The eviction letter was addressed to Giselle Martinez—and her nine-year-old son—with orders to leave by December.
“It’s a punch to the gut,” says Martinez, who has lived in Burbank for 27 years. “It’s dehumanizing because when you hear eviction you think you did something wrong, but you did nothing wrong.”
Martinez pays $1,470 for a one-bedroom apartment, and as a one-income household, she says she can’t afford to pay more. On Tuesday evening, she rallied in front of Burbank city hall to put pressure on city leaders to intervene.
She joined a group of about 20 tenants and community organizers calling on the Burbank City Council to place a temporary freeze on evictions and a 3 percent cap on rent increases. They’re also urging the council to enact protections for tenants from “no-fault” evictions.
After the rally, the City Council voted to direct city staffers to prepare a “first step” report exploring a temporary interim tenant protection ordinance. It will be presented to the council on October 29, according to city spokesperson Simone McFarland.
The rally was organized by the Burbank Tenants Rights’ Committee, which is seeking to have protections in place until January, when California’s new rent control will go into effect.
Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the statewide rent control legislation Assembly Bill 1482 into law. In cities such as Burbank that do not have local rent control laws, it will go into effect January 1, limiting rent increase to 5 percent, plus the local rate of inflation, which averages about 2.5 percent in Los Angeles County.
Konstantine Anthony, who chairs the tenants rights’ committee, says that state cap isn’t strong enough to be considered control.