A family-friendly street party and the Good Neighbor Awards

Video of the Occupy Bernal Fiesta by selene video

Occupy Bernal Media Advisory
For Immediate Release

Contact: Annie B., 415-483-9138, press@occupybernal.org

What: A family-friendly street party and the Good Neighbor Awards.

Where: Andover Street between Cortland and Ellert

When: May 19, 2012 from 1-4 p.m.

Occupy Bernal is proud to have helped prevent the evictions of some of our neighbors! To show appreciation for the hard work and perseverance of Bernal locals, we’re throwing a “foreclosure fighter” fiesta.

In addition to hobnobbing with our neighbors; still in their homes no thanks to the banks:

- the infamous Wild Old Women who regularly shut down the local Bank of America branch to national acclaim are expected

- hear organizer Stardust play oboe in the Occupy Bernal Band

- see Occupy Bernal instigator Beth Stephens and artist/activist Annie Sprinkle hand out the awards to neighbors whose homes are in foreclosure and who are fighting to stop predatory bank practices.

- eat barbecue cooked by foreclosure fighter Tom German

- enjoy a potluck, live music, kids activities, education, silkscreening with Families Occupy San Francisco [ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Families-Occupy-San-Francisco/236531299734365 ], and lots more

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/349658901761052

To sign up for the Occupy Bernal press list and/or obtain photos and video of the event, see http://www.occupybernal.org/press

Occupy Bernal, Occupy SF Housing Fight Wells Fargo to Save Neighbors’ Homes

OCCUPY BERNAL MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Occupy Bernal: Julien Ball or Stardust, +1 (415) 483-9138, press@occupybernal.org

Causa Justa :: Just Cause: Maria Zamudio, +1 (805) 729-3395, maria.zamudio@cjjc.org or Robbie Clark, +1 (510) 228-9015, robbie@cjjc.org

ACCE: Grace Martinez, +1 (415) 377-6872, gmartinez@calorganize.org

Occupy SF Housing: Ted Gullicksen, +1 (415) 812-4331, ted@sftu.org

Occupy Bernal, Occupy SF Housing Fight Wells Fargo to Save Neighbors’ Homes

San Francisco, February 14, 2012 – Occupy Bernal and Occupy SF Housing today invite the 99% to join a campaign to stop Wells Fargo Bank from evicting and foreclosing on our neighbors and to defend all neighborhoods from predatory bank evictions, foreclosures, and foreclosure auctions.

Occupy Bernal, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Causa Justa :: Just Cause (CJJC), and other community organizations in the Occupy SF Housing coalition are demanding an end to predatory, for-profit evictions and foreclosures by Wells Fargo in our neighborhood, in the city of San Francisco and beyond.

Press Conference with Neighbors Facing Unjust Eviction & Foreclosure:
11:30am – 12:00pm (noon) on Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day), at
Bradley Manning Plaza (Justin Herman Plaza), San Francisco

In conjunction with a Valentine’s Day “Dump the Banks” action organized by CJJC, Occupy Bernal and Occupy SF Housing invite the press to hear from San Francisco residents who the banks are unjustly foreclosing and evicting from their homes.

Speakers will include: Alberto del Rio, Occupy Bernal Foreclosure Fighter; Maria Zamudio, CJJC; Maria Davila, Occupy Bernal Foreclosure Fighter; Ted Gullicksen, San Francisco Tenant’s Union; Victor Granados, Occupy Bernal Foreclosure Fighter; a representative from ACCE; and Stardust, Occupy Bernal.

After the press conference, the press and the 99% are invited to join CJJC and friends in a march on the banks to let them know we’re dumping them. The CJJC invitation says: “They’ve broken our hearts, our homes and torn our families and communities apart.” The event will include street theater/teatro, music, and valentines for everyone to sign, as well as an opportunity for folks to move their money to community credit unions.

The recent deal between banks and the Attorneys General of 49 of 50 states is woefully inadequate and does little for the Californians hardest hit by the crisis. Foreclosures have cost the state $650 billion in lost home values, property taxes, and foreclosure-related costs, according to a report released by last December by California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). The top banks – Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally Financial – pay only $18 billion in this sweetheart deal, which amounts to only $150 per foreclosure statewide. About 750,000 families will receive up to $2,000, a pittance compared with even the depressed value of their homes. The largest chunk – more than $12 billion – will in part go to pressure even more homeowners to sell their homes for less than what they owe, in real estate transactions called short sales which are usually an easy way for banks to make money and save time, while leaving more and more neighbors without homes.

To summarize, the 1% are profiting off the economic distress of the 99% to finagle the largest land grab since the Depression era or earlier.

In a city that has seen as many as 12,000 foreclosures in the past three years, Occupy Bernal started organizing in December 2011 to stop the evictions and foreclosures of our neighbors, joining a community of housing rights organizations who have long been fighting for tenant’s and home owners’ rights. In response to public protest in January 2012, Wells Fargo Bank postponed auctions of the Bernal homes of Washington and Maria Davila and the Alberto Del Rio family, but the bank also rescheduled the auctions. Despite meeting with six foreclosure fighters from the Bernal Heights neighborhood and another from Bayview-Hunters Point, Wells Fargo executives have refused to allow any to refinance their homes or modify their loans, and have continued plans to sell off their homes.

