Stop Permit Sonoma's Inhumane Evictions from Safe Affordable Alternative Homes

Stop Permit Sonoma's Inhumane Evictions from Safe Affordable Alternative Homes

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The Sonoma Independent started this petition to Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Permit Sonoma spends millions of dollars each year on code enforcement, much of it on inspections that result in the eviction of 200 county residents annually from their safe, affordable trailers, tiny homes, yurts and modest dwellings.

We have started this petition to get the county government to stop this practice. At this moment, an estimated 20,000 UnPermitted people in Sonoma County live with constant fear that one call to Permit Sonoma from an anonymous neighbor will result in a dreaded 30-day eviction order, which is what happens almost every time county code enforcement inspects a trailer, tiny home, converted barn or yurt, regardless of how safe they are.

This is often because antiquated housing code law requires the usage of septic systems rather than composting toilets and trailer bathrooms, even though these same bathrooms, for environmental, affordability and water conservation reasons, are legal in many other states, in campgrounds, and when mobile homes are parked on public streets.

See for yourself in this video the type of beautiful, safe affordable housing that low income people like Copperwoman Saso, a 70-year old tiny home grandmother, is being evicted from right now, by Permit Sonoma's orders and threats of $13,000 in fines.

Tyra Harrington, Code Enforcement Manager for Permit Sonoma, claims that her agency’s 189 orders resulting in the eviction of residents of many low-cost dwellings during the 12 months ending August 31, 2021, were issued to “protect the health and safety” of the people living in them.

Permit Sonoma takes the uncompromising position that any unpermitted dwelling is a danger to its residents, despite overwhelming evidence that most are perfectly safe, especially considering the alternatives. As a result, the agency effectively forces housing providers  to remove or destroy all unpermitted dwellings within 30 days or face fines of up to $100 per day. 

Incredibly, property owners are being forced to evict tenants during a declared housing emergency, something that would be illegal if they did it without being ordered to do so by their government.

Sonoma County has criminalized the lowest price safe affordable housing that our government officials frequently proclaim a commitment to encouraging.

Permit Sonoma’s hypocritical orders to evict residents from safe affordable homes for their own safety is the most egregious disconnect that exists today between the needs of the governed and the government that represents us.

Last year Sonoma County directed more than $100 million of tax dollars for housing-related assistance to help low-income renters and the homeless. 

This is the very same government whose brutal code enforcement orders have, during the past decade, forced its lowest-income renters to vacate more than 1,000 units of the most affordable housing in our county.

Sonoma County Government, which claims to place affordable housing at the top of its list of priorities, has become the region’s largest destroyer of affordable housing, as well as the entity that causes more homelessness than any landlord.

We, the undersigned, call for an end to this inhumane, destructive disconnect between the intention of the governed and the actions of our government. 

We urge Sonoma County Supervisors to pass an urgency ordinance to prevent Permit Sonoma enforcement actions when they result in the eviction of low-income renters, unless there is an immediate threat to their health and safety that is demonstrably greater than the health and safety risk of being homeless.

During the 1990’s, in the midst of the unconscionable war on Americans who used marijuana, local governments like the cities of San Francisco and Seattle passed ordinances instructing police to stand down and make marijuana their lowest enforcement priority. 

These moratoriums were effective, immediate legal solutions that managed to address the gross injustice of victimless marijuana arrests, without having to go through the years-long process of changing state law. 

We urge Sonoma County Supervisors to pass a similarly intended enforcement moratorium in the form of an urgency ordinance during the next few months, so that these senseless evictions end and thousands of our neighbors can finally feel secure in their homes this winter.

Everybody needs a home.

Stop all government evictions. Now!

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How You Can Help

We are asking all Sonoma County residents willing to help to please call your county supervisor at (707) 565-2241 and urge them to support an urgency ordinance protecting unpermitted people from eviction.

Or email all the County Supervisors and tell them where you live and a few sentences on how you feel about this and why. You can email them all at once and let us record your statement for the public record by pasting these addresses into an email:

Susan.Gorin@sonoma-county.org, David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org, district3@sonoma-county.org, district4@sonoma-county.org, district5@sonoma-county.org, campaigns@progressivesource.com  (this cc would allow us to have a record of the umber of supportive emails).

Please Share This Petition & If You Can Donate 

Please share this petition on social media and with friends!

After you sign this, Change.org will offer you an opportunity to donate, which will go toward Change.org marketing this petition to others, but not to our campaign.

You can also donate directly to the Stop All Government Evictions Campaign using the Venmo or Paypal links below. 100% of these direct donations will be used to pay for the campaign's outreach efforts in our local community to apply grassroots pressure on our supervisors to change this dysfunctional code enforcement system.

You can donate to this campaign via PayPal or Venmo

or search for campaigns@progressivesource.com on PayPal or Venmo

You can contact us by emailing campaigns@progressivesource.com

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!