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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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UncategorizedProtesters disrupt landlord from getting on Google bus

Protesters disrupt landlord from getting on Google bus

Evan Wolkenstein, far left, and Claudia Tirado, second from right, are fighting their eviction from 812 Guerrero St. Dec. 16, 2014. Photo by Sara Bloomberg
Evan Wolkenstein, far left, and Claudia Tirado, second from right, are fighting their eviction from 812 Guerrero St. Dec. 16, 2014. Photo by Sara Bloomberg

By Sara Bloomberg

DECEMBER 16, 2014 — Sometimes he drives to work, but this morning Jack Halprin decided to take a private shuttle to his office at Google.

Housing advocates were awaiting him.

Shortly before 7 am, around a dozen protesters blocked a tech shuttle from leaving its stop at 18th and Dolores streets when someone in the group started yelling, “He’s walking down Guerrero!”

Maybe Halprin thought he could sneak by the loud group—and their signs denouncing him—unnoticed. But no such luck.

Halprin, a lawyer for Google, is using the Ellis Act to evict the remaining tenants at 812 Guerrero St., a seven unit building tucked between the bustling Valencia commercial corridor and Dolores Park.

And the question on everyone’s minds since he served the eviction notice last February is: Why does he need a seven unit building all to himself?

After his failed attempt to board the bus, protesters followed Halprin up Dolores Street and over to 812 Guerrero, where he already lives in one of the units. A previous tenant was evicted under the pretense that Halprin’s now-former domestic partner would be moving in, too.

His partner never moved in and Halprin is being sued by the former tenant.

With Halprin holed up in his apartment, protesters continued to chant and rally outside on the steps.

“Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more,” they chanted.

Decades of inaction from the city has contributed to the housing crisis but tech tax breaks along mid-Market and a lack of new housing development around Silicon Valley, where many tech companies are based, has exacerbated the problem in San Francisco.

Longtime San Francisco resident David Feinstein echoed the frustration with this climate.

“I don’t think Mayor Lee is doing anything. He’s not talking to the tenants, or talking to the building owners. You know? Nothing’s being done,” Feinstein said. “It just keeps happening. And it’s not just a matter of getting rid of people–where are they going to go? There are no solutions.”

As tech companies try to one-up each other (and themselves) by throwing lavish staff holiday parties, the sector is increasingly making itself seem out of touch.

“You don’t want to party with us. You don’t want to ride the bus with us. You don’t want to live with us,” Claudia Tirado, one of Halprin’s tenants, said.

Tirado is a public school teacher and lives in one of the units with her boyfriend and their three-year-old son. They are facing eviction.

Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight, and while most people are familiar with it as the Jewish “Festival of Lights,” the narrative is more than just a myth about one day’s worth of lamp oil lasting for eight.

The story involves a Hebrew clan, the Maccabees, that successfully fought off the much larger Persian army. The temple was destroyed, a miniscule bit of lamp oil was found in the ruins that lasted over a week and now we have dreidles, chocolate gelt and latkes…

For Evan Wolkenstein, a local teacher and a tenant of 812 Guerrero for 10 years, the arrival of the holiday is particularly salient.

“I see that as a holiday about fighting oppression through standing up and fighting back.” Wolkenstein said. “When I light candles tonight, it’ll be about my own fight, yes, but I also feel like my own fight should kindle me to be fighting for those who have less power and less voice than I do.”

Protesters left the property around 7:30 am. Halprin didn’t come out to address the crowd.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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100 COMMENTS

  1. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 70373 more Infos: 48hills.org/2014/12/16/protesters-disrupt-landlord-getting-google-bus/ […]

  2. Sent To Milk Club:
    Did you know that you are associated with a major funder and activist in the right wing war on the LGBT Community? Right under your nose. So, here are a few organizations this person holds leadership roles in: The Gathering (can you say National Christian Foundation? Hobby Lobby?), Hume Lake Christian Camp (conversion therapy anyone?), Biola University (Biola Queer Underground) Oh, and did you know this man’s company gave a lot of money to a Christian Coalition Candidate in Lake Forest, CA. ? Seriously, does anyone at the Milk Club vet people and companies like this before accepting their donations and support? OK, a clue for you all: Trumark Urban (subsid of Trumark Companies) CEO Michael Maples. Check it yourself.