SAVE OUR HOMES FROM WELLS FARGO CAMPAIGN ACTIONS:

Details for the upcoming actions will be announced at the press conference. Here is a list of the actions planned:

Neighborhoods March to Home of Wells Fargo Chairman, President & CEO John Stumpf:
9:00am-2:00pm on Saturday, February 25 at 1090 Chestnut St, San Francisco

Neighbors Rally at Office of Wells Fargo Director, President and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West, Lloyd H. Dean:
11:00am-1:30pm on Monday, February 27, at 185 Berry St, San Francisco

Save the Del Rio Family Home, Stop the Foreclosure Auction:
1:45pm-3:00pm on Thursday, March 1, City Hall Steps, 400 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

These protests follow on successful protests that shut down Wells Fargo headquarters on January 20, 2012, and Wells Fargo bank branches in the Bernal and Excelsior neighborhoods on January 5 and January 7 respectively.

For more information about the Causa Justa :: Just Cause Valentine’s Day Action, see http://www.cjjc.org/en/news/51-housing-justice/263-dump-the-banks

To sign up for the Occupy Bernal press list and/or obtain photos and video of the actions, see http://www.occupybernal.org/press

Organizations:

Occupy SF Housing is a coalition which includes OccupySF, SF Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee of SF, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Eviction Defense Collaborative, ACCE, Homes Not Jails, Occupy Bernal, and other community groups and individuals. The coalition came together to stop banks from evicting tenants and homeowners through foreclosures or through their partnerships with real estate speculators. Web: http://www.occupysf.org

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is raising up the voices of low income, immigrant and working families across California. Web: http://www.calorganize.org

Causa Justa :: Just Cause is a multi-racial, grassroots organization building community leadership to achieve justice for low-income San Francisco and Oakland residents. Web: http://www.cjjc.org

Occupy Bernal is a neighborhood-based Occupy currently focusing on preventing the banks from throwing our neighbors out of their homes. Web: http://www.occupybernal.org

Occupy SF strives to address and confront the injustices in our society by giving voice to the 99% through direct actions. OSF is simultaneously creating a new culture based on direct democracy, diversity, sustainable communities, and respect for all peoples and the environment. Web: http://www.occupysf.org

Tell Wells Fargo: Hands Off Our Neighbors! Call/Email Day Monday!

Despite recording record profits last year, Wells Fargo continues to drive tens of thousands of people out of their homes through foreclosure proceedings while devastating our communities. The good news is, we’re fighting back.

Occupy Bernal Heights formed to resist the foreclosure and eviction of our neighbors. Through public protest, we stopped the bank from immediately auctioning off the homes of Washington and Maria Davila and Alberto Del Rio, but the bank has merely rescheduled the auction dates. And despite meeting with six foreclosure fighters from the neighborhood and another from Bayview-Hunters Point, Wells Fargo executives have refused to allow any of them to refinance their homes or modify their loans, and have not stopped foreclosure proceedings against them.

Call and email Wells Fargo board of directors TODAY and demand that they grant a loan modification and fair deal to Alberto Del Rio; Maria and Washington Davila; Thomas German; Ernesto Viscara; Victor Granados; DeDe Martinez; Archbishop King; Eric Lundgren and Ross Rhodes. Tell them to stop evicting and foreclosing on our neighbors!

Note: We are trying to keep track of the number of emails sent. Please cc your email to action@occupybernal.org

Wells Fargo Phone numbers/emails:

John Stumpf (CEO): 866-878-5865  john.g.stumpf@wellsfargo.com

Board of Directors: BoardCommunications@wellsfargo.com

Members of the Board of Directors (with available contact info):

John D. Baker II: 877-704-1776 jmilton@patriottrans.com
Elaine L. Chao: 202-543-7063 staff@heritage.org Subject line: To Elaine Chao
John S. Chen: 591-883-6898
Lloyd H. Dean: 415-438-5500
Susan E. Engel: 914-730-0208
Enrique Hernandez, Jr. 626-535-2200
Donald M. James: 205-298-3000 jamesd@vmcmail.com
Federico F. Peña 303-292-6300
Alfredo Pedroza (Director CA Local Gov’t Relations): 415-396-0829 alfredo.pedroza@wellsfargo.com

Sample Email:

To: john.g.stumpf@wellsfargo.com; boardcommunications@wellsfargo.com; jmilton@patriottrans.com; staff@heritage.org; jamesd@vmcmail.com; alfredo.pedroza@wellsfargo.com;

Cc: action@occupybernal.org

Subject: WELLS FARGO: HANDS OFF OUR NEIGHBORS!

