Hunger Strikers in San Jose Take Aim at No-Cause Eviction Practice

Group has gone without food since Friday and says it will go until Tuesday council meeting

For the fifth-consecutive day, a collective of renters' rights backers passed up a meal to garner support for a potential city law that could protect tenants against what they say is an unfair eviction practice.

The strikers have vowed to go without food until Tuesday afternoon's City Council meeting, during which city leaders will contemplate a so-called "just-cause" ordinance regarding evictions. Currently in San Jose, landlords are allowed to evict tenants without offering a reason.

A group of renters' rights advocates in San Jose has gone nearly two days without food and was prepared to stay hungry for two more days to bring attention to a proposed city ordinance protecting tenants against no-cause evictions. Rick Boone reports.

The new measure would also require landlords to make property repairs more expeditiously and respond faster to tenant complaints.

Since 2010, there have been more than 2,000 "no-cause" evictions in San Jose, city records show.

The California Apartment Association responded to the protest, saying laws already exist to protect renters.

"San Jose already has laws to prevent landlords from evicting tenants for financial gain," association spokesman Mike Nemeth said. "The city needs to enforce those laws rather than create new legislation, more regulations and additional layers of bureaucracy."

Three women have been fasting since Friday and sleeping on the steps outside City Hall. They were joined Easter Sunday by several supporters, and others followed suit.

The advocates have the support of the council, according to the Mercury News, which reported that council members Sylvia Arenas, Sergio Jimenez, Raul Peralez and Donald Rocha have expressed in writing their support, and Devora Davis and Lan Diep would recommend approval with some minor changes to the policy.

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