Editor’s note: The Elk Grove City Council was scheduled on March 23 to consider having another hearing on the proposed eviction ban at a future meeting. This March 23 meeting was held after press time.

On March 18, the Elk Grove City Council failed residential renters and small business tenants when they rejected a measure to halt evictions for those affected by the coronavirus emergency.

Sadly, there was little interest in saving businesses that are seeing drastic reductions in revenue; no discussion of the burden to renters who could not work, due to illness or public health restrictions; and no discussion of how the city expects to accommodate families that are pushed out of their homes through eviction. Instead, four Council members sided with the real estate representatives who heavily lobbied city officials.

Mayor Steve Ly was the only one to support the eviction moratorium. The remaining four Council members Stephanie Nguyen, Darren Suen, Steve Detrick, and Pat Hume have collectively taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from landlords and real estate interests over the past few election cycles. It’s time that the residents and business owners in Elk Grove were heard.

Most Elk Grove residents were probably not aware of the Council meeting that was scheduled on short notice to address the impending eviction crisis. However, similar measures were passed without controversy in Sacramento, Stockton, and across the country. The Republicans on the City Council – Detrick and Hume – aggressively opposed protections for the people of Elk Grove. The corporate Democrats – Nguyen and Suen – also fell in line, leaving Mayor Ly with the only vote in support of temporarily halting evictions.

Thankfully, Mayor Ly has refused to let the matter rest. He calendared a second special meeting on March 23 to reconsider the matter. The Council will have another opportunity to do what is right for Elk Grove renters and small business owners, but it won’t happen unless we stand up for each other and our neighbors.

There are three ways to make your voice heard: 1. Email your comments to City Clerk Jason Lindgren at jlindgren@elkgrovecity.org, 2. Send a video or audio recording to Lindgren at his email address, 3. Leave a voicemail for the Council at (916) 478-2286.

Due to social distancing, we may not be able to leave our houses to join in a protest, but we can make our voices heard through social media. Please share this opinion and ask your friends to join the fight.

Amar Shergill is an Elk Grove resident and the Progressive Caucus chair of the California Democratic Party.