Thursday, July 7, 2016

(7/7) A Dialogue on Gentrification

Managing Community Change: A Dialogue on Gentrification
Moderator Katherine O’Regan and three panel participants sit behind a table in front of a background with the PD&R logo.
Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Katherine O'Regan moderates a panel discussion of gentrification with participants Derek Hyra, Colvin Grannum, and Gil Kelley.
Gentrification is a form of neighborhood change that occurs when higher-income groups move into low-income neighborhoods, increasing the demand for housing and driving up prices. First defined more than fifty years ago, it currently affects many American metropolitan areas. Market pressures associated with gentrification have the potential to force longtime residents with low incomes to move out, challenging communities that want to create or retain economic diversity. On April 11, 2016, HUD Secretary Juli├ín Castro spoke at the Office of Policy Development and Research’s Quarterly Update, which focused on how gentrifying neighborhoods can manage change in ways that keep communities inclusive, affordable, dynamic, and diverse. Castro highlighted HUD’s Prosperity Playbook initiative, which equips community planners with critical tools for creating shared opportunity for everyone. HUD also promotes inclusive growth through community development block grants, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and the newly launched National Housing Trust Fund. Castro’s remarks were followed by a panel discussion composed of researchers and practitioners who discussed the nature of gentrification; its impact on communities; and strategies to promote inclusive, sustainable change.
Gentrification and Its Implications
Gentrification is a sensitive and complex issue that sometimes generates heated debate in both public discourse and research. Although many assume that gentrification entails the wholesale displacement of vulnerable and low-income minority residents by high-income nonminority populations, this is not always the case, said Katherine O’Regan, HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. Gentrifying neighborhoods change, but that does not necessarily mean wholesale population change. Data indicate that between 2000 and 2014, gentrifying areas experienced large relative gains in income and even more dramatic changes in racial makeup, often with large relative gains in the nonminority population. In terms of displacement, however, population turnover in gentrifying neighborhoods is no greater than that in other low-income neighborhoods. The large relative gains in income observed in gentrifying neighborhoods may result not from the displacement of low-income residents but rather from an influx of higher-income individuals while lower-income residents remain.
Given the nature of this change, researchers must examine the impact of gentrification on low-income residents who stay. According to Derek Hyra, associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University, studies suggest that gentrification has the potential to bring benefits to low-income populations such as job growth and better access to jobs, role models, and greater political strength. On the negative side, gentrification can result in the political displacement of lower-income residents, with newcomers taking over civic associations and asking for things established residents don’t want, such as bike lanes and dog parks. Gentrification can also cause large relative increases in rental costs that make housing unaffordable for low-income residents. In this context, gentrifying neighborhoods present urban planners with both opportunities and challenges for the creation of diverse communities in which prosperity is shared.
Maintaining Diversity in Neighborhoods
According to Hyra, the preservation of existing affordable housing for low-income residents is a key strategy in maintaining diversity. Low-income housing tax credits, New Markets Tax Credits, and continued investment in viable public housing are all ways to promote affordable housing. Acquisition of building sites by city governments for the future development of affordable housing is another strategy suggested by Gil Kelley, director of citywide planning for San Francisco. Noting that redevelopment involves public-private partnerships, Hyra asserted that planners should ask developers whether they can maximize profit while still helping low-income populations. He pointed out, for example, that developers might find that inclusionary zoning that preserves neighborhood diversity or “authenticity” and makes them more desirable places to live can increase profit margins.
Promoting homeownership among moderate-income residents is another vital element in ensuring that neighborhoods remain stable and diverse. As Colvin W. Grannum, president and chief executive officer of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, pointed out, moderate-income homeownership in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community historically has served as an important vehicle for upward mobility. Today, however, the needs of moderate-income residents tend to be ignored, and they often have the least amount of protection from the effects of gentrification. Rising home values result in increased property taxes, which could potentially force out many longtime homeowners who would otherwise wish to remain. Grannum stated that moderate-income homeowners also face harassment from speculators and “deed theft,” in which new deeds are forged and properties are stolen from unsuspecting homeowners.
Kelley, acknowledging the need to promote affordable housing, advocated taking a broader approach to neighborhood stabilization efforts. He asserted that in San Francisco, where gentrification has in fact caused the wholesale displacement of low- and middle- income residents, the city simply cannot build or subsidize enough housing units to meet demand, and a regionwide solution that takes an integrated approach to preserving manufacturing jobs, access to transit, and working with schools is necessary. HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule is potentially ideal for dealing with gentrifying neighborhoods because it requires meaningful engagement with communities and the requirement to think regionally, said O’Regan.
Building a Sense of Community
Although retaining low- and middle-income residents in neighborhoods is crucial for diversity, the benefits of gentrification can be realized only through the meaningful interaction of newcomers and existing populations and shared prosperity. As Hyra observed, however, micro-level segregation in the social fabric of gentrifying neighborhoods is an important obstacle to community-building efforts. Policymakers and community organizations can overcome micro-level segregation in a number of ways. Grannum cited the Restoration Corporation’s community-building efforts in Bedford-Stuyvesant through programs in the arts, including theater performances, music festivals, and an art gallery, that attract a diverse audience and maintain a sense of “welcomeness” for the African-American community. Grannum also stressed the importance of investing in neighborhood anchors such as schools and recreational facilities that can serve as vehicles for uniting the community. Hyra advocated the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds for promoting community-building activities. Preserving the interests of low-income small businesses is another important community-building strategy, stated Hyra. Extending U.S. Small Business Administration loans to small mom-and-pop stores allows them to stay in place and reap the benefits of income growth in their communities.
Resistance to change also inhibits the creation of inclusive communities. According to Grannum, established low-income residents often distrust planners and disagree with their arguments that change will bring improvements. This distrust is rooted in past urban planning efforts which did not take the interests of low- or moderate-income minority groups into account. These residents sometimes oppose change because they believe that it will not improve their communities or that it will only benefit higher-income populations. One way to meet this resistance, suggested Grannum, is to actively promote the economic benefits of programs such as shared bicycle use among low-income residents so that they embrace rather than shun the new programs. Another way is to show residents how amenities and improvements can benefit low-income populations. Churches, for example, might develop affordable housing on the underutilized land they own if they realized that developing it would benefit existing low-income community residents.
A Place for All
Gentrification presents both challenges and opportunities for planners. As Castro observed, “[T]here is no single red-button policy to push” to address gentrification’s many complexities. Smart policies that can take advantage of HUD tools such as AFFH and CDBG, however, can begin to capture the gains that change brings and create, as emphasized by O’Regan, “equitable gentrification.” If urban planners can revitalize without reshaping the identity of neighborhoods, Castro’s stated hope “that the American Dream is within reach for everyone living in our cities” can be realized.

