Lee family quietly leaves home as activists pledge to push reforms

Gum Gee and Poor Heung Lee outside the Jackson Street home they left last night because of an Ellis Act eviction.
Mike Koozmin/SF Print Media Co.

Members of Lee family quietly moved out of their longtime home in Chinatown last night, a day before their latest scheduled Ellis Act eviction, which had been postponed twice before thanks to headline-grabbing progressive activism that turned away deputies and persuaded the Mayor’s Office to intervene with the landlord.

But this time, the Mayor’s Office has been mum about the case (officials haven’t responded to our requests for comment) after failing to find a solution to the Lees – an elderly couple using Social Security to care their disabled 48-year-old daughter – still unresolved situation. With help from the Asian Law Caucus and Chinatown Community Development Center, the Lees moved their belongings into storage while they are staying in a hotel.

“The family is staying at a hotel in the city for the next few days as they try to finalize on a couple of potential rental units here. They'll be paying over twice the amount that they had been paying for their rent-controlled unit. Their SSI won't be enough to make ends meet, and so they will be spending down their relocation compensation, which may be depleted in the next several months,” Asian Law Caucus attorney Omar Calimbas told us. “Hopefully, the family will be able to find subsidized housing by then, or they will be in a precarious state of affairs again.”

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi told us yesterday that he’s been waiting for word from the Mayor’s Office and hoping to avoid this evicting the family. “We’re duty bound. It’s a court order,” Mirkarimi said of his eviction obligation. "The eviction is on the books, but we've been expecting an alternative plan by the Mayor's Office after he intervened in this case.”

The San Francisco Examiner, which had earlier given splashy credit to Mayor Ed Lee for stalling the Lee family’s eviction – to the irritation of some activists that probably deserve more credit than anyone in the Mayor's Office – had the only journalist on the scene with the Lees last night, but the paper didn’t have any comments or updates from the Mayor’s Office.

Weeks before Mayor’s Lee's headline-grabbing Sept. 25 intervention in the Lee case, Mirkarimi had his Eviction Assistance Unit contact the Lees and try to help them avoid being turned out with no place to go. But in a city where his office performs around 1,000 evictions per year – it executed 998 court-ordered evictions last year -- the single full-time staffer in that office is overwhelmed.

"We need more staff to assist when it gets to this point," Mirkarimi told us. But his budget request last year to add another position to the unit was denied by the Mayor's Office and Board of Supervisors, a request that Mirkarimi renewed in a Sept. 30 letter to Mayor Lee.

“When there is a determination, our EAU attempts to support individuals and families facing eviction, not just Ellis Act evictions, but all evictions. This unit is comprised of one full time deputy sheriff and the partial time of another deputy.  Based on [the current eviction] trend, our EAU staffing is insufficient and ill-equipped to assist qualified individuals and families who may be at risk of becoming homeless,” Mirkarimi wrote. “With renewed focus on the consequences of evictions in San Francisco, I return to our FY 2013-2014 budget request to enhance our EAU with one full time clinical outreach worker.”

Meanwhile, the activists say they won’t wait for the next budget cycle or rely on the Sheriff’s Department for help with imminent evictions. They say that they plan to propose a package of reforms for dealing with the eviction crisis as soon as this week.

"Overall, the several weeks of reprieve from the eviction that were won after an incredible display of community solidarity with the Lees were very important in giving them time to find a temporary fix,” Calimbas told us. “Stay tuned in the next day or so for the next move by a growing coalition of community organizations, housing advocates and labor in pushing for a comprehensive package of legislative reform to curb the outbreak of displacement-based speculation.”

Guardian Staff Writer Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez contributed to this report.



Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:27 pm
Posted by gdlkhfdk on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:44 pm
Posted by Lillipublicans on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 2:15 pm
Posted by jjhfdgu on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

then it's hardly a shock that you have done nothing about it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

i'm an anarchist (which should have been obvious to you by now)

you said:

"Can you cite a nation who practiced socialism correctly in the way that you appear to admire?"

no, because no country has gotten it exactly right

in fact it is not really possible to perfect any form of governance, especially those forms that are hierarchical and inherently therefore prone to toppling

my point is that even in the countries which aspire to socialism but have failed to establish it properly

everyone has a home

so for all its flaws this thing that we mislabel as "socialism" or "communism" is clearly better than what we've got in the US where there are thousands of homeless all over the place and tens of millions with no comprehensive health care

to even raise the comparison is a joke

to your question

there are a lot of countries actually in and around South America which have honed socialism to the point where it is pretty legitimate, identifiable, and successful

the ones that are doing the best, are those which are allowing strong elements of anarchism to be practiced by their people at ground level, such as Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, and Chiapas in Mexico

Posted by kjfdh on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

I just wouldn't want to live in any of them.

Yes, it's hypocritical, but so is Greg who often exhibits the same cognitive dissonance on this subject.

Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

Everywhere there were new elections: for the running of housing, trade, industry and municipal services. Commissars were being appointed to each, men in black leather jerkins, with unlimited powers and an iron will, armed with means of intimidation and revolvers, who shaved little and slept less. They knew the shrinking bourgeois breed, the average holder of cheap governmental stocks, and they spoke to them without the slightest pity and with Mephistophelean smiles, as to petty thieves caught in the act. These were the people who reorganized everything in accordance with the plan, and company after company, enterprise after enterprise, became Bolshevised.

Posted by racer さ on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

And a little bag for the sandwich my mom made for me.

