Stay Housed, Stay Healthy campaign efforts

[Shout out to Matthew Lang for being such an awesome organizer! And Katie Wilson at TRU!]

“With Mayor Durkan, King County Executive Constantine, and Governor Inslee’s Eviction Moratorium set to end 3/31, we must come together to ensure we do not lose home.”

Join us Tuesday, May 11 at 6PM for a virtual rally in support of King County renter protections. King County Council will soon (5/12) discuss proposed legislation. We must ensure it stays strong with no loopholes! https://www.facebook.com/events/300481274880430

Myself and many others sent personal emails to King County Council, urging Councilmembers to stand by proposed renter protections. Here was mine:

King County Councilmembers,

I’m Kelsey Hamlin, a District 8 resident… member of Share The Cities, Washington for Black Lives… 

I want to express support for transformative renter protections. Namely, Councilmembers Girmay Zahilay’s and Jeanne Kohl-Welles’ proposal around Just Cause Eviction for Unincorporated King County.

Single women, children, and seniors need protections as renters at the whims of bad-faith landlords. This was true before the pandemic, but is certainly irrefutable now. The expiration of eviction moratoriums will bring an additional slew of eviction filings—which regardless still happen during the moratorium, as virtual attendance in many eviction court hearings has shown. I’ve seen firsthand the ways landlords harass and belittle tenants—over money or not.

My mom back home in rural Washington has lived precariously for years in a trailer home on her own mother’s property because she has no place else to go. She’s a nearly-60-year-old working woman and still can’t afford rent anywhere else in the valley. Because of this, she is forced to remain living where she grew up sexually abused, and where she continues to receive harassment as a renter on the property. She’s been threatened with eviction before—by her own mother and her mother’s boyfriend—but by our state’s standards, and by places like unincorporated King County’s, those threats of eviction are allowed on zero grounds. I know my mom isn’t alone in such horrible living experiences as a renter because I hear just as horrid stories every week in eviction court here in King County.

Just last week, an eviction court hearing showed that a landlord in King County repeatedly threatened to show up without notice to a 70-year-old renter’s unit despite having just worked out and agreed to a payment plan. This man lives in constant fear and stress because of his landlord’s behavior, which certainly isn’t good for his already-waning health. Clearly, his landlord threatened with eviction, even during the moratorium, which is why they were both in a hearing. I can only imagine what renters will face when the moratorium ends.

Proposals like Just Cause don’t exist because they assume all landlords are bad. Just Cause protections come forward because they simply seek to protect vulnerable people like my mom and renters like seniors in the event a landlord is a bad actor.

Will you commit to voting in favor of transformative renter protections from Councilmembers Zahilay and Kohl-Welles?

Thank you for your time reading this email,

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