Oakland housing activist arrested during protest over residential eviction protections

OAKLAND (CBS SF/BCN) – The Alameda County Sheriff arrested a housing activist Tuesday as her group staged a demonstration in the Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ chambers to demand basic eviction protections for residential tenants in the unincorporated parts of the county. 

The sit-in by Moms 4 Housing, which advocates for housing as a human right, started Tuesday afternoon at the County Administration Building in Oakland. 

Moms 4 Housing members and supporters were planning to demonstrate in the board chambers there for 60 hours for the 60,000 tenants in the county. But following the arrest of member Dominique Walker, the group went to Santa Rita Jail to get her out. 

Walker was cited for trespassing and two others were cited and released at the scene, a sheriff’s spokesperson said Wednesday morning. 

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday was going to set a time to consider modifying a residential COVID-19 eviction moratorium. If the moratorium ends, tenants in unincorporated parts of the county will have no basic protections from eviction.

Moms 4 Housing knows the moratorium will be rolled back and wants other protections in place. 

That moratorium has been in place since June 30, 2020. Since that time, property owners from all the supervisorial districts have said the moratorium has been a hardship for them. 

Supervisor David Haubert wrote a letter to the board to place the item on a future agenda. Haubert wasn’t immediately available to comment early Wednesday morning. 

He said in the letter that the supervisors represent “all” county constituents. 

The state ended its eviction moratorium in September 2021. 

Walker was released late Tuesday night, a spokesperson for the Moms 4 Housing group said Wednesday morning.

Moms 4 Housing wants basic protections in the unincorporated part of the county, similar to what Oakland and Berkeley have. Moms 4 Housing wants just cause protections, which means property owners must have a reason to evict a tenant.

The group also supports a fair chance ordinance, which prevents property owners from discriminating against formerly incarcerated people.

The supervisors will consider those two protections along with a rental registry in two weeks. 

Supervisors already voted once to enact all three protections, but Moms 4 Housing fears the board won’t have enough votes to pass it a second and final time with new Supervisor Lena Tam on the board.

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