Now, where's the revolution?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

Communist countries tried that, but you didn't learn from their failure

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

FYI: Red-baiting is so outdated.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

Since they routinely take an upside-down view of this nation, even while enjoying the freedom to do that which would be denied to them in most socialist nations.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

the historical countries that this canard refers to were not really communist (which is a grassroots peoples' -not government- formation when it is done properly)

but it is notable that in all of the countries that are criticized for being "communist" everyone has a home

Posted by kjfdh on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

in the way that you appear to admire?

Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

Public ownership of housing has failed in every country it has been tried but racer still hasn't gotten the message.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

it even succeeds in this country where it is undertaken

and no I'm not going cite sources for you

they are all over the internet

look them up yourself

Posted by racer x on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

Is that your premise?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 7:20 am

Oh you mean like the public housing in San Francisco that is not fit for dogs to live in...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

when social benefits are equalized to people of all incomes (as in the case of Medicare) the quality is good because the (wealthy who most influence government policy) have a stake in the quality of the program

so if housing were socialized for everyone

its quality would be good

Posted by kjfdhiu on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 11:55 am

communist period and then get back to me about how they work.

Posted by racer さ on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

Be nice to Lilli, Comrades!

He is the future chairman of the People's Housing Allocation Committee, Sector #327!

Remember, a suitable "gift" may get a square meter or two added to your allocation at the kommunalka!

Posted by racer さ on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

but thanks for fooling yourself into thinking so for so long - it revealed your simplistic world view and inability to delve into discourse deeply (for all to see)

for example, lilli would never have thought up ski ball, it's just not lilli's style of creativity

(meaning no offense lilli)

Posted by kjfdhi on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

"and for the record, racer x was never, lilli"

Of course not!

racer x and lilli are simply two great minds, united in their desire to shut down an obscure political web site.

It's just that great minds think alike!

Posted by racer さ on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:05 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

I am seeking ultimate power of this website by trolling it 24/7 and making it unusable.

Then I will never have to read something I disagree with.

Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

"for example, lilli would never have thought up ski ball, it's just not lilli's style of creativity"

And by "creativity", I actually mean "moronic".

Posted by racer さ on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

a slightly different personality, just to mix things up and foll people.

Which it doesn't of course.

Posted by Lillipublicans on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

You don't have to pay anyone, buy your own. I did and then I bought some more. I made no one pay me to live in any of them, in fact people line up begging to pay me to live them. and now I have 5 million dollars worth of property and don't have to whine, beg and expect others to pay my way.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by racer x on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

you come up with are ever implemented? Anywhere?

Is that all a vast right-wing conspiracy?

Or are your posts here deliberately ridiculous because you are actually trying to discredit progressives by taking their ideas too far?

In fact, I recall now that lilli (which is you, of course) was accused of that a few months back.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

is oh so cool. Does it get you laid? Or do you just force yourself on your supplicants?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

in fact it's the only way they *can* get laid ;)

Posted by racer x on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

I don't need money to get laid, in fact my pyhsical attributes in the past (I'm old now) helped attract some of my money. Even being old, I still get laid all I want cuz in SF, a hung top is KING! But my money does keep me well housed, welll traveled and well fed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 8:08 am

It permeates the underclass here because they think that liberal politics has something to do with being able to legally mug those who are successful.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 8:17 am

True dat.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 8:40 am

and (probably fictional) wealth. How 12 year old of you.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 8:40 am

has nothing to do with it getting laid


Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 10:12 am

has nothing to do with it getting laid


Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 10:13 am

I more than compensate that with the size of my troll posts.

Trolls get laid too, you know?

Posted by The real racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 10:20 am

Actually, I was not bragging, I said 5 million worth, but I own 11,333 sq ft at various locations, so really at a modest 800 per that adds up to 9 million. NOW I"M BRAGGING !

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 8:44 am

But loser failures will always whine.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 9:08 am

For the record, I bought my first house in Portland for 15K in 1976. You have to start somewhere, but if you never start, well…

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 9:09 am

None of it RENT CONTROLED, I would never pay to by property owned by the city of San Francisco, only and idiot would.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 9:49 am

For a start, the long-established Ellis/TIC/flip scenario can yield profits of 100k a unit in just a few months, due to the artificial difference between the value of a unit that is RC and one that is owner-occupied. That's an arbitrage opportunity.

Second, especialyl with more units, you will get some turnover. for every lifer/loser/squatter you typically get 2-3 normal people who actually try and progress with their lives rather than desperately cling to a rancid home just because is it cheap.

Third, you will see capital appreciating, even while you apply straight-line depreciation to offset your net income.

It's still annoying though, I'd agree. As you get older, you probably want to buy in Marin or the Peninsula, where tenants are far better behaved.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 10:00 am


I understand it better now, and I regret and retract some of my earlier comments in the light of this explanation.

Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 10:16 am

lose debates much troll

Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 10:36 am
Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

they only tore up my handle

its pretty hard to stop trolls from doing that

when they are desperate enough that this nuclear option is their only prayer, it's pretty clear who prevailed

and of course i protest

racer x was a cool handle that got trashed by petty people out of spite

that sucks

the trolls goal in life is to make things suck

and it is something to lament

Posted by kjfd on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

Totally immature, and showed everyone that I knew i was losing debates left and right.

Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

which is especially clear when you note the fact that i put them on other people's debates and often on either side of the debate depending on the result that the barrier will achieve

and i'm glad that you still haven't figured out what their actual precise purpose is -

i'll let you keep guessing, and likely (because you are such an idiot) you 'll never figure it out

lucky us ;)

Posted by gdlkh on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

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