  3. I want to thank Lane for offering us her wisdom.
    “Also spelled coppish, kabish, capeesh, etc.”
    “Also, capiche, capisce”;
    however incomplete her contribution was.

    Now, what were we trying to talk about and understand? Oh – maybe it was “where is the Colbert of the MIddle”?

  4. It’s “capisce,” SFrentier; not “kapish.” You should get off the internet and try reading a book sometime.

  5. Elizabeth, you can take your homophobic remarks and go back to Ohio. We DON’T need you and your hate in SF. You have crossed a line

  6. shame the prick in all the castro gay bars. boicott casual sex with the jack! shame him off of grinder too! don’t take his money! if he can’t get laid, he might just hit the road!

  7. Nice to see you here, Erika. Your books are beautiful. Really funny, too.

    BTW, mean bastards have always been around SF. It’s just that now there’s more human bodies for them to eat.

  8. Yo Mox, I’m sure mark would have no problem with those tenants renting forever AS LONG AS THEY PAY FUCKING MARKET RENTS, and not get subsidized by a private citizen. Kapish?

  9. Wait. Think. Breathe.

    Now try again to make your point — without all the invective.

    Can’t be done? Oh, ok. Then just keep flushing.

  10. WOW, name calling, huh? Well, nothing I can do about your attitude, but fact remains, whether you rent, or whether you buy, you MUST PAY for the space you occupy. That said, ‘Medalist’s’ posting did the math for you, it would have been VERY possible for the existing 7 tenants to buy it TIC. They obvious chose not to, my guess is they want to keep paying pennies to some poor schmuck instead of taking on the responsibility of ownership themselves. You cant have it both ways, security of ownership, or no responsibility.

  11. You sound like an insensitive creep Mark. Some people can’t afford to buy. Some people rent! You are a prime example of why the “facelift” is not for the greater good. You are an arrogant elitist!

  12. 510 is becoming way too expensive for people who don’t want to work. Even Stockton is going up up up! I have popcorn though.

  13. LessonLearned, more generally I’d exclude any public sector or non-profit worker. They won’t earn enough to ever want to move on and are more likely to have politics that are not respectful of free enterprise.

    I also don’t rent to lawyers and naturally not to artists or activists.

    The best people to rent to are young professionals who are upwardly mobile and want more from life than desperately clinging to some rent controlled unit.

    Students are OK, ironically, because they turnover fairly rapidly. And illegals too, because they do not assert their rights.

    But best of all are short-term lets to tourists, academic visitors, corporate lets, preferably foreign. I’m pretty much done with renting permanently as it is too much risk and hassle.

  14. It’s more than that, Mark. Not only does Greg seem unhappy about the city, but he is even more unhappy about this nation. He often speaks in glowing terms about countries like Venezuela and Cuba, and yet expresses no interest in moving to either.

    What makes it more strange is that Greg emigrated to the US from a much more socialist country. Now that may have been when he was a child and not his decision. But I suspect that his homeland and place of birth would take him back if he applied.

    It’s almost as if Greg is a troll of all America. He hates America but would rather stay here and whine about it than do something to change his situation. It makes far more sense to change yourself and your situation than try and change a nation.

    Ironic that he is quick to call others trolls when he spends much of his time trolling what most Americans hold dear, including ironically the ability to whine.

  15. I agree the city is changing, but it’s always been changing. It’ll be a long time before its a Palo Alto or los gatos though. There is still RC, there are still many alternative thinking people who brought homes here, there are still families passing down homes and assets, there are still many new comers and foreigners popping in. I’m still good with it all.

  16. erica is not totally wrong. The City IS changing. And not all the changes are positive. Carmel? Monterey?? In just a short while Oaktown will be more like SF than you’d think. Don’t know what to make of it all. But freezing in tenants at rents less than the cost of living? One can only guess THAT doesn’t end well.

    Enjoy it while you can, kitten. Renting on 946 will only delay the inevitable.

    I understand you can get a house in Detroit for $50. ???

