All around the country people have experienced violent attacks as the worst among us use the incipient Trump Presidency as a license to indulge in bigotry and hate. Many of the undocumented residents that SAJE works with have become fearful and anxious about the possibility of deportation.
In the last 24 hours alone, a tenant who has worked hard to assert their rights in the face of an aggressive landlord was talking to the building manager when they told her, “If it were me, I would have called immigration on you already.” Now residents must live in fear as they realize that the landlord may soon feel the same way if he feels threatened by the tenants, who are meeting regularly to learn and organize themselves to act as a collective unit.
At another building, an older couple is considering packing up and leaving because they are not permanent residents and “don’t want any trouble”. These tenants, regardless of their status, have the same protected rights as any other tenant in the state. However, over the last few weeks their landlord has tried to enforce illegal rent increases on tenants by adding new utility bills, which breaches the tenant-landlord contract. The landlord recently posted three-day eviction notices to residents who refuse to pay, which is also illegal.
These types of threats aren’t due solely to a Trump Presidency, but they are increasing as landlords feel emboldened by Trump’s rhetoric and insults. Los Angeles is a sanctuary city and to maintain that tradition we can not let bigotry, discrimination, and fear mongering impact the lives of Angelenos. Children should be able to grow up in peace, without the fear that a family member might be taken away any day. LA has been, and should continue to be, an example of a city that protects all people’s human rights.
In this new climate, tenants don’t feel safe in the country where they live and work and now they can’t feel safe within their own homes. SAJE will continue to help residents build power and will stand with them as they face greedy, lazy, power abusing landlords who feel they have a free pass in this current political landscape.