June 22, 2018

Barbara’s Story

“I feel pretty strongly about what a good idea rent control is. I had an experience when I was a young mother when I was in an apartment building with six units and a developer bought the building and gave us all eviction notices immediately (it wasn’t here in Santa Cruz). I was just devasted because I had just gotten that apartment. I was on welfare, it was a low-income apartment. I got my son in a really good classroom in a public school nearby. First grade. It was his first experience. He had developed a best friend at the time in the neighborhood and there were two older women across the street who used to babysit for my son. So, I had this whole community established that was so important to me. I was working as a single mom. 

When I got that letter of eviction I can’t tell you the effect it had on my life. It’s more than just making it possible for people to afford these houses, but it’s also about stabilizing the larger community and also stabilizing individual families that depend on what they have been able to develop in their neighborhood over time. I really hope that we can pass rent control in the City of Santa Cruz. I’m 80 years old now and I’ve been out collecting signatures because I just feel so passionately about this.”

-Barbara Riverwoman, Santa Cruz resident