The Bee had a story today about the sad plight of Afghan refugees who live in substandard apartments owned by out-of-area investors who want to evict them. The apartment complex mentioned in the article has a history of problems, as we have reported previously. And the notion of taking advantage of refugees and other disadvantaged people by cramming them into substandard apartments is another sad, shameful situation we've discussed. This is the kind of story that happens when 1) out-of-area landlords run our housing stock and 2) Supervisors that are not beholden to local voters control our municipal services. Why is this tolerated?
The apartments described in the story are located very close to the old Creekside Elementary School site where the San Juan Unified School District wants to build a large middle school. It's a project of questionable need that would severely complicate the local traffic pattern, ruin the nearby residents' only open space and shut them out of the local Nature Area. The local census tract has a racially diverse population with poverty-level incomes, but that did not stop one of the school board members from using social media to discredit opponents of the middle school project as privileged bigots. Our community deserves better than this. Our residents - all of them - ought to be respected as human beings if for no other reason. Further, those of us who live here know our Afghan refugee neighbors to have respect for our country, strong family values and entrepreneurial drive. The Bee article is about the people taking advantage of our neighbors. It happens over and over again. That has to stop.