From: Carol Berg [email protected] Subject: RE: Patricia Colby and I dispute your refusal to investigate our HOMEdiscrimination complaintDate: June 27, 2011 12:09:23 PM PDTTo: "John E. Colby" [email protected] 1 Attachment, 27.0 KBMr. Colby:In response to your email below, your sister’s unit is no longer a HOME assisted unit and is not regulated under the HOME Program. Only 11 ofthe 50 units in Mission Gardens are HOME assisted units. In 2010, your sister resided in one of the HOME assisted units and city staff conducteda HOME inspection of your sister’s unit. Since correspondence from you on behalf of your sister at that time suggested that it was a burden forher to have the HOME inspection, we requested that the owner of Mission Gardens designate another unit as a HOME assisted unit instead ofyour sister’s unit so that we would not need to disturb her with HOME unit inspections in the future. This change was completed earlier this year.Changes in HOME designated units are allowed under the HOME Regulatory Agreement with Mission Gardens. The Agreement does not requiretenant notification of these changes.Carol Berg(831) 420-5108Please note that my email address has changed to [email protected]: John E. Colby [mailto:[email protected]]Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:51 PMTo: Carol BergCc: City Council; Martin Bernal; Bonnie Lipscomb; Norman Daly; "Mercedes M. Márquez"; Clifford Taffet; Helen R. Kanovsky; Maria F. Cremer;Gail B Goldman; Nancy DeSerpaSubject: Patricia Colby and I dispute your refusal to investigate our HOME discrimination complaintJune 23, 2011Carol BergHousing Program ManagerEconomic Development and RedevelopmentCity of Santa Cruz337 Locust StreetSanta Cruz, CA 95060Tel: 831.420.5108via email to: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: Patricia Colby and I dispute your refusal to investigate our HOME discrimination complaintDear Ms. Berg:My sister Patricia Colby and I dispute your refusal to investigate discrimination on the part of The John StewartCompany (JSCO) — managing agent for the Mission Gardens Apartments at 90 Grandview Street where Ms.
Colby resides in a HOME unit — and on the part of JSCO's attorney Nathan Benjamin.Note:1. As I communicated in the facts presented to you in our complaint, Ms. Colby was also sent a letter fromJSCO attorney Nathan Benjamin, just as I was, meant to threaten, coerce and intimidate her from exercisingher legal right to video record entry by JSCO staff. Thus Ms. Colby was directly discriminated against byJSCO's attorney.2. Secondarily, JSCO's attempts to discriminate against me, are also intended to threaten, coerce andintimidate Ms. Colby — who resides in a HOME unit — because I am associated with her, a disabled HOMEresident, and I represent and advocate for her. Thus discriminating against me in my inspections, byassociation, discriminates against Ms, Colby, a HOME resident.3. The non–discrimination clause of the HOME regulatory agreement between the City of Santa Cruz and theowners of Mission Gardens states:To quote: "Developer shall otherwise comply with all applicable local, California and federal laws concerningdiscrimination in housing."Since JSCO's discrimination against me as retaliation for my advocacy for Ms. Colby's disability rights isdiscrimination against a person helping her exercise her Fair Housing rights, such discrimination is inseparablyintertwined with discrimination against Ms. Colby. Moreover, JSCO staff refer to Ms. Colby and I as "theColby's" to other Mission Gardens residents, treating us as an inseparable unit. In other words, Ms. Colby'sFair Housing rights are being violated by JSCO discriminating against me, as her representative and advocate.Thus there are "applicable laws concerning discrimination in housing" which are being violated by JSCO'sactions w.r.t. my inspections which the City of Santa Cruz is contractually obligated to investigate and resolvein its administration of the HOME program.I am putting you, your superiors, other City of Santa Cruz staff and the Santa Cruz City Council on notice thatwe, Ms. Colby and I, hold the City of Santa Cruz responsible to end this discrimination against us as per thenon–discrimination clause of the HOME regulatory agreement between the City of Santa Cruz and the ownersof the Mission Gardens Apartments. Any refusal to do so is a refusal to perform the City of Santa Cruz'scontractual obligations set forth in the HOME regulatory agreement.Once more, we ask you to hold Ms. Powis, Ms. Bell and their attorney Nathan Benjamin accountable, to endthis harassment campaign of threats, intimidation and coercion against Ms. Colby and I. Please contact me ifyou require further information on my part.