Friday, June 3, 2016

(6/2) I'm Officially Homeless Just Like These Folks

I'm so busy packing things and cleaning up my apartment that I have no time to write anything on this blog.  So I might as well post this article from the New York Time on the graying of homelessness.  I'm a baby boomer just like these folks.  I could related to the man names Horace Allong in the article.  Yes, I do have a tent.  The only difference between me and them is that I become homeless because I'm fighting for your interests and that Mohammed Soriano-Bilal is fighting for Downtown's interest.  Of course, I have no drug problems.  But as time goes on, I could develop mental problems as these tent residents had develop over time.  That's why I'm saying this Mohammed Bilal man is a real viper.

I don't know what those heartless people on the Freedom West "Board" were thinking when they think it's funny to vote away my membership from Freedom West.  I really think they do have some kind of sadistic streak in them for them to to do something like this.  Freedom West folks, if these Bilal Creeps can be sadistic to me, they have no qualm to be sadistic to you as well.  Watch out!!

Right now they are ready to increase your rent, with nothing concrete to establish their reasons.  They'll gradually squeeze you until you choke.

Homeless Dave

Old and on the Street: The Graying of America’s Homeless

June 1, 2016
LOS ANGELES — They lean unsteadily on canes and walkers, or roll along the sidewalks of Skid Row here in beat-up wheelchairs, past soiled sleeping bags, swaying tents and piles of garbage. They wander the streets in tattered winter coats, even in the warmth of spring. They worry about the illnesses of age and how they will approach death without the help of children who long ago drifted from their lives.
“It’s hard when you get older,” said Ken Sylvas, 65, who has struggled with alcoholism and has not worked since he was fired in 2001 from a meatpacking job. “I’m in this wheelchair. I had a seizure and was in a convalescent home for two months. I just ride the bus back and forth all night.”
The homeless in America are getting old.
There were 306,000 people over 50 living on the streets in 2014, the most recent data available, a 20 percent jump since 2007, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. They now make up 31 percent of the nation’s homeless population.
The demographic shift is mirrored by a noticeable but not as sharp increase among homeless people ages 18 to 30, many who entered the job market during the Great Recession. They make up 24 percent of the homeless population. Like the baby boomers, these young people came of age during an economic downturn, confronting a tight housing and job market. Many of them are former foster children or runaways, or were victims of abuse at home.
Sources: Dennis P. Culhane, University of Pennsylvania; U.S. Census Bureau Decennial Census Special
By The New York Times
Sources: Dennis P. Culhane, University of Pennsylvania; U.S. Census Bureau Decennial Census Special
But it is the emergence of an older homeless population that is creating daunting challenges for social service agencies and governments already struggling with this crisis of poverty. “Baby boomers have health and vulnerability issues that are hard to tend to while living in the streets,” said Alice Callaghan, an Episcopal priest who has spent 35 years working with the homeless in Los Angeles.
Many older homeless people have been on the streets for almost a generation, analysts say, a legacy of the recessions of the late 1970s and early 1980s, federal housing cutbacks and an epidemic of crack cocaine. They bring with them a complicated history that may include a journey from prison to mental health clinic to rehabilitation center and back to the sidewalks.
Some are more recent arrivals and have been forced — at a time of life when some people their age are debating whether to retire to Arizona or to Florida — to learn the ways of homelessness after losing jobs in the latest economic downturn. And there are some on a fixed income who cannot afford the rent in places like Los Angeles, which has a vacancy rate of less than 3 percent.
Homeless men lined up for food being given out this month in downtown Los Angeles. Many of the nation’s poor have long flocked to Skid Row, drawn by a year-round temperate climate and a cluster of missions and clinics.
Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Homeless men lined up for food being given out this month in downtown Los Angeles. Many of the nation’s poor have long flocked to Skid Row, drawn by a year-round temperate climate and a cluster of missions and clinics.
Horace Allong, 60, said he could not afford a one-room apartment and lives in a tent on Crocker Street. Allong, who divorced his wife and left New Orleans for Los Angeles two years ago, said he lost his wallet and all of his identification two weeks after he arrived and has not been able to find a job.
“It’s the first time I’ve been on the streets, so I’m learning,” he said. “There’s nothing like Skid Row. Skid Row is another world.”
The problems with homelessness are hardly uniform across the country. The national homeless population declined by 2 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Renewal. Some communities — including Phoenix and Las Vegas — have declared outright victory in eliminating homelessness among veterans, a top goal of the White House.
But homelessness is rising in big cities where gentrification is on the march and housing costs are rising, like Los Angeles, New York, Honolulu and San Francisco. Los Angeles reported a 5.7 percent increase in its homeless population last year, the second year in a row it had recorded a jump. More than 20 percent of the nation’s homeless lived in California last year, according to the housing agency.
An older man sleeping on a sidewalk on Skid Row in April. Many older homeless people have been on the streets for almost a generation, analysts say.
Monica Almeida/The New York Times
An older man sleeping on a sidewalk on Skid Row in April. Many older homeless people have been on the streets for almost a generation, analysts say.
