Stepping Outside The Archive/History role for a minute
Please do what you can – it’s personal, so you may feel a bit differently. Click on the link below:
Hey everybody. I have been a little absent from fresh posts on the site the past few weeks because I was caught up in a terrible situation which was too scary and painful to talk about publicly. Last December, just before Christmas, we were handed a three-day eviction notice from our landlord. We’ve lived in this apartment for over 40 years – partly because we love the place – partly because we love the Westside and partly because we were in a rent-controlled building. The landlords, a recent entry on to the scene since the amazing woman who owned our building had passed away and the family sold this and six other buildings she owned, saw this place as an opportunity to turn the apartment over (as they are currently doing to the others) and rent for an astronomical sum, which this (and most other apartments of our age and vintage) are not worth.
As you all know by now – especially if you live in L.A. or even in the U.S., there is a widespread trend towards eviction, some for no reason, most because “they can” and they feel like it. The component here is greed. Many of those people at fault, people who are I know, feel perfectly justified in this action because they feel it is within their rights to do that – the prevailing thought is that “I own this place, I can do what I damn-well please” forgets there are human beings involved. To callously disregard another human being for financial gratification or as a “purely business decision” sidesteps your moral obligation to be “your brothers keeper”. It is not a side of humanity I wish to be around, and it speaks to a larger and deeper personal sadness those individuals feel.
But all that said, we have been fighting this eviction and it finally arrived at a Jury trial in court this past week. After numerous attempts at “cutting a deal” – for ludicrously small compensation “for our inconvenience”, on the parts of the landlord and even the judge, we took it all the way to the end. Terrified over the prospects of having to move a home of 40 years out in three days, with the notion of personal belongings out on the sidewalk burned into our heads. But we knew we were morally right and they were morally wrong. And in the end, the jury voted UNAMINOUSLY in our favor. We won the case and as of today, it’s behind us. Of course, we now have all the expenses to deal with and a trial, complete with jury is no cheap matter (contrary to what you see on COURT TV, all those trials cost money and, even if you win, there are expenses). We have set up a Gofundme page days to help us by chipping in if you can, whatever you can. But I want to let you know that, if you are going through the same thing (as many of my friends are) you can and must fight this thing – juries are sympathetic because it can happen to any of us at any time, but it is especially happening to us now, in this time of grave uncertainty and pain. All I can tell you is to stay strong and speak the truth and don’t let ANYONE BULLY YOU. A lot of you I don’t personally know – a lot of you I know very well – some of you I am related to. I want you all to know how much I appreciate, enjoy and treasure your presence. I am still here – I am still standing – my shoulders are less burdened by crushing weight. And for that I am truly grateful. A big hug to you all.