Message:

You control Wells Fargo either directly or on behalf of its borrowers and your stockholders. I demand that you cancel the auction of Alberto Del Rio (Loan #47339080) and Maria and Washington Davila’s family homes immediately. I also demand that you allow them, along with Thomas German (Loan #44751501); Ernesto Viscara (Loan # 46110532); Victor Granados (Loan #5000039031); DeDe Martinez (Loan #0046809208); Archbishop Franzo King; Eric Lundgren and Ross Rhodes, to modify their loans with you or refinance their homes. I call on you to stop evictions and foreclosures in San Francisco.

I also demand you direct Wells Fargo to meet with Occupy Bernal, SFHDC and ACCE to end and redress your predatory lending practices, and those of your purchased affiliates, by instituting a moratorium on foreclosures, and having your CEO meet with our neighbors who are in immediate risk of losing their homes as a result of Wells foreclosures. Stop evicting and foreclosing on our neighbors!

——–

Tweets:

Tell WellsFargoCEO John Stumpf to stop evicting & foreclosing our neighbors 866-878-5865 john.g.stumpf@wellsfargo.com #OSF #OccupyBernal #OWS

Tell WellsFargo stop evicting & foreclosing on our neighbors Call Alfredo Pedroza 415-396-0829 #OSF #OccupyBernal

Tell WellsFargo modify loans & grant fair deal to neighbors alfredo.pedroza@wellsfargo.com #OSF #OccupyBernal #OWS

Tell WellsFargo grant fair deal to Bernal Neighbors Del Rio; Davila; German; Viscara; Granados; Martinez; & Archbishop King #OccupyBernal #OSF

#OccupyBernal #OSF is working to stop foreclosures and evictions by WellsFargo. Mtg Mon 2/13 7p 515 CortlandSF housing@occupybernal.org

#DumptheBanks #OccupyValentinesDay -Meet at Bradley Manning Plaza 12pm & March to #WellsFargo #BofA #causajusta #occupybernal #OSF Housing
__________________________________________________________

Background:

Occupy Bernal has identified 84 homes in foreclosure proceedings in Bernal Heights alone. Of these, Wells Fargo owns the mortgage in at least 13 of these cases. Of the homes we have visited, a disproportionate number of the owners are African-American or Latino, reflecting the racist practices of the banks who are preying on communities.

While foreclosures in Bernal Heights represent just the tip of the iceberg in a city that has seen as many as 12,000 foreclosures in the past three years, Occupy Bernal is hopeful that a victory in our neighborhood could spark victories elsewhere in San Francisco.

Bios of Occupy Bernal foreclosure fighters:

Thomas German is a seventy-two year-old veteran and retired worker from the US Mint in SF.  Has lived in Bernal since 1967 and at his home at 248 Andover since 1974. Thomas is known and loved by all on his street. He was the first Bernal resident to step forward and join OB to battle to keep his home.

Melodie “ DeDe” Martinez is a third generation resident of 150 Elsie St. Her family was at the heart of the launching of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center(BHNC)  in 1976, when she was a child.  Her Grandmother Jean Hamer and mother Charlene Martinez were on the founding Board of Directors of the BHNC.

Alberto Del Rio is a father of three, who grew up in his home at 565 Banks St.  A strong but gentle and religious man, Alberto is an eloquent speaker on behalf of his family and other foreclosure fighters.

Victor Granados is a tenant at 4207 Folsom St. with his wife and family. He is a quiet but determined fighter against his and other foreclosures. When Occupy Bernal needs guidance and inspiration, he often has words of wisdom.

Ernesto Viscara is an owner and occupant of 249 Anderson, where he also rents to another family living on his 2nd floor. Ernesto has lived in Bernal for 30 years. He is also an accomplished public speaker, a veteran fighter for social justice and a participant in struggles against U.S. military intervention in Central America.

Maria and Washington Davila are a quiet couple with two beloved Yorkshire Terriers, the Davilas have rented their home at 4255 Folsom St. for 7 years. They have been the ideal tenants, and the inside of their home looks like a photo shoot from Home Beautiful.

Their landlord, who faces foreclosure, is ill and lives in Las Vegas.

Archbishop Franzo King pastors the John Coltrane Church, located in the Western Addition community of San Francisco.  He is a life-long resident of the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.  He has owned his house for over 20 years.  He is a member of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).

Eric Lundgren has lived in Bernal Heights for a long time and is active in Occupy Bernal.

Ross Rhodes lives in the house he grew up in and is a lifelong resident of Bernal Heights. He heard about Occupy Bernal on  a Monday, started working with Ed Donaldson with San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC) on Wednesday, and by Thursday he was an active member of Occupy Bernal.

Photos of Wells Fargo Campaign Actions Press Conference

Here are photos from the Wells Fargo Campaign Actions press conference that took place at 11:30am on February 14, 2012, at Bradley Manning Plaza (Justin Herman Plaza), organized by Occupy Bernal and Occupy SF Housing. (Thanks to Becca for snapping these photos!)