Also, I would appreciate if you would confirm by email or by voicemail that you received this email disputingyour initial refusal to investigate our complaint.Sincerely yours,John E. Colby, Ph.D.email: [email protected]: 831.471.9767postal address:849 Almar Avenue, Suite C–242Santa Cruz, CA 95060On Jun 23, 2011, at 5:23 PM, Carol Berg wrote:Mr. Colby,In response to your email below, the inspections that you are referring to are not HOME Program inspections and therefore are not regulatedunder the HOME Program.Carol Berg(831) 420-5108Please note that my email address has changed to [email protected]: John E.Colby [mailto:[email protected]]Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 3:09 PMTo: Carol BergCc: City Council; Martin Bernal; Bonnie Lipscomb; Norman Daly; "Mercedes M. Márquez"; Clifford Taffet; Helen R. Kanovsky; Maria F. Cremer;Gail B Goldman; Nancy DeSerpaSubject: What is JSCO hiding and why is the City of Santa Cruz allowing it?June 22, 2011Carol BergHousing Program ManagerEconomic Development and RedevelopmentCity of Santa Cruz337 Locust StreetSanta Cruz, CA 95060Tel: 831.420.5108cc: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]: [email protected]
cc: [email protected]: What is JSCO hiding and why is the City of Santa Cruz allowing it?Dear Ms. Berg:As per the following passage from the Citizen Participation Plan for the HOME programadministered by the City of Santa Cruz for the Mission Gardens Apartments at 90 GrandviewStreet, I am submitting a complaint via email (since it includes hyperlinks and to more easilydistribute it to others).2. ComplaintsCitizen with complaints concerning the Consolidated Plan, the Annual Action Plan,substantial amendments and the CAPER should contact City HCD staff by phone or inwriting within 30 days from the date the document is published for comment. Complaintsconcerning any CDBG-funded or HOME-funded program in which the person believesaccess has been limited or denied, must be made within 30 days from the date of theoccurrence. Staff will review each complaint based on the information provided within thecomplaint and provide a complete written responses to citizen complaints within 15 workingdays from the date of their complaint when practicable.The City will accept written complaints provided they specify the following:(1) The description of the objection, and supporting facts and data(2) Name, address, and telephone number of complainant and a date of complaintComplaints shall be sent to:City of Santa CruzHousing & Community Development Manager337 Locust StreetSanta Cruz, CA 95060A record will be maintained of all complaints received that will include the nature of thecomplaint, City investigation of facts and evidences, referrals made, and the final disposition.The gist of my complaint: the managing agent for the Mission Gardens Apartments —TheJohn Stewart Company (JSCO) — and their attorney Nathan Benjamin are harassing andintimidating my sister and I to coerce us from exercising our legal rights to video recordinspections of our units to protect ourselves from being harassed and to collect evidencefor the government, our elected representatives, the police and for the courts.I believe this harassment, intimidation and coercion is retaliation for my sister requestingaccommodations from JSCO and the City of Santa Cruz for the effects of smokers' secondhandtobacco smoke in common areas of Mission Gardens upon her disabilities. In short, smokers hereare using cigarette smoke as a weapon to injure my sister based upon her disabilities, making theirviolations of the Santa Cruz smoking ban (http://tinyurl.com/3moj3cb) disability motivated hatecrimes.