Across Southern California, the homeless live in tent encampments clustered on corners from Venice to the San Fernando Valley, and in communities sprouting under highway overpasses or in the dry bed of the Los Angeles River. Their sleeping bags and piles of belongings line sidewalks on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Along with these visible signs of homelessness come complaints about aggressive panhandling, public urination and disorderly conduct, as well as a rise in drug dealing and petty crimes.
“There is a sense out there that some communities are seeing a new visible homeless problem that they have not seen in many years,” said Dennis P. Culhane, a professor of social policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Beleaguered officials in Los Angeles, Seattle and Hawaii have declared states of emergency, rolling out measures to combat homelessness and pledging to increase spending on low-cost housing. Honolulu has imposed a prohibition on sitting or lying on sidewalks in the neighborhood of Waikiki. San Francisco has cleared out some encampments, only for them to sprout up in other parts of the city. Seattle has tried to create designated tent camps that are overseen by social service agencies.
Sylvia Welker, 70, was evicted about five years ago from her home in Lancaster, Calif. She spends her days riding around the streets of Skid Row.
Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Sylvia Welker, 70, was evicted about five years ago from her home in Lancaster, Calif. She spends her days riding around the streets of Skid Row.
The aging of the homeless population is on display in cities large and small, but perhaps in no place more than here on Skid Row, a grid of blocks just southeast of the vibrant economic center of downtown Los Angeles, where many of the nation’s poor have long flocked, drawn by a year-round temperate climate and a cluster of missions and clinics.
Outside the Hippie Kitchen, which feeds the homeless of Skid Row three mornings a week, the line stretched half a block up Sixth Street on a recent day, a graying gathering of men and women waiting for a breakfast of beans and salad.
Kin Crawford, 59, said he had fallen out of the job market long ago as he battled alcohol and drug addiction. “Right now, I’m sleeping in someone’s garage,” he said. “My biggest challenge out here? Access to a bathroom. It’s really crazy. That and finding a place to keep your stuff.”
This is a fluid population, defying precise count or categorization. Some might enjoy a stretch of stability, holding down a job for a while or finding a spare bed with a friend. But more than anything, these are men and women who, as they enter old age, have settled into patterns they seem unwilling, or unable, to break.
“We are seeing people who have been on the street year after year after year,” said Jerry Jones, the director of public policy at the Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles.
Sylvas said the lines at the Hippie Kitchen were growing longer, and there were more tents on the sidewalks. “It’s getting worse,” he said. “You can see it. A lot more old ones.”
A homeless encampment under the Harbor Freeway overpass south of downtown Los Angeles. Along with visible signs of homelessness come community complaints, as well as a rise in drug dealing and petty crimes.
Monica Almeida/The New York Times
A homeless encampment under the Harbor Freeway overpass south of downtown Los Angeles. Along with visible signs of homelessness come community complaints, as well as a rise in drug dealing and petty crimes.
The challenges faced by older people have forced advocates for the homeless and government agencies to reconsider what kinds of services they need: It is not just a meal, a roof and rehabilitation anymore.
Glen Fox, 75, who has been homeless off and on for years, lives in a tent next to the Harbor Freeway. The average life span for a homeless person living on the street is 64 years.
Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Glen Fox, 75, who has been homeless off and on for years, lives in a tent next to the Harbor Freeway. The average life span for a homeless person living on the street is 64 years.
“The programs for baby boomers are designed to address longstanding programs — mental health, substance abuse,” said Benjamin Henwood, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. “But they are not designed to address the problems of aging, and that is a big problem for homeless treatment in the years ahead.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

(5/25) Second Email with Vicki Hennessy: To No Avail

Hi Sheriff Hennessy,

Yesterday (5/24) at 11 am I went to the Superior Court per Eviction Defense Cooperative (EDC) instruction to ask for a stay of execution to vacate my apartment at 470-C Fulton St.  At first the hearing was supposed to be heard at department 501 because the clerk of Judge Suzanne Bolanos said she’s on trial until 4 pm at department 504.  However, after everyone at 501 was heard and decided the clerk there told me come back to 501 to hear from Judge Bolanos at 2pm.  When I showed up the clerk just told me the motion was denied but no reasons were given.

This was a shock to me because EDC told me generally the judge would give a week extension until the week after in which the judge would either grant or denied another extension and so on.  In fact when I was at the court room I met someone who actually got 4 consecutive weekly extensions and trying to get another one.

Long time activist Ace Washington also got evicted.  He lives at the Tenderloin Housing Clinics

Ace showed me some of his files, he cross sword with many people who he claimed selling out the Black folks, those blacks who don't care for their people who see only what they get for themselves.
I don’t see any good reason why Judge Bolanos did not give me even one week so that I can start packing things up, looking for places to stay, and at least find somewhere  to store the belongings that I accumulate for over ten years and my grandparents the last forty years.  It’s not conscionable that that Judge Susanne Bolanos won’t  grant me even a week when for most people such extensions are regularly granted.

