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Berkeley City Councilwoman Dona Spring Double-Crosses Tenants Group

by Save Berkeley Housing Authority Thursday, Aug. 10, 2006 at 2:33 PM

Berkeley Councilwoman Dona Spring Double-Crosses Berkeley Tenants Group!

Phony Berkeley Liberals Cancel An Aug. 26, Tenants Community Meeting At The South Berkeley Senior Center, After Failed Take-Over Bid Falls Short!

---Section 8 & Public Housing Tenants Are Double-Crossed By Phony Liberals In Berkeley---

[Save Berkeley Housing Authority, is a homegrown group of Section 8 tenants trying to save low-income housing in Berkeley]


Berkeley -- Phony liberals double-cross the community and cancel an Aug. 26, tenants Community Meeting to save the Berkeley Housing Authority, after a failed take-over bid.

On July 11, and July 25, two large tenant rallys' to save the Berkeley Housing Authority, convinced the City Council to send a notice to more than 1,800 families in public housing and the Section 8 program in Berkeley.
The notice was meant to inform the tenants of the crisis in the Berkeley Housing Authority and would also serve as an invitation for the tenants to come to an Aug. 26, Community Meeting being organized by the tenants group, Save Berkeley Housing Authority.

On Aug. 8, Councilwoman Dona Spring shocked the housing community by demanding that the tenants group called Save Berkeley Housing Authority, must hand over control of their Aug. 26, Community Meeting to the City Manager, or have their event canceled if they refuse to comply.

"The City Manager wants you to hand over control of the Aug. 26, Community Meeting, or he will refuse to send out invitations and will cancel the meeting," said Councilwoman Dona Spring.

Imagine that! The City Manager and Berkeley Housing Authority Officials wanted to use a tenants group as a front, for their own contrived meeting, and canceled the meeting after the tenants group refused to go along with the phony charade!

See insiders take-over scheme e-mail below, plus Press Release and news articles, for more details...
See e-mail below from Steve Barton of the Berkeley Housing Authority to Councilwoman Dona Spring, with details of a plan to take over the Aug. 26, tenants meeting, with his own phony RAB event. RAB no longer exists, and has not held a meeting in over 2 YEARS!
After Save Berkeley Housing Authority refused to go along with the phony RAB event cooked up by Steve Barton of the BHA, the City Manager got heavy with his own bid to tak-over the Aug. 26, event.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Barton, Stephen"
Cc: "Kamlarz, Philip"
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 9:22 AM
Subject: RE: BHA Notice To Send- Notice for Aug 26 Meeting

Thanks for sending this along. We will need to send a much more neutral and information-oriented mailer to the Section 8 tenants, and can certainly invite them to a meeting with the Section 8 Resident Advisory Board (I recognize Patrick Kehoe's name as one of the tenants who is working with the RAB members although he is not a member himself). At this meeting we can have the new BHA Manager there to describe what is going on and of course the RAB members and other tenants will be welcome to make statements and pass out any information they want.

I am particularly concerned that we not say anything that implies that individual tenants may lose their vouchers, because this is not true and will cause unnecessary anxiety and mental suffering. There are quite enough serious possible drawbacks that could result from loss of the BHA, such as potential loss of the local office and loss of the preference for Berkeley residents and potential dispersion of the vouchers to other communities over time. I think if we can focus on the policy issues of what people need from the BHA, then we as staff can focus on doing out best to protect those
interests however the BHA ends up being organized or reorganized.

See Press Release below...

To: Assignment Desk

Press Release August 9, 2006

For Immediate Release -- Contact: 510/763-1085

Take-over Attempt Forces Cancellation Of Tenants Meeting

August 26, Community Meeting To Save BHA Cancelled
"Berkeley hardliners demand that tenants group must hand over control of Community Meeting to City Officials, or else!"

