If you’ve tried to find a place to live in the city lately, or even know someone who knows someone trying to find a place to live, you know San Francisco has a housing crisis. For many of the city’s longtime residents, rent control is the only thing that allows them to stay in their homes, but there’s a way for landlords to circumvent it – it’s a 1986 law called the Ellis Act.
The Ellis Act allows landlords to evict tenants if they plan to convert the building to a different use; for example, to move in themselves. In practice, it’s often been used to put buildings on the market at prices that those former tenants couldn’t afford. The last time Ellis Act evictions spiked was during the late 90s tech boom – there were 440 of them just between 1999 and 2000.
On today’s Your Call, it’s our Friday media roundtable. This week, we’ll discuss coverage of President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense and Sylvia Burwell, the expected nominee for the Office of Management and Budget. She’s currently president of the Walmart Foundation. We’ll also talk about the ongoing war in Mali. We’ll be joined by the Nation’s Lee Fang, Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald and independent journalist Anna Badkhen who is just back from Mali. Where did you see the best reporting this week? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.
If you really want to know how our local economy is doing, look no further than the nearest homeless shelter. Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty oversees homelessness in the city, and he says these days, San Francisco’s roughly 1,150 beds are nearly full each night. Advocates say there’s been a sharp increase in homeless seniors, especially women. It was rare to see this population on the streets a few decades ago, but now service providers say it seems to be the norm.
The year is 1985. Ronald Reagan has been sworn in for his second term in office, “We Are the World” tops the charts, and here in the Bay Area, Stanford history professor Clayborne Carson receives a call from Coretta Scott King that will change his life forever. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow asks Carson to tell her late husband’s story through his papers. Carson is momentarily conflicted about accepting King’s request, even recommending more qualified individuals, but agrees to take on the hundreds of thousands of documents in her possession.