I was told the sheriff deputy will show up at 9:15 am today to evict me and change my lock.  First of all, while they could change the apartment door lock because that is co-op property.  But I don’t think they should change my metal gate door lock or destroy it without my permission because my grandmother installed that one using her own money when my family got burglarized and I inherited the metal gate, as well as the Freedom West share certificate from her.

As I told you before, my eviction was retaliatory because the Board President Mohammed Soriano-Bilal does not feel his presidential position safe as long as I’m around Freedom West.  Many residents feel my eviction is entirely unjustifiable.  I do not endanger anyone in the neighborhood but was instead supported widely as seen in my and my team’s board election victory.

No matter, I need to stay behind for at least a week to pack up my belongings and clean up the apartment without being locked-up and thrown out to the street.  While I know the Sheriff Department has the responsibility to carry out court orders but I was told by my lawyer, who used to work at the Eviction Defense Collaborative, that often time the deputy sheriff would grant extension for needs and humanitarian reasons of the tenant as long as the tenant make good efforts to vacate.  So I’m asking the Sheriff Department to grant me such stay, for a week or so, so that I could get what needs to be done accomplished expeditiously, disposing my belongings, and not going homeless.

I had started to make effort to vacate my apartment already, as I stacked up my boxes of books ceiling high emptying my closets.  Fortunately my friends forewarned me to start packing just in case the extension from Judge Suzanne Bolanos won’t get granted.  Good thing I listened to their advice.   I spend the whole last night packing without any sleep at all as I hadn’t slept for over 48 hours already to beat the clock.  As you said in our conversation, you won’t get the sheriff deputy to evict unless the environment is safe.  As for my premise now, it’s not safe because my apartment is stacked with boxes  and a mess and I’m very sleepy.  I don’t intend to leave my premise today because I still have much to pack as well as looking for places to stay.
My bedroom like a war zone

Over 100 boxes of books

Cloths out from the closet
Freedom West doesn’t need my apartment because it has at thirty other empty units in the complex.  But I do need mine at this time because I have no place to go without going homeless at this point.

It’s not too much for the Sheriff Department to grant me a week stay so that I could leave in an orderly manner.

Please call.
Sincerely Yours,

David Tse


This letter did no good anyway as three deputy sheriffs showed up on time this morning for eviction, all with guns in holster.  Two Freedom West security officers also there, guns in full view as well.  After a no-nonsense explanation, Officer Choi told me I have five minutes to pack up and leave.  Afterward a Freedom West worker came in to change the common hallway locks as well as a new one on my door.

Sheriff note on my door.  If I go in there, it's trespassing.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

(5/21) Chain Letters with Vicki Hennessy, San Francisco Sheriff

(5/10 email)

Hi, Sheriff Vicki Henessy,

I have met you and have spoken with you briefly when I met you at the New Year celebration with Congresswoman Pelosi this year (see attached photos).  I am an engineer and a housing advocate who helped in the movement to provide more affordable housings for the people in San Francisco.

Recently I got involved in a political tug-of-war with the incumbent Board President Mohammed Soriano-Bilal at Freedom West Homes, a 1,000+ residents co-op within stone throw from City Hall, and that I and my team won a HUD-mandated Board Election.  However, Soriano-Bilal did not want to give up his absolute hold over the valuable four city blocks housing co-op and refuse to relinquish power.  He had used all available legal legerdemain and rough tactics to get rid of me as political opponent, one of which is to evict me from Freedom West Homes, where my family lived for more than 40 years with practically everyone know me in the community, utilizing “Unlawful Detainer” and involved the San Francisco Police Department as part of his scheme.  He believed he will triumph because as the Executive Director of the African American Arts and Cultural Complex he had the tacit support of all the San Francisco political potentates.
Talked to Vicki Hennessy not long after this photo taken in January this year
Remember we won the election even when Bilal used his Jim Crow tactics
The multi-ethnic people in Freedom won the election, not Mohammed Soriano-Bilal and his goons
He and his lawyers prevailed over me (mainly because of my ignorance in court process, procedure, and parlance that immediately and completely bereft me of any legal defense) during a jury trial whence I had to pit myself against three legal professionals Bilal hired using our community’s sparse reserve fund.

At this point there is a judgment against me from Superior Court Judge Susanne Bolano (CUD-15-654006) which allow Freedom West Homes (control by Mohammed Soriano-Bilal himself) to take possession of my apartment at 470-C Fulton Street by way of the Sheriff Department.

After the adverse judgment I finally managed to get myself an attorney and we are in the process to appeal Judge Bolano’s decision.  This unlawful detainer case differs from all other eviction cases in that it was not over non-payment, habitability, or felony issues but of an argument between two resident leaders over which direction a community should go.  I ask your office to wisely hold its discretion to allow the legal process to run its course and not disposing the Sheriff Department, unlike the SFPD which unwittingly allowed it to be used at a placid shareholders workshop, become a tool of the advantaged side of an essentially internal community dispute.

I’m sure it’s a decision your immediately predecessor, Ross Mirkarimi, would not lightly gloss over because he knew me, as well does Supervisor Board President London Breed, for years and as former District 5 Supervisor understood the complexity inside Freedom West.

Sincerely Yours,
David Tse

(5/11) Reply from the Sheriff herself

What is the address of your apartment?

(5/11) My Reply

470 Fulton Street,Apt. C。Thanks for the concern of a fellow Lowellite

(5/12) My Next Email to the Sheriff

Hi Sheriff Hennessy,

Last night I went to the residence of the matriarch of the San Francisco Democratic Party Jane Morrison and discussed about my travail at Freedom West Homes.  Some present thought it was a mistake for me to let known of my circumstances to you because you were supported by Mayor Lee, and to them, since I was “targeted” by him for sure you would carry out his instruction for my eviction in short order.

I believe otherwise because while power play inside Freedom West had sunk to the level similar to “The Season of the Witch” as described in David Talbot’s book on the City’s politics in another time, I don’t think that’s the case as far as this administration is concern.

If there are any concerns about my concept on the development of Freedom West, and by extension, Western Addition, is concern, it should be one of welcoming gesture that would be of great benefit to the City.  I had been solicited opinions and test-drove my idea to many people, which include the directors of the Department of Environment and Department of Public Works, as well as the Chairman of the California Public Utility Commission and they are nothing short of encouragement.  I met them in various technical conferences and meetings.  I had talked to a number of developers and green architects, business luminaries like Bill Draper, Jr., Energy Foundation, etc.  I also tried to get Google involved as a very high level executive in the company is my MIT school alumni.  While I belong to the affordable housing and anti-displacement movement I’m also one who’s out to deliver innovative and viable solutions to the City’s paramount problem and that I tried to get the best people and ideas into the project (as my latest with the Chairman of Sequoia Capital Sir Michael Moritz, see photo attachment).

Rather, it should be noted that not only Supervisor London Breed’s “favorite son”, Mohammed Soriano-Bilal and “Board President” whose election to the Freedom West Board would not come into being without my support, could not carry the assent of our multi-ethnic community’s hope and will.  During the three years of his reign Bilal had to resort to lawlessness, opacity, cronyism, deceit, and coercion to deliver the goods - and FAILED.  Not only his ideas were bad and rapacious, but the fact that he knew I could deliver a much better solution than anything he could ever conceived drove him to rage and jealousy.  Together with his cronies and co-conspirators he had to resort to racism, mendacity, and underhanded approach to entrap and to evict me as “harassment to the community” could only point to his viciousness and desperation. If anything, to those who were in this process, like Related of California, the City, and HUD, what transpired could only attest to the un-trustworthiness of his character and action which should cast doubt on doing any business with him in spite of the allure of his smooth and sugar-coated outward appearance.

Now you should understand the highly unusual circumstance behind an impending request for action from the Sheriff Department for my “Unlawful Detainer” eviction.  I know the mayor’s office had been kept tap on me because Freedom West is such a large project for redevelopment.  Because they don’t know what I’d been trying to accomplish the City may think I’m a stumbling block when I should be its greatest ally.

I disagree with the pessimists who warned me not to divulge “my strategy” to the City by communication thru your office.  I only believe in the veracity of openness, cooperation, and confidence that sincerity of convictions for the good of all and not ideologies that will prevail in the end.  Hope you could relay my message to the mayor.

Yours Truly,
David Tse

(5/12) Vicki Hennessy replied the same day

Hello Mr. Tse.  I am in receipt of your emails and checked with my staff to see what the status of your eviction is.  We just received the paperwork to post for the eviction at 470 Fulton Street Apt. C.  This will be posted next week, i.e. you will be informed of an impending eviction and the date you must vacate.

As you may know, I am an independently elected official.  I have not been contacted by any of the people mentioned in your emails, nor do I expect to be.  I take my duty to  follow the lawful orders of the court very seriously.  With that said, it is imperative that first you work with your legal advisors to ask the courts for relief  - if that is what you want.  Please note, I have a constitutional duty to follow court orders “without undue delay”.  Once the court process has been exhausted,  my practice has been to review requests for delay for up to one week, on a case by case basis, if requested by the defendant.  

I hope this answers your questions.


Vicki Hennessy   

(5/12) And a bit later

Mr. Tse,
On more thing -  to be clear - a delay is also based on the safest, and best time for our staff to carry out the eviction. 

Vicki Hennessy

(5/12) And More

Hello Mr. Tse.  I am in receipt of your emails and checked with my staff to see what the status of your eviction is.  We just received the paperwork to post for the eviction at 470 Fulton Street Apt. C.  This will be posted next week, i.e. you will be informed of an impending eviction and the date you must vacate.

As you may know, I am an independently elected official.  I have not been contacted by any of the people mentioned in your emails, nor do I expect to be.  I take my duty to  follow the lawful orders of the court very seriously.  With that said, it is imperative that first you work with your legal advisors to ask the courts for relief  - if that is what you want.  Please note, I have a constitutional duty to follow court orders “without undue delay”.  Once the court process has been exhausted,  my practice has been to review requests for delay for up to one week, on a case by case basis, if requested by the defendant.  

I hope this answers your questions.


Vicki Hennessy   

(5/13) My Follow-Up the next day

Thanks for informing, Sheriff.  I will ask for a new trial, this time with an attorney instead of myself.  What do you need from me and my lawyer so that you don't need to post a notice on my door next week?

With Regards,
David Tse

(5/17) The Sheriff further informed later
Mr. Tse -  I am forwarding this to Lt. Garcia who is in charge of evictions for an answer. 


(5/17)  Me replying

Thank you everybody.  Otherwise I would expect a taped notice from the Sheriffs Department tomorrow?

(5/17) The Lieutenant Followed Up
We do not give out our service schedule. It may be tomorrow or sometime in the future.

Lt. John Garcia #1282
SFSD-Civil Section Commander
Room 456, City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

(5/18)  Probably someone from up high told the Sheriff's Office.  Get this guy as quickly as you can.

I was hoping it would be "sometime in the future".  But I guess the City make sure I'll get my eviction ASAP, like right away next morning, the earliest legally prescribed time they could get me.  I must had make some powerful people very angry.