Berkeley CA– Hardliners force cancellation of tenants August 26, Community Meeting to save the Berkeley Housing Authority, after their take-over attempt failed.
Save Berkeley Housing Authority, a homegrown group of Section 8 tenants trying to save the Berkeley Housing Authority, were notified on August 8, by Councilwoman Dona Spring, that if they did not hand control of their scheduled August 26, Community Meeting over to Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz, that invitations to public housing and Section 8 tenants would not be sent out, and the meeting would be cancelled.

City Manager Phil Kamlarz planned to muscle his way into taking control of the tenants Aug. 26, event, had planned his own agenda, and even lined up his own moderator (Tha Johns), if he could only gain control of the meeting.

The August 26, event was scheduled for 2pm at the South Berkeley Senior Center, and cancelled after the group called Save Berkeley Housing Authority refused to allow the City Manager to run roughshod over their Community Meeting, with a sham meeting of his own.
"This was a tenants meeting, organized by tenants for tenants, and not even George Bush would be allowed to take-over our event if he had tried," said tenant organizer Lynda Carson.

The Berkeley Housing Authority Board met Tuesday July 25, and unanimously voted on a motion by Councilwoman Dona Spring to send a notice about the BHA crisis to Berkeley’s Section 8 and public housing tenants, and to invite them to the Aug. 26, Community Meeting being organized by Save Berkeley Housing Authority.

Organizers had planned their own agenda for the Aug. 26, Community Meeting and had their own speakers lined up to help teach tenants how to lobby on their own behalf to save the BHA.

Based on an October 18, 2005, report from Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz to the Board Of Commissioners of the Housing Authority;

"HUD would most likely reduce the nearly $20,000,000 in HAP payments (Section 8 payments) to landlords/properties in South & West Berkeley."

Unfortunately, the failed take-over attempt by the City Manager has only served to place Section 8 voucher holders at further risk of losing their housing, by the cancellation of the Aug. 26, meeting, that was meant to help teach the tenants about the crisis they face.

The crisis in the BHA has been severe enough that the City of Berkeley has been on the verge of losing local control over the embattled agency, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may take control of the BHA if the crisis is not resolved, or re-occurs again in the future.

Over 50 people filled the recent July 25, BHA meeting, and over 40 people showed up at a recent July 11, event, also organized by Save Berkeley Housing Authority, in front of the Old City Hall in Berkeley.

More than 1,800 families were expected to receive a notice about the Aug. 26, Community Meeting at the South Berkeley Senior Center, until the cancellation occurred after the City Manager failed in his take-over scheme.

For More Information:
Contact Lynda Carson: 510/763-1085

See articles below to see how the tenants group called "Save Berkeley Housing Authority," rallied to save the BHA, and have a motion passed to have a notice sent out to more than 1,800 families for their canceled Aug. 26, event.

Citizens Rally for Ailing City Housing Authority
By Suzanne La Barre
A rally to save Berkeley’s troubled Housing Authority drew about two-dozen supporters Tuesday.
Public housing tenants and advocates gathered at the steps of Old City Hall to call for the preservation of the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA), the city agency under pressure to mend a number of administrative and managerial problems which have put it at risk of dissolution or restructuring.

“Hey, hey, what do you say? We’ve got to save BHA,” chanted the protesters, many whom held signs, some of which read “Save your own housing,” and “Heart is where the home is. Keep BHA at home.”

Click below for full story...


Berkeley Housing Authority May Lose Federal Funding

Possible Transfer of Control to County Agency Prompts Concern Among Voucher Recipients

BY Saphonia Foster
Contributing Writer
Thursday, July 27, 2006

The city agency that oversees the Section 8 voucher program for low-income tenants voted Tuesday to notify tenants it may soon lose its local control, which has sparked concern among some Berkeley residents.
The Berkeley Housing Authority could lose federal funding and cede its authority to an Alameda County agency if it fails to pass a federal evaluation scheduled for completion in August.

Click below for full story...

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