October 12, 2010

Topic: Human Right to Housing


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Press conference at 8:00 am

Arraignment at 8:30 am

Participant organizations and advisory: LA Humanr Right To Housing Advisory

WHERE: Los Angeles Superior Court-Central Arraignment Court; 429 Bauchet Street, LA, 90012

WHAT: Tenants denounce use of police force and arrests in response to peaceful protests of Council’s last-minute decision to kill a much-needed rent increase moratorium. On May 21, 2010 three people were arrested in Council Chambers – one of whom, Steve Richardson, is being arraigned on October 13th. Community-based organizations reflecting a multi-cultural Los Angeles will gather at LA Superior Court to support Mr. Richardson, who was simply exercising his right to participate in the public process.  We will also be present in solidarity with all human rights defenders recently targeted by the City Attorney.  Lastly, the Right to Housing Collective will again underscore the rampant human rights violations that exist in LA and the need for urgent housing reforms.  We believe in our right to organize and participate in public processes to achieve the right to housing and stand firm against all efforts to criminalize active members in our struggle and related struggles.

Additionally, twenty four protesters face criminal charges for standing in solidarity with immigrant communities against Arizona’s SB1070 and to protest against the opportunistic politicians and corporations seeking to gain from the criminalization of immigrants and communities of color. Protesters facing jail time for protests against Arizona’s SB1070 and in support of the Dream Act say they will not be silenced by the threat of imprisonment and oppose the criminalization of resistance in Los Angeles.

WHY: Almost 60% of tenants in Los Angeles are rent burdened and about one-third are severely rent-burdened, paying more than 50% of their income in rent.  Rents also have continued to increase over the past three years of economic crisis.  Yet the City refused last May to take action to assist low and moderate income tenants facing the worst economic conditions of their lifetimes, and Council members still haven’t taken any action to reform the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.  LA’s housing crisis remains among the worst in the country and has received international attention as well.

Following the United Nations first official mission in the United States to investigate for human rights violations last year, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing Raquel Rolnik had this to say about Los Angeles:    “…housing rights violations in a country that is one of the richest and wealthiest countries in the world, which has been a model of economic social organization and had exported this model for the world.  It’s very important…..to show who is in and who is out of this model, who is part of it and who is excluded.”

WHO: Los Angeles Human Right to Housing Collective is a coalition of organizations from across the City of Los Angeles.  Our members consist of tenants, homeowners, immigrants, low income families, small business owners, seniors and youth from East LA, Downtown, South Central, Venice, Koreatown, Pico Union, and beyond.  Member organizations include Union de Vecinos, LA CAN, POWER, Inquilinos Unidos, ¡Comunidad Presente!, Coalition LA, SAJE, South Asian Network and others.  We believe that affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary housing builds stable communities and should be accessible to everyone.