Protest To Stop UC Berkeley Evictions at 1921 Walnut St.

1921 Walnut St. Association
Saturday August 01, 2020 - 03:09:00 PM

From: 1921 Walnut St. Association in Downtown Berkeley, and ally organizations 

When: 4:00 pm Monday, August 3, 2020 

Where: 1111 Franklin Street Oakland, CA: OUTSIDE in front of the building 

What: – Second Protest 

On July 15, 2020, The University of California officially became the new landlord of the long-term/rent-controlled tenants at 1921 Walnut St., despite objections from Berkeley Mayor Arreguin, Berkeley City Council, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, the elected representatives of the UCB student body (ASUC), tenants’ rights organizations and the tenants themselves. In response, the tenants of 1921 Walnut St. and allies will be protesting at the UC Regents’ office in Oakland, demanding that UC stop all plans to evict these tenants and demolish these affordable housing units. 

This purchase of 1921 Walnut St. was UC’s “crossing the Rubicon” moment; signaling UC’s refusal to engage with the local community, be held to public scrutiny or adhere to the ethical values required of any publicly funded university. Now that UC owns the property, the tenants are no longer protected by Berkeley rent laws because of UC’s special privilege as a public university. As part of their special status, UC receives public funding and has a commitment to the public good and thus, UC has a responsibility to the local communities in which it operates. 

Despite those obligations, UC is violating the trust and good faith of the people of California by not working with the tenants of 1921 Walnut St., refusing to compromise with Berkeley elected officials, and ignoring all objections of the student body (ASUC) and other community members. Although UC is subject to state laws, UC even refuses to comply with SB-330 Housing Crisis Act of 2019 and are essentially “picking and choosing” the state laws they want to follow. In light of the recent California Public Records Act (CPRA) document release, it is now evident that UC has enlisted wealthy landlord and heiress Jackie Safier to assist in the redevelopment of 1921 Walnut St. Until this public records request, Safier’s involvement has been kept secret in yet another attempt by UC to hide from public scrutiny. Impunity, unaccountability, anti-affordable housing, disrespect of local communities – are these the values Californians want associated with their public university? Or will Californians hold UC to the standards of public service, ethical behavior and respect for local communities? 

While it is evident that many Californians prefer UC to be ethical and transparent, it is also evident that UC will continue to act with impunity until they are held accountable. Despite the devastating news that UC is now their landlord, the tenants of 1921 Walnut St. continue their “David vs Goliath” struggle to save their homes and to hold UC accountable. 

Event Info: There will be a small, physically distanced action OUTSIDE in front of 1111 Franklin Street in Oakland with the tenants and allies. We welcome media attention and coverage, and will be available before, during, and after the event for media to contact. Prior to the event, questions can be sent to with a copy to John Selawsky of the Berkeley Tenants Union, who can be reached via e-mail at: or phone 510.590.6227 

Background and Contacts: 

To learn more about 1921 Walnut St. and to access the California Public Records Act (CPRA) documents, visit 

or go directly to: 

To see the letter the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board sent UC on June 8, 2020, visit: 

To see the Berkeley City Council approved “Resolution in Support of 1921 Walnut Street”: 

and contact author Councilmember Kate Harrison 

To see the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association statement of support, visit: 

To contact the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) for comment, contact
Derek Imai 

To learn more about UC’s planned eviction of tenants, demolition of 1921 Walnut St., redevelopment plan and citations, visit 

To see UC Regents ethical commitments and Policy 1111: Policy on Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct, visit: