Posts Tagged ‘tenants rights’

This has been difficult to write. We’ve been telling people vaguely, but here goes:


There are many reasons, but before we get into what they are, we want to emphasize the need for more places like PARC to be created. And maintained.

PARC (Peoples’ Action for Rights & Community) has existed for 10 years- all of our work has been volunteer and all of our funding and supplies have been from community donations (including our own pockets). We have no 501(C)(3), no statistics, no lists of all the people who have come through the door, and no purse strings (or other strings) that keep us quiet or prevent us from risking arrest, organizing with whomever we want, and doing and supporting whatever actions we find worthy in defense of the people, the Earth, and the critters. Not one donation we get stops us from choosing to publicly take positions on government, police, prisons, community, homelessness, laws, businesses, racism, Palestine, etc; nor have we ever signed an agreement with anyone that precludes us from opposing the concepts, systems, structures, and people who we find to be harmful or threatening to dignity, fairness, and life.

We are proud of our stances against such things as capitalism, racism, police, borders, war, GMO’s, death penalty, and animal abuse. We don’t change to attract a donor or government, and therein lies our integrity. That, plus our commitment to care for people every day, morning to night, has kept us supported for this long.

We are so grateful to the principled and generous people and organizations who have supported PARC with money and all other types of donations, invitations to events, letters in our defense (remember those?), volunteer time, hours of dishwashing, long distance solidarity, artwork, animal care, vehicles and rides, home-made and special event foods, college/university internships, and spiritual and political backing.

Why are we closing?

PARC has been in its current location for 8 ½ of our 10 years. In Oct 2016, new owners bought the property from our very supportive landlord. Our new lease guaranteed our tenancy for a year, but the new landlords have been trying to get us out since shortly after they became the owners. (Unfortunately for them, we do a little tenants’ rights work, so we know how to defend ourselves.)
Now that it is almost a year, we will close PARC on Sept 7th and take a few weeks to clear out the space.

For those of you asking “What’s going to happened next?” that’s what we are trying to figure out. Over the 10 years that PARC has existed, the inequalities of capitalism have gotten worse, and more and more people are suffering. More people have been pushed into poverty and have greater difficulty meeting their daily survival needs. The impact on PARC has meant more time, effort, and resources devoted to helping people to just get by, and less time doing the political work to end the conditions that are putting people on the streets. 10 years of working here ‘as’ PARC has provided a wealth of experience; we have learned a lot; and in this period of having to shut down in this location, we have the opportunity to evaluate our responsibilities moving forward, committed to working for justice and social change.

To the people who rely on PARC for survival, for respite, for shelter from the storm, we send you these words of encouragement:

Keep your heads up. Welcome new cycles in your lives. Even with so much against you, you persist and survive and help people who are more vulnerable than you. Work on your health and the health of the people around you. Take care of the land and the water. ORGANIZE so things will be better. You are the experts on how you’re being treated by the police, businesses, housed community people, organizations, city government, etc. Use what you know and learn about other movements from the streets. Understand that people who bring you food or give you a blanket want to help stop the oppression you are experiencing. Talk with them about that. ORGANIZE so things will be better. Love, PARC

Volunteers who become familiar with the people and the rhythm in the chaos and come on a regular basis are critical. Countless volunteers have helped PARC over the years. We will not try and list all the names, for fear of leaving someone out, but everyone’s contributions were part of PARC’s spirit and success.

Each month we write an email asking for money donations to pay bills and rent. Here is the last one, which is a great explanation and her/history of PARC. https://peopleproject.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/parcs-presentation-to-veterans-for-peace/

Some of the projects you may remember or have participated in, largely based out of PARC include:

  • End the War on the Poor weekly demonstrations and dinner;
  • PEOPLE PROJECT Good Morning Neighbors Breakfast Program;
  • Days of Action Against Police Brutality;
  • 33-night winter Safe Sleeping Space at Eureka City Hall;
  • monthly radio show, Radical Rap;
  • community produce table;
  • 5pm for the 5 Demands weekly informational demos in support of the CA prisoner hunger strikers and against long term solitary confinement;
  • dog rescue + fostering and adopting;
  • Music for the People concerts at Clarke Plaza;
  • guerrilla film showings about the MOVE 9 political prisoners in efforts to win their release;
  • Know Your Rights workshops;
  • many street music and speaking events with PARC’s portable sound system;
  • Grub n Grab events;
  • summer film screening and discussion series;
  • the Eureka Fair Wage Act;
  • lots of public dinners;
  • Jail Support;
  • Richardson Grove Action Now organizing; and
  • Homeless Persons Memorial Day marches & gatherings.

