Letter asking for support for the 100 tenants in Woodlands Apartments facing eviction

Date Published: 
November 21, 2006

Attached files

Woodlands_Campaign.pdf141.05 KB
Friends, Allies and Supporters:


The time has come when your action could mean the difference between justice and injustice, home for the holidays or homeless in the cold. In the next few days over 100 families are facing eviction from their affordable apartments at the Woodlands. Right now your support, and your action, could provide the impetus they need to win their fight.

As you may know, Common Ground has been managing the Woodlands apartment complex for the past five months, with the intent to purchase the property to create cooperative housing, small business cooperatives, social programs and human services offices, all while keeping the lowest rents in the city. During this time CG rehabilitated over 100 units, and formalized rental relationships with signed leases. Through a series of bad faith dealings the former owner, Anthony Reginelli, sold the property to the Johnson Property Group, LLC. Now both are working together to evict the tenants just in time for the holidays.

The tenants are organized and ready to fight. They are planning a host of strategies, from press conferences to direct actions, from formal mediation to court cases. But they need your voice. They need your faxes, calls emails in support, calling for the new owners to do the right thing and work with the tenants to find a mutually beneficial solution.

The next pages contain sample letters detailing the tenants needs and demands, and following those is a contact list. There are two versions of the letter, one for the Johnson Property Group, LLC itself, and another for their business associates. Feel free to use the sample letter, or create your own based on it. If you have business or organization letterhead, that may add extra weight. The crucial aspect is that the residents need your assistance RIGHT NOW.

This can be an extremely effective public pressure campaign, because the new owners have a very good name in human services in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana. The Managing Manager for the Group is Soundra Temple-Johnson, who, along with Collis Temple, Jr. and family, own and operate Louisiana Health and Rehabilitation Options as well as the Harmony Center, Inc., both of which offer extensive social services for those in need. They have a conscience, at least a public one, which can be effectively prodded by your letters, and by the opinions of their business associates.

Please take a little time out of your Thanksgiving preparations to send or hand deliver these letters to as many of the contacts as possible. Because of the holiday we must act right now to be effective. If you live near one of these locations, hand-deliver the letter. If you are able, mount a small (or large!) demonstration at their address, as the tenants will be doing in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

You will hear more from us, as we hold press conferences and demonstrations, and we will keep you updatedwith our progress. We'd also love to hear from you about your involvement at:/Compose?To=nolaevictiondefense [at] gmail [dot] com" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)"> nolaevictiondefense [at] gmail [dot] com You could cc: us when you email out the letter, and send us a note about faxes, hand-deliveries and demonstrations – or any other great ideas you put into action!

Please act now, before Thanksgiving, so the one hundred families and children of the Woodlands can have something to be thankful for this holiday season.