Things have been quiet on our end, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been working on a number of cases.
Many of you helped us achieve justice for Jesus and Alma, whose abusive landlord forced them to live in disgraceful conditions. Jesus and Alma successfully carried out a rent strike for five months, living rent-free in their apartments. Slumlord Royster served them eviction notices, but regardless of the court ruling, they withheld rent payment. This allowed both families to save enough to move into new apartments, and also led Slumlord Royster’s creditors to foreclose on some of his properties. In fact, we were told by one of his neighbors in Alpine that he attempted to tap into power lines. Apparently he can no longer pay utility bills for his mansion (oh, the irony).
Slumlord Royster continues to seek tenants to inhabit property he does not own. However, the banks have begun to pursue him, and he is likely to face legal repercussions, in addition to his ruined reputation.
In our current case, we are helping a grant writer named Fanny who was misclassified as a private contractor, and as a result had her wages stolen and unemployment denied.
Fanny recently won her case with the labor commissioner against Robin O’Neal, her deplorable boss at Changing Seasons Recovery Center. Fanny was awarded $9,800 in lost wages and penalties. O’Neil was caught by the Feds for failing to comply with payroll taxes, and for operating a “non-profit” without a 501(3)c license.
Robin has still failed to pay Fanny. San Diego Solidarity has mobilized direct action against Robin, and will continue to do so until Fanny is paid.
San Diego Solidarity Network plans to keep in touch with our supporters by sending out a brief monthly newsletter. Expect updates for future actions as our network grows!
Help us stop Darren Royster from abusing tenants by joining in community action and sharing information about this slumlord.
Darren takes advantage of vulnerable tenants, refusing to make necessary repairs. Jesus and his family live in awful conditions with a broken door, floor, toilet and refrigerator, while their neighbor Alma and her children endure peeling paint, damaged sewage pipes, and dangerous broken stairs. Worse still, Royster rented a home to Na’ima and her seven children, even when he knew the proprty was foreclosured. For six months, Royster collected rent on a house that he had already relinquished to the bank without informing the family. Now the bank threatens to throw them out, and they risk homelessness. Recently Royster showed up at Na’ima’s house with police directing them to throw the family out and continuing his attempt to collect rent. Fortunately he lacked the appropriate paperwork. Na’ima and her family continue to live in the house, but their future is unsure.
On Saturday, October 16, a group of community members arrived at Royster’s home to enact a public protest informing Darren’s neighbors of his abuse of tenants. Holding cardboard signs, we chanted outside Darren’s mansion in Alpine. Before long grateful neighbors approached us, explaining that Darren is unwelcome in their community due to his hostile behavior. We soon witnessed these antisocial tendencies ourselves, as before long Darren appeared wearing noise canceling earphones and a hockey mask. He brought a blaring stereo outside in a futile attempt to drown out our chants, and pranced around his driveway as if our jeers were praise. The insanity escalated as Darren climbed into one of his many cars and drove out his driveway and down the street backwards, moving at a recklessly fast speed. This is truly a villainous individual whose crimes against the community must come to an end.
Darren Royster owns a large number of expensive cars and trucks like Hummer, Mercedes and several Corvettes. Any one of these vehicles could pay for safe and secure living conditions for Jesus, Alma, Na’ima and their families!