This week Siouxsie Q talks about sexy Halloween and the adaptation of an Oakland City Ordinance "The Nuisance Eviction Ordinance" that would allow authorities to evict sexworkers from there homes without due process. Oakland can now force landlords to evict sex workers from their homes under new changes to an existing Oakland law.
At the recommendation of Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, the Oakland City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to expand The Nuisance Eviction Ordinance which requires landlords to evict certain tenants over allegations of drug dealing or weapons crimes, and gives the City Attorney's Office the power to order such evictions.
But the City Council is has now expanded its eviction powers to include "prostitution-related crimes," gambling, and the possession of certain ammunition. If the city orders an eviction, the landlord must pay for it — and can be cited by the city for maintaining a nuisance if he or she does not move to evict the tenant.
Troubling as it is, the law does not specify whether a tenant must be convicted or merely accused of a prostitution-related offense, infringing on Oaklanders' due process rights. Landlords already have the power to evict tenants accused of using their units for illegal activity, but the ordinance gives this power to the city as well. City officials rely on police records to determine which tenants should be evicted, meaning a tenant may have been arrested for a prostitution-related crime but never convicted. In a letter to the City Council regarding the amendments to the ordinance, Parker acknowledged that, previously, her office would have to seek a court order to demand that a landlord evict a tenant. The amended ordinance eliminates this court oversight; however, the eviction would still have to proceed through court if the tenant decided to fight it.
By Kate Conger
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