By Tim Redmond
OCTOBER 14, 2014 — The day just gets worse.
I spent much of the afternoon taking press calls and talking about the tragedy of the Bay Guardian, and it wasn’t until about 3pm that I got a text telling me Ted Gullicksen was dead.
Damn. Two old friends in one day. I feel as if there’s been some sort of great rend in the fabric of this city.
Ted devoted much of his adult life to helping tenants in San Francisco. He was a kind and gentle person, but had the activist fire – and with his leadership and help over the years we passed legislation, blocked legislation, won battles, and made life better for tens of thousands of renters.
There are a whole lot of people who are still in their apartments today, at a rent they can afford, because of the efforts of Ted Gullicksen.
I don’t know any details except that he was found dead in his bed this morning (and that Sara Shortt is taking care of his beloved dog Falcor). He was only 61. And he was working actively on the Yes on G campaign up until the last day of his life.
Brian Basinger posted a wonderful note on Facebook:
I look around and am thankful for the remarkable leadership that has erupted in the tenants rights world. Our movement has grown tremendously and we are stronger now than ever. Principled, powerful people are emerging to bolster and expand the impact of our collective work.
Look around at all of the growth. We finally have the first statewide tenants organization doing amazing work under the leadership of Dean Preston. San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition, Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, andEviction Free San Francisco are doing amazing work shaping the public dialogue around housing rights, thanks to the great work of Jennifer Fieber, Erin MC EL, and Fred Sherburn-Zimmer. This fresh new energy has at least doubled the capacity of our movement in recent years.
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco is stronger than ever with more paid staff doing incredible organizing under the capable leadership of Tommi Avicolli Mecca and Sara Shortt. Eviction Defense Collaborative is thriving under the leadership of Tyler MacMillan. The Homeless Emergency Services Providers Association and Coalition on Homelessness are making remarkable gains under the leadership of Jennifer Friedenbach. The Harvey Milk Club is kicking butt and taking names and is once again one of the most trusted and progressive powerhouses in the City, with Tom Temprano, Lee Hepner, Peter Gallotta. Laura Thomas, Stephany Joy Ashley and so many more.
Causa Justa: Just Cause and SF Rising with Mario Yedidia are doing the critical organizing work that we’ve always dreamed of.
When Miguel Wooding passed away a few years ago, I did not know how we were going to carry on without his guidance, intellect, experience, charm and the many wonderful and unique qualities he possessed. But you know what, we did carry on. We continued to fight. We continued to win. And we are stronger than ever.
And that’s the point of investing in movements. Empires crumble, but movements are unstoppable.
We are more powerful than ever. When we fight, we win!
Many of the people he talks about learned about tenant and housing rights from Ted. This is part of his legacy, something we all can celebrate.