Pubdate: Fri, 12 Apr 2002
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2002 San Jose Mercury News
Author: Evelyn Vigil


IT was a sorry day, indeed, when the Supreme Court decided unanimously to 
let public housing authorities throw tenants out on the street for illegal 
drug activity by household members or visitors (Page 1B, March 27).

"Zero tolerance" sounds great on paper, but innocent tenants can be evicted 
for the actions of other people -- people over whom they have no control.

In the instances that went before the Supreme Court, a 75-year-old man 
received an eviction notice when it was alleged that his grandson was 
smoking dope in the parking lot. A 78-year-old disabled man received an 
eviction notice when his caregiver and two others allegedly were found with 
cocaine in the elderly man's apartment. This was a man who needed care. 
Could he seriously be considered capable of exerting control over his 

Meanwhile, Enron officials told a state court that they couldn't provide 
the documents the court needed, because of "the chaos" that exists in the 
business now that it has declared bankruptcy. Poor and disenfranchised 
people face eviction because of the actions of others over whom they have 
no control. Do we really have to wonder what will happen to the officials 
of Enron who can't seem to get their house in order?

Justice for the poor, mercy for the rich.

Evelyn Vigil

San Jose 
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