E-Alerts & Press Releases

Rally at City Hall to End Dumping Tenants' Belongings in Street

Public Justice Center E-Alert Friends: The Rental Housing Coalition , a coalition of tenant and community activists organized by the Public Justice Center, has been hard at work taking the fight for tenant’s rights and clean streets to the Baltimore City Council. Now, after working with the mayor’s office over the last several weeks, the RHC is ready to have introduced a bill that will: 1) give notice to the tenant household of what day their eviction will occur; 2) require a 3-day storage period cost-free to the tenant household so they can retrieve their things after the eviction; and 3) prohibit landlords from dumping people’s belongings on the street, instead requiring landlords to take the belongings directly to the public dump after the storage period. We call this bill the city “Clean Streets” bill, and it will be introduced by Councilman Kenneth Harris with the strong backing of Mayor Sheila Dixon on Monday, May 7th. Want to see what we are talking about? Click on the following link to see RHC’s video, “Cleaning Up Maryland’s Eviction Mess” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhbvds3_erw It is worth taking a moment to recognize that this is quite possibly the biggest affirmative policy breakthrough tenants and their allies have seen in years. In order to see this through and make sure the train doesn't get derailed, TENANTS AND THEIR ALLIES will need to be active throughout the next several months. While a small cadre of advocates have already made the rounds with council members and the Dixon administration, we know the landlords have already started to make calls and visits, bringing their viewpoint and campaign contributions to bear. THIS NEEDS TO BE COUNTERED BY THE POWER OF NUMBERS – THE POWER OF YOU. Let us commit to pushing this through for the sake of people like Thomas and his wife, who after he was hospitalized for a month, and after she had to stay home from work to take care of the children, couldn't keep up with rent payments, and whose stuff was thrown on the street. While they were taking their things to safe keeping in their vehicle, various other belongings that couldn't fit in their first car load, including valuable items such as their a/c units and a motorized scooter, were taken - they believe by the very workmen who had just thrown these things out. Attached you will find a flyer announcing our bill introduction event, which will take place at city hall on Monday, May 7, at 4:00. While we hope most people will make it in time to attend our press conference, you can still show your support by attending the council session starting around 5:00. We hope to see you there, with as many people as you can bring with you!

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