PARC has been an important resource center and organizing hub for 10 years.

PLEASE: Call PARC (707.442.7465) or email peoplesarc@gmail.com, if you would like to get together and talk about what you could do in the near future to prevent huge gaps in relief, food, bathrooms, showers, safe(r) space, computer use, phone use, mail service, legal support, etc. Without community action, these gaps will exist for people living on the street and for housed and unhoused people who need space, use of office equipment, and/or advocacy, for myriad reasons.

We want to talk with people about how to work a place like PARC, or a space that fills one or more of the needs that PARC has met, and how to establish this space and keep it going. There can and should be multiple places and methods that take care of community needs. Simple and consistent acts of creativity and dedication can do so much.

PARC needs to strategize with donors where to bring the clothes, food, and towel donations that we usually get. It is unacceptable for all donations to go to well-funded places (e.g. Eureka Rescue Mission, Betty Chinn) where only “certain” people can access them, and most can not.

Please consider the following needs that will no longer be met by PARC:


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PARC’s Presentation to Veterans for Peace

Please check out the below presentation we gave in April 2017 about the origins and work of Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community.

WE THANK AND ACKNOWLEDGE ALL OF YOU who donate to PARC– we know you support us from your Social Security checks, as you struggle with health problems, while you raise a family, while you support your loved ones, as you work your asses off, even though you are thousands of miles away, while you struggle with injustice, as you create your art, as you teach, while you build or work to repair your communities, as you provide daily healthcare, as you rescue animals, and while there are so many worthwhile projects and movements and people to support. THANK YOU!

PARC Presentation to Veterans For Peace, Humboldt Bay, Chapter 56 

PARC is an organizing and resource space that has been in Eureka CA, where it started, since Nov. 2007. Many of us who established the space had been organizing as PEOPLE PROJECT and Acción Zapatísta for several years. Earlier in 2007, we created a beautiful encampment in Arcata, the purpose of which was to expose and bring attention to: the fact that there is no free and legal place for people to sleep; the criminalization of people who are poor, homeless, and have no place for dignified rest; and the human rights violations that accompany an intentional politics of cruelty. Some of you might remember that 12 day and night encampment because Jim Sorter and other Vets For Peace would share dinner with us during sunsets.

So, PARC was created with that kind of organizing in mind- the need for space to meet and simply be, to work and build solidarity and power among the people, and a space that was welcoming, and often run by people of color and LGBTQI folks. In the summer of 2007, Martin Cotton II, a white homeless man with visible mental health issues, unarmed, was beat to death by Eureka Police in front of the Eureka Rescue Mission, and thrown in the jail- where he died. Those of us doing copwatch work realized that we needed a place where the many witnesses could safely come and talk about what they saw and experienced.

Those are the origins of PARC which we say is “focused on justice and care.”

We have run a modest, grassroots space for almost 10 years now- all donation-based, all volunteer. We’re still dealing with the same realities that led to the PEOPLE PROJECT encampment, and have created other safe sleeping spaces in Eureka, weekly “End the War on the Poor” protests, a campaign to raise Eureka’s minimum wage, and myriad projects against state violence. Many groups have used the space. Many military veterans plug in with PARC, as volunteers or to access resources. PARC is very active in the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS), working to end solitary confinement in CA prisons and jails and support the prisoner class led human rights movement. Currently, we are trying to end a torture campaign of sleep deprivation in CA’s solitary confinement units. We have 4 phone lines-for the statewide PHSS, PARC, Jail Support, and Redwood Curtain CopWatch. We do court support and strategizing- for tenants’ rights, for people getting put through the in-justice system, assisting people who’ve had their rights violated, child custody and family court support, help with restraining orders, homeless court intake, filing paperwork, documenting situations, and the list goes on. We also do a lot of dishes, laundry and vacuuming.

