Saturday, January 16, 2010

Town Hall report back

Over 150 people packed into the Park Community Church near Cabrini Green on Thursday night for a Town Hall Against Displacement and Evictions. While most of those in attendance were residents of Cabrini Green, many supporters from around the city were also in attendance to show solidarity. Dozens of people got up to share their own experiences with evictions, mistreatment by management, displacement, police harassment and many other issues. As sad and infuriating as many stories were, a common thread of inspiration ran through the evening as every speaker pledged to fight back and join together. As one woman who was evicted from Cabrini Green and now lives in a nursing home said, "I don't care how, I'm going home. Steel doors can't hold me back from my community."

The town halls are going to continue as weekly or bi-weekly events to build momentum and organization for the Anti-Eviction Campaign in partnership with the Cabrini Green LAC. The crowd pledged to support an action next Thursday by Anti-Eviction Campaign member group Southside Together Organizing for Power, who is protesting at next Thursday's City Plan Commission meeting against slumlord Leon Finney, Jr.'s disrespect, neglect and intimidation of tenants of the Kimbark Tenants Association in Woodlawn. The action will start at 12:30pm on the second floor of City Hall (121 N. LaSalle) Thursday January 21st.

While the momentum is strong, at the end of the day Lenise is still homeless and 50 other families at Cabrini Green may soon join her if the powers that be have their way. It is up to all of us not to let them. Get involved in the Anti-Eviction campaign by emailing

Monday, January 11, 2010

Town halls and phone calls

Thursday - 1/14/09 - 6pm
Park Community Church
1001 N Crosby (just West of Larabee on Oak)

Come support public housing residents in building a movement to stop the 50 evictions currently in progress at Cabrini Green and all other evictions of poor people in Chicago!

1) Tell CHA and HUD- "Move Lenise Forrest back into 933 N. Cambridge and declare a moratorium on all evictions at public and subsidized housing."

CHA: (312) 742-8500 and press "0" twice to get an operator then ask for CHA CEO Lewis Jordan

HUD: Midwest Director Beverly Bishop (312) 913-8139, Director of IL Office of Public Housing Steve Meiss (312) 913-8300

2) Tell Cook County - "Extend the holiday moratorium on evictions."
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart - 312-603-6444
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans - 312-603-6000
Judge E. Kenneth Wright Jr., 1st Municipal District Presiding Judge - 312-603-6132

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Discussion about Campaign on One Story Up

Can the Chicago Anti-Eviction campaign work? - Megan Cottrell

Right now, a dedicated group of volunteers and organizers are working to stop the poor from being thrown out in the cold.

The Chicago Anti-Eviction campaign started with Lenise Forrest, a Cabrini-Green woman who’s been unemployed for some time and was evicted Tuesday because she can’t pay her rent.

The Anti-Eviction campaign wants to keep Lenise and the hundreds like her in their homes.

Their slogan: Where’s our bailout?

The banks got bailed out. The big companies got bailed out. They made mistakes, fell on hard times, and got another chance. But not Lenise Forrest. Not the poor of Chicago. It’s gutsy, for sure. But can their campaign work? (Full article)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lenise denied access to possessions

After evicting her yesterday with nothing more than the clothes on her back, the Chicago Housing Authority is denying Lenise Forrest access to any of her possessions.  Members of the Chicago Anti-Eviction campaign are with her, and negotiating with HUD and CHA officials to return Lenise to her apartment.

Please take a second right now to call the CHA and demand that Lenise be allowed to return to her home.  Call 312-742-8500, press 0 twice to get to the operator, and ask to speak to Lewis Jordan.  Tell him that we won't stand for senseless evictions, and that the community is behind Lenise.

CBS Coverage of fight for Lenise's home

Full story (Text/Video)

Anti-Eviction Group Fights To Help Chicago Tenants
Kristyn Hartman

It was the knock on the door she dreaded, and early Tuesday morning, it came. Sheriff's deputies arrived at the Chicago apartment of Lenise Forrest to tell her she was being evicted; coincidentally the morning after she appeared on CBS 2 News with Kristyn Hartman.

Hartman met with Forrest who is getting some help from a new group in her fight to get back into her home.

That group is the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign. In the tough economy, and the brutally cold weather, they're trying to support people who find themselves out of a job and out of a home.

Just Monday, we met the tenant who lived in an apartment someone was boarding up Tuesday.

"They said, you're gonna be evicted today," said Forrest. I told them, wasn't I supposed to get another warning? They said the judge said I have to go today."

Having had recent rent struggles, Forrest expected to be shown the door. But coming off a holiday eviction moratorium, she didn't think it would happen so soon.

"I grabbed a coat, a shirt and a sweater," she said.

She wasn't able to grab anything else.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lenise Forrest put out, community fights back

Press Release, Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ongoing News Conference Outside

Lenise Forrest, a resident of Cabrini-Green, was evicted from her home AT 7AM yesterday morning. Member of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign are working to return Lenise to her home and demand that a moratorium on evictions be restored. For more information, or to support, please contact Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle at 773-355-8222.

Read Megan Cottrell's coverage of Lenise's eviction at One Story Up

CBS Coverage of Lenise and our push for a renewed moratorium

Full story (Text/Video)

New Year Brings New Evictions
Officials Say Larger Numbers Of People Are Being Turned Out Of Their Homes
Kristyn Hartman

It's a knock on the door nobody wants to get. But thousands in Cook County know it's coming: their eviction.

CBS 2's Kristyn Hartman is here with the hard, cold New Year news.

An eviction moratorium designed to keep people in their homes for the holidays is over. The temporary gift is gone. So, the relief some felt a few weeks ago has given way to renewed fears that come with the question: Where will I go?

Lenise Forrest knows bad news is coming. It's tough holding back tears. It's tough preparing for it.

"I worry about it every night," she said.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Zero Evictions in 2010


CALL TODAY: "Extend the holiday moratorium on evictions."
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart - 312-603-6444
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans - 312-603-6000
Judge E. Kenneth Wright Jr., 1st Municipal District Presiding Judge - 312-603-6132

With the economy in shambles, respecting the human right to housing is more important as ever. Unemployment in Cook County is close to 11%. 30,000 or more people have been filing for unemployment in Cook County every month for the last year. Homeless agencies around the state are reporting a rise in demand for their over-stretched services.

While the rich get bailed out the people are getting put out. Judge Kenneth Wright ordered a holiday moratorium on evictions in Cook County, but it ends January 5th. Help us pressure the Cook County Sheriff and Cook County Courts to turn the holiday moratorium into a New Year's Resolution: ZERO EVICTIONS IN 2010.

Until the economy can provide living wage jobs those seeking them, until the housing crisis has been thoroughly addressed, until public housing has stopped being demolished and starts to be constructed, until foreclosures have stopped, until the human right to housing is a reality for low-income people, nobody should be put out because they don't have the money to pay rent.