New Roots farmers are fighting illegal evictions by the City Heights Community Development Corporation (CH-CDC), a local nonprofit.
New Roots was established in 2008 by International Rescue Committee as a farm for the immigrant and refugee population in San Diego. This farm was run well until 2018 when it was transferred to CH-CDC. Since then rents and water bills have skyrocketed, while service from CH-CDC has been non-responsive.
A group of 26 farmers signed a petition seeking to address issues of safety, security, and sanitation around the farm at the end of October 2023. In response, the CH-CDC has issued a no-fault eviction notice to one of the leaders, is pressuring farmers to sign leases for 2024 (without any translation service and, in some cases, a full copy of the lease), and attempting to break this union by only speaking with English- and Spanish-speaking members. They’ve gone so far as to unilaterally ban volunteers from visiting the garden without 60 days express permission from CH-CDC, something that has not happened in the farm’s history. This is a clear case of retaliation and union busting.
Tuesday, December 5th we reported this mismanagement, harassment, and abuse of refugees at New Roots Community Farm to City officials. We have received no responses from CH-CDC which document any breach of New Roots code which would justify evicting Fatima, nor any legal documentation of a lease with the City of San Diego over the land at 5326 Chollas Parkway which grants CH-CDC administrative ability to do so. The only responses we’ve received from the City focus on the real estate implications in this fight, with no comment on the humans being threatened.
15 civic organizations and over 200 San Diegans are also keenly interested in why CH-CDC is spending this holiday season attempting to bully refugees off their farm plots; more are signing on each day. Can you join this movement to save New Roots?
Sign the petition
We’ve contacted CH-CDC directly and sent out letters to all the City Council reps, Mayor, and the City Attorney asking for information.
It’s been one week and we’ve had 15 organizations and over 200 San Diegans sign-on in support.
Make phone calls & send emails
Call and email the the contacts below:
Refer to this list of demands when crafting your message:
- Renounce the eviction against Fatima and the unionized farmers.
- Insist CH-CDC publicly disclose why it believes it has any legal authority over this land.
- Stop using coercion and intimidation to pressure farmers to sign leases and waivers of liability written in languages they don’t understand.
- Cease discriminatory practices favoring specific individual farmers and groups based on language, ethnicity, and national origin.