PARC is open 7 days a week, 9-12 hours a day, facilitating many essential community functions and what the Black Panthers would call “Survival Programs.” Unlike other facilities, we have a no paperwork, no hoops policy. No applications, no breathalyzers, no proof of id. A person does not have to meet any special requirements in order to receive experienced advocacy or have their basic needs met. No one is charged (or gets paid) for assistance, space, food, literature or other resources.

PARC is the ONLY place that provides jail support to assist people who’ve been arrested. Many of these arrests result from direct actions (environmental, anti-war, homeless rights, immigration rights, anti-police brutality). Also, jail support is provided for people arrested unexpectedly on the streets or in their cars.  We help people successfully navigate through the complicated court proceedings resulting from arrest and organize more support.

PARC takes a stand against sexism, racism, heterosexism, homophobia, bullying, and state intrusion. PARC not only provide services and resources, but we ACTIVELY organize and speak against oppressive state forces of violence, intimidation, control, and harassment and discrimination from anyone in general. The daily PARC crowd is multi-racial, multi-generational, multi-gendered, and from a wide spectrum of life experiences. We assist people on an individual basis, understanding the ‘big picture’ injustices that have created such needs, traumas, and crises of humanity and planet.


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Here is a Complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau against the Budget Inn.
Then you can see the Budget Inn’s dishonest response.
Then the Complainant’s Reply.
The Budget Inn has until Feb.1, 2011 to respond to that.

Complaint [Case opened December 6, 2010]:

The Budget Inn is situated on the main highway (Hwy 101) in Eureka California, and advertises on a large sign/billboard in front of the business. The Budget Inn also advertises in the only daily newspaper in Eureka (and Humboldt County), the Eureka Times-Standard. On both the sign and in the paper, the Budget Inn advertises “Clean and Quiet Rooms.”

I have been a tenant of the Budget Inn for about a year and a half (suffering myriad ongoing violations of my rights), and am familiar with the conditions of and in the rooms. I am a clean and tidy person. However, the Budget Inn rooms are neither clean nor quiet. Indeed they are filthy and disturbingly loud.

The laundry service is random, so we are left with dirty sheets and towels. Slugs crawl in the bathroom. Rats have come into my room. The walls have the appearance of years and years of cigarette smoke- the yellow/brown color stuck to the walls. There are drip stains on the walls from the leaks that occur whenever it rains. Some residents must put buckets in their rooms to catch the water. In one bathroom, every time the residents take showers, the steam causes years of nicotine to drip down the walls, onto the rugs, and even onto the residents’ bodies. My small bathroom has been unfinished throughout my entire tenancy and has been cluttered with the Budget Inn’s maintenance tools, a big bag of plaster, and parts of the ‘new’ bathroom- all being stored, ostensibly, for the Budget Inn to one day finish the bathroom. The ceiling shows years and years of dirt and nicotine. Mold is in my closet and black mold in the corners of the doors. In the entrance to my bathroom, the rug has consistently been wet all fall and winter months due to leaks from the rain. Since the earthquake over six months ago, the wall next to my bed has continued to crack. When the room flooded due to a blown pipe underneath the road, my entire room and bathroom floor was covered in 2-3 inches of water. Underneath the bed and in the closet exists resulting mold. The wooden baseboards in the bathroom are slowly rotting, so I must sweep up parts of them daily.

As far as the Budget Inn’s claims of “quiet” rooms, nothing could be further from the truth. My room’s door is very thin, because the Budget Inn made two rooms out of one without changing anything to prevent sound from entering from one room to the other. The Budget Inn allows my neighbor to blast two boom boxes which are mounted on the walls that separate our rooms, and two large boom boxes in the windows. This neighbor has been blasting music for about 5 hours a day, causing my walls to vibrate and suffering my heart to pound and my body to shake. The music is so loud, that if I lay down on my bed, the bed shakes and my heart cannot endure the booming. Even after many requests from myself and other tenants, the Budget Inn allows this excessive noise, which can be heard from the street, to continue.


