A little over a decade ago, the city of Oakland launched the Nuisance Eviction Ordinance--a law that gave the city the right to pursue eviction proceedings on renters based on drug or weapon charges. The new legislation was modeled after a pilot program adopted seven years prior by Los Angeles, which allowed the City Attorney to evict for arrests and illegal weapon possession. This past Wednesday the Oakland City Council unanimously approved a series of new laws proposed by City Attorney Barbara Parker, including one giving her--as well as landlords--the right to swiftly evict suspected sex workers.
While the reasoning behind the new ordinance may seem well-founded, critics worry that the new law--much like similar laws passed before it--neglects due process, lacks transparency and oversight and carries with it few protections for parties who have been wrongly evicted. Kriston Capps, who broke the story for CityLab, writes, “The bill does not describe the burden of proof the city needs to meet in order to apprise a landlord that a tenant has ‘engaged’ in an illegal activity. Nor does the bill stipulate whether this evidence (presuming some is required) is to be shared with the tenant.” [via @KPCC]
Tim Iglesias, Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law (specializing in fair housing), was a guest on this radio program providing legal and academic commentary.