Column: The bravery of Jennifer Siebel Newsom facing Harvey Weinstein — and facing us all
Siebel Newsom, a Democrat elected as the city councilor of Oakland, California, is a formidable woman. She has the authority to take action when the people rise up to challenge injustice.
One of the most recent examples of such action occurred on Saturday, December 5 when she was asked to help stop an eviction at a vacant business building in her district.
This issue of The Bay Citizen on December 6, 2016
When that building, which houses the former home of the Oakland Tribune and other properties, was purchased and rented out as a hotel in the early 2000s, it provided a valuable, tax-free investment for the city.
Under the terms of that lease — which has since been amended — the hotel could evict the owners at any time and they agreed to pay rent of $100,000 a year until 2019 when the building was sold.
One of the owners, who rents out rooms in his six-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the downtown Oakland, complained to the city when he learned a new hotel was going to be built on the property, and that it would be a great target for landlords eyeing the property for vacancy.
On Saturday night, he confronted Siebel, who was the acting city councilor.
He told her that his landlord planned to go to the police station on December 8 to evict him, and that he had to be out on that date. Siebel offered him an alternative date: December 9, which was also the date the city’s police chief planned on going in.
He agreed but told her that if the police came on December 8, they would need a warrant signed by the mayor and the chief.
That evening, he went to the police station without a warrant to check on whether he could go at that time. The police chief was waiting for the judge to sign the warrant. Siebel told him that she was a holdover from the mayor