(5/21) Sheriff Notice and Beware of Bilal, the City and its Greedy Developers

Hi Freedom West Friends and Neighbors,

Last Wednesday Mohammed Soriano-Bilal and Gang finally had their way.  The Sheriff Department posted a “Notice to Vacate” on my door last week: last day to stay - Tuesday, 5/24.  While I’m still around, allow me to forewarn you on Soriano-Bilal and his scheme to betray our co-op.  Click

The City make sure I'll get my eviction quickly.  I heard sounds on my metal gate.  By the time I open the sheriff's already gone, leaving only Freedom West workers who let him in behind.  Guess he's worrying about a photo-op with me.

For anyone who couldn't believe evil board members can do foul to you, here is a testimony.

They will do it to you if you question and don't follow their evil plan


Last Wednesday (5/18/16) the Sheriff Department posted an official eviction notice on my door.  The notice say I will have to empty my apartment by 6am Wednesday (5/25).
While what’s happening to me is tragic in that my family had been living here for forty plus years and me occupying my units for over ten years, it may be good for you because the travail I had gone through last year allowed me to see through what Mohammed Soriano-Bilal and his usurping board members had in store for you and the rest of Freedom West community.  Bilal and his minders are selling out Freedom West to the City and its favorite real estate developers.  They had already backed us into a corner and when the time comes, no hoots and cries from any or all of us could do anything about it.  You must take my warning seriously or else gradually you all will be evicted or disappear from Freedom West just as I supposed to disappear soon.

If you don’t take what I said seriously, you are just as ignorant and brain-stuck as my neighbor who opined “they could never evict you” even when she saw the official notice get posted on my door.  It is funny that the housing activists I’m involved with, tenant lawyers and their counterparts, landlord lawyers, all understand how “final” this matter is.  For ordinary folks like you, you can be ignorant but talking loud as much as you want now, until it is happening to you.  Then you’ll really understand.  But by that time you’ll be disappearing just like those others came before you, with hardly anybody noticing.  The difference between me and them is that I have a platform to tell you (those in my large email list).  So I hope you won’t be as brain-stuck as my neighbor.


Mohammed Soriano-Bilal and his crony, Darryl Stitt, stage-managed a collusive lawsuit to decertify the last election when his selected team lost, all done without the knowledge of other board members or anyone else.  Stitt as a shareholder sued Freedom West saying the election was a fraud and Bilal, representing defendant Freedom West, said it’s indeed a fraud.  After few months of court filings with Bilal and the Freedom West attorney’s help to make sure everything procedurally correct, Stitt showed up in court and Freedom West didn’t.  Stitt won by default.  A properly ran election got decertified.

So the control of Freedom West had gone back to same old bunch as three years ago.  So this is the kind of people in power now, a cabal who cares less about fairness and the will of the people but about themselves.  They don’t want to work hard but just doing the same lazy and crooked things the past three years behind our backs and praising themselves for warming the seats in front the rest of us.

Freedom West is well on its way to get RAD.  Tell you more about RAD later.  That means in two years all of us will lose our co-op membership and become renters.  In due-time you will gradually file out of Freedom West one by one with hardly a whimper.


On the Freedom West Board now, we have a core Gang of Three that compose of Mohammed Soriano-Bilal, Gideon Tesfaye, and Renita Mason who are working to screw rest of us for their own personal benefits.  All three must hug each other tightly because they all had done wrongs together and cannot allow themselves held accountable for their mischief.

There are others on their side: Arrenia Corbin, Haddis Alemayehus, Samuel Shamonda, and Thomas Ruffin.  They are in league with them or so much enthralled with Mohammed Bilal that they follow and let him do whatever he wants.  They at best are not holding Bilal accountable or at worse in doing misdeeds with them.  I have yet had a handle on them but they are not capable of protecting your interests.

And you have Khorla Henry and William Yi.  They are the honest ones and would not take Bilal’s words at face values, but they are the minority and their power weak among those other board members.

Therefore do not expect this board to protect you because if they were to, they would have organized and educated us three years ago already.  In this year’s election, if it were to come at all, all nine seats (instead of ordinarily three) will be open for contest.  With me gone, who among you will organize to form a united front to go against Bilal and his scheming gang?


He is working hands in glove with the City and greedy developers (either several or just one) and he is paving the way for them to take over Freedom West.

He is an inveterate liar and practically all things he said during board or shareholder meetings are either lies, half-truths, or making things up to entrap all of us.  Those stories he made up in court and narratives were just amazing, all under oath.  The man has no shame.

London Breed defended him in front of disgruntled black folks at the AAACC

How I found out where which Freedom West townhouse he appropriated for himself?  The employees he mistreated at the African-American Arts & Culture Complex showed me the company's van he appropriated for personal use and indeed he parked it in front of his house:  ill-gotten van in front of an ill-gotten house.  These little corruptions are small fries compare to what he's going to do to Freedom West.

Even though he’s saying he’s living here and have the same interests as the rest of us, Bilal is no friend of yours.  He, as well as his sponsor Supervisor London Breed, is not for tenants and people like us.  Their interests lie with the luxury condo crowd.  He sides with them for his own career advancement and for his control over us, as LANDLORD.   London Breed is well-known by the supports she gets from the real estate industry.  When regular folks need help from London Breed, you get none.  When I tried to her intervene between the cat-fight between Bilal and me she went AWOL to sleep.   So gentrification and displacement for the rest of us in Freedom West is no problem for either one.  One thing they both have in common - sweet words but no true deeds.  They are wolves in sheep skins.

Don’t believe anything Mohammed Bilal said to you (especially what he said about me) or do the things he asks you to do.  The man is an expert manipulator and he’ll hand you shovels to dig your own graves without you even realizing it.  It’s time for all of us to see through his motivational speaker self and rapping appearance for its true color.  The man is a great actor but accountable to no one.  As long as you cannot thoroughly examine all the evidence and there’s no one else you trust is doing it and explaining it for you in full, in written form, NEVER do what he or the office ask you to do. Everybody should resist if you must.