Budget Inn’s Response (You can click on the slimy letter to read it easier)


Complainant’s Rebuttal To Budget Inn
I DO NOT accept the response from the business.

If the Budget Inn [BI] rented my room & others at 1140 4th Street, Eureka CA to “motel guests,” as the law defines that term, & if BI met the minimum legal requisites establishing BI as a motel in a motel/guest relationship, then it would be a sub-standard motel, failing legal obligations to its “guests.” However, BI rents to me my primary residence for over 1 yr (this time) & rents almost all other rooms similarly, on a month-to-month basis to permanent residents. Due to this & several other facts, BI is a residential motel, as defined by law, & those of us living at BI are tenants, entitled to all legal rights afforded tenants by CA law. As tenants we’re entitled to protections, including but not limited to the right to live under habitable conditions–free of health & safety hazards; right to quiet enjoyment; right to proper notice for landlord access; right to be free from discrimination & harassment; & right to reasonable accommodations related to medical conditions & disabilities. BI deceives & avoids accountability to us as tenants & to the general public, by calling us “motel guests,” ignoring law & denying our rights as tenants.

I can provide room photos; also paperwork wherein BI officially regards us as “guests.” BI imposes unlawful tenant restrictions such as “No ‘unregistered guests’” in our rooms. BI says family members may enter only if 1st approved by mgmt. Many BI policies violate CA law. Although CA has a process required of a landlord in order to evict a tenant if, for instance, s/he has not paid rent, BI created its own policy, & kicks tenants out with physical threats, ignoring responsibility to legal process.

BI’s Response to my BBB complaint is wholly disingenuous. My herein Reply incorporates and continues to affirm all facts from my original complaint.

I ‘ve never denied reasonable access for BI agents to my room, even after improper notice. BI has acknowledged the seriousness of my documented medical condition & disability. A doctor’s note & explanatory document were posted on my door until BI agents tore them down. BI refuses to make reasonable accommodations, required by law, for my medical condition & disability, regarding BI pesticide use in my rental. At times, BI made such accommodations for another tenant with a similar condition. Acts & omissions by BI, some of which are outlined here, pertain to me & others living at BI & constitute long-term, repeated, & blatant violations of basic legal rights & severely endanger our health & safety.

In 2010, BI pipes backed up. Sewage came into showers & rooms. I told the manager that feces & other sewage was coming in my room & was told, “I don’t want to hear about that [feces, etc.].” My whole floor was flooding for 3 days. Liquid was about 3” deep, no dry spots. After the flood, BI’s Paul Hewitt Jr worked on my floor for 10-15 minutes, told me he would return to “finish” & never did. He left the extractor in my room, so I used it. BI was reported to the Health Dept. & another agency. Then the sewage pipes were worked on. BI tenants have had sewage come into their showers, bathroom floors, & carpets for years. Currently, our plumbing is backed up again.

Later in 2010, the water heater behind my bathroom broke. Water poured into my room- about 3” deep. BI used an extractor on my neighbor’s room & said they would do nothing for me. The flood ruined many of my personal items, including everything in my closet. I made a makeshift counter & a path to the bathroom. After 4 days, a young tenant of BI came & extracted. BI did not replace the water heater for a few more days. BI mgmt said they’d move my bed out & extract, but never did. I tried to dry my room with heaters. It molded. The closet still has strong mold. I must sleep at the end of my bed where less water collected underneath. Damp conditions adversely affect my breathing. BI refused my requests for another room.

My bathroom is bare sheet rock. I have no handle for the toilet & no lid. Black mold covers caulking around the shower; floor in front of the shower is deteriorating, almost through to the ground. A large crack spans the width of the bathroom door threshold. The front of my bathroom, a 4′ X 3′ area, gets soaked from rain leaks. I put plastic down to walk across.

Mgmt. saw the 3 ft. long crack in my wall after an earthquake; now it is from ceiling to floor & getting wider. An entire wing of BI is not on stable foundation.

