The vultures of greed

Jeremy Mykaels, facing the Vultures of Greed

A small but enthusiastic crowd marched through the Castro April 20 to bring some attention to the rash of Ellis Act evictions that are forcing seniors and disabled people out of the city. The activists stopped at the home of Jeremy Mykaels, whose plight is symbolic of the state of housing in San Francisco today. Mykaels insists he's not a public speaker, but his remarks were poignant; we've excerpted them here:

I have AIDS and I am being evicted through the use of the Ellis Act. I want to welcome you to my home for the past 18 years, and to my Castro neighborhood where I've spent the last four decades, or two-thirds of my life.

I was there at some of the earliest Gay Pride Parades and Castro Street Fairs, listening to speakers like Harvey Milk and seeing entertainers like Sylvester with Two Tons 'O Fun and Patrick Cowley. I proudly voted for Harvey to become the city's first openly gay supervisor. I participated in the fight against the Briggs amendment, which would have outlawed gay teachers in California schools. I walked in the candlelight march honoring the lives of Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone after their assassinations by Supervisor Dan White. And I've been here for many other protests and for many other celebrations.

And like most of you, I've seen how HIV and AIDS have devastated this community over the years and I have lost most of my closest friends and lovers to this disease. Until 12 years ago I thought I had somehow miraculously escaped it's clutches, but that was not to be and I have been dealing with that reality as best as I can ever since, with mixed results. And now on top of the great losses this disease has cost our gay community, even more losses are occurring in the form of more and more long-term tenants with HIV/AIDS living in rent-controlled apartments being forced to move out of their homes and/or out of the city after being evicted through the use of the Ellis Act, or who have been scared and bullied by just the threat of an Ellis eviction into accepting low buyout offers to vacate.

I had always thought that I would spend the rest of my life living in this neighborhood and city that I love. Now I know that, like so many others before me who found themselves in similar situations, I will have no choice but to move out.

Tech boom 2.0 has brought out what I call the Vultures of Greed, a de facto alliance of banks, the real estate lobby, and, whether unwittingly or not, city officials like the mayor and several supervisors and the Planning Commission. But the worst Vultures of Greed have been the real estate speculators, many of whom I have listed on my website.

And here I would like to call out my own personal vultures as a prime example of how uncaring real estate speculators can be. The new owners of this property are Cuong Mai, William H. Young and John H. Du, and their business entity is 460Noe Group LLC, based in Union City. These are truly callous individuals who knew from the very beginning that they had a person with AIDS living in the building, and soon after they bought the place they began threatening me with an Ellis eviction if I didn't accept their low-ball buyout offer and vacate. On September 10th, 2012 they subsequently Ellised the building and served me with eviction papers which means that I will only have until September 10th of this year to legally occupy my apartment. All these men want is the highest profit they can get after they remodel and re-sell this building. They could care less what happens to me when I am forced to move out of the city and no longer have access to all my HIV specialists who have kept me alive for this long. A prospect I'll admit that, yes, scares me. But these guys, they won't lose even a seconds sleep over my fate.

Yes, the Vultures of Greed are soaring high with sharpened talons ready to feed upon our city's seniors and disabled, and on what's left of our already decimated San Francisco gay community. But we don't have to allow it. Together with our growing number of allies, we can change minds and we can eventually reclaim this city from the Vultures of Greed.

BTW, we couldn’t reach Mai, Young, or Du, and their lawyer, Saul Ferster, did not return a call seeking comment.


wow, talk about entitlement issues- that refers to 90% of the tools posting comments. the almighty 'market' is a construct, and 'market value' is created out of thin air by speculators.

so detached from humanity, if only it was possible for you to feel shame

and basing anything on that 75,000 average income? it only takes a few overpaid Twitttwats and bused-in Genentech/Google drones to skew the average.

newsflash, Scrooges- your assets will be cold comfort when you're alone except for your paid attendants.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 26, 2013 @ 10:55 am

A few billionaires may alter the mean, but it will have little affect on the median.

The median income in SF is about 75K per annum. Easily enough to afford market rent and, in the case if a couple both earning that, buy the average home.

Most SF market-rates homes are affordable. That is easily proved - there are very few vacancies so clearly people can afford them.

It's just those that cannot whine a lot, like Jeremy. But the city does not need them. Move to Oakland.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 26, 2013 @ 11:19 pm

not mean. And the amount is $72,947 per household, not per person.

Your belief that the median household income in San Francisco consists of two people each earning $75,000 per year, or $150,000 household income, is wishful fantasy.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 7:15 am

skews the numbers is shown to be 100% false.

I never said the median was a couple earning 150K pa. I said there are enough of those to be able to buy every SF home that comes onto the market, and rent whatever is left. Which proves that SF homes are affordable to as many people as needed.

The fact that you can only afford Oakland says little other than that you should probably move to Oakland, as should this whiney Jeremy dude.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 7:31 am

I didn't cite the billionaires, only the link to the Census income statistics.

As far as your hatred for "whiney" lower income people, try surviving without them. You will quickly starve to death, which won't bother me one bit.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 7:47 am

just because there are some people who cannot afford to live in SF.

It's only unaffordable when there are not enough people who can afford homes here, so that the vacancy rate rises. And even then, the asking prices and rents would simply fall.

So in fact not only is SF affordable now, it always will be, because prices always adjust so that enough people can afford it.

I might need some low paid people, but they can be Mexicans. I don't need you at all.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 8:03 am

one of those Mexicans would slit your throat. Racist, classist waste of oxygen.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 8:06 am

That's an interesting viewpoint although personally I find them very honest and hard-working.

You made the point that I need some low paid folks. I do. I just don't need people like you.

And the low paid service workers typically commute in from cheaper places, which is exactly what you should do if you cannot afford SF.

"Just" is a highly subjective notion.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 8:39 am

No, Greg Corrales is not a criminal because he's Hispanic.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 9:54 am

Although interesting as always when you admit to posting as "Guest" when you want to come over a little racist.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 11:11 am

It makes perfect sense. Greg Corrales is Latino, Greg Corrales commits crimes under color of authority that have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands, but that is not because he is a Latino, it is because he is a violent fuck, get it?

Posted by marcos on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

And the assumption would never have been made about an Asian.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

In am one of those victims!! I am losing my home after 30 years--and you have the audacity to say it's "not a crisis?"!!! How dare you!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

You should have bought, its your own fault. Stop blaming everyone but YOU for you predicament. If you name is on the deed you camn stay as long as you like.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 9:47 am

Well as long as you pay the property taxes….

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 10:02 am

Real greed is the vultures of rent control, who expaect to control valuable property they don't own. Ellis act is the solution. Is not your property if your name is not on the deed!

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