Mohammed Bilal and Gang went to court, using three lawyers (and your money of course) and flimsy excuse saying Freedom West people are in fear of me and hence having me disposed of.  You know that’s not true but somehow the judge and jury believed what they said.  I fought with no lawyer and lost.  So much for justice in America; if you have no money you get no justice.

I’ll tell you about what happened in court later.  That was a real disaster but it really gave me really good insights on how the psychological make-ups of how Bilal and Gang operates – through lies and mischief, and not for any moments they blinked.  These people take great joy in stabbing people in the back, including yours, as long as it to their personal benefits.


Freedom West is an extremely valuable piece of property

Luxury condo developers could make lots of money developing us

In the City David Tse stands with the protect-the-tenants crowds

Most Freedom West people trust David Tse (as they should be, not one untrustworthy bone in him)

David Tse is neither afraid of the Bilal Gang and those powerful people propping them.  Truth and justice is his life

Within Freedom West, David Tse could rally the Asian, Latino, Russian, and non-prejudiced African-American members into a cohesive group

With David Tse around, these people would have a hard time making the excessive profits these developers wanted.  They know I will demand, study, and analyze those reports they made.

David Tse is in the way their greedy and malicious plan to destroy us as a co-op

David Tse must be disposed of quickly from Freedom West, by hook or snook

With no one brave enough in Freedom to question and out their evil scheme or to organize against them (Bilal and his greedy developer friends), Freedom West will fall into their laps.

With Freedom West under their control, the rest of Western Addition will fall under their scheme like falling dominoes.

I said lots of things and you may not believe it.  That’s because you are not in the thick of actions and hadn’t experienced them.  I have, and it became very clear as I had gone through my eviction process in court during my fight for you and for myself.  Soriano-Bilal and his goons are selling us  swiftly down the river!!  Take what I said to heart.  My tragedy is your gain.  You will be at your peril if you don’t take them in.  I’m still in Freedom West as I’m writing this, but my time is running out.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Freedom West had been served with a class-action lawsuit, accusing the co-op engaging in federal racketeering.  Although it was said that the case was "thrown" out.  I don't know what it meant because the case dealt with many different issues.  If by that kind of "thrown out" has the same meaning as what Bilal said about case about him and his Gang usurping power in the last election, I would not be too sanguine about it because the plaintiff lawyer is just redrafting the original complaint.  That Bilal's claim that we won in that federal racketeering case was just that he's kidding himself.  I do know the court exonerated one of the former board members.  But as for other issues, I don't believe they got resolved.

Freedom West is in the grip of increasing lawlessness committed by the usurper board and its officers born out through corruption.  If Bilal and Gang was making fun of previous management, he shouldn't brag on this pedestal too much because the difference in behavior between him and those previous corrupt management differed but little.  The previous boards knew the difference between right and wrong because at the very least they attended classes in cooperative conferences and learned about proper practices, just that they don't practice them.  The Bilal Gang didn't never attended classes and considered Freedom West one big play pen for these board toddlers with no adult supervisions.

If you see a draft of their board member code of standard which never was really discussed nor implemented, you would see how juvenile the proposal was.  If they had gone to classes and understood the principles and spirit behind a cooperative they would never draft anything like that.  It does not excuse Bilal that the drafted was before his time but drafted by another board member because he practiced just like that, secretive, arbitrary, and non-transparent.  The old board knew they did wrong but the Bilal Gang thought they did the correct thing.  That why Gideon Tesfaye, the purported Vice President now, sounded so ridiculous when shareholders response to their sinister income verification got so tepid a response that he threatened to put the requirement into the occupancy agreement.  That's the danger of someone who didn't bother to learn but pounding their chests that they are right.  That's why one former board presidents said talking to them is like talking to mules.  That's why I tend to keep myself mum during board meetings and spoke in few sentences because I knew they'll just disregard other ideas or don't get it because they don't bother to be educated themselves.

Being active in Freedom West for so long, I am seeing the Mohammed Bilal Gang is running the place much resemble a racket.  It runs however it wants whatever it wants with no accountability to residents and shareholders because they consider they are laws unto themselves.  It was especially galling in one board meeting last year when shareholders confronted Bilal with his lies about the renovate/redevelop Bilal and Gang claimed they could do as they please because you voted for them during the election, the only legitimate election we had.

That election was 3 years ago, and the reason they won was not because people trusted them but they trusted David Tse for recommending them and collected votes for them.  Immediate after they took advantage of my help they went around and disregard the Dreamcatcher platform which got them elected and went about their own perfidious ways.  Now those folks weren't even got elected in but still warming the seats out front because they couldn't bear to see themselves not seating up there to mumble nothing words to us.

On one hand the federal racketeering lawsuit was a surprise to me because I never expect it would happen and it shouldn't have happened if Bilal had done the right thing.  The lawsuit appeared to be an off-shoot of a lawsuit I involved in together with two other shareholders that dealt with former Freedom West management misdeeds.  In my estimation that lawsuit was over and all the parties involved, i.e. Mohammed Soriano-Bilal, plaintiffs and defendants, insurance companies, the army of lawyers, signed a sealed document and everything to be kept confidential.  That’s supposed to be the end of it.  But little do we know.

