When: Mon. Oct.13, 1pm
Where: Redwood Gardens 2951 Derby St
3rd floor lounge next to elevator
Contact info: Eleanor Walden
Redwood Gardens Residents’ Committee
Phone: Cell 510-847-2579
Berkeley -- Seniors and disabled residents of Redwood Gardens in Berkeley are staging a sit-in on Mon. Oct. 13th at 1pm at 2951 Derby St. 3rd floor south side next to elevator. The senior and disabled residents at Redwood Gardens in Berkeley are being treated in a manner that borders on abuse but certainly falls into the category of violation of quality of life, disruption of the peace and quiet of living quarters, invasion of privacy, as well as intimidation and disrespect. This HUD housing facility is owned and managed by CSI Cooperative Corporation and their affiliate Redwood Gardens. Since the corporation assumed management of this facility they have set about making changes to completely remodel the facility, not only with negligible benefits to the residents, but with adverse effects upon us. We are mobilizing to protect ourselves against the continued assault against our persons, homes, peace of mind, and safety. There are several issues that effect most people in Redwood Gardens: Garden area was dug up and residents were commanded to move their plants or lose them; both of which already happened. Many plants and heritage roses were lost or damaged in the process. See coverage in Berkeleyside:
A much disputed laundry room is planned for the 3rd floor of the building. The residents object to this on the grounds that a laundry with heavy equipment is a danger in the event of an earthquake; located on a 3rd floor of residential building is inappropriate when washing machines are predictably subject to flooding and consequently inundation of apartments beneath causing mold (one of the most potent forms of pollution); and the disturbance of noise and vibration, and chemical pollution in the living areas. We were told that complete kitchen and bath remodeling will be made but no time frame for rebuilding has been given. We are being forced to move everything out of our kitchens and bathrooms. The apartments are very small, there is no space to store possessions out of the way and all residents are of advanced age or disability with limited income. To ask residents to do this work without pay amounts to slave labor practices. Access to the door of the north parking lot has been blocked with the distinct possibility that first responders: fire trucks, para-transit vans, cars picking up or dropping off seniors will block the entrance. Safety is at risk in any of these possible situations. Recycling area was rebuilt with a surrounding redwood fence which would be lovely except for the fact that it is so designed that fewer recycle bins than previously are situated in the space and cannot accommodate the material. The trash was spilling out the second day after it was installed. Rats do not respect "keep out" signs. In addition to these practical objections underneath all of the so-called "improvements" is that the residents have not been consulted on any of the changes. Notice of changes came down as fiat and the residents used as slave labor to accomplish the corporate purpose of CSI. Additionally, we are then insulted with patronizing letters telling us that "it is all for our good" and any deviation from the plan must be supported by a letter from the doctor. Bottom line is that our quality of life has been completely disrupted and their demands unreasonable. Our sit-in is an effort to bring about a dialogue with the corporation in which we know our voices are being heard and our integrity respected. We invite the media to come to listen to our story on Mon. Oct. 13th, 1pm, 3rd floor Redwood Gardens 2951 Derby St. Berkeley.