New Orleans Recession is here. Layoffs are in the millions. The service industry is hammered. Small businesses are underwater, while the Senate Republicans are only listening to big corporations. Trump is trying to elbow Dr. Fauci out of the way for getting too much attention as a truthteller at his fabricated daily press conferences spinning out whatever comes to mind in his happy valley. I have to admit, he tricked me for a minute, as well. When he said he was halting evictions nationally, I thought he was talking about tenants. It turns out he had conflated the terms “evictions” and “foreclosures.” He was ordering a temporary halt to foreclosures for homeowners. HUD has frozen evictions for public housing tenants, but otherwise the federal government is silent on the fate of forty million tenants across the country.
Other countries where ACORN works have acted on our demands for tenants. The United Kingdom has frozen evictions. Canada has taken action. France has halted evictions. In the United States, once again, leadership has defaulted to states and cities, but the pattern is patchy and in many cases the relief is extremely short term and undefined.
At the state level, California has halted evictions until May 31st. Delaware has “paused” until May 1st, while Illinois has paused until April 8th. Indiana has stopped evictions “until the crisis is over.” Louisiana has stepped up and stopped all evictions indefinitely. Maryland has acted “only for tenants related to the virus.” Massachusetts has blocked evictions. Michigan has done so until April 17th. New Hampshire has stopped them, and New Jersey has haled for sixty days. New York has stood tall and said none for three months. North Carolina has said thirty days. Pennsylvania has stopped them only for a minute until April 3rd. Rhode Island is in for thirty days, as is Texas and Washington. Virginia has blocked until April 8th. Maybe I’m missing something, but my rough count is some action from almost nothing to three months has been taken by seventeen states, and, yes, the District of Columbia has suspended, and absolutely nothing has been done in thirty-three states. Some cities have done much better, but it’s not a huge parade there either.
Don’t get me wrong according to various websites, some of them are talking about it and even thinking about it, but people are hurting and worrying, and they are fiddling. Most of this data, I found at a website connected to something called fool.com, which gives a sense to all of us of who is really keeping track.
This jigsaw puzzle is actually why we have a federal government and need a president or someone around there to take action and remember that tenants count too, not just the big boys with the three-piece suits. That is something we need to put on our list for later.
In the meantime, we need to stop evictions now!
Wade Rathke is founder and chief organizer of ACORN and ACORN International. You can find Wade’s recent past posts here Chief Organizer Reports. And you can link to his website here Chief Organizer ACORN/ACORN International