On the other hand it shouldn’t be a surprise because earlier in the Freedom West struggle I contacted the FBI and HUD’s regional office to look into Freedom West’s operation.  The case further spread to San Francisco City Attorney’s office and HUD internal investigative unit, which is independent and distinct from the regional office.  It went to Washington, D.C. and back.  The whole thing became a cloak-and-dagger affair that’s worthy of a thriller novel.  But that was five years ago.  Then, as it is now about Mohammed Soriano-Bilal, Alton Management tried to evict me from Freedom West because I was going to find out and expose their corruptions and misdeeds, just as now I'm trying to expose Bilal's.  On the surface Freedom West seems to be different, but not too deep below things stay the same, if not worse today.

How this lawsuit now?  Since I knew nothing about its provenance I could only surmise.  But as so often the case, my educated guess won't deviate much from reality.  It came about because Mohammed Soriano-Bilal violated the document he signed as Freedom West Board President in September 2014.  As signer of the covenant "with prejudice" he should not divulge anything with regard to that earlier lawsuit, as he emphasized it so often during board meetings when shareholders or their proxies asked about specific facts of the case.

Unfortunate for the co-op he blew the thing wide open in his rush to exact revenge against me after his team lost the board election last July.  In his pre-arranged attempt to destroy the election results and to smear my character Bilal brought out all those false charges the corrupt management back then fabricated against me, presented them as veritable facts to rest of Freedom West community, so that he and his losing cabal could still sit in front of you in those so-called “board meetings” he ask you to attend now.  The hooliganism he so thoroughly exhibited during those subsequent shameful events was what got our community into an unenviable position now.

What he didn’t quite realize was that by parceling his little dirty tricks he opened up a big hole.  The plaintiff lawyer, once he saw Mohammed Bilal’s violation, saw the “with prejudiced” provision in the covenant no longer operative and garnered all the facts he so painstakingly investigated on Freedom West’s corrupt past and laid it all out.  The previously injured parties who couldn't get into our co-op then got together to initiate a class action lawsuit against Freedom West as represented by the Bilal "Board".  Acting like a Mafia Gangsta Boss with a vengeful persona Mohammed Bilal provided the opening to get our community into federal racketeering charges.  It shouldn't have happened if he could contain his reckless and irresponsible impulse to satiate his virulent desires to evict me from Freedom West.

The crucial question now is whether this cabal "board" led by Bilal can legally represent Freedom West for such important matter.  One thing I could assure you of this, this lawsuit would not have happened if Bilal had not succumb to his viperous instinct to get rid of his perceived political enemy, i.e. yours truly.  Furthermore, we would have at this time a legitimate board and really getting on the business of communicate and organize the community to articulate what we want and not having the dark cloud of three lawsuits hanging over us.

Woe to those who have to sign any important contracts with Freedom West now.  Woe to us because it'll be hard-pressed for us to convince the insurance companies to pay up, or to insure the individual board members themselves, for the misdeeds since the "board" is an illegitimate racket.  These insurance companies will gladly take up their monthly premium but when the time for them to pay up, that's another matter.  This is the mess Soriano-Bilal got us into in his 2+ years on Freedom West's driver seat.

The people in control of Freedom West now and those befriended  them is a lawless cabal looking out for themselves, promoting and protecting each other’s interests with scant regard on the consequence to the rest of the community.  The perfidious part of it is that they don’t even think they are corrupt.  They think about entitlements and felt no self-restraints on how they exercise their thievery using power and purse strings.  This is the sad part of Freedom West’s story.  What we must do as a community is to expose these fakes for who they are and hold them accountable for what they’d done.
Are we guilty as well?  Since we are as a whole a housing co-operative and each of us owners we are supposed to be responsible for the co-op’s behavior, even though we are all saying it’s really the board officers’ fault.  Well, by negligence, ignorance, fear and apathy we have allowed corrupt boards to operate unconstrained we are guilty.  It is the collective behavior of Freedom West, even though in reality that of a lousy board, that outsiders see us at fault.  Why are the other board members, myself included, hadn’t held those board officers, especially the Board President and Secretary, accountable, and by extension, how come we as a community does not held the Board accountable?  Why do we let Mohammed Soriano-Bilal acting like a drug kingpin who fling his weights around, telling lies, doling out private favors, seizing properties, instilling fears, handing out moneys, playing rogue with elections and the bylaws, and finally, selling out the community behind everyone's back?  Why in instances certain part of the community acted so gullible, barbaric, and uncivilized without any sense of learning, education, and self-reflection.   In this account we failed as responsible shareholders and little wonder we get sued.

Let me be realistic.  To create a community of responsible shareholders we need clean and conscientious, hardworking, and effective leadership.  Unfortunately we had none.  Throughout his three years of control all we got from the Bilal Gangs were lies, deceits, trickery, and threats.  Devoid of necessary leadership and for lack of community consciousness we suffer as a whole.

By racket I don’t mean everyone you see sitting on the “front table” in those meetings bad people.  The others are not strong enough or had the information or energy to challenge them;  they are just got frustrated with these usurpers.  The main racket members are specifically Mohammed Soriano-Bilal himself, Gideon Tesfaye, Renita Mason, and Samuel Shamonda, three of those four should not get involved in deciding board businesses.  The first three are mean, corrupt, and lawless to the hilt, as they appropriate Freedom West properties as if they are their own.  The fourth, Sam Shamonda, I don’t know.  That's why I took no stock when I hear certain sycophantic residents praise them for them "working hard" and how much he/she appreciated the works.  They don't know what really working hard is like and how awful those "works".  Those old boards they made fun of worked too, and they did them better than this self-congratulatory clique.

Not me.  Because I know they hadn't worked hard enough.  That's was why I ran for the board with the intention of being Board President to take charge.  Not because I want yes people around me but I want these folks who claimed to "work so hard" to work harder.