James Vann 
Member since Jun 23, 2010


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Recent Comments

Re: “Oakland Landlord Evicts Tenant, Then Hangs Pro-Trump Billboard on Building

It is unfortunate that such much misinformation gets spread so quickly. instead of seeking out what is truth and what exists that might be helpful.
1. Although Oakland's rent laws are weak they still provide certain protection for tenants against owner abuse, and should be asked about and utilized (Oakland Rent Program (510) 238-3521)..
2. It seems that Mr ALkebulan's unit is a "covered unit", and what the owner is attempting is illegal. The city provides no-coast legal service for these types of issues through East Bay Community Law Center (510-548-4040)..
3. As long as Mr ALkebulan pays the rent and abides by the terms of rent agreement, he has in effect established a "permanent right of occupancy.
An owner cannot just remove a rental unit. There are specific requirement that must be met.
4. The rent law is "silent" on whether a unit is legal or code compliant -- all units where rent is collected are covered units. An owner may be required to make health & safety repairs, and it is only the code inspector who determined if required work will cause "temporary" relocation. If so , the owner must pay the tenants relocation expense -- which would be appx $12,000.
5. The worst comment on the page is the one above which states that "all residents pay for the cost of rent control." To which I will only reply that without even Oakland's' weak rent protections, unmitigated landlord greed would have long assured that no working class household's would currently be able to reside in Oakland.

Continue to stand firm Mr ALkebulan !!.

Posted by James Vann on 11/23/2017 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Can Oakland Protect Chinatown and Eastlake?

Gary Patton does an exceptional job of precisely describing the fate of Chinatown and Eastlake neighborhoods in the event a baseball stadium is installed at Laney College as proposed by the Oakland A's. If the Peralta Trustees give a green light to the proposal, the existing peaceful and affordable neighborhoods will disappear almost overnight. QUESTION: Where does a current Oakland resident who is forceably displaced get a replacement apartment ? You're right ... far away from Oakland ! One look at a stadium superimposed on the Peralta site exposes the real motive of the A's and their deep-pocketed investors. The present site is too small. The true objective of the A's and their investors is the land occupied by Chinatown & Eastlake, Laney College, Dewey Continuation School, La Escuelita Elementary, and the OUSD administration. The A's and their investors envision a mega-development of shopping malls, multi-level parking structures, office towers, high rises of luxury condominium, boutique shops, fancy restaurants, and night life entertainment. The bottom line here is not the A's -- they will sell out to new owners and be gone within 5 years -- Neither the A's or their investors will shed one tear of concern for the city of Oakland or its people -- THEIR OBJECTIVE IS MONEY, LOTS OF IT !! And they will "play" Peralta and the City like chumps to get to their ultimate goal.

Posted by James Vann on 11/12/2017 at 4:02 PM

Re: “The Beat Won’t Go On: Chicago Landlord Evicts Coffee With A Beat, Longtime Adams Point Shops

What is happening to small businesses all over the Bay Area is truly deplorable, immoral, unconscionable, and harmful to the quality of life of the neighborhoods these essential businesses serve. It is most regrettable that businesses have no rights in California beyond their initial lease. In the 60's, the City of Berkeley, in an heroic attempt, enacted commercial rent control to "save" a popular College Ave pharmacy/coffeeshop. The state stepped in and voided Berkeley's action proclaiming that commercial rent control is "preempted" by State law. This horrible situation will not change until small commercial owners come together, organize, and bring mass pressure on the legislature to change the existing law.

Posted by James Vann on 03/31/2017 at 9:25 AM

Re: “As People of Color Disappear from Oakland, So Do My Memories

Congratulations, Tigray, for a well-written and well-expressed article on important and urgent issues that screams for adequate attention by Oakland policymakers. There are current voices, like the community assembly of The Oakland Post Salon, Block by Block Organizing Network, and others, that attempt to formulate and pressure Oakland leaders to take action on topics such as those you raise. I hope you will join them.

Posted by James Vann on 12/28/2016 at 11:22 AM

Re: “Updated: Fearing Displacement, Oakland Chinatown Advocates Demand Community Benefits from Developer

Victoria, perhaps if you read my comment more thoroughly, you will observe no criticism of development, per se. You will notice instead that I refer to the new developments as "welcomed." The impact fees you mention (the first application of such fees by the way) are meager and a minor offset for the many negative impacts of development (Berkeley and Emeryville collect $29,000 for each new unit constructed). At the current construction estimate, the $2.3M will produce about 4.5 affordable housing units.

Vincent states the issue much more concretely -- Oakland's overwhelming need is housing that current residents who are being displaced in droves can afford. Not one current resident will be able to afford the new apartments, which developers construct for maximum profit -- as is their right. But since the Feds no longer support housing for the least able, it is the city that carries the responsibility of assuring housing availability for all incomes. As part of the right to negatively impact the city with new construction, it is only equitable that developers must contribute to ameliorating the city's extreme housing need.

Posted by James Vann on 08/03/2016 at 6:13 PM

Re: “Updated: Fearing Displacement, Oakland Chinatown Advocates Demand Community Benefits from Developer

To Dave Campbell, and leaders of Bike East Bay, Asian Health Services, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, and Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

It is extremely discouraging to witness respected community organizations falling prey to the "divide and conquer" tactics so effectively employed by developers whose primary objective is "self-enrichment," not enrichment of the life and culture of existing communities, their residents, and contributions to ameliorate the displacement crisis currently dismantling the Oakland we all love and desperately want to preserve.

Any Oakland organization that ignores the critical need for inclusion of affordable housing among their concerns in relation to the bubble of welcomed new developments is in effect helping to fuel the displacement crisis and destruction of our beautiful city.

Since the City has failed to do its job in making "community benefits agreements" mandatory on all developments, stakeholder organizations must join with community residents who have invested their lives in Oakland, and must unite on a program of demands to developers for the good of the entire neighborhood, not just the self-described individual interests of each various organization. To do otherwise plays directly into the schemes of outside developers, and is a sure recipe for the destruction of Oakland and its memorable neighborhoods.

Posted by James Vann on 08/03/2016 at 12:41 PM

Re: “Tenant Advocates say Oakland Officials Delaying and Obstructing Rent Control Ballot Measure

Thanks to Darwin Bond-Graham for his insightful and timely article, and to Tonya Love for a clear expression of the the city's delay and malfeasance in not scheduling the "Protect Oakland Tenants Initiative" for council consideration to place the measure on the ballot -- since March !! While it is true that the City Attorney acted swiftly upon formal request to reduce the summary to its legal limit, a personal request was informally made to the C.A. a full week before the revision was made. Finally, through a confusing mishmash of legalisms and springing back and forth between committees, we are (seemingly though not clearly) to believe that the measure will finally be considered on June 20 or 21 -- but with this council, who knows !

No similar drawn-out procedure was imposed for the "sugar tax" or the "lease extension" -- measures that appeared at Rules Committee one time, were immediately advanced to the next city council meeting. and were immediately voted onto the ballot. If the comparative treatment of the "rent protection" measure is not obstruction , delay, and obfuscation ... then what in the world is it !!

Posted by James Vann on 06/03/2016 at 7:08 AM

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