SAFE’s political objectives are intended to create universal recognition of human rights. We want a world where affordable housing is available to all human beings. Fundamental to every objective is the belief that we are all connected, and an injury to one human being is an injury to all.
Right to Organize –We demand the right of workers, households (tenants, homeowners, families), and community members to organize for their collective interests without the threat of intimidation and/or retaliation. This right is fundamental to empowering a democratic society.
Hold Banks Accountable:
Just-Cause Eviction Protection – We demand an open and lawful foreclosure process. Banks must not be allowed to evict people who are willing to pay to remain in their homes.
Acceptance of BTA Agreements – Any household threatened by displacement or foreclosure should be offered a Bank Tenant agreement in the form of a lease that would allow them to remain in the residence at current market value. The banks are responsible for the economic crisis; we demand that they act in good faith to mitigate the effects of their actions.
Restitution – The Attorney General’s office cannot continue to tolerate the widespread abuse of law perpetrated by the foreclosure industry. Any action brought against these entities must involve restitution to the tens of thousands of Washington residents that have been victimized by banks.
End Bank-Caused Urban Blight – Banks are holding onto empty properties in order to manipulate the cost of housing. These empty homes blight neighborhoods and assist in the extreme commodification of housing. These practices result in market pricing that has no real relationship to supply and demand.
We demand that the local government fine these profiteering banks for every bank-owned property that it has left abandoned and allowed to fall into neglect.
Push the Government to Uphold Human Rights:
Eminent Domain – We support the use of eminent domain by local jurisdictions to seize mortgage contracts, which provides a public option for refinancing.
We Need Rent Control – Rent increases should be limited to 4% per year.
Transparent Evictions – Currently, the King County Sherriff has no written policy for evictions—this means that the Sherriff’s Department can evict without informing the household of an exact time or date. These policies are an affront to the basic human dignity of our neighbors, who can be thrown out of their homes and onto the street at the whim of the Sherriff’s Department.
We demand that the Sherriff obey a written protocol of transparent evictions. We demand that households be given an exact time and date for evictions, and that they are informed at least ten business days in advance.
Recognize Civil Land Disputes – We demand that local law enforcement recognize the illegitimacy of evictions where the foreclosure is still in dispute. We demand a stay to all evictions in which there is an active civil case challenging the legitimacy of the foreclosure.
King County Moratorium on Bank Evictions – We demand an immediate moratorium on bank evictions in King County. The criminal practices of the Wall Street banks, including but not limited to: laundering drug money, engaging in predatory lending, dual tracking people out of their homes, and profiting from foreclosures is devastating to our community. The courts, sheriffs, and the County Council are complicit in evictions that are illegal, and grossly immoral. They are harmful to the public interest, and come at taxpayer expense. It is time for our public servants to stop facilitating banker theft, and support the working class.
End Illegal Home Auctions – The home auction process operates on fraudulent paperwork. It allows illegal relationships between the trustee and other parties involved in the foreclosure. Every month, hundreds of King County households lose their homes through this unjust process.
Audit All Deeds – Without a comprehensive audit process, the true depth of predatory banking practices will always remain hidden. All major banks have been fined heavily for their ongoing illegal actions. Local politicians must live up to their obligations, and demand a thorough examination of all recorded titles and deeds.
Seattle Must Move its Money – Disturbingly, Seattle invests taxpayer money in the Wells Fargo Foreclosure Clearing House. The Seattle City Council already voted to divest from this unscrupulous outfit, but the City ignored the resolution and refused to follow through. Seattle has a responsibility to divest its money from the corporations that prey on its citizens.
End Homelessness in King County – Housing is a human right. We demand that governments in King County recognize this fact. There are now more empty houses than there are homeless people sleeping on the streets of Seattle. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that dignified affordable housing is available to all.
Help Others – The inequality that is built into the capitalist system causes untold human suffering. We need to support one another, be it with food, shelter, or emotional strength.
Resist the Commodification of Housing – Housing as a human right is not compatible with our current manipulated market.
Expand the Base – We want to build broad-based coalitions for the advancement of all human rights. We will work with and empower all groups who share these values.