Antioch councilmembers urging tenant anti-harassment ordinance

Two members of the Antioch City Council held a press conference Monday, urging Mayor Lamar Thorpe to include a proposed tenant anti-harassment ordinance and an ordinance requiring just cause for evictions into the next city council agenda.   

Vice Mayor Monica Wilson and council member Tamisha Torres-Walker said the ordinances are necessary to protect low-income renters and historically marginalized communities who are susceptible to harassment, retaliation and evictions during the ongoing pandemic.   

"People needed protections from evictions and landlord harassment yesterday," said Torres-Walker. "There are so many people who have already suffered due to the inaction of those in leadership, but Mayor Pro Tem Wilson and I are ready to act now."   

They were joined by members of Contra Costa County's chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which has campaigned for similar tenant anti-harassment ordinances in other cities. 

Los Angeles just enacted its own tenant anti-harassment ordinance, ensuring that landlords face legal consequences for harassing or retaliating against tenants.     

California's COVID-19-related eviction moratorium expired Sept. 30.     

The mayor on Monday morning said he shares his colleagues' concerns.   

"I personally have concerns with Antioch tenants being harassed, especially during the pandemic, so conceptually, I agree with these protections," Thorpe said. "But I have to speak with vice mayor Wilson and council member Walker to see what they're specifically proposing. I'm assuming there's an urgency to this, and they want to do it as soon as possible."   

The next two regular Antioch City Council meetings are scheduled for Tuesday and Oct. 26. There's also a special meeting/council workshop scheduled for Oct. 16.