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Our Letter with the Community Demanding End of No-Cause Evictions

Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Dear Steve and Beau Harer, Glenn and Debra Koehler, and Detente Management; 

We are writing to urge you to immediately renew the leases of Mergitu Argo, Mouhamed Tall, Modou Ndiaye, and Lenh Vong. You recently served the four of them with 20-day notice to terminate their tenancy, with no cause or reason given. They face imminent eviction if they do not vacate. 

In Seattle, this would not be legal, because of the City’s Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, and we are advocating for King County, and the cities within it, to extend similar protections to renters throughout the region. 

We know Mergitu Argo to be a longstanding and highly respected community organizer. She is currently employed by the City of Seattle, doing outreach for Seattle’s Democracy Voucher program. Before that, she worked for years both for OneAmerica and SEIU 775, defending the rights of people facing abuse and discrimination. 

Ms. Argo has been a tenant in your building for 14 years, and has been a model tenant during that time. Similarly, Mr. Tall, Mr. Ndiaye and Ms. Vong have been excellent tenants, using their own money to do repairs on their apartments over the years. These are their homes, and you have not even had the courtesy to give them a reason for forcing them to find another place to live with less than one-month notice.

We urge you to withdraw these notices to terminate tenancy, renew the leases of these excellent tenants, and allow them and their families to continue to live in their homes. 

Thank you, 

Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council District 3
Michael Ramos, Executive Director, the Church Council of Greater Seattle Rev. Michael Denton, Conference Minister, Pacific NW Conference of the United Church of Christ
Rev. Lauren Cannon, Keystone United Church of Christ
Rev. John Helmiere, Pastor, Valley & Mountain UMC
Michael Byun, Executive Director, Asian Counseling and Referral Service The Reverend Angela Ying, Senior Pastor, Bethany United Church of Christ Johnathan Hemphill, Tri-Chair, WA Poor Peoples Campaign – A National for Moral Revival
Jamal Rahman, Imam, Interfaith Community Sanctuary
Rabbi David Basior, Kadima Reconstructionist (Jewish) Community
David Parsons, President, UAW Local 4121
Erin Beary Anderson, St. Mark’s Cathedral
Rev. Dr. Shannon Smythe, Seattle Presbytery
Hamdi Abdulle, Executive Director, African Community Housing and Development
Rev. Sharon L. Moe, Pastor, Tacoma First United Methodist Church
David Yao, Vice President, Greater Seattle Area Local, American Postal Workers Union
Jessica Bonebright, Co-President, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action Anessa Novasio, Attorney-at-Law; Member, Valley and Mountain

Mike Andrew, Secretary-Treasurer, King County Pride At Work
Mindi Lee
Roxana Norouzi, Deputy Director, OneAmerica
Brianna Franco, Network Representative, Mockingbird Society
Amanda Díaz, South King County Organizer, OneAmerica
Rev. Neal Sharpe, Valley and Mountain
Rev. Harriett G. Walden
Rev. Jenny Partch, Highline United Methodist Church
Kim Lundgreen, Vietnamese Senior Association
Diane Narasaki E.N. West, Liberation United Church of Christ

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