Demonstrators gather outside Google lawyer's home

More than 100 demonstrators gathered outside the Guerrero Street home of a Google employee to protest an Ellis Act eviction.
April 11, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
There was another protest Friday against the private Google buses that carry employees from San Francisco to the Silicon Valley. Protesters claim high tech workers with their big salaries are driving up rents.

According to protestors, the tech commuter buses are helping to driving up rents, and causing evictions in San Francisco.

Protestors have gone after Google buses before, but today was a case of hide and seek. The bus did not stop at 19th and Dolores as usual, but at 18th and Dolores. When protestors found it, they didn't demonstrate against Google per say. Rather, they were critical of a Google executive they accused of trying to evict tenants from a building he owns on Guerrero. Two of those tenants are teachers.

ABC7 News contacted Google with a request to speak to the executive, but have yet to hear back. Google bus protests are nothing new. But, normally they're about income inequality or using city resources like bus stops without paying their fair share. Targeting individual Google workers by blocking the buses that pick up their workers in the city may be the start of a trend.

Friday evening more than 100 demonstrators gathered outside a home on Guerrero Street. It is where elementary school teacher Claudia Tirado and her young son live. The building was bought a few years ago and the owner moved into the top floor, but all tenants recently got a surprising letter.

"I got this notice on February 26th, it was an Ellis Act Eviction," said Tirado.

Demonstrators say she is among the recent wave of Ellis Act evictions that have uprooted families in the Mission and Castro districts. Tirado and the other resident's, including a fellow San Francisco teacher, are fighting their landlord to keep from moving.

"He could have bought a flat anywhere else in the city. He could afford it with his high salary at Google. He doesn't need to displace seven people," said Tirado.

The landlord is Jack Halprin, an attorney for Google. ABC7 News tried contacting him at home and reached out to Google for any comment, but neither has responded.

Supervisor Scott Weiner says the city is working on solutions and he's pushing for Ellis Act reforms in Sacramento. He told us, "We haven't prepared for our population growth, our population has grown by 75,000 people in the last decade, and we've produced very little new housing."

Demonstrators say hundreds of families have been displaced by gentrification in the last couple years. Tirado just wants to keep her home.

"We're renters, but we are contributing to their mortgage. It's not like our money means nothing," said Tirado.

She has less than 120 days to move out if they are evicted.


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