On Wednesday, February 18th the Portland Solidarity Network’s Outer East Side Committee escalated their campaign against Fox Management and property manager Kallie Caito. The campaign supports Aubrey and Becky, who are former tenants of a Fox Management apartment for more than ten years, where they suffered ill-repair and dangerous conditions in their apartment, over charging, and eventual eviction without cause.
About twenty people came together to picket the property manager with signs letting people know not to rent from Fox Capital, as well as calling them slumlords. In preparation for the picket, Fox Capital called the police, who came twice, yet could not stop the picket. Chants came together loudly with renditions like “Kallie Caito come outside/Fox is greedy, you can’t hide!” Over the course of the picket the managers locked the door and hid upstairs, taking pictures and gawking from the windows. Passersby and tenants having to deal with Fox Capital were given flyers telling about Aubrey and Becky’s experience, and the neighboring businesses and organizations got a first hand look at what their neighbor was up to.
This picket comes on the heels of an active campaign that has been marked by the erratic behavior of property manager Kallie Caito. After the initial demand delivery, in which she hid away from the community and tenant delegation, Kallie went about to find the video and articles about the action. On a friendly housing blog that reposted the story and video about the demand delivery, Kallie Caito left a series of antagonistic and strange responses attempting to bait and taunt the organizers. In her initial quote she said:
I just wanted to point out that I’m more like everyone here than you’d think. I’m liberal, I’ve protested, my friends are members of activist entities, I’ve quit my job in the past to join AmeriCorps and move across the country, I’ve volunteered in hard-hit areas to help my fellow man. I’ve stood in solidarity with the people of New Orleans post-Katrina after snipers shot their friends/family, government failed them, they were being taken advantage of. I’m a renter, I’m a student, I’m compassionate, and I’m a justice seeker. And I’m offended while my professional reputation is smeared. What frustrates me about this situation is that not a single person tried to contact myself or anyone at Fox Management to even attempt to get an answer. Legally, I can’t give out information without someone’s consent, but that’s not the point. However, it negatively impacts your “fight” to commit criminal trespassing, intimidation, harassment, what is now slander/libel as the accusations from Rebecca and Aubrey are false. It’s not just the company’s name or the plaintiff’s name, it’s my personal name being thrown out there when all paperwork comes from the plaintiff. Not me. To clear some things up: We’ve managed the property since the end of August/early September. I’ve completed over 140 work orders at the property since then (you do the math), and I’m well-versed in habitability issues. We require maintenance requests in writing. We have an online tenant portal, a maintenance email address, a computer kiosk in the office, a maintenance request form in the office and an on-site manager that sends me maintenance requests as received. The information provided to you is incorrect. All of it. I don’t even know how it was determined that those dollar amounts are owed. A business in the area chose to attack a neighboring business because they felt like it. Not okay.
Might I suggest asking for hard proof from people requesting help? Might I suggest being positive and inquisitive prior to being ridiculously harsh and nonsensical? Might I suggest not making threats in writing? Might I suggest listening when people tell you not to enter a private area? Also, a little more organization wouldn’t help. Don’t go out into the world looking for a fight. Go looking for answers and proof.
It makes you almost as bad as the Westboro Baptist Church.
After it became clear that her understanding of PDXSol’s politics or advice were not going to be taken seriously, she began to deconstruct and her rants just escalated.
I was referring to liberal as a definition, not a political affiliation. The fact is that “we” are not exploiting any tenants, so the battle is artificial. You should be more concerned with utilitarianism. If you don’t care what our priorities are, don’t tell us what they should be. When the truth is obvious, there is no battle. “As far as I have seen” is a dangerous statement when you’re narrow-minded and have wool over your eyes. I’m not saying tenants are not being exploited, but this is not an example of that. Again, Westboro Baptist Church. Two peas in a pod.
She further continued to embarrass herself by showing she did not understand the most basic aspects of PDXSol’s mission statement, or what organizing and community support actually is. She continued on to try and bait people, going after their supposed lack of education, and showed that she could not even begin to understand what her exploited tenants were going through.
I hope none of you have landlords. Oh, the hypocrisy.
You’re kind of like the George Bush that claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
You’re regurgitating a bunch of fake garbage and then disappearing behind some bullshit excuse.
It doesn’t help your cause.
I get that you’re not Portland Solidarity Network, but clearly no one else cared enough to comment elsewhere.
Also, you must refute the existence of a dictionary. Damn The Man printing those stupid books. They hold us all back! It’s classism!
Kallie Caito’s erratic behavior only increased from their, all of which showed a painful lack of understanding about how social movements have traditionally worked or how collective change is made. As a part of the campaign, the Outer Eastside Committee postered both in Becky and Aubrey’s neighborhood, as well as the neighborhood where the Fox Capital headquarters is, indicating what had happened and who is responsible. Kallie then posted her own posters right near their posters, which included a nonsensical rant that showed exactly how disconnected she is. It wrote:
Dear Portland Solidarity Network,
I’m clearing the air and correcting some misinformation. You’ve committed slander and libel, because the accusations were proven to be entirely FALSE. This is in addition to intimidation, harassment, and criminal trespassing. Since when is RENT a FEE? Should property owners be required to let people live in their properties for free? I highly recommend requesting PROOF from people prior to harassing someone/a business when you’ve been asked to help, and it impacts others. You’ve published lies about me all over the neighborhood where I work, all over the internet, and emailed it to a network of strangers. These people decided to harass me incessantly and told me to “re-think my life, because it sucks.” Actually, my life is great. I’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCorp, Global Green and other non-profits to help my fellow man. Thanks for the advice! As Mr. Walsh stated while walking out of our office, “You need to have humor.”
I’ll contact you once I find a cure for your Stick-it-to-da-man-niosis.
THIS ISN’T CLASSIM AT WORK. THIS IS UTILITARIANISM.
We are not sure if this is the ranting of a person racked with guilt about the treatment of her tenants, or if there was some important thought put behind the letter that just did not have gotten through. The accusations of Becky and Aubrey had absolutely not been proven false, and what is important to PDXSol is to support tenants who are being exploited by people like Kallie Caito and Fox Management. We aren’t sure who told her that her “life sucks,” but we are glad to hear that it is great. Aubrey and Becky’s life has not been so great, however, since she exploited and evicted them.
The Portland Solidarity Network will not quit in its support of this campaign, and all tenant campaigns that attempt to fight back against the rabid abuses that property management companies like Fox Management commit regularly. The response from Kallie Caito shows that she refuses to have empathy for people going through what is one of the most trying times in their lives.
As the crowd was leaving after the picket, one staff person from Fox Capital yelled out that Aubrey’s son should “take a shower before coming back.” This was a shameful, and obviously racially motivated attack on him, and one that shows exactly what they think of everyday people standing up for themselves. So, yes Kallie, PDXSol will continue to fight for what is right, and we urge you to recognize your role in the exploitation of and attack on this family.