  17. Greg, It sounds like you’d be happier living at Burning Man. Why do you live in SF if you hate the new population moving in? Why not move near more like minded people? Are you making a statement by staying in a city which obviously makes you angry? YOUR mind set is actually the one that baffles me. What do happiness in life do you derive from being so angry, and trying to make others as angry. Face it, your type of anger is getting to be a bore, and we are not amused

  18. It’s strange to realize that the self-imposed misery that many people like Erika wallow in could be eradicated immediately if they simply regarded the Bay Area as their city rather than an arbitrary city boundary.

    And of course Oakland is a quicker commute to downtown SF than many places out in the southern and western reaches of SF.

    Erika wants something that she cannot afford and so demands that others subsidize her so that she can have a lifestyle that her economic skills are inadequate to give here. The rest of us have to work for it even if we’d rather be an “artist”.

  19. Greg, there were 20 people at that “protest” That means that about 849,980 people did not protest.

    You can always find a few dozen people in SF to oppose anything but I have seen no evidence that most people think that a property owner should be eternally condemned to live with his tenants if he no longer wishes to.

    Ellis exists for sound ethical constitutional purpose, and a month-to-month lease does not and should not guarantee you a lifetime estate.

  20. Law or not, he’s being a dick. We’re going to see more and more of these kinds of protests because people are fed up.

    The problem here is the guy is a sociopath. Well, OK. You can’t cure that, and it’s not illegal. But there’s no talking to people like that. The only thing they understand is if you make their lives unpleasant just like they’re making other people’s lives unpleasant. Hopefully protests like this will make future sociopaths like him think twice. They won’t be thinking from a standpoint of empathy -people like him aren’t capable of that. But they might think along the lines of…. Hmmm, on the one hand I like the idea of telling my tech bros that I live in the hip Mission district, but maybe I’d be happier buying a nice SFH on the Peninsula with a nice high fence.

  21. It can be “regulated”, dickwad, and not be a failed, counter productive social engineered takings from private property owners (aka rent control.) Kapish?

  22. Erika, what a shame the world doesnt operate as YOU think it should. Evolve or die, and that’s what’s happened to SF’ers that havent evolved. San Francisco has ALWAYS been known as a constantly changing city….and thank goodness, otherwise we would all be living in caves

  23. it’s an EXTREMELY BAD idea NOT to complete an estoppel when your building is being sold. The new owner claims he bought in good faith, and the tenant has nothing to say about it since the estoppel wasn’t completed. They had a chance and didnt take it, so they stand there like a dope. Tenants advocates often give poor advice, usually just their opinion about how the world should work in their eyes. Not the case when you get down to the law. These groups often do more harm to a tenant by trying to use them for publicity. Look at the poor Lee family, they were told NOT to take the buy-out, and then were paraded all over as the poor poor tenants. When the eviction did go through, they were paid a small percentage of what they were offered.

  24. “sams” are everywhere here, and unashamed and cruel. this city is dying. although others tell me it’s already dead dead dead. this all breaks my heart. all this cruelty and for WHAT? more crap? so it’s culturally dead and old like monterey or carmel? cripes. this isn’t my town anymore. all the artists are gone, anyhow.

    only “sams: are left everywhere in san francisco. smug, cruel. lonely. for how can anyone cuddle up to a “sam”? ever? this is why money and stuff and POWER are so sacred to them. that’s all they’ve got to keep them “warm.”

    best of luck to you artists left here. or those with the hearts of artists. who loved and enjoyed this city and actually LOOKED UP for a change, and at each other…

    …us people with REAL NAMES.

    –erika lopez

  25. That’s all true but unless their lease requires they complete estoppels, then they have no impetus to deliver one to the sale agent. Also, just because you weren’t disabled at the time of sale doesn’t mean you can’t be 2 years later.

    True it is a racket, which is to my point – these are school teachers who are either disabled, or untruthfully claiming to be. It would be interesting to know the details on their status.