The facts:1. On May 10, 2011 JSCO Regional Manager Maya Powis and Mission Gardens PropertyManager LaMonica Bell refused to enter my apartment for my annual unit inspection,asserting that video recording this inspection would violate their privacy rights.2. On May 9 and May 10, 2011, JSCO attorney Nathan Benjamin wrote letters to intimidateand coerce me and my sister, respectively, from asserting our legal rights to video recordinspections of our units to protect ourselves from being harassed and to gather objectiveevidence for the government, our elected officials, the police and the courts. His letters fromthose dates to us are attached as a PDF. The court case he cited, California v. Gibbons(http://tinyurl.com/4xez8c6), describes a case where a man surreptitiously video recorded womenhaving sex with him. We do not plan on video recording Ms. Powis and Ms. Bell having sex in ourapartments, nor do we plan to engage in any sexual activity with them during our unit inspections(or at any other time).3. On May 18, 2011, JSCO attorney Nathan Benjamin wrote to me again trying to intimidateand coerce me from asserting my legal rights to video record inspections of my unit toprotect myself and to gather objective evidence like I described above.4. On May 22 and May 27, 2011, I made my intentions clear that I was going to video recordmy inspections and share the results with HUD and the California Housing Finance Agency(CalHFA).5. On June 1, 2011, Ms. Powis sent me an email in which she asserted that offsite JSCOemployee Chris Pritchard would accompany her to inspect my apartment on June 7, 2011,despite the facts that Mr. Pritchard is a smoker whose thirdhand smoke would seriouslyaffect my sister's health and I had already informed Ms. Powis that Mr. Pritchard acted as anenforcer in the summer of 2009, coercing me to backdate Low Income Housing Tax Credit(LIHTC) application documents.6. After I caught pneumonia, my annual inspection was rescheduled for Thursday, June 16,2011. Before then, Ms. Powis refused to return my email request and one from the CalHFA
tenant liaison Marian Grant asking who was going to inspect my apartment last Thursday(although Ms. Powis had informed me of these details in the past). Last Thursday, June 16,2011, Ms. Powis and Ms. Bell came to inspect my apartment but refused to perform theinspection because I intended to video record it, although I had already informed them of myintent to video record in my emails to Ms. Bell on May 22 and May 27, 2011. Please watchthis video recording of our encounter on that afternoon (http://tinyurl.com/3qkcbd9). Ms.Powis and Ms. Bell keep trying to frame me as attaching a restrictive condition to their access toinspect, while I openly offer them access again and again, only asserting my legal right to videorecord inspections of my unit. Note that I don't legally require Ms. Powis and Ms. Bell's consent tovideo record inspections inside my own apartment. They are harassing and trying to intimidateme just like JSCO's attorney Nathan Benjamin did in his letters to me.Questions: What were Ms. Powis and Ms. Bell trying to hide that they would object to beingvideo recorded? What were they planning to do in my apartment that they didn't want thereto be objective evidence of?I claim JSCO, Ms. Powis, Ms. Bell and their attorney Nathan Benjamin have been waging acampaign of harassment, threats and intimidation to prevent my sister and I from exercising ourlegal rights to collect objective evidence of what seems to be JSCO's intention to abuse theirinspections of our units to harass us for advocating for my sister's disability rights with JSCO andthe City of Santa Cruz.I hold the City of Santa Cruz responsible to end this discrimination against us as per the non–discrimination clause of the HOME regulatory agreement between the City and the owners of theMission Gardens Apartments.Thank you for acting to hold Ms. Powis, Ms. Bell and their attorney Nathan Benjamin accountable,to end this harassment campaign of threats, intimidation and coercion against my sister and I.Please contact me if you require further information on my part.Sincerely yours,John E. Colby, Ph.D.email: [email protected]: 831.471.9767postal address:849 Almar Avenue, Suite C–242Santa Cruz, CA 95060
JSCO attorney Nathan Benjamin's May 9th and 10th letters to my sister and I:
From: Carol Berg [email protected] Subject: RE: Patricia Colby and I dispute your refusal to investigate our HOME discrimination complaint Date: June 27, 2011 12:09:23 PM PDT To: "John E.