Tenant Rights Campaign released on City Buses

The San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition (SFADC) has just released a series of creative advertisements focused on rights for the city’s renters.  The rollout is part of the statewide Renter’s Week of Action.  Buses and bus shelters across the city will feature tenant rights information in the city’s five major languages.  A wide range of tenant rights groups collaborated to create the campaign, as well as a set of informational guides and a centralized list of tenant rights counseling groups for all San Francisco tenants.

Inside of city buses, a series of ads focus on tenant rights when buildings are sold, landlord harassment, the importance of a written record, and other methods for protecting renters.  The ads, in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian, and Vietnamese, direct tenants to a brand new resource available on this website.  The coalition’s website offers information to tenants in multiple languages, and directs them to resources citywide.

“This campaign is getting crucial information to tenants in the midst of this city’s unprecedented eviction crisis,” said Deepa Varma, director of the San Francisco tenant’s union. “It is a one-of-a-kind resource presented beautifully by so many talented local artists.”

With the support of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Housing and Community Development, SFADC commissioned five local artists to create images to accompany the know-your-rights text on bus shelters across San Francisco.  The powerful images can also be downloaded and shared freely at SFADC.org/pdfs.

Kayan Cheung Miaw’s beautiful cartoon tells the story of a resident of San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood, who finds empowerment and support in the Community Tenant’s Association while fighting her eviction.  “It’s important to humanize the people in my community who are being displaced, to make visible the struggles of the marginalized members of our city,” said the artist. “It’s important to see hope and collectivity in a seemingly hopeless and isolating situation.”

Artist Patrick Piazza drew on his own experience fighting his eviction during the first dot-com boom in the late 1990s and centers his piece on the recent housing struggle of Mission community figure Rene Yañez .  “Today one could argue that the climate of fair and affordable housing is much much worse here,” says Piazza, “but not long ago, my personal hero, Rene Yañez faced an eviction and won his case too.  Rene Yañez has been making art and promoting artists in the Mission since the 1970’s. He is still part of the Mission I know and love.  All is not lost.  There is a chance to fight and win eviction battles!”

Other artists include local printmaker Fernando Martí, artist & student Sydney Cain, and fourth and fifth grade students at Guadalupe Elementary school in the Excelsior district.

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