  26. most tenants find out the hard way that buy-out money is tax deductible for the landlord, and the tenant will get a 1099 at the end of the year. Yes, they must pay taxes on that income. A few months ago I was shook down by a tenant who destroyed my apt and his free lawyer, so I paid cash for keys to make it simpler. I gave him his check, he got on his bicycle and rode off only to get hit by a car. After two months his new landlord is evicting for the same reasons I did. I hope he still feels like a 24 hour millionaire when he gets his 1099, I guess Ill have to send it to his work

  27. obviously the current tenants werent interested in assuming the responsibility of property ownership. Repairs, taxes and ridiculous restrictions are too much for tenants to deal with, but if they have artificially low rent and no responsibilities then they will want to stay for life. Landlords are NOT your parents, if you dont want responsibility, then you dont get the security property ownership offers.

  28. Yes, offer a payout at the start to keep things clean and simple. But if the tenants refuse the payoff then offer them nothing. Spend the money on a lawyer instead and make sure you get a judgement for any and all unpaid back rent.

    A payoff is a one-time deal. Take it or leave it.

  29. It is precisely because the courts, politicians and the voters think that it is ridiculous that the Ellis Act was passed. It allows a property owner relief from being forced against their will to be in a business they no longer wish to be in.

  30. When Halprin bought the building then there would have been tenant estoppels. One question asks about disability. If the tenants do not indicate any alleged disability at that time, then they are estopped from claiming it later.

    So I would guess that they claimed to be disabled at that time, regardless of whether there is any truth to that, or perhaps have subsequently become disabled.

    There is a racket around tenants complaining disability to get longer notice periods and immunity from OMI evictions, just like there is a scam with people abusing disabled stickers to get free parking

  31. No, chris, Ellis is not a circumvention of rent control but rather a compensation for it. Ellis allows for a “safety valve” so that if the burden of being compelled to rent a building at very low rents become excessive, the owner can get out of that burden without having to give up his property.

    That is an important constitutional right. The purpose of the constitution is to stop governments going too far.

  32. Then protest in Sacramento, because it is a state law.

    Halprin is fully compliant with the laws that the voters approved. He’s the wrong target, and if he didn’t work for Google, nobody would be protesting.

    War on tech.

  33. A tenant who has had a long stay with a cheap rent ought to feel grateful for their good fortune and not push their luck.

    By acting like a princess, Tirado is killing any chance that Halprin might change his mind. Who would want here in his house after this?

  34. The Ellis Act is a means to circumvent rent control—that is why it was passed by the State legislature 15-20 years ago by politicians bought and paid for by the rental property owner lobby

    Rental property ownership is a regulated business like any other business in SF…ie, restaurants, shops, stores, etc….rent control is part and parcel of rental property ownership in SF and a dozen other cities along with 150 mobile home parks statewide…without rent control in SF, tens of thousands of renters would be displaced overnight…rent control is the largest single affordable housing public policy program in SF…thank goodness!

  35. I wonder how Evan and Claudia qualified for their disabled status. Since they did not move out within the statutory 60 days, they must have made a disabled claim to stay for a year. Would these disabilities also inhibit their ability to teach?

  36. buildings built after 1979 not 1975 btw. Also, you’re a bit naive if you think planning will give you demo permits on a livable rent controlled structure. Very hard to do. What did he buy if for like 1.4m? If the tenant’s got together $200k each they could have bought the building. For each unit a mortgage on a 5-7 year arm TIC loan would only be around $1400/mo. Probably not much more or cheaper that their rents.

  37. Why do so many long-term San Francisco tenants believe that they can force a private property owner to continue to be their landlord? Was there a politician who made such a promise? Does the SF Tenants’ Union make such a claim?

    Sorry, it just seems so ridiculous to me.

  38. The Maccabees were actually extremists who viewed all other Jews as heathens and apostates. So the protestors are in good company in admiring their actions. Oh and BTW – there’s no defense against an Ellis eviction either. Evan and Claudia are on their way out.

  39. I dont think he would have offered them anything. the only reason to offer a buy out is to keep the ellis off the title and lowering the property value, but since he is putting it back to one house, who cares?? a buyout would be generous, but not needed in this case. buy outs are nothing more then extortion, at least Al Capone used a gun

  40. Stupefying old Sam. The longer a tenant stays, the guiltier of some unnamed crime he becomes simply for continuing to pay the rent. The responsible tenant soon becomes the landlord’s “punishment.” That’s some gratitude from the parasite class!

