As rain fell, anti-eviction protesters marched to the offices of landlord Kaushik Dattani on 22nd Street at noon today. Mr. Dattani was not in the office at the time so the protesters phoned and sent text messages calling on him to stop the eviction of longtime Mission resident Patricia Kerman and her roommate Thomas Rapp.

Kerman and Rapp received an eviction notice from their landlord Kaushik Dattani last August. Because of age and disability, Kerman, with legal assistance, was able to push back the deadline until August of this year. A similar protest in December called for Dattani to rescind the eviction of the building that Rapp and Kerman are occupying.

The protest was billed as a “March Against Greed” and according to protest organizer Carmen Simon, “Specifically we are protesting landlord Kaushik Dattani as an example of what speculation, under-regulated, does to a community.”

By targetting Dattani, one of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project’s “Dirty Dozen,” protesters also aimed to call attention to the rampant speculation occurring under the Ellis Act. They argue Dattani has been using the Ellis Act to evict tenants since the dot-com wave of the 90s and is responsible for evictions of 24 units.

Some in the crowd are fighting similar eviction notices while others came in solidarity. Protester Lena Seagrave spoke for many of the 50-75 attending when she said, “I’ve lived here all my life. The City is for everybody. We all have to defend and stand with our neighbors.”

The protests come just as Senator Mark Leno and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano have proposed new legislation in Sacramento to stop or slow Ellis Act evictions.

Leno’s Senate Bill 1439 would prevent owners from filing Ellis Act evictions until they have owned the property for at least five years.

Ammiano’s Assembly Bill 2405  would allow local governments to halt Ellis Act evictions and condo conversions when failing to meet the state’s housing requirements.