There is only 1 stove, 2 coin-op washers, & 1 dryer for over 30 tenants. We must leave our ID with the office to access them. My microwave & refrigerator came from a pile that BI threw out– BI offers such appliances by “allowing” us to scrounge through a dump pile.

Room inspections are not noticed in writing or 24 hrs in advance. This violates CA law.

In the past, BI entered my room in the a.m. to pesticide spray around our beds WHILE both my 10 yr old son & I were asleep! Paul Hewitt Jr. was told by his boss,Paul Sr, that I had a serious illness -to leave me & my room alone. Other tenants were sprayed that a.m. Those who protested were “troublemakers.” Eight BI tenants died in 1 yr from lung problems, we believe from pesticide spray & black mold. Some of them had complained & BI did nothing. My neighbor died, & her doctor told us it was due to living with sewage- coming into her room from corroded pipes. Last year, a bed-ridden man reported to BI sewage soaked into his rug. Mgmt argued & refused to do anything. Family moved him out. I keep 2 ionizers in my room for the unhealthy air & smell.

Police came to BI 3 times regarding loud noise from my neighbor. Eureka officer Winkle went to my neighbor’s window & said “I can hear your music a block away, you gotta turn it way down.” He told him to turn the boom boxes toward himself & not the street. Mgmt was present, consoling my neighbor: “We’ll straighten this all out, you’ll be able to play your music.” I told mgmt that this neighbor had molested me & was angry because I refused his sexual advances. Mgmt outright dismissed what I said & told me to move out. BI allowed my neighbor to blast music. Mgmt harassed me further, saying they would tear out the wall between me & my neighbor, & I ‘d need to find another place.

In Dec 2010, two officers (one was Off. Siipola-Edwards) responded to my call about pounding music. They said, “We can hear this a block away,” & made my neighbor turn it down. I reported that the pounding was causing me heart trouble, as I had informed BI on several occasions.

Before I signed rental papers, mgmt said it would provide (as the law requires) alternatives to pesticides, but never has. Mgmt. threatens to spray my room with chemicals, & I believe sprayed when I was out- causing me 2 hospital trips. The doctor said I was poisoned.

BI inspected my room 3 times in 1 yr, & ne’er a cockroach. Recently, BI began spraying in my loud neighbor’s room, & cockroaches swarm to my bathroom & crawlspace. They ruined my electrical items. I now buy alternatives to chemical pesticides, which work, but then cockroaches come again from the crawlspace. Unlawfully, BI refuses to provide alternatives for me.

BI has never serviced my bathroom. Maid service is set for Mondays & Tuesdays. Most of us get no service. Some complain to mgmt: “Why make a calendar & make us stay here all day, & then not show?” Mgmt yells at tenants, even youth, if they make a request or comment. I, like others, have waited all day because mgmt says we must be there for maid service- which never comes.

BI uses my health issues to harass & retaliate against me. Paul Hewitt Jr. filled a bucket with bleach & pine sol & poured it near only my room & in front of my open window. My window is open at night for fresh air. Since that incident, I rise early to shut it, in case Paul Jr. returns with toxins. Paul Jr. has lived at BI for 5-6 years & knows what things will make me sick, poison me, or even kill me.

In 2010, mgmt called us about bug-bombing our rooms. I consented to it because BI said I would not have to be there & they would open windows. We received no notice of the bombing date, so we waited, wondering when we’d need to leave. When I learned BI’s plan to also spray our mattresses for bugs (which I don’t have) & repeat the bomb-spray process 2 days later, I told mgmt I did not consent. I can’t sleep on a sprayed mattress nor handle 2 bug bombs. BI did nothing to the rooms. Then BI told us that a “pro bug sprayer” was coming. The sprayer & mgr came & I told them I cannot be sprayed. The manager yelled at me. Two other chemically sensitive residents are harassed too.

“I’m the manager & I do what I want when I want & people do what I say.” quote from current BI Manager, Gwen. Two BI managers, including Gwen, have been abusive toward tenants.

I would like the BBB to do whatever it can to make BI accountable.

See urlet.com/doesn.dummy

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