  41. I’ve seen no evidence that he intended to evict when he bought the place. There is nothing on file that indicates that.

    I suspect his experience is that that many property owners have in SF. He buys intending to be a good landlord but then avaricious entitled tenants wear him down and eventually he decides that the entire enterprise is not worth the hassle.

    Regardless, he is fully within his rights to do this. Why instead do you not consider the real reason why owners Ellis? Rent control. Ellis evictions never happen where there is no rent control. So if you never want to be Ellis’ed, that is really easy to achieve – dont give your landlord a life sentence where you are the punishment

  42. No, a protest would be directed at a legitimate target. Halprin is acting fully within the law. If you dont like the law then you should be protesting the politicians in Sac.

    Harassing a private individual is very close to stalking and if it were me I would file a TRO against all those protesters. Gullicksen used to collect those all the time and he complied with them

  43. Saying its stalking and intimidation is exactly what oppressed regimes call a protest, in order to silence dissent. Perhaps if he didn’t lie about his partner moving in (which was clearly a ruse), and engaged in an actual dialogue, which he has not, there would be no dissent?

  44. Re-renting after an Ellis is already illegal so that isn’t the issue here.

    Halprin has given no indication he wants to have more tenants. My guess is that he’d like to create one bigger home out of a number of poorly-maintained units that themselves were previously carved out of an original SFH. In which case this would be a sound conservationist move, to re-create what once was.

    Another French revolution? You’re very funny.

  45. The facelift you are referred to, is a way to remove rent controlled buildings from the market and thereby making it impossible for anyone in the middle class to be able to afford to live in San Francisco while working in either a nonprofit or as a teacher. If a building is built before 1975 it’s under rent control regardless of how it was remodeled. Just because it was cut up into smaller rental units doesn’t mean there’s a God-given right to put it back that way by the owner and circumvent rent control law.If indeed he is getting out of the rental market and going to make it into one house to 11, that is more in the spirit of the Act, and the tenants don’t have much of a choice. The problem is that many are using the Ellis Act as a way to circumvent the law they intend either rent out the higher rate or tear down the building and build units that do not come under rent control. You have a very privileged viewpoint, assuming that the tenants had the capital to buy the building themselves. If they had done a tenants-in-common, they might’ve–but the reality is if you want your teachers, your local café owners, and other people that choose to do good in the world working for charities, where are they going to live? Are you expecting them at a reduced salary to commute in from several miles away? wise economics suggest a diverse populace and hearty middle-class living together thrives a lot more than a city filled with very wealthy people and the very poor only. If you want to spur on another French Revolution, your attitude is right in line with that.

  46. Tirado isn’t exactly doing a great job of convincing Halprin that she is a model tenant that he would not want to lose. She is actually making this easy for him by acting like a jackass (no pun intended).

    Sara asks why does Jack need a 7-unit building all to himself? I ask what business is it of you or anyone else why he wants an empty building? Maybe having meddlesome pests like Tirado in the same building irks him so much that he would rather do without all those rents than deal with her entitlement and whining?

  47. The Maccabees revolted against the Seleucid empire, i.e. Greeks/Macedonians, not Persians (although the empire contained most of historic Persia, conquered by Alexander the Great).

    The Persians, on the other hand, are the only nation in history to have actually rescued the Jewish people, instead of enslaving or oppressing them, by destroying Babylon and letting them resettle back in Israel (though not all availed themselves of the option).

    As for Jack Halprin, what you are describing is not a protest, it is stalking and intimidation by a mob, not something to be praised.

  48. I dont understand. The building was for sale, on the open market, in 2012. It was once a great house, and then cut up during the war. If the long time residents wanted to stay there, they could have bought it then. I looked at it too, putting it back to one house was the obvious decision given the deferred maintenance and poor cut up job that turned it into the mess it is today. I think the city is getting a much needed face lift and actually welcome the changes. you all sound like such cry babies, and btw, thanks for the lesson in jewish history

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