as many as 80 employees, bringing its staff down to about 700 - only half as many as it had four years ago. Rogan said HACoLA eliminated 66 positions last year, and could lose more this year.

Worried about the sequester, Supervisor Don Knabe asked the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to urge Washington D.C. officials to protect the county's safety net.

"Our leaders at the federal level must come to agreement on a balanced, sensible budget," he said. "We don't need more rhetoric - we need compromise and thoughtful solutions."

Support the Work of CES

Make a Donation NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

March 21, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES in the News

March 2013

 
Federal Judge Won't Budge, Throws Out Lawsuit Fighting L.A. Superior Court Consolidation
by Christina Villacorte, Thursday, March 21, 2013

Without ruling on the merits of the case, a federal judge late Monday threw out a lawsuit by legal services and community organizations to block the Los Angeles Superior Court from drastically reducing the number of local courtrooms hearing eviction cases.

The plaintiffs, however, intend to continue fighting the so-called court consolidation plan, which took effect Monday and they are deciding between appealing the decision or bringing the case to a state court instead.

In his order, US District Judge Terry Hatter said the federal court "abstains from considering plaintiffs' claims" but did not elaborate.

Neal Dudovitz, executive director of Neighborhood Legal Services, one of the organizations that filed the lawsuit, explained the federal judge abstained in the belief that a state court should hear the case instead.

"This is not a ruling on the merits of our claim at all," Dudovitz said. "(Hatter) just said we have to go somewhere else with it, and that's what we're going to do. "

"We cannot allow this (consolidation) policy to close the doors of justice in our client's faces," he added.

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition For Economic Survival, one of the plaintiffs in the case, vowed, "There will, most certainly, be a next step!"

"The courts cannot be allowed to move forward with this court closure and consolidation policy," he added. "The impact would be devastating to poor people and people living with disabilities.

Because the plaintiffs were not able to secure a temporary restraining order through the federal lawsuit, the Superior Court has begun scaling back its operations to close an $85-million dollar budget deficit by June 30, including reducing the number of courtrooms hearing eviction cases.

Last year alone, the Superior Court heard about 70,000 eviction cases in 26 courtrooms. Once consolidation is in place, only five courtrooms will hear eviction cases, forcing many tenants facing eviction to commute as far as 60 miles in the early morning hours to try to save their homes.

The Superior Court has also begun the first phase of closing eight courthouses and removing most court work from two other locations. Consolidation also means small claims cases will be heard in only six courthouses instead of current 26.

"The first phase of the court's consolidation plan began on March 18," Mary Hearn, spokeswoman for the Superior Court, said. "As of that date, new unlawful detainer cases, as well as new small claims, general civil personal injury, and limited civil cases must be filed at the courthouse locations described in the notices and the plan."

"Pending cases will continue to be heard at the courthouses where they originated until the parties receive notice that their cases have been transferred," she added.

Those who want to file new eviction cases in the San Fernando Valley can no longer do so in either the Van Nuys or Chatsworth courthouses. They have to go to either Santa Monica or Pasadena instead.

Support the Work of CES

Make a Donation NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

March 19, 2013
Coalition for
Economic Survival

 

Federal Judge Rules Against Lawsuit to Stop the Closure and Consolidation of Los Angeles County Courts
But, Battle Will Continue...


Late yesterday (March 18th), a Federal court judge ruled that the Federal Courts had no right to intercede in State court matters ("abstention" doctrine). Thus, the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Coalition for Economic Survival, People Organized for Westside Renewal, Union de Vecinos, the Independent Living Center of Southern California and several impacted individuals to stop the closure and consolidation of Los Angeles County Superior was thrown out.

The judge ruled purely on the issue of abstention. He felt strongly that this was an issue that should go to either State court or the Federal Court of Appeals. But, he did not rule on the merits of our case. As a result, there is strong determination by the attorneys and plaintiffs to continue on.

Our attorneys at the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Disability Rights Legal Center are weighing the next step to take. But, there will, most certainly, be a next step!

The courts cannot be allowed to move forward with this court closure and consolidation policy. The impact would be devastating to poor people and people living with disabilities.

As reported in our earlier email (click here to read), we believe this action will also result in a significant increase in unjust and illegal evictions. The courts must not be allowed to slam the door of justice in the face of the people we all serve.
 

Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
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March 19, 2013

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

March, 2013 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Included in this issue of CES' Organizing Times:
*Lawsuit Filed to Stop L.A. Court Closures & Consolidation
*Radio Program on Report Stating Calif. 2nd Most Expensive State to Rent
*Radio Program on Plight of L.A. Tenants, Displacement & the Mayoral Race
*Tenants' Rights Clinic Info
 
  CES a Lawsuit Plaintiff
CES Executive Director Larry Gross Speaks at News Conference Announcing Lawsuit

Lawsuit Filed to Stop L.A. Court Closures That Will Likely Lead to More Unjust Evictions

Los Angeles Superior Court's closure of 21 of its 26 courtrooms for eviction hearings illegally "shuts the courthouse doors on many of the county's most vulnerable residents" community organizers claim in a federal lawsuit.

In response, the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and the Disability Rights Legal Center are suing the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of the Coalition for Economic Survival, People Organized for Westside Renewal, Union de Vecinos, the Independent Living Center of Southern California and several impacted individuals.

The lawsuit claims the state's response to its judicial funding crisis violated the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the First and 14th Amendments.

Click Here to Read More